It took three gondolas to get to base camp. Then we walked a half hour above the treeline, over and through the snow-covered rocks. At the junction of two trails stood an aluminum signpost, its arrow directing hikers over the side of a cliff. I asked my guide about it. “Oh,” he said. Then he grabbed the metal pole at its base and spun it around, toward the ridge. He picked up a rock and wedged it between the pole and the ground. “The wind always blows it around.” I looked up the ridge. Clouds were once again covering the tops of the peaks. It had been a complete whiteout earlier, and then it had cleared, and then it got cloudy again. Down below it was clear, and I could see the small village in the valley from which I set out that morning.