It was late afternoon in the Himalayas. I was standing on top of a remote mountain peak in northern Nepal. As I watched from my sixteen-thousand-foot vantage point, the sun momentarily ducked behind a gray-and-white cloud mass that hovered directly over the crest of some jagged mountains to the west. As if triggered by the sun's sudden disappearance, a freezing, icy mountain breeze from the north assaulted the front of my body. Hurriedly, I zipped up my Gore-Tex down ski parka, rapidly pulled its hood up and over the top of my head, tugged on its straps, and secured it, firm and snug, around my freezing face. The cold, stinging wind continued to rise as the sun moved swiftly on its ever-westward course. As I watched in awe, the color of the sky began to change from a light Nepalese blue into a soft, pastel rose and lavender tinged with deep purple and white streaks. Standing alone, on an unnamed snow- and ice-covered peak, watching the everlasting montage of colors that filled the skies above me, I wished silently that I could remain in the breathtaking beauty of that time and place forever. But the rapidly rising icy wind, combined with the plummeting temperature, gave me no choice but to snowboard immediately down the mountainside or freeze to death, alone, in the oncoming Himalayan night. My jet-black snowboard lay on the ground several yards ahead of me. I was about to mount my board and begin to snowsurf down the mountain - when suddenly I had a strong feeling that someone was standing directly behind me.