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“Snow Rising is a profound, philosophical work, yet remains accessible to a variety of audiences who may be wondering if there is much good left in the world.” — Deseret News (Mormon Times)
“With themes of redemption, change, teamwork, family and faith, Snow Rising causes readers to reexamine and challenge deeply rooted beliefs.” — Deseret News (Mormon Times)
Change can happen in your life as quickly as you'll believe it.
Like the best-selling book The Peacegiver, Snow Rising tells a soul-searching story as you learn four truths or the fundamental characteristics to a happier and more peaceful life.
Matt Baldwin's story about an adventure on Mt. Hood details one man's journey from chaos to peace. Filled with thought-provoking principles, this gripping tale is an account of Jason Snow's chance meeting with a remarkable mountain guide, Clara Schroeder. His willingness to follow her up this ancient volcano provides an opening for Clara to enter his world and change it. This is a story of tragedy, triumph, and redemption, written for those who seek a more meaningful life through a peaceful heart and a curious mind. A journey not to be missed, one readers will want to take again and again.
Take the journey. Make the change. Know the peace.
Table of Contents
3. The Broken Boy
4. Quality Time
5. Pen and Paper
6. Charlie Murphy
7. Dear Jesse
9. Meeting a Mountain
10. Armor In the Chinks
12. Questions, Not Answers
13. Symptoms Don't Kill You
16. A Five Hires a Three
17. The God Question
18. The List
20. The Fall
21. Morning After
22. A High Shelf
24. Alleviate Suffering
26. Thank You
27. The Voice
28. Who Are You?
30. Change to Change
31. The Flag
32. The Hole
33. The Answer
37. Into the Dark
Some Personal Thoughts
- Size: 6" x 9"
- Pages: 352
- Published: 2010
About the Author
Matt Baldwin has been described as a “modern mystic” and a “poet-thinker.” Deseret News called Snow Rising, his first book, “a profound, philosophical work, one that remains accessible to a variety of audiences who may be wondering if there is much good left in the world.” Matt’s career path has been as diverse as his many interests. After selling a business he had owned for nearly twenty years, he returned to school to pursue studies in a completely different field: the scientific connection between the mind and the body. He is a sought-after teacher who has presented principles of effective living to a variety of groups ranging from high school and university students, business and community leaders, and spouses and families. Matt is now Director of an institutional real estate investment portfolio. Having spent most of his life in Portland, Oregon, he currently lives and writes from Utah’s Wasatch Mountains. He and his wife of more than thirty years, Val, have two children.
The night began as many others. He pulled the big SUV off US 26 east of Zigzag, down a short graveled roadway, and right into the driveway of their rustic, cedar-clad cabin just west of the mountain. Bringing the truck to a stop next to Anna’s black Volvo wagon, he got out to stretch and breathed his first gulp of mountain air: thin, crisp, and clean. He could hear the Sandy River rushing in the distance, gravity and rock defining its course. Tomorrow he’d be up early; get unloaded; grab the waders, vest, fly rod, and tackle; leave the family to their own devices; and head for the river.
Jason stepped quietly into the old cabin, said a cursory hello to Anna, Brian, and Jesse, made his way upstairs, and settled comfortably at his old heirloom desk. There was peace in this place, even with the undertow of unrest. The soothing smells of cedar, leather, and crackling fire wafted through the cabin as he casually leafed through the materials he’d received from Cascade Mountain Guides: packing list, itinerary, orientation information. Had he covered everything? Was he ready for this?
The truth was, he’d been dead bored and miserable for months. He wanted to do something new and challenging, something to wake up a life anesthetized by material success and emotional isolation. Most of all, he wanted to escape the pounding of an unrelenting conscience. When he’d seen the poster in a downtown window, he’d decided that a climb up 11,240 feet of slumbering volcano was just the ticket. He’d contacted Cascade in July of last year, having been advised by a good friend and experienced climber to ask for a highly sought-after guide known as Merlin. Booked for the remainder of the climbing year, Merlin had spots available the next May. Jason signed up and used the date as motivation to get his sedentary physique back in shape during the dripping Oregon winter.
It wasn’t until several weeks ago, when talking with Lance Kennedy, a former mountain guide and business acquaintance, that he learned who “Merlin” was: Clara Schroeder, a fiftyish, retired chemical engineer who was, according to Lance, an institution on the mountain. She’d been tagged with the nickname years ago for her route-finding skills, an uncanny nose for the whereabouts of lost climbers, and a reputation for the heady discussions she would mediate during summit climbs. Discussions that, Lance said, had affected him and others he knew for years after.
“She’s been through it,” Lance emphasized. “She knows what she’s talking about. Listen to her.”
Clara was reportedly a delightful combination of guide, philosopher, historian, chemist, teacher, motivator, geologist, and athlete. And she was tough. “Pioneer tough,” Lance said. He clearly thought the world of Clara.
He’d met her in 1973 on his first ascent of Rainier. Lance and his team of climbers had been fighting miserable weather for nearly ¬thirty-six hours, were still 800 feet below the summit in ¬forty-mile-per-hour winds, and were seriously considering abandoning any attempt at the top. Three climbers, two young men and, he remembered, a lanky young woman who showed strength, grace, and ease in the face of a cold wrath, appeared out of the howling blizzard above them. They’d been to the summit and taken some photos, said it was wonderful, wished them well, and continued their descent like a stroll in the park. Thank you, Clara Schroeder.
After his descent of Rainier, Lance tracked Clara down and began a friendship that had survived calm, turbulence, and the twists and turns that define the course of a life’s existence. She was just that kind of person: a force that raised the tide of all she touched.
All this made Jason wince a bit. He worried that someone like Clara would look straight through him, see him for what he was: lost, alone, and void of substance. He’d naturally been a little nervous about the climb anyway. Now he was unnaturally anxious about meeting Clara. He regularly did business with heavy hitters, CEOs and CFOs, and had no uneasiness in holding his own in the rocky geology of executive strata. Why this sudden distress over meeting a mountain guide? Kennedy’s description of Clara excavated old bones long buried, and he didn’t know why.
He had suspicions, however. Had he really become uncomfortable with . . . what? Authenticity? Had it come to that? Clara represented, by description at least, something he had once thought he would certainly become, a lover of life and of people. Someone who had an influence on others, made them see things in themselves they never saw before. Someone who enthusiastically grabbed the proverbial bull by the horns and didn’t let go until they’d had the ride of their life. He wondered if it was still possible for him to be that person. Jason didn’t know, but he had his doubts.
Knowing that his wife and two teenage kids were flopped in the great room downstairs, it occurred to him that he should probably make an appearance. A fleeting thought. He knew Anna would read it for what it was: obligation rather than desire. And he knew, from repeated experience, what would come next: a whispered but pointed “conversation” about him becoming more involved with the family. Same stuff, different time and place. Jason played the images in his mind and heard the audio, all of which summoned the usual throbbing of the head, not because he felt bad for his lack of participation, but because he knew that nothing but an argument would come from the interrogation. Avoidance was the better option, and he had that down cold.
Time with his family had slowly eroded over the past several years. Like a shallow lake drying up during the peak of summer heat, it didn’t happen all at once, but slowly and at an undeniable pace.
He found himself missing more games, activities, and family outings. Lately he’d missed a variety of social engagements with Anna due to “important” work at the office. He couldn’t admit to her that it wasn’t the work that kept him there but the tension between them that kept him away. Jason disliked himself for not having the guts to confront the problem, to take a weekend away with this wonderful woman he had once loved so much, to see if they might work things out. To begin again. He suspected the thought of spending an entire weekend alone with him was more than she could bear.
He’d forgotten Anna’s birthday last year, and although she hadn’t appeared outwardly upset, Jason knew he’d hurt her and told her he was sorry. She’d kindly accepted his apology, but she couldn’t mask the disappointment abundant in her deep brown eyes. Anna couldn’t have cared less about gifts. What did mean a great deal to her was consideration. A gift was a symbol of time spent, of the fact that Jason had invested effort in thinking about her and what he might do to make her happy. It had taken him years to figure that out—that it wasn’t the gift per se, but the thinking and behavior behind the gift that was the treasure for Anna.
That knowledge had finally struck him some years ago when he was looking through a family album. Anna had written captions under the various photos, cards, and drawings that the kids had given her over the years. Included were six poems written on colored craft paper and stapled together, poems that Brian, nine years old and in fourth grade at the time, had collected for her as a Mother’s Day pres¬ent. Handwritten on the front cover was a note: “Dear Mom, Happy Mother’s Day. I got these poems at school with the help of Mrs. Thompson. She’s nice. They remind me of you. Thanks for being my Mom. I love you, Brian.” Anna’s caption underneath said simply, “The finest gift I’ve ever received from my wonderful son Brian.” Upon reading this, Jason considered that perhaps she’d written her inscription for Brian’s benefit, that it was an acknowledgment to him that she understood. Further thought made him realize that Anna’s caption was a mother’s honesty. It was one of the finest things she’d ever received—from anyone. A gift of scrap paper, felt marker, and time, and priceless to her.
He thought it ironic that once he began to understand what made her tick, they began to drift further apart. Was it because Anna felt he knew how to make her happy and yet chose not to give her those simple things? His time? His consideration? His thoughts? Himself? Perhaps that was the sharp wedge driven between them. Maybe ignorance was bliss, he thought. Knowledge carried the weight of responsibility and expectation.
He slipped the climbing brochures and equipment list back into his briefcase. Remaining upstairs, he moved to the comfortable old brown leather sofa, stretched out, opened the cover of Angels and Demons, and promptly fell asleep.
Inviting, curious, and intelligent
by Toni - reviewed on November 30, 2010
I absolutely love this book. I love that it invites my action-craving heart into a story and I get rewarded with mind-bending concepts and new (to me) ways of relating with others. It's all true. I love Clara, and Jason. May we all be as willing to change, grow, and develop when we hit bottom. We were not meant to live our lives alone, and this book tells and shows us how to be with others and make it the most positive experience ever! I have many "Clara's" in my life and I love them all. Can't wait for the sequel! More, more, more!
A Motivating Read
by Kathy - reviewed on October 25, 2010
Snow Rising by Matt Baldwin is a self-help book in story format. The author uses a fictional story to teach life changing truths. This was not a fast read for me. In fact it took me nearly a month to get through it. I could only digest a couple chapters a night until I reached the last 100 pages. Then I didn't want to put the book down. Snow Rising is a book worth taking the time to read. I could relate to the problems facing the different characters in this book and enjoyed the way the author used a story format to teach life changing principles. I'm looking forward to the sequel that will be released in 2011. Content: A clean, motivating read Rating: 5 Stars - This was a hard book to rate but ultimately I couldn't give it less than 5 stars. I could put it down and walk away, in fact it was a book I had to put down because I could only digest a chapter or two a night. It was also a book that got me thinking and kept me thinking when I put it down. It's well written and full of truth and I would recommend it to anyone looking to make changes in their life and in their relationships with others.
Brilliant. Inspired. Needed.
by Melissa - reviewed on June 12, 2010
I love this book! I absolutely love this book and have started it for the second time because I didn't learn all the lessons after the first read. How did Matthew Baldwin conceive this idea and present such valuable lessons in a format that reads like a novel? Snow Rising does more than just invite or challenge the reader to inventory their lives . . . it inspires them! Definitely a difficult book to put down and provides lots of introspection. Author Matthew Baldwin: “I invite you to join Jason Snow, and leave you with two questions: one, can you be an advocate for the changes you desire to see in yourself and in the world around you; and two, do you have the audacity to find out?” The correct answer to both questions is "YES!" At the very minimum it is a fun novel however, anyone who reads this book will desire to become a better person. It is absolutely impossible to not be affected. Thank you Matthew Baldwin for teaching me.
This is one fabulous book!
by Deena - reviewed on September 03, 2010
I love books like this! It touched my heart. It touched my mind. There were so many great chapters with so much great counsel it is hard to pick the one that I liked the best. I encourage you to read it. It will change you for the better.
by Tristan - reviewed on March 13, 2011
Unlikable main character and a book that attempts to teach truths while ignoring the author of truth - God. I did not like this book.
It got to me
by Tracey - reviewed on July 29, 2010
Once in a while you find a book that takes your breath away. Snow Rising did that for me. It took me until chapter 18 to get it. Before chapter 18, it was a great read, a powerful story. I found myself alternately laughing and crying. Before chapter 18, I got chills at certain powerful moments in the book. But once I read chapter 18, I could see it with my own eyes. I could see and feel it for myself. Matt Baldwin brings powerful truths forward and grips you right in the heart. You will want to live differently when you are done with this book. I do. I am moved and changed by it.
An Inspirational MUST READ
by Michael - reviewed on August 12, 2010
There have been a handful of books that I have read in my life that have reached me on a deep, emotional level. "Snow Rising" has now been added to that list! I am impressed by what I learned and the way I learned it. I was in personal awe at the wisdom expressed by author Matt Baldwin through the fictional lives of the book's main characters. This book helped me to see and recognize that there are attitudes, biases, and actions in my own life that aren't what they should be, while also giving me pause and reflection as to how I might look at the world in a different way that can help in changing what I need to in order to improve myself and move in a more positive direction. While "Snow Rising" may be a story of fiction, it is full of principles of truth that I am appreciative that Matt Baldwin has chosen to share with me through his wonderful book. Thank you Matt!
by Carol - reviewed on September 15, 2010
I absolutely loved this book, Snow Rising. It's one you can read over and over and still learn something new. I was enlightened emotionally, physically, spiritually and mentally. You definitely can identify with the characters. I continue to think about and try to incorporate the 4 characteristics into my own life. This is a must read. I can't wait to read Matt's sequel.
Well worth the read
by Carl - reviewed on September 22, 2010
This book is a great read...but be careful...this is not a thoughtless fictional read. Baldwin does a great job of balancing an interesting and exciting story with some complex and serious concepts on how to deal with life and relationships. I found myself stopping quite a bit in the middle of the book just trying to digest the real meat of the book. Like I said this is not a mindless read. Indeed, after having put it down I have found myself going back to it (it is on my wife's nightstand now) and looking for an idea or two. If you have any questions I can tell you an easy way to determine if you will like...no love this book. Read the epilogue, if it is something that resonates with you, waste no more time and start reading from the start. Highly recommended!!
I'm ready to climb!
by Cindy - reviewed on March 19, 2011
What I wouldn't give for an hour with Clara! I hope Jason "felt" her words as much as I did...just what I needed, right when I needed it. Loved it-
by Nancy - reviewed on November 28, 2013
This book touched my heart so much. It is a great book for lessons learned. I was so impressed that I purchased 5 more to give as gifts as I want to share this great story of lessons with all my family. It is one of those books that I found hard to put down. As the climb continued and the lessons continued I couldn't wait to find out the answers> WONDERFUL. Thank you so much Matt Baldwin for sharing this wonderful story and your insight to help others.