Michael: You may well yet convert me to opera in the woods! It's just, for me, the whole dramatic aspect of opera is out of place in the wilderness. I seem to want something without a pre-determined story line; that's why I like orchestral music, quartets, chamber orchestras, etc. This kind of music is abstract enough, and so plastic enough, to fit into the perpetually new wilderness experience I find myself in, without dominating it, telling a story, making the scenery fit into the music. Rather the reverse: with luck, the music can illustrate and accompany the landscape. Help it unfold.
Actually I pretty much don't listen to music any more when I'm hiking. I like natural sounds.
I hate rock and roll in the wilderness precisely because of the drums and bass: everything has to be 4/4; the whole friggin' world is reduced to a simple rhythm and, usually, even simpler lyrics. Nature does not unfold in 4/4; listen to any bird, listen to any creek, listen to the wind.