Above the Clouds: Alpine Gallery

Climbing in the high mountains brings a special sense of wilderness. As you rise above the woodlands and meadows to the realm of rock, snow and ice, the cares and frustrations of daily life drop away. In their place comes an immediacy of experience. The mind is focused. Each step occupies your full attention -- each hand and foot placement, your food, your water, keeping warm and dry.

Life and death become simple. The air is clear. Your vision is clear. The sharpness of the thin mountain air, the crisp light, the severe cold strip away everything else. Faced with utter beauty, humbled, high above the clouds, you glimpse the realm of the gods.