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The work of climbing a mountain, even a small one, is not fun. Small pains take root in your joints and continue to throb with each lunge forward. Your body wants to rest—to drink and eat and sleep—but you see the top and continue to climb. This photo of Longs Peak was taken from the top of Twin Sisters near Estes Park, Colorado. The mountain and the sky are, themselves, beautiful, but the reason for creating this image is the same as the reason for enduring the exhaustion of a day-long hike through the cold and snow: to capture something and make it yours.

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