It’s about the journey, not the destination. This well-worn saying can be applied to almost any context, but may hold most true when used in regards to climbing mountains. The sense of achievement, awe, and wonder gained from moving your being to a mountain summit rivals any other human activity or pursuit in terms of sheer intensity and emotion. Yet mountains are about so much more than just reaching the summit. The route to and from the apex of these wilderness temples is filled with challenges that crescendo with elevation gained, and beautiful nooks and crannies of the forest that the hurried hiker can easily blow right past. I was reminded of all of this on a winter trek into the High Peaks, when I took a break while clambering along Phelps Brook. I had been in a hurry to put in miles up to this point, but as I took a breather I discovered that in my haste to reach loftier destinations, I had nearly blown right by what would end up being the most beautiful thing I saw all day. Fresh snow and ice ringed the cascading brook that I had been absentmindedly hiking next to, and a stillness that can only be found in the winter forest permeated the air. I sat and watched and listened to the water flow and the ice crack for a long while, until the chill and mist rising from the brook made me get moving again. I hiked the rest of the day with new eyes and a new mindset, and reveled in each step of the journey. Prints Available.