Mountain snow is an intriguing specimen. Cold and biting, but in the same moment, peaceful, almost magical. The entire setting emits a unique sort of serenity, that promise of a quiet sanctuary for all those brave enough to venture within its grasp. The cold hurts. Or, since I suppose some have significantly adapted to it, I should say that it hurts me quite a bit. It’s a sharp and internal pain, the total loss of feeling in my extremities, a constant gasping for breath, and a sudden awareness. Despite growing up in New England, I’ve never been able to handle cold well. Ever. But I’ve always loved those mountains. And there’s something perfectly wonderful about arriving at a place that you love in particular way only to see it engulfed in a sudden whiteness and to realize that it really hasn’t changed at all, to still love it. It’s a vivid reminder of the constant flux, the ebb and flow. And then, it’s a taste of the reality of something more; the cold is nothing from which to shy away. Somewhere, at this very moment, someone is within the icy clutches of the Ross Sea. Another is camped on Everest and yet another is simply enjoying an evening stroll in Moscow. Cold. Biting. Peaceful.