The Adirondack Mountains are my “home” mountain range, where I frequently escape for wilderness adventure and photography. While each of the seasons has its own charm, winter in the Adirondacks is truly magical. When it comes to photography, no other time of year allows for such dramatic and otherworldly photos to be created. In particular, the gnarled and hardy evergreens that occupy tree-line and the beginning of the alpine zone make my heart pound and creativity flow unlike anything else found in nature when they become covered with snow in the depths of winter. While hikes in the Adirondacks generally lack wide-open views until the summit is reached, this seems to only add to the excitement and anticipation of what the ascent will bring. One of my favorite aspects of winter photography is the harsh weather conditions that are often encountered, which seem to make the experience all the more memorable. After a few hours of climbing I finally reached tree-line and was promptly greeted with ferocious winds that made the already below-zero temperature feel even more inhospitable. The cold barely seemed to register in my brain, though, as I was completely enraptured by the swirling clouds and a fantasy-land of pure winter magic unlike anything I had seen before. I was thankfully able to contain my excitement enough to compose the image seen here, and waited for a break in the clouds to bathe the cold landscape in warm evening light. After capturing the beauty of the moment as many ways as I could, I began my descent down the dark and lonely trail, reveling in the feeling of pure ecstasy that only comes from the wilderness and doing what you love most in the world.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor