One Man's Paradise

Sainte Terre

“Away back in the middle ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre’, ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently.”

John Muir

There are many things about winter that I like. The transformation of the mountains into pristine walls and ridges of snow and ice is probably my favorite aspect of the cold and dark season. When the storm clouds lift and some of that fresh, untouched powder is exposed, that’s when mountains turn into altars, as others have said.




6 thoughts on “Sainte Terre

  1. Spectacular landscape. Your eye is drawn to the mountains like a magnet.

    It’s the Light I suppose. Like a Galen Rowell image.

    Heinrich Harrer’s words immediately sprang to mind when I viewed your image. And while his words are in response to a question about why he climbed mountains, somehow it still resonated with me when I viewed your photo.

    β€œThe absolute simplicity. That’s what I love. When you’re climbing your mind is clear and free from all confusions. You have focus. And suddenly the light becomes sharper, the sounds are richer and you’re filled with the deep, powerful presence of life. I’ve only felt that one other time.”

    ― Heinrich Harrer, Seven Years in Tibet

    • Great comment, as always. Thank you.

      I wish I could write like Harrer, Muir, Abbey, or Krakauer. Then again, I am happy taking pictures that speak to others.

      • πŸ™‚

        Sometimes I can write and sometimes not, but I DO wish i could write like I did 8-9 years ago, (or write and illustrate children’s books like I did 35 years ago – alas none got published, but it was fun sending them off to the publishers and waiting for the rejection letters LOL).

        Your images certainly speak to me.

        I first read Harrer’s book Seven Years in Tibet around 1960. I think his writing was the catalyst of my love affair with Tibet and the Himalayas, which progressed to Shackleton and the Antarctic and then to mountaineers climbing Denali in Alaska and then via many more mountaineers and explorers to your blog with that stunning image of the huskies when you were mushing that season. You have been in very good company on my reading list πŸ™‚

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