Lake George, Adirondacks, NY.
I had a splitting headache from painting in my home; I needed a day out getting fresh air into me. I didn't really plan on climbing Sleeping Beauty, it just kind of evolved as I drove northward. The mountain is mainly a forest trail,following stream beds to the top, now frozen, and hazardous if not for micro spikes. Until I began generating some hiking heat, it became damnably cold as those first few hikes of winter in single digit mornings tend to be. By the way, it always helps to curse the cold, although I suppose an apology was in order upon reaching the summit and beholding the site below me. A marine layer covered the length of the lake, as yet unaffected by the low trajectory of the sun. The resultant convection cloud shifted and curled over the the lower ridges along the shore, pluming upwards and breaking off, at times, to reveal lake and islands at the valley's bottom. I perched on a cliff top and waited out periods of total obscurity for moments like these--peeks into the Lake George basin, delineating the watershed dropping off the slopes below me and the ridge lines of ranges fading westward. I was treated to the spectacle for a good half an hour, the sun finally reaching enough strength to burn it off. I realized that I had forgotten just how cold I was as my fingers fumbled folding up my tripod; leaving, another hiker trudged out of the woods to the summit ledges and I gave greeting, but didn't mention the hang time I shared, now gone and indescribable.