You are in a cloud.

You are in a cloud.
Photo by Resul Mentes 🇹🇷 / Unsplash

I spent last Friday hiking a snowy mountain in Vermont, hoping to summit and ski the backcountry.

The climb was rough.

Trudging through thigh-deep snow, gasping for the fleeting altitude air, and taking breaks every 5 minutes after what felt like 30 minutes of climbing.

For me, the most memorable part of a hike is summiting the mountain and admiring the vastness of Earth. But as I trekked further that day, I thought there wouldn't be a view today.

It was a complete whiteout.

Actual photo from the day

The peak was close, and my hope of a view was dwindling.

I kept pushing forward.

And then, there it was.

Shimmering undercast clouds. Sun shining brightly on the pale blue sky. Quiet, windless air flowing.

A view that pauses reality.

Life is like my winter expedition.

You can trudge through snow for years without having a payoff (or knowing if one exists).

But you have to keep going. When others would trek back down, letting doubts overshadow their excitement.

That's how you achieve anything remarkable.

Delaying the summit view made its appearance unparalleled. There'd be no reward if that view was present during the climb.

The persistent, absorbing view would diminish all my doubts and moments of struggle.

Anyone can climb a mountain in nice weather, on a cloudless day, with the certainty of a breathtaking summit.

But you cannot wait for perfect weather.

If you hold off until the right day, you'll be waiting forever.

Since summit views are weather dependent, they are uncontrollable. Lucky glimpses into the best of nature.

Regardless of the view, you have to act on confidence that the journey will be worth it.

If you enjoy the climb, you'll always be satisfied.

Finishing a hike to a view is great. But cloudy or not, you still made it to the peak.

The view is only the sparkle in the night sky, not the stars that make it possible.