A Breath-Stopping View

People overuse descriptions like heart-stopping or breathtaking. For someone who has a fear of heights, this view always gives me pause. I freeze up, my heart feels like it’s going to stop. I can’t breathe. The thought “what if I fall?” hammers the back of my mind, even though I know it isn’t possible.

That absolutely lovely, stunning, yet terrifying view. A vast, sweeping panorama stretched below my feet. I felt like all it’d take was one little misstep and I’d lurch off the tippy-top of this mountain and fly. Or fall. It’s not actually the height that bothers me. It’s the notion of smashing into billion of painful little pieces that terrifies me.

The altitude didn’t help – I was at 14,000 feet above the sea level (about 4000m), over 2.6 miles. I was higher than some planes and birds fly. The air was thin, and thanks to my asthma, I struggled to breathe normally. My chest ached and I felt lightheaded and a little dizzy.

I shot this with my little 18-55mm Sigma lens (not the kit, that’s crap) and found myself wishing that it was wider still so that I could capture the curvature of the earth better. I know that even at this height, the curvature isn’t really visible; it’s an optical illusion from the moisture in the air. But that horizon, though plagued by smog, is still impressive.

For such an environmentally conscious state, Colorado sure has its share of pollution.

Zombie Photography

I always enjoy going up the 14-ers because at that height, you’re above the pollution and the humidity. The air, though cold, is crisp and clear. The sky is a blue you’ve never seen at the ground level. Doesn’t make for a good photograph though.