Ed Viesturs, the first American to summit all fourteen of the world’s eight thousand metre peaks wrote: ‘Getting to the top is optional, getting down is mandatory’. Anyone who climbs knows how easy it is to reach a summit and think: that’s the hard work done, the rest is easy. You can never lower your guard in the mountains. Never over-reach yourself on the summit climb, and never under-estimate the mountain’s ability to bite back when you are tired and your concentration is lowered.
As I was ascending, this rope of four was already on their descent, and very obligingly they followed the ridge precisely where they formed the perfect silhouette. The contrast between light/shadow in the foreground of the original image was intense and I worked hard in processing to reduce that – black snow never seems quite right. I’m still not entirely happy with the result but I think the image as a whole is more balanced in its tonal range as it is currently presented.