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Sean Du

Title ︎︎︎ Above the Treeline
“Above the Treeline” is an ongoing study that seeks to capture, by way of hiking and climbing, seldom-seen views of North America's mountain wildernesses. These journeys to the mountain tops were my communion with the natural world.

In the alpine region of the mountains, where trees give way to tundra, snow, ice and rocks, seen in abundance are evidences of the earth's shaping power – the tilt and fold of the rocks and remnants of valley-carving glaciers. Beneath the landscape's spacial magnificence lies a deep geologic time, in which the mind can wander as freely as the eyes are able to glance between ridges and valleys. The physical contact with million-year-old rocks puts the briefness of humans' existence into perspective. From here it becomes apparent how “the mountains are fountains”, as described by John Muir, when one sees trickles of water gaining volume downstream to become meandering rivers that connect and support increasingly rich and diverse lives at lower elevations.

In the end, what the mountains have returned to me is a renewed capacity for wonder, which I hope to carry on with my pictures, long after leaving the boundary of the wilderness. More importantly, I hope my passion for the mountains will inspire a greater sense of connection to the land, for it is key to the protection of the places and things we depend on.

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