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Snowshoeing or skiing into a high mountain meadow on a clear, winter morning can be a mixed experience. Low-growing willows claw at your feet through the snow, while the cold winds coming down from the mountain ridges freeze any exposed flesh. However, the brilliant sunshine, fresh snow, and wide-open views of the surrounding peaks more than compensate for any mere physical discomfort. This particular image was taken on one such winter morning near Brainard Lake.