Senior editor Allison Williams and photographer Mac Holt chill out at Camp Muir.

Sure, we could’ve found stock images of Camp Muir for Allison Williams’s essay (“Meet Rainier's Temporary Town at 10,000 Feet”). But would stock really tell this story? No. So I set about finding a photographer who could both make the grueling trek and create the images we needed. For some this is a dream assignment, for others it’s quite literally a pain. Thankfully only the former was true for landscape and adventure photographer Mac Holt. He survived his first (though, certainly not his last) trip to Muir mostly unscathed, save some elevation-induced eyestrain with help from our intrepid senior editor, who showed him the way and carried his gear for part of the trip. I hope you’ll agree the result is, well, breathtaking.

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