Avid hiker Mike Albert grabbed this shot of a lonely trekker on the French alpine slopes of Mont Blanc three years ago while backpacking through Europe. Albert took the photo after riding a tram that takes hikers and tourists up the face of Mont Blanc, a massive glacier-encased mountain like Mount Rainier in Washington State, only higher at 15,771 feet.
About the tram ride, Albert says, "It's the only time I ever took the easy way out. It was a hot summer day. You wouldn't believe how many people were hiking that trail. Yet there was this one guy off by himself. I got this one shot off. It was the only good picture in the roll."
Albert, who calls himself a Wisconsin flatlander, got the hiking bug 10 years ago when he moved to the mountainous Northwest. He recently moved to the Nord Fjord region of Norway, where he is studying mountains and glaciers. He plans to get a degree in outdoor education, then teach mountain climbing while he builds a portfolio of images from his adventures. Ultimately, he says, he wants to be a full-time nature photographer.
Until, then, he says, "I'm not sweating it. I'm taking my plan one step at a time, and really having a good time at it."