There is a rhythm to hiking, as there is in walking. And once you find the cadence — after a day or two — your mind empties. All your social obligations related to work and friends and life are muted. They aren’t gone: they just no longer require your direct attention. There is a shocking beauty to this silence. It’s as if every day of our lives is filled with a white noise. And suddenly, in the presence of these unbelievable peaks, the noise is gone.