The Country of the Blind
Stan's journey of discovery in the mountains bears some resemblance to this classic short story by H.G. Wells. In that tale a lost Alpine climber finds a hidden advanced civilization where snow-blindness has eventually led to babies being born without eyes. The residents at first welcome the newcomer, but want him to have his eyes removed and become like them in order to be permitted to stay in their society. Even after falling in love with a local woman, the climber cannot bear to give up his sight and he leaves the society behind.