International Mountain Day Tuesday 11th December 2018
Ober Gabelhorn 4,063 metres & Zinalrothorn 4,221 metres, Pennine Alps, Switzerland
Today marks International Mountain Day 2018 as designated by the UN. To quote their informative website:
“Mountains are early indicators of climate change and as global climate continues to warm, mountain people — some of the world’s hungriest and poorest — face even greater struggles to survive”*.
Mention of climate change can evoke extreme reactions. Some believe it to exist, others completely deny it is a problem and just reflects the environmental fluctuations which occur surprisingly regularly. Either way, it is undeniable that in the past 100 years substantial changes have occurred and this in turn impacts the people who live in these mountain communities. The primary resource of those who live in the mountains means that comments such as “the Zinal glacier shrunk 30 metres last year, and the same the year before” cannot just be dismissed.
But more than this, the lack of recognition of the significance of our natural environment is always surprising for mountain lovers like myself. On the one hand, the “great outdoors” has never been more popular. Yet, at the same time, society more than ever seems to lack a certain peace. Social media is our constant background noise – we are never too far from a Wifi signal. This is not a criticism, more an observation (as a photographer I post 3-4 times a week). If anything, now is the time to appreciate again these “cathedrals of nature”, vast spaces which evoke a response, whether peace, even worship, or just plain old admiration. And, its not necessary to travel vast distances to enjoy such places. Snowdon, Brecons, the Lake and Peak Districts are all within relatively easy reach.
View from route to Pen Y Fan, Brecon National Park, Wales
For more on truly decent scientific reflection and research (by far better writers than I 😀 ), check out Glacier Hub, who are experts on all this stuff, yet appreciate the artistic beauty of these amazing places Glacier Hub website
Also my article they published in August 2018 can be seen here
Dent d’Herens from the Matterhorn