I Fucking Love Mountains

Why do I love mountains?

In the words of Marvin Gaye, “there ain’t no mountain high enough”…..I personally couldn’t agree more!

My love of mountains began during many trips with the family as a kid around the Yorkshire Moors with fresh wind, muddy walking boots and tiring legs. This was half of my childhood. However, it wasn’t till my early 20’s when I really began to love mountains. I was studying for my BA in Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Management, and needed a dissertation topic.

I’ve always admired adventurers and athletes that push their bodies to endless feats of physical endurance, however it wasn’t accomplishments that captured my new formed love of mountains, it was disaster. The Nepal Earthquake of 2015 killed nearly 9,000 people, including 19 climbing Mount Everest alone (read about it here). I became obsessed with learning how Nepal could recover from such tragedy, why climbers often seem to ignore the risk of death or failure. My dissertation had passion, and I studied intensely the impact of commercial climbing on Mount Everest, to decide if this was truly a sustainable course moving forward.
Mountain Eco CompanionThe passion continues to grow.

I finished my BA, with the love of studying the relationship of mountains to tourism and their impact on the environment still there. I decided the BA wasn’t enough and pushed on with an MSc in Sustainable Mountain Development, which I am still studying and loving today!

Why do I love mountains? Why does anyone who loves mountains spend so much money, time and effort into pushing themselves through physical pain?

Is it the stunning view at the summit? The time away from technology with a real chance to disconnect? Or is it simply the love of the outdoors and fresh air? I would highly recommend finding the documentary ‘Mountain’, directed by Jennifer Peedom to truly understand what mountains mean to me; she encapsulates the relationship between people and the environment brilliantly.

It’s all too often that you read stories of failed climbs to mountain summits, mountain rescue being called out due to a lack of experience or mountains littered with leftovers from the impact of tourism. Sadly, anywhere you go in life, it’s the acts of a small proportion that ruin it for the next group. This is where I, alongside Eco Companion have the mission to create a place for nature in tomorrow’s world, to get rid of damage to the environment and allow tourism to create a better place than when you arrived.
Mountain Eco CompanionI have traveled and visited mountains for only a few years. I often get ridiculously jealous of those climbers who get to travel worldwide, to further their personal career, as well as respond to their deep love of escaping the busy world. Check out Kenton Cool, Renan Ozturk, Jimmy Chin – to name a few – whose Instagram feeds I have spent far too much time admiring.

Personally, I love the challenge: burning legs, never ending changing of layers, rain one minute, sweating profusely the next, just for those brief seconds where you look around and take it all in. I believe strongly in accessibility, being able to go to your local national park and get walking, and in the physical and mental challenge of trying to reach a new summit. Climbing mountains isn’t just for the fitness fanatics; whilst Snowdon in Wales may only be roughly 1/8th of Everest, it still can capture all the emotions of the Himalaya!

I went to Chamonix, France just a few weeks ago. The relationship between mountains and tourism is incredible to witness. You have the chance to head up to the amazing Augille De Midi, where you can see para-gliders surround the valley, or to head off to Lac Blanc on which you’ll be regularly seeing runners, hikers and wild animals go about their everyday life. This was everything I love about mountains. The relationship we have with a geographical feature that was here long before we arrived, and will be long after we go, the urge to climb, and push our bodies to discover new views and mental triumph!

Mountain Eco CompanionI have a never-ending list of mountain ranges I want to go to in the next couple of years, however I have a deep urge to explore the Himalaya, meet those impacted by the earthquake in Nepal and discover their passion towards the mountain lives they live.

Here are just some of the places we offer at Eco Companion for a mountain lover:

The Kuari Pass Trek

Grand Himalayan Traverse

Or something maybe closer to home, Iglu-Dorf

 

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