- from Mountains
Some people are happy to admire mountains from far away. Others like to enjoy the scenery up close. For folks who are really fearless, there’s mountain climbing. It’s a tough sport, but it’s getting more popular.
The risks? Sudden storms, avalanches, freezing temperatures, deep holes in the ice, and air too thin to breathe, to name just a few. So why would anyone try something so difficult? Sir George Mallory, an early-twentieth-century climber, had this memorable reply: “Because it’s there.” He later died on Mount Everest.
Not such a thrill-seeker? You can still go hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Sadly, there’s a high price to pay for getting so close to mountains. They may seem strong, but mountains are really pretty delicate. Tourists can scare off mountain animals or crowd their territories. Walking on delicate plants kills them. Car pollution and litter are growing. Whole mountain forests have been chopped down for wood. This leaves the mountains in danger of erosion. In western states, many wildfires happen because homes are built so close to forested mountains.
Will we keep Earth’s mountains beautiful for future generations? People are starting to see that we have a lot of work to do.