Mountains of the mind

Posted on February 24, 2011


Despite a very late night resulting in far too little sleep and a not so chirpy 4am rise to get to the airport, when preparing to land in Kathmandu I couldn’t have tried to possibly hide my delight. The sheer size and presence of the Himalayas, dotted with colourful yet raw Nepali villages scattered amongst rows of weathered Prayer Flags just fills me with an incredible appreciation of life and how utterly spoilt we are.

Yet despite being a wordsmith, I find it difficult to truly convey my thoughts. Lucky then that Robert Macfarlane in his book, Mountains on the Mind, does so perfectly.

Today’s post then I dedicate to Robert and quote his perfectly mastered, beautifully articulated words in which he encapsulates exactly how I feel:

‘Mountains seem to answer an increasing imaginative need in the West. More and more people are discovering a desire for them, a powerful solace in them. They challenge our complacent conviction that the world has been made for humans by humans. Most of us exist in worlds that are humanly arranged, themed and controlled. One forgets that there are environments which do not respond to a flick of a switch or the twist of a dial. They induce, I suppose, a modesty in us.’

‘Mountains reshape our understanding of ourselves, of our own interior landscapes.’

‘Ultimately and most importantly, mountains return to use the priceless capacity for wonder which can so insensibly be leached away by modern existence, and they urge us to apply that wonder to our own everyday lives.’

I now sit in the bar of the Summit Hotel, glass of red to my left, roaring fire to my right and a few days trail running full of excitement, adventure and discovery ahead. And I can’t wait!



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