Mountains Matter Every Day

by JAKE NORTON

December 2023
Mountains matter. They matter to me, they should matter to you, they matter to us all, and not just on one day, but every single day.

Yesterday was International Mountain Day, and I didn’t post about it…on purpose.

Sunset over Evergreen, Colorado.

No, it’s not because I’ve become suddenly afflicted with a distaste for mountains. They are more a part of my life, work, and passion than ever before. I haven't disavowed my role as Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Mountain Partnership or dZi Foundation. I'm as focused on these organizations and their work as ever.

Rather, I didn’t post because I struggle with the idea of “days” for really anything important in our world. Sure, I get the concept: we bring awareness and attention to important causes by having a day dedicated to that cause, a time when a large community can come together to discuss, celebrate, learn, and engage.

But, shouldn’t we celebrate these things every day? If they are important, does not their importance apply 365 days a year, not simply 24 hours per year?

Dudh Kunda at sunrise as viewed from the slopes of Silicho Peak, Bhojpur, Nepal.
Dudh Kunda at sunrise as viewed from the slopes of Silicho Peak, Bhojpur, Nepal.

So, indeed, I celebrated mountains yesterday. I hiked in them, reveled in their beauty and their bounty, their immensity and their frailty. I pondered the importance of mountains in all our lives as I read and re-read passages from some of my favorite mountain thinkers like Nan Shepherd and Robert MacFarlane. I worried for our mountains as their glaciers dwindle, their ecosystems struggle, and the people living on their slopes are increasingly challenged to meet basic needs.

Terraced fields across the landscape of Phedi, Bhojpur, Nepal.

And, I’ll do the same today, and tomorrow, and the next day.

Because mountains matter. They matter to me, they should matter to you, they matter to us all, and not just on one day, but every single day.

One comment on “Mountains Matter Every Day”

  1. YES to all of this!!! Yes, yes, yes! Mountains matter, and not in a hallmark card, there I've acknowledged it kind of way. Thank you for sharing this, for the beauty of your cinematography that tugs at my heartstrings seeing all those beautiful people and places, and for your appreciation for the wild world. It's so incredibly important to our earth ecologically, to those who live close to the land, to our human souls...and so many humans are so incredibly disconnected from it and oblivious to our connection to the land. It's a mystery how to ignite or reignite not only a passion for but a connection to the natural world. Thank you for championing it each and every day!

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