WISH YOU WERE HERE
EYE CANDY FROM AROUND THE WORLD
SIULA GRANDE AND YERUPAJÁ PEAKS, CORDILLERA HUAYHUASH, PERU
On a western fringe of the Peruvian Andes, two famous peaks greet hikers venturing the turquoise glacial lakes in this isolated valley, away from the main Huayhuash trekking circuit. At 6 635 metres, Yerupajá (second from right) is the second-highest in Peru and Siula Grande (6 344 metres, far left) lives on in climbing infamy as the peak that almost killed British mountaineer Joe Simpson in 1985. His best-selling book TouchingtheVoid recounts a near-fatal attempt to be the first to ascend its western face. This December, however, we celebrate mountains for something much more important: life. Mountains provide up to 80% of the world’s fresh water, almost 20% of our electricity (through hydropower), food, medicine and, most importantly, homes to some of the most diverse, fascinating cultures on Earth. Protecting the habitats and ecosystems of Earth’s mountains is protecting humanity’s survival. DO IT Each year on International Mountain Day (11 December) hiking and climbing clubs around the world organise events to highlight the importance of sustainable mountain development. Check in with the Mountain Club of South Africa ( cen.mcsa.org.za) for upcoming events.