Since 1996 The Mountain Institute has worked in the world’s longest mountain range. I’ve no idea how they get there but it was the same throughout the hike, there seems to be no set path, only a guide to the safest path as the Koreans would be all over the mountain standing on some edge just waving as though it was normal. The Museum at Memorial has galleries that feature artifacts from the generations of people that have lived on the mountain (for the last 10,000 years) including displays about settlers, the Civil War, and local quarrying operations.
It is the second highest mountain peak in the world and is located in Pakistan. When a mountain cannot or does not sustain life, we can see how the people who live nearby may be poor or despairing. Many times, people look at something they truly desire and allow themselves to be discouraged by the enormity of the mountain before them.
I ripped off the wrapping, wondering what it could be. And there it was, a beautifully framed and matted print of Trestle View by Paul Gould. Since at least the time of Thomas Malthus but probably even much further back in history, there has been an endeavour to apply this human urge to understand and predict to the issue of populations and resources.
I believe he calls it a mountain because mountains are enormous, hard to cross over, and can’t be moved. Camelback Mountain is considered as the highest mountain in the Phoenix Mountains. Without Patrick, it took me a very long time to piece together some kind of identity, and even now, 13 years later, it feels false, because he hasn’t been here to see it.
The cost of working this way is that there’s rarely much time left over to record or write up the experiences. Between the walking and the cooking and the fireside musings, much of our conversation that weekend was about this new online Dark Mountain publication we’ve been planning.