ARTICLE: An Environmental History of Mountain Recreation

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Environmental historian Amanda Vestergaard outlines some of the key ways mountaineering, climbing, hillwalking and other mountain sports have impacted the mountain environments they populate over the years...


"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life." - John Muir, Our National Parks, 1901

Although it is over a century since environmentalist and outdoorsman John Muir wrote these wise words, they seem eerily relevant to the growth we are seeing within mountain sports today. In the modern world, mountains symbolise adventure, health, and 'the good life', but they have simultaneously come to represent wildly contested landscapes, in which conservation versus public access has to be constantly negotiated.

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 Doug 13 Apr 2022
In reply to UKC/UKH Articles:

A nice summary but a shame it only really discusses the UK, are there any lessons to be learnt from other countries, either positive examples to maybe follow or approaches to be avoided ?

ps - I suspect that in Scandinavia, skiing would be seen as 'traditional', even in Scotland skiing dates back to the  late 19th century.

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