Snow-mountains. Why is it that they hold such majesty? In part, topographical variation always holds drama. Be it a dry canyon of the desert, a cliff line along the sea, or high snow-mountains. When the land is not only horizontal, but also spread out vertically, the innards of the earth are exposed, the soul of the land more palpable.
But also diverse topography fends off human incursions. It’s too hard to build there. It’s as if the three qualities are aligned: the more topographical variation, the more the soul of the land is exposed, and the less able humans are to ruin it.
And nowhere is this more true than snow-mountains. It’s just harder to build abominations there, harder to clear cut the forests or to pave roads through–even harder than deserts, sea cliffs, or other dramatic landscapes. Even when human infrastructure does invade snow-mountains, it is forced to work with the land. Roads must find natural passes, buildings must be in storm-protected lees.
Does this mean snow-mountains are worth more than other wild places? No, of course not. The soul of the land in every place is deserving of respect and appreciation, even if it is in a somewhat less dramatic location, say an old growth forest, or if it has been trampled and tortured by humans, like a tree growing on the street in front of my house in Brooklyn. But I do think it’s worth noting that the drama of snow-mountains remains preserved from human adulteration, and that they can be a place where the ancient soul of the land reveals itself to those who’ve never experienced it.
I also have a hunch that snow-mountains will remain the most untouched lands in these last days we humans reign terror upon the earth. And with that thought, I take solace.