Sunday, April 8, 2007

TOP OF THE WORLD

The newest entry on my favorite astronomy website, Astronomy Picture of the Day is actually a little more earthbound. It's a panoramic 360 degree view of the world from the top of Mt. Everest as you turn to the right. It was taken in 1989 by a climber named Roddy MacKenzie. Note how dark the sky is. The local Nepalese call the mountain Sagarmatha, the "face of the world. "

I'm not sure which direction it starts from but the picture was presented turning as full circle going to the right.

I guess a part of me is happy that there are people willing to climb the mountain and take pictures so the rest of us have a faint idea of how it might look like if we could get there ourselves. But, I don't want to go there. And, it's not because I'm a 57 seven year old, not in great shape woman. Beyond these pictures there isn't really anything there I want to see.

Rocks, snow and cold. It's above the limit of survivablilty. Aside from some possible colonies of algae or bacteria there's no life up there. And it's too harsh to send anyone up to research what might be there. It may even be too high for airborn seeds and insects. From what I understand of the climb, you have about enough time to get up the mountain, take a picture and start back down. There's no time to stop and let the spirit of the mountains become part of you. And since the company guiding you flies you into the base camp, takes you up the mountain and takes you home. If you don't want to or don't have the time you don't have to take the time to hike through the country and let the spirit of the land fill you.

In a couple of hours I can be on a cliff on the Oregon coast and I can stand on that headland long enough be filled by the wind, the sun, the rocks, the seabirds, and the manzanita until there is no "me" just the sun and the wind.

3 comments:

tenyearnap said...

I'm with you. It may as well be the moon up there. I'll stick with the photos.--Cin

toonguykc said...

Did you ever read "Into Thin Air"?  YIKES!  Why anyone would want to climb Everest is beyond me!

Russ

lisaram1955 said...

Yes...I prefer going to the high places where I can actually exchange energy with the infinite.  Lisa  :-]