Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Geographer reveals why people are drawn to mountains

Martin Price
Martin Price

“Ben Vrackie near Pitlochry — it’s not too far from home, it has good views and there is a pub at the bottom!” he laughs.

“The other area I love is called the Sunshine Meadows in the Canadian Rockies where I did my masters research.

“It’s a spectacular mountain meadow with big mountains all around it. I spent two summers there and learned to ski there, so I know it really well.”

Martin can trace his fascination with the world’s highest places back to an early age and family holidays in Wales.

“I recall going to Snowdonia, and enjoying walking round with my parents,” he says.

“A year later, I went to the Swiss Alps. I remember standing under the blue ice of a glacier in Switzerland.

“Fifty years later, I went back to the same valley and found the same glacier had retreated more than a kilometre back up the valley.

“Melting glaciers are one of the images that really help people understand climate change because you can’t melt them overnight.”

So, when does a hill become a mountain? Is there a definition of “mountain”?

“It’s more than somewhere that’s high,” Martin explains.

“It’s a mix of height, steepness and ‘lumpiness’, or terrain roughness. About a quarter of the world’s land surface is mountainous.”

Martin says people are drawn to mountains for many different reasons.

“I think for a lot of people, it’s about getting into a wilder environment in which you can enjoy being near nature and push yourself physically,” he says. “It’s also quieter than the city!”

In a fascinating book, Mountains: A Very Short Introduction Martin explains everything from how mountains form to their importance.

“They are the sources of most of the world’s major rivers, which is important whether you live close to them or a long way away,” he adds.

“They are also critical places for biological diversity.”


Mountains: A Very Short Introduction by Martin Price, is published by OUP and priced £7.99.


READ MORE

Survivor: Ray Mears reveals his 10 lessons for a happy life

I’m not a lunatic… I just enjoy adventures, says Scots TV explorer Andy Torbet