Climate change – are we destroying the thing that we love?

Back in ’99 I spent a couple of weeks in The Cordillera Huayhuash of Peru. Of course it would have been a waste to go all that way without taking another week first to go to the Galapagos Islands and in addition to stop off on the way back to visit some friends in Florida.
One of the main things that struck me about the Huayhuash was the extent to which the glaciers had receded.
That was ten years ago…….

During 2003, I was fortunate enough to be included in The Scottish Lemon Mountains Expedition to north-east Greenland. As we flew from Ísafjörður, Iceland, in our Twin Otter ski plane, en route to the glacier drop-off in Greenland, the pilot pointed out where the sea-ice used to end just a few years before. We then continued to fly on for another ten minutes before crossing the new sea-ice limit.

Exploring and climbing in these places is for me, one of the great joys of life. But I have to ask myself the question…..   just how much am I personally contributing to the climate change that is blatantly obvious, especially from a Twin Otter at five thousand feet.

Given the amount of air travel involved, then I suspect quite a lot.

Two years ago we travelled to the Yukon in Canada to canoe one of the remote rivers in the north. Our plan on the way back was to stop over for a weeks climbing in the Bugaboos, which we did. Sadly, we sat in the Conrad Cain hut for a week while a blizzard raged outside. Feeling a bit seen off by the weather we made a pact to return and just this week I was planning that return trip for next summer. As I looked at the flights I would need to get me there and back I asked myself, can I justify this?
I’m still thinking about it……

If you’re a climber, then just look at the air-miles you racked up yourself during the last twelve months; or the number of miles travelling to distant crags or mountains.
Consider for a moment the carbon footprint left by the manufacturers of our expensive toys – ice axes, crampons, karabiners, cams, etc.,

I believe that in the pursuit of adventure, we’re helping to destroy the adventure playground that we love………


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