UKH

International Mountain Day - Photo Special

© Jake Webb

Today, December 11th, is International Mountain Day, the United Nations' annual nod to the importance of mountain ecosystems and cultures.

Alex and first snow, Carnedd y Filiast  © jethro kiernan
Alex and first snow, Carnedd y Filiast
© jethro kiernan, Dec 2020

Home to 15% of the world´s population, mountains also host about half the world's biodiversity hotspots. They provide fresh water to half of humanity, and their conservation has been identified as a key factor for sustainable development.

But around the world, mountain areas are under threat from climate change and overexploitation. As the global climate continues to warm, mountain people — some of the world's poorest — face even greater struggles to survive. The rising temperatures are also causing the loss of glaciers at unprecedented rates, affecting freshwater supplies downstream for millions of people.

Will Birkett races up the top pitch of Little Chamonix as night falls, the final route of The Lakes Classic Rock Round.   © Tom McNally
Will Birkett races up the top pitch of Little Chamonix as night falls, the final route of The Lakes Classic Rock Round.
© Tom McNally

A growing awareness of the importance of mountains led the UN to declare to 2002 the UN International Year of Mountains, and the first international day was marked in 2003. This year's theme is mountain biodiversity.

Mountain topography, compressed climatic zones and isolation create habitats for a huge variety of life. But climate change, unsustainable farming practices, mining, logging, and poaching all take a heavy toll on mountain biodiversity. Ecosystem degradation, loss of livelihoods and migration in mountains can lead to the abandonment of cultural practices and ancient traditions that have sustained biodiversity for generations, say the UN.

The sustainable management of mountain biodiversity has been increasingly recognized as a global priority.

Mattertal western skyline from Castor  © streapadair
Mattertal western skyline from Castor
© streapadair, Aug 2020

The UN are inviting people to mark the day by passing on an environmental message, joining an event or just sharing a favourite mountain photo on social media using the hashtag #MountainsMatter.

In that spirit, we are sharing some of our favourite photos submitted by site users to the galleries in the last few months.

Beinn a'Chlachair and the distant Aonach Eagach from The Fara  © Robert Durran
Beinn a'Chlachair and the distant Aonach Eagach from The Fara
© Robert Durran, Nov 2020

Snowdon massif sunrise. winter 2019. Garnedd Ugain solo wild camp.   © Ciz.explores
Snowdon massif sunrise. winter 2019. Garnedd Ugain solo wild camp.
© Ciz.explores, Dec 2019

Keeping some social distance  © jethro kiernan
Keeping some social distance
© jethro kiernan, Nov 2020

Cruising it in the damp. Pulling around the roof on Anger and Lust.   © Longdrive97
Cruising it in the damp. Pulling around the roof on Anger and Lust.
© Longdrive97, Oct 2020

'Light the Logo'. Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team celebrate their 50th Birthday.  © Tom McNally
'Light the Logo'. Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team celebrate their 50th Birthday.
© Tom McNally, Sep 2020

An exhilarating position in the Northwest - Guy Robertson climbing his new route on Suilven, 'Lord of the Isles' E7 6b  © Hamish Frost
An exhilarating position in the Northwest - Guy Robertson climbing his new route on Suilven, 'Lord of the Isles' E7 6b
© Hamish Frost, Aug 2020

High above Loch Avon and with new snow accumulating, last winters snow still retains a firm grip on the Feithe Buidhe slabs   © Al Todd
High above Loch Avon and with new snow accumulating, last winters snow still retains a firm grip on the Feithe Buidhe slabs
© Al Todd, Oct 2020

The Cairngorms at Moonrise  © Robert Durran
The Cairngorms at Moonrise
© Robert Durran, Nov 2020

Thomas Gianola & Jacob Harmer on Comici-Dimai, Cima Grande (E3)  © jacobharmer
Thomas Gianola & Jacob Harmer on Comici-Dimai, Cima Grande (E3)
© jacobharmer, Jul 2020

Pilot Whale at Stanage while Alan James takes on Goodbye Toulouse.  © Charlotte King
Pilot Whale at Stanage while Alan James takes on Goodbye Toulouse.

Amongst the giants of the Garhwal Himalaya. Crossing the Kirti Bamak glacier below Meru and Shivling.  © Hamish Frost
Amongst the giants of the Garhwal Himalaya. Crossing the Kirti Bamak glacier below Meru and Shivling.
© Hamish Frost

South across the Highland boundary towards Strathearn & the Ochils   © Al Todd
South across the Highland boundary towards Strathearn & the Ochils
© Al Todd, Nov 2020

Callum Johnson Committed to the crux of the Flying Fox  © Marc Langley
Callum Johnson Committed to the crux of the Flying Fox
© Marc Langley, Dec 2020

Big Canopy Camp Out, Eden Project  © Tom Last
Big Canopy Camp Out, Eden Project
© Tom Last, Jun 2017

Having a sunset play on the North ridge of Tryfan after a successful day on Grooved Arete.   © Jake Webb
Having a sunset play on the North ridge of Tryfan after a successful day on Grooved Arete.
© Jake Webb, Aug 2020

Early morning on Crib Y Ddysgl  © Rob Johnson
Early morning on Crib Y Ddysgl
© Rob Johnson, Jan 2020


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