Let’s Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of International Mountain Day

Today, Dec. 11, is International Mountain Day.

It all began on Dec. 20, 2002, when the United Nations General Assembly enacted Resolution 57/245. It declared Dec. 11 as a special day for mountains. The first international Mountain Day took place in 2003, so we’ve been celebrating it for the last two decades.

This year, the theme is restoring — and preventing further degradation of — mountain ecosystems.

Mountains cover almost 30% of the Earth’s land surface. They are home to a huge variety of plants and animals but also vital for the people who live in or near them. Among many other gifts, mountains provide water for many of these communities.

Many cultures worship mountains as the home of gods and spirits. Their beauty has inspired writers, adventurers, and mountaineers. Mountains have also become one of the last refuges of calm in a relentlessly busy world.

But mountains have also suffered greatly from human damage. The UN General Assembly recently proclaimed 2023 to 2027 as a five-year period in which to focus on developing green economies and technologies, strengthening cooperation between mountain countries, and promoting science and education around better use of our mountains.

Eco-friendly expeditions

Coincidentally, today is also the birthday of the late Swedish adventurer Goran Kropp. In 1996, Kropp cycled from Stockholm to Everest Base Camp and climbed the Big E without supplemental oxygen. Today, Everest is littered with old ropes, abandoned oxygen cylinders, and trash. More than ever, it’s important to encourage eco-friendly expeditions like Kropp’s.

“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,

For I would ride with you upon the wind,

Run on the top of the disheveled tide,

And dance upon the mountains like a flame.”

— William Butler Yeats

Kris Annapurna

KrisAnnapurna is a writer with ExplorersWeb.

Kris has been writing about history and tales in alpinism, news, mountaineering, and news updates in the Himalaya, Karakoram, etc., for the past year with ExplorersWeb. Prior to that, Kris worked as a real estate agent, interpreter, and translator in criminal law. Now based in Madrid, Spain, she was born and raised in Hungary.