Words by Jack Clayton | Photos by Jack Clayton
We recently attended the International Mountain Summit in Brixen, South Tyrol (northern Italy). The International Mountain Summit, if you’re not familiar with it, is a celebration of all things mountain-flavoured. Climbing, hiking, mountaineering; if it’s got something to do with mountains, you can bet your bottom dollar that it was getting discussed by someone, somewhere, at the IMS.
Mountains, mountains, mountains. What it’s like to be in the mountains, why people can’t get enough of mountains, the difference between big mountains and small mountains; all mountain-based matters were dealt with (all by people with intense passion for mountains). Now, I love the mountains as much as the next person. Sure, I’m no Edmund Hillary. And I’m not exactly risking life and limb, like Tamara Lunger, to climb 8,000 metre peaks. But, yes, I like the mountain air. I like the feel of it on my face, and the smell of it in my nose. For evidence of this, you only need to see how I responded when I visited the Matterhorn in Switzerland. I responded positively, let’s put it like that.
However, the International Mountain Summit is the kind of event that puts things into perspective for the average mountain enthusiast like me. It reminds you that no matter how much you yourself enjoy being in the mountains, there’s probably someone out there who loves them more. And while you might love nothing more than spending a week or two in the Alps every year, there’s people out there who struggle to go a week or two without being in the Alps. They live and breathe mountains. They dedicate their whole existence to them, and don’t really have time for all the overcrowded bullshit of big-city living.