Sunday, January 27th, 2008
No matter how sophisticated you may be, a large granite mountain cannot be denied—it speaks in silence to the very core of your being. There are some that love not to listen but the disciples are drawn to the high alter with magnetic certainty, knowing that a great Presence hovers over the ranges.
Since coming home the mountain double in Sabah, I have been itching to get back onto another mountain. But I can’t. Not yet, anyway. I can only be patient; waiting for time to pass, and plan for the next mountain. And in the meantime, I am but an armchair mountaineer.
Every once in a while, there comes an issue of National Geographic that I particularly enjoy reading. The January 2008 issue is one of them. Yes, the articles about electronic wastes, recycling, and the gorillas are interesting. But the issue stands out for the two articles about mountains: “Ice Warriors” by Mark Jenkins is about a team of Polish climbers’ attempt up Nanga Prabat, the ninth highest mountain in the world, in winter, and “Living With Volcanoes” by Andrew Marshall is about Indonesian volcanoes. I finished the January 2008 issue of National Geographic in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down.
After reading the magazine, I visited the nationalgeographic.com website to see the additional photographs that didn’t make it into the magazine. That’s when I found out that the articles are on the website, too.
Having read the magazine, I should be starting on Maurice Herzog’s Annapurna soon. I received this book in November last year, but didn’t start on it. Maybe it’s because my copy of the book has a sort of a muted image of the mountain. Maybe, it’s because I’m mid-way through a few other books at the same time already—Tolkien’s The Silmarillion, Ismail Kadare’s Agamemnon’s Daughter, and Yann Martel’s The Life of Pi. Anyhow, I’ll come to it soon enough.
The “Living With Volcanoes” and “Ice Warrios” images are taken from the nationalgeographic.com website