Tengboche Monastery in the Himalayan Mountains, Nepal
© Kyle Hammons/Tandem Stills + Motio
The high life. In the Himalayas for International Mountain Day
The summit of Ama Dablam rises up behind Tengboche Monastery, a Tibetan Buddhist site more than 12,000ft above sea level. Ama Dablam means mother's necklace: Its swooping shape is thought to resemble a mother cradling a child while a dangling glacier on its south-west face has been likened to the religious pendants many Sherpa women wear. The monastery is a stop on the Sacred Sites Trail Project, a self-guided trek through holy places in Nepal's Sagarmatha National Park.
It’s a fitting image for International Mountain Day on 11 December, which was created by the United Nations to recognise the challenges facing mountain populations. These include the Sherpas, who live high in the Himalayas, hauling scarce resources by backpack or yak, with many making dangerous livings as mountaineering guides. The 2019 theme, Mountains Matter for Youth, recognises the many young people who live in such mountain settlements. The aim is to educate people about ways to preserve precious mountain resources, not only for future generations but also for the 1.1 billion people who live in them.