Once in a while, the United Nations does something really cool— like declaring December 11, International Mountain Day. Instituted in 2003, this auspicious day brings awareness to a different theme concerning sustainable mountain development each year.
This year the day is dedicated to "Disaster Risk Management in Mountains." The official U.N. release acknowledges that mountains and mountainous living can be hazardous, and reminds us that threats like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, avalanches, landslides, and floods are part and parcel of living near those massive towers of rock.
But the holiday also exists to promote environmentally savvy mountain ideas like sustainable agriculture, pasture, and forestry practices. The U.N. hopes to foster solutions and policy changes at the national level for all countries blessed with peaks (sorry, Denmark).
We know it's December, and in many areas your favorite climbs might be already covered in snow, but do try and get out there soon to give your favorite mountain a big hug today—I can't think of a better way to celebrate.
Happy International Mountain Day!