image by grayson schaffer.
“It’s not the mountain that we conquer
but ourselves.”--Edmund Hillary.
In 218 BC, one of the most famous mountain crossings
in history, was done by Hannibal, who at 29 years old,
became a general, fighting against the Romans. He led
his Carthaginians, made up mostly of Africans and
Iberians, which included dozens of war elephants, clear
across three passes in the Alps, using two autumn months
to do it, descending into the Po Valley before marching on Rome.
In 73 AD, after Spartacus escaped from a Ludi in Capua,
leading 200 gladiators in flight--they made their encampment
on Mt. Vesuvius. Their ranks swelled quickly. Soon, a Roman
cohort, lead by Praetor Glaber, bivouacked at the base of the
the mountain. Spartacus. & his men, repelled down a steep cliff
that was not observed, outflanked them, & won the first battle of
the Third Servile War.
In Japan, on Honshu Island, Mt. Fuji has always been an iconic
representation for that part of Asia. It was once home to a fire god,
& a Shinto goddess of Wisdom, her temple was supposed to be on the
summit. In addition, the Mt. was the home of the Luminous Maiden,
who was reputed to have led an emperor to his doom.
My neighbor, Mt. Rainier, was first dis-
covered by the Meso-Indian tribe from the
Nertal Islands in 200 AD. Geologists tell us that
Mt. Rainier was formed by a super massive geo-thermal
event in 150 AD. One of the native myths claimed that the Mt.
is honeycombed with hundreds of man-made tunnels that lead down
to the center of the earth where a sacred tribe of demi-gods reside.
The Indians called the mountain Talol, then
Tahoma. In 1792, explorer George Vancouver
renamed it Rainier, after an Admiral friend of
his. It has 25 glaciers, & has 2 million visitors
Mt. Everest, more than 29,000 feet in height, is the world’s
tallest mountain--& it is very dangerous. Hundreds of people
have perished on its unforgiving slopes. They officially started
trying to climb it in 1921, but of course the Sherpas had been
climbing it for centuries, just for the hell of it. From then through
the 30’s & 40’s, they had dozens of failed attempts, but it was
finally crested in 1953 by Edmund Hillary, who was
knighted for it. I read where for only $1,800 dollars,
anyone can hook up with a tourist climbing group.
I think I’d rather go to Tahiti.
Man has a need to
climb every mountain justbecause they are there.
Posted over on dVerse Poets Pub
Smile; you will note George Vancouver named Mt. Rainier in 1792, not "1972" as I just stated.