Great things are done when men and mountains meet.
He has not learned to think like a mountain
A Sand County Almanac
Can Aldo Leopold’s ecological conscience become
effective in America today?
‘The Wild Places’
There is a long line and lineage of contemplatives in the West and East that have turned to the mountains, white peaks and ancient spires as places to slake a deeper thirst and find a site for the soul to know a more meaningful quies. This reality has been well tracked and traced in evocative and visual mountaineering classics such as The Mountaineering Spirit (1979) and Sacred Mountains of the World (1990). Poets on the Peaks: Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen & Jack Kerouac in the North Cascades (2002) makes these connections, also, and we know Merton had an affinity with the Beats. My missive, Thomas Merton and the Beats of the North Cascades (2005), connects the dots between Merton, the Beats and mountains. Even the most casual read through these books make it most clear that there is a connection between mountains and the contemplative quest for meaning and depth.