Travel theme: Mountains

It’s hard to beat the soaring majesty of mountains. It’s also apparently hard to define exactly what a mountain is. Countries around the globe use factors such as height, elevation, relief and volume in a vain attempt to define them. The Oxford English Dictionary settles for something suitably vague: “a natural elevation of the earth surface rising more or less abruptly from the surrounding level and attaining an altitude which, relatively to the adjacent elevation, is impressive or notable.” Merriam-Webster doesn’t do any better: “a landmass that projects conspicuously above its surroundings and is higher than a hill.” Look up ‘hill’ in the same dictionary and you will find that it is described, helpfully, as “lower than a mountain.”

However you define them, mountains are some of the best places to look for snow. For the past two years winter has seemed determined to pass me by. Last year, New York was unseasonably warm and disappointingly snow-free; this year Seattle‘s rain and suggestion of frost has been equally underwhelming so I decided that if winter wouldn’t come to me, I would go to winter. Yesterday, my friend Sylvia and I headed north to the mountains near Granite Pass and there, in all its snowy glory, we found winter. Here are some of the snow-capped peaks that greeted us.

big four mountain travel washington ice caves

Mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence.” – Nemann Buhl

big four mountain washington ice caves  travel

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.” – Ansel Adams

big four mountain travel washington ice caves

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.” – John Muir

big four mountain travel washington ice caves

Have you seen any soaring summits or peaked pinnacles recently? If you would like to join in the travel theme (everyone’s welcome!) here’s what to do:

  • Create your own post and title it Travel theme: Mountains
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Get your post in by next Thursday, as the new travel theme comes out on Friday
  • Don’t forget to subscribe to keep up to date on the latest weekly travel themes. Sign up via the email subscription link in the sidebar or RSS.

Looking forward to your mountainous post.




About ailsapm

Hi there! I’m Ailsa Prideaux-Mooney. I’ve lived in many places, and travelled to many more. I had a lot of fun getting there and being there, wherever there happened to be at the time. I climbed a castle wall in Czesky Krumlov, abseiled down cliffs to go caving in the west of Ireland, slept on the beach in Paros, got chased by a swarm of bees in Vourvourou (ok that wasn’t fun, but it was exciting), learned flower arranging in Tokyo, found myself in the middle of a riot in Seoul, learned to snowboard in Salzburg, got lost in a labyrinth in Budapest and had my ice cream stolen by a gull in Cornwall. And I’m just getting started. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read so far, I’d love you to follow my travelogue - - and remember, anyone who tries to tell you it’s a small world hasn’t tried to see it all.
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416 Responses to Travel theme: Mountains

  1. Pingback: Travel theme: Mountains | denobears

  2. viveka says:

    Where did my replay go????? Just posted it. Have to do it again then. If it pops up .. delete it. *laughing.
    You have one of the most beautiful mountains on your door step – Mount Rainier. A wonderful gallery again, but I’m such a sucker for white snow … somebody has said that friendship and snow – what ever it falls on .. will be soft.

  3. Pingback: Travel Theme: Mountains « beyondpaisley

  4. Pingback: Travel Theme: Gaudy | Across the Bored

  5. Pingback: Travel Theme: Mountains | Across the Bored

  6. ideflex says:

    Didn’t think you’d want to see mountains of laundry (because I’ve done that before!) so I dug into the archives – please have a look at

  7. This one was a bit of a challenge for me, as I am not the mountain-going type. But! I have persevered. As always, thanks for the fun and inspiration!

    • ailsapm says:

      Ooh, Grand Tetons – I long to see them, they’re supposed to be glorious. I loved your shot of Croagh Patrick, and I’m with you about the barefoot ascent, damn!

  8. just been alerted to the fact I cannot type for toffee. Here, hopefully, is a working link….

    • ailsapm says:

      Haha, haven’t heard that ‘for toffee’ expression for ages, Mrs C 🙂 Beautiful shot, I’m going to guess Ngauruhoe because of the shape, but I really don’t know, having not YET visited NZ. Soon, I hope! xx

  9. Pingback: Travel Theme: Mountains « Wander One Day

  10. wanderoneday says:

    Your photos reminded me I’m a little tired of snow and cold weather, so I posted photos of some mountains in warmer locations 🙂

  11. Pingback: Travel Theme: Mountains | lyndamichele

  12. Pingback: Travel Theme: Mountains | My Life Afterglow

  13. Hi Ailsa! Here’s my entry for this week’s challenge. Thanks! 🙂

  14. Pingback: Travel Theme: Toward the Mountains of Madness | Serendipity 13

  15. I have an ongoing love affair with mountains. I love the beauty, the majesty and the challenge. The rawness of life there… I climbed Kilimanjaro in 2011 and this was br far my favourite mountain trip so far through 5 climatic zones. You can watch my video by searching Kilimanjaro 2011 jessica on you tube 🙂

  16. Pingback: Purple Mountain Majesty | The Retiring Sort

  17. Beautiful photos Ailsa! I love the trees covered in snow. Here are mine:

    • ailsapm says:

      Beautiful, TRS, both your prose and the photos. I loved hearing about you growing up in PA, and those story-filled mountains of the Scottish Highlands are indeed larger than life!

  18. Pingback: Travel Theme: Mountains | No Fixed Plans

  19. Pingback: Travel Theme: Mountains | Wind Against Current

    • ailsapm says:

      Oh boy, mountainous waves would be really scary, happily you haven’t encountered to many of them, Vlad. And I am quite partial to those more manageable mountains too. 🙂

  20. Pingback: Climb — and Photograph — Any Mountain (Travel Theme: Mountains) | Four Deer Oak

  21. Pingback: Climb — and Photograph — Any Mountain (Travel Theme: Mountains) | Four Deer Oak

  22. Anne Camille says:

    I like this theme! But, as much as I like mountains, I don’t have many pictures of them, mostly because I haven’t been near any since I started taking photos a few years ago.

  23. Pingback: Cool Mountains | heartfelt images

  24. dadirri7 says:

    i think we all love mountains … beautiful quotes and photo ailsa!

    • ailsapm says:

      Wow, wow, wow, Christine, these are amazing. I have to ask, is there anywhere you haven’t been? These are the most stunning locations. Love it! xxx

  25. I’m enjoying your pics and quotes of the mountains…all good. And, I’m armchair exploring the posts and photos in this week’s challenge. It’s the climb. 🙂

  26. Pingback: In the mountains | Thirdeyemom

  27. thirdeyemom says:

    Wonderful Ailsa! I opened this post as we were driving up to the mountains in Colorado! Very timely! Here’s my post

  28. Pingback: Travel Theme: Mountains « Under a poplar

  29. Pingback: Weekly Travel Theme: Mountains « Lagottocattleya

  30. So many beautiful mountains there are in the world! Here’s my entry from South to North:

  31. Pingback: Travel theme: Mountains « The Eclectic Eccentric Shopaholic

  32. kz says:

    i love the whiteness in your mountain photos.. very beautiful. 🙂

    my entry for this week

  33. Found your blog travel challenge here via another blogger. Here is my contribution. Thanks for the great idea! Love your blog!!

  34. Pingback: Mountains – Ailsa’s WTT… | Ouch!! My back hurts!!

  35. Pingback: Mountains – Photo « Reading and Writing

  36. Pingback: Travel Theme: Magnificent Mountains « Canadiantravelbugs's Blog

  37. Lovely snowy mountain pics … and that is the best snow – untouched and pristine 🙂
    I have 3 examples of Canadian Mountains… from small, to big to the biggest we have to offer 🙂

  38. pdjpix says:

    Hi Ailsa, here are a few of my mountain shots from the Swiss Alps to Australia’s Blue Mountains.
    Regards Peet

  39. Pingback: Travel Theme: Mountains | GuenBt

  40. Pingback: Travel Theme: Mountains | thephotoseye

  41. In the Unwritten mountains of Greece (Agrafa) you can leave free of occupation, you can breathe better and you are closer to yourself.

    I miss mountains every day of the week. They are peaks of consciousness. I miss their percussive thunderstorms and starwoven thought blankets.

    Thank you for your post

  42. Pingback: En route: Swiss mountain travel | OFRADIX

  43. Pingback: Travel Theme: Mountains « cocoaupnorth

  44. cocoaupnorth says:

    Absolutely gorgeous mountains you have in your area. The snow blankets them so beautifully. Thank you for theme and here’s my contribution.

  45. Pingback: Travel theme: Mountains « Sasieology

    • ailsapm says:

      Wow, Sas, that shot of Garmisch-Partenkirchen is gorgeous. And I’ve got to get one of those piste bashers.

      • Sas says:

        I know, they look so much fun to drive don’t they? Some of the ski shows have ‘piste basher ballets’ where they ‘dance’ the bashers in formation. I’ve always wanted to know when they practice for those things 🙂

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