Drawn to the High Country

At a dinner party in Colorado Springs, the host asks if we are ocean people or mountain people. “Do we have to choose?” one guest responds.

It’s easy for me to answer. I love visiting the ocean, even lived in Miami for a year, but hands down I’m a mountain person with hiking trail dust in my blood. Why do a craggy mountain peak at sunrise, a ski run of untracked powder and a quiet trout stream fill me with happiness? What is it about the mountains that make me feel at home?

“Mountains have long been viewed as places of beauty and faith, challenge and discovery,” begins the introduction to a new book I received called Mountains: Mapping the Earth’s Extremes. The words articulate some of the reasons I’m drawn to the high country with its rugged beauty, physical challenges and the potential for discovery and adventure.

Of course, I share this love of peaks with our readers and the homeowners who invite us into their amazing aeries. In the January/February 2017 issue, homeowners in Montana’s Yellowstone Club and Colorado’s towns of Aspen and Vail share their reasons for being drawn to the mountains—from the quite spaces ideal for gathering family together to the rugged skiing, biking and hiking terrain that fuels an active lifestyle.

Also in that issue, we debut the new version of the ML List, organized geographically to make it easy to locate the top designers and architects in your backyard. One architect I talked with about the list, in business more than 30 years, recalled his early days of taking all jobs that came his way as he worked to make a name for himself, weathering a couple of recessions and finally seeing his hard work pay off. He likened it to climbing a mountain—and now being able to see the view.

MOUNTAINS: Mapping the Earth’s Extremes
by Stefan Dech, Reinhold Messner, Nils Sparwasser and the German Aerospace Center (Thames & Hudson, 2016) features 13 of the world’s most magnificent mountains in an
entirely new way. Using high-resolution satellite data, scientists have created a series of 3D maps of mountain landscapes. The breathtaking results provide virtual landscapes from
previously impossible viewpoints.


Denali from the northeast. On the right of the image is the Denali Pass. This is where the Harper Glacier begins. Below the massif is the Thayer Basin. DLR © 2016 Thames & Hudson Ltd, London

Categories: On Location