High places - be they mountain peaks or the vast expanses of the polar latitudes - have always captured the human imagination. Inaccessible, extreme, these sublime landscapes of rock and ice are commonly invested with awe and reverence, as places of physical challenge, intense experience, danger and death. Increasingly today, they are also treated as uniquely valuable locations for science and as barometers of environmental vulnerability. High Places is an exploration of the complex and fascinating geographies of these special environments. The diverse aspects of these high places are explored, revealing how senses are challenged and distorted, objectivities exposed, cultural and political assumptions laid bare. Whether walking the summit of Pico de Orizaba, the fourth highest volcano in the northern hemisphere; recounting the tale of the American explorer Charles Wilkes, charged with 'immoral mapping' for reporting Antarctic land where none was later found; exploring the 200,000 year old Greenland ice core; or documenting encounters between native and traditional understandings and modern scientific discourse, the international contributors reveal the richness and significance of these unique locations. With a geographical range that spans Europe, Asia, North and Central America, Antarctica and the Arctic regions, High Places will engage all those with an interest in human and physical geography, history of science, polar and mountain studies, landscape, culture and environment.
Cultural Geographies of Mountains and Ice