My latest digital feature for Sidetracked magazine is special – an essay on life and death, mountains and war, lightning and ethereal beauty. I believe it’s some of the best writing I’ve created in 2018, and you can read it now at sidetracked.com/mercantour-traverse/.
All mountains have something of the borderland about them. The summit ridge divides one valley from the next, sometimes marking the boundary between sunlight and storm. But the borders of nature are logical and predictable, the result of processes that play out over thousands of years. Human borders rarely make such intuitive sense. Why was this ground France but this Italy? Because pieces of paper had been signed at some point – some point in the very recent past, on the timescale of the processes that have sculpted cirques, given birth to rivers, and trimmed treelines. A blink of an eye. And then, more recently still, young men had bled and died to hold that border, or to move it.