March 29, 2010
Millions of years ago the Highlands of Scotland were as high as the Himalayas until steadily worn down by winter snow, ice and rain. Today they peak at a modest 4,409 feet in the shape of Ben Nevis whose summit is a relatively easy climb that does not require oxygen. Still itís more impressive than Hollandís highest point which is apparently somewhere in the middle of a supermarket car-park.
If you live in a comparatively flat country like Britain, it is hard to really imagine the effect of altitude, unless you travel. For me it hit home when back-packing through Bolivia years ago. I will never forget freezing in the back of a pick-up truck, as we climbed over the ridge that surrounds the capital La Paz, before plunging 12,000 feet into the valley below.