Mountains Matter - Celebrating International Mountain Day

A relatively unknown day, in 2003 the UN declared December 11 to be International Mountain Day; it has been marked for the last 15 years. The day is designated to highlight the importance of sustainable mountain development and mountain communities, with events organised around a different theme every year. And we couldn’t be more thrilled.

In 2018, the theme for Mountain Day is #MountainsMatter, they matter for:

  • Water as mountains are the world’s ‘water towers’, providing between 60 and 80 percent of all freshwater resources for our planet.
  • Disaster Risk Reduction as climatic variations are triggering disasters.
  • Tourism as mountain destinations attract around 15-20 percent of global tourism and are areas of important cultural diversity, knowledge and heritage.
  • Food as they are important centres of agricultural biodiversity and are home to many of the foods that come to our table, such as rice, potatoes, quinoa, tomatoes and barley.
  • Youth as despite the beautiful landscapes, life in the mountains can be tough, particularly for rural youth.
  • Indigenous Peoples as many mountain areas host ancient indigenous communities that possess and maintain precious knowledge, traditions and languages.
  • Biodiversity as half of the world’s biodiversity hotspots are concentrated in mountains and mountains support approximately one-quarter of terrestrial biological diversity

(from the UN website)

Here at HF Holidays, we appreciate mountains all year round as they provide great inspiration for our walking holidays. Even if we aren’t in the mountains, our holidays often take place at the base or with spectacular views. They're ideal for relaxation and adventure, and an invigorating way to challenge yourself. So, consider how you can celebrate International Mountain Day by climbing a peak in 2019 and taking your potential to new heights.

In order to celebrate International Mountain Day today, here are our top mountain challenges and walking holidays:

In the UK

Around Europe


Scottish Highlands Big Mountain Walks II

Dolomites Guided Walking

Canadian Rockies Guided Walking Holiday

Southern Lake District Langdale 10 Challenge

Zillertal Alps Guided Walking  Holiday

Drakensberg & Zululand Guided Walking Holiday


Ten mountainous facts you might not know:

  1. The world’s highest unclimbed mountain is the 24,981ft Gangkhar Puensum in Bhutan, which is the world’s 40th highest mountain.
  2. There is no generally accepted definition for how tall a hill has to be to be called a mountain. Some regions say 1,000ft, others say 2,000ft.
  3. The Ordnance Survey used to say 1,000ft, but they dropped that definition long ago.
  4. Mount Kea in Hawaii is some 4,000ft taller than Everest if measured from its undersea base.
  5. In 1999, GPS satellites showed that Everest was 7ft higher than had previously been thought.
  6. Because of tectonic plate movement, Everest grows about 4mm a year.
  7. Over 6,000 people have now climbed Everest including a 13-year-old American in 2010.
  8. The first wedding at the summit was in 2005.
  9. Scottish mountains over 3,000ft high are called Munros. British mountains and hills over 150 metres high are called Marilyns.
  10. In 1974, a German team that had set out to climb Annapurna 4 was reported to have reached the top of Annapurna 2 by mistake. 

(from the Express website)