Follow me on Instagram @carolinegleich

I don’t think of mountains as something to be conquered. I’m not out to conquer or defeat the places I explore. I don’t think that reaching the summit of a peak makes me superior.Talk about conquering mountains also shows a lack of respect for indigenous cultures, who have stewarded these landscapes for centuries, who view these peaks as sacred (for example, it is disrespectful to stand directly on the summit of Aoraki/Mt. Cook, Land of Ngāi Tahu.) For centuries, people who look like me have shown up in wild places and said, “This belongs to me.” I want to do better. I’m not interested in conquering landscapes. I’m interested in a more intimate relationship, immersing myself, learning from a new place and doing my best to leave it better than I found it. I wanted to give a shoutout to my friends Len and Shelma who have helped me think about this in a different way. If you want to learn from them too, follow them at @nativesoutdoors and @heyflashfoxy #MountainsAreForEveryone Photo: @crossroadstudios

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