ICT Academy Youth Talk 2019

”Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings.”[1]True to these words of Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, amidst the gory impacts of climate change, the Rainbow Mountains of Peru have thawed its way out to glory as its snow-covered peaks are now exposed to bask in the warmth of the sun and the gaze of its fascinated admirers. Yes, the Peruvian beauty did not surface to pleasure the human eye until after the year 2015.

As for the science behind the many colours that adorn the mountain range, Trevor Nace, in his article titled, Welcome to the Incredible Rainbow Mountains of Peru, for Forbes, states that, “The Andes are an incredibly complex mountain chain that extends along the western edge of the South American continent. The subduction of the Nazca plate underneath the South American plate initiated mountain building and uplift of the mountain range. This produced significant volcanism and the introduction of rare and varied mineralogy to the Andes Mountains.”[2]

Rainbow Mountain, aka Vinicunca Mountain or Montaña de Colores[3], towers to a colossal height of 5,200 meters. At a distance of 100 Km involving a 3 hours’ journey, the nearest junction to plan the logistics and commence a journey to reach the peak is the city of Cusco. Ever since its discovery, the day trips from Cusco to the Vinicunca Mountain have become world renown as the touristic value of the picturesque peak has risen beyond its physicalheights.

Talking about heights, as high as it may stand, the path that leads to the peak is not much inclined for most of the distance. The gradient ensures gradual ascent up till the final climb of less than a third of a kilometer, which is steeper in comparison to the rest of the trail. A frequent trekker could scale the trail in less than a couple of hours while an amateur tourist should manage it by an extra hour.

Getting accustomed to the height is another crucial factor that has to be addressed with the utmost respect. Else, at more than 17,000 feet above sea level, there is always the danger of suffering from lack of oxygen and height sickness that shall certainly ruin the joy of the entire trip.

The Rainbow peak’s sudden rise to world fame has also boosted the financial conditions of the local population. Few of themain sources of the revenue come from restaurants, tour operations, and horse rentals.

Peru’s natural marvel, the Rainbow Peak attractsan overwhelming number of visitors with a plethora of travel motifs.Reports confirm that during the peak seasonbetween April and October, the number swells to a phenomenal 3000 to 4000 per day.This has resulted in the trail being ruthlessly treaded time and again that its very fame is now posing as jeopardy to its existence. So, as much as the natural marvel is promoted the efforts to conserve it should also be boosted by administering measures to curtail littering, regulating tourist inflow, improving sanitation facilities, adhering to ethical business strategies, etc

Vinicunca Mountain or the Rainbow peak is for certain nature’s precious gift to Peru and for that matter, the entire humankind. The very sight of the beauty incites boundless joy to our soul and it also is our undeniable responsibility to wiselyadmire the exquisite scenery without marring the foundations of its sustenance.

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