I’ve lived in Portland for the past two years and have visited many big cities with towering skyscrapers but it still just totally blows my mind to walk under their shadow. What does this have to do with National Chimborazo Day? Well, Chimborazo is, in some opinions, the tallest mountain in the world. You might have thought that Mount Everest was the tallest and to a certain extent you might be right. Tallest, it turns out, is kind of a relative term. Mount Chimborazo is the tallest mountain in Ecuador, without contention, but it is throwing a wrench in the geological community as they bicker over what mountain actually deserves the tallest title. Did you know that the earth actually bulges out a bit at the equator? It’s not perfectly round so an equally sized object, or mountain, would sit at different heights in, say, Brazil versus Oregon. Do you follow me? Since Mount Chimborazo sits very near the equator it’s argued to be the tallest peak on earth because of the little height boost that the bulge provides. Since I neither have the time, nor the energy, to skate on up to our closest mountain, Mount Hood, I will instead settle to crane my neck at sky scrapers and wonder how much taller a mountain would be in its place. I’m definitely going to try to spark a lively debate in the geology department about which peak they actually believe is the tallest. That’s kind of like asking a musician which instrument is the most essential in an ensemble. Climb a mountain, crane your neck, or at least learn something new – that’s what this holiday is all about!
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