After giving a talk at a TEDx conference in Romania in 2015, I stayed in contact with the very friendly team in Târgu Mureș even after I moved to South America. So, for this year’s conference, they asked me for a video message.
I was happy to do that and climbed all the way to Mount Chacaltaya in Bolivia, at 5395 m a new record for me, a great adventure, but sadly also a place where the effects of rapid and dramatic climate change can be observed.
Here are the few words I could manage to speak, still short of breath after the heroic feat of climbing that mountain.
If you don’t believe that there really was the world’s highest ski resort, look at some photos from a few years ago:
Admittedly, I was there in summer, but until 2009, the glacier had been there all year round, as glaciers usually are. And above 5000 m of altitude, the change in seasons – less pronounced that close to the equator, anyway – shouldn’t make that much of a difference. (The Făgăraș Mountains in Romania are only 2500 m high, and I saw snow there in a very hot summer.)
In another coincidence connecting my two favorite countries, Romania and Bolivia, I was wearing my cool Gabor hat from Transylvania on that expedition.
Because I am returning to Europe in May 2017, I will probably be able to attend the next TEDx conference in Târgu Mureș in person.