How to Get to the Top of the Mountain
The world’s tallest mountain in the South Pacific is a mere 8.2 miles from the coast of Australia, but the peak is also home to some of the planet’s deadliest animals.
The island of Mata Hari, just off the Australian coast, is home to a species of whale that can grow to more than 20 feet long.
The only thing standing between the creatures and the highest peak in the world is a giant rock face.
The sheer weight of the rock and the sheer length of the cliffs can only be handled by a single person and a single vehicle.
And while the two peaks have been separated for decades, they have not been locked in a war of attrition.
“The sheer weight is incredible,” says Michael Cairns, the head of the World Wildlife Fund’s International Conservation Research Unit.
“You would be standing on the beach in Tahiti, on the Great Barrier Reef, and you would not feel it.”
To reach the peak, the average person would have to stand nearly four feet tall.
It takes nearly seven hours to reach the summit of Mata Hari, and even that is difficult.
It is the largest peak in Australia and the world’s second-highest, after Mount Everest.
And it is also the deadliest, with the highest death toll ever recorded at the peak.
A huge herd of humpback whales is also found at Mata Haricu, and a group of the mammals can reach up to 200 feet in length.
“There are just a lot of dangerous animals,” says Cairn.
“If you get on a truck and you’re trying to get there in a couple of hours, that’s a lot more dangerous.”
And while it is difficult to see from the mainland, the two mountains share a common feature: They are both made up of two giant rock faces.
One is 8,000 feet tall, and the other is 9,500 feet tall in the Southern Hemisphere.
When the two are aligned in a way that causes them to form a horizontal line, they create a unique combination of terrain.
The top of the two rock faces also create an obstacle course.
It’s a challenge that the Australian government is currently working to overcome, but a challenge it has not been able to overcome since the 1970s.
“It’s difficult to get out of the way of it because you can’t really see the top of Mata hari,” says Andrew Hickey, the national manager for the Great Barriers National Park.
“So you have to try and go up the cliff and make sure you get up on the top and not just try to get off the top.”
While the two mountain peaks have a history of fighting over resources, there is little doubt they are now linked.
A 2009 study found that, because of climate change, the peak of Mata hari will experience “more intense” sea-level rise.
A 2012 study found an even greater threat: that a warming climate would lead to increased ocean acidification.
“A lot of people are concerned that if we get too warm and we don’t take climate change seriously, that that could have a big impact on these ecosystems,” says John Anderson, the former head of Great Barrier Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Anderson also says there is a “huge risk” of a similar scenario occurring in Mata Harih.
“Mata hari is one of the most fragile ecosystems on Earth, and if we don, we are going to be putting our lives in danger,” he says.
While there is no sign of the mountain ever being locked in combat, there are signs that it is being encroached upon.
The Australian government has been working to keep the two hills separated since at least the 1980s, but it is not always successful.
During the 1980’s, the Australian Government established the Great Mariana Islands Marine Park in order to protect the area from encroachment by the sea.
But in recent years, the park has become an increasingly popular destination for visitors, and now it has been renamed the “Great Barrier Reef National Park.”
“The idea of the Great Sea Barrier Reef is a very old one, and there is nothing new about it,” says Hickey.
“We don’t know that the Great Archipelago is going to turn into a sea.”
However, the reef has faced its own challenges.
“Marine management is a big part of the story of how we manage these islands,” says Anderson.
“When you’re talking about protecting the Great Basin, it’s a different story.
The Great Barrier is a large area, but there are areas that are really isolated, and they are being impacted.”
“I think the reef is at a really vulnerable stage.
There’s a huge difference between a protected area and an area that’s not protected,” he said.
The Royal Australian and New Zealand Navy has also been working on plans to manage the Great Reef.
The program includes an underwater patrol, a new lighthouse, and new fencing.
The new marine park will also be open to visitors