Lamanai Ruin-High Temple, Belize
Elevation: 40 meters, 130 feet
Approx. Isolation: 44.87 km, 27.88 mi
|Latitude/Longitude (WGS84)||17° 46' N; 88° 39' W|
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2011-10-13 by William Musser
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Philosophically should this even be enterred? Belize is mostly a swamp and coral reefs other than in the SW part of the country. The ancient Mayan ruins, however allow some interesting opportunities to climb up to highpoints in the landscape and see for miles.
What about prehistoric shell middens in Florida that have overgrown with trees and now look like natural hills but are county coastal highpoints in FL but were man-made as essential thousands of years of waste dumps (discarding their oyster shells)? but nature takes them over...Certainly nobody climbs a capped landfill and calls it a highpoint, yet many of these man-made features are the highest hills in a county covered in grass. I dont climb landfills! I don't count man-made buildings that I have climbed their steps to the top! But, when you are in the middle of tropical rain forest and the trees have completely covered the limestone rocks that these ancient peoples spent hundreds of years to mine and pile on top of each other they look like mountains of rock and trees; and they certainly climb like one.
Interesting to see that the archeologists have uncoverred only one side of each so you can climb them and get a feel of what they looked like when there were 40,000 people living in these large cities. The other half is lost, burried in sediment, dirt, detris and covered in large trees and nature has turned them into the only mountains in the swamps and lowlands of Belize. Climbing the steep limestone steps of the High Tower 112 feet above the base of the plaza is like doing a class 3 climb. At the top of the High Temple you are above all tree tops and can view for miles in a 360 direction where you can see in the distance what appears to be other sharp peaks of mountains covered in trees that are actually more Maya ruins that have yet to be uncovered.
I am logging this personally becuase it is a record of an interesting climb and view in an interesting country with no trails and little climbing opportunities otherwise and because it felt like peakbagging - although philosophically I question how much time does it take for nature to reclaim man's interfering with the landscape before one can call it a "qualifying landscape feature"
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