Imagine, if you could trek in the mountains of Mars!
Imagine, if you could trek in the mountains of Mars!

Text: Erik Pontoppidan
Copyright: Erik Pontoppidan

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No doubt, you will be able to do that in the future, although it has long-term prospects right now. But as an incarnate trekker and space nerd, I have often been dreaming of it. It will be cold and dusty at times, but the landscapes and colors will be wildly alien and not look like anything we have seen on our own planet. You must wear a spacesuit, because the atmosphere is very thin and consists almost exclusively of carbon dioxide. But even though many of the trips will be physically demanding, the gravity on Mars is only about half of what we are used to.
And there ARE high mountains and deep gorges on Mars. DEFINITELY! As an example, look at the extinct volcano OLYMPUS MONS, which is the highest known volcano in the solar system. With an altitude of about 25 kilometers and a diameter of about 600 kilometers! It is estimated, that the volcano has been extinct for about a billion years. It's about three times higher than Mount Everest, and it has a base at the size of the country Oman. At the foot of the mountain, there is a steep edge of about 2 kilometers.
Or take a look at VALLES MARINERIS. It's a system of 4.000 kilometers long and from 2 to 7 kilometers deep gorges stretching along the planet's equator. Grand Canyon go home!

Left: The extinguished volcano Olympus Mons on Mars. The Highest kbnown volcano in ste solar system. Altitude: About 25 kilometers. Triple the altitude of Mount Everest.
Right: Valles Marineris. A system of 4.000 km long and from 2 to 7 kilometers deep gorges streching along the equator of the planet.

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