Expert Climbers: Mountain Goats
by Harun Yahya
One of the most popular nature sports today is mountain climbing. If you are interested in this sport, you should first undergo an excellent training. In theoretical training, many relevant subjects are explained in detail such as; climbing techniques and styles, how to set up climbing and descending stations, technical equipment, what precautions to take against hazards and what to do in emergency situations. In practical training, you are asked to put into practice what you learn theoretically from an expert climber. If you are aiming to climb higher altitudes, you will need to receive more extensive training on altitude climbing. In this training, there are courses on subjects such as planning and organization, climbing psychology, altitude diseases, meteorology, avalanche knowledge, nutrition.
No matter how knowledgeable and experienced you are in mountain climbing, you can still face with dangerous situations while doing this sport. If we look at the mountain climbing accidents that took place in America between 1951-2006, 24,2% of the accidents were suffered by inexperienced mountaineers and 26,1% by experienced mountaineers. The interesting thing about this percentage is that experienced mountaineers suffered more accidents than inexperienced mountaineers. Despite all the experience, all the equipment, and training received, mountain climbers can still experience accidents.
Mountain climbing, which is difficult and troublesome for people as explained above, is as easy as walking in the park for mountain goats. So much so that mountain goats are the best mountain climbers around the world. They can easily walk on the edges of steep cliffs, find seemingly impossible routes on the rocks and continue on their path, and can comfortably tackle terrains that can be deadly for us. They are exposed to some of the most unfavorable weather conditions during these climbs and they live on inaccessible steep cliffs. The “Great Orme Kashmiri Goats” living in the Great Orme in North Wales can easily reach places where other grassland animals cannot reach and they can do it safely. Moreover, this way they are also protected from predators on slopes.
The first safety material for goats is their horns. The horns are quite thick and can act as a helmet, reducing the impact of a possible impact. Additionally, their horns provide vital protection as they extend to the back of the neck.
These creatures have expert climbing vision due to their rectangular pupils. These pupils give superb peripheral vision to the goats, so that the goats see all the climbing options in one look.
Another feature that allows mountain goats to climb even the steepest slopes is their feet. As known, there are hardly any flat surfaces on mountainous terrain. However, the goats have feet specifically created to cling to the ground. There are two flexible hooves on each foot that allow them to stand on the ground firmly. Each hoof also has a very hard outer nail that allows them to comfortably grab small ledges. The leathery section inside the hooves provides them with a good grip and serves as a kind of suction cup that allows them to stick to the ground.
The fact that goats use short steps instead of long ones is also not arbitrary. By doing so, they distribute their body weight over the feet and centralize balance.
The mountains are very difficult places to live on. However, the goats were created to persist on this terrain. It would not have been possible for mountain goats to continue living for generations on these terrains if they didn’t possess these features since the first moment of their creation. The anatomical and physiological properties of goats are precisely adjusted to the requirements of the area they live in. The fact that details like distinct foot structures, protective horns, eyes with special visual fields are all gathered in the same organism can’t be explained with coincidences. The mountain goat has innate skills due to its unique body design. Consequently, a newborn can run and play with its mother even on the edge of a very dangerous cliff shortly after birth.
Thinking deeply about this information is enough to understand that the behavior of living beings could not have emerged through coincidences. All creatures are born with the knowledge and features necessary for their living, that is, God creates all of them in an instant with all their body parts intact. As the Qur’an says:
He is God – the Creator, the Maker, the Giver of (the perfect) Form. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names. Everything in the heavens and earth glorifies Him. He is the Almighty, the All-Wise. (Surat al-Hashr, 24)