The word “cordillera” is a Spanish word meaning “a string of mountain ranges.” We use it to refer to the complex of mountain ranges covering western North America, upon whose peaks, foothills and valleys we spend our time, which is the namesake for the Cordilleran Ice Sheet that shaped the landscape of Northwestern North America. There are cordillera everywhere; some are older than dinosaurs and others have changed shapes and the natural features around them in our lifetimes.
In zen, in folk tales, mountains are often used as symbols of immutability, but we see all around us how very changeable they are; stories from the Klickitat and Cowlitz, among others, tell more about the ways the mountains can surprise you. We hold mountains in reverence not just for their beauty and strength, but for their power.
Cordilleran Tours are not all tours to visit mountains, but the views and stories of the mountains around us are central to everything we do. Our flagship tours, to Loowit (Mt. St. Helens) and meditative places, are great ways to learn ever more about how much mountains can infuse your spirit with the sense that, while we might seem very small, we are connected to the bigness of the world around us; we are infinite.