shoulder of the mountain saddle

As the light faded, the footprints were lost in the gravelly soil. But Gordon knew where he was going. The glinting reflection could no longer be seen, but the ravine on the opposite shoulder of the mountain saddle was a dark, tree-lined V silhouette.--from <the postman> by David Brin
I don't know which part the 'shoulder of a mountain' refers to in a mountain. Does it amount to 'hillside'? many thanks.
 
  • timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    As the light faded, the footprints were lost in the gravelly soil. But Gordon knew where he was going. The glinting reflection could no longer be seen, but the ravine on the opposite shoulder of the mountain saddle was a dark, tree-lined V silhouette.--from <the postman> by David Brin
    I don't know which part the 'shoulder of a mountain' refers to in a mountain. Does it amount to 'hillside'? many thanks.
    Yes, I think you're right. "Shoulder" to mean "side of a geographic area" is known, but a bit poetic.
     

    Adam Cruge

    Banned
    India & Bengali
    As the light faded, the footprints were lost in the gravelly soil. But Gordon knew where he was going. The glinting reflection could no longer be seen, but the ravine on the opposite shoulder of the mountain saddle was a dark, tree-lined V silhouette.--from <the postman> by David Brin
    I don't know which part the 'shoulder of a mountain' refers to in a mountain. Does it amount to 'hillside'? many thanks.
    Is it an extract from a story? Which one?
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    As the light faded, the footprints were lost in the gravelly soil. But Gordon knew where he was going. The glinting reflection could no longer be seen, but the ravine on the opposite shoulder of the mountain saddle was a dark, tree-lined V silhouette.--from <the postman> by David Brin
    I don't know which part the 'shoulder of a mountain' refers to in a mountain. Does it amount to 'hillside'? many thanks.
    It is not the shoulder of the mountain, it is the opposite shoulder of the mountain saddle.

    I would expect the mountain saddle to be the saddle shape formed between two areas of high ground. The peaks are the front and back of the saddle and the shoulders are the upper parts of the slopes running down on either side from the ridge between the peaks. I find it hard to visualise Gordon being able to see a ravine on the opposite shoulder since "opposite" implies that he is standing on one of the shoulders and cannot yet see over the middle of the saddle, but I am happy to leave the visualisation to the author's imagination.
     
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