Dawa Steven Sherpa, mountaineer and mountain guide, is dedicating his Eco Everest Expedition 2008 to “Sir Ed Hillary’s vision for the Khumbu and her people”. The purpose of the expedition is to raise awareness of the impact of climate change and melting glaciers in the Himalayas, with a special focus on glacial lake outburst floods (GLOF) risk in the Khumbu region.
Updates about the expedition can be found on the Eco Everest website.
“During my successful climb of Mt. Everest in the spring of 2007 I saw and felt the real danger to lives and property posed by glacial lake outburst floods ” says Dawa Steven, managing director of Asian Trekking . “Although Mt. Everest is the highest peak in the world, awesome and imposing, she is still a fragile “Mother Goddess” in terms of global warming and GLOF.”
The Eco-Everest Expedition, which will take place in spring, will study the effects of global warming on the Imja glacier, which is upstream of the Everest Trail. The members will document the high risk to the people and the land in case of a glacial lake flood. Dawa Stephen also aims to raise funds for studies of the glacial lakes. The main partner of the expedition is the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). It also has the support of the United Nations Environment Program.
The Eco-Everest Expedition also wants to promote ethical climbing norms on Mount Everest. In connection with this, Dawa Stephen is inviting fellow mountaineers to make suggestions for “Climbing Codes of Conduct” for eco-friendly Mount Everest expeditions. The expedition members will test them in the field to see if they are possible to follow.
Ang Tshering Sherpa is president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association and founder of Asian Trekking. He has sent us the good news that pioneering Japanese scientists from Keio University, led by Prof. Hiromichi Fukui has set up remote controlled video surveillance equipment that will monitor Imja lake. “This surveillance system allows researchers to monitor changes in the lake in real time, allowing early warning systems in case of dangers and also help to further studies to reduce the dangers. These are the sort of research work that we hope to encourage and fund with the Everest Eco-Expedition in 2008.”, says Ang Tshering
Dawa Steven has been invited by the American Alpine Club to give a presentation as part of the Climatology: Climbers Documenting Climate Change. He will be talking about the Eco Everest Expedition on the 22nd February in Golden, Colorado.
You can read more about glacial lakes here.