Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Nepal 2012 Glacier Crossing

Early this morning we climbed Gokyo Ri then traded farewell hugs with the trekking group. The trekking team would have a leisurely day at Gokyo, while the climbing team (Lennie, Roy, myself, with guides Sanjay and Ganesh) would have a harder day ... crossing the Ngozumpa Glacier to the small village of Dragnag.

The Ngozumpa Glacier is the longest glacier in the Himalayas. It flows slowly downhill, due to stresses induced by its own weight.

The glacial terrain is rugged - a combination of glacial till, boulders, ice, and open water. The winds free-flow along the length of the glacier, so at the southern end of the glacier where we cross, its very windy and very cold.

This is the Climbing Team - 3 guys, totaling 190 years. We may be past our prime, but we all have bucket lists and strong life-story reasons for climbing... and we are determined to prove that neither age nor body-damages can stop us. The next week will tell if our goals are achievable. And yes, that's ice frozen onto beards.
After a long day in the wind and cold, we finally reach the small village of Dragnag. Tonight we stay in a lodge, rather than a tent, but the lodge is unheated. It is well below freezing outside and inside, but at least we are out of the relentless winds.

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