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Himalaya glaciers source of many rivers

Khola river2

The glaciers of the Himalayas in Nepal are the source of many rivers. Most of the trekking trails are following the streams and rivers in the valleys. In a trip to Nepal to create a documentary on the rebuilding of the Khumbu Valley after the devastating earthquake in 2015, Canadian filmmaker Nick Versteeg made the trek along the Khola River to the village of Thame.

TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHY: NICK VERSTEEG

The village of Thame is totally rebuild by the people themselves without any government help. Thame was on the salt trading route that existed between Tibet, Nepal and India. It is the home to many famous Sherpa mountaineers, including Apa Sherpa who holds the world record for summiting Everest 21 times.

It was also a childhood home of Tenzing Norgay  who was with Sir Edmund Hillary one of the first men to climb Mt Everest.

Khola River

The glacier in the mountain is the start of the Khola river. The water is used not only for drinking water for the people in the valley. Since 1995 Thame also has a small hydro plant with installed capacity of 600 kW. It is operated by Khumbu Bijuli Company and supply’s power to most of the area. The small stream then flows to the Bhote Koshi River. 

The headwaters of Poiqu and Bhote-Sun Koshi River are located at the Zhangzangbo Glacier in Tibet. The river flows out of the Lumi Chimi Lake. When entering Nepal, it is called Bhote Koshi. Further downstream, from the village of Bahrabise onwards the river listens to the name Sun Koshi.

Via a fantastic trail we follow the river south to Namche Bazaar where other rivers from Mount Everest are joining the river, continuing south, the Dudh Koshi exits Sagarmatha Natioanl Park and passes to the west of Lukla. 

Nick filming

In Lukla I left the river on its journey, finally ending into the Indian ocean.

Khumbu Glacier is slowly disappearing by global warming

Two years earlier I followed the Khumbu River all the way to the base camp of Mount everest. The closer you get to the Base Camp the more you can see the results of global warming. Sadly, a large area of the Khumbu Glacier is slowly disappearing. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that these spectacular glaciers are keeping the world at the right temperature; the more land is exposed, the warmer it will get.

Because of the very high altitude, we had to walk very slowly before reaching the 5000-meter mark in Gorakshep. The mountains are beautiful and breathtaking, and it literally takes your breath away. At this point the river becomes a small stream covered with sheets of ice.

The Khumbu Glacier at Everest base camp sits on a massive glacier and the water runs on top of this glacier. At night everything freezes over, but staying in tents you can hear the water running deep under the glacier.

Two days later, on the 25th of April, 22 people were killed at Everest Base Camp when a 7.3 earthquake struck Nepal. 
















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