Even though he won’t be climbing Mount Everest and Mount Lhotse this year after a deadly avalanche on April 18, WKU professor John All is continuing climate research in another nearby area of the Himalayas.
“The avalanche was a terrible experience for everyone,” said Dr. All, who traveled to the Himalayas in early April for a two-month expedition near the Nepal and Tibet border. “We lost one of our friends. We worried for nearly a day about others as we searched the bodies being brought down. Seeing the blood and gore really broke everyone down. The petty politics that ensued has really pulled a lot of people who were close, far apart in sad ways.”
The 2014 climbing season was shut down after the Khumbu Icefall avalanche killed 16 Sherpa guides. Dr. All and his research team had to change their plans to travel to Lhotse and left the Everest Base Camp for Mount Himlung, located between Manaslu and Annapurna ranges.
“For us, the research for the University of Colorado and NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) won’t happen,” said Dr. All, associate professor in WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology and director of the American Climber Science Program, which is a research and conservation program of the American Alpine Club. “But we will still get some good data to compare to our ongoing work in Peru. And because it is lower elevation, we can involve more locals and several Nepali researchers and students will join us in the Annapurna area.
“The avalanche was a horrible tragedy that still haunts me sometimes, but we have made the best of the situation and created some different partnerships that will be very interesting.”
After he returns from the Himalayas, Dr. All will lead another research expedition this summer to the Cordillera Blanca range in Peru.
Before he traveled to Everest Base Camp, Dr. All was the keynote speaker April 9 at a seminar on climate change in Sagarmatha National Park in Kathmandu, Nepal. Dr. All’s topic was Climate Changes and Human Impacts Affecting the Sagarmatha National Park Region.
During the seminar, the Nepal Botanical Society honored Dr. All for his work on mountain conservation with Nepalese students. The award was presented by British Ambassador Andrew James Sparks; Maddhu Sudan Burlakoti, Secretary of the Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Civil Aviation; and Krishna Kumar Shrestha, president of the Nepal Botanical Society.
Contact: John All, firstname.lastname@example.org