Climber to trek Himalayas for climate
Kathmandu - A Sherpa who has climbed Mount Everest a record 21 times, will trek hundreds of kilometres along some of the world's highest mountains to highlight the impact of climate change on the Himalayas, organisers said on Monday.
Apa Sherpa, 52, will be accompanied by two-time Everest climber Dawa Steven Sherpa on the gruelling 1 700km 120-day walk.
The route passes along the length of Nepal's Himalayas going through the shadow of eight of the world's 14 highest mountains including the 8 850m Mount Everest to raise awareness of global warming.
"During the walk we will see the challenges faced by the local people in dealing with the effects of climate change on the remote and poor foothills of Himalayas," Sherpa said about the trek beginning next week.
Sherpa said he had written to global celebrities like UN chief Ban Ki-moon, former US Vice-President Al Gore and Britain's Prince Harry inviting them to join him along some parts of his journey saying it would "make the world take notice of our dire situation".
However, he said none of them had confirmed participation.
Environmental activists say the Himalayan glaciers, the source of several Asian rivers, are shrinking fast due to global warming threatening the lives of 1.3 billion people living downstream in their basins.
In 2009, Sherpa collected a piece of rock from Mount Everest which was presented to US President Barack Obama to highlight the impact of climate change on the Himalayas.
"The international community is now asking us how to help Nepal cope with the problem and we have no answers," Sherpa said.
"During this trek we will try to find out how the mountain people are adapting and what they need to fight the impact of climate change," he said.
Experts say mountainous Nepal is vulnerable to climate change despite being responsible for only 0.025% of global greenhouse gas emissions, among the lowest in the world.
Global temperatures increased by an average of 0.74°C over the past 100 years - with warming in the Himalayas being faster, according to the Kathmandu-based International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (Icimod).