Search Results for: ‘rwenzori’


The Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda and the…

The Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo are one of the ranges in the world being hit hardest by climate change. When the Duke of Abruzzi went there in 1906, he and his team documented some 43 distinct glaciers; less than 20 remain, and those that do have less than 25% of their mass. The loss of glaciers in the Rwenzori is not just sad for climbers and tourists. Their waters help nourish vast plains and farmlands below, home to many people and critical species. And, the Rwenzori are a key source of the White Nile, and essential waterway in Africa. I find myself thinking of these and other ranges, and indeed the climate of the world as a whole, on this day as the Republicans are forcing through a vote on Scott Pruitt to head the EPA, conveniently before he’s forced to release some 3,000 emails from his time as Oklahoma AG between him and leaders of the oil, gas, and coal industries. Convenient. Is it within the rules? Sure. Does that make it ethical? Does it show responsible governing? Not at all. I know views on climate change are varied, but most logical souls agree now that the climate is changing, and a majority agree that scientists in the field are probably right that we humans have at least a little bit to do with it. (sarcasm) It used to be that America was a nation that took on challenges, that embraced problem solving and innovation not as barriers to success, but as opportunities for more. It is this ideal – not one of backward looking, reactionary thinking – that truly made America as close to great as it ever has been. One cannot realistically deny a changing climate, whether you believe humans are causing it or not. One cannot realistically deny that burning fossil fuels is a bad thing for our planet. Likewise, one can’t deny that figuring out alternative energy systems in conjunction with conservation (isn’t that where conservative comes from?) is a good and logical path to take. So, why the denial? Why the refusal to take logical steps, to reform our systems and strategies, to position us as a nation to embrace new technologies, create new jobs, and be a leader as we once were? #reallymakeamericagreatagain

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The #Rwenzori Mountains – #Ptolemy’s “Mountains of…

The #Rwenzori Mountains – #Ptolemy’s “Mountains of the Moon” – in southwest #Uganda are one of the most stunning, lush, vibrant, and harsh landscapes I’ve ever had the honor of traveling and climbing in. The first ascent of many of the peaks was – as happened quite a bit in that time – done by the Duke of #Abruzzi in 1906. They climbed all the major snowy peaks that year, but were also focused on documenting the landscape and its wonders. As part of that mission, the team took great pains to document the #equatorial #glaciers of the range; in 1906, the Rwenzori had 43 distinct, named glaciers covering roughly 7.5 square kilometers – equal to one-half the total glaciated terrain in all of #Africa. Ninety-nine years later, in 2005, fewer than half those glaciers remained, and those that did covered only 1.5 square kilometers. Today, their coverage is less than 1 square kilometer. Logic leads us to the conclusion that, before long, the Rwenzori – which feed Lake Albert, which in turn feeds the White #Nile – will have no glaciers left. These glaciers – and the remarkable flora and fauna which lie below – are but some of the many casualties of #climatechange. Please, if you have not already, please sign and SHARE the petition linked in my profile ( If we get 5,000 signatures by November 29, the @unitednations will be compelled to include mountains, mountain ecosystems, and mountain peoples in their #climateaction resolutions at #COP21. So, please, sign, share, and share again – #mountainsmatter. Thank you. | In this photo, peaks of the Rwenzori are reflected in #Kitandara Lake. #UNFCCC #mountainpartnership #everdayafrica #rwenzorimountains #cop21paris2015 #cop21paris #mountainmatters #climatechangeisreal #WeLoveMountains #ClimateAction #Action2015 #everydayAfrica #liveyouradventure #climatechangeisreal #glacialrecession #mountainsofthemoon

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Mountains of the Moon: Challenge21 Expedition to the Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda

In April, 2011, Jake Norton founded Challenge21, a multi-year project to leverage his career as a climber to bring funds …

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My Rwenzori Reflections: What Really Matters…

I finally wrote up my reflections on the Rwenzori Expedition. Stop on over at the Challenge21 blog if you're interested …

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In the shadow of Shivling and the…

In the shadow of Shivling and the Bhagirathi peaks, high on the Gangotri Glacier, lives a silent sadhu, Muni Baba. It’s a stunningly beautiful place, the source of the mighty Ganges River, and a place of reverence and respect for the power of the mountain environment and the bounty mountains bring to us all. Muni Baba lives here for this very reason: to act out his faith in Mother Ganges and the deities who brought her from the heavens to earth. But he, like so many, is concerned. He knows this landscape intimately, and knows it is changing. The Gangotri is receding fast, weather is changing and becoming increasingly frenetic and unpredictable, and dams and development are wreaking havoc on this sacred landscape and all within it. And, it’s not just happening in India; from the Rwenzori to Rolwaling, Everest to Ethiopia, the Appalachians to the Antarctic, mountains – and all they shelter and provide – are under increased threat from climate change, unchecked development and resource extraction, and more. Today, December 11, is International Mountain Day… Please join me in celebrating all the mountains give us, in recognizing the threats they, their people, and their environments face, and in urging our governments to protect them here and abroad. Read more at the link in my profile. #MountainPartnership #liveyouradventure #IMD #mountainsmatter

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Mount #Kenya, Africa’s second highest peak, is…

Mount #Kenya, Africa’s second highest peak, is stunning beautiful, and also critical to the nation’s #water supply: an estimated 70% of the country’s fresh water comes from the peak and its surrounding moorland and montane forest areas. For the Ewaso Ng’iro River – which feeds northern Kenya’s Samburu National Reserve – the number is even higher, with more than 90% of its water emanating from Mount Kenya. It’s no surprise that the glaciers of the mountain are rapidly disappearing; as with the only other glaciers in Africa (on Kilimanjaro and in the Rwenzori), Kenya’s glaciers are fading fast due to climate change. But, a new study in Cryosphere (shared by @glacierhub) finds the cause of this recession to be a bit surprising: it’s not due to increasing temperatures, but rather to decreasing precipitation. While that may seem to be an unimportant distinction, it has huge implications for East Africa (the case is the same in the Rwenzori and on Kilimanjaro) which is seeing an ever-drier climate and big jumps in desertification. For those living in the shadows of these peaks, this new finding means not only less water storage capacity in the region’s glaciers to carry through the dry season, but drier, tougher, and shorter wet seasons as well. | In this photo, sunrise casts soft light on Mt. Kenya’s jagged summits as seen from the slopes of Point #Lenana, a popular satellite peak of the mountain for trekkers. #liveyouradventure #mountainpartnership #welovemountains #climatechangeisreal #climateaction #mountkenya #bestmountainartists #travelstoke #worldcaptures #sunrise #getoutthere #glaciers

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A posthumous happy birthday to Prince Luigi…

A posthumous happy birthday to Prince Luigi #Amedeo, the Duke of #Abruzzi, who was born today in 1873. A visionary of the mountains, Abruzzi made some incredible climbs in his 60 years. In 1897, he made the first ascent of Mount Saint #Elias on the #Yukon / #Alaska border. Two years later, in 1899, he led an expedition to the North Pole; while their attempt ultimate failed, they made it further north than anyone prior. In 1906, the Duke led an expedition to the little-known #Rwenzori Mountains of #Uganda, where his team climbed and photographed 16 peaks, including the 6 principle peaks of the range. Three years later, he launched his most famous expedition, this time to #K2, the world’s second highest peak at 8,611 meters/28,251 feet. The expedition “only” made it to 6250 meters, but the route they chose – the Southeast Spur – would later be named the Abruzzi Ridge and is the standard route on the mountain today. On that same expedition, the Duke and his team tried #Chogolisa, making it within about 500 feet of the 25,148 foot summit. In addition to his climbing, the Duke formed a wonderful alliance with one of the best mountain photographers of all time, Vittorio Sella, whose collection of images from expeditions with the Duke and others remain some of the best from these remote ranges. | In this photo, climbers move across the #Stanley Plateau toward the twin peaks of #Alexandra and #Margherita. Margherita, the highest peak of Mount Stanley at 16,763 feet, was named by the Duke after Queen Margherita of #Italy, his first cousin. #liveyouradventure #dukeofabruzzi #vittoriosella #bestmountainartists #mountainsofthemoon #mountainlove

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She wasn’t much older than my daughter,…

She wasn’t much older than my daughter, and her brother – waddling through the muddy streets wearing only an oversize t-shirt – was similar in age to my son. Like my children, they laughed and played, wondered and worried, had hopes, dreams, and ambitions. And yet, their worlds could not have been more different. Here in the sweltering plains of #Uganda, in the shadow of the #Rwenzori Mountains and not far from Fort Portal, opportunity is rare. School is a part-time luxury for these kids; both spend most of their time helping around the house and hauling water from the local tap. When they do get to school, it’s limited and rudimentary. What difference the fortune of geography can play: my kids are no different than these kids, and yet their opportunities – and thus their lives – will likely be polar opposites. It’s time we as a world address the realities of endemic #poverty, work to level the fields of #inequality, and strive to give all #opportunity. We need to live and act on the dreams of #Martin #Luther #King at home and abroad, as individuals, as communities, as countries, and as a connected world. #portraitmood #portrait #fortportal #mlk #martinlutherking #everydayafrica #Africa #travelstoke #liveyouradventure @africanamazing #africanamazing @ig_africa @african_portraits

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A recent article by @universityofleeds #glaciologists in…

A recent article by @universityofleeds #glaciologists in @washingtonpost raised some frightening discoveries: #supraglacial ponds are forming at an alarming rate on the surface of the #Khumbu #Glacier on Mount #Everest, #Nepal. In other words, water – melted snow and ice – is flowing and pooling on the surface of the glacier. Water absorbs heat more readily than ice, thus creating more melt, which in turn creates more water…a feedback loop. This is but one of many findings showing how fragile our world mountains are, and how heavily they are being impacted by a warming climate. In my travels and expeditions worldwide, I’ve seen and heard this repeatedly. I’ve heard #Bakonjo elders in the #Rwenzori lament the retreating glaciers of #Ptolemy’s Mountains of the Moon; I’ve seen the famed Snows of #Kilimanjaro dwindle to mere patches; I’ve witnessed the ferocious destruction of the 2013 #Uttarakhand #GLOF; I’ve seen farmers in #Colorado lose land to drought, and the trees in my backyard wither under the oppression of drought; I’ve seen the glaciers of #Rainier shrink, and the mighty #Ganges reduced in places to a trickle of sewage and industrial waste. I’m not a scientist…but I know enough of them and read enough by them to know #climatechangeisreal. And, sadly, at 41 I’m old enough to have witnessed its heavy hand in the places I hold most dear. Here’s to the world leaders at #COP21 in #Paris taking some meaningful action this month. May they hold the torch of courage high, and push for real commitments and real change. #TheTimeIsNow. | In this photo, the Khumbu Glacier flows between the jagged peaks of Everest, #Lhotse, and #Nuptse. #earthtoparis #mountainsmatter @unitednations #mountainmatters @welovemountains #mountainpartnership #UNFCCC @climatereality #liveyouradventure

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The Gangotri Glacier weaves its way for some 25 kilometers until its very start at the massif of Chaukhamba. Chaukhamba IV sits in the center of the frame.

Earth Day Wish: Look to the Mountains

Today – Earth Day 2015 – there is an ever more vocal choir of mainly unconservative conservatives¬†decrying science and the …

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