The MountainWorld Blog by Jake Norton

The MountainWorld Blog by Jake Norton

12145451 662886063854193 829060630 N

In the arid north of #Kenya, not…

In the arid north of #Kenya, not far from the border with #Somalia, #water is everything. The lifeline of the region is the #Ewaso #Ng’iro River which brings water from the slopes of Mount Kenya to this parched landscape. The glaciers on the mountain – and their meltwater – keep the river flowing even in the dry season. In fact, Mount Kenya supplies some 70% of the fresh water for the entire country. But, like so many around the world, its glaciers are rapidly melting in the face of #climatechange; like its neighbor, #Kilimanjaro, the glaciers of Mount Kenya will likely be gone in a matter of decades. When the glaciers are gone, the Ewaso will be gone, too, and with it will go the sole water supply for countless animals – #elephant, #lion, #cheetah, etc. – and the #Samburu people who live there. Yet another example of how much #MountainsMatter, whether we can see them or not. If you care about mountains, about preserving them and their ecosystems, please sign the petition (link in profile) to get the @unitednations to consider mountains and climate change. | In this photo, elephants play in the muddy waters of the Ewaso Ng’iro River in Samburu National Reserve. #COP21 @welovemountains #mountainpartnership #mountain matters #Ewasonyiro @elephants_save @elephantsamburu @pedromcbride @kimhavell @francothepapa @sabadouglashamilton

Read More
11856836 1501812540111226 674418879 N

I was reminded of this #tbt last…

I was reminded of this #tbt last night by @seracfilms – tough, but good memories of an amazing expeditoon. May 23, 2003, at 27,220 foot Camp VI on the North Face of #Everest. It was 7:23 pm and we had just settled into our tents for the evening when we got the radio call that seven climbers were in trouble, still high on the exposed Northeast Ridge of the mountain, slowly picking their way down. We went outside, and could just see their headlamps, faint in the encroaching darkness (they’re visible in the upper left of this photo). Several of us started up to help them to the safety of our tents, and to tend to the injuries: snow blindness, severe frostbite, exhaustion, and the possible onset of cerebral and pulmonary edema. @seracfilms, Petite Pinson, and I spent a long, cold night huddled in one sleeping bag, heating water and tending to our frostbite tentmate, waiting the first rays of dawn that seemed to take forever to come. The same situation played out in the tents of our other climbers. But, finally the sun came… There was no logical choice but to abandon our summit attempt and help the injured down to the safety of the camps below. By nightfall on the 24th, we had them down safely to Advanced Basecamp at 21,500 feet, ready for medical treatment and transport to Nepal and home. A frustrating experience, for it was poor judgment and summit fever that got them in trouble and us pulled into the vortex, but in the end it all worked out. We rested a few days at ABC, and then climbed back up, reaching the summit on a nearly perfect day on May 30, 2003. @tedmahon @trailygirl #Tibet #mounteverest #liveyouradventure #rescue #himalaya #himalayas

Read More
11925822 1506863442960697 439872787 N

Do you love #mountains? Do you see…

Do you love #mountains? Do you see value in protecting our #mountain peoples, communities, ecosystems, and watersheds from the ravages of #climatechange? If so, please join me in signing a petition (link in profile) to get the @unitednations to give adequate attention to the impact of climate change on mountain regions and all who depend on them. Mountains – whether we see them or not, whether we live in them or not, whether we like them or not – play are critical role in all our lives. Mountains cover 22% of the earth’s surface, are home to 14% of the world’s population, and they provide 70% of the world’s fresh water. But, glaciers in the mountains are melting faster than elsewhere, threatening water supplies, biodiversity, and the lives of all who live downstream. Please, show that #MountainsMatter: sign the petition (link in profile), share this widely, and encourage the #UN to take the threat of climate change in mountain regions seriously. | In this photo, the first waters of the #Ganges River flow on the surface of the #Gangotri #Glacier, #India, with #Shivling towering above. The Gangotri, which gives birth to the #Bhagirathi River (the Ganges officially starts where the Bhagirathi and #Alaknanda Rivers merge at #Devprayag), has receded more than 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) in the past 70 years; since 2000, its retreat has been nearly doubled to roughly 12-13 meters (39.3-42.7 feet) per year. Downstream, the Ganges is the essential lifeblood for roughly 500 million people who live within its watershed. #WeLoveMountains #COP21 #ClimateAction #Action2015 #WeLoveMountains #UNFCCC #liveyouradventure #indiapictures #everydayindia #indiaphotos #india_gram @welovemountains #mountainpartnership

Read More
11351896 1497164777268608 1705633220 N

As I dropped my kids off at…

As I dropped my kids off at #school this morning, replete with the usual grumblings about having to go, I resisted the temptation to remind them of all the kids their age in #Nepal who don’t even have a school to go to. Nonetheless, my mind went there. The April 25th and May 12th earthquakes in Nepal devastated an already – struggling education system in the impoverished Himalayan nation. Estimates say that up to 8,000 schools were damaged or destroyed in the quakes, leaving nearly one million children school-less. In August, I visited many schools in #Kathmandu and in rural areas – #Kavre-Palanchok, #Dhading, #Mustang – and found the #rebuilding is sporadic at best, non-existent in many places. I’m thrilled that next week I’ll be able to play a tiny part in the school situation in Nepal when I speak to supporters of @edgeofseven in Denver at the #Posner Center and help them raise funds to build more schools where they’re desperately needed. If you’re in #Denver, #Boulder, #Golden, or the Front Range, please join us. If you’re not, please consider supporting the work of Edge of Seven, and #HelpCarryTheLoad. | In this photo, young boys stand by the crumbled remains of their home in #Syampati, #Kavre. Their school still stands, but barely, and most of it is beyond repair. However, the village does not have the funds to rebuild. #nepalphotoproject #nepalquake #nepaliloveyou #everydayasia #everydaynepal #buildbackbetter #nepalwillriseagain

Read More
11856847 1024745767555877 780220715 N

#Autumn is always one of my favorite…

#Autumn is always one of my favorite seasons. Pleasant days, cool crisp nights, and an explosion of #color in the high country. | In this photo, aspens and evergreens mix with the vivid oranges of mining effluvia in Red Mountain Creek near #Ironton, #Colorado. #fallcolor #fallfoliage

Read More
11887141 1500890460230653 1137370010 N

#tbt to #Manvar, #Rajasthan, #India, 2005. Kids…

#tbt to #Manvar, #Rajasthan, #India, 2005. Kids chase an adult friend across the silhouetted dunes of the Great #Thar #Desert at sunset. Such a joy to watch, photograph, and interact, listening to giggles and laughter echoing through the quiet evening of the desert landscape. The best entertainment is often just your feet and the playground of nature. #indiapictures #thardesert #everydayasia #everydayindia #indiaphotos #india_gram #silhouette #travelstoke

Read More
11910364 890412517745781 1444255758 N

The iconic #Taj #Mahal, built in 1653…

The iconic #Taj #Mahal, built in 1653 by Emperor Shah #Jahan on the banks of the #Yamuna River (a major tributary to the #Ganges), is a model of perfection in myriad ways. It’s symmetry is stunning, it’s white marble facade takes on the colors of the sky, it’s dedication to love a symbol of beauty. And, Shah Jahan’s builders did an incredible job constructing the monument, erecting it on a sturdy foundation of #ebony wood. There’s no way they could have known, however, that the future of the Yamuna – whose waters are critical to the wood foundation, keeping it moist and preventing shrinkage – would be so bleak. These days, the once-mighty Yamuna flows past the Taj as a fetid trickle, its #Himalayan waters tapped and polluted by the 15 million inhabitants of #Delhi and countless more upstream. The result: architects and archeologists are seeing cracks forming in the face of the ancient structure, and tilting in its minarets. Perhaps it’s time for the love that motivated Shah Jahan to build the Taj to be directed to protection of the Yamuna. | In this photo, a bird flies past the Taj, silhouetted against the setting sun on the banks of the Yamuna. #India #GangaS2S #liveyouradventure #everydayasia #everydayindia #indiapictures #indiaphotos #tajmahal #ic_water

Read More
11336102 433525026835701 1315451174 N

#tbt to 2011, #Rwanda. So many things…

#tbt to 2011, #Rwanda. So many things impressed me about Rwanda: the cleanliness of the capital city, #Kigali; the overall friendliness and openness of the people; the intense and sublime beauty of this “Land of a Thousand Hills.” But the biggest stand out for me in Rwanda was one simple, profound, and all too rare in the modern world trait: #resilience. This woman, like so many in Rwanda, had lived through the horrors and atrocities of the genocide. She’s all family members slaughtered, communities torn apart, and her country brutally divided. She was at #Burega Pond – a dried up puddle that is the only water source nearby – to fill five gallon jugs with water for her family. Her journey took more than an hour one way, up hills and down hills, and all under the baking Rwandan sun. She had every right to complain, to be bitter, to lament her lot in life and all the hardship that came with it. But she didn’t. She simply carried on, with poise and grace and dignity, radiating beauty from inside and out. Hers is the Rwanda I remember. #everydayafrica #rulindo #portrait @waterforpeople

Read More
11909397 483651145128186 780988723 N

A #face can tell amazing stories, even…

A #face can tell amazing stories, even if the full one is unknown. He was a non-verbal man, either unwilling or unable to tell me his story. He sat, a look of melancholic acceptance on his face, near the entrance to #Ugratara Temple, not far from famed #Asan #Tole, an ancient market in #Kathmandu. He was begging for alms, perhaps a recent victim of the #NepalQuake made homeless by the tremor, or maybe a victim of the vicious cycle of poverty and inequality that pervades modern Nepal. Either way, his was not a desperate look, not one of victimization, but rather, again, of acceptance, of knowing today would be tough, tomorrow likely the same, but a flicker of hope that the future might improve washed across his expression. With a nod, a bow, and a Namaste, I dropped some rupees into his bowl, wished him well, and went on my way. Stories told, but never known. #nepalearthquake #nepalphotoproject #HelpCarryTheLoad #liveyouradventure #dktm #portrait #nepaliloveyou

Read More
11939659 837672159661621 376585166 N

The night sky can make you feel…

The night sky can make you feel pretty insignificant, but in the most #inspiring and enlightening of ways. Here, the Milky Way glitters above the dusky #desert and sculpted towers of City of Rocks, #Idaho. #liveyouradventure @eddiebauer @davidcmorton @erikleidecker @wendebvalentine @miahwatt @sid_pattison #cityofrocks #travelstoke #MilkyWay

Read More