The MountainWorld Blog by Jake Norton

The MountainWorld Blog by Jake Norton

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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
#everydayafrica

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“Autumn is a second spring when every…

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus #truism #treesofinstagram #liveyouradventure

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Good night, Lost Creek Wilderness. Great to…

Good night, Lost Creek Wilderness. Great to be here in your beauty with my family. #thankful #liveyouradventure #lostcreekwilderness #lcw

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A decade ago, I was gazing upon…

A decade ago, I was gazing upon this view of #Gurla #Mandhata – aka Naimona’nyi or Memo Nani – from Camp 1 on the mountain. The highest peak in the Nalakankar Himal of western Nepal and Tibet, Gurla rises some 9,000 feet from the plateau below to its summit at 7,694 meters (25,243 feet), making it the 6th most prominent peak in Tibet and the world’s 34th highest. Despite it’s beauty, altitude, and relatively easy climbing (via the standard route up the Chaglung’mlungha Glacier, seen here), the peak is rarely climbed. It was first attempted in 1905 by Tom Longstaff (after he made the first reconnaissance of Trisul in India), but he and his team were turned back at roughly 7,000 meters. The peak didn’t see a full ascent until a joint Chinese/Japanese team climbed it in 1985. Since then, according to official records, only 6 other ascents (out of 8 attempts) have been made, the last being my expedition in 2006. An amazing mountain, and one to visit if you want high altitude (good training for #Everest) and no crowds! | In this photo, Gurla Mandhata is prominent in the center of the frame, with the “standard” route going up the obvious, low-angle glacier in the middle. To the left, the still-unclimbed full north face drops sharply before rising again to Guna La, a satellite peak of 6,900 meters, first climbed in 1997 by Quinn Simons, Tom Simons, Soren Peters, and Charlie Fowler. #liveyouradventure

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Whether it’s saving lives through her work…

Whether it’s saving lives through her work in global water and sanitation, changing lives through education in Guatemala and now with Evergreen Country Day School, or simply making everyone laugh hysterically while riding a kids ride at a playground in Edinburgh, Scotland, @wendebvalentine never ceases to amaze, inspire, and delight me. Happy Anniversary, Love! Can’t believe it’s now been 13 years around the sun since our wedding… Here’s to many, many more! #liveyouradventure

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A full moon rises over a serrated…

A full moon rises over a serrated spur of #Swachhand, high on the #Gangotri Glacier in the Garhwal Himalaya, India. As the source of the Bhagirathi River – which in turn is the source of the Ganges – the Gangotri and its snows are critical to the overall health of the Ganges River. Sadly, though, the Gangotri is retreating fast; up to 50+ meters per year. In 2013, when @pedromcbride and @davidcmorton and I were at the very head of the Gangotri, we saw the first waters of the Ganges flowing on the surface of the glacier at some 18,000 feet below the imposing wall of Chaukhamba – not something that should be happening that high on the Gangotri. This and more is part of our film, Holy (un)Holy River, soon to be playing near you – stay tuned! #liveyouradventure

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The #Ganges River is one of the…

The #Ganges River is one of the most complex and troubled waterways in the world, physical lifeblood to 500 million people who live on its banks, and spiritual anchor to nearly 1 billion Hindus who revere it as an incarnation of the goddess Maa Ganga, or Mother Ganges. From profound reverence to horrific pollution, rare freshwater dolphins (Susu) to Bengal tigers to mysterious bacteriophages, pristine wildness to overwhelming development, the river has it all and then some. @pedromcbride and I followed the river from source to sea (with @davidcmorton), and our film, Holy (Un)Holy River, tells the river’s story. Thrilled to have it screen tonight in #Aspen, #Colorado, as part of @mountainfilm on Tour. | In this photo, a lone fishing boat makes its way across the vastness of the Ganges as it pours into the Bay of Bengal near Kolkata, India. #liveyouradventure

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My final view of Baliyo Euta (“Strong…

My final view of Baliyo Euta (“Strong One”) before he was transported to Jomsom, we hoped for treatment and survival. Sadly, this was not the case: he was indeed transported to Jomsom, did well for 24 hours, and then died and was immediately cremated. What happened to this beautiful, strong snow leopard, one of only a handful in the Chuksang VDC of Nepal? We may never know the full story. But, what is certain is that these majestic animals are increasingly threatened, human-animal conflicts are on the rise, and better education and protection of livestock is critical to their future. Support for organizations like @snowleopardtrust and #snowleopardconservancy is a great step. #liveyouradventure #nepaliloveyou

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Difference. The world is full of it….

Difference. The world is full of it. Racial, religious, linguistic, political. That difference, and the inherent challenges of communication it engenders, can easily divide. But, it can also unite. If we take the time and effort to not place value on the difference, to not label it better or worse simply because it’s different, but instead see beyond the superficial we more often than not glimpse the universal truth and reality that, in general, people are people. Black or white or brown, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist, left, right, or center, most people everywhere want the same things: peace today, health today, and a better tomorrow for their children and grandchildren. For me, this is one of the greatest challenges and most profound gifts of travel: the deep knowledge that we are all one, rising and falling together on this ship of humanity. #liveyouradventure #weareallone

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A bit more of the #Maine stars…

A bit more of the #Maine stars the other night, this time in #timelapse. #liveyouradventure

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