Climate change has disrupted schedule, says mountaineer

  • Abhishek Aannd, Hindustan Times, NOIDA
  • Updated: Jun 08, 2016 23:27 IST
Vajpai scaled Mount Makalu on May 23 after an expedition that lasted nearly two months.

Climate change has affected the schedule of the mountaineers. Noida mountaineer Arjun Vajpai, 22, one of the youngest persons to scale Mount Everest, said on Wednesday that the climate change has led to serious discrepancies in the weather patterns on the mountains.

“The days for completing a summit (scaling a peak) has been shifted by 10 days in the past 100 years. The records show that clear weather, which happens for only 10-12 days, used to occur at the start of the month. Now, it has been shifted towards the end of the month, that too with a lot of uncertainty,” Vajpai said.

During his fourth attempt to scale Mount Makalu, the fifth highest peak in the world, he witnessed unpredictable weather and forecasts by agencies failed to provide the exact weather situation.

“This indeed is an example of global warming. The jet streams of air that flows at 250 kmph at 11,000 feet affects the weather on the mountains. These currents can bring sudden change in the weather, which can lead to heavy snowfall and a total whiteout. Mountaineers wait for the monsoon to push those streams across the Himalayas,” said Vajpai.

He said the mountaineers at Himalayas get a chance to complete their summit in 10-12 days of clear weather before the monsoon hits the mountains.

“These crucial days for the final push have been shifted by 10 days. This is not a minor change. It can decide the fate of an expedition and can be fatal for rookie climbers. During the Makalu summit, we were totally dependent on our visual prediction of the weather,” he said.

Vajpai scaled Mount Makalu on May 23 after a nearly two-month long expedition.

“Now I have planned to launch a campaign -- Climb for Climate -- to spread awareness among the youth about the deteriorating environment. Under this expedition, we will invite youth to join us in scaling the untouched peaks of India. We will click pictures of the shrinking glaciers and lakes of the Himalayas and will spread a message to save our precious mountains,” said Vajpai.

The campaign will not only spread awareness but also attract adventure sport lovers from across the world to India, Vajpai said.

During his meet with the UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, Vajpai mooted opening of an institute of rock climbing and mountaineering in Noida. “The chief minister showed interest in the project. We will see possibilities for an institute for adventure sports in Noida,” said Vajpai.

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