Tuesday, September 6, 2011

FTA Satopanth - Uttarkashi today Gangotri tomorrow!

From Ben in Uttarkashi
Sept. 6, 2011

The drive up from Rishikesh was quite amazing. The road was in poor shape
and we had to stop a number of times to wait for landslides to be cleared.
Having said that, it was fun and everyone was in good spirits. The drive is
very scenic, passing by a huge dam (26km long), according to our Liason
Officer, it is the largest in Asia and still not expected to be full until

We arrived mid afternoon in Uttarkashi and went up to the Nehru Institute
of Mountaineering. We spent some time strolling around the campus and
really appreciated the serenity - it is a very beautiful campus amongst a
pine forest, up the hill and away from the hustle and bustle that is
Uttarkashi. We met a number of NIM instructors (many with impressive climbs
under their belts). I highly recommend visiting NIM if you pass through

We are now doing some last minute shopping in Uttarkashi and will depart
shortly. Apparently the road conditions up to Gangotri are worse than
yesterday, so wish us luck!

More from Gangotri.



Notes from the USA office:

The dam is to be built on the Bhagirathi_River which already has many dams which have slowed the waters natural flow and like many places this has had its share of positive (renewable energy source) and negative impacts (environmental, local fishing, poulution,agriculture).  To learn more i have a few links below...


a few things from the wiki site...

"The word "Bhagirathi" (Sanskrit, literally, "caused by Bhagiratha") refers to a mythological Sagar Dynasty prince who, to gain the release his 60,000 great-uncles from the curse of saint Kapila, brought the goddess Ganga in the form of the river Ganges, from the heavens to the earth."

"The headwaters of the Bhagirathi Ganga are formed at Gaumukh (elevation 3,892 metres (12,769 feet)), at the foot of the Gangotri glacier and Khatling glaciers in the Garhwal Himalaya."
The dam project is not without any oposition and controversy. Check here for one site which will give you some insight:

A trip to Satopanth is not simply a climb but a full on cultural experience. The travel and trek alone will  leave as many poignant memories seared in the minds of our members as they will have from the 7000m knife edge climbing. Not the least will be a personal journey up and back along the waters crucial to people from large city of Delhi all the way to the small villages like Gangotri.

The enormously important rivers that our climbers encounter on our trips in Pakistan, Nepal, Argentina, Ecuador, Tibet support a huge percentage of the worlds population. It is a striking thing to come into personal contact with the waters (or headwaters) which flow from the mountains to the seas along the  Indus, Ganges, Dudh Khosi, Yarlung Zangbo and Patate, Mekong, Amazon and more.  Some examples to whet the appetite for travel....

• On the trek out from K2 base camp you watch ancient ice melt and begin the journey that will take it by Askole, Skardu, Islamabad and out to the Arabian Sea.

• The melting drops from Satopanth will make their way to the Bhagirathi (passing Gangotri and Rishikesh) to the Ganges, where it joins water from Nanda Devi in Allahabad, makes its way to Varanassi (the City of Learning and Burning), joins water from Everest, Annapurna, Kanchenjunga, and finally empties out near Dhaka in rthe Bay of Bengal.

It will be in interesting project (some day!) to list all of rivers visited by the waters of the annual melting snow!

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