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Altitude and attitude in a warming Himalaya

Kunda Dixit

Keynote at the 12th ISMM Congress on Mountain Medicine, Kathmandu

21-24 November 2018

Today I feel like I have come a full circle because it was 38 years ago that I accompanied Dr Buddha Basnyat to the Himalayan Rescue Association clinic in Pheriche. He was a young physician, and I was a rookie reporter. It was my first high altitude hike, and I almost ended up being one of his first patients in Pheriche after headache and nausea forced me to descend from Gorak Shep.

I now edit the Nepali Times newspaper here in Kathmandu , and we regularly cover the dramatic changes on the Everest Trail. On recent trips, we have seen forest cover in the Sagarmatha National Park increase significantly.

The denuded slopes above Namche and the Tengboche ridge are now covered in pine and rhododendron. Wildlife is back.

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