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Posted on: February 9, 2016


[Illustration] Andreas Schmidt

ONLY A FEW CLIMBERS have seen Mt. Chobutse, the 6686-meter mountain above my village in the Rolwaling Valley of Nepal. In Tibetan scripture, the original name of the peak is Khang Tagri. Although the north and south ridges rise in gradual arcs, the west face looks as sharp as an upturned axe. Beneath it, the waters of Tsho Rolpa glow a clouded, icy green. Our grandparents used to graze animals there. As the snows have melted, the glacial lake has submerged its shorelines. It keeps growing, threatening our region with floods. In some ways, it's a symbol of how vulnerable our homeland is.

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