26.8 C
New York
Wednesday, July 17, 2024

To Maintain Hope Frivolously – iRunFar

Karma Yangden is a Bhutanese yak herder and cordyceps collector. The previous is among the nation’s main home animals which produce dairy merchandise, and that are used to move items by means of distant Bhutan. Cordyceps is a medicinal fungus that grows within the Bhutanese highlands and that fetches a big industrial price ticket.

The 31-year-old Layup is a mom of three, her oldest two halfway by means of their teenagers and her youngest a toddler. The Layaps are one of many dozens of indigenous peoples’ teams hailing from the Himalaya of Bhutan.

2022 Snowman Race - Karma Yangden portrait

A portrait of Karma Yangden, the 2022 Snowman Race ladies’s champion. Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Karma can also be the ladies’s champion of the 2022 Snowman Race, a five-day, 200-kilometer (125 miles) stage race in northern Bhutan.

Karma didn’t take up operating as a child. Operating’s a comparatively nascent sport in Bhutan so nobody has achieved that — but. She picked up operating about 5 years in the past when runners turned up in her village, Laya, as a part of the then newly minted Royal Highland Competition, a weekend celebration of Bhutan’s various highlands peoples.

The 25-kilometer (15 miles) Laya Run takes place as a part of this pageant and in it contributors race from the village of Gasa, positioned at 2,850 meters (9,350 ft) altitude, to Laya, at 3,820 meters (12,500 ft) altitude.

Karma first ran within the rubber boots many highlands peoples put on to chase away the mud, water, snow, and chilly that are replete there. As we speak, she clothes like every runner you’d see the world over — although she strikes quicker when she runs than most excessive altitude mountain operating ladies, and positively quicker than the remainder of us girls who took half within the Snowman Race.

Born, raised, and residing an outdoor-based life at excessive altitude, it’s straightforward to see why she’s bodily good at path operating and ultrarunning — and why she would thrive at an extended path race by means of her nation’s highlands.

2022 Snowman Race - Karma Yangden - prayer wheel

The 2022 Snowman Race ladies’s champion Karma Yangden checks her cellphone whereas spinning a prayer wheel. Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

However everyone knows that the very best path runners and ultrarunners have extra than simply cultivated bodily skill. Additionally they possess the psychological skill to adapt rapidly to the challenges that come up throughout laborious runs.

Within the West, we use the phrase “resilience” to explain this character trait. We are saying {that a} resilient individual is one who can stand up to or who bounces again effectively after encountering an issue.

The time period “equanimity” provides an Jap strategy to this functionality. For Buddhists, equanimity is a state of calmness it doesn’t matter what difficulties one experiences.

As I’ll be taught by means of 2.5 weeks of residing, operating, touring, and attending to know her whereas in Bhutan to take part within the Snowman Race, Karma has had a very tough previous. She’s beforehand been a toddler spouse and a teenage mother, and he or she is a survivor of home abuse. Lower than two years in the past, the Laya village skilled a local weather change catastrophe, and he or she misplaced kin to it.

I’d enterprise a guess that the majority of her adaptability thus comes from her lived expertise — and that operating is the straightforward half.

2022 Snowman Race - Bhutan - Himalayas - scenery

The Bhutanese Himalaya. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

A King’s Loopy Thought

Bhutan is a small South Asian nation of about 730,000 folks, landlocked between geographic behemoths, China to the north and India to the south.

The Himalaya arcs throughout the northern half of the nation, a few of the vary’s peaks drawing the border with Tibet. Amongst this tangle of rock, glaciers, snow, and water, the mountain Gangkhar Puensum, at 7,570 meters (24,840 ft) altitude, rises as Bhutan’s highest function. Within the southern a part of the nation, the land lowers to about 90 meters (300 ft) above sea stage. Remarkably, all of this occurs over a small distance, as Bhutan is simply in regards to the measurement of The Netherlands or two New Jerseys mixed.

2022 Snowman Race - Bhutan - Himalayas - trail

Surroundings within the foothills of the Bhutanese Himalaya. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Bhutan is a constitutional monarchy, which means it has a king, who’s the top of state, in addition to a voted-in prime minister, who’s the top of presidency. This is identical management standing as, for instance, England or Morocco. Whereas the monarchy a part of Bhutan’s management is 5 generations in, the primary democratically appointed prime minister was solely voted into workplace in 2008.

The current king is known as Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. He’s dominated over the nation since his father, the prior king, gave up his throne in 2008. He’ll reign over Bhutan till he says it’s time for him to go, passing the throne to the older of his two sons.

His Majesty The King, as he’s referred to by the Bhutanese folks, is youthful than me and has dominated the nation since I used to be busy doing dumb issues in bars as a 20-something-year-old. He and the remainder of the royal household are as royal as they get, elevated to the best stage of respect and admiration by the Bhutanese folks. It’s the kind of respect for management that, as an American late Gen Xer, I’ve not seen afforded to an American chief.

His Majesty The King is an athlete. He’s a hiker, mountain biker, and runner. In 2022, for instance — he advised us this story himself once we met him after the Snowman Race’s conclusion — he did a half-marathon-distance sightseeing run with a French buddy in Paris, France, whereas touring to attend the funeral of England’s Queen Elizabeth. That is to say that His Majesty The King can motor.

2022 Snowman Race - pre-race jog

The 2022 Snowman Race contributors on a shakeout run within the days earlier than the race. Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Someplace round 2018, His Majesty The King determined the nation ought to host a race on the Snowman Trek, a distant, long-distance route stretching in an open horseshoe form roughly east to west by means of the roadless Himalayan foothills, from exterior the town of Paro within the west and the city of Bumthang within the east. The Snowman Trek strings collectively historic trails set, and nonetheless broadly used, by highlands peoples to carry provides by way of livestock to, from, and between their communities. The whole lot of the Snowman Trek is about 350 kilometers (218 miles) in size. On condition that they’re principally utilized by livestock and that they obtain little to no upkeep, these trails are little like what Westerners consider as trails. They’re braided, have erosion and drainage points, are actually rocky in some locations and extremely muddy in others, and are simply plain rugged compared to trails of the West.

Alongside the Snowman Trek, there’s only one cheap shortcut level, about two-thirds of the best way west on the route, the place the route passes closest to the village of Gasa. From Gasa to Bumthang on the Snowman Trek is about 203 kilometers (126 miles). Mountain climbing expeditions alongside the entire route are slotted at a couple of month lengthy, and treks of the jap two thirds typically go three weeks in size.

His Majesty The King and the Bhutan authorities ultimately determined that the Snowman Race, as it might be known as, ought to be run on that 200-ish-kilometer distance from Gasa to Bumthang, in a five-day, stage-race format. Contributors — round 30, hailing from Bhutan and international locations world wide, chosen based mostly on qualifying occasions and a confirmed skill to thrive in excessive altitude backcountry environments — would sleep between every of the 5 days at backcountry camps established forward of time by the race group.

2022 Snowman Race - Night Halt 1 - Narithang

The 2022 Snowman Race’s Night time Halt 1, positioned at about 4,940 meters (16,200 ft) above sea stage. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Factor is, such a factor had not been achieved in Bhutan earlier than — sending out a passel of athletes to cowl this lengthy distance over a compressed time frame and thru terrain solely accessible by foot. In reality, just a few operating races of any variety are held in Bhutan every year.

So, the Snowman Race Secretariat was established by the federal government and populated with everybody related to creating such a factor occur: the federal government’s navy, geographers, meteorologists, tourism directors, communications managers, and plenty of others. The secretariat additionally enlisted the assistance of American race director, ultrarunner, and all-around good man Luis Escobar and his merry band of race organizers for the challenge.

In late 2019, the Snowman Race got here to public life, asserting that it might start on October 13, 2020, on the ninth wedding ceremony anniversary of His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen of Bhutan. Then the COVID-19 pandemic stopped the progress of mainly all the pieces, shuttering tourism in Bhutan for about 2.5 years and the Snowman Race together with it.

However the Bhutanese are nothing if not resilient — ahem, equanimous — and simply as quickly because the nation reopened for tourism within the fall of 2022, the Snowman Race was set to begin on the eleventh royal wedding ceremony anniversary in October.

When the inaugural occasion was achieved and dusted, and we contributors have been safely again within the capital metropolis of Thimphu, His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen granted to us a Royal Viewers. There, Her Majesty The Queen, Jetsun Pema, shared with us that when her husband first advised her his thought of the Snowman Race years again, she had thought, Oh, that is one other of his loopy concepts.

Her Majesty The Queen is appropriate, this was a loopy thought.

The Local weather Nonetheless Adjustments in a Carbon-Impartial Nation

Bhutan is among the world’s solely carbon-neutral international locations, in that it offsets not less than as a lot carbon because it makes use of. In the event you’ve been engaged on understanding and decreasing your individual carbon footprint, then you realize that that is an uncommon standing for a single human being, not to mention a whole nation.

Bhutan’s carbon neutrality is achieved largely by means of hydropower, the vitality harnessed from a number of of the nation’s greatest river techniques cascading out of the Himalaya within the nation’s north to its sea-level terrain within the south. The nation’s carbon-neutral standing can also be achieved as a result of its residents eat comparatively few assets typically.

2022 Snowman Race - Bhutan - Himalayas - horse 2

Pack animals are used all through rural Bhutan as a way of transporting items and other people. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

All of this stated, the important thought I need to convey is that Bhutan is carbon impartial as a result of it needs to be. The atmosphere is and has for a very long time been entrance and middle in authorities coverage, handled on the coverage stage as equal in worth to the well being of the Bhutanese folks and the nation’s financial system.

This idea — that the atmosphere and, subsequently, the local weather disaster, are collectively a basic prong of nationwide coverage — is singular in nationwide governments worldwide. There is no such thing as a different nation that has positioned the atmosphere, and, lately, the local weather disaster, central to its operations. In most international locations, capitalism reigns and the financial system is valued greater than the pure atmosphere and, if I may be frank, even the well being of its human inhabitants.

Local weather change scientists inform us that local weather change extra closely impacts rural communities than folks residing in cities. There are a number of causes for this, however that is strongly a results of how intently rural folks dwell to the land, deriving their meals and private economies from proper there. When that land modifications, so should the lives of these folks.

Most of Bhutan is rural, save for a number of dozen sq. miles round a few cities. The local weather is altering in every single place on the earth, and naturally in every single place in Bhutan, but in Bhutan it’s extra prominently felt by its rural communities.

2022 Snowman Race - Bhutan - rural scenery

The agricultural lifestyle within the foothills of the Himalayas in Bhutan. Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

The individuals who dwell rurally in Bhutan — that’s, the individuals who have the bottom environmental influence in a climate-neutral nation — are among the many folks feeling the impacts of local weather change probably the most. That’s one thing, isn’t it.

The agricultural folks of Bhutan have been and can proceed to be topic to climate-crisis emergencies, like floods, landslides, glacial lake outburst flood occasions, and different life-altering disasters, along with the gradual creep of a altering local weather and what meaning for heating one’s residence, watering one’s crops, and caring for one’s livestock.

His Majesty The King established the Snowman Race with the aim of instructing the world in regards to the heightening local weather emergency in Bhutan. Utilizing the Snowman Trek linkup of conventional trails and highlands villages, the Snowman Race would put contributors within the literal face of the rising disaster. In reality, the race’s tagline is “The Final Race for Local weather Motion.”

The concept is that we runners would meet the local weather disaster face-to-face, after which carry our experiences again residence to share what we noticed and discovered, with the purpose of exhibiting how in a world ecosystem all the pieces is linked, and that even a carbon-neutral nation will not be exempt from local weather change. In reality, most of the time, us Snowman Race contributors have been known as messengers somewhat than rivals.

2022 Snowman Race - Bhutan - children

Youngsters on the 2022 Snowman Race end line in Bumthang, Bhutan. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

The Intimacy of Buddhism

On our first full day in Bhutan — we’ve got arrived a couple of week earlier than the Snowman Race begin with the intention to acclimatize to the altitude, expertise a bit of Bhutan’s frontcountry, and arrange the logistics of such a distant occasion — we go to Paro Taktsang, which is best recognized not less than exterior of Bhutan by its alternate title of Tiger’s Nest Monastery. If it’s true that first impressions are all the pieces, then Bhutan is hitting the ball out of the park right here.

2022 Snowman Race - Paro Taktsang - Tigers Nest Monsatery - closeup view

A detailed-up view of the ornate Paro Taktsang, or Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Properly, our true first impression of the nation was of the sporty Druk Air Airbus touchdown into the Paro, Bhutan, airport, which is nestled right into a valley at occasions only a half mile extensive. That was undoubtedly the primary time I’ve regarded out the home windows of a big industrial airplane to see houses, terraces, and grain paddies at a painfully shut distance to an enormous metallic tube making an attempt to transition from hurtling by means of the sky at a pair hundred miles per hour to being nonetheless on the earth.

However I digress. This unimaginable monastery clings to a forested cliff excessive above the Paro Chu valley — “chu” means river or water in Dzongkha, the official language of Bhutan — upstream from the town of Paro.

To go to Paro Taktsang, one hikes about 5 kilometers (three miles) uphill and climbs about 1,000 meters (3,300 ft) from the trailhead, a method. Whereas these statistics might sound cheap to the seasoned path runner, it’s a difficult, full-day journey for most folk.

Paro Taktsang’s origin story lends itself to its frequent title. In Tibetan, “taktsang” means tiger’s lair, and one of many monastery’s origin myths is that the eighth century guru Padmasambhava arrived at this location from Tibet driving a tiger and mediated right here.

Within the seventeenth century, the primary monastery was constructed on the web site. As we speak, it accommodates 4 temples in addition to non-public residences and lecture rooms for monks and people learning to be one. It’s additionally a pilgrimage vacation spot for Bhutanese Buddhists and vacationers alike.

2022 Snowman Race - Paro Taktsang - Tigers Nest Monsatery - cliff view

Paro Taktsang, or Tiger’s Nest Monastery, clings to the cliffs among the many clouds. Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Whereas the Bhutanese runners greeted us worldwide runners on the airport once we arrived yesterday night, and we ate dinner collectively final night time, each have been pretty formal, and we have been all reserved and quiet. As we speak’s hike to Paro Taktsang is the primary group exercise for the Snowman Race’s 29 runners through which we get to informally spend time collectively.

A lot of the Bhutanese runners have been right here earlier than, some a number of and some dozens of occasions. In fact, it’s a primary voyage for all of us worldwide runners. In two massive shuttle buses, we carpool to the bottom of the mountain, after which hike collectively in small teams to the location.

Vajrayāna Buddhism is the nation’s official faith, and Buddhism is built-in into all elements of Bhutanese society. There’s no separation of church and state — or of spirituality and sports activities, or of time spent praying and time spent with new buddies, in our case.

The Bhutanese runners pray freely as we stroll and discuss, whispering prayers in a single breath and asking get-to-know-you questions within the subsequent. And as we hike, they pause briefly to spin the prayer wheels subsequent to the path, stroll circles across the statues and options contained in the temples, and make small money choices across the monastery.

Whereas it might not really feel this manner for the Bhutanese runners, who’re, I think about, carrying on equally to their every day lives, these hours really feel intimate for me. We’re invited deep into the halls of 1 faith’s sacred house, and we bear witness to the best way close to strangers work together with their spirituality. And for about 5 minutes inside one of many temples, we sit collectively, a few of us meditating and others of us quietly absorbing the expertise.

The impact of the day at Paro Taktsang is highly effective, for the best way it accelerates the event of our group’s consolation and intimacy. The shuttle bus trip again to the lodge afterward is lots louder, goofier, and extra informal than the one to the trailhead only a few hours in the past. First impressions actually are all the pieces.

2022 Snowman Race - Paro Taktsang - Tigers Nest Monsatery - Bhutanese women runners

Bhutanese ladies runners beneath Paro Taktsang, or Tiger’s Nest Monastery. From left to proper are Lhamo, Tashi Chozom, Pema Zam, Vivi Tshering, Kinzang Lhamo, and Karma Yangden. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Snowman Race Day 1: An Auspicious Begin

My alarm rings right here in Gasa, Bhutan, however I’ve already been awake for a couple of minutes. My cellphone display says it’s 3:30 a.m. on October 13, 2022. The inaugural version of the Snowman Race begins in a number of hours.

For a second, I lie nonetheless. I’m wondering in regards to the monks a number of miles up the hill at Gasa Dzong, a historic fortress that now serves because the non secular and administrative epicenter of the Gasa district of Bhutan and the place the occasion will begin at 6 a.m., and if they’re awake.

2022 Snowman Race - Gaza Dzong - raven

A raven flies over Gasa Dzong, the place the 2022 Snowman Race would start. Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Just a few days in the past, Gasa Dzong’s head monk, Tshering Penjor, welcomed the Snowman Race contributors and some of its many organizers into the dzong. Over tea and momos, served to our group of about 40 in one of many dzong’s temples by a few of the monks who dwell, research, and pray there, he stated it was his and the monks’ job to make sure the occasion’s auspicious — a phrase which means fortunate or fortuitous that’s used incessantly in Bhutan, and which might be co-opted into on a regular basis language from Buddhism’s Ashtamangala or eight auspicious symbols — passage by means of Gasa district.

He defined then that already the monks had begun their prayers for the occasion, and that they’d get up early on race morning to carry out a prayer ritual for us.

2022 Snowman Race - Gasa Dzong - Tshering Penjor - Bhutanese runners

Just a few days earlier than the beginning of the 2022 Snowman Race, Gasa Dzong’s head monk, Tshering Penjor (middle), addresses Bhutanese athlete Vivi Tshering whereas seven of the 9 Bhutanese runners who would take part within the race observe. Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Gasa Dzong is perched atop a hillside close to the highest of Gasa village, its profile dominated by three watchtowers. The dzong was constructed within the seventeenth century to assist shield the area from invaders from what’s now the Tibetan Autonomous Area, positioned to the north of Bhutan. Although the area has skilled peace for a whole lot of years, sustaining regional security and performance stays a critical matter for the district’s non secular and administrative management.

After we arrive at Gasa Dzong round 5 a.m., the monks sit with their legs crossed beneath them, in a number of lengthy rows in a classroom, chanting. We racers are welcomed to look at and pay attention. Scripture books, one for each two or three monks, sit in entrance of them, however they appear to chant extra from reminiscence than the books.

Younger to outdated, they gown of their conventional purple clothes, their eyes tilted downward towards the bottom, save for stolen glances in our course, they maybe as inquisitive about us as we’re of them. We might be taught later that one in every of Karma Yangden’s teenage sons — who’s learning to be a monk — is on this group praying.

At 6 a.m. sharp, as mild begins to flood the inky blue sky of a receding night time, and after probably the most elaborate beginning ceremony I’ve but witnessed in a lifetime of operating race begins, a starter’s pistol sends us 29 athletes operating towards the highlands.

2022 Snowman Race - Gasa Dzong - monks praying

Earlier than the beginning of the 2022 Snowman Race, monks pray at Gasa Dzong for the protected passage of the race. Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Snowman Race Day 1: She Soars

I’ve reached the end line of the Snowman Race’s first stage — American Roxy Vogel and I descended from the path all the way down to our campsite and crossed the road hand-in-hand, the 2 of us having spent the ultimate 90 minutes of excessive altitude meandering collectively.

A lot of the 29 of us will make it right here, to Night time Halt 1, positioned at about 4,940 meters (16,200 ft) above sea stage, although a few of us will arrive after darkish. These of us who don’t will probably be too affected by the altitude to get right here, although none of us escape its imposition fully.

2022 Snowman Race - Night Halt 1 - Roxy Vogel - Meghan Hicks

Individuals Roxy Vogel (left) and Meghan Hicks end Day 1 of the 2022 Snowman Race. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Camp sits amongst hummocky highlands terrain. Mountains instantly to our south rise virtually 1,000 extra meters (3,280 ft) above us. The scene is figuratively as breathtaking because the altitude is actually so.

Roxy and I promptly start the chore of placing ourselves again collectively once more in order that we will do the identical factor tomorrow. We drink restoration drinks, wash our muddy sneakers, socks, and legs in a creek, and climb into dry garments. We’re not in camp for half-hour when an avalanche releases from the face of one of many mountains, the snow roaring because it tumbles, cascading out of view behind an infinite lateral moraine.

Moraines are the piles of rocks that are left behind the entrance and sides of a glacier because it recedes, the detritus of the earth it’s chewed up on its gradual march. Through the remaining hour or so of operating into camp, we had sneaking glimpses behind the moraine of a turquoise lake and countless piles of rocks. We’ll be taught later that this big moraine as soon as shaped one of many boundaries of a glacier which poured itself off these mountains and out into the flatter terrain a kilometer additional than it does now. We be taught that it’s one in every of many examples we’ll see within the coming days of glacial retreat and an in-our-face lesson of local weather change.

2022 Snowman Race - Himalayas - glacial lake example

A glacial lake within the Bhutanese Himalaya, close to Night time Halt 1 of the 2022 Snowman Race. As you possibly can see, water is pooling within the moraine, or rocks left by a retreating glacier, to type the lake. If a glacial lake grows too massive too quick attributable to glacial melting, it’s susceptible to bursting from the moraine and inflicting a catastrophic flood, what scientists name a glacial lake outburst flood. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

If I may be trustworthy, as we speak can also be a lesson within the slowness of ahead progress right here. We cowl one thing like 46.5 kilometers (29 miles) and acquire one thing like 3,080 meters (10,100 ft). It takes me 9 hours and 41 minutes on the race clock. Our tempo is muted by a trio of variables, after all by that altitude, the five-kilogram (11 kilos) pack of necessary gear we’re carrying to remain protected, and the mud that’s omnipresent if you find yourself beneath treeline.

Although the going was gradual, it was spectacular. From Gasa, we first traveled north, up the Mo Chu valley earlier than turning east right into a feeder drainage till we arrived to Roduphu, a small outpost hugging the facet of a large, flat valley composed of some empty rock huts sometimes used for Bhutanese navy patrols, nomadic locals, and Snowman Trek vacationers. After Roduphu, the path hucked itself skyward within the day’s steepest pitch.

All day the climate was moody, providing solely caged glances of the excessive ridges and peaks, with a little bit of rain, snow flurries, and graupel. As I climbed out of Roduphu, I regarded ahead and backward, on the lengthy string of us runners grinding uphill. Amongst us was one individual transferring quicker than everybody else: Karma Yangden.

Shortly she scampered previous me, leaping from rock to rock as we crossed forwards and backwards over a large stream. It wasn’t lengthy till she and her simply identifiable purple hat disappeared over a knoll, and he or she went on to succeed in the night time halt one thing like 20 minutes forward of me.

Whereas we runners are all the time reaching for our personal circulate state, the one factor that could be higher is seeing one other endurance runner in their very own. I liked watching Karma soar up right here, amongst the rocks and the sky.

Snowman Race Day 2: The place Wild Issues Roam

After we are launched off the beginning line within the pre-dawn of Day 2, we runners slow-motion slingshot towards the sky. Positive, we’re a lot energetic and our eagerness has but no bounds, however that altitude has a chokehold on all of that, so our tempo doesn’t fairly match our vitality.

2022 Snowman Race - Narithang - Night Halt 1 - start of Day 2

The 2022 Snowman Race contributors pose earlier than the beginning of Day 2 at Night time Halt 1 with the camp organizers. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Our first vacation spot for as we speak is Karchung La, one of many main passes we’ll traverse this week. It sits at 5,164 meters (16,940 ft), is blanketed with a skinny snow layer, and is adorned with a pair dozen prayer flags.

We’re already up excessive, however Karchung La’s northeast view is of a wall of peaks, that are a lot greater. That is the second day of my first go to to the Himalaya, and yesterday the excessive peaks hid shyly within the clouds. This morning’s sky is sort of cloudless and this view is insane.

We have been advised forward of time that the Bhutanese athletes, the 9 of which collaborating on this race, divided into 4 ladies and 5 males, would seemingly take a second to wish at every go — strolling a clockwise circle across the go’s largest cairn in the identical manner and for a similar goal that they circumambulate the prayer wheels, temples, and chortens again in civilization, a Buddhist non secular apply.

We’re a prepare of ladies once we arrive at Karchung La, a mixture of Bhutanese and worldwide contributors. I’m not precisely certain what I used to be anticipating however what occurs subsequent is completely surprising. Any prayers being stated by anybody are to oneself because the Bhutanese girls launch down the go like little rockets simply alighted. It is a race and so they imply enterprise.

Australian Nicki Rehn and I are left alone. We snap a fast selfie, squawk in regards to the view, after which drop in and let it rip. The snow on the path is stomped flat, offers nice traction, and squeaks as chilly snow does.

2022 Snowman Race - Karchung La - Lhamo

Bhutanese runner Lhamo descends from the go known as Karchung La throughout Day 2 of the 2022 Snowman Race. The altitude right here is about 5,060 meters (16,600 ft). Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

One thing like two thirds of the best way down from Karchung La to the river valley far beneath us, the solar lastly reaches us and the path rapidly turns from squeaky to slushy. Nicki, U.S. runner Sarah Keyes, and I come to relaxation with our eyes on the comparatively recent observe of a wild animal by means of the snow, which fell a pair nights in the past. I snap a pair pictures.

We’re fairly certain it’s a wild cat observe — it seems almost equivalent in measurement and form to the mountain lion tracks I sometimes see the place I dwell within the Western U.S. Tonight, at Night time Halt 2, we’ll affirm with a forestry official there that that is certainly the observe of a snow leopard, one of many shyest, rarest, and most endangered wild cats on the earth.

2022 Snowman Race - snow leopard print in snow below Karchung La

A snow leopard print in snow beneath the go known as Karchung La through the 2022 Snowman Race. Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

We’re nonetheless touring northeast, as we’ve got been since Roduphu yesterday afternoon throughout Day 1, and we’ll proceed this manner till we attain the river valley. That assembly level would be the closest we’ve gotten so far to the Bhutan-Tibet border, below 11 kilometers (7 miles) because the raven flies from there. And we’re within the thick of Jigme Dorji Nationwide Park, Bhutan’s second-largest nationwide park, positioned right here within the northern a part of the nation, and a part of the 42% of the nation’s space which is federally protected — an insane quantity of actual property in comparison with most different nations’ wildscape preserves — to assist preserve wildlife populations like that of the uncommon snow leopard in addition to the agrarian lifestyle of the agricultural Bhutanese.

We three proceed downhill, persevering with what will probably be a hours-long sport of leapfrog effectively down the river valley, with Sarah first taking level, Nicki on the center spot, and me the caboose. I can simply barely make out Nicki shouting as we bounce amongst the slush, mud, and the views of the most important mountains I’ve personally ever seen.

She couldn’t be extra exact as she shouts, “That is wild!”

Snowman Race Day 3: What Goes Up Should Come Down

The bigness of Days 1 and a couple of have been youngster’s play compared to what we’ll expertise on Day 3. As we speak we’ll crest the best level of the race, Gophu La — “la” is go in Dzongkha, however perhaps you’ve sorted that out — at 5,472 meters (17,955 ft) altitude.

It’s not solely a lofty vacation spot, however it’s additionally probably the most distant a part of the Snowman Race course, and it moreover marks the boundary between Jigme Dorji Nationwide Park and Wangchuck Centennial Nationwide Park, the latter the biggest nationwide park of the nation. This would be the form of wild I’ve not skilled earlier than.

However, manner larger than all this, and with the intention to get from the place we’re, a village known as Lhedi within the Pho Chu valley, to Gophu La within the first place, we should journey by means of the location of one in every of Bhutan’s greatest examples of local weather change.

Glacial lakes are lakes which type on the base of typically receding and melting glaciers, their soften water bunching up on the moraine. In these settings, the glacial soften water is held again by rock piles as younger because the water itself, not some historic, laborious bedrock. Typically, too, what scientists name lifeless ice is in that moraine, glacial remnants that make the moraine impenetrable to glacial lake water.

Because the lakes develop, they principally leak simply sufficient water into the earth and the drainages beneath them to exist sustainably. Not often, however with rising frequency because the local weather quickly warms, they fill till they burst in what’s known as a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF).

On October 6 and seven, 1994, the glacial lake Lugge Tscho — “tscho” is lake in Dzongkha — burst, and violently flooded the river valley beneath it. Twenty-one folks up and down the Pho Chu valley died, extra have been injured, livestock killed, property destroyed, and the entire of the river valley modified type with flood waters closely eroding some components of the valley, ripping out hundreds of timber and vegetation together with it, and depositing sediment that rendered prior agrarian terrain unusable.

2022 Snowman Race - Lugge Tscho GLOF boulders

Throughout Day 3 of the 2022 Snowman Race, wanting down the Pho Chu valley towards the village of Lhedi within the distant proper, miles of boulders fill the valley, which have been deposited within the Lugge Tscho glacial lake outburst flood. Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

These lakes and their GLOFs have been studied intimately world wide, together with within the Himalaya. Scientists have concluded that a few of them are the pure outcomes of the retreat of the Little Ice Age, the world’s most up-to-date ice age, and others are the results of local weather change. The Lugge Tscho GLOF was an impact of local weather change.

For greater than 16 kilometers (10 miles) on the morning of Day 3, we journey up the valley containing Pho Chu and see how the valley was modified by the Lugge Tscho GLOF. In doing so, I fall into a woman gang. There are 5 of us ladies operating and powerhiking in lockstep, Bhutanese runners Lhamo and Kinzang Lhamo, Individuals Roxy Vogel and Emily Keddie, and myself.

Lhamo and Kinzang basically take turns pacesetting, and us Individuals fall principally into line behind them. We’re working collectively, chatting a bunch, and total pleasant as all heck, however there may be some gaming occurring too.

The Bhutanese girls are transferring conservatively, extra so than I’ve seen them transfer all week, clearly not eager to work too laborious so early on this actually laborious day. And Roxy, Emily, and I are a bit antsy — and naïve, in my case not less than — making small breaks right here and there to maneuver a bit more durable. However Lhamo and Kinzang cowl every transfer, and we find yourself shut collectively for all of those first 10 miles.

2022 Snowman Race - Tschojong - women runners

Throughout Day 3 of the 2022 Snowman Race, runners strategy the village of Tschojong. From left to proper are Kinzang Lhamo, Emily Keddie, Lhamo, and Roxy Vogel. On the proper of the picture, extreme river financial institution erosion because of the Lugge Tscho glacial lake outburst flood is seen. Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Quickly we’re on the fringe of a village known as Tschojong, which appropriately interprets from Dzongkha as valley of the lake. We’re only a few kilometers downstream from Lugge Tscho and not less than three different lakes which have names on the map and which scientists say are excessive danger lakes for GLOFs.

Locals have come out to look at our progress, two elders providing us yak cheese and slices of apples for our journey — manner up right here above treeline and in such a distant spot, these choices are of excessive worth. Home yaks bathe within the river and graze. The solar has risen above the mountain tops, melting frost off the tundra and lifting our spirits towards the road of glacier-covered peaks to our north, a few of them 7,080 meters (23,250 ft) tall. We ladies race collectively in a pleasant competitorship — all the time variety however all the time pushing to rise us all greater. The scene is, for me, as idyllic as one might think about a race by means of the Bhutanese Himalaya to be.

However we all know all will not be completely effectively on this valley, and shortly we’re operating atop extra proof of its sordid previous. A several-kilometer lengthy set of sand dunes deposited right here by the Lugge Tscho GLOF is among the a number of bodily reminders of the flood on this valley.

2022 Snowman Race - Tschojong - Lugge Tscho GLOF erosion

A view wanting up the valley from the village of Tschojong through the 2022 Snowman Race. Proof of the Lugge Tscho glacial lake outburst flood may be seen by way of river financial institution erosion and huge sand dunes within the distance. Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

We make our manner up the valley, by means of yet another settlement, and throughout the spectacular Pho Chu on an equally spectacular metallic suspension bridge. I replicate on how this river will need to have raged throughout that GLOF.

It’s thus with some solemnity that we start a giant climb up one of many valley’s shoulders towards Gophu La. I attempt my finest to sear these moments into reminiscence, in order that I can share this story with you. However to be frank, there isn’t a making an attempt, a bit piece of my coronary heart stays within the valley backside, at the same time as our our bodies rise greater.

Our girls’ enchainment ultimately thins out, as we discover our personal paces within the equally thinning air. For me meaning coming to a short halt with my heiney on the tundra to eat a Snickers bar; I’m on the sting of bonking and we’ve bought an extended option to go, so it’s time to absorb much more energy.

If snarfing a Snickers is a typical ultrarunner scene, then so is the puke-and-rally that follows. We’ve ticked previous the 5,000-meter (16,400 ft) mark, and I assume my physique is telling me that it’s time for liquid energy solely.

After what looks as if a really very long time, I lastly crest Gophu La. It’s extra like the best hill of a large plateau than a steep headwall, and ready here’s a member of the Bhutanese military, one in every of a a number of dozen of those of us who’re assigned to assist hold us protected this week.

I snap a pair pictures, hearken to him radio my bib quantity into the Snowman Secretariat base which is monitoring the race’s progress all week again within the metropolis of Thimphu, take within the lengthy mild of the afternoon, and really feel overcome by a way of euphoria.

2022 Snowman Race - near Gophu La 2

A view wanting backward on the 2022 Snowman Race course from close to the race’s excessive level, a go known as Gophu La, which is 5,472 meters (17,955 ft) tall. Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

I’m effectively fueled and my physique feels good, I’ve now handed all of the members of this morning’s girl gang, and I’ve even come up shut behind the primary and second place ladies for as we speak, Karma Yangden and Tashi Chozom, the latter of whom is the fourth Bhutanese lady within the race.

Together with the enjoyment comes a small sense of smugness. I believe, With a bit oomph I’ll catch the ladies in entrance of me and we’ll be into the night time halt by sundown.

That is effectively and actually a case of well-known final phrases as a result of quickly the course markings develop into sparse so I start navigating by the Gaia app on my cellphone, which requires slower motion. Subsequent a fog comes up the valley and envelops all the pieces greater than 100 ft away, stopping me from utilizing any long-view landmarks to navigate, slowing issues some extra. Then night time follows, which suggests one’s worldview is restricted to the glow of your headlamp. And eventually, the campsite is nowhere to be seen on the GPS level we’ve been given for it.

The following a number of hours are a busy scene. First, Lhamo comes up behind me and we pair as much as work collectively. Subsequent, we sweep up Tashi who’s coming backward on the course, satisfied that we’ve missed the camp within the fog and night time. Then, the three of us are swept up by all of the runners behind us, who’d additionally packed up into a pair teams to work collectively, in addition to a pair members of the navy who’ve determined we might use a bit help to find camp.

In equity, we had been advised that navigation, somewhat than merely following course markings, could be required through the race. Nonetheless, up till Gophu La, the markings have been so good I’m undecided I’d wanted to navigate but. Additionally, the race group had advised us that Night time Halt 3 was additional downstream from the GPS level we got for it, as unhealthy climate had broken the deliberate campsite location. We have been advised to simply hold happening the route till we bought to camp. What we runners didn’t know was that the night time halt was greater than 5 kilometers (three miles) additional. So when virtually all the pieces was obscured by fog and darkness, and we stored going with out seeing any signal of camp for miles, it was straightforward to suppose we’d missed it.

As soon as we arrive to camp safely as an enormous group, and I lay my bruised ego and self down for a number of hours of shuteye, I muse on how the best highs appear to precede the bottom lows, and vice versa — in ultrarunning, in life, and I assume in local weather change too.

2022 Snowman Race - near Gophu La

The view from close to the go known as Gophu La on the 2022 Snowman Race course, positioned at 5,472 meters (17,955 ft) altitude. Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Snowman Race Day 4: Higher Collectively

I’ve recognized fellow Snowman Race participant Simon Mtuy, a Tanzanian runner, household man, mountain information, and farmer, for some 15 years. I met him in the summertime of the late two thousand aughts, he holed up within the greater reaches of California’s Sierra Nevada, coaching for the revered Western States 100, the place I used to be working and residing on the time. Our friendship has endured since then.

2022 Snowman Race - Narithang - Simon Mtuy

Tanzanian Simon Mtuy through the 2022 Snowman Race. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

I communicate the tiniest bits of Simon’s first language, Kiswahili, courtesy of a pair faculty programs, a semester overseas in Tanzania, and a few visits since then to East Africa. Simon’s all the time been keen to humor me and my horrible butcherings of his language.

That features this second, as we’re making our manner up the ultimate climb of Day 4. “Pole pole ndio mwendo,” is a Kiswahili proverb actually translating to, “slowly slowly is the best way,” and figuratively which means {that a} measured strategy is the very best one.

Simon and I’ve leapfrogged one another all day, and in doing so we’ve whispered these phrases to one another every time we go, peppering in some hoots and hollers of louder encouragement once we’ve accordioned out however the bends within the path and breaks within the terrain permit us to glimpse each other.

It’s typically stated that operating is a reasonably solitary endeavor. In contrast to some sports activities that are constructed upon a workforce basis, the overwhelming majority of adults who run will not be members of a operating workforce. Whereas operating as a common sport might pattern towards the solitary, ultrarunning is the area of interest nook of the game the place the assistance of others is actually a requisite of our motion towards the end line. An ultrarunner travels to this point and for therefore lengthy that they typically can’t accomplish that with out the help of somebody, someplace — and generally numerous it.

Perhaps it is a purpose a few of us have an ultrarunning bent, that we’ve got some not absolutely understood need to share the expertise with one thing past the within of our personal skulls? That is not less than the case for me on this mountainside as we speak.

2022 Snowman Race - view of Julay Tscho and Night Halt 4 from Gongte La

A view throughout Day 4 of the 2022 Snowman Race, wanting down on the lake known as Julay Tscho from the go named Gongte La. On the far facet of the lake is Night time Halt 4, the place runners would sleep after the fourth day of operating. The lake’s altitude is 4,330 meters (14,200 ft). Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

I might additionally argue that working collectively is all the time higher. You may all the time do extra with others than you are able to do alone. Simon and I, we’re each working fairly laborious, and we’re a bit drained on this fourth day at excessive altitude and after many kilometers coated, however his phrases of encouragement amplify my motion. We cross the end line a minute or so aside, I most actually having gotten there quicker due to him.

Quick ahead a number of days into the long run, as soon as the Snowman Race is over, to the place Simon shares with me a bag of espresso he’s farmed to get pleasure from again residence. The bag of espresso bears his firm’s title: Umoja.

It is a Kiswahili phrase I instantly acknowledge, and which couldn’t have a extra acceptable which means for our hike up that mountainside, our collective participation on this race, and our world’s crucial work on the issue of local weather change.

“Umoja” means collectively, due to course it does.

2022 Snowman Race - Simon Mtuy - Meghan Hicks

The 2022 Snowman Race contributors Simon Mtuy (proper) and Meghan Hicks after the occasion’s completion. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Snowman Race Day 5: The Day the Complete Nation Ran with Us

Whereas it could be a bit simpler to make it on the nationwide information in nation of lower than one million folks, and there may be additionally the truth that the Snowman Race was ideated by the His Majesty The King of Bhutan himself, it turns into instantly clear through the remaining miles of Day 5, as we come off the distant Snowman Trek route and make our manner alongside dust and paved roads to the Snowman Race’s end line within the middle of the city of Bumthang, that everybody out right here is aware of one thing of what we’ve been doing again there.

2022 Snowman Race - Karma Yangden - winning the race

Karma Yangden wins the 2022 Snowman Race. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

First, there may be an elevated navy presence, it looks as if there are military males each couple kilometers to ask us how we’re doing and radio in our race quantity to base.

Subsequent it’s the faculties, most likely round six of them alongside the path to the end line. At each, all the youngsters await us to go, holding indicators they’ve made containing messages in regards to the atmosphere and cheering.

After that it’s the nationwide volunteer group in Bhutan known as the Desuups, one thing just like the U.S.’s lengthy gone Civilian Conservation Corps. Of their neon orange outfits they line the route, providing water and juice.

And eventually there may be the stadium end line, stuffed with what needs to be 1,000 folks. I can rely on one hand the variety of ultrarunning races I’ve been to with greater than 1,000 followers on the end line, but right here, in little Bhutan, they collect.

2022 Snowman Race - finish line

Onlookers on the 2022 Snowman Race end line in Bumthang, Bhutan. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Forward of me on the end line by loads of actual property is Karma Yangden, who wins the ladies’s race, away from the remainder of the sphere by a cumulative two hours over 5 days of racing. Behind her are Kinzang Lhamo and Lhamo who take second and third. Within the males’s race, Gawa Zangpo of Bhutan earns the lads’s crown.

By the point I cross the end line I really feel like the entire nation has run with us this week. It makes me really feel like this sport of touring round within the mountains is extra than simply sating my wandering fever. That doing this, that being on this second, that carrying these tales from all the best way on the market to you studying alongside right here, issues — not less than a bit.

2022 Snowman Race - Karma Yangden - Gawa Zangpo - Luis Escobar - champions and race director

The 2022 Snowman Race champions Karma Yangden (left) and Gawa Zangpo (proper) with race director Luis Escobar. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

To Maintain Hope Frivolously

Within the early morning hours of June 16, 2021, heavy rains fell over a big swath of Bhutan and neighboring international locations, triggering a number of flash floods and landslides in each Bhutan and Nepal, destroying property and stealing lives.

Within the mountains above the Bhutanese village of Laya, residence to 2022 Snowman Race ladies’s champion Karma Yangden, a landslide broke unfastened and tore by means of a campsite stuffed with sleeping cordyceps collectors. Ten Layaps have been killed, 5 have been injured, and a bunch of the collected cordyceps was washed away.

Among the many deceased have been 4 of Karma’s kin.

2022 Snowman Race - Bhutan - Himalayas - horse skull

Life and demise within the Bhutanese Himalaya. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

It was the worst tragedy in remembered Laya historical past, however not the worst tragedy induced by a altering local weather in Bhutanese historical past. It’s only one amongst a rising assortment of tales, a number of of which we noticed the results of through the Snowman Race.

It’s terrifically ironic that the 2022 Snowman Race, an occasion with the tagline “The Final Race for Local weather Motion,” ladies’s champion is a survivor herself of a local weather change catastrophe.

What now? That is the thought which has stored me awake at night time within the time that’s handed for the reason that race completed.

What will we do with what we learn about Karma and the best way local weather change is threatening her village’s well-being? Of bearing witness to the indicators and signs of the retreat of glaciers’ impact on the panorama of Bhutan? Of seeing villages of individuals whose lives modified as soon as due to the local weather disaster and whose lives will most likely change once more?

What actions will we Snowman Race contributors take utilizing the data we’ve discovered? And will we, can we’ve got hope for a distinct future?

2022 Snowman Race - Bhutan - Punakha Dzong

Punakha Dzong, one in every of Bhutan’s emblematic constructions, is positioned about 90 kilometers (56 miles) downstream within the Pho Chu valley of Lugge Tscho, the glacial lake which burst in a catastrophic flood in 1994, inflicting lack of life and property all through the valley. Punakha Dzong skilled minor harm in that flood. Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Westerners have an odd relationship with hope — I’m saying this as a Westerner with that relationship myself.

“I hope it’s heat subsequent week for our get together!”

“I hope I’ve this child quickly!”

“I hope we will gradual the local weather disaster.”

In these statements are needs about issues we can’t management: the climate, when a lady’s physique decides a child is absolutely baked, and if the leaders of highly effective firms and nations, in addition to billions of particular person people, will determine to cut back their environmental impacts.

Buddhism, I’ve discovered, prefers a extra ethereal relationship with hope.

2022 Snowman Race - Kinzang Lhamo portrait

A portrait of Bhutanese runner Kinzang Lhamo who took second on the 2022 Snowman Race. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

American Sharon Salzberg, creator, Buddhist, and instructor of meditation and different Jap practices, wrote, “The hope resides within the certainty of aid not in particular outcomes, like getting precisely what we wish; the hope comes from the best way issues really are on this universe: This too shall go.”

This doesn’t imply that Buddhists don’t have hope, Sharon Salzberg says, somewhat that they endeavor to carry hope frivolously. That’s, it isn’t that they dwell within the absence of hope, however somewhat they dwell with an acceptance that our particular person wishes can’t infer large-scale final result.

Operating consultants inform us this exact same factor, that we should always connect ourselves to the processes, however not the outcomes, of our operating.

“I hope I get on the rostrum at this weekend’s race,” is an announcement which hinges a working definition of success on the uncontrollable variables of the others who enter the race and how briskly they run.

“I’d prefer to run inside 10% of my PR on this course,” is thus a extra process-oriented strategy to our operating, setting the usual for fulfillment in circumstances over which we will management, like our pace, pacing, and technique.

2022 Snowman Race - monastery on hill above Thimphu Bhutan

A monastery on a hill far above Thimphu, Bhutan. Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

The concept of a lightweight, Buddhist, process-centric strategy to hope may also be present in an untitled poem of prized American poet Emily Dickenson. Right here’s the primary stanza:

“Hope” is the factor with feathers —
That perches within the soul —
And sings the tune with out the phrases —
And by no means stops — in any respect —

Dickenson’s model of hope is, metaphorically, an unceasingly vocal music hen.

And maybe actually, this hope is the notion of wanting ahead and transferring onward that exists inside us, as a result of — and perhaps in spite — of the human situation.

It’s this exact form of hope, the flexibility of resiliency or equanimity, the motion of continuing frivolously it doesn’t matter what is occurring round us, that I believe I noticed within the Bhutanese folks typically, and in folks like Karma Yangden particularly.

2022 Snowman Race - Bhutan - Himalayas - horse

A pack horse grazing within the Bhutanese Himalaya. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Dickenson’s poem has two extra stanzas:

And sweetest — within the Gale — is heard —
And sore should be the storm —
That would abash the little Fowl
That stored so many heat —

I’ve heard it within the chillest land —
And on the strangest Sea —
But — by no means — in Extremity,
It requested a crumb — of me.

I discovered a lot throughout my weeks in Bhutan, however a very powerful factor that I discovered is that this: all of us should, figuratively, sing.

His and Her Majesties The King and The Queen of Bhutan, the Snowman Race Secretariat, and the handfuls of people that made this logistically inconceivable occasion occur for the aim of conveying a message about local weather change to the world, they sing. Karma Yangden and the opposite Bhutanese runners who dwell amidst a storm of worldwide local weather change swirling round them, they sing, too.

And so right here I’m, singing, too, holding onto hope simply as frivolously as my Western-raised mind can tolerate.

2022 Snowman Race - Karchung La

Karchung La is a go sitting at 5,164 meters (16,940 ft) altitude within the Bhutanese Himalaya. The 2022 Snowman Race crossed Karchung La on Day 2. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell

Thank You

“Kadrin chhe la,” thanks in Dzongkha, to all of the folks and entities who enabled my participation within the Snowman Race, and people from whom I’ve discovered alongside the best way.

Kadrin chhe la to His Majesty The King and Her Majesty The Queen of Bhutan; the Snowman Race Secretariat; Luis Escobar, Thomas Reiss, and the remainder of the Snowman Race group; and the 28 different athletes with whom we shared this expertise..

Thanks explicitly to Snowman Race Secretariat members Sonam Euden and Sonam Rinchen, who enriched my expertise in Bhutan.

And namey samey kadrin chhe la to Karma Yangden for permitting me to be taught and share a small a part of your story.

2022 Snowman Race - Paro Taktsang - Tigers Nest Monsatery - race participants and organizers group photo

The entire 2022 Snowman Race contributors and a few of the occasion organizers beneath Paro Taktsang, or Tiger’s Nest Monastery. Photograph: iRunFar/Bryon Powell


  1. https://www.adb.org/options/bhutan-s-hydropower-sector-12-things-know
  2. https://toolkit.local weather.gov/areas/southeast/rural-impacts#:~:textual content=Ruralpercent20communitiespercent20havepercent20longpercent20madepercent20theirpercent20livelihoodspercent20frompercent20farmingpercent20and,inher
  3. https://www.ipcc.ch/web site/property/uploads/2018/02/WGIIAR5-Chap9_FINAL.pdfentlypercent20vulnerablepercent20topercent20climatepercent20change.
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paro_Taktsang
  5. https://core.ac.uk/obtain/pdf/38048989.pdf
  6. https://www.gasa.gov.bt/gewogs/lunan
  7. https://www.researchgate.internet/determine/Area-of-study-Lugge-Tsho-was-the-source-of-the-1994-GLOF-event-while-Raphstreng-Tsho_fig1_344302893
  8. https://www.alliedacademies.org/articles/tsho-glacial-lake-outburst-flood-glof-in-bhutan-cause-and-impact.pdf
  9. https://www.jstor.org/steady/3673897?origin=crossref
  10. https://www.bbs.bt/information/?p=151711
  11. https://onbeing.org/weblog/sharon-salzberg-how-to-hold-hope-lightly/
  12. https://www.edickinson.org/editions/4/image_sets/80358
2022 Snowman Race - Lhamo portrait

A portrait of Bhutanese runner Lhamo, who completed third on the 2022 Snowman Race. Photograph: iRunFar/Meghan Hicks

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles