New Lakes, New Dangers :
The Hongu Valley, Nepal
In the remote Hongu Valley, nine potentially dangerous glacial lakes have formed in just the last few decades. Because they are so remote, they have received little study. With our 2009 and 2010 expeditions, led by the Mountain Institute and Hokkaido University, we began the process of studying the physical characteristics of these new lakes. This expedition attempted to navigate the river channel, to see what would be at risk in the event of a catastrophic outburst. This remote route had never been successfully completed by an expedition, and both previous attempts were met with disaster...

Trekking up the Khumbu valley in the shadow of Everest, we arrived at Imja Lake, a beautiful but rapidly expanding glacier lake that threatens the lives of the Sherpa people down below. This timelapse captures the journey through eternal snow, to alpine shrub, to the hypnotic movement of glacier ice.
Lake 464
Once we reached the remote Hongu, our first stop was Lake 464 - a body of water so newly formed by glacial melt that it doesn't even have a name. Upstream from thousands in Rai village communities, it might be a glacial lake outburst flood waiting to happen. 
The journey continued -- from subtropical jungle through mazes of rhododendron to the icy scree slopes of the ridge-line, we battled our way down the river valley to study the potential impacts of a glacial lake outburst flood. 

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