Facts about the mountains in the Himalayas

Mountains in the Himalayas

global warming and its impacts are a grim reality. The mountains in the Himalayas are, unfortunately, a global climate change hot spot and the wildlife of the region, as well as the people who live there, are feeling the change. In fact, many people rely on these Himalayan glaciers for water, and millions of people rely on their very health, thanks to this fragile mountain range. Climate change in the mountains in the Himalayas is a real threat as many glacial lakes are starting to form. It is the very rate at which the ice is melting, which is causing these lakes to grow alarmingly. If the water can’t be contained, it will sweep down into the valleys and wash homes, bridges, roads and lives away. The problem of rising temperatures is nothing new, the world has been aware of it for years and with the Himalayas, it will affect several countries such as Nepal, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, China and Bhutan, if not the whole world.

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4 mountain sports you can try today

4 mountain sports that are both challenging and fun

Wherever mountains stand, there will also be a lot of opportunities for great sports activities. So what are 4 mountain sports that you can try today? Mountain sports take place in mountainous or hilly terrain, so most of the sports require some special equipment and some specialised training, because of the higher risk levels. However, if you do not have the training just yet – why not try to find a local climber’s club where you can start with the theory, then later go into climbing in groups or at a climbing wall? Paragliding is another fun mountain sport that, if you do it solo, requires some training. You can, however, go on a tandem paraglide, which means that you get to try the thrill of it, and at the same time be very safe with the experienced instructor guiding you from the same equipment. In the winter, you could go freeriding in the mountains, proven that you have some experience. If you don’t, you will have to get good at skiing first. Start out practising on pistes and when you’re really good, start slowly with ski mountaineering and freeriding. In the summer, mountain biking can be an absolute thrill. It might sound a bit odd biking in the mountains, but have a look at some competitions to get inspired. Mont Ste Anne to host the world mountain bike championship for the third time. The mountain is located in Canada, Quebec. So, do all these 4 mountain sports require extensive training? No, hiking is another fun activity that doesn’t require a lot of expensive equipment nor training. Find out some fun walking trails, lace up your boots and head off! Challenge yourself, but make sure to drink plenty of water while you’re at it, and be safe.

Trekking in the blue mountains in Australia

Blue mountains in Australia

Because of its position, less than 2 hours from Sydney, many Australian city dwellers head out to the Blue Mountains for a reprieve from stifling city life. It isn’t surprising that the beauty and sites have meant many kinds of accommodation being established to cater for ardent nature lovers visiting the blue mountains national park. There are many activities one can enjoy as well. This wonderful protected park is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site which forms part of the Great Dividing Range. There are rivers, waterfalls, unusual rainforest plants and a number of mammals, birds and insects that make the park their home. Visitors to the Blue Mountains in Australia will be delighted with the many lookouts there are as well and the many short walks along cliffs and under waterfalls. For the more adventurous visitors, there is rock climbing, mountain biking, canyoning among other attractions. You can always book an adventure tour which will allow you easy access to all these thrilling activities. Visitors to the Blue Mountains in Australia will be in for many surprises, and they may even want to consider a trip on the Katoomba Scenic Railway, the steepest railway in the world. Small wonder that millions visit this wondrous park each year.

Blue mountains in Australia
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Skiing in Australia for Beginners and Experts

Skiing in Australia

When you think of the land down under, you think of safaris, sunny days, some beautiful beaches, but you might not think of popular winter sports. There’s nothing quite like skiing in Australia. A lot of people don’t know that some of the best skiing can be done there having always thought Australia was a hot sunny country. Skiing here is appealing as it caters for everyone, of all abilities and this is what makes it a fabulous family getaway, with excellent Aussie hospitality thrown in. In both Tasmania and Victoria there are ski fields you can visit to accommodate all types of skiers. The Thredbo Ski Resort is located close to Australia’s highest peak Mt. Kosciuszko and has the longest ski run in the country. Perisher Ski Resort has fields as large as twelve square kilometers and great runs for the advanced and beginning skier. Some have compared the lovely skiing atmosphere here to the very popular Mt Hutt skifield in New Zealand. If you’re looking for some great skiing in Australia these are the best places to start.

Mountains in Asia: The Western Ghats in India

Mountains in Asia: The Western Ghats

Mountains in Asia are geologically very different from each other. Take, for example, the Himalayas, which I discussed in the last post, and the Western Ghats. Unlike the high Himalayas, the Western Ghats are lower mountains, but with more life and bio-diversity. They have been listed as one of the most important ranges among mountains in Asia specifically for the conservation of endangered species of flora and fauna. The Western Ghats are older than the Himalayas. They are a reminder of the period when the Indian Peninsula broke away from Gondwana land. The Western Ghats are not only a mountain range, but a unique ecosystem that influences the whole of the Indian Peninsula. They are critical in regulating monsoons and acting as a barrier for clouds. The forests on these mountains are a unique example of the non-equatorial tropical evergreen forest. Over 300 species in these ranges are listed as threatened. Among these are over 200 plant species and the rest are animal species, which include mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish.

Some Facts About the Himalayas Part 2

Travelling back to the Himalayas has always been a huge dream of mine, and I was rather excited to finally able to make the plans and finalize the details. There was some time in the middle, when I thought I would not be able to go due to sudden financial troubles, but 5 minutes with the wonderful folk at www.payday247.com.au, and I was back on my feet again. Himalayas, here I come well hopefully, if the blockade continues the money will go to a Canadian Rockie trip,, just as exciting.

The Himalayas are one of the most recognized mountain ranges in the world. It’s home to some of the world’s tallest peaks- Mount Everest, K2, Kanchenjunga, etc. Geologically speaking, the Himalayas are fairly new- they are the youngest range of mountains in the world! Recent studies have shown that the mountains have not come to a rest- they still move about 20 mm every year. This continual tectonic activity is what causes earthquakes, landslides and avalanches on a frequent basis!

The Nepal Himalayas absolutely breathtaking

The Himalayas stretch across six countries- Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan. In fact, 75% of Nepal’s land area is covered by this mountain range. Nepal’s culture and history has been shaped by the Himalayas for a long time. Surprisingly, Nepal is home to some of the tallest peaks of the Himalayas. Of the top 15 tallest mountains in the world, 8 can be found in this small Hindu country, including Mount Everest ( where I had my honeymoon!). The Nepalese people call Mount Everest “Samgarmatha”, which means Goddess of the Universe. The sherpas that live in the Nepal Himalayas are experienced mountaineers, and usually help mountain climbers scale the mountains in the area. The most popular sherpa, of course, is Tenzing Norgay who, along with Edmund Hillary, was the first person atop Mount Everest. Fun fact: Norgay is said to have carried a couple of his daughter’s pencils with him, and once he reached the summit, he buried them there.

Mount Everest

Where there are mountains, there is water. Three major rivers (and hundreds of minor ones) originate in the Himalayas- the Indus, the Ganga, and the Yangtze (known as Brahmaputra, on the Indian subcontinent).

Stay tuned for even more exciting Himalayan facts!

 

 

Some facts about Himalayas Part I

The Himalayas
 The Himalayas

The highest and the youngest mountain range in the world are the mighty Himalayas. The term comes from sanskrit ” Him” meaning ice and “Alaya” meaning abode. In modern times Himalayas are the biggest challenge for mountaineers. With over 100 peaks rising to heights above 20000 feet it is indeed the highest place on earth. The Himalayas stretch  for about 1,551 miles (2,400 km) from west to east between Nanga Parbat in Pakistan occupied Kashmir to Namjagbarwa in Tibet.

The Himalayas can be divided into four longitudinal mountain ranges :

  1. Outer or Sub-Himalayas known popularly as the Shivalik Range
  2. The Lesser or Lower Himalayas.
  3. The Greater Himalayas.
  4. Tethys or the Tibetan Himalayas.

The ranges were formed due to crashing of the Indian subcontinent plate with the Eurasian plate. The place where the Himalayas now stand was a sea known as the Tethys Ocean. When the plate crash happened the rocks were thrown upwards forming a mountain range. Gradually the water from the ocean receded and the mountains came to fore. The vast amount of water became glaciers which are the birthplace of many rivers that flow across the Indian subcontinent in the present ear. Even till today fossils of sea animals are found in the Himalayas.

The Himalayas are the reason for India having monsoon rains. The monsoon winds carrying precipitation crash against the Himalayas causing monsoons. More interesting facts about Himalayas in the next post.

How Mountains are formed?

Formation of Mountains due to crashing tectonic plates

One of the most magnificent sights is a mountain range. Whether it is the Himalayas or the Rockies all have an enigmatic effect on the onlooker.

But do you know how these natural formations were formed? They did not fall out of sky or were placed from above as many scriptures say. Here are the ways these majestic structures were formed. There are various ways in which they are formed but all of these ways takes a long time.The Earth is made up of various tectonic plates which are just like tiles installed in our apartments and homes. When the earth’s tectonic plates crash against each other a fold is formed which results in the formation of what we call Young Fold Mountains. The most recent crash was the Indian plate crashing against the Eurasian plate forming the Himalayas. The crash place forces the rocks to rise up and form mountains. The last such activity which resulted in Himalayan Mountain range happened 25 million years ago. The plates are still pushing against each other and believe it or not the Himalayas are still rising.

Volcanic Mountains

Mountains are also formed due to volcanic activity. As a result of volcanic activity the molten  rock called magma is pushed up towards the surface of earth. It cools here and when the soft rock erodes a mountain is formed.Water erosion by rivers can also form mountains. In high plateaus rivers and stream carves away stone to form deep channels. Continuous erosion forms mountains between deep river valleys.