Rikha Samba Glacier Expedition in Nepal


A research team from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Kathmandu University will be heading to Rikha Samba Glacier in Lower Mustang, Nepal to carry out annual data collection activities. The annual research expedition is part of the Cryosphere Monitoring Programme of the Cryosphere Initiative supported by the Government of Norway. 

While in the field, the team will coordinate to carry out the following activities: 

  • Conduct the annual glacier mass balance measurement, re-drill or extend stakes, and conduct snow survey (snow pit and snow probing) 
  • Carry out routine maintenance work and download data from the automatic weather station (AWS) and automatic water level sensor (AWLS)
  • Measure river discharge near the Rikha Samba outlet  
Installing AWS on Rikha Samba Glacier, May 2017. 
Photo: Tika Gurung/ICIMOD 

Rikha Samba Glacier is a valley-type, debris-free glacier located in Mustang District, Nepal, on the leeward side of the Himalaya. It feeds the Kaligandaki River, one of the important tributaries of the Gandaki River Basin. The glacier extends from 5,421 to 6,507 metres above sea level with a total length of 5.5 kilometres (km) and an area of 5.32 km2, which makes it the largest and the longest glacier amongst the10 glaciers in the Hidden Valley.