Spring cryosphere field expedition and scoping visit to Langtang Valley, Nepal


About the field expedition 

Researchers from the Cryosphere Initiative of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) are scheduled to conduct research activities in various research sites in Langtang Valley this spring (28 April to 15 May 2019). 

ICIMOD and its partners have been monitoring the entire Langtang catchment in Rasuwa, Nepal as part of the Cryosphere Monitoring Programme. The Cryosphere Initiative is funded by the Government of Norway.

While in the field, the team will carry out the following activities, part of long-term cryosphere monitoring: 

  • Continue regular monitoring of Yala Glacier’s mass balance using stake measurement and DGPS survey

  • Conduct maintenance of automatic weather stations and hydrological stations along the valley. Seven weather stations have been installed in the Langtang catchment.

  • Monitor glacier and geomorphological surface change using an unmanned aerial vehicle 

  • Collect data on ground surface temperature for permafrost study

  • Capture time-lapse photos to monitor snow coverage in the valley

  • Organize a short presentation to the local communities about the status of the cryosphere in Langtang Valley

About the scoping visit 

A team of social scientists from ICIMOD will accompany the research team to conduct scoping activities from 28 April to 7 May 2019. Their aim is to understand the effect of cryospheric changes on communities in the Langtang Valley through community meetings, focus group discussions, and key informant interviews with women and men from various age groups, castes, and economic classes. Similar discussions will be held with other stakeholders, including trekkers and porters, who are not part of the Langtang community but play an important role in the community. 

The team will: 

  • Conduct scoping activities in the two most populated village in Langtang valley: Kyanjing and Langtang. Other villages will be explored as needed. 

  • Collect qualitative information on cryosphere–community linkages 

  • Inform communities about ICIMOD’s cryosphere research activities over the years 

  • Conduct pre- and post-presentation assessments of participants to assess the baseline knowledge regarding cryospheric changes 

The findings of the scoping visit will be used to design the research methodology to better understand some crucial relationships such as that between cryosphere services and high mountain communities.