Meanwhile in Hong Kong

This autumn we will start a new fundraising and school linking partnership with Hong Kong's German Swiss International School (GSIS). Over the next few years, students and teachers will travel from Hong Kong to Nepal to spend a week in Solukhumbu at the Deusa Agro Forestry Resource Centre. The first cohort are due to arrive in Kathmandu in mid October. 

The partnership has come about as a result of a connection we made with the former headteacher of GSIS, Mary Peart. Mary has traveled to Nepal many times and visited Deusa with TGT and EcoHimal team last November. Now retired, Mary lives in Scotland, but returned to Hong Kong at the beginning of June to see old friends and visit GSIS. While she was there she caught up with the students and teachers who will be coming to Nepal. 

Mary reported back to us: 

On 4 June I met with the 12 students and two teachers from my former school, the German Swiss International School (GSIS), Hong Kong, who will be travelling to Deusa in October to visit the AFRC. Despite the challenging journey and very basic conditions I described to them, the students are excited at the unique opportunity they will have to see the work of the AFRC as well as to engage with the local community. The group will stay at the AFRC and will be actively involved in seasonal work there as well as constructing bio-intensive plots and learning a variety of local skills.

The students are fortunate to have this opportunity as a result of the partnership agreed between GSIS and The Glacier Trust. In the first of what we hope will be a successful fund-raising model, the students will raise funds for TGT for a minimum of two years and in return, in addition to the trip, TGT will keep the school up-dated on the project and provide case-study and other teaching materials.

We are preparing the visit very carefully to ensure that both the GSIS students and their counterparts in Deusa, get a fresh perspective on how life is lived around the world. Both rural Nepal and urban Hong Kong have challenges and opportunities for young people. These are vastly different environments where the lives people live are extremely different. Bringing students together in this way is a fantastic chance to explore previously held assumptions, challenge stereotypes and develop solidarity. The contrasts between life in Hong Kong and life in Deusa will be stark.

Firstly, the schools look quite different:

Deusa Secondary School

Deusa Secondary School

GSIS school, Hong Kong

GSIS school, Hong Kong

Then there are the roads, this is a particularly bad stretch on the track from Salleri to Deusa and the sort of highway that runs through the centre of Hong Kong:

The road to Deusa in Solukhumbu

The road to Deusa in Solukhumbu

Roads in downtown Hong Kong

Roads in downtown Hong Kong

Finally, here is what being 'down by the water' means in Deusa and Hong Kong:

Dhudh Kosi River, Deusa

Dhudh Kosi River, Deusa

Hong Kong waterfront

Hong Kong waterfront

Mary is raising funds for The Glacier Trust as part of this linking partnership. She is aiming 'bag' six Munro's in Torridon, Scotland. You can sponsor Mary via her fundraising page

Meanwhile, stay tuned for more news on this partnership and please get in touch if your school might be interested in organising a similar link with a school in Nepal. 

Focus on fundraising

We've been encouraging supporters in our network to do sponsored challenges for us and it is paying off! 

Off the back of the 'Around the Grounds' challenge that saw Glyn and Adam raise over £1,000 for TGT, there are five more fundraising pages live at the moment. To celebrate this, we thought we'd give you a quick rundown! 

Guto Edwards


First up, this weekend Guto Edwards will be running the Cheltenham Challenge. It is a cross country half marathon in what promises to be hot and humid conditions. Guto is raising money for TGT and LATCH, the Welsh Children's Cancer Charity. He has so far raised £500 and hopes to raise £750 by the end of the weekend. 

Mary Peart


Second, we have Mary Peart. Mary is a retired headteacher and is volunteering with TGT to help us organise a partnership between her former school GSIS Hong Kong and pupils at Deusa Secondary school in Solukhumbu. As part of the partnership, pupils, teachers and ex-headteachers(!) are raising funds for our project work in Deusa! Mary, who now lives in Scotland is aiming to 'bag' six Munro's in Torridon! Mary is aiming for £500 and is already up to £120! 

Dan Old - Purposeful.Money


Purposeful.Money exists to help raise awareness of the problems facing people and the planet, and to help solve them through the ‘better’ use of money. One of their co-founders, Dan Old, is setting out on a 100 km walk, the Jurassic Coast Challenge! The challenge takes place on July 22nd and Dan is walking as part of a team who are aiming to raise £1,000! 

John Edwards


John is a former Keep Britain Tidy colleague of our Co-Director Morgan. He's doing a brilliant challenge to celebrate turning 60. It's called Sixty at Sixty! He has been getting up to all sorts of things already, most recently he did the Great North Swim in Lake Windermere! John is raising money for several causes and we're delighted that he's chosen The Glacier Trust as one of these! 

Owen, Andy and Morgan 


Last September, Morgan led a team of five cyclists at the inaugural Velo Birmingham. This year, he is heading to the brand new Velo South to take on another 100 mile cycling challenge with his good friends Andy Hillier and Owen Matthews. They'll start promoting their challenge very soon, but the page is open now if anyone wants to take the honour of being the first to sponsor this year's #TeamTGT! 

Feeling Inspired?

We've got two more people lined up to take on sponsored challenges and we'll be announcing them soon. But, it you've been inspired by these stories, you could be the next person to take on a 'bespoke challenge' to raise funds for our important work in Nepal! 

Poor countries are developing rich ones

'We often think that rich countries are developing poor countries, but in fact, the opposite is true, poor nations are developing rich ones.' 

The world isn't fair. More than four billion people live on less than $5 per day. Why? In this video, Dr Jason Hickel explains the startling truth behind his book The Divide, and points out that we've been thinking about global inequality all wrong.

Dr. Jason Hickel's book The Divide is a wake up call to anyone working in the International Development sector.

We need to rethink how we work in developing nations and ensure that as well as providing aid and enabling support, we also challenge the global economic structures that are holding people in poverty. 

Please read this book and share where you can.

If you want to help us translate these learning's into meaningful action, please get in touch. We'd love to hear from you. 

The world economy is growing - but not fairly. Only 5% of new income from global growth goes to the poorest 60% of humanity. At this rate, does GDP growth a meaningful solution to poverty? And given the reality of ecological breakdown, is growth even something we should pursue?

Follow Dr Jason Hickel on twitter and keep up on this work via

Debris and GLOFs

Guest post: How debris cover is altering glaciers in the Everest region

by Dr David Rounce, University of Alaska Fairbanks

If you’ve ever traveled to Everest Base Camp or seen photos of glaciers in the Everest region, you’ll notice that the lower regions of these glaciers don’t look like your typical clean ice glacier. Instead, they are covered with debris. In fact, Everest Base Camp (Figure 1), located at 5,360 metres above sea level, is set up each year on top of the debris-covered portion of the Khumbu Glacier. 

Figure 1.  David Rounce taking a quick break from his fieldwork in 2014 to visit Everest Base Camp in the Nepal Himalaya.

Figure 1. David Rounce taking a quick break from his fieldwork in 2014 to visit Everest Base Camp in the Nepal Himalaya.

The glaciers in this region are primarily avalanche-fed debris-covered glaciers meaning that avalanches and rockfalls from the headwalls surrounding the upper portion of the glacier cause debris to be deposited on the glacier surface. This debris is then rafted down-glacier as the glacier flows over time causing the debris to accumulate at the terminus of the glacier. This explains why the debris is the thickest at the end of the glacier and thinner further up glacier. 

This debris cover fundamentally alters how these glaciers will respond to climate change. A thick layer of debris (greater than a couple centimeters) will insulate the underlying ice and reduce glacier melt, while a thin layer of debris (less than a few centimeters) will absorb more radiation and can actually increase the melt. While this relationship between debris thickness and glacier melt is well known, quantifying the debris thickness over an entire glacier has remained a challenge – until now. 

Our recent study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface has developed a new method for estimating the debris thickness for three glaciers in the Everest region of Nepal. Our method uses pairs of high-resolution digital elevation models to estimate how much the glacier is melting, and then uses the well-known relationship between debris thickness and glacier melt to estimate the debris thickness. We found that on the tongues of Khumbu Glacier and Ngozumpa Glacier, one of the largest debris-covered glaciers in the Himalaya, the debris thickness was around two metres thick! These estimates agreed quite well with previous measurements and were the first time that debris thickness estimates had been validated on the glacier scale. 

Figure 2 . The debris on this portion of Imja-Lhotse Shar Glacier commonly exceeded one metre.  Here, an automatic weather station is being installed during a field expedition in April 2017 to better understand debris-covered glacier melt (credit: Chilton Tippin).

Figure 2. The debris on this portion of Imja-Lhotse Shar Glacier commonly exceeded one metre.  Here, an automatic weather station is being installed during a field expedition in April 2017 to better understand debris-covered glacier melt (credit: Chilton Tippin).

The thick debris on these glaciers (Figure 2) has important implications for how these glaciers will respond to climate change. Specifically, the debris thickness tends to be the thickest at the bottom of the glacier and become thinner further up glacier. 

How debris cover affects pond formation

Since the glacier melts more beneath thin debris compared to thick debris, the glaciers can actually melt more up glacier than it does at the bottom of the glacier, which causes the slope of the glacier to flatten. These gentler slopes enable supraglacial ponds to develop, which has occurred on both Ngozumpa Glacier and Khumbu Glacier over the last couple of decades. 

The supraglacial ponds on Khumbu Glacier (Figure 3) have already begun to impact one of the popular trekking routes, Kongma La Pass trail, with researchers from the University of Leeds projecting that this trail across the Khumbu Glacier will likely be impassable by 2020.

Figure 3 . Supraglacial pond and ice cliff on Khumbu Glacier (credit: Owen King).

Figure 3. Supraglacial pond and ice cliff on Khumbu Glacier (credit: Owen King).

These supraglacial ponds also signal that the glaciers are storing more water on their surface and in their subsurface via englacial conduits as well. This stored water has the potential to be suddenly released causing a glacier outburst flood*. This happened at Lhotse Glacier, another glacier located in the Everest region, in June 2016, which was caught on video by Elizabeth Byers. 

Glacier outburst flood from Lhotse Glacier in June 2016 was captured on video by Elizabeth Byers.

While it is difficult to determine when and how frequently these outburst floods occur, the development of these supraglacial ponds is certainly important to monitor, they may eventually coalesce and develop into a large glacial lake. 

These glacial lakes can store a tremendous amount of water and can become a hazard for downstream communities. Imja Lake is an excellent example of a debris-covered glacier that developed from a few small ponds in the 1950s into one of the largest glacial lakes in Nepal today (Figure 4). In 2016, the outlet of Imja Lake was lowered by three metres to reduce the hazard associated with a glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF).

Figure 4.  Repeat photographs of Imja Lake from 1956 when the lake did not exist (credit: Fritz Müller) to 2007 where the lake has become one of the fastest growing lakes in Nepal (credit: Alton Byers).

Figure 4. Repeat photographs of Imja Lake from 1956 when the lake did not exist (credit: Fritz Müller) to 2007 where the lake has become one of the fastest growing lakes in Nepal (credit: Alton Byers).

A recent study in Nature estimated that roughly 18% of the total volume of ice in High Mountain Asia is beneath debris-covered glaciers. Another study in the Everest region estimated the debris-covered area is as high as 32% and is increasing as these glaciers continue to melt. Therefore, if we want to truly understand how these debris-covered glaciers and their potential hazards may evolve in the future, we first need to understand how the debris thickness varies on these glaciers. Our study is hopefully a good start.

Dr. David Rounce can be contacted via:


*Glacier Outburst Floods are slightly different to the more famous Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs). 

How Climate Change is impacting global water resources

So much of our project work is about water. We are funding the construction of a new water supply system in Deurali, enabling farmers to grow crops that don't require intensive watering and providing the basic materials to build water harvesting ponds. In the Himalaya's this is the biggest impact Climate Change is having, it is effecting the amount of rain and snow fall and changing the amount of water available from glacier and snow melt. 

NASA scientists have taken a global look of the impacts climate change is having on water and have produced an annotated map to show the significant changes that are happening around the world. In Nepal, it is glacier melt, in other locations groundwater depletion is the most pressing concern, or surface water drying. 


The full report by Rodell et al, can be read at A useful short summary by Eric Holthaus, is available on Grist.   

Quick Question: can we still email you?

You will probably have heard about GDPR and the changes to the data protection laws. They are good changes and we welcome them. The key impact it is having on The Glacier Trust is that we need to ask you to consent to receiving emails about our work and how you can help.

We have emailed everyone asking them to fill out a very short form to confirm they are happy to continue receiving email from us. We are very encouraged by how many people have done this, more than 30% of you, which is probably a good deal more than the sector average. 

If you've not yet given us your consent and you would still like to hear from us, please fill out this form as soon as possibleAnyone who is not signed up by the end of next week will be permanently deleted from our email list. 


We send approximately six emails per year. We aim to keep you up to date with all our project work and how you can support us. We also share news and opinion from the world of climate change adaptation. 

Your support is so important to us and to all the families we work with in Nepal. It will only take 30 seconds to confirm you still want to hear from us.


Please let people in Nepal know that their stories matter. 

Thank you.

Around the Grounds

Sponsored walk raises over £650 for The Glacier Trust's work in Nepal

Yesterday on the last day of the Premier League season, two TGT supporters took on and completed an incredible 27.4 mile sponsored walk across London. The idea, dreamed up by Glyn Phillips (younger brother of TGT Co-Director, Morgan) was to visit as many Premier League grounds as possible in one day, on foot! 

Glyn is a Spurs fan, so it was quickly decided that the walk should start at Wembley stadium (Spurs' temporary home) and end at White Hart Lane, (Spurs' true home!) Glyn was joined by his good friend Adam Lewitt (a Man Utd fan) for the walk which also took in Stamford Bridge, the Emirates Stadium and the London Stadium.  

They completed the walk in just under 11 hours. and have so far raised an incredible £655 for our Climate Change Adaptation work in Nepal. There is still time to sponsor them. Please do, 100% of the money raised will go to our project work. 

Their sense of humour stayed intact right to the last, we caught up with Adam just after the finish line:

I'm exhausted. It was a walk of two halves, we covered a lot ground and really had to dig deep. Late on, over there on Tottenham Marshes, I didn't think we were going to make it, Glyn seemed to want to cover every blade of grass, it was incredible to see him play on through the pain barrier like that. He deserves a lot of credit. 

Glyn summed up the performance:

I'm just delighted we managed to hold our nerve and get over the line. Adam was an absolute rock out there, he just kept driving us on, I don't know how he does it. What can I say? It is so great to finish here in front of all our supporters. Thanks to everyone who has been behind us on this incredible journey.  

If you would like to take on a sponsored challenge on behalf of The Glacier Trust, please visit our bespoke challenges page and get in touch.