Livin’ On The Edge
The Western Front
April 20, 2017
While in the Himalayas, geoscientist and Western professor John All was researching climate change. He took one wrong step and plunged 70 feet into a glacial crevasse.
After the fall, All woke up on a 3-foot ledge with a dislocated shoulder, internal bleeding and 15 broken bones, six of which were vertebrae. At this time, he was alone at camp 2 on Mount Himlung and had no one to call for help. With one functional arm and an ice axe, he climbed seven stories up and survived the night alone.
On a 2014 trip to Nepal, 16 members of All’s team died in an avalanche prior to his fall.
All said he attributes the perils of his Nepal trip to the rapidly warming climate which caused the glaciers to melt and make the region more dangerous.
“I’ve [faced death in] so many different ways. But I’ve continually fought and kept moving forward.”
“It used to be when you had several hundred feet [of] thick ice, it could undulate underneath,” All said. “But when you remove that top layer, then when it undulates, [the ice] cracks, breaks and falls off.”
While in Nepal, All studied climate change by collecting samples of ice and snow and analyzing how the accumulation of dust and ash from industrial areas was affecting the region.