The National Geographic Adventure Blog was updated this morning with a cool story about world class climbers joined an NG sponsored expedition last summer, and were ultimately able to help archeologists to recover artifacts they may not have had the opportunity to gather on their own.
The climbers in question were none other than Pete Athans, who has reached the summit of Everest on seven different occasions, and Renan Ozturk, a rock climber who has tackled big walls all over the planet. The two men were able to scale the challenging, and often crumbling, walls of the Mustang Valley region of Nepal to reach a series of tunnels and chambers that were carved out of the rock by humans who used the place as their village. The dwellings, communal rooms, and temples, are found some 700 feet off the ground. How challenging was the climbing you ask? At one point, they were only able to gain 328 vertical feet over a 14 hour period.
Once inside this ancient rock dwelling, the climbers hit the mother-lode in terms or archeological finds. They discovered more than 8000 manuscripts in one room alone that give great insight into the people who once lived in the Mustang district and what life was like for them living in their cave dwelling.
The expedition was filmed of course, and tomorrow night, we’re all going to get a chance to watch it. It’ll air on PBS here in the U.S. tomorrow night at 9 PM Eastern/8 PM Central in a show entitled Lost Cave Temples of the Himalaya. But don’t miss the lead in show, Secrets of Shangri-La, which gives more insight and information on the Kingdom of Mustang and the caves there. That show airs one hour before Lost Cave Temples.
Personally, I’m looking forward to watching these shows. I had the opportunity to meet Pete Athans last year, and see a preview of this show, and it was amazing. The Mustang region is very interesting and mysterious, and it was fun to watch these climbers help unearth some amazing finds. They caught the scene were they enter the manuscript chamber on video, which was great, but there was also plenty of other drama before they even set foot in the caves. Pete talked about how local villagers showed up on the scene once they found out that outsiders were in the area, and were hoping to get a cut of any “treasure” that the might find.
This is a very interesting story on a seldom seen part of the Himalaya. Definitely worth watching, so don’t forget to set the DVR!
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