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Annapurna to Barpak: Don Bowie climbing team reports from remote Nepal

Posted: May 08, 2015 08:58 am EDT

(Newsdesk) As reported last weekend, a number of climbers - acclimated, skilled at moving in difficult terrain and often medics carrying satellite technology -  descended their mountains to lend a helping hand in hard to reach areas around Nepal.


After abandoning his plans to climb Annapurna with the earthquake in the country last month, Don Bowie and team members, Ben Erdmann and Jess Roskelley, Alex Barber and Nuril left Pokhara on May 4th with a new mission ahead. "Our team is motivated, resilient, full of energy, and ready to use our skills and resources to assist wherever we can,” Don dispatched. 


Soon enough, the completely self sufficient mission reported, "continued destruction everywhere…but we are helping and getting food and supplies in. Very dangerous travel…landslides and broken ground everywhere. A few aftershocks today." 


Reaching Barpak and nearby Gumda they found near complete destruction. "All the villages in the area are cut off from each other and from the valleys below due to many huge landslides and swaths of broken, unstable ground. Traversing from town to town is very dangerous and we can only pray that aftershocks don’t occur while we are crossing the dangerous sections - which are many,” Bowie said.


Based on the team’s findings and assessments 30 loads of rice and dhal were delivered to Barpak.


Don Bowie added, "Our current directive is to travel on foot making our way from village to village to assess needs and then to communicate our reports via satellite phone or 2 way radio to a local NGO called Karma Flight based in the Ghorka Valley near Baluwa. We send down information to them and they send up food and supplies to the villages based on our assessments. They have been in the valley for some days now doing amazing work and performing many medical evacuations and delivering tons of food to the villages in the valley." 


"Our team of 4 has now become their eyes and ears in the field reaching some if the remotest areas over some of the most dangerous and unstable ground. We must carry all our own food, equipment, medical supplies, solar power, and water and are completely self sufficient as we go."


UN World Food Program


Yesterday Don reported the UN World Food Program heard of their work and soon after he and the team started coordinating their efforts directly with the UN. 


Apart from Karma Flight, whom they work with from the start, other NGO’s (Non-governmental Organizations), who have received their reports, are now asking the team how to build schools and support infrastructures like water and power.




Watch a video on Vimeo about Don's relief work in Nepal, posted a few hours ago. Also showing some earthquake footage, trekking back and Pokara preparations.    


Don’s support organization, More Than Sport, can be viewed and donations can be made here.


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Don Bowie’s pages







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Don Bowie, Ben Erdmann, Jess Roskelley and Alex Barber left from Pokara May 4th. They received their order from a local organization there and left with one jeep filled with 2,000 lbs of food, and another with supplies to take up to the Gorkha area.
courtesy Don Bowie, SOURCE
Don Bowie: "Alex captured this image in the heavily damaged village of Lapu as an aftershock hit. I put my hand on Ben's back [see expanded image] and scanned the steep slopes above us for boulders rolling down." (click to expand)
courtesy Don Bowie (Facebook), SOURCE
Don: "The whole town [Lapark] is completely levelled"
courtesy Don Bowie, SOURCE
Don Bowie: "The village is so damaged that the residents have moved into the terraced fields above the village and plan to relocate the entire town. I have to admit that the situation in Laprak has brought me to tears."
courtesy Don Bowie FB, SOURCE
"All the villages in the area are cut off from each other and from the valleys below due to many huge landslides and swaths of broken, unstable ground." Image: The team in Barpak (click to expand).
courtesy Don Bowie, SOURCE
Barpak destruction. Don: "We send down information to [Karma Flight] and they send up food and supplies to the villages based on our assessments." (click to expand)
courtesy Don Bowie, SOURCE