Wednesday, June 01, 2016

How Ski Mountaineer Kit Deslauriers Came to Support the Himalayan Stove Project

Last fall, ski mountaineer Kit Deslauriers was in Nepal to climb the 8485-meter (27,838 feet) Makalu when she became ill with High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). Seeking some relief, she descended to Yangri Kharka, a village located at 3657 meters (12,000 feet). While there, a local family took her into their home, allowing her to recover before returning to the mountain. While there, the family shared their food, making several meals a day inside their cramped house. While watching them in the kitchen, Kit noticed that dangerous levels of smoke were created, choking the small space with unhealthy fumes. That left her wondering what could be done to combat this serious issue. 

Recently, Deslauriers shared the details of her story at The North Face Never Stop Exploring blog. In that article she talks about the generosity of the family she came to know so well in Nepal, and how their daily exposure to dangerous smoke moved her to seek an alternate method for preparing their meals. This led her to the Himalayan Stove Project, a nonprofit organization that has been working to achieve that same goal for a number of years now.

As Kit points out in her story, a new clean cook stove and chimney, delivered and installed, costs just $150. In the greater scheme of things, that isn't a lot of money, and she has personally pledged to pay that amount for the five homes in Yangri Kharka that she interacted with directly. She is also calling on friends, fans, and others to help fund the HSP to install 135 more stoves in the Makalu Valley, bringing safe and clean cooking to all of the homes in that region. 

The Himalayan Stove Project is an organization I've written about several times here on The Adventure Blog. That's because I think it is an important foundation that is doing important things for the people of Nepal. The HSP has a proven track record of success in that country, and it is great to see such a high profile athlete as Kit Deslauriers getting behind their efforts. 

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