UK scientists to drill world’s highest Khumbu glacier
London: UK-based scientists are set to travel to the Himalayas in a bid to become the first team to successfully drill through the world’s highest glacier, the media reported on Tuesday.
The group from Aberystwyth University, Wales, will use a drill adapted from a car wash to cut into the Khumbu glacier in the foothills of the Everest, the BBC reported.
They will work at an altitude of 5,000 metres, in the hope of finding out how climate change affects Khumbu.
Project leader Professor Bryn Hubbard said there will be “particular challenges”.
The 17-km long glacier, in north eastern Nepal, flows from as high as 7,600 metres down to 4,900 metres and is often used by climbers on their way to the Everest base-camp.
“Working in the field is challenging at best, but this mission presents some particular challenges,” the BBC quoted Hubbard as saying.
“We don’t know how well our equipment will perform at altitude, let alone how we will be able to contend with the thin air.”
Half of the team’s 1,500 kg equipment will be airlifted on to the glacier by helicopter in several trips while the other half will be carried by Sherpas.