A school becomes a church and a kitchen becomes a meeting room. They received us as if we were family, because they knew we were going to talk about very important issues for the livelihoods of the Maasai people and cultures. More than 300 people attended the meeting. First the prayers, then the elders and after this, my turn came. I explained the causes of global warming and how it’s affecting the Kilimanjaro’s glaciers and consequently the climate of their region. Then it was time for the photographers to present their work, showing the human consequences of the drought. In the end we talked about ways of working together and solutions to mitigate the problem.
Three of the MPC Photographers spent the night with us in our camp and the next morning was another opportunity to explore some more of the possibilities of the new Asus computer.
Sundowners were new to me. Joana had been telling me about this and I was eager to experience it! The concept is to cross the savannah, starting at our camp and up to this huge rock blocks about 2 hours away. From the top the view is breathtaking and the track there is biblical! We walked without any kind of protection, and always accompanied by zebras and antelopes. That night we had had the company of a lion in our camp, so none of us was completely relaxed and prepared for a 2h walk in hunting territory. But everything went very well, thanks to the Maasai who accompanied us, and to the relationship that their people have been establishing with the wildlife for generations.
The Maasai community rewarded our visit with gifts for each of the participants in the debate of ideas between the Ice Care Association and the Maasai PHOTOGRAFERS FOR CONSERVATION NGO. With this gesture, we have formalized a relationship that I believe will continue for many years and could provide the platform for collaboration to help the Maasai people dealing with the problems of global warming, which are increasingly evident.
Joana Roque de Pinho (aka NASHIPAI) created an extraordinary social sustainability project, giving cameras to some Maasai and specific training. This way the Maasai people could document the drought and raise political awareness for their problems. They formed the Maasai Photographers for Conservation - NGO that aims to train photographers as a way of tackling the problems of climate change and nature conservation. One of the goals of the expedition was the direct contact with the Maasai people to collect their testimonies about the consequences of climate change and understand how the ICE CARE Association can help lessen this problem or create sustainability projects in that region.
The departure of the team takes place on the 4th of Dec. We will be 7 members, including the anthropologist Joana RP, who will guide us through the visit to the Maasai people to understand their problems resulting from the climate changes, the HPP Health doctor Cristina Pereira, and 3 participants on our ‘social program’, that will help us to register the receding of the Kili glaciers.
Meanwhile, China was promising to lead the reduction on the greenhouse gases effects through the next decade. India wanted to play game, and the USA could not stay behind …
After the impact of the movie presented by Al Gore, now was the time for the photographer James Balog, whose video (19 min.) is worthwhile to watch. Balog shares new image sequences from the Extreme Ice Survey, a network of time-lapse cameras recording glaciers receding at an alarming rate, some of the most vivid evidence yet of climate change: http://www.ted.com/talks/james_balog_time_lapse_proof_of_extreme_ice_loss.html
I believe what we’ll do with the Maasai community goes beyond that kind of controversy now…regardless of who’s to blame, there is certainly lots of help we provide to the people suffering the consequences of climate change…
That’s what we aim to do with the Maasai, starting in December the 4th
You are welcome to join our team on this trip, by choosing one of two options: Maasai + jeep safari trip; or Maasai + Kilimanjaro trip (if you have some mountain experience and are medium/well fit). If you are interested, please contact our partner agency, Papa-Léguas – see more at: http://www.papa-leguas.com/index.cfm?sec=0101000000&ViagemID=136 (for details see: http://www.papa-leguas.com/print.cfm?ViagemID=136)
Meanwhile, as for the physical training, the participation on a 900 km adventure race – 7 days non stop (including 50 km kayak or a mountain bike stage of 160 km with 8.000 meters accumulated ascent !!!) – should be more than enough (if it doesn’t kill me) ! It’s the Portugal XPD 2009, the toughest and final race of the 'Adventure Race World Championship', and it will take place between Cascais and Serra da Estrela, from the 8th to the 14th of November (more at http://www.arwc2009.com/). The best teams of the World will be present. My team is ADADesnivel, and we just want to to arrive at the finish line and be able to feel it …
At the same time, in Nepal, the countries of the himalayan range were discussing the riscs of climate changes to the mountain glaciers. This is also the alert that the Ice Care project aims to achieve. Our next expedition, to the Kilimanjaro glaciers in África, is planned to start precisely at the same time as the Copenhagen summit.
The Dirigir magazine (2nd trimester 09) puts the focus on several ‘green ideas’ and ‘tendencies’ that will contribute to soften the paradigma of century – “improve the quality of life without destroying the environment in the attempt” (NG 2008, ‘El pulso de la Tierra’): an airport in Liverpool wants to try a revolutionary technology, by recycling the air exaled by passengers and convert it in biofuel to use on diesel vehicles; a company developed the concept of ‘solar road panels’, to pave roads in a way to store solar energy to supply commercial and residential units (www.greencarcongress.com/2009/02/solarroadways.html); investigators found a way to produce hidrogen with normal temperatures using aluminium aglomerate (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/SiteinovacaoTecnologica/~3/AVwrWUDdlGo/noticia.php). The USA developed energy efficient programs that, if applied, would lead to reductions of 22% on the use of energy growth rate, in 2030; in 2005 the swedish government ordered a study aiming its independence from the use of oil (http://www.leonardo-energy.org/). Recently, also “Eslovenia announced that 2/3 of its territory are protected areas, and the Maldive islands decided to totally abandon the use of fossil energies” (from my new book ‘The new explorers and the adventures of senses’ - http://aventuraaomáximo.blogspot.com/).
On the Aletsch glacier, we were supported by www.grindelwaldsports.ch
I would like to thank some entities, who are not partners of the ICE CARE project, but contributed to the success of this expedition:
. ASUS – gave us one Eee PC, that allow us to work at high altitude and extreme conditions, and weighted a little more than 1kg – this was a great advantage, as you can imagine. Plus, its huge autonomy (9h), helped a lot! Kept trying to find plugs beneath the snow and ice…in vain! ;-)
. GARMIN – gave us 2 GPS to measure the whole trip, measure the glacier’s height and to guide us during the bike trip – since highways were not very recommended for a couple of maniacs with backpacks, in bicycles. ;-)
. GRINDELWALD SPORTS – who offered us the trip, even after we had bagged to take another person with us!
. HERB – our Crocodile Dundee of the ice! For all his help and vital information and his charisma that set a wild tone to the expedition!
After taking several picture, we marked it with a ‘green dot’ (biological ink! Don’t worry).
Thus, in the coming years, other climbers can photograph the glacier from the exact same spot, in order to make the comparison of glacier’s retreat year upon year.
In this way, we hope to involve the mountaineering community, asking the Aletsch crossers for their own contribution.
See more pictures at:
According to Herb (our guide from Grindelwald Sports), most expedition use the same track as we did. This seemed like a good opportunity to use this spot for measuring purposes, and future comparison.
We used our GPS (GARMIN) and meteorological station (SILVA), to measure the height of the glacier – 2280m in June 2009.
On the second day, we walked 7km – making it a total of 15km on both days.
As we reach the lower limit of the glacier, we can see that the ice is more fragmented and the crevasses more frequent and larger.
See more pictures at:
The hut is currently 150m above the glacier – in 1965 was ‘only’ 79m above it.
Due to glacier retreat, every year new steps are added to the huge staircase (433 steps) that accesses the hut.The ICE CARE team placed a plate, which will allow for future comparison of the glacier’s height, year upon year, thus make the retreat visible to everyone.
(from left to right)
. José Diogo Tavares (mentor of the project) – traveled from Paris to Switzerland on mountain bike, crossed the glacier and was present at the meetings with UNESCO and WWF
. José Maria Abecasis Soares (mentor of the project) – did exactly the same
. Nuno Frazão (environmental engineer) – more technical role, preparing recommendations, research and meetings with WWF. Sandra Sousa (doctor) – supports the team during the Aletsch crossing, as part of the agreement with HPP Saúde – Official Medical Service
Herb, our guide from GrindelWaldSports, is the ice version of Crocodile Dundee! During our trip, he told us many stories of a live spent on the mountains, witnessing glaciers retreat year upon year.
On the first day, we walked more than 8km over the glacier, during almost 6 hours.
The slow pace is due, mainly to 3 reasons:
. the effects of altitude
. the very group’s heterogeneity (people of different ages and physical conditions)
. the danger of the crevasses that tear the ice several meters deep and, most of the times, are dissimulated under the snow
See more pictures at:
They will be reporting on the expeditions' findings through their website and will also be keeping the World Heritage Centre regularly updated.
For more information please visit: http://www.icecare.org/en/
news at: whc.unesco.org/en/news/518
Von Martina Maurer. Aktualisiert am 19.06.2009
Am Freitag starten zwei Portugiesen eine Radtour von Paris nach Lauterbrunnen via Jungfraujoch und Aletschgleschter. bernerzeitung.ch hat José Tavares vor der Abreise getroffen.
Mithilfe eines GPS-Gerätes wollen Soares und Tavares über längere Zeit den Rückgang des Gletschers beobachten und daraus Schlüsse über die Klimaerwärmung ziehen. Das Projekt wird von Unesco, WWF Portugal und Guides von GrindelwaldSports unterstützt und begleitet.
Die Fortsetzung des Icecare-Projekts erfolgt im Dezember dieses Jahres mit der Besteigung des Kilimanjaro Gletschers (Tanzania) und in den nächsten Jahren mit dem Besuch der Gletscher des Ilulissat Icefjord (Grönland-Dänemark), Sagarmatha-Everest (Nepal) und Huascarán National Park (Peru).
Unter http://icecare.blogspot.com kann die Tour live mitverfolgt werden.
Zé Diogo is there already. I’ll join him on the 19th. Nuno Frazão (environmental engineer) and Sandra Sousa (doctor from HPP Saúde) will meet us in Switzerland and we’ll cross the glacier together.
What’s the roadmap?
19th morning: Meeting at UNESCO’s HQ with the Deputy Director of the World Heritage Centre.
19th afternoon: start cycling the 650 km between Paris and Switzerland
20th until whenever: we will be crossing France on our bicycles, sleeping on the floor, doing an average of 130km per day (hopefully)
Around the 24th, 25th or 26th: we will start crossing the Aletsch on foot…it should take us 2 days to do so
We should be back to Portugal on the 30th
How can one follow the expedition?
Having the back-office support of SAPO and TORKE in Portugal, we’ll try to keep the flow of information as updated as possible.
We’ll be uploading fotos, videos, texts and GPS coordinates. This content will be available at several on-line platforms:
. www.icecare.org – official website, with fotos, videos, maps, text, etc.
. http://icecare.blogspot.com – English version of the blog with fotos and videos
. http://icecare.blogs.sapo.pt – Portuguese version of the blog
. http://fotos.sapo.pt/ - fotos
. http://videos.sapo.pt/ - videos
How can the melting be tracked?
Mainly using technology known to everyone…GPS
Glacier upper and lower limits and altitude will the registered using GPS (by GARMIN). Altitude will also be cross-referenced using met stations (by SILVA).
In the following years the same limits will be measured for comparison.The information will then be shown over satellite images, to make the retreat visible.
The day of our departure for the 600 km between Paris and Interlaken (Switzerland) is almost there. After that we’ll be crossing the Aletsch glacier (the longest in Europe, where the retreat of the ice is flagrant). We need to be in good shape and know all the equipment given by the supporting brands. As a preparation this tour through the interior of Portugal revealed itself useful, although this wasn’t the only motive to ride almost 1.000km. The promotion of the Ice Care project and crossing the country to meet a dear friend in Chaves, and hand to her my recent book ‘Aventura ao Máximo’, were also among those. Yes, revisit a person whom I had not seen for many years, seemed to me the best reason to justify the destination …
On the 14th of May I’ve left from Setúbal on a morning ferry. In Tróia I’ve started to ride, and ride, and ride, … for 8 days without stopping! From 6 to 8 hours per day. Until I’ve arrived … !!! Not without changing some of the initial plans: I wanted to reach the Algarve, but bad roads demanded more time. So, instead of reaching the Santa Clara dam (Algarve’s border) I’ve started to turn southeast in Ourique. Passed Almodôvar and only had a glimpse of the ribeira de Vascão, before turning north and continued through Mértola. Then, I followed always along the border, next to some of the Oldest Villages and, after Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, I rode strait to Chaves – my final goal (more photos at: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/album.php?aid=117593&id=613684777&ref=mf ).
If I managed to conquer the attention of 4 or 5 persons to follow our site and blogs, I’ll be happy. The equipment from brands such as Berg, Silva and TrangoWorld, had to be tested in real conditions, adjusted and optimized. The physical condition and the logistics – a sort of autonomy with stages longer than a 100 km – had to be proven. And they were! At last, a special word of thanks to the Firemen of Portalegre and Vila Flôr (respectively Mr. Alberto and the Chief Commandant), and to Quim (Firemen of Idanha-a-Nova), big fan of mountain biking, for their time and support given.
por José Tavares
TrangoWorld: mountain clothing (polar and waterproof garment) and camping gear (‘Mountain TR 30’ sleeping bag and ‘skin micro-lite’ self-inflated mattress); Berg (bicycle ‘Torah 9.5’, helmet ‘Raden’ and other gear); Dual Brand (‘Ranger 3’ compass and head lamp Silva, Gerber multi-function knife).
We will be cycling all the way from UNESCO's HQ in Paris, to Switzerland and then across the longest glacier in Europe, on foot.
It's time to start organizing the last arrangements for the trip…including, obviously, the expedition's sound track! ah ah
Care to give us a hand with it?
We'll basically need 2 kinds of playlist:
1. Power songs – energizing music, for cycling and walking over glaciers
2. Introspective music – for the mere contemplation of landscape and the human condition
I'm sure you all have at least one favorite song for both cases – share it with us!
We welcome any kind of suggestions, regardless of music gender!
Thanks for your support!!
We have organized a short trekking event to evaluate the skills of the candidate doctors.Based on this tour and on a personality questionnaire, 2 doctors were selected to join the 2009 expeditions to Switzerland and Tanzania.
Official press conference at CulturGest, next Monday! (May the 4th)
‘Pequeno Auditório’ at 18:00h
Followed by a brief acoustic concert by Tiago Bettencourt (who will join us for the Tanzania expedition).
Training video will be posted soon.
But…we CAN see it!!
That’s exactly the purpose of the ICE CARE project!
We will travel the world, climbing the glaciers that are affected NOW by climate change - You will be able to see it happening TODAY!
Has completed several unique crossings in Portuguese waters and aims to swim the great crossings around the world.
Holder of the fastest time overall of 2008 for the English Channel Swim, completing the distance between England and France in 9h30m.
“In the crossings I have done and those which I plan to do in the future, I have always added an ecological dimension to my sporting achievement. Seas, rivers, dams and lakes are the stages for my challenges. As such I use the media coverage I attract to raise awareness about issues such as water pollution and the need to preserve marine ecosystems and endangered species. This is why I was nominated in 2008 as the UN Ambassador for the Year of the Dolphin. I therefore see in the Ice Care Project a perfect alliance between a sporting event and a clear environmental intervention, a shout for help to halt climate change and global warming. This is why I am happy to be associated with this project.”
Dramatic as it may seem (and it is, unquestionably), this information does not impose itself on people’s daily behaviors. Quite the opposite actually – it may in fact help people feel less guilty about doing nothing! People are more worried about facing the crises today, keeping their jobs tomorrow, than….let’s face it…anything that will eventually happen by 2100.
In the following video, Al Gore says: ‘What is needed is a sense of urgency!’
That’s exactly what the ICE CARE project tries to accomplish.
To show climate change happening NOW!
The effects TODAY and the IMEDIATE consequences!
It is possible to SEE climate change happening in REAL-TIME! That’s what we want to show. That’s what we expect everyone to understand – it is not a problem for our kids to solve and that will affect only them – the problem is real and it’s happening now!
At a recent presentation for doctors at one of HPP Saúde hospitals, when I showed the images of Kilimanjaro in 1993 compared with 2000, someone from the assistance said: ‘You should go in May!’ That’s exactly the ‘sense of urgency’ we are trying to accomplish.
Thank you Francisco Monjardino for the video!
ICE CARE aims to bring the live testimony of the glaciers retreat, to make climate change visible to all, ‘beyond reasonable doubt’.
In order to do that we have obtained precious support from several outdoor and mountaineering equipment manufacturers, to whom we pledge our eternal loyalty and gratitude!
This time it was BERG (bicycles and outdoor equipment brand) who gave its support to the ICE CARE project, by offering bicycles and helmets!
I went for a ride last Sunday on the new Torah 9.5! It is remarkably better than my last bicycle!
That makes me very happy, since it’s always so hard to get help from the bicycle repair man!
Thanks BERG and SPORT ZONE for believing!
On my twenties I was made of rubber, just like any other kid that age. No damage was too serious let alone perpetual.
10 years have passed and my shoulder is still out of place. Today I pay the heavy bill of my laissez passer, especially when the weather changes.
By then, hospitals were just like playing golf - the end of the line for me – you wouldn’t find me there before my 50th birthday!
Chatting with Ze Diogo, he mentioned some short of sports support clinics, which he thought could mean good business! A kind of preventive or even pedagogic health care, for the healthy people! Health services for active life and for heath and not only for the lack of it.
For that reason I was so surprise when, at our first meeting, HPP SAUDE mentioned their concept of ‘health of the new generation’ – it was a completely innovative perspective! Health care as a way to prevent problems instead of trying to fix them.
From that point on, we have established one of the most important partnerships of the Ice Care project. HPP SAUDE has become the OFFICIAL HEALTH CARE SERVICE of our expeditions, providing checkups for all the team and specialized doctors (my shoulder badly needs one!). We’re being looked after as top performing football stars! How great is that!
We’ve also talked about sending one of their doctors with us on the expeditions!
Thanks HPP SAUDE for your support and for the way you address the health care services!
Gore-tex jackets, 1st and 2nd layers, trousers, gloves, boots, back-packs, tents, etc. in quantity for the all team! This was the fantastic contribution of TRANGO WORLD for the Ice Care project!
Can’t wait to try the equipment in extreme conditions! I’ll have the opportunity to do that in some of the mountain training we’ll do before the expedition – stay tuned for the pictures!