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Glacial water

Spiti, Himachal, India

The water in this river comes from the glaciers which are slowly releasing less and less water as the winter approaches. Read more

Spiti, Himachal, India

The water in this river comes from the glaciers which are slowly releasing less and less water as the winter approaches.

Soon this landscape will be all white and very desolate as the road will be closed until summer once again wins over winter.

I got a reminder of how close winter really was, as on the way down here from Chandratal there were many places where the road was icy, which is very dangerous on these poor roads. So even though there is no snow to block the road, the road can be impassable due to black ice and streams overflowing the road freezing solid. The mountains are high and the sun lower in the sky each day, thus reaching less and less of the ground to melt what ice has formed during the night.

It is a magnificent landscape, but only the hardiest can survive here as few plants grow in this dry and arid region.

The highest peak seen here is called Papsura and is 6451 meters high.

The water locked in the glaciers of the Himalayas are crucial to the hundreds upon hundreds of millions depending on the steady meltwaters in the dry months, but now this is changing fast. The glaciers are already shadows of their old selves and in the not distant future the meltwaters will just come in deluges of the spring melt instead of a steady flow from the glaciers. With erratic monsoons this will have serious implications.
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