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Glossary

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Katabatic winds:

These are the result of descending cold dry air moving out drawn by warmer conditions.

Kathmandu:

Kathmandu is the capital of Nepal. It sits at an altitude of 1,400 metres (4500 feet) and is to the south of the Himalaya mountain range. It is the largest city in Nepal, with a population of over 500,000 people. Kathmandu is an essential source of supplies for mountaineering expeditions in the Himalaya.

Khumbu cough:

The Khumbu cough is an illness associated with high altitude. Its main symptom is a persistent dry cough which can restrict breathing and quickly lead to exhaustion. It is caused by over exertion, such as intense physical activity, which leads to an increased breathing rate, combined with the cold air of high altitude that dries out the membranes in the patient’s lungs.

Khumbu Icefall:

The Khumbu Icefall is found at 5,486 metres (18,000 feet) on the Nepali slopes of Mount Everest, south-west of the summit. The Icefall is regarded as one of the most dangerous stages of the climb to Everest’s summit. The Khumbu glacier that forms the Icefall moves at such speed that huge crevasses open without much warning. The large towers of ice or seracs found at the Icefall have been known suddenly to collapse. It is estimated that the glacier advances three to four feet down the mountain every day! As the ice structures are continually changing, crossing the Khumbu Icefall is extremely dangerous. Even extensive rope and ladder crossings cannot prevent loss of life. More people have died crossing the Khumbu Icefall than on any other part of Mount Everest.