Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tyler went to India on a BYU Geology Department field trip (he's a geology major). They spent 17 days exploring the Himalaya Mountains.

Who knew Tyler could grow a beard...and even look good with one! This picture was taken at a geology stop where the students all got out of their jeeps and talked about what had happened to the rocks right around the road. Pretty sweet structural geology in the background!

Tyler's new friend, a 10ish year old Buddhist monk named Namgy. He sat next to Tyler during the Dalai Lama's address and was fascinated by everything Tyler had. He tried on the sunglasses, wore Tyler's watch, rubbed Tyler's arm hair (he didn't have any), and drew pictures and wrote his name on a piece of paper that Tyler pulled out.
While the geologists were in Leh (a town in north western India), the Dalai Lama was in town visiting the Buddhist faithful. Leh is about 90% Buddhist. The Dalai Lama is from Tibet, and he is living in exhile along with many of his fellow Tibetans because of China's occupation in the 1950's. This picture was taken as we walked to our seats just 30 yards from the Lama himself! He taught about being virtuous and about strengthing our family relationships among other things.

Beautiful mountain flowers high in the Rishi Ganga, about 500 feet below the glacier (13,000 ft).

A typical sight on the narrow roads that wind through the narrow, steep-walled Ganges river valley.

Tyler and his friend Drew taking a break during their hike up the Rishi Ganga (a canyon carved out by a glacier). The hike started at 10,800 feet and ended at 13,700 feet. The dude in the middle is from Japan and he lives in a cave in the canyon. He was pretty excited when Tyler shared a Cliff bar with him...apparetly he has been in the Rishi Ganga for 6 years, surviving mostly on lentils, rice, and weeds!
After spending the night high up in the Rishi Ganga, the group returned to the town of Badrinath, which sits at the bottom of the canyon in a narrow river valley. The town is a sacred site for Hindu's, and many people make a pilgrimage to the prayer temples there sometime during their lives. As Tyler was walking back into the outskirts of town these little children came running out of their houses, hugging his legs and laughing. They were so cute that he had to stop and take a picture!

Tyler standing at the mouth of the receding glacier (on the ice!) that carved the Rishi Ganga canyon. Many of the boulders behind him are the size of cars! Glaciers are fascinating because they are always active. Waterfalls cascade down the toe of the glacier and rivers flow underneath them. All of this moving water constantly causes rocks and dirt to fall off of the glacier too.

I thought Tyler looked hot in this picture! (Oh, and the mountains in the background are pretty cool looking too. The peak is called Nil Kant, and it wasn't conquered by mountaineers until 1997 because it is such a technical climb. You can see the glacier in the background just to the left of Tyler.)

Crazy Indian construction! One cement mixer, tons of bamboo, and very slow progress. I think it's going to be a water tower eventually.

Tyler and his new friends, who really only liked him because of his money, haha! The exchange rate is 50 rupees to 1 dollar, so nice stuff can be pretty cheap in India.


  1. Nice! Looks like an incredible trip! Who knew being a geology major could be so exciting! Hee hee! :)

  2. Rachel, I am soooo glad you started a blog!! It was about time... haha ;) Tyler's trip to India looks amazing. What a cool experience! I am sad that we will not be in Walla Walla this weekend. I am sure you will have a fun time though.