Rosenberg to discuss hiking in the Himalayas
MIDDLEBURY — In 1964, when he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, David Rosenberg was invited to visit the King of Mustang in the ancient walled town of Lo Manthang on the Tibetan Plateau. He has now published an account of this journey, “Trekking to Mustang, 1964: Crossing Paths with Mastiffs and Khampas in the Himalayan Kingdom of Lo.” It is abundantly illustrated with the original Kodachrome trip photos. On Monday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m., he will give a photo slideshow about his adventure at the Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury.
The book describes how Rosenberg and two fellow Peace Corps Volunteers crossed the Himalayas on foot, through the deepest river gorge on earth, carved out by the Kali Gandaki as it flowed south between the Annapurna and Dhaulagiri mountain ranges. Their journey started in the terraced rice paddies around the hill villages of central Nepal, to coniferous forests on the steep southern slopes of the high Himalayas, and then to the arid, wind-eroded Tibetan Plateau.
Travelling through this natural geological cathedral, they saw how people had adapted their lives to survive in a challenging physical environment while at the same time preserving a deep religious tradition. However, they were surprised and alarmed to find this area was also a staging ground for Khampa warriors who were skirmishing against Chinese border patrols. Their encounters led to a minor but regrettable Cold War incident.
David Rosenberg is Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Middlebury College, Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra, and editor of www.southchinasea.org. He lives in Middlebury with his wife, Jean.
Copies of the book will be available at the talk, at the Vermont Bookshop, and at amazon.com. The event is free and open to the public.