Dear Kutira and Raphael and the Nuns of Bhutan,
A great thank you for this inspiring music which passed straight through my heart and fits so well with the feelings I had at this very special place…
My sister and I met Klaus in Nepal, where we enjoyed each others’ company, talked for hours about the environment – and most memorably saw his great dancing skills in the Buddha Bar. He took care of me when I twisted my foot on the road, and when he told us of his struggle to attain permits from the Nepali Government, I helped him however I could. We laughed when he had to take a beginner’s course in flying, and triumphed when our dear friend Raj secured him an appointment with a minister. It was surely a journey of determination, faith, and the will to make a dream come true.
At last, for the first time, a glider soared over Mount Everest on 1 February 2014. With Klaus at the helm, the journey came just short of 50 years after the first ascent of Everest in 1954 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzin Norgay. His ascent studied meteorological turbulence as part of a research program on pollution and glacier monitoring.
Klaus turned off the engine near Lukla at an altitude of around 6000 metres above sea level and surfed along the lower parts of the Everest ridge in weak thermals. Climbing slowly to around 7500 metres, Ohlmann found more lift, and a sudden turbulence over the Khumbu Icefalls took him into the laminar flow of a wave of air mass flowing in a light storm of 100 km winds over the crest of Everest.
“I’m delighted to be the first glider pilot to have soared over the mighty Everest,” said Ohlmann, the holder of 52 world gliding records, including the world distance record of 3008 km. “The view from the top of the world was stunning and breath-taking. But more than that, we have begun an era of scientific exploration to study the climatic conditions that affect the Himalayas and other mountainous regions of the world — and to see how this affects the health of our planet.”
In 2013, Kathmandu had a sweet surprise for me in store. Each December the Kathmandu International Mountain Film Festival (KIMFF) is held in downtown Kathmandu, showcasing many wonderful long and short movies from around the world to very special, artistic crowd. Well, the last day was the closing ceremony, to which we received an invitation from a friend. Little did I know that the movie “86 Centimeters,” about the melting of Bhutan’s glacier, had won the Award for “Best Environmental Film.” Our beautiful CD The Sacred Feminine Voices of Bhutan was partially used for the sound track of this great movie. When the announcement came I was ecstatic, but as I looked around the room, I realized that none of the other people involved in the making of the film were present.
Long story short, I suddenly found myself, like at the Oscars Award in LA, on stage at the KIMFF. I walked through a line of paparazzi, dressed in my trekking gear, making may way through a totally full theater to receive the award on behalf of the filmmakers. I was even faced with making an acceptance speech! Thankfully, since I practice sustainable living every day the words are always on the tip of my tongue and I was able to give the speech and receive the award gracefully.
Sound and visuals are important to dance with each other. We are so happy to be able to contribute with our music to such great movies who make an impact in our lives. If you would like to watch the trailer for the movie, which we would highly recommend, it can be found here.