Soaring in the Himalayas

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For over a dozen years the MWP (Mountain Wave Project) team, consisting of top sailplane pilots and meteorologists has been mostly associated with the exploration of the awesome wave systems created by the Andes.  Exploration of these unique weather conditions has resulted in many spectacular soaring world records, including the longest and highest soaring flights ever.  Now the MWP team is trying to explore the Himalayas.
For over four years the team has been trying to get permission from the Chinese authorities to conduct science missions over the Himalayas from the Tibetan side.  Despite considerable efforts and the involvement of various Chinese organizations no such permission was obtained.  So now the team has decided to conduct an investigation of the Himalayas (in the Annapurna to Mount Everest area) from the Nepal side.  The team’s two Stemme S-10VT are scheduled to leave on October 8 for Kathmandu, which sounds like an interesting trip in itself.  The main purpose of the expedition, which is to last until yearend, is to gather meteorological, atmospheric and remote sensing data and the primary S-10 has an under wing pod loaded with scientific data collection instrumentation. But with Klaus Ohlmann as the chief pilot there is obviously also keen interest in the soaring potential of these highest mountains in the world.
As a big surprise Sebastian Kawa – the highest ranking soaring competition pilot in the world – just announced his own campaign to explore the soaring potential in Nepal - the Everest Gliding Project.  He intends to use a self-launching ASH-25 and is looking for funding, including cloud sourcing.  Soaring in the Himalayas has been tried a few times before with hanggliders, paragliders and ultralights but not with a high performance sailplane. 
With some of the world best soaring pilots exploring this area, one can look forward to some interesting stories - and ecotourism in Nepal might get a new dimension.