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What’s New?

Yak Girl – Dorje Dolma is coming to Nelson!

Thursday, January 31, 2019 at the Nelson Library

Dorje Dolma was born in Karang, one of the villages where we support a school. Her book describes her young life there, herding the family’s animals in the mountains at age 5 while fighting off wolves and snow leopards! The event date is a long way off, but you may want to put it in your calendar now – she is an interesting and engaging speaker, and it’s a rare opportunity to meet someone from this remote part of Nepal.

At the same time, the library will be showing David R. Gluns incredible portraits of villagers and students at Saldang.  Altitude Project is extremely grateful to Dave for making these images available for display on our website. Have a look here, and if you are interested in purchasing a print of any of the images, please contact us. Please note that Dave will not be available to produce images until after Christmas as he will be off traveling starting next week.

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“A rare and fascinating testimony, told from the inside, of a little girl who made an incredible trip from inner Dolpo to America—and from the Middle Ages to the 21st century.”
—Eric Valli, director of the Oscar-nominated film Himalaya

This unusual memoir immerses the reader in the fascinating story of a spirited girl in a remote, undeveloped region of Nepal near the border of Tibet, a place made known to the world in Peter Matthiesen’s The Snow Leopard. Life above 13,000 feet in northern Dolpo―often called the last paradise because of its breathtaking snow-capped peaks, untouched beauty, and hand-irrigated green pastures―was one of constant risk and harsh survival. In the 1980s, Dolpo had no running water, electricity, motor vehicles, phones, school, or doctors, other than the local lamas, trained in the use of herbs and prayer.

Dorje Dolma’s life centered around the care of her numerous younger brothers and sisters and the family’s sheep, goats, and yaks. At age five she began herding and was soon taking the animals high in the mountains, where she fought off predatory wolves and snow leopards. Covering her first ten years, the story takes Dorje from her primitive mountain village to the bewildering city of Kathmandu, and finally to a new home in America, where she receives life saving surgery.

With humor, soul, and insightful detail, the author gives us vividly told vignettes of daily life and the practice of centuries-old Tibetan traditions. She details the heartbreaking trials, natural splendors, and familial joys of growing up in this mysterious, faraway part of the world with its vanishing culture. The sharp increase in recent years of western trekkers to the area, and the introduction of modern communication and transportation, is causing rapid change in Dolpo. This wonderful and surprising tale of survival, loss, and self-reflection offers us entry to this difficult, yet magical place.

Above all, this is the inspiring story of an indomitable spirit conquering all obstacles, a tale of a girl with a disability on her way to becoming a dynamic woman in a new world.

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Dorje at the Jaipur Literature Festival, in a panel discussion with Simon Winchester and Wade Davis

New Toilets for Komas School

Altitude Project provided funding for a new toilet block to be constructed at the school. It is very nice to see this work done so early in the school season! Thanks to all kind sponsors!

A New Video

We have uploaded a beautiful new video!

Return to Dolpo – Jumla to Juphal on the GHT High Route
– a YouTube video / slideshow of our epic 29 day trek last October

Altitude Project Receives Tax Exempt Status!!!

Altitude Project has met the requirements for tax-exempt status as a registered charity under the Income Tax Act of Canada! This is a huge milestone for us and a very good day for the people of the Upper Dolpo!


So, from today forward, any people or organizations making donations will receive a tax receipt. If a donation is made on behalf of a company or organization, please state clearly who should be listed on the tax receipt. And – we must include a physical address on all tax receipts (it’s a requirement) so please be sure to include that information when making a donation – thanks.

This was quite a process and would not have been possible (at least for us) without legal help. We need to thank a kind sponsor who was able to help us locate a legal firm in Vancouver that helps charities (huge thanks to you!). We need to thank Scott Turner at Burns Fitzpatrick for agreeing to take on our case with a good portion of it pro bono, and, of course the lawyer assigned to our case, Neal Kansy.

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And we really need to thank all the kind and generous people who have donated to Altitude Project before we became a registered charity. Your trust in us is humbling.

For clarity, legal costs were not paid from donations to the project but rather by directors. Our commitment to use all donations directly for our work in the Upper Dolpo region of Nepal remains firm.

A New Video

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We have uploaded a beautiful new video!

Chloe’s Ghorepani Adventure
– A spring trek with my granddaughter through the magnificent rhododendron forests of the Annapurna region

Location of  Saldang, Karang and Komas (Khoma) 

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THANK YOU to all of you kind and generous supporters that make Altitude Project’s efforts successful!

“Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.”

― Albert Einstein