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National Geographic Society Launches 2019 Everest Expedition

Joins with Tribhuvan University and Rolex to study the impacts of climate change in the Himalaya

On April 16, a team of international and Nepali researchers led by the National Geographic Society and Nepal’s Tribhuvan University will arrive at Mount Everest (known locally as Sagarmatha) basecamp for the first of a series of Extreme Expeditions in partnership with Rolex, which has been involved in exploration since the 1930s. Over the course of the two-month expedition, the team will undertake a robust effort to better understand the effects of climate change in the region.

The glaciers of the Hindu-Kush Himalaya provide critical water resources to well over one billion people downstream, but recent research shows that the rising global temperature is threatening this vital resource. By exploring one of the most extreme environments in the region -- the world’s tallest mountain -- the Extreme Expedition team will fill critical data and knowledge gaps about this complex mountain system.

Expedition leader Dr. Paul Mayewski, Director of the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, will oversee an international team of expert scientists and climbers. Dr. Ananta Gajurel, Head of the Department of Geology at Tribhuvan University, will serve as the Lead Nepali Researcher. World-renowned climber, explorer, and filmmaker Pete Athans will serve as climbing lead for the expedition and Tenzing Gyaljen Sherpa will serve as basecamp manager.

By launching these Extreme Expeditions, National Geographic and Rolex are building on a six-decade history of partnership to explore, understand, and protect the planet. Beginning with the Extreme Expedition to Mount Everest, National Geographic and Rolex aim to break ground in launching a new model of exploration that expands understanding of the Earth’s critical life support systems and delivers data to catalyze solutions for a Perpetual Planet.


About the National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is an impact-driven global nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas to increase understanding of our world and generate solutions for a healthy, more sustainable future for generations to come. Our ultimate vision: a planet in balance. To learn more, visit

About Rolex and Perpetual Planet

The word “Perpetual” is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster. But more than just a word on a dial, it is a philosophy that embodies the company’s vision and values. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of Rolex, instilled a quest for excellence that underpins all the company’s activities, from its watchmaking to its long-term support for those who strive to push back the boundaries of human endeavour and achievement. Since the 1930s, Rolex has equipped pioneering explorers on expeditions to the world’s most remote places, the oceans and the highest peaks. As the 21st century unfolds; however, the era of pure discovery is changing to one of exploration as a means to preserve the natural world. Under the banner of a Perpetual Planet, Rolex is joining forces with key individuals and organizations to help find solutions to environmental challenges.

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About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit or follow us on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.