Alum Publishes Book on Perilous Return to His Village in the Himalayas

Those interested in hearing about dangerous adventures and seeing breathtakingly beautiful pictures of faraway places should attend the presentation and book signing by Karma Gurung, Westminster Class of 2013, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, in the Lecture Hall of the Coulter Science Center.

Gurung will give a short presentation on his life threatening trip to the Himalayas followed by a book signing for his latest work detailing his adventures entitled “Climbing Beyond Crystal Mountain.”

Earlier in 2007 another student had tried to find his way home to his family hiking up the Himalayas never to be seen again.  Gurung’s new book relates his hiking journey in 2009 to visit his parents and how he found himself lost in the middle of hundreds of deserted mountains as he attempted to find his way home across the Crystal Mountains.  The volume is also filled with color photographs he took of the celestial mountains, beautiful lakes and natural springs he found on his travels.

Gurung’s parents live on one of the highest mountains of Dolpo in the Himalayas.

The Crystal Mountain is considered a part of the sacred heritage of Gurung’s home in  Dolpo and is visited by Buddhists from around the world.  The Mountain serves an historical significance in the Buddhist religion and pilgrims stop at each place at Crystal Mountain to offer their prayers and wishes as they make their way around the site of the sacred mountain.

Gurung lived with his parents in the Himalayan town of Dolpo, Nepal, until the age of seven.  He left to attend the Shree Mangal Dvip Boarding School (SMD)  in Kathmandu but finished his education up to the tenth grade at Shrine Academy.  Two Swiss friends, Holgar and Ursi, who had helped finance his education up to this point, were unable to continue their support.

Fortunately, with the help of the Director of SMD, Shirley Blair, Gurung received a full scholarship from the South Asia Children’s Fund to study grade eleven and twelve at Notre Dame College in Bandipur, Nepal.  He graduated from there in 2009 and was accepted at Westminster where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Gurung is the first person from his Nepalese village to earn an undergraduate degree.

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