Severe Winter in the Spiti Valley

Greetings, I have recently returned from Spiti. This year the winter has been very severe with a lot of snow and a freezing cold wind a lot of the time which brought the temperatures down to below 27C -30C degrees. However, this didn’t seem to put off the Snow Leopard tourists with huge cameras who came from many parts of the world. The roads were dangerous and many areas were blocked with deep snow but still they came.

I stayed in our Community Centre with a Jeet and Tashi. It has a lovely warm atmosphere and is proving that our earth technology was exactly the right way to build. We kept thermometers in every room and I am so pleased that the inside of the building did not go below 8C degrees the entire time were there, whilst outside remained at minus 27C – 30C at night. If the sun was out it would warm up to minus 15C degrees during the day.

Snow fell nearly every night and made the valley look stunningly beautiful as you can see from the photographs.

On my way to Spiti, via Shimla, I had the privilege of meeting N.K.Negi, the Architect in Chief for Himachel Pradesh. He had visited the Community Centre in the summer and we had given him a copy of the plans. As we sat drinking our tea, we discussed various points of the building technique used on the building. I am delighted to say that the government is now going to build a teaching Monastery in Tabu using our earth technology. What is even more exciting is that a rule has just been passed in Spiti by the Tribal Officer to stop cement being used for building houses as it is neither suitable or sustainable at this altitude. Cement has no thermal qualities and it gives off an odour that is damaging to health causing respiratory problems.

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