Confusion still reigns, in part because equipment installed by other research groups near Horodyskyj’s cameras remains intact, including a weather station from the World Wildlife Fund. Horodyskyj admits that she may have been part of the problem. She did not apply to the Nepalese government for permission to install the cameras—although she was not aware of any permit process in place at the time. Nevertheless, Horodyskyj, 26, realizes she should have given park officials more details about what she was doing and tried harder to see if some sort of permit was required. “I’m still learning,” she says.
Not all was lost due to the theft. “They missed one camera,” Horodyskyj says, and its video shows the same big draining phenomenon. “But I need another year of data.” Horodyskyj is filing an application to climb back to the peaks in the spring, when she hopes to erect new cameras that can take video during the summer and fall. “Then I can put it all altogether,” she says.
Given the drama, one question had to be asked: “So, for the record, are you a spy?”
“No,” Horodyskyj said.
“So why the accusation?”
“I don’t know.” Her cameras point down from the peak to the lakes below, but there is also a clear line of sight to the next set of glacial peaks, which are 18 to 20 kilometers away. “China is on the other side” of those peaks, she explains. “The Chinese military is along the border of Tibet and Nepal—but it’s behind” those peaks.