Himalayan Journal vol.02
The Himalayan Journal
Vol.02

Publication year:
1930

Editor:
Kenneth Mason
Index
  1. EXPLORATION AND CLIMBING IN THE SIKKIM HIMALAYA
    (LIEUT.-COL. H. W. TOBIN)
  2. THE GERMAN ATTACK ON KANGCHENJUNGA, 1929
    (PAUL BAUER.*)
  3. THE GEM-STONES OF THE HIMALAYA
    (DR. A. M. HERON.)
  4. BIRD NOTES OF A JOURNEY TO GYANTSE
    (L. R. FAWCUS)
  5. THE SHYOK FLOOD, 1929
    (J. P. GUNN)
  6. THE KAGAN VALLEY
    (LIEUT. J. B. P. ANGWIN.)
  7. SONAMARG AS A CLIMBING CENTRE.
    (DR. E. F. NEVE.)
  8. ISTOR-O-NAL AND SOME CHITRALI SUPERSTITIONS
    (LIEUT. D. M. BURN.)
  9. IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THE GERARDS
    (W. E. BUCHANAN)
  10. ROUND THE KANAWAR KAILAS
    (H. M. GLOVER.)
  11. THE MAZENO PASS
    (Captain J. BARRON.)
  12. NINE DAYS' SPORT ON THE PAMIRS
    (Captain A. A. RUSSELL.)
  13. THE MUZ-ART PASS IN THE CENTRAL TIEN-SHAN
    (LIEUT.-COL. REGINALD SCHOMBERG.)
  14. EXPEDITIONS
  15. IN MEMORIAM
  16. NOTES
  17. REVIEWS
  18. CORRESPONDENCE
  19. CLUB PROCEEDINGS.
  20. CLUB NOTICES
  21. LIBRARY NOTICES

NOTES

Calcutta and Darjeeling Notes. The spirited attack of the German expedition on Kangchenjunga is told elsewhere in this volume. Lack of opportunity rather than lack of enterprise accounts for the fact that the eastern members have not more to record, but there has been a steady increase in numbers and a growing atmosphere of enthusiasm.

A first step towards increasing opportunities of travel off the beaten track in Sikkim has been made by acquiring equipment, and it is now possible for members to obtain on loan tents, ropes, ice-axes, crampons, etc., at a very moderate charge.

A " Hut Fund " has been opened by allotting Rs. 500 from the capital available after amalgamation of the Mountain Club of India and the Himalayan Club, and it is hoped to increase this fund by various means. The location of the first hut has not yet been fixed. I Tuts are required at Dzongri, the Zemu glacier and the Dongk La, all of which have equal claims. From this year's experience, the Zemu glacier appears to be the best base for attacking Kangchenjunga, while a hut at Dzongri would probably be more popular owing to its accessibility. Any donations to this fund will be gratefully acknowledged by the Local Honorary Secretary at Calcutta.[1]
Thanks to the generosity of Lt .-Colonel Derviche-Jones, who opened the fund with a generous donation, and to other members resident in or near Calcutta, a Zeiss Epidiascope has been purchased to enable members to illustrate their travels at evening lectures, which it is hoped will be arranged after informal Club dinners. Two such dinners have already been held during the past year, at the instigation of Sir Edwin Pascoe. Both were held at the United Service Club, and brief accounts will be found of them under " Proceedings " elsewhere in this volume.

G. B. G.

The Council of the Eoyal Geographical Society awarded the Back Grant for the year 1929 to Mr. P. C. Visser for his exploration of the Hunza Karakoram glaciers. Mr. Visser is an attache at the Royal Netherlands Legation at Stockholm. He first visited the Himalaya in 1922, when with his wife, he made an interesting study of several of the glaciers of the Saser group of the Muztagh-Karakoram. In 1925 he visited Hunza and crossed from the head of the Khunjerab valley into the Ghujerab, which up till then had never been visited by Europeans. From the Ghujerab, he crossed to the Shingshal valley and successfully explored the great glaciers descending from the northern wall of the Muztagh-Karakoram. He then returned to the Hunza river and explored the great Batura glacier throughout its length.

Mr. Visser is a fine climber and has been a member of the Alpine Club since 1913. His wife, who accompanied him on both his expeditions, is vice-president of the Ladies' Alpine Club. Both are Honorary Members of the Royal Netherlands Geographical Society and of the Netherlands Alpine Club. Mr. Visser was awarded the Gold Plancius Medal of the Netherlands Geographical Society, the Medal for explorations in Asia by the Societe de Geographie of Paris, and the silver Andree Medal of the Royal Geographical Society of Sweden. The Societe Royale de Geographie of Antwerp elected him an Honorary Member.

Mr. and Mrs. Visser have made a number of ascents in the Alps and in Norway, and are now engaged on their third Karakoram expedition, of which some details appear in another part of this volume.

The Spelling of " Kinchinjunga." In common with that of many other Tibetan and Lepcha place-names on the map of Sikkim, the spelling of the name of the world's third-highest mountain has been woefully mishandled in every map and gazetteer hitherto published. In view of the increased public attention recently devoted to this region, the occasion seems opportune for suggesting the adoption of a more systematic scheme of orthography.

The best system of transliteration yet devised for Tibetan words is that of Sir Charles Bell,[2] which has been adopted by the Bengal Government. Under this system the romanized form of the mountain's name becomes Rang Chhen Dzd Nga. It is, however, the custom of the Survey of India, in the interests of briefness and legibility to modify slightly Sir C. Bell's system by (&) grouping separate Tibetan monosyllables into words as far as possible, and (ii) ignoring the slightly-sounded Tibetan aspirates and writing Ch for Chh, Ts for Tsh, etc. (e.g., chu, water, instead of chhu ; tso, lake, instead of tsho). Thus we get the form " Kangchen Dzo-nga," which is recommended for adoption by the Himalayan Club, in the hope that the official gazetteer, which at present spells the word " Kinchin junga," will some day follow suit. Although the employment of diacritical marks is rightly deprecated on modern maps, yet their use can never be entirely dispensed with, and, in the present instance, both the modification over the o, and the hyphen which follows it are absolutely necessary in order to indicate the correct pronunciation of the second half of the name, which it is to be noted, has no connection with the well-known Tibetan word dzong, a fort.

It may be remarked that almost every Tibetan place-name has a meaning, usually of appropriate significance. Thus Kangchen Dzo-nga means " Big snow, five treasures "-with reference, presumably, to the five principal summits of the massif.

The Survey of India, which, under Government orders, adheres to the spelling used in the Imperial Gazetteer for place-names occurring in it, has for the present decided that the mountain will appear on its maps, thus :

KINCHIN JUNGA

(KANGCHEN DZO-NGA).

H. T. M.

Note by Editor.

Sir Sidney Burrard, in his Sketch of the Geography and Geology of the Himalaya Mountains and Tibet, writes : The name Kinchinjunga has been spelt in a variety of ways. Uniformity of spelling is of more importance to geographers than correctness. The correct forms are doubtless Kanchenjunga or Kanchendzonga, but the more familiar form of Kinchinjunga is that adopted in the new Imperial Gazetteer, and this, it is hoped, will now come into general use."

The two highest summits of the mountain appear in the Survey of India records as VIII and IX. Kinchinjunga was the spelling used by Hooker, who occasionally abbreviated it to " Kinchin." Kanchinjunga, Kinchinjinga, and Kinchinjunga are all used in the old Survey of India reports by Captain H. J. Harman and Colonel Tanner. Kangchenjunga is the spelling used by Mr. Douglas Freshfield and Dr. A. M. Kellas, and this has been adopted by the Royal Geographical Society. Kanchenjunga is the usual spelling of the leading press in India. There is thus no uniformity among experts or non-experts of the past or present, nor on maps or in the press of to-day; nor can we shelter behind convention and say that any one of these spellings has become sanctioned by usage.

The spelling Kangchenjunga, used in Colonel Tobin's article, and in the illustrations from photographs (including the frontispiece) by Mr. N. A. Tombazi, is the one preferred by them, and the one that I find by far the most generally used to-day, which shows that Sir Sidney Burrard's hope has not been fulfilled.[3] It has the advantage of being a compromise between the absolutely correct spelling, Kang-chen Dzd-nga, according to Sir Charles Bell's system of transliteration, which in this case is undoubtedly awkward, and the utterly incorrect spelling of the Imperial Gazetteer, and it has therefore been retained in this volume. The whole of the place-names of Sikkim, both on our maps and in the Gazetteer require careful revision by an expert.

A copy of the above note was referred by me to His Highness Sir Tashi Namgyal, the Maharaja of Sikkim, who has kindly authorized me to quote his views from a letter which runs as follows :-

" Our name of this mountain is written in Tibetan by a compound word which in English is Kang-Chen-mdZod-iNga, pronounced as Kang-chen-zod-nga, meaning, ' Snow, big, treasures, five,' or ' Five big treasured snow.' But you will see that it is so difficult for one to pronounce the word, if the Tibetan correct spelling is used in English, letter by letter.

“In the word Kangchenjunga, I see the first two words Kang-chen (snow- big) pronounce and convey the meaning correctly, but the last word junga, has no meaning in Tibetan. It really ought to be Zod-nga (treasure, five, or five- treasured). However, I have consulted Colonel Weir, and we both agree with you to leave it as Kangchenjunga, as it also appears from your enclosed note that this is by far the most generally used to-day."

The Height of Kangchenjunga is shown on maps as 28,146 feet. This height was derived from theodolite observations from six stations in the plains averaging 104 miles from the mountain and four stations in the hills averaging 47 miles from it.

In the Geodetic Report, Vol. I, published by the Survey of India, Dr. de Graaff Hunter has investigated the heights of both Everest and Kangchenjunga, taking into consideration the latest ideas of refraction, radiation and plumb-line deflection. His conclusions indicate that the height of Kangchenjunga is 28,227 feet above the geoid, with a possible error of 12 feet. The accepted height of K2 is 28,250 feet, and until the observations to this peak undergo the same rigid analysis, it must be considered the second highest mountain in the world.

The Name " Makalu." In a recent discussion on the nomenclature of individual Himalayan peaks, the statement that Everest is the only personal name which has been accepted by the Survey of India was challenged, and both the names " Godwin Austen " and " Makalu " for the second and fourth highest mountains were cited. As stated in The Himalayan Journal, Vol. I, p. 104, the name " Godwin Austen " was approved neither by the Survey or Government of India. The name " Makalu " has been held by some to be a corruption of Macaulay. There seems to be no justification for this assumption.

Captain W. S. Sherwill, in his Notes upon a Tour in the Sikkim Himalayah Mountains (J. A. S. B., 1853, VII, p. 615), remarks on the absence of a native name for this remarkable peak, and since his day no definite native name has been found. In the records of the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India, the mountain is entered as No. XIII, but in his Narrative Report on the Sikkim Survey, 1883- 1884, Colonel Tanner wrote :-" With the exception of the Kinchin- junga peak, No. XIII or Makalu (27,990) is the finest yet fixed in the Eastern Himalaya " (General Report of the Survey of India, 1883- 84). At about the same time, in 1884, the Survey of India explorer, Rinzin Namgyal, drew a panorama of the Nepal Himalaya, in which the mountain is figured as " Pk. XIII, Khamba Lung, 27,790 feet." Khamba Lung is evidently derived from the Khamba district of Tibet, which adjoins the mountain, while Kama-lung is the valley overlooked by it. Colonel Morshead has called my attention to the probable corruption of Kama-lung into Makalung by the transposition of the consonants. It seems that this simple explanation is far more likely than that of a derivation from the name of a man, who, however distinguished he may have been, was unconnected in any way with the mountain. The fact that Macaulay was known as Mdkalu Sahib, must, I think, be treated as pure coincidence. The accepted height of Makalu is 27,790 feet from six stations of observation.

To Gilgit by Air. In the Journal of the United Service Institution of India for April 1929, there is a brief but most interesting account of the flight of four Wapiti aeroplanes from Risalpur via Chakdara, the Kotkai pass, and the Indus valley to Gilgit. Colonel J. F. Turner, Chief Engineer to the Air Force in India, who accompanied the flight and describes it, was for a few years before the war Military Engineer at Gilgit, and then toured extensively throughout the Agency. With ordinary ground methods of transport, with perfect arrangements and in perfect weather, the shortest time in which a traveller can normally reach Gilgit is twelve days, through Kashmir, and even this necessitates double marches throughout, over two passes which are liable to be blocked by snow. The four Wapitis left Risalpur at 7-30 a.m. on the 28th March and landed at Gilgit almost exactly four hours afterwards, including a halt of an hour 'and twenty minutes to re-fuel at Chakdara. Apart from the advantage of thus drawing closer this distant frontier outpost, there is a very special geographical interest in the flight, for the machines passed over that part of the Indus Kohistan into which no British officer or European has ever penetrated.

The Wapiti planes reached the Indus in eleven minutes from the Kotkai pass, and all thoughts of engine trouble were soon dispelled by the magnificent scenery. From here up to Sazin, opposite the Darel and Tangir valleys, the Indus flows in a stupendous gorge. Colonel Turner writes : " To see the ribbon of river which is 2000 feet above sea-level, below, one had to look over the edge of the cockpit, whereas, close alongside the wings, the mountains rose in some places to over 15,000 feet in one slope, which consisted of precipice after precipice with a few stone slopes to vary the monotony. The flight travelled at about 12,000 feet. The only possible description of the hill-sides is that they equalled the worst markhor ground. " For most of the way there was no track on either side of the river, and it is hardly to be wondered at that this Indus Kohistan is peopled by separate communities of small independent tribes, tucked away in tributary valleys. Except during the summer and at great heights there is little communication between them.

This gorge of the Indus, which was traversed about a.d. 403 by the Chinese pilgrim Fa-hsien, and described by him as the " Route of the Hanging Chains," has not yet been penetrated by Europeans, though the tributary valleys and Swat have recently been surveyed. Our maps of the gorge itself are still dependent on the old route traverse of "the Mullah,"-Ata Mahomed, of the Survey of India- who in 1876 followed the Indus throughout its course from Attock to Bunji.

The point where the planes met the Indus valley is just north of Pir-Sar, now identified by Sir Aurel Stein as Aornos, the famous rock-stronghold captured by Alexander the Great in 326 b.c. [4] What would the Macedonian have given to have included among his weapons of war four ' Wapitis '! Or would he, if he had watched them flying overhead from the Kotkai pass to the Indus, in eleven minutes, have refused, like the Wazir of Chilas in 1929, to believe that there were men inside them !

We can imagine the excitement at Gilgit. All the Mirs and chiefs of the Agency were collected to see the wonderful" flying carpet" of the Sirkar. Few had ever been south of the mountains or seen even a wheeled vehicle. None had ever set eyes upon an aeroplane. From the time the machines appeared in their strikingly regular formation until they were parked in front of the assembled crowd, f here was an amazed and awe-struck silence. Then as the noise of Mm engines died down, tongues were loosened. The old Mir of Nagar, holder than the rest, clambered up the side of a plane. The less- Ira,veiled tribesmen were not sure if their chief's familiarity was tfmat daring or gross sacrilege. One wanted to know what sort of inhuman monster was hidden inside, turning the thing that the more Mophisticated termed a " punkah."

This flight records one more triumph of the air. Gilgit, our northernmost outpost, has been linked up with India. The raiders of Tangir, Darel, and of the other little republican States and unad- inmistered independent territory, enclosed by Gilgit, Swat, Chitral and Hazara, will have realized that they are no longer immune from punishment ; and already the gentle suggestion of an aerial visit by the Political Officer at Gilgit has settled with blood money an account opened by certain Darelis.

Peak Kaufmann. The mountain known to us as Peak Kauf- mann, and believed up till 1929 to be the highest mountain summit in Russian territory was climbed in September 1928 by a party of German climbers, and its name was changed to Peak Lenin. According to Dr. Longstaff in the Alpine Journal, Vol. XLI, p. 160, it " was named after the celebrated Russian General, Constantine Petrovitch Kaufmann, conqueror and Governor-General of Russian Turkistan from 1867 till his death at Tashkend in 1882. He took Samarkand in 1868, also Khiva, Bokhara and Khokand. His advance was the main cause of the British-Afghan war of 1877-8. "

The Pamirs and the neighbouring mountains have many honoured names, some of which symbolize the end of the old Anglo- Russian suspicion. We have the Nicolas Range, Lake Victoria, Peter the Great Range, Peak Salisbury. These names are international.

Presumably every nation has a right to call its mountains what it likes, though personal names are as a rule objectionable and unsuitable. But once the name of a man has become attached and accepted internationally, there is no need for other nations to discard that name and adopt a fresh one merely because there is a change of government in the country concerned. Everest has remained, not altogether because of the great scientist it commemorates, but partly because the name itself has a poetic meaning in our language. Let those who feel the same poetic sympathy for the name of Lenin adopt that name, while the rest of us keep the traditional one of Kaufmann.

Some prophets in the East may see in the discovery of Garmo, a peak in the Russian Empire higher than the one some now prefer to call Lenin, the birth of a genius greater than his, and one which may restore the fortunes represented by the name of Kaufmann.

The Eight Longest Glaciers in Asia. The discovery by the Russo-German Alai-Pamir Expedition, 1928, of the great length of the Fedchenko glacier moves all our Karakoram glaciers one down on the list of the world's longest glaciers. Up till this discovery the Siachen had been believed to be the longest glacier outside sub- Polar regions, while the Fedchenko, or the Sel-dara, as it was shown on our maps, was believed to be only about fifteen miles long. The following table shows some details of the eight longest known glaciers outside sub-Polar regions :-
Glacier. Region. Length (miles). Snout.
Height (feet). Latitude.
Fedchenko Trans-Alai 48 9880 approx. 39° 05'
Siachen Karakoram 45 12,150 35° 10'
Inylchek Tien Shan 44 9100 approx. 42° 02'
Hispar Karakoram 38 10,500 approx. 36° 10'
Biafo Karakoram 37 10,360 35° 40'
Baltoro Karakoram 36 11,580 35° 40'
Batura Karakoram (Hindu-Kush sec.) 36 8030 36° 31'
Koi-Kaf Tien Shan 31 11,320 41° 51'
No glaciers, other than the above, exceeding thirty miles in length are known outside sub-Polar regions.

The Siachen glacier was discovered in 1848 by Henry Strachey, who ascended it for two miles from the Nubra (J. R. G. S., 23, p. 53). In 1862, Mr. E. C. Ryall, Survey of India, sketched the lower part of the glacier, but he ascribed to it a length of only 16 miles. In 1835 the traveller Yigne approached it from the west via the Bilafond glacier, but never guessed its existence (Travels in Kashmir, Vol. II, p. 382). In 1889 Sir Francis Younghusband approached it from the north, and saw but did not reach a col on its northern watershed. In Sir Sidney Burrard's Sketch of the Geography and Geology of the Himalaya Mountains and Tibet published in 1907, the Siachen is not among the long glaciers of Asia. It was Dr. T. G. Longstaff in 1909, who, with Dr. Arthur Neve and Lieut. Slingsby, first crossed on to the upper Siachen and first discovered its great length. It has since been completely surveyed by Grant Peterkin of the Bullock Workman expedition in 1912.

Prior to this discovery the Inylchek was believed to be the longest glacier outside sub-Polar regions. The details given above are from Merzbacher's map of the Tien Shan, 1928. Merzbacher's own height for the snout of this glacier was 9650 feet, but reliable newer Russian surveys have modified his heights. The Inylchek comprises two long parallel branches of approximately the same length, which enclose Khan Tengri, the great peak of the Tien Shan (the latest height of which is 22,800 feet, from Russian surveys), and which combine about eleven miles from the snout. Merzbacher explored the southern branch for about 35 miles (Petermann's Mitteilungen, Supp. Vol. 109, 1904).

The data of the Hispar, Biafo, Baltoro and Batura glaciers are from the reports of the Survey of India, modified by the later explorations of Sir Martin Conway, the Workmans, the Duke of the Abruzzi, and the Yissers. Those of the Koi-Kaf are derived from Merzbacher.

The Shingshal Glaciers. A most interesting report on the positions of the snouts of the Shingshal glaciers of Hunza in the early months of 1908, written by Captain F. H. Bridges, who was stationed at Gilgit at the time, has just come to light.

Captain Bridges left Pasu on 21st April and made his way up the bottom of the Shingshal gorge to Dikut, fording the river twenty times. Here he joined the normal route by the Karun Pir. The snout of the Malangutti glacier was across the river, which flowed beneath it, and reached within fifty yards of the conglomerate cliff opposite. Bridges reports that in 1907 he was told that the glacier had closed on the cliff and held up a lake 150 feet deep, which was released in September. A comment by the District Engineer at Gilgit states that in April 1907 the snout was 100 yards from the cliff and that there was no lake in August. He dismisses this block and lake as fictitious. There was actually no serious flood in 1907 nor does there ever seem to have been any glacier block caused by the Malangutti in recent years. It is probable that the Shingshal has always been able to maintain a channel either round or under the ice.

Bridges reached Shingshal on 23rd April and the following day moved up to the Yazghil glacier. He found the glacier divided into two snouts about three-quarters of a mile apart. The upper snout was 48 yards from the rock and conglomerate cliff opposite ; the lower only 10 yards from it. The lower snout was about 500 yards wide, the upper about a thousand. A considerable stream issued from this glacier, but the Shingshal bed above it was dry.

It is Bridges' account of the Khurdopin and Yukshingardan glaciers (which he calls Khurdarpin and Shungdiclct), which is of especial interest. The combined glacier had been seen in 1892 by Lieut. Cocker ill, and called by him the Verigeraf. Bridges was the first to discover the snout of the Yirjerab about a mile and a half upstream of the combined snouts of the two lower ones. Bridges writes : " The united glaciers of Khurdarpin and Shungdickt, sweeping past the mouth of Yergerap, and impinging along the whole clifl-face below Yergerap for about 1J miles, have enclosed a large open space at the mouth of the Yergerap nullah, and it is in this space that the lake gradually collects. "

Bridges carefully examined the Khurdopin dam and a surveyor was afterwards sent up to take measurements, which have been entered in the margin of his report. The lake impounded by the dam at the time of the surveyor's visit was about two miles long, about 150 feet deep at the dam and 25 feet deep at the upper end. The water-level (as pointed out by Shingshalis) to which the lake rose in 1907 showed a depth at the dam of 290 feet before the dam burst. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the report is the record of this 1907 flood. The ice appears to have been about 330 feet high when this pressure of the lake, 290 feet deep, burst a channel about 50 feet wide and a hundred feet deep through the top layers of the ice. This channel appears to have acted as a safety valve. The waters released took eleven days to empty and the maximum rise at Bunji was only 7 feet.

Another interesting point is the fact that the lake observed by Bridges, though then 150 feet deep, seems to have dispersed even more harmlessly, for there is no record of a flood of any consequence since 1907.

Though Bridges wrote so interesting a report on the snouts of the glaciers, he had little conception of their size, and it was not till the expedition of the Yissers in 1925 that they were explored throughout their length and surveyed. Captain Bridges' report was accompanied by a sketch map and eight monochrome sketches. A copy of the report, sketches and map are now available for reference in the Club library, and another copy may be found at the Royal Geographical Society in London. It is a pity that a record of exploration of such surpassing interest to glaciologists should have been buried so long and forgotten.

The Way to the Baspa. On page 71 of the first volume of The Himalayan Journal, Major She wen described an accident that occurred at the Soldang Gad, between Taranda and Nachar. As this account has had the effect of deterring a traveller from making the journey, it seems desirable to point out that accidents are not frequent. The following is an extract from a letter of a well-known member of the Club, who knows the Hindustan-Tibet road well:

"To me it seems perfectly absurd to cancel a march up the Hindustan-Tibet road because one man was killed by a falling rock. One might as well refuse to walk the streets of London for fear of a motor running on to the pavement. I have been along these Taranda cliffs many times, often after heavy rain, and until I heard of Shewen's accident, I had no idea that there was any special danger at this point. In the Himalaya there is always some risk of falling rocks but I have had more narrow escapes in half an hour on the Kashmir road during heavy rain than I have had in all my travels elsewhere."

The following extract is taken from a letter from a traveller up the H. T. road in 1929 :

" Rain stopped at 9 a.m. The cliffs on the Taranda spur are said to be dangerous after rain, so we waited till 11 a.m. to make a start. On arriving at the spur, just beyond mile 107, it was obvious that since the rain had stopped (2 ½ hours earlier) there had been a heavy fall of rock. There were deep dents in the sodden soil of the path where large boulders had landed ; and on the rocks at the right-hand side of the path were fresh scars and dry powder, which showed how large and how recent the fall had been. As a matter of fact the road itself was not blocked as it is so narrow, and the slope of the cliff so steep that boulders would not stop there if they fell from a height. I should say, however, that except after snow or heavy rain the road is absolutely safe ; and if one is cautious (as I fortunately was) there is no danger-or very little."

The Survey of the Baspa Valley. As suggested by Mr. W. E. Buchanan on page 75 of this Journal, the Survey of India map 531, scale 1 inch=4 miles, has not been revised for a long time and is from very old surveys. The 1916 edition is merely a reprint of the old Atlas map with the longitude changed. As far as I have been able to ascertain, the lower part of the Baspa valley was sketched in July 1851 by Mr. James Peyton, sub-assistant of the Survey of India, during the triangulation of the Sutlej valley (Sutlej-Spiti-Chandra series). The upper part of the valley seems to have been surveyed later. The history of the junction between the surveys of the Bhagi- rathi and Baspa is most interesting. In the early summer of 1853, Mr. J. Dyer, 1st class sub-assistant, carried a series of minor triangulation up the Bhagirathi, but failed through bad weather to ascend or cross the Great Himalaya near the Nela pass. A second attempt was made in October the same year, both from the Bhagirathi and from the Baspa, Mr. Mulheran following the route that leads along the southern face of the watershed, while Messrs. Shelverton and Dyer attacked it from the Baspa side. It was, I believe, at this time that the main valley of the Baspa and the passes leading into it were sketched. Once more bad weather intervened and the attempt to effect a junction was abandoned. The range was eventually conquered on 13th May 1854 by Mr. W. H. Johnson, who placed a station on the watershed at 19,069 feet above sea-level, a, quarter of a mile east of the Nela pass. Mr. Johnson reached the Nela pass from the Baspa side and triangulated the whole of the Baspa valley, about 35 miles as the crow flies. The only surveys that appear to have been based on this triangulation were patches of forest survey done in 1885 on the one-inch scale, and smaller isolated patches of forest survey done later on the four-inch scale. These were too late to be incorporated in the " Atlas map/' and as this has never been re-drawn they were not included in the reprint of 1916. Too much reliance should not therefore be placed on the details of the side valleys and upper regions shown in the existing map, as they were almost certainly sketched from a distance and based on insufficient triangulation.

The Bombay Natural History Society was founded in 1883 for the purpose of " exchanging notes and observations on Zoology and exhibiting interesting specimens of animal life." Its funds are devoted entirely to the advancement of knowledge of the Zoology and Botany of the Oriental Region.

The Society consists of Life Members, Ordinary Members and Honorary Members. Life Members pay an entrance fee of Rs. 20 and a Life Membership fee of Rs. 350. Ordinary Members pay an entrance fee of Rs. 20 and an annual subscription of Rs. 25. The terms are the same for members residing outside India. Its famous Journal, as a scientific publication, is one of the most important issued in the East. On the popular side its articles and illustrations appeal to the sportsman and the naturalist the world over. Of particular interest to members of the Himalayan Club are the wide and varied range of articles which have appeared in its Journal dealing with the Fauna and Flora of the Himalayan Region. The Mammals, Birds, Butterflies and Snakes of the Himalayan and trans-Himalayan provinces have been dealt with in its pages in numerous articles and notes. A serial, illustrated in colour, on Indian Wading Birds and on Beautiful Indian Trees is now currentjin its issues. A feature of the Journal is the section, " Miscellaneous Notes." These form a fascinating record of observations and experiences of individual members on many interesting phases of Natural Life. Members receive the Society's Journal post free. The Society is always willing to correspond with members on matters connected with Natural History and to offer assistance or advice to private collectors of Zoological material. The Society's Taxidermy Department is at the service of members who wish to have their trophies mounted.

Ladies and gentlemen wishing to join the Society should communicate with the Honorary Secretary, Sir Reginald Spence, Kt., 6, Apollo Street, Bombay.

Ski in the Himalaya.-Though the chief centre for ski-ing in the Himalaya is Gulmarg, in Kashmir, every winter sees people out on ski in Kangra, above Dharmsala (where Gurkha soldiers have been taught to ski), at Eazmak and in Chitral; whilst before the Afghan debacle, the British Legation at Kabul found ski-ing made a great difference to the long winter months.

A couple of years ago an officer on a shikar trip in Kashmir covered a portion of his journey on ski, taking an hour and half to his coolies' six. This year a member of the Ski Club hopes to collect a small party to go up the Liddar valley in April for a run down the Kolahoi glacier on ski.

The first actual meeting of the Ski Club of India on snow was at Rashmin, in the Safed Koh, beyond Parachinar, in 1926, when Wing Commander Walser, Major Noel and Major Dyce put in two days there just before Christmas. This was a somewhat informal affair and the first advertised meet of the Club was held at Gulmarg in March 1927. Since then meetings have taken place every Christmas and March with increasing numbers.

Forty-one people were up at Gulmarg last Christmas, amongst them being several members of the Himalayan Club. There will also be a certain number up there in February, March and possibly April, for snow goes through the same variations as in Europe, and spring ski-ing is as good as that to be had in winter.

Five feet of snow fell before Christmas, a good deal more than is usual at this time of year. It was therefore possible to hold straight races for the Lillywhite and Walser Cups without fear of rocks. When through lack of snow straight racing is unsafe, Slaloms (a form of bending race) are held. The race for the Lillywhite Cup, which is recognized by the Ski Club of Great Britain as a " British Ski Race," was won by Flight-Lieut. Rhys Jones from eleven starters, two of whom were gold-medal skiers. The Walser Cup for skiers of moderate ability was won by Captain Showers of the 1st K.G.O. Gurkhas. Apharwat, 13,800 feet, was ascended on ski several times and gave good running at first, but the summit latterly become wind-swept and difficult.

The Club has now two " Alpine " huts-one, " Moon Hut " on Kilanmarg, the other, " Hadow Hut " at Linyan Marg; both are very useful, the latter enabling good ski-ing to be obtained until early May. The Ski Club hopes to establish other Alpine Huts along the Pir Panjal range. Three years ago this country was reconnoitred in summer by Major Dyce, with a view to ascertaining its ski-ing possibilities, and found to be eminently suitable for ski-touring. Shin Mahinyu, 15,111 feet, looks a perfect ski-mountain. Possibly the two Clubs could co-operate to some extent in the erection of Alpine Huts.


[1] Donations should be sent to The Local Honorary Secretary, The Himalayan Club, c/o Parry's Engineering, 10, Clive Row, Calcutta.

[2] Grammar of Colloquial Tibetan, by C. A. Bell; Bengal Secretariat Book Department, Calcutta; 2nd Edition, Rupees 3.

[3] I may mention that Bauer spelt the word in the German version of his article Kangchendzonga, informing me at the same time that ' dzo' was preferable to ju ' in German. The letter j ' in German has of course an entirely different sound to dz.'

[4] See Review on page 151.