Himalayan Journal vol.03
The Himalayan Journal

Publication year:

Kenneth Mason
    (Brig.-General the Hon. C. G. BRUCE..)
    (Lieut.-Col. O. L. RUCK.)
    (M. D. N. WYATT.)
    (LIEUT.-COL. J. R. C. GANNON.)
    (LIEUT. G. C. CLARK.)
    (LIEUT. P. R. OLIVER.)
  14. NOTES


THE Annual General Meeting of the Himalayan Club was held at New Delhi on Saturday, 14th March 1931. Lieutenant- General Sir Kenneth Wigram took the chair.

The Report of the Honorary Secretary, which is printed below, was presented. The Club accounts for 1930 were presented and confirmed. The Officers, Members of the Committee and Additional Members of the Ballotting Committee for 1931 were elected, and Messrs. A. G. Ferguson & Co. were appointed Auditors.

Report on the Work op the Club in the Year 1930.

By the Honorary Secretary.

Membership,-During the year 1930, 48 new members were elected to the Club. There were 11 resignations, mostly among officers retiring from India. The total membership of the Club at the time of writing is now 339.

I regret to have to record the premature deaths of three of our members, Captain F. Ashcroft, 6th Bn. 13th Frontier Force Rifles, and Mr. G. E. R. Cooper and Lieut. I. M. Cadell. Captain Ashcroft was killed in action against the Hathi Khel Wazirs near Bannu on the 24th August, and Mr. Cooper died from jaundice and heart failure in the Rangoon hospital on the 11th March 1930. Mr. Cooper was an expert authority on butterflies, and was to have contributed a paper on this subject to the Himalayan Journal of 1931. Lieut. Cadell died in Burma on 27th December of pneumonia.

It is appropriate to mention here also the passing of a well-known figure in Himalayan climbing--Chettan, the Sherpa porter, who was killed by an avalanche on Kangchenjunga while with the Dyhrenfurth expedition. Chettan was on the last two Everest expeditions and twice carried loads at over 25,000 feet. He was with Ruttledge in Kumaon in 1926-27 and rendered exceptional service to the Bavarian expedition to Kangchenjunga in 1929. He was perhaps the finest of the fine body of Sherpa porters which has come into being since the war.

President.-Field-Marshal Sir William Birdwood, our first President, retired from the office of Commander-in-Chief and went home to England at the end of November. The Club owed him a deep debt of gratitude for the interest that he has always taken in our welfare and proceedings, and for many kindly acts of help. Shortly before he left, Sir William Birdwood presented the Club Library with a number of valuable and interesting books from his own library.

You will be asked to elect as President in his place His Excellency Sir Malcolm Hailey, Governor of the United Provinces, who has kindly consented to undertake the office.

Awards.-In the Himalayan Club we have no awards that we can grant to any of our members for the work they do in the mountains. It is therefore all the more gratifying when other Societies bestow their favours on our members. In 1930, no less than three of our members received awards from the Royal Geographical Society. Kingdon Ward received the Founder's Gold Medal, the highest award an explorer can hope to get. Colonel Schomberg was awarded the Gill Memorial and Colonel Wood received the Murchison Grant.

I may mention here that the Royal Geographical Society kindly invited the Himalayan Club to depute a representative to the Centenary celebrations of the Society in London. The invitation was accepted and the Club most appropriately represented by Sir Geoffrey Corbett.

"The Himalayan Journal."-The second volume of our Journal was published in April and was very well received. It is perhaps impossible to expect the first few volumes to pay for themselves, considering the fact that we distribute free, to members and kindred societies and clubs, nearly five hundred copies. Our library benefits by receiving in exchange the best mountain literature in the world, but the accounts of our own Journal suffer. We hope to better the situation by getting more firms to advertise, but in the present state of trade depression we find that firms are cutting down their expenses, and one of the first items in India to be retrenched is advertising. New members can do something to assist by purchasing back numbers and making the Journal known, among their friends who are not members, and among the messes and clubs to which they belong.

Our Honorary Editor asks me again to thank those who helped to make the Journal a success, particularly many kind reviewers in India and abroad. It may interest you to know that we have had demands for the Journal from such widely separated places on the earth's surface as San Francisco, Peking and Melbourne, while a further compliment was paid to the Journal in 1930 by the election of the Honorary Editor to Honorary Membership of the French Alpine Club.

Library.-Besides 28 books presented by our late President and referred to in an earlier paragraph, 15 books were presented to the Library by other members. A catalogue of the Library has been compiled and copies have been sent to all members of the Club. We have to thank Colonel Phillimore and his successor Captain Armitage for the compilation of this catalogue. Captain Armitage resigned the post of Librarian on leaving Simla at the end of November and has been succeeded by Captain F. R. Gifford, General Staff Branch, Army Headquarters. A few purchases of books were made in England. The Library appears to be popular and a number of books were borrowed in the course of the year by members not resident in Simla. With the issue of the new catalogue, it is possible that the demand for books will increase.

Photographic Exhibition.-A very successful Photographic exhibition was held at Simla in September in connection with the annual exhibition of the Simla Fine Arts Society. It was organized by Major H. R. C. Meade, to whose efforts the success was largely due. Major-General R. C. Wilson and Mr. H. Ruttledge exhibited a few photographs of Kashmir and several of their recent expeditions in the Kumaun Himalaya, by the Pindari glacier route over the main range to Mt. Kailas in west Tibet, round which are the sources of the Indus, Sutlej, Brahmaputra and Ganges rivers. Some of these photographs were produced in slate-grey, a very effective colour for snow scenes with a low sun. Photographs sent in by Major G. W. P. Money also dealt with the Kumaun Himalaya, but his route into Tibet lay up the Dhauli river further east. Mr. E. B. Wakefield's photographs were taken on a recent journey from Simla and ended, like that of Wilson and Ruttledge referred to above, near the Manasarowar Lake in west Tibet. Wakefield's route lay partly along the one originally surveyed by Ryder's party on its return from Lhasa to Simla after the Tibet Mission of 1904-05. Mr. C. P. Skrine's photographs consisted of a wonderfully clear panorama of the Hunza valley in Baltistan, some fine photographs of the mountains just south of Kashgar in Chinese Turkistan, a group explored by himself in 1926, and a few in south-east Persia. Mr. T. H. Somervell's contribution consisted of an excellent oil painting of Nanda Devi in Kumaun, some water colours of the Kangchenjunga group in Sikkim made on the occasion of an unsuccessful climb in 1922, and some curious photo- graphs taken between 27,000 and 28,200 feet on Everest, which must be the highest altitude photographs ever taken by a man on foot. These last show various 25,000 feet peaks seen from above, and a bird's-eye view of the routes of the successive Everest expeditions.

Except for a few photographs from Sikkim and Bhutan, Somervell's were the only pictures of the Eastern Himalaya shown.

Mr. B. J. Gould's photographs were of Kabul and the Kurram, chiefly around the Peiwar Kotal.

Ski-ing was represented by photographs of trips above Gulmarg and on the Pir Panjal range by Squadron-Leader C. C. Durston and Mr. M. D. N. Wyatt. Mr. D. M. Burn's survey duties in Chitral entailed his reaching altitudes above 21,000 feet, and resulted in some fine photographs. Major E. J. Cripps's photographs dealt with the lower end of the same (Chitral) valley, above Kila Drosh.

Photographs by Major Keith Dawson, Dr. E. F. Neve and Mr. C. H. Donald dealt with Kashmir and the Baspa and Sutlej valleys, and Mr. G. Carter sent in a very fine series covering Charnba State and Ladakh. Lahul and Zanskar were dealt with by Captain D. G. Lowndes and Mr. C. A. Mead.

A series of Himalayan forest photographs by Mr. H. M. Glover showed the causes and progress of deforestation and erosion, and apart from technical interest contain some excellent views in the Kagan valley, Hazara.

The Club has to thank Captain Sherriff for four magnificent photographs of Kungur and Shiwakte, which arrived too late for the exhibition.

Expeditions.-Perhaps the most important, of last year's expeditions was the International Expedition to Kangchenjunga, led by Professor Dyhrenfurth. It comprised some of the most experienced climbers from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Great Britain, while three members of the Himalayan Club were invited to join in India. As you know, this expedition failed in its main object, the conquest of Kangchenjunga, but some very valuable reconnaissance was carried out by its various members in the northwest quadrant of Kangchenjunga. The Nepal Gap was ascended by a party of climbers, and some very strenuous work was put in on the North-West Ridge. It seems that Kangchenjunga is invulnerable from this side. Two ascents of the Jonsong Peak, 24,344 feet, at the head of the Lhonak valley, were made. This is the highest summit yet climbed, though not, of course, the highest altitude reached.

The Vissers, who wintered at the end of 1929 in Yarkand, returned to India in 1930. On the way back Mr. Yisser attempted to explore the Karakash Gorge, but found it impossible to penetrate. He then examined the Chong Kumdan glacier in the upper Shyok valley,, and found, as we had expected, that the channel, cut through the ice by the liberated waters of the 1929 lake, had healed during the winter and that another lake, three miles long in July, had formed behind the barrier. Mr. Yisser then explored the right bank tributaries of the upper Shyok, below the area of his 1929 explorations, and found the snout of another large and previously unknown glacier, some 20 miles long, projecting into the river-bed, a few miles below Kataklik.

Another member who has returned from Central Asia, after wintering in Kashgar, is Mr. F. Ludlow. His were mainly Natural History interests, and he spent the greater part of the months of May, June, July and August in the Tekkes valley and in the neighbourhood of the Kok-su-Yulduz divide, hunting and collecting butterflies, birds and flowers. He returned to Kashmir in November with some 850 bird-skins, 550 eggs, 1500-2000 butterflies and a large variety of plants.

I believe I am right in saying that all the British officers stationed at Gilgit and Kashgar are members of the Club. They have been very active during the year. We have, however, had few details of their tours. Captain Berkeley, Commandant of the Scouts, made a trip along the Darel border. Mr. Todd, the Political Agent, toured the lesser-known parts of Hunza territory, and has promised us some very interesting information concerning the glaciers of the Karumbar valley. He reports that the glacier above Bort has suddenly slipped into the valley and blocked it. The movement was very rapid, the final blocking being completed at the rate of 100 yards in 20 days [1] Captain Trevelyan and Lieut. Clark, who are also stationed at Gilgit, have also collected some observations of the glaciers in the Gilgit Agency, and we hope that this work will now become regular. This question of Glacier Movement is one which all our travelling members can help to solve, and our Honorary Editor, who attended the International Glacier Commission at Stockholm this year, asks me to try and enlist as many of you as possible for this work all over the Himalaya.

Before leaving Central Asia and the Karakoram, I must mention the journey made by Professor Dainelli, one of our Italian members. He traversed the length of the Siachen glacier, ascended to the head of its main feeder, the Teram Shehr glacier, and made a pass over the main Muztagh watershed to the Rimo glacier, which he traversed to the Yarkand river source. This is the first recorded passage of the range at this point.

We have very little to record of expeditions to the Central Himalaya this year. But in Sikkim, apart from the International Expedition already mentioned, we have had some activity. Mr. G. B. Gourlay, our enthusiastic Eastern Secretary, visited the Upper Lhonak valley in Northern Sikkim, on a month's leave from Calcutta in October. He was successful in reaching the summit of the Lhonak Peak (c. 21,500 feet), which is situated between the Jonsong and Dodang-Nyima Peaks, which were climbed by the International Expedition. In spite of these three successes, there are still quite a number of virgin peaks in Lhonak, and as this district lies beyond the reach of the Monsoon, it forms an ideal ground for the climbing enthusiast from Calcutta.

One member from Calcutta however preferred to spend long leave in Kashmir. Mr. Wyatt seems to have been ski-ing along most of the northern slopes of the Pir Panjal range for the greater part of the first six months of 1930. With Captain Curteis, another member of the Club, he made the first winter ascent of Shin Mahinyo, 15,113 feet, on ski, at the end of March. As late as July he was out on ski with his wife on the Tosha-maidan. While on the subject of ski-ing, I may mention that very good use of ski was made by the members of the International Expedition to Kangchenjunga, and it seems possible that ski will become as important a part of the equipment of an expedition to the high Himalaya, as they are of an expedition to the Antarctic.

Expeditions in being.-Several expeditions are in being or in the air. That veteran of Central Asian travel, Sir Aurel Stein, is now engaged on his fourth great journey in Central Asia. With him is his experienced Survey of India companion, Khan Sahib Mian Afraz Gul Khan. We last heard of these two members at Kashgar. They do not expect to be back till 1932 at the earliest. Colonel Schomberg, also, is probably wintering there, having been forced to return from the Tian Shan at the end of 1929 owing to an accident which necessitated an operation. At the other end of the mountains, Mr. Kingdon Ward is back again somewhere on the frontiers of Burma.

Mr. F. S. Smythe, who joined the Club after the Kangchenjunga Expedition, hopes this year to attempt the conquest of Kamet, which has baffled the efforts of such experienced mountaineers as Mr. C. F. Meade, Dr. Longstaff, Dr. Kellas, and Colonel Morshead, in the past.

The Club was asked to assist the proposed expedition of Dr. Welzenbach, of Munich, to climb Nanga Parbat, which has seen no attackers since the death of Mummery. A number of our members volunteered to accompany the expedition and their names and applications were forwarded by the Club Committee to Dr. Welzenbach. The latter has, however, since written, thanking the Club and the individual members who volunteered for their assistance, but regretting that he will not, after all, be able to make the expedition this year.

Botany.-The following has been received from Mr. Coventry at Srinagar: "I have nothing of much interest to report for 1930. I have carried on botanical work much on the same lines as reported last year. There still seems to be a good deal of interest being taken in the cultivation of Kashmir Alpine plants, and most of the enquiries which I received from outside of Kashmir were for seed of these plants. It may be interesting to remark that several of the residents in Kashmir have now taken in hand the cultivation of Alpine plants in rock gardens in Srinagar and Gulmarg, which if successful will facilitate the collection of seed. Last winter I sent home some plants of the large pale mauve Iris, which is so conspicuous in Srinagar in the spring, and I heard that they had flowered successfully. There seems to be little doubt that this plant is indigenous to Kashmir ; and the white Iris (Iris Kashmiriana, Baker), which is grown so extensively in graveyards, is considered to be an albino form of the same plant.

" The publication of Series 3 of Wild Flowers of Kashmir has been delayed longer than I expected, but has now been completed.

Huts.-You will be interested to learn that the Central and Eastern Section committees have under their consideration proposals for building two Club huts, one in Sikkim and one at the head of the Liddar valley in Kashmir. The idea is to locate both huts in places where they will be of equal benefit to climbers and to skiers. We hope to enlist the co-operation and support of the Governments of His Highness the Maharajah of Kashmir and His Highness the Maharajah of Sikkim, who is one of our members. The sites have not been finally selected and plans and estimates have still to be prepared : but there is an ample balance at the Club's disposal to cover the cost of both projects, if finally approved.

Notes on Important Topics discussed at the Annual General Meeting.

Several matters of importance came up for discussion at the Annual General Meeting. It was finally decided that ladies should be eligible for full membership of the Club in future, and that their conditions of membership should be precisely the same as those of men. This question, as members are aware, had been under discussion for some time, and a consensus of opinion had been taken from all members. The replies received were unanimously in favour of the admission of ladies to the Club on the same footing as men.

It was noted that the numbers of the Club were in excess of registered membership, and that the time had therefore come for the Committee to register an increase of members under Rule 2. It was decided that the limit should be raised for the present to 500.

The meeting discussed also the rate of subscription Payable by ordinary members. The opinions, which had been received in writing on this subject before the meeting, for and against the proposal, were almost equal. In the Eastern Section, which unfortunately could not be represented at the General Meeting, there appeared to be a strong feeling that the subscription should not be reduced, at any rate until the Club has been in existence for some time longer. This view found general support also at the meeting. It was pointed out that although the Club was already successfully fulfilling several of the objects for which it was established under the Memorandum of Association, there were other objects such as the proposals now under consideration for building huts, which it would probably be very desirable to pursue. Such projects would involve utilizing the Club’s capital, and until we know more exactly where we stand in these matters, it would be inadvisable to alter the rate of subscription it was however decided that this question should be reconsidered every year.

The General Meeting also discussed the proposal to erect a memorial at Darjeeling to Chettan, the Sherpa porter, was killed on Kangchenjunga in the year under report. The proposal was accepted and it was resolved to ask the Eastern Section Committee to prepare a design and estimates for the monument, preferably in the form of a " Chorten in some suitable place at Darjeeling.

I. Appointments.

The following members have agreed to act as Local Secretaries, Correspondents, Assistant Editors, etc.

Local Secretaries.
Kashmir Lt.-Colonel G. D. Ogilvie, Resident in Kashmir, Srinagar, Kashmir.
Chamba Dr. J. Hutchinson, Chamba, via Dalhousie, Punjab.
Simla G. Mackworth Young, Esq., i.c.s., Army Department, Simla.
Kumaun Captain C. J. Morris, 3rd Gurkha Rifles, Lansdowne.
Darjeeling Lt.-Colonel H. W. Tobin, d.s.o., o.b.e., "The Glen," Darjeeling.
Calcutta G. B. Gourlay, Esq., m.c., 10, Clive Row, Calcutta.
Local Correspondents.
London Lt.-Colonel E. L. Strutt, c.b.e., d.s.o., 12, Somers Place, Hyde Park, London, W. 2.
Quetta Lt.-Colonel E. F. Norton, d.s.o., m.c., Staff College, Quetta.
Murree and the Galis Lt.-Colonel C. G. Lewis, o.b.e., r.e., Survey of India, Murree.
Switzerland H. F. Montagnier, Esq., Chalet Beau Reveil, Champery, Valais.
Scientific and Technical Correspondents.
Archaeology Sir Aurel Stein, k.c.i.e., Ph.D., D.Litt., d.sc., C/o Postmaster, Srinagar, Kashmir.
Botany B. 0. Coventry, Esq., Srinagar, Kashmir.
Entomology Brigadier W. H. Evans, c.i.e., d.s.o., Headquarters, Western Command, Quetta.
Fishing and Shooting Lt.-Colonel H. G. Martin, d.s.o., o.b.e., Staff College, Quetta.
Folklore H. W. Emerson, Esq., c.i.e., c.b.e., i.c.s., Secretary to the Government of India, Home Department, Simla.
Geodesy and Geophysics Dr. J. de Graaff Hunter, sc.d., m.a., Director, Geodetic Branch, Survey of India, Dehra Dun.
Geology and Glaciology Dr. L. L. Fermor, o.b.e., a.r.s.m., d.sc., Director] of Geological Survey of India, Calcutta
Meteorology Dr. C. W. B. Normand, d.sc., Director- General of Observatories, Poona.
Ornithology H. Whistler, Esq., Caldbec House, Battle Sussex, England.
Photography Captain C. J. Morris, 3rd Q.A.O. Gurkha Rifles, Lansdowne, U.P.
Survey and Maps Colonel R. H. Phillimore, D.s.o., Director, Map Publication, 13 Wood Street, Calcutta.
Zoology Lt.-Colonel C. H. Stockley, d.s.o., o.b.e., m.c., 11-9th Jat Regiment, Meerut.
Honorary Assistant Editors.
Himalayan Journal Lieut. J. B. P. Angwin, r.e., Survey of India, Shillong.
The Pamirs and Kun Lun C. P. Skrine, Esq., i.c.s., H. B. M.'s Consul-General for Sistan and Kain, Nasratabad (via Duzdap); and Lieut. G. Sherriff, r.a., Vice-Consul, Kashgar (via Gilgit).
Gilgit Agency H. J. Todd, Esq., Political Agent, Gilgit.
Baltistan, Nubra, Ladakh and Zaskar Colonel M. L. A. Gompertz, 3-10th Baluch Regiment, Secunderabad.
Kashmir including the Kishanganga, the Lolab, the Sind and the Lidar J. Kelly, Esq., m.a., Aitchison College, Lahore ; and Lieut.-Col. G. D. Ogilvie, c.i.e., Resident, Srinagar, Kashmir.
Murree and the Galis Lt.- Lt.-Colonel C. G. Lewis, o.b.e., r.e., Survey of India, Murree.
Punch, Jammu, and Udhampur (Kishtwar) H. L. Wright, Esq., Chief Conservator of Forests, Jammu and Kashmir State, P. O. Jammu, N. W. Rly.; and J. Kelly, Esq., m.a., Aitchison College, Lahore.
Chamba Dr. J. Hutchinson, Chamba, via Dalhousie, Punjab.
Kulu Captain D. G. Lowndes, 2-18th Royal Garhwal Rifles, Razmak.
Lahul and Spiti Capt. J. S. Lethbridge, r.e., Staff College, Quetta.
Dharmsala Hills Captain J. W. Rundall, 1-1 st K.G.O. Gurkha Rifles, Dharmsala.
Bashahr R. Maclagan Gorrie, Esq., i.f.s., Research Division, Forest Office, Lahore.
Mandi State H. L. Wright, Esq., Chief Conservator,

Forests, Jammu and Kashmir State, P. 0. Jammu, N. W. Rly.
Everest Group Captain J. G. Bruce, m.c., 6th Gurkha

Rifles, Abbottabad, N.W.F.P. ; E. 0. Shebbeare, Esq., C/o Forest Office, Darjeeling.
Sikkim Lt.-Colonel H. W. Tobin, d.s.o., o.b.e.,

" The Glen," Darjeeling.
Chumbi Valley and Eastern Tibet Lt.-Colonel J. L. R. Weir, Political Officer,

The Residency, Gangtok, Sikkim.
Shillong Lieut. J. B. P. Angwin, r.e., Survey of

India, Shillong.
II. The Himalayan Journal, Vol. IV, 1932.

It is hoped to publish the Fourth Volume of The Himalayan Journal in April 1932. All papers and other communications for publication must reach the Honorary Editor, Major Kenneth Mason, Survey of India, Maymyo, Burma, by 31st December, 1931. The non-receipt of promised papers causes delay in publication, extra expense to the Club, disappointment to members, and much additional work to the Honorary Editor. Sketch-Maps to accompany articles should be sent with papers ; they need only be rough, but should be clear enough to be re-drawn by draftsmen who do not know the country. Photographs should be printed on glossy bromide and should show good contrasts in light and shade.

III. Presentation of Books to the Library.

Books presented to the Library, including those sent for review, should be addressed to 'the Librarian, the Himalayan Club, Simla, and not to any official by name. The same applies to periodicals received from Societies, Clubs and other institutions in exchange for The Himalayan Journal.

IV. Changes of Address.

The following changes of address are notified :

The Mountain Club of South Africa,

Benson House, 57a Long Street, Cape Town.

Club Alpin Francais,

121 Boulevard Haussmann, Paris (VIII).

[1] See Summary under "Expeditions" p. 110.

Kungur II, 25,200, Eastern Pamirs, from Sarigh Yon. Photo. Capt.G. Sherriff.

Kungur II, 25,200, Eastern Pamirs, from Sarigh Yon. Photo. Capt.G. Sherriff.