Himalayan Journal vol.04
The Himalayan Journal

Publication year:

Kenneth Mason
    (Professor GIOTTO DAINELLI)
    (N. E. ODELL)
    (Lieut-Colonel R. C. F. SCHOMBERG)
  14. Lhonak, 1930
    (G. B. GOURLAY)
  15. A Journey in Upper Kumaun and Garhwal
    (Lieutenant HUGH ROSE)
  16. Expeditions
  17. In memorium
  18. Notes
  19. Reviews
  20. Correspondence
  21. Club Proceedings

Club Proceedings

THE Annual General Meeting of the Himalayan Club was held at New Delhi at 9-30 a.m. on Monday, the 29th February 1932. Lieutenant-General Sir Kenneth Wigram took the chair.

The Report of the Honorary Secretary, Mr. G. Mackworth Young, which is printed below, was read and adopted. The Club accounts for the year 1931 were confirmed. The Officers, Members of the Committee and Additional Members of the Balloting Committee for 1932 were elected, and Messrs. A. F. Ferguson and Company were re-appointed as Auditor to the Club for the year 1932. Rule I of the Rules of the Club was altered to read " 500 Ordinary Members " instead of " 300 Members It was unanimously decided that there should be no reduction in the Annual subscription.

Report on the Work of the Club in the Year 1931

By the Honorary Secretary

Membership.-The Club is still growing, though the pace of growth has necessarily slowed down. 22 new members were elected during the year under report: and 5 more early in January, 1932. There have been six resignations and two deaths. In accordance with a decision of the committee, the names of 13 members who failed to pay their subscriptions for a period of two years or more have been finally removed from the roll of membership and will not appear in future lists. The statutory membership of the Club has had to be raised to a maximum of 500 members. The actual membership at the time of writing (January, 1932) is 345.

Obituary.-The Club mourns the passing of two very distinguished members in 1931 ; General Sir Alexander Cobbe, a founder member who took great interest in the founding of the Club, and was particularly anxious that information and assistance should be given to young officers who wished to travel for purposes of sport. Lieut.- Colonel Henry Morshead, foully murdered at Maymyo, Burma, came into prominence before the war for his exploration, with F. M. Bailey, of the Brahmaputra bend east of Namcha Barwa. He attempted Kamet with Dr. Kellas in 1920 and reached 23,500 feet; and he was on the first two Mount Everest Expeditions.

Dr. Emil Trinkler was not a member of the Club, but was on the point of being put up for election when he lost his life in a motor accident in Germany.

Obituary notices will appear in the next volume of the Journal.

Expeditions.-Last year has been a memorable one for Himalayan exploration and mountaineering. Perhaps the most important expedition, because of its success, was Mr. F. S. Smythe's to Kamet. Mr. Smythe joined the Club in 1930 during Professor Dyhrenfurth's international attempt on Kangchenjunga, so we may claim this perhaps as a Himalayan Club Expedition, more especially as his right-hand man, Captain E. St. J. Birnie, was the representative from India and was mainly responsible for the organization of the transport, on which success depended. Kamet, 25,447 feet, was climbed by two parties on separate days, and some important geographical exploration of the Great Himalaya, in the Badrinath section of the range, was carried out. The record of reaching the highest summit so far attained passes again into British hands, but there are at least 36 known summits that exceed Kamet, all within reach of India.

Second in importance, though unsuccessful, was the magnificent attempt on Kangchenjunga by Paul Bauer and his team of young Bavarians, mostly members of the Club. After a terrific struggle along the crest of the north-east spur, and when most of the difficulties appeared to have been passed, the party was brought up against an insurmountable wall of dangerous snow, which already showed several fissures. At such an altitude, about 25,700 feet, the clearing of the masses of snow would have been an impossible task and this small dangerous wall, not more than perhaps 600 feet high, brought the attempt to an end. There was no chance of the snow conditions improving at that time of year, and there is no doubt that, however hard to make, the right decision was made. We regret very much the tragic accident below Camp VIII, which appears to have been caused by a slip by the porter Pasang, who unfortunately dragged Herr Schaller out of his steps. In spite of this disaster the party persevered in the attempt till brought up by insuperable difficulties. It would be rash to declare that Kangchenjunga is unclimbable; but it will be a bold man who will succeed after last year's attempt.

As I mentioned in last year's report, Dr. Welzenbach postponed his attempt on Nanga Parbat. In the meanwhile, the Survey of India has completed its programme of surveys in Chitral and the Gilgit Agency during the course of which, last year, the whole massif of Nanga Parbat has been surveyed. Owing to retrenchment in the Survey of India official mountain surveys will probably have to be discontinued, and it is to be hoped that expeditions will come to our assistance and improve the details of our maps. During the year, Mr. D. N. Wadia of the Geological Survey of India surveyed the Nanga Parbat massif geologically and prepared a small-scale geological map. While on the subject of Nanga Parbat, I may mention, though it hardly comes in the category of mountaineering, the successful flight of a squadron of Wapitis to Gilgit. The line taken passed about 16 miles to the west of Nanga Parbat.

I mentioned also last year that Sir Aurel Stein was on his fourth expedition to Central Asia. It is much to be regretted that the favourable attitude of the Chinese authorities towards this expedition lasted but a short time, and that obstructive tactics brought it to a premature close.

Similar reasons probably account for the difficulties experienced by the Haardt " Mission Scientifique a travers Asie M. Haardt brought a fleet of seven Citroen " Caterpillars " across Syria, Iraq, Persia, and Afghanistan to India. A second fleet was disembarked in China and sent across Asia to meet him at Kashgar. M. Haardt succeeded in reaching Gilgit with two " Caterpillars and with one of these persevered to Nomal. The expedition then proceeded on foot, and, after being delayed at the Chinese frontier, passed on to Kashgar. Our latest information is that the Chinese fleet of cars was held up at Urumchi, by orders of the Governor of Sinkiang.

Before leaving Central Asia, I must mention also the travels of Lieut.-Colonel Schomberg, who completed last year his exploration of the T'ien Shan, on which he has been engaged for some three years. We hope to have a full account of his journeys for publication in our Journal.

At the eastern end of our mountain Borderland Mr. Kingdon Ward has been engaged on geographical work and plant-collecting in the Upper Adung Valley of the Burmese frontier. The last we heard of him was that he hoped to cross the pass at the head of this valley and make a traverse to Ridong on the upper Taron, to link up the official surveys with Lieut.-Colonel F. M. Bailey's route. It is probable that later details will be published in the Journal.

Of journeys less far afield, I may mention three. Two of these by Lieut.-Colonel Stockley and by Mr. F. Ludlow, were undertaken primarily for Natural History research. Stockley returned in October from the Tsarap valley in Eastern Lahul, which appears not to have been traversed to its head by any European since 1908 and very rarely prior to that. Ludlow carried out some investigations over a wide area in Kashmir. The third of these lesser journeys was undertaken by Captain C. E. C. Gregory. His intention was to cross the Aksai Chin from the Changchenmo, but once more, owing to delays in Nanking, the passport failed to arrive and the plan was changed to a journey by the ordinary Karakoram pass route. Gregory left Leh on the 23rd June, after arranging for his passport to be sent on from there by special runner. He visited and sent in an interesting report of the state of the Chong Kumdan (upper Shyok) dam, which is still blocking that river, and then waited at Daulat-Beg-oldi for his passport till his supplies gave out, when he was forced to return.

I have doubtless omitted a number of tours by officials on duty or on leave. There seems to be considerable reluctance on the part of British travellers to record their travels, a modesty perhaps which we may respect but can hardly approve.

There are rumours of further expeditions, but the world-wide depression makes explorers chary of definite plans. Foreigners seem intent on penetrating the seclusion of Tibet; we do what we can to assist them, but they must realize that when the Tibetan authorities refuse permission, we must accept their decision. There are still many areas well within British territory that have not been scientifically examined or surveyed in detail, innumerable summits yet unclimbed, many mountain massifs of which we know next to nothing, and much to be learnt of their geological past.

Eastern Section.-The questions which have mainly engaged the attention of the Eastern Section of the Himalayan Club during the past year have been the location of the proposed Club Hut, and the memorial tablet which it is proposed to place in Darjeeling.

As regards the Club Hut, alternative sites at Dzongri, at some point near the heads of the Lachen and Lachung valleys, and in Lhonak have been considered. The Eastern Section hopes to reach a final decision shortly.

The proposal for a memorial to Chettan the porter, who died on the slopes of Kangchenjunga last year, has developed into a scheme for the erection of a large memorial tablet at Darjeeling to contain the names of all those mountaineers who have died in the Eastern Himalaya, and to be flanked by smaller individual tablets in special cases when it is desired to erect them. A suitable site facing the Kangchenjunga massif has been found in Darjeeling, on land which it is hoped that Government will be in a position to grant for the purpose. The form of the central memorial and flanking tablets is now under discussion.

At the request of Herr Bauer's expedition a suitable tablet inscribed with the names of Herr Schaller and the porter Pasang, who died during this year's attempt on Kangchenjunga, was prepared in Calcutta and despatched in time for the German expedition to erect it where the bodies lie.

The Eastern Section of course did everything in their power to help the Kangchenjunga expedition, mainly through Gourlay in Calcutta, and Tobin in Darjeeling. Shebbeare went up the Zemu valley ahead of it, to reconnoitre the route to the base camp through this particularly muddy and inhospitable part of semi-tropical Sikkim.

Three members of the successful Kamet expedition were entertained by the Club on their return at an informal dinner in the United Service Club at which many members of the Eastern Section were present[1].

The necessity for a bridge over the Sevoke river in the Teesta valley is very keenly felt, and we may hope that funds will be forthcoming from the Road Fund or elsewhere for this purpose in the near future. The bridge would form an essential part of any through route from the rail-head to the Sikkim and Tibetan frontier ; and, from the point of view of the Club, is a much-needed link in communications for parties of any considerable size proceeding to the northeastern Himalaya. The Kangchenjunga expedition was badly held up at this spot.

Kashmir Hut.-It has not been so easy to decide upon a site for the proposed hut in Kashmir, but considerable progress has been made in the examination of this question, largely owing to the interest taken by Lieut.-Colonel Ogilvie. the late Resident who was kindly acting as Local Secretary for us last year. The attitude of His Highness's Government has been very helpful. The alternative sites now under consideration are round about Nafron and Har Nag. It would greatly assist the Committee in coming to a decision on this question if any members who are likely to make use of the proposed hut for climbing or ski-ing, would communicate their views to the Honorary Secretary at this stage.

Himalayan Medical Zoology.-Dr. Strickland writes :- From the point of view of Himalayan " Medical Zoology " collections have been made, as opportunity has offered, of all sorts of creatures, and of information concerning them, and for much of this I have to thank various gentlemen.

I wish especially to mention Professor Percy Moore of Pennsylvania University, who has recently been in India studying the habits of the land-leeches.

I would like, too, to mention specially a collection of biting creatures, mainly ticks, kindly made for me by Mr. A. J. Dash when on a recent trek up the Lachen valley[2]
I have recently, through the kindness of many commentators, been able to give an account of some edible bugs, i.e., edible to some of the sub-Himalayan aborigines, like the Abors, and the notes thereon are to appear in the Club Journal*.

On a recent visit to Tibet, I obtained through the kindness of Captain Sinclair, i.m.s., Medical Officer to the British Trade Agency at Gyantse, a number of the indigenous herbs used by the local Galens. These are now being investigated by Colonel Chopra, i.m.s., at the School of Tropical Medicine.

A final matter to mention is the occurrence of a certain hare- disease in Tibet. This hare-disease was interesting, because there is a sort of typhus fever in India, particularly common in the Eumaun Himalaya, which General Megaw has concluded to be caused by tick- bite ; and there was also certain evidence that the hare was the reservoir of the infection, like the rat in plague. I found a species of tick called Dermacentor everestiana which is a close relation to a species in the Rockies, which definitely carries a sort of typhus fever. For Tibetan folk-lore regarding hares being sick, I have been much helped by the learned scholar Dr. Van Manen of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.

You will be glad to learn that Major Mason has been appointed Professor of Geography at Oxford and will join the appointment 111 May. Fortunately for us, he is ready to continue editing the Himalayan Journal from Oxford.

In conclusion, I have to inform the meeting, with regret, of my inability to offer myself for re-election as Secretary, a post which I have now held for three years. I am going on long leave in April and my subsequent movements are too uncertain for me to undertake at present any duties connected with the Club.

(The following note has been received from the Local Honorary Secretary,Eastern Section).

Calcutta Local Dinner.

On the 20th August the Calcutta members of the Club entertained at dinner at the United Service Club three members of the successful Kamet expedition, Dr. Raymond Greene, Mr. Holdsworth and Captain Birnie. After dinner Captain Birnie gave a short but Interesting account of their experiences, which he illustrated with the aid of a Leitz projector and some of his photographs. The following members were present:

Captain E. St. J. Birnie, Messrs. J. M. Bottomley, A. J. Dash , L. R. Fawcus, Dr. L. L. Fermor, Mr. G. B. Gourlay, Dr. A. M. Heron, Mr. J. Latimer, Lieut.-Colonel C. G. Lewis, the Hon. Mr. A. Marr Messrs. A. A. Marr, A. Moore, H. Newman, Captain G. H. Osmaston Messrs. G. A. R. Spence, A. Stobart, J. D. Tyson, J. Van Manen and W. D. West.

Club Notices


The Following have Agreed to act as Local Secretaries, Correspondents, Assistant Editors, etc.
Kashmir Dr. Ernest Neve, Srinagar, Kashmir.
Chamba Dr. J. Hutchinson, Chamba, via Dalhousie,

Kumaun Captain C. J. Morris, 3rd Gurkha Eifles, Lansdowne.
Darjeeling Lt.-Colonel H. W. Tobin, d.s.o., o.b.e., " The Glen ", Darjeeling.
Calcutta L.R. Fawcus, Esq., i.c.s., The United Service Club, Chowringhee, Calcutta.
Local Correspondents.
London Lt.-Colonel E. L. Strutt, c.b.e., d.s.o., Secretary to The Alpine Club, 12, Somers Place, Hyde Park, London, W. 2.
Quetta Captain J. S. Lethbridge, M.c., r.e., The Staff College, Quetta.
Central Europe H. F. Montagnier, Esq., 90 Avenue Henri Martin, Paris XVIe, France.
Scientific and Technical Correspondents.
Archeology Sir Aurel Stein, k.c.i.e., Ph.d., d.Litt., D.sc., c/o Dr. P. S. Allen, Corpus Christi College, Oxford, England.
Botany B. 0. Coventry, Esq., Srinagar, Kashmir.
Fishing and Shooting L.T-Col H. G. Martin, d.s.o., o.b.e., The 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., Survey of India, Geodetic Branch, Dehra Dun,U.P.
Geology and Glaciology Dr. L. L. Fermor, o.b.e., a.r.s.m., d.sc., Director, Geological Survey of India, Calcutta.
Medical Zoology Dr. C. Strickland, School of Tropical Medicine, 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. 0. Gurkha Eifles, 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., c/o Messrs. Grindlay & Co., Bombay.
Honorary Assistant Editors.
Himalayan Journal Captain J. B. P. Angwin, b.e., Survey of India, Quetta.
The Pamirs and K'un Lun C. P. Skrine, Esq., i.c.s., Political Agent and Deputy Commissioner, Sibi, Baluchistan; and Captain G. Sherriff, r.a.,' "Carronvale Larbert, Stirlingshire, j Scotland.
Gilgit Agency Major G. V. B. Gillan, Political Agent, Gilgit, via Kashmir.
Baltistan, Nubra, Ladakh and ZasJcar Lt.-Colonel M. L. A. Gompertz, 3-10th Baluch Regiment, Secunderabad.
Kashmir J. Kelly, Esq., m.a., Aitchison College, Lahore.
Punch, Jammu and Kishtwar H. L. Wright, Esq., Chief Conservator of Forests, Jammu and Kashmir State, P. 0. 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 Captain J. S. Lethbridge, b.e., Staff College, Quetta.
Dharmsala Hills Captain J. W. Rundall, 1-lst K. G. 0. Gurkha Rifles, Dharmsala.
Bashahr R. Maclagan Gorrie, Esq., i.f.s., Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun, U. P.
Mandi State H. L. Wright, Esq., Chief Conservator, Forests, Jammu and Kashmir State, Jammu, N. W. Rly.
Everest group Captain j.G. Bruce, M. C. 6th Gurkha rifles, Abbottabad, N.W.F.P., The Grange, St. Hillary, Cowbridge, Glamorgan, Wales;and E.O. Sebbeare, 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.

II. The Himalayan Journal, Vol. V, 1933.

It is hoped to publish the Fifth Volume of The Himalayan Journal in April 1933. All papers and other communications for publication must reach the Honorary Editor, Major Kenneth Mason Hertford College, Oxford, England, by the 31st December 1932' and earlier, if possible. Sketch-maps should be sent to accompany articles for publication. Photographs for publication should be on glossy bromide and should show good contrast in light and shade The late submission of promised papers causes extra expense to the Club.

Ill- Presentation op 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 of the Club by name. The same applies to periodicals received from Societies, Clubs and other institutions in exchange for The Himalayan Journal.

IV. Climbing Equipment.

The Eastern Section of the Club keeps a small stock of equipment which may be hired by members on application to the Honorary Secretary, Calcutta. The following equipment is generally available : Tents, 4 or 5 Meade or Mummery tents, several old Meade tents suitable for porters, several light shelters, and a Mess Tent (about 8x8); Ice-axes (12); Crampons (12 pairs); Cork Mattresses (2) Coolies' (old) Army Blankets; Nailed Coolies' Boots; Stores Boxes ' Porters' Rucksacks (2); Primus Stoves (2); Rope (one or two lengths) ' and miscellaneous equipment, such as cooking pans, plates, cutlery', snow-glasses, tricouni and clinker nails.

[1] See below, p. 221.

[2] See page 96.