Himalayan Journal vol.10
The Himalayan Journal
Vol.10

Publication year:
1938

Editor:
Kenneth Mason
Index
  1. THE SOURCES OF THE SUBANSIRI AND SIYOM
    (F. Ludlow)
  2. THE SHAKSGAM EXPEDITION, 1937
    (MICHAEL SPENDER)
  3. RESUME OF GEOLOGICAL RESULTS, SHAKSGAM EXPEDITION, 1937
    (J. B. Auden)
  4. A WINTER VISIT TO THE ZEMU GLACIER
    (John Hunt and C.R. Cooke)
  5. THE ASCENT OF NANDA KOT, 1936
    (Y. Hotta)
  6. ACROSS THE GANGOTRI-ALAKNANDA WATERSHED
    (J.A. K. Martyn)
  7. KARAKORAM NOMENCLATURE
    (Kenneth Mason)
  8. THE ASCENT OF CHOMOLHARI, 1937
    (F. SPENCER CHAPMAN)
  9. NANGA PARBAT, 1937
    (PAUL BAUER)
  10. THE KASHMIR ALPS, 1937
    (James Waller)
  11. SOME SCRAMBLES ON THE DHAULA DHAR
    (J. O. M. ROBERTS)
  12. THE FUTURE OF CLIMBING IN TIBET
    (F. SPENCER CHAPMAN)
  13. SURVEYS AND VARIOUS EXPEDITIONS
  14. IN MEMORIAM
  15. NOTES
  16. REVIEWS
  17. CLUB PROCEEDINGS
  18. CLUB NOTICES

REVIEWS

HINTS TO TRAVELLERS, Volume II. Organization and Equipment, Scientific Observation, Health, Sickness, and Injury. Edited by the Secretary of the Royal Geographical Society, with the help of many travellers. London: The Royal Geographical Society, 1938. 5x6^ inches; 463 pages', diagrams and graphs. 14s.

The eleventh edition of vol. i of the Royal Geographical Society's famous publication, Hints to Travellers, which dealt with Survey and Field Astronomy, was published in 1935, and has proved itself of immense value to explorers and travellers all the world over. It was indeed a modern and up-to-date treatise, which embodied the essentials of modern survey. Vol. ii was issued at the commencement of this year and is an absolute mine of valuable information. No traveller of to-day, indeed, however experienced he may be, can safely afford to be without a copy. Compressed into a compact little book of less than 500 pages, which can comfortably be slipped into the pocket, it is the essence of the experience gleaned from the most notable travellers and explorers of the last fifty years. The task of co-ordinating and compressing this mass of material has fallen into the capable hands of the present Secretary of the Society, Mr. A. R. Hinks, c.b.e., f.r.s., who has always maintained a very personal and intimate contact with his collaborators. A large number of these have been consulted; and extracts from their writings and reports, mainly those published in the Society's Journal, are freely quoted.

The first thirteen chapters of the book are devoted to the organization and equipment of self-contained travel. A very fair balance has been maintained between the practices adopted in different regions of the world, such as the Polar regions, the high Himalaya, and the deserts of Asia and Africa. The book is therefore of direct value to the inexperienced traveller making his first journey; but one of its great merits is that it also enables the experienced to judge how a particular problem with which he has to deal has already been solved in a different part of the world.

This first two-thirds of the book is entirely new; there was nothing like it in the last edition, and it fills a really crying want in the explorer's training. Expensive scientific expeditions, as well as the cheap one-man show, are dealt with, expenses, publicity, insurance, passports, native prejudices, tentage, and camp equipment being some of the questions examined. A very valuable classification of tents is made, and the results of a detailed research into tent material are given. The problem of camp equipment is considered from the aspect of both weight and comfort. The chapter on food and drink has been treated both scientifically and practically, with the help of the chief chemists of several expert firms; that on clothing is very detailed and of extraordinary interest.

Though it is impossible in a brief review to do more than refer to a few of the subjects discussed, mention must be made of the chapter on photography. Cameras and other apparatus, apertures and shutter speeds, exposure, development (with particular advice and warning regarding the tropics), colour photography, and moving pictures are some of the sub-sections of this chapter.

The last eight chapters, which correspond generally to the whole of the tenth edition of vol. ii, have been completely rewritten, and, in fact, most of them are entirely new. This applies to those on geology (including glaciology), vegetation, natural history, health and disease, and injury. The remaining three have been brought thoroughly up to date, so that the whole of this part becomes a most valuable introduction and aid to the field-work of the various studies mentioned.

The publication of this volume is a landmark in the science of exploration. It has already met with the welcome and the success that it deserves. The labour involved in compiling it must have been very great, and it is unlikely that a twelfth edition can be undertaken for a very long time to come. The present edition is not inexhaustible; and as considerable numbers are going to libraries, it is recommended that members of the Himalayan Club should make a point of securing their own personal copy as early as possible. It is a first-class investment.

Kenneth Mason.

EVEREST: THE UNFINISHED ADVENTURE. By Hugh Ruttledge. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1937. 10 ¼ X7 inches', 295 pages; 63 plates; 2 maps. 25s.

The successful climbing of Mount Everest involves the solution of so many separate problems, and the synchronizing of so many favourable factors, that the chances of any one expedition reaching the summit are small indeed. Mallory put the odds at 50 to 1 against. Yet every party that makes the attempt brings back some contribution towards the final victory that will, it is hoped, come one day.1 The reconnaissance of 1935 and the adventure of 1936 both taught many lessons, and the great value of Hugh Ruttledge's book is that he stresses those lessons and passes them on to those who come after him. Before leading the expedition in 1933 he spent months in studying the problems involved; in 1936 he had the additional experience that 1933 gave him; and it is possible that had permission from the Tibetan authorities come earlier, so that an assault could have been made in 1935, the strong party that he got together for 1936 might conceivably have been successful the year before. As it happened, the favourable factors of permission, good weather, and a strong party did not come together, and the early monsoon of 1936 never gave the assault the remotest chance of success.

1 This review was written in January 1938. At the time of going to press no news has yet come through regarding the prospects of the 1938 expedition.-Ed.

The great merit of this account is, therefore, not so much in the interesting and detailed account of how the party passed their time in impossible circumstances, or in the excellent illustrations which accompany it, as in the record of lessons learnt and the clear analysis of problems still to be faced. Questions regarding the size of the party, the best season of the year for an assault-bearing in mind 'average5 weather conditions, the arrival of the monsoon, the condition of snow at high altitudes, the force of the wind-the rate of acclimatization and the effect of deterioration on physical and mental powers, siege or rush tactics, as well as the problems of equipment, diet, and climbing technique, are so bound up with and dependent on each other, that the climbing of Mount Everest becomes a gigantic problem, and totally different from the climbing of any other mountain. We do not yet know whether it is possible for man to climb to 29,000 feet or exert himself at all above 28,000 feet; we do not know whether some of our very best mountaineers may not have a Veiling' below that altitude. Experience gained on other mountains may contribute to the elements of the problem, but much of this experience is contradictory, and deduction wholesale from any one mountain at any one season of the year can only be dangerous. It is the evidence of Mount Everest itself that must be scrutinized and weighed; not the evidence gained on mountains whose summits are no higher than Mount Everest's Camps 4 or 5.

It follows that the leader who is not encountering the severe physical strain, the deterioration from lack of oxygen, and the consequent wastage, and who can weigh up all the evidence with an unprejudiced mind, must be capable of passing a far sounder judgement on the problem than those in the forefront of the battle or those who theorize from their armchairs, as many of us do. Rutt- ledge has definite views formed out of his two years' leadership, and lie expresses his views clearly. He may be wrong: but his opinion should command attention. He is not in favour of a very small party; he emphasizes the need for reserves in case of sickness, preferring two doctors to one. He is not in favour of his party being worried and exhausted with the cares of travel, transport, and diplomacy by the time they reach their base camp; he would add a non-climbing transport-officer to relieve the climbers of this burden. He holds that with the proper and necessary acclimatization required to conquer the higher altitudes of the mountain, a stage is reached where appetites are capricious, and with a number of individuals, some of whom cannot assimilate native foods, some tinned provisions are essential. Here he seems to advocate the middle way between the extremists favouring a native diet and those who crave for the flesh-pots. These and many other details are considered; and it must be again emphasized that it was not the organization of the party or any fault in the plan of operations that prevented an assault from being made in 1936. The monsoon must bear the sole responsibility.

There are some useful appendixes. That dealing with the weather shows how difficult it is to forecast the monsoon in the Himalaya without reciprocal observations in the mountains. It is important for the leader to know as early as possible how much time he has in which to make his assaults before the monsoon. But, for the meteorologist in Calcutta to carry out the necessary research for his forecasts, he must have the co-operation of travellers in the mountains. It is only with such co-operation that accurate forecasts in the future will be possible; and from those made in 1936 it is obvious that more observations are required. Every expedition has a duty to its successor in this respect.

The same obligation may be said to apply to questions of health and the use of oxygen, both of which are dealt with in the appendixes. It is possible to take the line that if small parties go out often enough, the year may come when they may be lucky; but it must also be remembered that one or more of them may be extremely unlucky. There is reason to believe, however, that Tibet will not permit these expeditions to continue indefinitely; and, whatever the outcome of the 1938 venture, there is a very great deal to be said for the view that a strong climbing party, supported by scientifically equipped reserves, working to a scientific plan, is more likely to be successful in any one year than a party, however homogeneous and compact, which may find all the conditions favourable, and yet may fail through the sickness or exhaustion of one man. The slogan 'No damned science' is all right for holiday-makers, but fatuous for an undertaking of this difficulty and magnitude.

Kenneth Mason.

CAMP SIX: An Account of the 1933 Mount Everest Expedition. By F. S. Smythe. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1937. 9x6 inches; 30J pages; 36 illustrations. 18s.

Mr. Smythe's book is complementary to Everest 1933 in the sense that it provides that subjective treatment which an 'official' narrative lacks; and a diary always has an interest sui generis, especially when-as in this case-it has been kept by one who was in the forefront of the battle. The value of such a record is patent when one considers that not only incidents but impressions have been recorded at the time they were observed. Men's memories are notoriously fallible after high-altitude expeditions; here we have narrative and conclusions literally straight off the ice, and the reader cannot fail to admire the fortitude which enabled this diary to be written up, even in the highest camps on Mount Everest, in circumstances of almost intolerable strain and discomforts

The title is most happily chosen, for the interest is cumulative from the early days of an expedition-which have affinities in the usual records of travel-to the bitter struggles above Camp 3, which few pens can describe. Camp 6 and what lay beyond were the No Man's Land, and here was fought out, with no spectators, the decisive action of that long campaign. Not often is the battle picture painted by a combatant.

Such pictures deserve more than a passing glance. They state both fact and conclusion, and invite constructive thought, that harbinger of success. Where one man has offered a problem, many may combine for its solution. Composition and training of party, the campaigning season, packing and transport, snow conditions on the North col, acclimatization and deterioration, food, equipment, reactions both physiological and psychological, climbing technique, the route beyond Camp 6: these and other matters are offered for study, with suggestions based on hard experience. There is no cavilling at past mistakes, but a generous insistence that every one has done his best.

So much for concrete aspects of the book. Some will appreciate even more the unstudied self-revelation, the ideals of conduct, the harmonies evolved from the furious discords of the Everest gales. Mr. Smythe reminds us that the memory of suffering is mercifully short, while that of beauty remains. He would explore, to the last, Man's capacity to be master of his surroundings, to adapt himself to all conditions; this partly explains his aversion to the use of oxygen. His own observation of certain phenomena during his solitary attempt on the summit has a bearing on this question of capacity; he was clearly able to analyse what he saw or felt, yet a famous physiologist believes that those phenomena were a warning that the limit of strength had been very nearly reached.

The book closes with a careful study of the available evidence regarding the loss of Mallory and Irvine in 1924. There are some excellent photographs and a map.

Hugh Ruttledge.

HIMALAYAN CAMPAIGN: The German Attack on Kangchenjunga. By Paul Bauer. Translated by Sumner Austin. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1937. 9x6 inches; 174pages; 82 illustrations; maps. 8s. 6d.

In this single volume Englishmen have now the privilege of studying Herr Paul Bauer's narrative of the expeditions he led to Kangchenjunga in 1929 and 1931; the scientific and other appendixes of the two original books being omitted. The translation into English is excellent, and this record of continuously desperate yet controlled effort on one of the most difficult mountains in the world should be read by every one to whom mountains mean anything at all; for it is a true saga, the more impressive for the restraint enforced by the author's distrust of words.

The new preface is illuminating, for it explains both conception and execution of a great enterprise by men suffering from great bitterness of feeling who were conscious of hostility and suspicion abroad, and defeatism at home. They believed that a 'stern, warlike, disciplined spirit' was their heritage, and that it should be maintained by conflict with the harshest forces of Nature. This was exemplified by the methods of preparation; an insistence upon 'military discipline and unquestioning obedience', upon 'self-sacrifice, mutual consideration and comradeship, so taken for granted that no one speaks of them'. So Herr Bauer would take no one whom he did not know personally through hard experience on the mountains. His principles were not acceptable everywhere, but he maintained them doggedly, with abundant justification from the results.

Again, there was to be no luxury, but a minimum of expense. The bitter remark 'our enemies had robbed us, and there was no need to conceal the fact' is the measure of a proud independence. 'We wanted nothing from the English, we had no desire to impress them'; yet most generous acknowledgement is made of the collaboration afforded both in England and in India. It is understood that 'in the struggle to conquer the world's highest peaks, man is face to face with such overwhelming natural forces, that all nations should be allies'. Herr Bauer could be very sure of reciprocity here.

In the narrative there is no discussion of the factors which influenced the decision to climb in August, September, and October; but it may be assumed that the period between the weakening of the monsoon and the arrival of winter snowfall was adjudged to be favourable, in the expectation that the monsoon snow would avalanche off first and leave the mountain fairly clear; while the cold would be less then than in the spring. Circumstances rather than direct volition determined the approach via the Zemu glacier; subsequent explorations have shown this to be the only practicable line of assault, desperately difficult though it be.

There were nine Europeans in the first expedition, ten in the second, with about a hundred porters. The decision as to numbers may have been partly empirical in the first case, but it proved to be sound. Yet it should not be forgotten that in 1931-a very sickly season-there were, when the time came for the assault, only five climbers at all fit for work, and of these only one was in really good health; and only three porters.

Realists that they were, the Germans did not commit themselves in advance, but were prepared to attempt some of the lesser summits in this region by way of preparation. Indeed, a less competent body of mountaineers would have declined even to consider, after the first reconnaissance, the terrific north-east spur of Kangchenjunga. But they were put on their mettle by the challenge of that spur, especially when a look round the corner of the Twins glacier showed that there was no alternative. Then most careful, skilled study, section by section, together with technical training of the more venturesome though inexperienced porters, justified the ascent of the first great wall; though a tentative ascent was made of the peak to the southeast, in case the wall party should fail. In 1931 this section of the route was swept by incessant avalanches of both snow and stones, all of which were avoided by disciplined, timed movement in the early mornings, and by intelligent anticipation; and, fortunately, the 'Eagle's Eyrie' (Camp 7) on it was protected by overhanging rocks.

Lodgement on the ridge of the north-east spur was difficult enough; far worse was the ascent of this ridge, especially between 19,700 and 23,000 feet. The splendid illustrations must here come to the aid of the narrator, to give some idea of the work. For weeks on end these grand mountaineers fought their way up a series of ice towers and bosses such as even Dore never imagined. A technique had to be evolved which was necessarily an improvisation, for men had never climbed before in conditions such as these. The arete had to be followed closely, both sides falling almost sheer to the glaciers below. It was all axe-work, on tower and cornice, on 'mushroom' and knife-edge. Where a way could not be forced over the ice it was actually tunnelled through; and the track had to be made doubly safe for porters who had never been on ice like this and whom nothing but brilliant leadership and their own high courage could have brought so far. Ice bosses clung to the sharp arete at incredible angles, defying gravity. In these Herr Bauer conceived the great idea of burrowing caves wherein the night could be spent in greater comfort than was possible in a wind-lashed tent outside. In one such cave the axe drove through the floor, leaving a hole through which could be seen the glacier, thousands of feet below-a pleasant reminder of what would happen if the boss broke away in the night. It was found that temperatures in these caves rarely fell much below zero Celsius, so that very fair comfort was possible.

These formations were dependent on weather and temperature. In 1931, when the monsoon did not break till the 26th June, their appearance and character were so completely different that a new technique was imperative. It amounted to demolition rather than climbing. The leader of a party would have to make a perilous way upward, held so far as possible on the rope by a second, who was himself insecurely planted on bad snow, and hack away until a great tower crashed into space, doing its best to carry him with it. None but the strongest and most resolute men could have advanced at all; though some of these were capable of cutting steps for nearly three hours at a time, at that altitude.

There was one terrible accident, on the 9th August 1931, when Schaller and Pasang fell in a gully below Camp 8 and were carried down 1,750 feet to the Zemu glacier. There had been no carelessness and it was just the fortune of war. They were buried with due ceremony, and the work went on.

The failure of both these superlatively strong expeditions was due to different causes. In 1929 the weather broke on the 4th October, after the chief difficulties of the ridge appeared to have been surmounted and a height of 24,256 feet attained. Six feet of snow fell, and all communication between camps was cut off. Herr Bauer's story of the inevitable descent must evoke unstinted admiration; he and Allwein, with two porters, had 390 feet of rope out, and were in places forcing their way through snow the height of a man, all carrying enormous loads. They could progress only by causing avalanches to break away in front of them-a method which Herr Bauer does not recommend to the novice. Beigel and Aufschnaiter were caught by darkness on the ridge below Camp 8 and had to spend a night sitting under a cornice, without jerseys or windproofs or food. Beigel was badly frost-bitten. Yet the whole party was brought safe off the mountain, though the porters' nerves had gone. It may be mentioned here that since the end of September the party had been obliged to rub each other's feet every evening to restore circulation. Some people want us to climb Everest, at altitudes far greater than this, in October and November!

In 1931, in spite of the awful snow, further progress was made along the ridge to Outpost peak, at a height of 25,255 feet. The exertion had been tremendous, and several of the actual assault party had severe colds. Herr Bauer's heart was strained and he had to get down alone from 23,870 feet, spending a fearful night at Camp 10 in an ice cave. Allwein, Wien, and Pircher carried on, the former two getting farthest along the ridge. As they had but one porter left, and 2,882 feet remained to be climbed, it is unlikely that even these gallant men could have made further camps beyond Camp 11 and have reached the summit. No doubt they would have tried but for an obstacle which came into sight on the 18th September: a snow slope leading to the final ridge of Kangchen- junga. The look of this slope was enough for experienced men: cracks and edges showed the unmistakable hall-mark of wind-slab avalanche, and the slightest interference here would mean disaster. There was nothing more to be said.

The conduct of these two expeditions was beyond praise, and it is certain that none would have succeeded where they failed. Not one German cracked under the strain. As for the porters, there is ample evidence that they were superbly handled, and responded nobly. The malcontents and incompetents, of whom there will always be a number, were weeded out without disturbance, and the remainder gave all that they had. The question remains-can Kangchenjunga be climbed ? Herr Bauer is almost forced to the conviction that she is practically unconquerable. If he thinks so, there is very little hope. It must be remembered that the climbers reached an altitude where the effects of oxygen-lack are only just beginning to be serious. All one can say is that no more gallant or skilful party ever attacked a great mountain and that perhaps some day there will be one more fortunate in respect of conditions. Meanwhile Herr Bauer and his men have set us all an example, and he has told a story that will not be forgotten.

Hugh Ruttledge.

JOURNEY TO TURKISTAN. By Sir Eric Teichman, k.c.m.g., g.i.e. London: Hodder & Stoughton. 6x9 inches; 214 pages; 101 illustrations; map. 15^.

For obvious geographical reasons Sinkiang must be economically more dependent on Soviet Russia than on China or India. The natural barriers of desert and mountain, the Gobi and the

Himalaya, make any contacts with the east or south extremely difficult and to some extent artificial, while the easier natural communications with the north and west are assisted now by the line of the Turk-Sib railway and its branches. Moreover, as Sir Eric Teichman points out, the majority of the population, the Turkis, are closely connected with the Uzbeks, Kirghiz, and Kazaks, across the Soviet border, while the Mongols, of the Torgut tribe, have little connexion with the people of China. The other important element of the population, the Tungans, is composed of Chinese Moslems, but these have rarely co-operated with China and are the stormy element in Sinkiang.

It was the changed situation in this distant province after the suppression of the Tungans by the Chinese authorities of Urumchi, assisted by the Turkis, and more particularly by Soviet support, that led, in 1935, to the dispatch of Sir Eric Teichman from China to Urumchi for a consultation with the local government and with the British Consul-General at Kashgar, in order to establish contact with the new regime and to discuss outstanding questions and the possible restoration of trade. The detailed story given by the author is therefore of great interest to the student of central Asian affairs, more particularly as it was undertaken at a time when Nanking was striving to regain a measure of control over this outlying province, and before the situation between China and Japan had degenerated into war.

It is impossible to summarize here the journey from Peking to Urumchi and Kashgar by Ford V8 lorries, or from the latter place across the Pamirs in winter to Gilgit and thence by air to Delhi; the author gave an admirable summary to the Royal Geographical Society on the 16th November 1936.1 The careful preparation for the journey and the details of tentage and equipment, which have already been incorporated in Hints to Travellers, the incidents of travel, and the difficulties of the route taken are of considerable geographical interest, while a detailed itinerary is given in a valuable appendix. Routes in central Asia do not, however, change rapidly, and there is not a great variety in any of the different routes taken by recent travellers. The author has taken considerable pains over the correct spelling of Chinese names, and given the alternative Turki names where these exist. As regards the latter, he holds, with many other travellers to Turkistan, that the use of 'q' to represent a separate sound to 'k' is quite unjustifiable for words in use in the Turki language.2
Perhaps the most interesting parts of the book are those which summarize the tangled history of the past few years and which clear up the political situation as it was at the end of 1935, though the reader cannot help feeling in places that Sir Eric has imposed on himself a reticence, necessary perhaps to a diplomat on an official mission, but one which nevertheless leaves the story not fully told. The main outlines, however, are there and they are enough for one to appreciate the trend of events. It almost seems that, however much the Russians may disclaim any territorial or political ambitions in Sinkiang, the recent happenings in the Far East must loosen the bonds between Sinkiang and China and strengthen those that tie the province both racially and economically to its western and northern neighbours. K. M.

THRON DER GOTTER. By Arnold Heim and August Gansser. Zurich & Leipzig: Morgarten-Verlag A.G., 1937. 9 ½ X 7 inches; 270 pages; 220 illustrations; numerous sketches; map. Swiss fr. 16.80.

This book describes the journeys made by Dr. Arnold Heim and Dr. Gansser to the central Himalaya in 1936. The primary object of their visit was the geological investigation of the region, and a comparison of Himalayan structures with those that have been determined in such detail by Swiss, French, and Austrian geologists. Dr. Heim has himself contributed much to the interpretation of the Alps. The scientific results are at present under investigation and will be published separately. This book is confined for the most part to an account of their journey out by air to India and their traverses amongst the Himalaya between Badrinath and the Nepal frontier, including also three excursions into Tibet, the longest of which was to Kailas. The illustrations are superb. Most of the photographs were taken by Heim, and it is interesting to see that the ideal size of negative is considered by him to be 6x9 cm. Many will agree that the negatives taken by miniature cameras are seldom entirely satisfactory for enlargement on account of the careful treatment required with fine-grained developers. The beautifully clear drawings are largely the work of Gansser, who has brought out the essential structural features with elimination of unnecessary detail.

Misfortune befell them at the outset, for Weckert, the alpinist, developed appendix trouble and had to be taken back to Ranikhet for an operation. In spite of this, and the bad weather, the authors carried out a full programme and spent six months in the mountains. Like Shipton and Tilman, their journeys were made with the minimum of transport, by living as far as possible on the food of the people amongst whom they worked. This is easier perhaps for visitors to India than for Europeans resident in the country, whose style of living has tended to become somewhat overburdened with the accessories of comfort. The authors mixed freely amongst the inhabitants and were able to obtain many details about their habits and music. Dr. Heim has also noted down the songs of several birds. The camera, ever ready to catch a pose-and how often the poses in travel books about India are of sadhus and smiling girls!- has done its work well. Publishers doubtless expect these features, but it may perhaps be wondered if Western curiosity should much longer regard Asia as a hunting-ground for mystery and unworldli- ness, a stage upon which the people as well as the fauna are expected to perform for the benefit of our libraries and lecture-halls. Their willingness to enter into the spirit of the country leads occasionally to a certain naivety, such as the bland caption to photograph 216: 'Erfrischung der zwei "Neu-Inder" am Gona-See'. I have just been allowed to read the manuscript of the geological results of Heim and Gansser on this expedition. I consider the work of outstanding scientific importance, not least because of Gansser's unauthorized visits to the neighbouring regions.

Thron der Gotter is the record of a remarkably successful and scientifically important expedition.

J. B. Auden.

STALKING IN THE HIMALAYAS AND NORTHERN INDIA. By Lieut.-Colonel C. H. Stockley, d.s.o., o.b.e., m.g. London: Herbert Jenkins, 1936. 81x6 inches; 254 pages; 37 illustrations; sketch-map. 15.5-.

Markhor, Ibex, Ammon; Haramosh, Shyok, Zaskar! What magical names! To the old hand they bring unforgettable memories; to the subaltern, plodding knee-deep in snow towards the passes, endurance and hope.

Many volumes have been written about big-game shooting in the Himalaya, but to my mind Colonel Stockley's book is the most helpful and interesting of them all. In pre-war days we used to read and re-read A Guide to Kashmir by another great naturalist sportsman, the late Colonel A. E. Ward. But Stockley goes much farther than the Guide. His chapter on searching for game, the stalk, and the final approach is obviously written by a master; and his advice on the little things which count is simple and convincing. How often the novice forgets, as the author reminds us, 'When crawling it is well to remember that, to the wild animal, one's sit-upon is just as suspicious and conspicuous an object as the top end, if raised to view'!

The book may be divided into four main parts: the plains, the lower hills, the game of the cliffs, and the high uplands, with separate chapters dealing with Bara Singh and carnivora. Valuable hints are given regarding outfit, rifles, their sighting, and ammunition. Stockley believes in a -318 rifle; every man to his own taste; my own love was a -350 Rigby. Anything much smaller would seem more likely to cripple than to kill clean, in my opinion, unless one can place one's bullet within an inch or so; and the man who can do that on a Himalayan hill-side is yet to be found.

The much debated question of rifle v. camera is fully dealt with. Stockley solves it by carrying both, and I think he is right. The photographs of living animals are quite excellent, one of a herd of bharal on blue scree and another beautiful picture of a chinkara buck in thorn scrub being outstanding. Infinite patience and skill are required to get within camera distance of that most wary of all sheep, the ovis ammon. There is a fine photograph of three ammon rams at 17,000 feet.

The chief value of the book, however, lies undoubtedly in the author's practical knowledge and experience of the habits and ways of various game, their method of approach to their feeding-ground, the differences in behaviour of the old males and the females, the different species of grass they feed upon, and so on.

Colonel Stockley considers that the markhor gives the finest sport of all Himalayan animals, and I think most sportsmen will agree with him. It is good to hear that the Pir Panjal markhor are now increasing in numbers, after becoming almost extinct. The different horn shape and twist, from Baluchistan to Baltistan, are clearly described, but the author wisely refrains from offering an explanation, a case of Khuda jhanta, Sahib!

As a matter of interest, I once shot a solitary old markhor with a single 36-inch horn, in the Khyber in 1905. There was no vestige of a second core or standard, and the single horn was set in the centre of the head. The animal was born, so to speak, with one horn. Rowland Ward-like the old lady who saw a giraffe-said, T don't believe it', but the head now hangs on the wall of a house called Esgair at Machynlleth in Wales, waiting for any member of the Himalayan Club to come and inspect it. Seeing is believing I One small point: Stockley gives the Pushtu for Markhor as Gharsa. That is so on the Yusafzai border, but the Mohmands, Mullagoris, Afridis, and Orakzais, and, in fact, most of the tribesmen between the Kabul and Kurram rivers, use Wiiz for the male and Wuzh for the female.

The last chapter is on game preservation in India, which according to the author is sadly neglected. He does not recommend closing certain areas for limited periods, as that only encourages poachers. A great help would be to appoint ex-soldiers of the Indian Army as keepers or watchers. He puts forward a clear case for a better system of game preservation, and it is to be hoped that the Government of India will take his advice to heart.

To sum up: I cannot imagine any sportsman setting out on a Himalayan shooting trip without this book. It might well make all the difference between failure and success. And to those whose shooting days are over, it will be a never-ending source of pleasure.

O. L. Ruck.

LA SPEDIZIONE GEOGRAFIGA ITALIANA AL KARA- KORAM. By Aimone di Savoia-Aosta, Duga di Spoleto, and Ardito Desio. Milano-Roma: S. A. Arti Grajiche Bertarelli, 1936. inches; 568+lii pages; illustrations and maps; with

separate case containing Garta Topografica (1:75,000) in three sheets, and K2 (1: 25,000), together with five plates of panoramas; no price stated.

The authors of this fine volume have presented a copy to the Library of the Himalayan Glub.1 The first part of the volume, about 100 pages, gives a general account of the expedition in 1929 by H.R.H. Aimone di Savoia, Duke of Spoleto. It will be remembered that the Duke led this expedition to the Baltoro and Panmah glaciers, and some of the members crossed the Muztagh pass to the Sarpo Laggo glacier and explored up the Shaksgam valley to the Kyagar glacier. Those who, like me, do not read Italian, will find that the text in English of the lecture by the Duke, which was given to the Royal Geographical Society, is much more amply illustrated by the magnificent illustrations of this volume.2 This also applies to a less extent to the last four-fifths of the book, which deals with the scientific results and is written by Professor Desio, who is primarily a geologist. Those interested in the geology of the district should have a translation of this part made. The volume was fortunately available for examination before the Shaksgam expedition of 1937 and the results must have been of value to Eric Shipton and his party. K. M.

1 I regret that I was unable to find any one in the Club with a sufficient knowledge of both Italian and the Himalaya to review this very welcome addition to our Library.-

2 The Duke's lecture was printed in the Geographical Journal, vol. lxxv, 1930, pp. 385-94; Professor Desio's paper is printed in the same volume, pp. 402-11.-Ed.

THE ASCENT OF NANDA DEVI. By H. W. Tilman. Cambridge: University Press, 1937. 9x6 inches; 235 pages; 36 illustrations. 12s. žd.

Here is a book that must fascinate and enthral any one who loves mountains. In his foreword Dr. T. G. Longstaff, surely a competent judge, writes that 'the achievement narrated in the following pages is the finest mountain ascent yet made, in the Himalaya or elsewhere'. And the author has produced a story worthy of the feat. That story need only be touched on lightly here, as the publication in last year's Himalayan Journal of an account of the climb by the same writer must make a re-telling superfluous.

After introducing the reader to the mountain, by way of its mythology, its history, and its religious setting, Mr. Tilman briefly sketches the all-important preliminary establishment of the food dump at Tisgah'. This was carried out by Mr. Loomis and himself prior to the gathering of the other climbers from America and China. Then follows a description of the hazardous traverse between the dump and the Sanctuary Base Camp, on which the climbers, owing to the defection of the Dotial coolies, themselves carried loads of 50 or 60 pounds. This was an exceptionally fine effort, though, as the author points out, it was hardly calculated to increase the climbers' fitness for their work on the mountain. In the subsequent chapters the leader vividly describes their arduous and indomitable assault on Nanda Devi; how, after repeated set-backs, the climbers themselves did all the carrying between Camp 3 and the highest bivouac at about 24,000 feet; and finally how he and Mr. Odell struggled to the summit some 1,500 feet higher. Success was never better deserved. An apposite extract from Dr. Longstaff's foreword reads, 'A laconic telegram reached me in Shetland-"Two reached the top. August 29th" ... no names. Here was humility, not pride, and gratitude for a permitted experience.'

In the final chapters Mr. Tilman shows his appreciation of all who helped the expedition, not excluding the defaulting Dotials, and he renders high tribute to the Mana Bhotias, and also to the Sherpas, in spite of their ultimate failure. For this he finds reasonable excuse. Lastly he extols the team-work of the party.

Many readers will sense between the lines of this book a faculty of maintaining the spirit of comradeship and co-ordination and of inspiring confidence in leadership, and so will recognize the wisdom of the Mount Everest Committee in selecting Mr. Tilman as leader of the 1938 expedition to Everest.

H. W. Tobin.

KAFIRS AND GLACIERS. By R. C. F. Schomberg. London: Martin Hopkinson, 1938. 9x6 inches; 277 pages; 25 illustrations; map. 15^.

Kafiristan !

One used to imagine a mysterious land inhabited by strange men and women, who used bows and arrows and spoke an unknown tongue. Colonel Alexander Gardner did visit the country in 1826, but then he had paid a call to almost every known portion of the earth, and unfortunately most of his records were lost.1 Mr. McNair, of the Indian Survey Department, carried out a most remarkable expedition in 1883, and Sir George Robertson's visits to the country in the years 1889, 1890, and 1891 were described very fully in his book The Kafirs of the Hindu Kush. Since then little has been written of this out-of-the-way patch of Asia.

And now that untiring traveller Colonel Schomberg has given us a book which will gladden the hearts of all lovers of the Himalaya and Hindu Kush.

From the town of Chitral itself, Schomberg went first to the Bum- boret valley, where the Black Kafirs or Kalash live. From there his wanderings took a northerly line always bearing to the east. He visited nearly all the passes over the Hindu Kush, leading from Kafiristan and Chitral into Afghanistan and Wakhan, including the Dorah, the Nuqsan, the Kotgaz, and the Shan Jinali, all of which, with their heights and approaches, are usefully described. It is interesting to note that the Kotgaz pass, which used to be a route into Badakshan, is now a confused mass of snow and ice and impassable to an ordinary pedestrian.

Schomberg considers that almost all the major glaciers of western Chitral are in retreat, and 'with black unseemly snouts, they look shabby, seedy, and decayed'.

It is when we come to the people themselves, however, that the true value of the book is shown, their superstitions, social customs, pastimes, festivals, and general mode of living being described in detail by a highly trained observer of central Asian tribes. A touch of humour throughout takes the edge off the dreadful laziness and shortcomings of the Chitrali-and makes the book intensely readable.

The Chitrali must be the most superstitious of all mortals. Their fairies are like ordinary men and women except that their heels are in front and their toes at the rear. Surely they must have a sister who inhabits the Khyber, for the Afridis used to tell me of an evil woman whose toes pointed aft, who compelled the lonely traveller to follow her by looking at him over her shoulder, and who then led him to a deserted graveyard to be devoured by goblins and demons!

1 For a summary of these early visits, see Himalayan Journal, vol. viii, 1936, pp. 42-3.

As regards game: Robertson said markhor were numerous; Schomberg, sad to relate, says, 'The blood lust of the Ghitrali, plus modern rifles, has sealed the fate of local markhor and ibex.' Would it be too much to ask the fair ladies, who sit for ever on the peaks of Tirich Mir and Nanga Parbat, to wave a magic wand and evacuate all markhor and ibex to that wonderful inner sanctuary of Nanda Devi for fifteen years?

The book is very fully illustrated with excellent photographs, including a beautiful picture of the peak of Tirich Mir; there is a clear good map, and also a very handy index for reference. An appendix at the end gives a complete historical sketch of Ghitral. Altogether this is a remarkable book, which, being up to date, should be of very great use to any Political Officer or traveller in Ghitral or Kafiristan.

O. L. Ruck.

LIVING WITH LEPGHAS. By John Morris. London: William ( Heinemann, 1938. 8 ½ X 5 ½ inches; 312+xiii pages; illustrations; front and end-paper maps. 15s.

The Lepchas are said to be the original inhabitants of Sikkim. Except in the Jongu district, which is mainly composed of the Ta- lung valley, little remains of their primitive culture, and it was to this valley that the author, who, after leaving the Army, had studied social anthropology at Cambridge, went to practise his subject 'in the field'. Quite early in the book the author explains himself as one 'to whom civilization (so-called) is a thing to be escaped from at all costs for as long and as often as possible': while a little later he describes how he was accepted into the village community of Lingtem by explaining that 'we Europeans had forgotten to a great extent what it meant to be happy' and that he 'wanted to see where we, in our ignorance and haste, had made mistakes'.

Major Morris is a founder of the Himalayan Club, who has travelled widely in the Himalayas. He is a magnificent photographer, as his book bears witness; and undoubtedly he has taken the study of the Lepchas very seriously.

The book is a detailed record of the people, their magical practices, family life, marriage customs, and festivals; and, as such, must be of particular interest to social anthropologists, though, for the general reader, there is, in the reviewer's opinion, too much unnecessary and unsavoury detail. The author resided in the village gompa for some months and gradually persuaded the different members of the community to unburden their souls, their own and each other's life-histories, including the most intimate details, and their superstitions. From the anthropologist's point of view, this is an achievement. Their religion, which is an extremely debased form of Lamaism, has degenerated into little more than an elaboration of the original propitiation of the numerous evil spirits which have always enslaved them. This propitiation takes the form of very primitive sacrifices and rites, with the assistance and co-operation of Lamas, Muns, and other intermediaries. Marriage relations are extremely lax, and promiscuity is so generally accepted that most of the people appear to be related to each other. Few seem to remain sober throughout the twenty-four hours, a fact which, to the reviewer, seems to account largely for their line of thought, expression, and occupation of spare moments.

The Lepchas are rapidly declining in numbers. The author holds that this gradual extinction is being brought about by the psychology of the people themselves. It is perhaps the business of anthropologists to raise subtle reasons for the decline of primitive races. Generally, this takes the form of blaming the contact with Western civilization and the evils it brings! The Lepchas, however, have had no contact with so baneful an influence! They are declining in their natural state. The general reader of experience may be excused for correlating the decline in this case with that of a class of people who, in the West, are rightly put away in mental homes. 'Drink and the Devil'-and neither of these are here due to Western contacts -seem to the reviewer far more responsible than psychology, though contact with the more virile Nepalese may hurry on extinction, unless the Lepchas change their conditions of life and habits.

It is a modern fashion to decry our Western civilization, and to regret the loss of simple and primitive ways of life. The author believes that these people are happier than more 'civilized' beings. Filth, squalor, superstition, and drunkenness are hardly ingredients of happiness according to the dictionary meaning of the word, and if we add the terror of evil spirits to which the Lepcha is subject, it does not seem that he has much of happiness to teach the Western world. Terrors known are better than terrors unknown. To a by no means Early Victorian reviewer it seems that these people are eminently suitable material for the work of missionaries, either Buddhist or Christian; but that even as a museum piece they are scarcely worth preserving in their present state.

Kenneth Mason.

THE LAND OF THE GURKHAS, or The Himalayan Kingdom of Nepal. By Major W. Brook Northey, m.c., with a chapter by Brigadier-General the Hon. C. G. Bruce, c.b., m.v.o. Cambridge: W. Heffer & Sons, 1937. 8fx6 inches; x+248 pages; illustrations and map. 10s. &d.

There have been a number of books about Nepal in recent years, but Major Northey has better qualifications than most for describing this fascinating and unknown country. He served for twenty years in a Gurkha regiment, and lived in Kathmandu for some months as officer in charge of the Legation escort. Also, he was for some years recruiting officer for Gurkhas, and is one of the very few Europeans to be allowed to pay brief visits to one or two places outside the capital.

It is at present almost impossible to write a really satisfactory account of either Nepal or its people. It is as though an Indian, for instance, attempted to write an account of English village life with no more material than could be obtained from conversations with British soldiers in India plus a few rather restricted visits to London. The parallel is almost exact, and Major Northey's book suffers from these unavoidable limitations, as indeed do most of the others. His information is of necessity built up from what he has been told by people from all parts of the country. But since Nepal consists of numerous inaccessible valleys, many of which have little or no cultural connexion with one another, customs vary greatly from place to place. There is a very similar state of affairs in present-day Switzerland, where dress, for instance, still varies from valley to valley. What we badly need is a detailed account of life in one small district. Major Northey's account is far too generalized to be of any scientific value; but in fairness to him it should be noted that he makes no claim to being a trained ethnologist.

Within the limits indicated above, this is a useful and readable book, although it cannot be said that Major Northey has anything new to add to what has already been published, both by himself and others. The fault lies mostly with his mode of presentation. He would have produced a better book if he had chosen to write an autobiography. He knows a great deal about the people, and has obviously sensed the 'atmosphere' of the country correctly; but the other medium would have left him free to ignore most of the history of Nepal, which is already available in numerous other books. As it is, this book seldom rises above the level of good gazetteering; but as such it is not to be despised. The illustrations are uniformly good, and the book has been extremely well produced and at a very cheap price. The map is adequate to its purpose; but the Bibliography, which is not entirely free from errors, might have been expanded so as to include everything written on Nepal. A useful summary to put into the hands of a youngster going out to join a Gurkha regiment.

Peter Sorin.

SNOW ON THE EQUATOR. By H. W. Tilman. London: G. Bell & Sons, 193 7. 6x9 inches; xii -f- 266pages; 24 illustrations. 12s. 6d.

Our first reason for recommending this book to our fellow members of the Himalayan Club must be because we feel that they ought to know the past history of this year's leader to Mount Everest. His Himalayan adventures in the Nanda Devi region in 1934 and 1936 and on the Mount Everest reconnaissance of 1935 have been recorded in the last three volumes of this Journal, but it is extremely interesting to know something of the training in East Africa that went to make up a first-class Himalayan mountaineer. East Africa has produced four Everest men, Eric Shipton, Wyn Harris, Noel Humphreys, and the author of this book. Our second reason is that the book itself is of very great interest.

Mr. Tilman tells us how he was caught up in the vortex of the Great War direct from school, and how at the end of it, with what his friends would call an 'open' mind, but which the candid would say was a 'blank' mind, he 'found himself' on a cargo-boat bound for a square mile of bush in East Africa, enticed by promises of fortune to be quickly made. He tells us how he first viewed the land from the top of a tree, and how he gradually made his farm. There followed 'ten years' hard', told amusingly in one chapter, with some brief interludes and side-lights sketched in another. Like so many other settlers he found that a fortune was not to be won, and that in order to get the best out of a hard life it was essential to combine business with pleasure. So with Eric Shipton, who planted coffee on a farm 160 miles away and who had already reached two summits of Mount Kenya with Wyn Harris, successful raids were made on Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya in 1930 and on Ruwenzori in 1932. In these expeditions were learnt and practised the supreme arts of travelling light, carrying for themselves, and living on-or should it be 'off' ?-the country. Good use of spare time was also made with the rifle after buffalo and rhino; and, though the author was not easily persuaded to sacrifice farming for the lust of gold-prospecting, once caught up in the 'rush' at the end of 1932, he shifted a good deal of East African soil before giving up the unequal task. There is a certain dry humour in the telling of all these adventures, which are more amusing to read, perhaps, than to enjoy. Typical of the writer was his unorthodox but very interesting journey home on a bicycle through Uganda, the Congo, and French Equatorial Africa towards the end of 1933. 'Countries, if lived and worked in long enough,' he concludes, 'have a queer way of making a man feel an affection for them, whether they have treated him well or ill. For fourteen years-a fifth of our allotted span-Africa had been my task-mistress, and now I was leaving her. If she had not given me the fortune I expected, she had given me something better- memories, mountains, friends.'

K. M.

THE MOUNTAIN SCENE. By F. S. Smythe. London: A. & C.

Black, 1937. nx8 ½ inches; 153 pages; 78 illustrations. 12s. 6d.

The book contains 78 fine photographs all taken by the author, comprising selections from Great Britain, the eastern Alps, the Bernese Oberland, the Pennine Alps, the range of Mont Blanc, Kangchenjunga, Kamet, and Mount Everest. In the preface, helpful advice to mountain photographers is offered on composition, balance, lighting, exposure, and filters. The author introduces each picture with a short chat describing the scene, and his methods of procedure when taking it. In some cases he seems to have been unduly critical of his results. In the Himalayan sections he has more to say about the climbing than the photography, and here one feels that in a book of this kind comments on leadership would have been better omitted.

Mr. Smythe is to be congratulated on presenting an excellent collection of beautiful as well as interesting photographs. One hesitates to make comparisons, but the pictures of the Agassiz Horn, of the Grandes Jorasses, and of Kangchenjunga from the Jonsong glacier are particularly impressive. 'Camp Fire' near the source of the Alaknanda is a clever study, and the 'Highest Photograph', from near the great couloir on Mount Everest, is of course, unique.

H. W. Tobin.

1 Geographical Journal, vol. lxxxix, pp. 297-308.

2 It looks as though Sir Eric Teichman deliberately refused to have anything to do with this 'Q,' business, for on the map published in the Geographical Journal a special note was inserted that the names were spelt in accordance with the author's wish. On the reproduction of the map in the book, the author has dispensed with the note, and, I am glad to say, ignored the existence of the horrible 'QI.-Ed.