CLUB PROCEEDINGS, 1958
The Thirtieth Annual General Meeting of the Himalayan Club was held at the Little Theatre, Lighthouse Cinema, Calcutta, on Friday, August 29, 1958. Mr. R. E. Hotz took the chair.
The Chairman addressed the meeting and briefly reported on the Club's activities during the year. He made special mention of the loss sustained by the Club in the unfortunate death on June 6, 1958, of the President, Capt. W. B. Bakewell. The Minutes of the Twenty-ninth Annual General Meeting held in Calcutta on August 28, 1957, were confirmed.
The Annual Report and Audited Accounts for the year ended December 31, 1957, copies of which had been circulated to members, were passed. Messrs. Price, Waterhouse, Peat & Co., Ltd., were reappointed auditors for the year ending December 31, 1958.
Officers, Elective members of Committee and Additional members of the Balloting Committee were duly elected as follows:-
President .. .. .. R. E. Hotz, Esq
Vice-Presidents .. V. S. Risoe, Esq., M.B.E.
T. H. Braham, Esq.
Honorary Treasurer .. F. E. Whitehead, Esq
Honorary Secretary .. G. R. Iredale, Esq.
Honorary Local Secretaries
Delhi .. .. L. J. Johnston, Esq.
Darjeeling .. .. Mrs. M. Allen
Bombay .. .. .. A. R. Leyden, Esq.
Kulu .. .. .. .. Maj. H. M. Banon
Dehra Dun .. .. .. Gurdial Singh, Esq.
Karachi .. .. .. W. A. Brown, Esq.
Great Britain .. .. .. V. S. Risoe, Esq., M.B.E.
Honorary Editor .. .. T. H. Braham, Esq.
Honorary Asst. Editor .. J. A. Jackson, Esq.
Elective Members of Committee
Mrs. M. Allen A. R. Leyden, Esq.
F. C. Badhwar, Esq., O.B.E. A. B. Marshall, Esq.
C. E. J. Crawford, Esq. Gurdial Singh, Esq.
M. Hruska, Esq. Col. Gyan Singh
Lt.-Gen. Sir Harold Williams, K.B.E., C.B.
Additional Members of Balloting Committee
J. T. M. Gibson, Esq.
P. F. Cumberlege, Esq.
J. N. Mathur, Esq.
Honorary Librarian .. A. B. Marshall, Esq.
Honorary Equipment Officer.. M. Hruska, Esq.
The meeting was followed by a talk given by Mr. T. H. Braham about the 1958 Expedition to the Minapin glacier and the attempt on Minapin Peak; this was illustrated by colour slides.
: Thirty new members were elected during the year 1958. There were 11 deaths, 3 resignations and 9 members were struck off for non-payment of subscriptions. The membership at present stands at 618, of whom 168 members are resident in India. Of the original 127 Founder members of the Club, the names of 34 still stand in the Members' Register.
: We mourn the deaths of the following members :
F. Kingdon-Ward (F. 1928)
Maj.-Gen. H. L. Haughton (F. 1928)
Col. G. K. Gregson (F. 1928)
Maj. P. H. Sharpe (F.1928)
Col. E. R. Culverwell (1929 O.M.C. 1927)
Maj. J. R. Foy (1929 O.M.C. 1927)
Col. A. E. Mahon (1934)
Dr. W. A. Jenkins (1935)
L. Y. Bryant (1936)
W. J. Younie (1944)
W. B. Bakewell (1946)
Maj. N. D. Jayal (1947)
: A Club Dinner was held in the Banquet Room of the Great Eastern Hotel, Calcutta, on Monday, December 29, 1958, and was attended by about 60 members and guests. The chief guests were Tenzing Norgay, G.M., and Col. Gyan Singh, Principal of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling, both of whom addressed the Club. Col. Gyan Singh in his address informed members that he had interested Indian Ordnance Factories and others in manufacturing mountaineering equipment such as boots, ice-axes, rucksacks, sleeping bags and tents. If prototypes, to be tested on the Institute's courses, proved satisfactory, it would be possible in future for members to buy equipment made in India at a reasonable cost. Two films were shown at the meeting; the chief one being an interesting documentary in colour of the actual courses undertaken by the Institute in Darjeeling.
The Annual Dinner of the Delhi Section was held at the Ashoka Hotel on Saturday, December 13, 1958. As usual, the Dinner was organized by Mr. R. E. Hotz, President of the Club. About 70 members and guests attended and the occasion was a great success.
The Bombay Section held its Annual Dinner on Monday, December 15, 1958, at the Willingdon Club, which was attended by about 20 members and guests. After the dinner, Mr. N. B. Parekh showed a colour film taken on his trek to Muktinath, which was much appreciated.
: As reported at the last Annual General Meeting, permanent accommodation for the library has been made available by the Geological Survey of India at their headquarters, 29 Chow- ringhee Road (formerly the United Services' Club). Advantage was also taken of an offer made by their Librarian to recatalogue the Club's entire library in accordance with international classification practice. We may have been somewhat bold in accepting this oiler as progress has been disappointingly slow. It is now hoped, however, that the Hon. Librarian will be able to report by the date of the next Annual Meeting that the work is complete and that, shortly thereafter, it will be possible to arrange for most books to be available for circulation in Calcutta and, subject to certain conditions, generally throughout India also. A separate note of such arrangements will be issued when they are complete.
: The demand for equipment during the year has been fairly heavy and the Club's equipment stores at Calcutta, Delhi, Bombay and Darjeeling have had to deal with a steady flow of enquiries. In many cases the demand has been far greater than available stocks, and members would do well to remember that it is far beyond the Club's resources to fit out an entire expedition with climbing kit! Active steps are under consideration to augment the Club's supplies of equipment both from abroad and from newly-found indigenous manufacturers, provided reports on the suitability of the latter's products should prove favourable.
: As members know, after the ascent of Everest in 1953, a fund was opened by The Statesman to raise a sum of money sufficient to enable Tenzing to build a home in Darjeeling. The response was so generous that the fund was closed with a sum in excess of its original target. The Statesman handed over the surplus to the Himalayan Club to be used for the general uplift and welfare of needy Sherpas. The Club decided that the objects would be best served by the creation of a Trust. Accordingly, a Sherpa Trust was formed. The Club's representative in Darjeeling, the Dy. Commissioner, Darjeeling, and the Manager of the State Bank of India, Darjeeling Branch, were nominated as ex-officio trustees; Tenzing and Dr. Masters were also appointed trustees. Latterly, since the founding of the Sherpa Climbers' Association in Darjeeling with Tenzing as its President, it has been felt that the work of the Sherpa Trust and that of the Association, which represents the main body of climbing Sherpas, have been directed towards identical objects. The Committee of the Club, therefore, on the recommendation of the trustees, gave their consent in November 1958 to the winding up of the Sherpa Trust, and to the transfer of the Trust Fund to the Sherpa Climbers' Association. The Fund is to be administered separately by the Association and a new Trust Deed is now in the course of preparation, the objects of which will be similar to those defined in the Sherpa Trust. Amongst the ex-officio trustees of the new Trust are the Club's representative in Darjeeling, the Dy. Commissioner, Darjeeling, and the Principal of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute.
ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY AWARD
: Members of the Club will be specially pleased to know that the Founders' Medal for 1958 has been awarded to Sir Edmund Hillary for the part he played in the successful outcome of the Commonwealth Trans- Antarctic Expedition; and also for his series of Himalayan expeditions, including the climbing of Mount Everest. His work in the Antarctic expedition is fully described in The Crossing of Antarctica. His ability, energy and amazing physical powers have set a great example. As a climber of much experience in the New Zealand Alps, Hillary first visited the Himalayas in the summer of 1951 as a member of the New Zealand Expedition to Garhwal. In the autumn of the same year he took part in the Everest Reconnaissance conducted by Eric Shipton, being amongst the first to penetrate the Khumbu icefall. In 1952, he was a member of the Cho Oyu Expedition, which proved to be a training venture for his achievement on Everest in 1953. In 1954, he came out to Nepal again as leader of a New Zealand expedition to the Barun valley, when a great deal of climbing and exploration was achieved, including a reconnaissance of Makalu. His Himalayan exploits are described in his books High Adventure (1955) and East of Everest (1956).
: Most of the main expeditions of 1958 have been recorded in this volume and, as will be seen, climbing standards have risen enormously; indeed the whole concept of tackling large mountains has undergone a change. There has been keen activity, and success has attended the majority of ventures. On the whole, the emphasis has been more on the modestly- equipped expedition; and, perhaps as anticipated, popularity appears to have shifted from Nepal to the Karakoram.
In the new era that appears to have begun since the fall of the giants, there are welcome signs that the competitive spirit, which is alien to mountaineering, is disappearing. More expeditions are coming out nowadays to attempt climbs of a standard of difficulty hitherto considered impracticable on peaks of between 24,000 ft. and 26,000 ft. Only two '8,000-metre' peaks remain unclimbed. Dhaulagiri, 26,795 ft, with its objective dangers, has turned back many strong attempts, but a long line of contenders awaits its turn under the 'bookings by rotation' system adopted by the Nepal Government. Very soon, no doubt, another '8,000-m. victory' will be recorded. Gosainthan, 26,291 ft., situated behind the Yellow Curtain, is of course inviolable.
A notable feature, deserving special mention, is the increasing interest shown by Indians in trekking and climbing. There is no doubt that this 'feeling' for the mountains has come to stay, especially among the younger generation, increasing numbers of whom spend their holidays walking or scrambling in the hills. The largest single influence under which this changing outlook has flourished is the excellent work being done by the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling, which runs regular courses combining theoretical and practical training.
: On Broad Peak, 26,414 ft., an Austrian team of four climbers without the aid of porters, and without oxygen, used 'rush' tactics with remarkable success after a careful build-up. All four climbers reached the top; one of them did so twice, and the second summit pair arrived at 7 p.m. just as the last rays of the sun left the topmost pinnacle of the mountain. They negotiated 3,600 ft. of tricky descent from the summit to their last camp in darkness. This effort was followed by the ascent of a mountain over 24,000 ft. by one pair of climbers, and by an attempt on Chogolisa, 25,110 ft., by another pair.
On Haramosh, 24,270 ft., after the defection of their porters, an Austrian party of five established their own camps, made timely use of a radio broadcast during a lull in the monsoon, and rushed their summit from a final camp situated at under 20,000 ft. The ascent of a ridge 2 ½ miles long in a gale-force wind took 13 hours; and the summit party returned to their camp at 8 p.m., 19 hours after they had left it.
The British attempt on Masherbrum, 25,660 ft., richly deserved the success which it so nearly achieved. The two climbers showed sound judgement when they turned back 250 ft. below the top on steep snow-covered rocks of 'more than severe standard'. The final climb was undertaken after the whole party had mustered its strength to bring down the body of a fellow-climber, R. O. Downes, who had died of pneumonia in a camp at 24,000 ft. Downes was first stricken with pneumonia on June 21, and within three days had been carried down below the treeline for rest and treatment. Ten days later, apparently quite recovered (alas, how misleading this proved to be), he returned to Base Camp to resume the assault. On July 18, he reached Camp VI at 24,000 ft. The symptoms returned almost immediately and he died on July 19.
Three expeditions to the Baltoro glacier in 1958 were all successful. An American team, with the minimum of hazard and fuss, climbed Gasherbrum I, 26,470 ft. It was thought that the summit was reached on July 4, until someone pointed out later that June had only thirty days. So July 5 was recorded as the actual date of the ascent. Oxygen was used at the higher camps.
A Japanese party climbed Chogolisa, 25,110 ft., on August 4, also using oxygen.
An Italian team climbed Gasherbrum IV, 26,000 ft., on August 6. Oxygen was not used, and the climb which went via the Northeast ridge is probably one of the most difficult that has been accomplished on a major peak.
: Cho Oyu, 26,750 ft., was climbed on May 15, 1958, by an Indian expedition led by Mr. K. F. Bunshah of Bombay. Pasang Dawa, who reached the summit with the Sherpa Sonam Gyalzen, thus achieved his second ascent of this mountain, having made the first ascent of Cho Oyu in October 1954 with the Austrians Herbert Tichy and Sepp Jochler.
A Swiss expedition was forced to abandon its attempt on Dhaula- giri towards the end of May following severe snowstorms and dangerous conditions.
There have been further attempts to make the acquaintance of the Abominable Snowman, and an expedition sponsored by Mr. Tom Slick of Texas spent 3 ½ months Yeti-hunting in the Barun and Dudh Kosi valleys of Nepal during March-June. As far as can be gathered, the most notable achievement of this party was the claim by one of their Sherpas, Dawa Temba, to have been chased one night by one of these abominable creatures.
Ama Dablam, 22,494 ft., one of the most dramatic mountains south of Everest, was attempted by a six-man Anglo-Italian team led by Alfred Gregory in September-October. They tried to force a way up the South-west ridge but were turned back by the difficulties and by the extreme cold of late autumn. They later spent some time reconnoitring other sides of the mountain but no way could be found that seemed to offer a better hope of success. On November 2, a party of four (Gregory, Cook, Dr. Levene and the veteran Italian, Ghiglione) made the first ascent of Island Peak, 21,326 ft.
French to Jannu, 25,294 ft. Led by Jean Franco (leader of the 1955 Makalu expedition) the team of 8 climbers, 2 geologists and a doctor includes Guido Magnone, Jean Bouvier and Pierre Leroux of the 1957 reconnaissance party. The party left Biratnagar on March 15. The expedition is jointly sponsored by the French Alpine Club and the French Federation of Mountaineering.
Austrian to Dhaulagiri, 26,785 ft. The party, which comprises Fritz Moravec (leader), Roiss, Ratay (all of the 1956 Gasherbrum II party), Yanis, Prein and Dr. Kubiena, arrived in India on March 14. The Sherpa Pasang Dawa Lama accompanies them. The expedition is sponsored by the Osterreichische Himalaya Gesellschaft and the Osterreichische Alpenklub.
Japanese to Himal Chuli, 25,801 ft. Sponsored by the Japanese Alpine Club and led by Mr. J. Muraki (of the 1956 Manaslu party) the team of 8 climbers and 8 Sherpas set up its Base Camp in mid-April.
British to Ama Dablam, 22,494 ft. The leader is Mr. J. H. Emlyn Jones (Hon. Secretary of the Alpine Club) and the team consists of G. J. Fraser, M. J. Harris, Dr. F. S. Jackson, Mrs. N. E. Morin (ex-President of the Ladies Alpine Club) and E. A. Wrangham. The Sherpas include Dawa Tensing, Annullu, Urkien and Tashi.
Ladies Expedition to Cho Oyu, 26,750 ft. The party, which is led by the well-known climber Claude Kogan, includes Dr. Colette Le Bret, Jeanne Franco (French); Dorothy Gravina, Eileen Healey, Margaret Darvall (British) ; Claudine van der Straten (Belgian); Loulou Boulaz (Swiss).
Italian to Kanjut Sar, 25,460 ft. Led by Guido Monzino of Milan, the party includes 8 Alpine guides from Yaltournanche, a transport officer, a photographer and a doctor. The party left Karachi on May 7, and will spend three months in the mountains.
Austrian to Minapin Peak, 23,861 ft. Led by Rudolf Bardodej.
Indian to Nanda Kot, 22,510 ft. M. S. Kohli leads a six-man team organized by the Indian Navy.
Indian to Bandarpunch I, 20,956 ft. ('Black’ Peak). Capt. Jagjit Singh leads an Indian Artillery team.
HIMALAYAN JOURNAL, YOL. XXII: All papers intended for publication should be forwarded to the Hon. Editor, c/o The Himalayan Club, Post Box No. 9049, Calcutta 16. It is requested that articles should be typewritten and, preferably, accompanied by sketch-maps; these should be clearly drawn in Indian ink with references given, if possible, to the existing Survey sheets. Photographs should be clear, with definition as sharp as possible; they should be at least half-plate size printed on glossy paper. The Editor will be glad to receive articles of general Himalayan interest, i.e. on subjects other than climbing.
JOURNAL BACK NUMBERS
: The only volumes now available for sale are Vols. XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX, which are priced at Rs.7/50 per copy. Enquiries should be addressed to the Hon. Librarian, The Himalayan Club, P.O. Box 9049, Calcutta 16. In addition, some copies of Vols. XIV and XVI1 are available in England with Blackwell's of Broad Street, Oxford. Enquiries should be addressed to Blackwell's direct.
DESPATCH OF THE JOURNAL
: Responsibility for nondelivery of the Journal cannot be accepted if members do not notify their change of address. Considerable trouble is caused in re-addressing Journals returned, and duplicate copies cannot be sent except on payment.
CHANGE OF ADDRESS
: Members are requested to notify the Hon. Secretary promptly of any change of address. A new Members' List is now in the course of preparation; if this Journal has not been correctly addressed, will you please advise the Hon. Secretary immediately of any amendments or alterations.
: The Club has lost contact with the following members, covers forwarded to their last known address having been returned undelivered. Any information as to their present whereabouts will be gratefully received by the Hon. Secretary:-
Mrs. J. M. D. Adams
Lt.-Col. J. B. P. Angwin, M.B.E.
E. A. Bean
Capt. T. J. Bellers
A. A. Bertram
E. St. J. Birnie
Lt.-Col. W. Maurice Brown
Maj. E. F. D. Campbell
Col. R. W. Cardew
P/O P. C. Chopra
Brig.-Gen. Sir George Cockerill
Col. G. Davidson
G. C. Dorsett
Capt. C. G. Funnell
Col. R. A. Gardiner
I. L. Hall
Lt.-Col E. Huerta
Dr. B. R. Jennings
A. Percy Lancaster
Mrs. R. T. Merrick
F. C. Perkins
C. H. Pitt
S. L. Sharma
Sq.-Ldr. D. F. Spink
Dr. G. A. J. Teasdale
J. C. Woodward
Mrs. B. Soep
: We gratefully acknowledge receipt during the year of the following issues (exchange copies) :-
The Alpine Journal.
The Geographical Journal.
Journal of the Royal Central Asian Society.
The British Ski Year Book.
Yorkshire Ramblers Club Journal.
The Rucksack Club Journal.
The Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal.
The Ladies Alpine Club Journal.
The Pinnacle Club Journal.
The American Alpine Journal.
The New Zealand Alpine Journal.
The Journal of the Mountain Club of South Africa.
Appalachian Club Bulletins.
La Montague et Alpinisme.
Jahrbuch des Deutschen Alpenvereins.
Journal of the Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research.
Journal of the Polish Mountaineering Club.
Japanese Alpine Club Journal.
Journal of the United Services Institution, India.
H.J., XIX, p. 131.