Professor N. E. Odell, c/o dare College, Cambridge.
The Editor, The Himalayan Journal.
Dear Dr. Biswas,
74 South Audley Street,
At the Alpine Club, London, on 5-2-63, we listened to an excellent and modestly expressed account by Mr. Hari Dang of the second Indian attempt on Everest in 1962, to which due tribute was given by several members present, apart from the general acclamation. A criticism, however, had to be levelled at the unfortunate use by the lecturer, and presumably the Indian party, of certain faulty names of topographical features in the Everest group, which have been introduced by the Swiss surveyors. Particularly to be noted was the quite unwarranted re-naming of the well known Lho La for the spurious 'Khumbu La', as proposed recently by the Swiss.
In an article, entitled 'Lho La', in the Alpine Journal, Vol. LX (No. 290), May 1955, I discussed this matter at some length and inter alia, pointed out that considerable confusion will he (and indeed has already been) caused on the part of the Swiss by this arbitrary and quite unjustifiable proposal to change the name of the time-honoured Lho La (of Mallory), and to transfer the latter name to the South Col. I indicated that, as we had found in 1924 ‘Khumbu La ' is already preoccupied as a local name for the Nangpa (or Nangba) La, the important traders' pass, lying west of Cho Oyu, and leading from Tibet into the Solo Khumbu district.
Moreover, it must be emphasized that British mountaineers and scientists do not accept the proposed Swiss changes of name ; and this is confirmed on the new map, 6 The Mount Everest Region scale 1:100,000, published by the Royal Geographical Society and the Mount Everest Foundation in 1961. Consequently, it is to be hoped that the Indian authorities, and certainly mountaineering parties, will give due consideration to these matters, and not be responsible for extending the confusion in topographical nomenclature that the unnecessary and obnoxious amendments have so unfortunately made.
N. E. Odell
The Editor, The Himalayan Journal, will not be responsible for the opinion expressed in it.—Editor