The problems inseparable from the production of a Journal of this nature have intensified since the issue of the previous number and high tribute is due to Dr. K. Biswas, the Honorary Editor, and his devoted associates for completing a complicated assignment with success. Their task was made no easier by pressure from the Committee for progressing the policy of including some former features that highlighted subjects other than high- altitude climbing. It is worth repeating that such measures are in accordance with the objects of the Club which have always been to obtain as much knowledge as possible of all aspects of the Himalayan region for the information of its widely spread members and supporters. The scarcity of articles on Zoology, Botany, Geology and the several aspects of the living conditions of the hardy and attractive inhabitants, who are being affected by modern trends, was a shortcoming which it has long been desirable to eliminate. It is also necessary, for future issues, to obtain more co-operation and contributions from the growing numbers of climber-writers to enable us to maintain progress in this direction.

In these times of rapid changes everywhere many aspects of mountaineering in the Himalayas have altered in recent years. In fact the interval since the issue of the last number of our Journal can be said to mark the passing away of an interesting era, stretching back to the early 1950's. The period witnessed unusual activity in these regions and over 100 expeditions, from several countries, were mounted. It speaks well for their organization, skill and keenness that more than half of them attained their goals, some under most difficult conditions. An appreciable number concentrated on research and scientific objectives, rather than climbing as high as possible. Many nationalities participated and prominent in these teams were mountaineers and explorers from Britain, Switzerland, France, America, Italy, Japan, Germany, Austria and, of course, all parts of India. Specially welcome were several teams of ladies who though newcomers performed magnificently. In India, several schools and colleges and some Universities formed Climbing Clubs, which augurs well for future supplies of keen mountaineers. Established institutions were expanded and new organizations were formed in suitable centres, mainly with official help, to encourage and train the rising generation in rock-climbing and high-altitude techniques. And the seed, which we trust will soon bear fruit, was sown by enthusiasts in Delhi to start an Institute of Himalayan Studies,

The Club hopes that the popularity of expeditions to the Himalayas continues to increase; but it would be unrealistic to ignore the effects of permit restrictions, limitations imposed by security factors, new regulations, on some routes, by local authorities and the ever-rising costs of porters and of modern mountaineering equipment. We can hardly expect major expeditions, in the near future, to be on the same scale as during the past dozen years; nor is it likely that penetration into the inner ranges will be permissible for civilians who are not officially sponsored. There is undoubtedly some substance in the view that expeditions to the higher Himalayas have now become a preserve of the public sector. But these factors should not affect, to the same extent, smaller and less ambitious parties of the kind that are content to explore the numerous ranges and valleys lying between the foot-hills and the main axis. There are few comparable regions in the world for a pleasant holiday and I know of none which offer more.

All of us are again under considerable obligation to our Honorary Secretary, Mr. R. Lawford, who has done so much for the Club in spite of numerous other commitments. Our gratitude is also due to Mrs. C. Marr who helped us out during a difficult period by taking on the exacting task of Honorary Treasurer. We thank them and many others most sincerely.

F. C. Badhwar

28th April, 1966.

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