Himalayan Journal vol.35
The Himalayan Journal

Publication year:

Soli S. Mehta
    (H. W. TILMAN)
  9. EVEREST, 1976
    (MAJOR M. W. H. DAY, R.E.)
  10. LHOTSE, 1976
  12. MAKALU, 1976
  13. THE CLEAN-UP TREK, 1976
    (R. A. L. ANDERSON)
  17. DHAULAGIRI IV, 1975
  18. NORTH SIKKIM, 1976
    (N. C. SHAH)
    (M. DEY)
  24. CHIRING WE, 1977
  25. KINNAUR-1976
  26. BLACK PEAK, 1976
  30. ISTOR-O-NAL NORTH I, 1976
  32. AFGHAN DARWAZ, 1975
  41. EXPEDITIONS 1975-1977



Introductory Note

THE reader will find the following story easier to appreciate if he is warned beforehand of the great changes that take place in the course of it. When it begins the Himalaya were visited by a few sportsmen and hardly one mountaineering expedition a year but by the end of the period there were annually forty or fifty expeditions with parties queuing up for popular mountains and leaving problems of pollution behind them when they left. Secondly, when mountaineering was in its infancy it was mainly people of the upper middle classes who had the leisure and the means to indulge in it; they may not have been Dukes of the Abruzzi but they were quite likely to have been Old Etonians like Freshfield, Longstaff and Mumm. By the end of the period a much more healthy democratic situation has arisen. Thirdly, at the beginning of the period technical aids were very simple; their development has been so remarkable that mountains once considered unclimbable have now been climbed by advanced girls' courses. When the story begins India was being ruled by the British and few Indians are mentioned in the story, most of them being Rajas. Many Britishers did not think that Indians would ever take to mountaineering; how wrong they were is now too obvious for comment to be necessary. Another change is in communications. Expeditions no longer come to India by sea but either by air or overland by road. From India they can fly to Kathmandu or Pokhara and from Pakistan to Gilgit or Skardu and helicopters can reach such inaccessible places as the inner sanctuary of Nanda Devi. There is also a growing network of motor roads.

The story has been divided into five parts :

Part I. The Background; the Himalaya before the Club was started

Part II. The Founding of the Club.

Part III. The Club from 1928 to 1947 : British period.

Part IV. The Club from 1947 to 1954 : Transition.

Part V. The Club from 1954 to 1978 : In a New Era.

Part I. The Background; the Himalaya before the Club was started

The first people to come to the Himalaya were the explorers and in a relatively unknown part of the world this was logical enough; and they were followed very closely by the surveyors. From the 1860s, because of the 'Great Game' with Russia, survey became increasingly important, and, because of the closing of frontiers by China and Tibet, increasingly difficult. This was the age of the so-called 'Pandit Explorers', men trained and sent out in disguise by the Survey of India. In H. J., Vol. VIII there is a most interesting map of 'Survey and Exploration from 1864 to 1934' which shows what a very wide area of the Himalaya, the Karakoram, Tibet and Chinese Turkestan was covercd. Sometimes an explorer climbed a peak as when Conway climbed Pioneer Peak in 1892, and sometimes a surveyor did so, as for example the khalasi who put a signal post on Shilla in 1860 which was: then thought to be over 23,000 ft. The next people to come to the Himalaya were the hunters, the shikaris. Shooting in those days was a fashionable sport for gentlemen and a required activity for the Viceroy, as Lord Reading discovered to his surprise. Colonels of regiments certainly preferred their young officers to spend their leaves pursuing game in the Himalaya rather than 'poodle-faking' in hill stations, and the regimental messes filled up with the heads of ibex, markhor and Ovis poli. When he was planning the Himalayan Club in 1927 Sir Geoffrey Corbett admitted that it was shikar that impelled nine-tenths of those who went to the Himalaya and for this reason he thought it would be unwise to call the Club 'the Alpine Club of India'. Shikar produced a considerable literature, for example : Shooting in the Himalayas; a Journal of Sporting Adventures and Travel in Chinese Tartary, Ladac, Thibet and Cashmere by Fred Markham, 1854 : Big Game Hunting in the Himalayas and Tibet by G. Burrard, 1925 : and the first book to be reviewed in the H.J. was Sport and Travel in the Highlands of Tibet by Sir Henry Hayden and Cesar Cosson. Early issues of the H.J. carried advertisements for Westley Richards sporting rifles with an encouraging blurb : 'My first three shots at buffalo with the .425 were as follows-1 hit a big bull; the impact knocked him down-the second shot was at a running cow; she got up and went forty yards and dropped stone dead; the third was at a running buffalo a bit farther away. It fell to the shot and did not go far before it died. These shots were fired as fast as I could work the bolt.' The advertisement was soon reduced to half a page and then disappeared. Besides the hunters of wild life there were also the hunters of botanical specimens, of birds and butterflies and plants, men like Kingdon Ward, Sherriff5 and Ludlow who managed to enter Tibet, Chinese Turkestan, Burma and Bhutan. Kingdon Ward was the son of the Professor of Botany at Cambridge and when he came down he came out to teach in a school in Shanghai in 1907. In his first year he started on his explorations of the interior of China. He made altogether twenty-five journeys into southeastern Tibet, unadministered northern Assam, Bhutan and the Sino-Burmese frontier and was preparing to go again when he died at the age of 72. His whole object was the collection of rare plants and to some extent he was subsidized by wealthy owners of gardens in England.

Expeditions for the express purpose of climbing mountains came in rather slowly. The first person who admitted that he came to the Himalaya simply for the sport of climbing was W. W. Graham, who visited Sikkim and Garhwal in 1883 with his Swiss guides, but there is some doubt about what he climbed. Sir Martin Conway took a much publicized expedition (for which he was knighted) to the Karakoram in 1892 but it was for exploration rather than for climbing. In 1895 Mummery, Norman Collie and Hastings came out with the intention of attempting Nanga Parbat and Mummery perished in the attempt. In 1899 Douglas Kreshfield, an eminent member of the Alpine Club, came out with a geologist, Professor Garwood, to make a high-level tour of Kangchenjunga and in 1902 an Englishman called Eckenstein had a look at K2 with an idea of climbing it. In 1905 Longstaff, probably inspired by Graham, came out to explore the approaches In Nanda Devi bringing two Swiss guides, the Brocherel brothers, with him. He reached a point from which he could see inside the sanctuary, afterwards called Longstaff's Col (19,390 ft). He then marched northwards into Tibet and climbed to a point about 23,000 ft high on Gurla Mandhata when he and the Brocherels were carried down 3000 ft in two minutes by an avalanche. Alter spending the night in the shelter of some rocks they again climbed to about 24,000 ft. In 1909 Longstaff visited the Karakoram.

There is no proof but it is widely believed that it was Charles Bruce who suggested that a fitting way to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the Alpine Club in 1907 would be by an attempt to climb Everest. Bruce himself says that the idea of climbing Everest was first mentioned to him by Francis Younghusband as they were marching to Chitral in 1893. Brigadier-General Charles Bruce is one of the most colourful characters in the early history of mountaineering in the Himalaya. He came out to India in 1888 and was posted to the 5th Gurkhas in Abbottabad. He soon fell in love with the Himalaya and spent all the time he could wandering about in them with two or three of his beloved Gurkhas, He accompanied Sir Martin Conway on his expedition to the Karakoram in 1892 and he succeeded in converting Conway to his view of Gurkhas so successfully that when in 1894 Conway made his journey over the Alps from end to end which he recorded in a book of that name he took with him the two Gurkhas who had been with him in the Karakoram, Karbir and Amar Singh. Bruce was also invited to join Mummery on his expedition but his leave had expired before the accident took place. In 1897 fighting flared up all along the frontier and the situation was very critical. Bruce with some others formed a small contingent of 'Scouts' who would be able to move in the * hills with great rapidity, and for greater mobility they cut off their trousers at the knee. After this Bruce played a great part in getting shorts introduced into the Indian Army. He was always very keen on keeping fit and when he was on the Frontier it is said that every day he climbed a nearby hill with his orderly on his back. 'He had', according to Younghusband, 'an extraordinary aptitude for entering into the lives of mountain peoples, learning their fables and even singing their songs. He so obviously liked being with them that they would open out their hearts to him, and as he sang to them they would roar with delight/ He discovered the value of the Baltis in Kashmir, the Bhotias in Garhwal and he fully realized the worth of the Sherpas which had already been discovered by Dr Kellas.

When the Viceroy, Lord Curzon, heard the suggestion that Everest should be attempted in the Golden Jubilee year of the Alpine Club he was enthusiastic and soon conveyed to Fresh- field, the President of the Alpine Club, that the Government of India would give £3000 towards the expenses. Freshfield got in touch with Bruce who was in England in 1906 and Bruce got in touch with Longstaff and Mumm, both of them members of the Alpine Club and Old Etonians. They all three came out to India hoping to be able to make an attempt on Everest in 1907 but by then there had been a change of Government in England and a change of Viceroy in India. The new Viceroy, Lord Minto, was himself a member Of the Alpine Club and in favour of going ahead, but John Morley, the Secretary of State 'put down his illiberal foot' for fear of annoying the Russian bear, and the scheme was off. The three climbers then came to Garhwal and on 12 June, when Bruce was suffering from a septic knee, Longstaff with his guides the Brocherels and Bruce's orderly Karbir Singh climbed Trisul (23,360 ft) from a camp at 17,400 ft. Karbir afterwards informed the incredulous villagers that from the summit of Trisul he could see Delhi and the plains; beyond the plains he could see Bombay, and beyond Bombay he could see the- big Ocean, and beyond that Ocean, England-and he knew that it was England because he had been there (Oliver, 'Dunagiri and Trisul', H. J., Vol. VI, p. 101).

In this same year, 1907, Dr Kellas came out to Sikkim and made three attempts on Simvu. On this occasion he brought Swiss guides but on all subsequent occasions he recruited Sherpas in Darjeeling or Bhotias in Garhwal, and when Mrs Townend was looking after Sherpas' welfare in the 1930s he was still remembered by them. Mason says : 'perhaps no-one enjoyed himself more among the Sikkim Himalaya than Dr A. M. Kellas of Glas- gow.' He climbed Pauhunri in 1910 and made three attempts on Kamet, the last one with Morshead in 1920 which failed mainly because his Bhotias refused to camp on Meade's Col, Meade, who attempted Kamet in 19101, 1912 and 1913, camped here on his last attempt. Meade's excellent treatment of the Bhotias paid dividends to many parties that came after him. Kellas went on the reconnaissance of Everest in 1921 and died of a heart attack on the way.

In 1909 the Duke of the Abruzzi took an expedition to the Karakoram which included the famous Italian photographer, Vittorio Sella, who took photographs of K2 and the Muztagh Tower which made a great impression in Europe. The photograph of K2 was used as the frontispiece for the first volume of the H. J. The Duke did not think that K2 looked possible but he reached the height of 24,600 ft on Chogolisa.

Meanwhile Bruce did not give up hopes of making an attempt on Everest. Whether the attempts on Everest helped to further mountaineering as a whole may perhaps be doubted since they undoubtedly gave the impression that expeditions to the Himalaya must be big and costly affairs. In 1910 Bruce succeeded in getting permission from the Maharaja of Nepal for an expedition to Everest from Nepal but Government forbade this for political reasons. In 1920 Sir Francis Younghusband became the President of the Royal Geographical Society and he was most keen that an attempt should be made on the highest mountain in the world; it had for a long time been an objective of the R.G.S. He persuaded the Alpine Club to join the R.G.S. in setting up an Everest Committee of which he became the Chairman. Col. Howard Bury was sent out to India to press the matter with the Viceroy and with Sir Charles Bell, the Political Agent in Sikkim responsible for relations with Tibet. He visited Lhasa and got permission from the Tibetan Government so that the way was open for a reconnaissance in 1921. Bruce was the obvious choice to lead it but as he was not available it was led by Howard Bury. Bruce aged 56 was chosen to lead the expedition of 1922 and Longstaff aged 47 was also in the party. In those days age and experience were much respected. Mallory, Somervell and Norton reached 26,800 ft without oxygen and Finch and J. G. Bruce reached 27,000 ft with oxygen. There was much argument in those days about whether it was right to use oxygen or not. Not enough was known about snow and ice conditions in the monsoon and on the way down nine roped Sherpas were swept away and only two rescued. Bruce was again chosen to be the leader in 1924 but fell ill on the way and Norton took over; Norton was himself very much opposed to the use of oxygen and himself went as high as any man has gone without it, 28,126 feet. In this year Irving and Mallory perished in an attempt on the summit. On the 1924 expedition was Odell, who is now the oldest member of the Club. On the return one of the members of the party broke away from the normal route to visit Tsangpo and afterwards in London the photographer arranged for some Tibetan lamas to dance at lectures to give them greater publicity. The authorities at Lhasa were annoyed at both occurrences and put a ban on further expeditions, which was not lifted until 1933.

In 1925 Hugh Ruttledge, who was to lead expeditions to Everest in the 1930s, became Deputy Commissioner of Almora and in 1925, 1926 and 1927 he made expeditions to Garhwal with Col. R. C. Wilson, Dr T. H. Somervell and Tom Longstaff from whom he had 'the finest lesson of his life in route finding'.

It was against this background that in 1927 people in Calcutta and Simla began to think of founding a club to encourage people to visit the mountain regions on India's northern borders.

Part II. The Founding of the Club

In planning a mountaineering club people in Calcutta seem to have been slightly ahead of those in Simla and this is not surprising since the mountains of Sikkim were in those days quite accessible from Calcutta. In his excellent book, The Abode of Snow, a History of Himalayan Exploration and Mountaineering, published in 1955, Professor Kenneth Mason said : 'Two clubs were born independently and almost simultaneously, the Mountain Club of India in Calcutta on September 23rd 1927, and the Himalayan Club of Simla eleven days later.' This account of what happened provoked a note in H.J., Vol. XIX over the signatures of W. Allsup and H. W. Tobin to the effect that : 'We have been asked by the parents of the Mountain Club to elucidate the statement that the two were born independently and almost simultaneously. Talks had been going on for years with no tangible result until the Mountain Club was inaugurated . . . its birth on 23 September was the outcome of talks on the Akhthang Glacier in 1925. The Himalayan Club was conceived on "the path behind Jakko" at a talk in October 1927 and the Club came into being on 17 February 1928.' Allsup had been the original Hon. Secretary of the Mountain Club and Tobin had been an original member and was now, in 1955i, Editor of the H.J. Their anxiety to have the full story told must be respected. There is no doubt that the Mountain Club was inaugurated at Pelliti's Restaurant on 23 September 1927 at a meeting at which Newman of The Statesman was in the chair and at which General Bruce was unanimously elected President of the new Club; two days later as directed Newman put an article in The Statesman explaining the aims and objects of the Club. In an article in H. J., Vol. I, Sir Geoffrey Corbett gives his account of what happened. 'The idea [of a Club] must have occurred to many, but it never took shape, not because a Club was not wanted but because in the land of endlessness it is only now and then that two or three are gathered together. The thing had hung in the balance for years when a chance talk at Simla tipped the beam and the Himalayan Club was born on the path behind Jakko on the afternoon of October 6th, 1927.' We do not know what happened on the path behind Jakko on October 6th but it seems that Allsup and Tobin are correct in describing what happened as the conception rather than the birth of the Himalayan Club which cannot be said to have been truly born until the first meeting on February 17th, 1928. The Mountain Club of India was first by five months.

Sir Geoffrey Corbett was a member of the I.C.S. who started visiting the Alps even before he went up to Oxford and who kept up his walking after he came to India in the hills of the Central Provinces. He visited the Alps whenever he went on leave but was a walker rather than a mountaineer and liked to wander off the beaten track with his rucksack and his friendly umbrella staying each night at a different place. He was elected to the Alpine Club in 1916. In 1926 he was posted to the Government of India as Secretary for Industry and from his house in Simla he had an excellent view of the snows. This and the talk of the path behind Jakko on October 6th prompted him to take action. The first thing that he did was to write to Major Kenneth Mason of the Survey of India and to the Chief of Army Staff, who all showed great keenness. Corbett and Mason drew up a list of all the most important people that they could think of a connected with the Himalaya and on 20 December they posted a circular letter inviting them to become founder-members of the newly proposed Himalayan Club. Almost everyone accepted and before the Club was started they had a list of 127 founder-members whose names were an epitome of recent events in the Himalaya ; Sir Thomas Holdich, who joined the Survey of India in 1865 and served all his time on the frontiers; in 1895 ho was chief survey officer on the Pamir Boundary Commission, which gave the Wakhan to Afghanistan so as to be a buffer hot ween Russia and India; Sir Francis Younghusband, who as a young officer in the Dragoon Guards left Peking to cross the (5obi Desert and enter India through the Muztagh Pass in the Karakoram in 1887 ; Brigadier-General Bruce who joined the Gurkhas in 1888 ; Brigadier-General Sir George Cockrell who in 1892 surveyed an enormous area around Hunza; Sir Martin conway who came to the Karakoram in 1892; Norman Collie who was with Mummery in 1895 ; Douglas Freshfield who visited Kangchenjunga in 1899; Sir Aurel Stein, a Hungarian Orientalist who went up to Oxford, took British nationality, joined first the Indian Educational Service and then the Archaeological Survey mil explored a great part of Central Asia; the Duke of the Ahruzzi who explored the Karakoram in 1909 with Sir Filippo de Felipi; and the Duke of Spoleto and Mr Visser of the Dutch Foreign Service who were currently exploring the Karakoram. tn India itself Corbett got hold of the Viceroy, Lord Irwin, the Governor of the Punjab, Sir Herbert Emerson, the Surveyor- General, Brigadier Tandy, the Director of the Archaeological Survey, Sir Edwin Pascoe, General Sir Alexander Cobbe, C-in-C Northern Command, the Raja of Jubbal (he seems to have been the only Indian founder-member) and last but not least, Field- Marshal Sir William Birdwood Bart., Commander-in-Chief, who readily agreed to be President of the Club.

Corbett and Mason had, of course, very soon come to know about the Mountain Club of India ; in fact they both joined it. At a meeting with Allsup the Hon. Secretary, it was agreed that both Clubs should go ahead with mutual goodwill and that the question of fusion should be considered later. The inaugural meeting of the Himalayan Club was held in the C-in-C's room in New Delhi on 17 February 1928 and at this meeting it was decided to invite the Mountain Club to amalgamate with the Himalayan Club. The Mountain Club held a general meeting in December 1928 at which, after some hesitation on the part of some of the members, they decided on amalgamation 'for the benefit of the two clubs'. This was finalised at the first A. G. M. of the Himalayan Club in February 1929 when Marr, Vice- President of the Mountain Club, became Vice-President of the Himalayan Club and G. B. Gourley, Hon. Secretary of the Mountain Club, became local Secretary in Calcutta. Corbett in his article on the Founding of the Himalayan Club regretted that Allsup had now left India but said that the two Clubs would not forget how selfiessly he had worked for amalgamation. At the A. G. M. in 1930 the members of the Club in Calcutta were allowed to form the Eastern Section of the Himalayan Club with their own Chairman and Hon. Secretary.

The oldest of all mountaineering clubs in the world, the Alpine Club, came into existence when one mountaineer wrote to another early in 1857 saying: T want you to consider whether it would not be possible to establish an Alpine Club, the members of which would dine together once a year, say in London, and give each other what information they could.' The first such dinner was held in December 1857. The Austrian Alpine Club was founded in 1862 and the Swiss and French Alpine Clubs in 1863. Gradually Alpine Clubs spread throughout the world but for reasons that have been given Corbett did not want to use the name in India. He was even reluctant to mention 'shikar' as a specific object of the Club and so arrived at the definition of the objects of the Club which has appeared on the title page of all copies of the H. J., since : 'To encourage and assist Himalayan travel and exploration, and to extend the knowledge of the Himalaya and adjoining ranges through science, art, literature and sport.'

Corbett ended his article by saying : 'And so the Himalayan Club is founded and we hope great things of it; the geographer that the blank spaces on our maps may be filled in ; the scientist that our knowledge of the Himalaya, its rocks and glaciers, its animals and plants, its peoples and their way of living, may continually expand; the artist that its glories may continually inspire fine pictures. The mountaineer may dream of the ascent of a thousand unclimbed peaks, the shikaris of record heads shot in nullahs yet unknown. My own hope is that it may help to rear a breed of men in India, hard and self-reliant, who will know how to enjoy life on the high hills.'

All these hopes of Sir Geoffrey's are admirable, particularly the last one, but after reading this it comes as a surprise to find that the membership of the Club was at first limited to 300 members. It would appear that this rule was introduced in imitation of the Alpine Club which was for many years very Victorian and exclusive in its approach, more so than other Alpine Clubs. Election used to be by secret ballot of all the members of the Club who could come along to vote, and one black ball in ten excluded. Both Mummery and Arnold Lunn were turned down at their first attempts, Lunn presumably because of his connexion with the family travel firm. He gotin in 1938 and soon after that the President changed the rule so that decisions were left to the committee ; Arnold Lunn then congratulated him on opening the stable door after the horse had got in ! Sir Edwin Herbert who was President from 1953 to 1955 and mainly responsible for seting up the Mount Everest Foundation said in his valedictory address : It is a great piece of good fortune that so many of the early members of the Club who founded our tradition were men of exceptional insight and understanding and far from inarticulate. By the accident of time and period they happened to be drawn largely from a certain social class. In these days that is no longer so, and therefore the distinction of class which was .relevant then is no longer so rlevant.' From the beginning the admission of members to the Himalayan Club was a matter for the Committee but as the committee was rather small there were additional members of the 'balloting committee' who did not meet but operated by post. In 1932 the 300 limit was raised to 500 and eventually membership exceeded 600 so presumably the rule was changed again.

Part III. The Himalayan Club, 1928-1947 ; British Period

The foundation of the Club undoubtedly had a great effect in Simulating and facilitating expeditions to the Himalaya but for the first, year the office-bearers were busy with what might be called spadework. 'Local Secretaries' who would be able to help people setting out on expeditions were appointed at suitable starting; points such as Darjeeling, Chamba, Kashmir, Kumaon and Simla. What were then called 'Local Correspondents' were appointed in places where people might require information rather than actual help, e.g., Lahore, London, Meerut, Peshawar, Quetta and Rawalpindi; most of them military stations. 'Scientific and Technical Correspondents' who would be able to help members with information were appointed for Archaeology, Botany, Entomology, Fishing and Shooting, Geodesy and Geophysics, Meteorology, Ornithology, Photography, Survey and Maps, and Zoology. Major Kenneth Mason was appointed Editor of the Journal, Colonel Phillimore was put in charge of the Library, and a Sub-Committee for equipment was formed under Brigadier R. C. Wilson. At the first A. G. M. it was reported that membership had reached 250, 127 founder-members, 49 former members of the Mountain Club and 74 ordinary members. Shortly after this meeting Sir Geoffrey Corbett resigned from being Hon. Secretary, probably on grounds of health as he left the country on grounds of health not long afterwards. He was succeeded by G. Mackworth Young, I.C.S., Secretary of the Army Department, a man who was not without Himalayan experience as in 1912 he had travelled to Tibet to examine the ruins of Tsaparang, the town on the Sutlej the ruler of which had welcomed the Jesuit priests in 1636.

Mason was an excellent choice for Editor. He had come out to India to join the Survey in 1909 and had been posted to Kashmir. One of the results of the Anglo-Russian Entente of 1907 was an agreement to link up their systems of triangulation and in 1912 Mason was put in charge of carrying the Indian triangles northwards from near Gilgit to meet the Russians who were working southwards from Osh. The two teams met at Sar- Baluk in the Taghdumbash Pamir in 1913. The length of the junction side found by the Russians (7134.9 m) differed from the Indian value (7133.4 m) by a metre and a half. During the war Mason was in Intelligence in France and in the Middle East and was awarded the M. C. and thrice mentioned in despatches. After the war he returned to India and was invited to join the 1921 Everest reconnaisance but to his great disappointment he could not get leave. He then carried out a survey of the Shaksgam area of the Karakoram for which he was awarded the Cuthbert Peak Grant and the Founder's Medal of the R. G. S. in successive years. His wide knowledge of the Himalaya was most useful to him as Editor of the Journal. In 1932 he was appointed first Professor of Geography in the new school of Geography at Oxford, but he continued to edit the journal which was then printed and published in Oxford by the Clarendon Press.

H. J., Vol. I appeared in April 1929 and for us who are used to recent issues of the Journal it is a surprise to find no article on a mountaineering expedition, but the reason is the very simple one that there was no mountaineering expedition to report. There is an article on a Botanical Expedition to the Mishmi Hills by Kingdon Ward and there are references to two German explorers who were travelling in Central Asia, Dr Trinkler and Dr Filchner, to Admiral Lynes' Ornithological Expedition to Kashmir, and to the Duke of Spoleto's projected expedition to the Karakoram. I here were six illustrations which included the photograph of K2 already referred to and two photographs taken in the Karakoram by Mason himself. Sir Francis Younghusband reviewed Mason's Exploration of the Shaksgam Valley and the Aghil Ranges and said that the Himalayan Club started with a great advantage in having in this publication a kind of guide book to perhaps the most interesting and least explored part of the whole Himalaya. Younghusband said that Mason had for years had the ambition to explore this remote and wonderful region lying north of the glittering constellation of peaks which culminate K2. 'May I add that for this region a big expedition is not a necessity. The first white man to enter had no other white man with him. He had only a scratch lot of Bait is and Ladakhis got together at Yarkand. He used no tent. Moreover, he was only twenty-four and had not passed the Higher Standard in Hindustani-and has not yet.' He was not a little proud of what he did in 1887.

The Journal was well received and thirty-one institutions wrote to say that they would like to exchange their publications for the Journal. People started to write to the Club for advice about expeditions to the Himalaya. One of the first to do so was Rickmer Rickers of Heligoland who had in the previous year been the leader of the German half of a German-Soviet expedition to the Pamir. During the expedition Karl Wien (who was later to come to India) with two others climbed Peak Kaufman, then supposed (wrongly) to be the highest peak in the Soviet Union, and it was renamed Peak Lenin. Rickmer Rickmers was enquiring not on his own account but on behalf of a young bavarian climber called Paul Bauer who with his friends wanted to test themselves against something difficult in the Himalaya. Predictably they were recommended to try Kangchenjunga for it is the greatest peak that is easily visible from a hill station in India and therefore especially well-known.

Bauer's party arrived in Calcutta by sea at the end of July and were welcomed by Mason who put them on their way to Darjeeling where they found themselves in the good hands of Colonel Tobin and E. O. Shebbeare. Shebbeare was a senior Forest Officer and he had already been Transport Officer with the Everest Expedition in 1924. He was a somewhat eccentric charecter with a whimsical sense of humour. Once a P. & O. captain objected to him coming to dinner in shorts and gym shoes. Next evening guests coming to dinner found him sitting respledent in white tie, white waistcoat and tails, but when he got up to leave was seen to be still wearing shorts and gym shoes ; the Captain gave up.

Tobin and Shebbeare arranged for ninety porters for the expedition and Tobin accompanied them to Camp 3 on the Zemu glacier. Bauer's team had come at a bad time of year and though they achieved much in the way of reconnaissance a very heavy fall Snow in October put an end to their efforts. The Editor of the Alpine Journal said that it was 'a feat without parallel perhapes in all the annals of mountaineering'. On Bauer's return to Calcutta he and his party were entertained to dinner by the Himalayan Club with Mason in the chair and healths were drunk to the King Emperor and Herr von Hindenburg. Next to the assaults on Everest this was the biggest attempt yet made in the Himalaya. At the other end, away in the Karakorams,. Lieutenant Burn having finished a survey in Chitral made an attempt to climb lstor-o-Nal, but his porters were too full of superstitious dread of faeries on the mountain. East of Burma, Theodore Roosevelt was on an expedition in which he acquired the first specimen of a giant panda that had ever been collected. When H. J., VOL. II came out in 1930 it was able to print two articles on decent expeditions, one by Bauer and one by Burn,, and Tobin Contributed one on a history of climbing in Sikkim. There was a, review of Roosevelt's book Trailing the Giant Panda.

Bauer having shown that it was possible to come to Kangchen- junga there was nothing surprising in G. O. Dyhrenfurth wanting to follow in his steps. Dyhrenfurth was a geologist and had been Professor at Breslau, but after losing everything in the German inflation he had moved to Switzerland. He had long admired the work of Professor Garwood who went to Kangchenjunga with Freshfield and was keen to see the geology of the area for himself. In 1930 he organised the International Himalayan Expedition (I. H. E.); his son was to organise another international expedition in 1973. With him in Dyhrenfurth brought his wife as quartermaster, three other Germans, two Swiss, including Marcel Kurz one Austrian, Erwin Schemeider, and Frank Smythe from England Frank Smythe had been invalided out of the R. A. F. for a week heart and was now making a living by mountaneering and writing books about it ; he came as a reporter to British Press, The party travelled from Venice to Bombay by sea and in Delhi were invited to lunch by the Viceroy and were glad to find that he was a member of the Himalayan in Calcutta they received much help fromG. B. Gourley the Secretary of the Eastern Section, and in Darjeeling from Tobin who came along with them. Two members of the Himalayan Club, Hannah and Wood-Johnson, joined them to help with the transport and to climb. Ten Europeans and 220 porters left Darjeeling on 7 April and two Europeans and 180 porters a day later. On 3 May Chettan, usually known as Satan, on of the most popular Sherpas, was killed in an avalanche. He had been with Longstaff in Garhwal and when they parted Longstaff had wanted to give him some money but he said that would rather have his clasp-knife as by that he would be reminded of him every day. The expedition now withdrew from Kanchenjunga and climbed Jongsong Peak (24,344 ft) which then superseded Trisul as the highest mountain that had been climbed. Delayed by geological investigation Dyhrenfurth did not reach the top until 4.30 p.m. (very late for those days). He was 44 years old and he said that it was the hardest mountaineering feat of his life. The party then climbed three other peaks over 23,000 ft and it was only the arrival of the monsoon I hat prevented them from climbing Lhonak P'eak. When they it turned to Calcutta they spoke about it to Gourlay in such rlowing terms that when in October he and a friend got a month's leave they did not waste time in deciding where to go. 'To climb Lhonak was our main objective, but it was only one incident m a holiday as attractive and full of interest as any lover of mountain scenery and high places could wish for.' One is surprised that he had to wait for someone to come from Switzerland to tell him so. There were, he now realized, 'Countless peaks over twenty thousand feet offering excellent rock and snow climbing within the powers of the average climber, peaks that can be reached quickly and at no greater cost than that of a holiday of similar duration in the Alps.'' From now on almost yearly one or more expeditions to Sikkim were organized by members of the Club in Calcutta.

There was no other mountaineering in the Himalaya this year but with five peaks over 23,000 ft climbed it was a record year. There was quite a lot of exploration going on; the Vissers were leading a Dutch and Dainelli an Italian expedition to the Karakor am, Ludlow, Sherrif and Schomberg were in the Tien Shan, sir Aurel Stein was in Central Asia and Kingdon Ward was on the Burmese border.

In 1931 Paul Bauer returned to the attack on Kangchenjunga with a very strong party which included Peter Aufschnaiter who had been on his previous expedition and Karl Wien who came for the first time. While on the way to Camp 7 the snow gave way under Pasang and he fell to his death dragging Schaller with him Hartman and Wien reached 25,263 ft before they had to withdraw. A few years later Ruttledge reviewed Bauer's book Himalayan Campaigns and he said that Bauer was almost forced to the conclusion that Kangchenjunga was unclimbable and that if he thought so there was very little hope! No other German expedition returned to Kangchenjunga for a long time.

While he was with Dyhrenfurth, Smythe formed the determination to return to the Himalaya in the next year. He chose his objective with great wisdom, Kamet, about which quite a lot was known as it had already been attempted eight times and he brought a very strong team which included Eric Shipton who saw the Himalaya for the first time from the top of the Kauri pass and was absolutely astonished at the sight of so many twenty thousanders that were unclimbed. Tobin sent ten Sherpas and Bhotias were recruited on the spot. Smythe, Holdsworth andShipton reached the summit on 21 June with the Sherpa Lew a, and two days later Raymond Green and Birnie with the Bhotia,. Kesar Singh. Smythe was happy to think that the newly elected President of the Himalayan Club was Governor of the Province in which Kamet was situated. Kamet (25,263 ft) now became the highest mountain that had been climbed. None of them are likely to have imagined that in 1977 a party of Indian ladies would stand where they stood. Holdsworth created two altitude records, one by skiing at 23,000 ft, which was broken by the Japanese on Everest in 1970, and one by smoking a pipe on the summit and this it is believed still stands. Smythe's expedition was the first one hundred per cent successful expedition that had come to the Himalaya and it was important if only because it introduced Eric Shipton to an area where he was to make an important breakthrough three years later.

H. J., Vol. Ill which came out in April 1931 reported the awards of the R. G. S. to three members of the Club. The Founder's Medal went to Kingdon Ward for exploration in the Eastern Himalaya and North-Eastern Frontiers of India : Colonel Wood, who retired from the Survey in 1927, received the Murchison Grant for his services in elucidating Himalayan and trans- Himalayan problems. In 1903 he was sent by Curzon with the consent of the Government of Nepal to ascertain whether Gauri Shankar and Everest were identical. Colonel Schomberg received the Gill Memorial; since 1903 he had spent all his leaves travelling in and beyond the Himalaya. The Journal contained a review by Mason of 'the Record of the Royal Geographical Society, 1830- 1930'. The Society had spent much of its energies-too much some said-on 'the seven problems of discovery', which were the N.W. Passage, the N.E. Passage, the North Pole, the South Pole, the sources of the Nile, the Forbidden City of Lhasa and the ascent of Everest. Only the last remained to be achieved. Mason also said that no less than fifteen members of the Himalayan Club had been awarded the Society's gold medal. Perhaps he included holders of the medal who had become members of the Club. He ended by expressing a wish : 'May we, with wise guidance weather our first hundred years and emerge ninety-seven years hence with as proud a record as that of the Royal Geographical Society.' A note in this issue of the H.J. indicates that it is very shocked to hear that Sir Aurel Stein has had to give up his journey in Central Asia because of obstruction by the Chinese,

In 1932 Hugh Ruttledge who had now retired from Government Service went to have another look at the approaches to Nanda Devi and some members of the Eastern Section made attempts on the Fluted Peak and Chomiomo in Sikkim, but the main event of the year was Willi Merkl's attempt on Nanga Parbat which from then till now has received much attention from Germany. Merkl unfortunately did not inform the Club in advance that he was coming. 'When we arrived in India', he wrote, 'we found the hospitality of the English and Indian authorities most comforting. In Bombay we were granted complete freedom from customs duty for our whole baggage; in Srinagar Major Irvine, Dr Ernest Neve and Major Hadow, a grandson of the Hadow who in 1865 so tragically came to grief during the ascent of the Matterhorn, assisted us not only with advice, but also with practical help. . . . In Astor, our last stage, Captain R. N. D. Frier met us; Major Gillan, the political agent in Gilgit had sent him to help us. Captain Frier was an especially valuable companion on account of his knowledge of languages, and his experience with coolies. The friendship of our English comrade, who never failed us at any time during the whole expedition, and who, even under the most difficult circumstances, was always punctual according to the plans, went far beyond the ordinary.'

When the loads were unpacked in the Rakhiot valley it was found that ten loads containing clothing for the porters were missing. This proved a fatal handicap to the expedition. They did not know enough about acclimatization and they lacked the support of porters. While they were returning to Europe an American member of the expedition fell to his death on a Pyramid in Egypt.

During the summer Visser, who had become Consul-General in India, gave lectures on his Karakoram expeditions in Simla, and there was a photographic exhibition organized by the Club. In other some R.A.F. planes flew from Risalpur to Gilgit.

The all-clear for Everest came through late in 1932 in time to organize an expedition for 1933 with Ruttledge (48) as leader and E. O. Shebbeare (47) in charge of transport. To get some photogr aphs of Everest the Houston R.A.F. Everest Flight was organized in April. On the expedition Wager and Smythe got to 28,126 ft and Shipton to about 27,700 ft but 'bad weather and an early monsoon defeated them. On their return to Calcutta they were entertained to dinner by the Club and Ruttledge went to Simla to give a lecture there. During the year P. R. Oliver and David Campbell made an attempt on Dunagiri and Oliver accompanied only by Kesar Singh, who had climbed Kamet on: Smythe's expedition climbed Trisul. Marco Pallis came with four others to climb in the Gangotri area. They had consulted Longstaff before they came and he told them that if they took the trouble to learn something of the languages they would be able to do without a liaison officer and they very much enjoyed being on their own. They were welcomed in Dehra Dun by Maclagan Gorrie of the Forest College and he took them up to Narendra Nagar to meet the Raja of Tehri who promised to send word to officials along their route that they should be given all facilities. The Raja of Tehri became a life member of the Club which called him the Raja of Garhwal, a title of which he had been deprived in 1815. The Maharaja of Sikkim and the Raja of Keonthal had joined in 1929 and the Mehtar of Chitral joined in 1934. The Club turned down a suggestion that the rulers of territories where members might climb should be made Honorary Members.

Marco Pallis and his party climbed some peaks in the Gangotri area and then when the monsoon arrived they crossed the Nela pass and followed the Baspa down until it reached the Sutlej and then turned up it to make an attempt on Leo Pargial. A storm came on as they approached the summit and their axes started sizzling, but in spite of the sizzling of their axes they reached the summit.

During this year Kingdon Ward and Ronald Kaulback were in eastern Tibet and Ludlow and Sherriff were in Bhutan and Tibet.

In 1934 Willi Merkl returned to the attack on Nanga Parbat and arranged with the Himalayan Club for the supply of thirty- five Sherpas. A terrible storm struck the mountain on 8 July and caused the deaths of four climbers and six porters. Merkl himself died. His Sherpa Gaylay could have saved himself but he stayed with Merkl. Fritz Bechtoid, whom Merkl had described as 'the friend of my youth and most trustworthy companion on all large mountain expeditions', was on both the expeditions and wrote a book about the second one which he ended with these words : 'As we looked once more to Nanga Parbat, to the glittering crest above us, all sense of bitterness against fate was loosed within us, in the presence of deeper understanding. Splendid as it must be to return home with the prize of this mighty mountain, it is yet nobler that a man lay down his life for such a goal, to be a way and a light for the young hearts of those who come after.'

In this same year G. O. Dyhrenfurth returned with another International Expedition further complicated by film actors, actresses and photographers who hoped to make a film. His destination was the Karakoram and after the departure of the film people some members of the climbing party including Andre Roch climbed Baltoro Kangri and he and his wife climbed Sia Kangri, which gave her the woman's altitude record.

A happier event of this year was Shipton's and Tilman's exploration of the approaches to Nanda Devi. After seeing the cavalcade of 350 porters to Everest in 1933 Shipton was keen to see how light it was possible to travel in the Himalaya. He thought that it would be possible for one man to come to India from England, spend several months climbing in the Himalaya and return to England for £150. He received a letter from Tilman inviting him to come for a fortnight's climbing in the Lake District and Shipton replied by suggesting seven months in the Himalaya. Tilman accepted the invitation. 'In Calcutta which we reached on May 5th', wrote Tilman in the H.J., 'we waited two nights to meet the three Sherpas from Darjeeling, a delay memorable because of the hospitality we enjoyed and useful because of the assistance we received from the Himalayan Club and in particular from Mr Gourlay.' The Sherpas were Angtharkey, passing Bhutia and Kusang. Shipton afterwards wrote: 'Among the many delights of the Nanda Devi venture was that, for the first time, I was able to treat these people (the Sherpas) as friends rather than as hired porters and servants. Sharing with them our food and our tent space, our plans and our problems, we came to know their individual characteristics and to appreciate their delicious humour and their generous comradeship in a way that is quite impossible on a large expedition.' They achieved what many before them had attempted without success and forced a way up the Rishi Ganga gorge and penetrated the inner sanctuary of Nanda Devi. They came out during the monsoon to explore the upper reaches of the Alaknanda and returned after the monsoon to complete the survey of the sanctuary. When Shipton’s book came out General Bruce wrote : I have read every word and I am petrified. ... It has certainly broken down the that to achieve great results great expenditure is necessary'; for they had kept within their budget.

In 1934 Joan Townend, wife,of a senior member of the I.C.S., became Hon. Secretary of the Eastern Section. She had trekked a lot in Sikkim and had just edited a new edition of Percy Brown’s Tours in Sikkim. She was deeply distressed by the loss of Shrepa lives on Nanga Parbat. On 1 August a Service of Rememberance was held under arrangements made by the Himalayan club and the Consul-General for Germany. Joan Townendwas keen that individual Sherpas should be suitably commemorated but found that details of their careers were lacking. This decided her to compile a record of all the Darjeeling porters. To fecilitate the collection of information in the future, each Sherpa was to be issued with a 'chit book' containing his photograph and wrapped up in a mackintosh case. It was hoped that the leaders of expeditions would fill in details at the end of each expedition. General Bruce arrived in Calcutta in December and went up to Darjeeling to give a feast to all of his old friends (see H.J., Vol. VIII, p.176) and at this feast the chit books were distributed. On his return to Calcutta General Bruce was entertained to dinner by the eastern Section at the United Services Club and he gave an interesting and amusing talk on Himalayan porters. This was followed by other meetings at one of which the Vissers talked about their explorations of the Karakoram and at another Ronald Kaulback talked about the previous year's work with Kingdon ward on the Upper Subansiri. Joan Townend carried on as Hon. Secretary to the Eastern Region taking a great interest in the welfare of the Sherpas and their families, by whom she was affectionately known as 'Towney Memsahib', until the retirement of her husand in 1942 when they returned to England.

In March news reached England that the Tibetan Government had given permission for attempts on Everest between July 1935 and July 1936. There was no time to mount a full-scale expedition in 1935 but Shipton persuaded the Everest Committee to let him take a small expedition to study snow conditions in the monsoon. He took with him Tilman and the other climbers included a New Zealander, Dan Bryant. Among the Sherpas were the three who had been with Shipton in the Rishi gorge and a new youngster called Tenzing. They climbed more than twenty peaks over 20,000 ft and Shipton and Dan Bryant climbed a col and had a look into the Western Cwm; they did not think that it looked impossible. While Shipton was exploring snow conditions on Everest, John Hunt who was later to play a very important part in the story of Everest was making an attempt with James Waller, Rowland Brotherhood and Carslaw on Saltoro Kangri in the Karakoram, after which Hunt and Brotherhood climbed Kolahoi by the south face. Hunt wrote articles on both expeditions for H. J., Vol. VIII. Several parties visited Sikkim, - and C. R. Cooke and Schoberth made the first ascent of Kabru in October, showing what could be done late in the year. The Eastern Section heard talks by James Waller on the attempt on Saltoro Kangri and by Kingdon Ward on his expedition to the Subansiri from where he had just returned.

Hugh Ruttledge was again chosen to be the leader of the assault on Everest planned for 1936. Smythe, Shipton and Wynn Harris were among the climbers but Tilman and Bryant of the 1935 reconnaissance were rejected because they had taken too long to acclimatize, and John Hunt was rejected by the R.A.F. Medical Board. They did not miss much because the expedition ran into very bad weather and achieved less than any other expedition to Everest. Tilman was compensated for missing the Everest expedition by being invited to join an expedition that Graham Brown, an Englishman, and Charles Houston, an American, were taking to Nanda Devi. Their original plan had been to attempt Kangchenjunga but permission was refused so they turned to their second choice Nanda Devi. In 1932 Ruttledge wrote : 'The few men who have seen her at close quarters are unanimous that the chances of ascent are terribly small. It is just possible that a party of exceptional strength and determination might, after a prolonged reconnaissance, find a way up the south-west shoulder. It is worth trying.' It did in fact prove to be worth trying. Charles Houston and Odell were poised for the assault when Houston fell ill and was replaced by Tilman, and Tilman sent his well-known telegram : 'two reached top august twenty nine. Thus Nanda Devi (25,645 ft) replaced Kamet as the highest mountain that had been climbed. About five weeks later and about ton miles away a party of young Japanese climbers, the first party to come from Japan, reached the summit of Nanda Kot. The party consisted of four members of the Rikkyo University Mountaineering Club with an Olympic skier, Takebushi, in the party.

On his return from Everest Shipton was invited by the Survey of India to help Osmaston complete the survey of Nanda Devi. They reached Lata near the Rishi Ganga on 7 September. 'As we were sitting in camp,' wrote Shipton, 'a bearded and tattered figure appeared rushing down the path. This proved to be Peter Lloyd, the first of the returning Nanda Devi party. From him we heard of their splended achievement. In my opinion the climbing of Nanda Devi is perhaps the finest mountaineering achievement that has yet been performed in the Himalaya; certainly it is the first really difficult Himalayan giant to be conquered.' He goes on to say: 'the passage of the Rishi gorge was now quite devoid of difficulty. There are cairns at every turn and a small but adequate path wound across the steep slopes and any rocky patches were cleared of loose rock and earth. Meanwhile not very far to the north two Swiss geologists, Heim and Gannser, were at work in the Badrinath region.

In 1936 the French Alpine Club dispatched its first Himalayan Expedition to the Karakoram to attempt Gasherbrum I. The expedition arrived in Srinagar and found Captain Streatfield waiting for them with 35 Sherpas who had been sent from Darjeeling. In the third week of April they left Srinagar with their luggage carried by 500 porters in parties of about 100 on successive days. The march to Askole took about a month and from there another 170 porters had to be engaged to carry the food for the others.From Base Camp at the top of the Baltoro glacier most of them were dismissed. To be free from avalanches the attempt was made up a steep ridge and much use was made of fixed ropes to make the route possible for porters. The weather broke just before their top camp was established and they wisely decided to withdraw.

Paul Bauser had decided that the challenge of Nanga Parbat must be taken up again but he felt his men needed some Himalayan experience before they made the attempt and so in 1936 he brought a team, which included Karl Wien, to climb in Sikkim. In H. J. Vol. IX Karl Wien refers to the help they received from the Club. 'On 6 August we arrived by sea in Calcutta, where the eastern Section of the Himalayan Club and the Hon. Secretary, Mrs Townend, received us in the friendliest manner and put every concievable help at our disposal. Having made the last additions to our equipment with some ice-axes and crampons from the stock which the Himalayan Club maintains we went by train to Siliguri and thence by car to Gangtok. The road is open today for private cars even during the rains. In the meantime Bauer with the help of Mr. Kydd had made the necessary arrangements JittiM'lmr uul had engaged a few porters whom we met at the Teesta Bridge. They made the first ascent of Siniolchu, some- said to be the most beautiful peak in the Himalaya, and one of the peaks of Simvu. Marco Pallis also arrived in Sikkim hoping to cross over into Tibet where he wanted to study Tibetan Buddhism, but he was refused permission. The head of amonastery in Sikkim advised him to go to Ladakh which he did, and he met his teacher there as he has described in Peaks and Lamas.

Thus the year 1936 far exceeded any previous year in the amount of activity in the Himalaya for there were expeditions brought by Americans, English, French, Germans, Japanese and Swiss. The Eastern Section of the Club alone had 106 members and it had quite a busy programme during the year. C. R. Cooke lectured on his ascent of Kabru, Captain Davies showed a film of the Governor's visit to Bhutan, Auden lectured on Glaciers, and dinners were given in honour of Ruttledge's Everest Team and Paul Bauer's expedition to Sikkim. Eric Shipton lectured on Everest in Simla.

Against this background it is not to be wondered at that when he gave his annual report to the A. G. M. in February 1937 the Hon. Secretary of the Club (Major Gueterbock) should have been fairly full of confidence. 'The Club has attained a position of considerable importance and responsibility in the organization of large expeditions. Foreign climbing parties use the Club as a clearing house for information, and several members of these large expeditions have joined the Club. All expeditions which require Sherpa or Bhotia porters are to a great extent dependent on the Eastern Section's arrangements at Darjeeling; the provision of liaison officers is another matter in which the Club helps foreign expeditions. Finally the Club performs valuable services as an unofficial method of approaching the Government of India in such matters as finding out whether certain expeditions will be allowed, customs regulations, policy regarding duties of liaison officers etc.

'The Club has a special position in the organization of Everest expeditions as it has a representative on the Mount Everest Committee and subscribed both as a Club and individually to the last expedition.' The Himalayan Club's representative on the Mount Everest Committee was Major-General R. C. Wilson who was Chairman of the Committee, and four of the other six members of the Committee were members of the Club.

In 1937 German mountaineering had come under the control of the 'Sportsfuehrer' of the Reich and there was a determination to achieve a Himalayan peak that would bring glory to the fatherland. Should it be Nanga Parbat or Kangchenjunga ? Karl Wien was chosen to lead it and he was determined that his friends who had died on Nanga Parbat must be avenged. A. strong team came out and there was no difficulty in recruiting Sherptis as they held the same views as Wien. Neither Fritz Bechtold nor Paul Bauer were able to come. Paul Bauer was sitting in his office in Munich on 20 June when he heard over the telephone from a News Agency the dreadful news that seven climbers and nine porters had died on Nanga Parbat. He felt that he and Bechtold must go out as quickly as possible to help Luft, the sole survivor, pick up the pieces. He rang up Kenneth Mason in Oxford; Mason got on to General Wilson and Wilson contacted the Viceroy. Mason was soon able to promise Bauer that the R. A. F. would fly him from Lahore to Gilgit. Arrived out there they found Camp 4 completely destroyed but some watches and diaries were recovered. The diaries had been kept up to 14 June and the watches had all stopped at a few minutes past twelve. The Camp had been destroyed by a stupendous avalanche just after midnight. When Bauer wrote the account of the expedition he said: 'One effect of the geographical situation of the Himalaya is that it brings us into contact with English mountaineers and other people of England and the British Empire, and thus we come again and again to enjoy their hospitality. On the other hand we must see our debt of gratitude growing indefinitely while, Germany many lacking a similar geographical feature, we have nothing with which to neutralize it save the expression of our grateful thanks to all on every occasion.'

In this year, 1937, Eric Shipton took his first expedition to survey in the Karakoram which he afterwards described in his book Blank on the Map, and Smythe with P. R. Oliver visited the Valley of Flowers', climbed Nilgiri Parbat, made attempts on Rataban, Nilkanth and Dunagiri and made the first ascent of Mana. Oliver was later killed in Burma during the war. In Tibet Spencer Chapman made his remarkable ascent of Chomolhari and in Sikkim, Grob, Schmaderer and Paider attempted the Tent peak and made the second ascent of Siniolchu. Lt John Hunt and his wife with C. R. Cooke paid a winter visit to the Zemu glacier.

The Eastern Section started the year 1938 with a very good exibition of photographs timed so that the members of the British Association who had come to Calcutta for the Silver Jubilee of the Indian Science Congress would be able to see it. Paul Baur sent out by air some wonderful photographs of Nanga Parbat, Siniolchu and Simvu and photographs were also sent out by the Mount Everest Committee. Tilman had been chosen to be the leader of this year's assault on Everest (he had acclimatized all right on Nanda Devi) and he and Shipton dined with the club on their way to Everest and Tilman showed slides of the reconnaissance and the ascent of Nanda Devi. A fortnight later John hunt gave a vivid account of the climbing done by him, his wife and C. R. Cooke in Sikkim that winter.

Tilman’s expedition to Everest did not have much luck for the weather was bad throughout the Himalaya in 1938. Undeterred by the thought that eleven Germans and fifteen Sherpas lay dead in a shadow of Nanga Parbat, Paul Bauer returned to the attack bringing with him Bechtold who had been on the first two expeditions, Luft, who had been on the third expedition, Schmaderer who had attempted the Tent Peak the previous year, Aufschnaiter, and three others, also had the use of an aeroplane based on Srinagar to drop supplies on the mountain, not all of which were recovered. They could not make much headway for the weather was as bad as it was on Everest. Bauer began to think of attempting the Diamir Face in the following year. He sent two of his party to have a look at it and when he returned to Europe he sent Peter Aufschnaiter to discuss the project and get permissions in England, and Aufschnaiter was actually staying with Kenneth Mason at the time of the Munich crisis. Another big expedition in 1938 was an American Alpine Club Expedition to K2, which had not been visited seriously since the Duke of the Abruzzi had had a look at it in 1909. The expedition was the brain child of Charles Houston who had been part leader of the Nanda Devi Expedition and he took with him four other Americans, Streatfield who had been with the French on Gasher- brum and six Sherpas. It was a very successful reconnaissance. Masherbrum nearby was attempted by a party which included James Waller and J. O. M. Roberts; two members and a Sherpa were injured. In his book The Everlasting Hills Waller wrote : 'I must admit that I was keen to try something a little higher than any peak which had so far been climbed' but for this he was taken to task in the review of his book in the H.J. for in those days any form of competitiveness was frowned upon.

On returning from Nanga Parbat in 1938 Paul Bauer visited Simla and through the kindness of H.E. Lord Brabourne showed in the Viceregal Lodge a magnificent sound film of the 1937 Nanga Parbat expedition and he talked about the expedition from which he had just returned. In London Colonel Tobin, who had now moved to England, organized what is described as the second Dinner of the Club, but the H.J. has no record of the first. It was held at the Cafe Royal 'at 7.30 for 8.00 p.m.' (which meant that guests must be seated by 8.0 p.m.) and tickets cost 8s. 6d. General Bruce was in the chair and among the guests were Sir Harry Haig, ex-Governor of the U.P., and General Sir George Cockerell. Mason persuaded him to write a very interesting article for H. J., Vol. XI on 'Pioneer Exploration in Hunza and Chitral'.

According to the H.J., lectures were becoming more popular in Calcutta than ever and in January 1939 Cooke lectured on the second visit to Sikkim that he had made with the Hunts. Edward Groth showed a very beautiful film of a journey from Srinagar to Gilgit and Hunza, and then through Chitral to Peshawar. He turned aside to see Nanga Parbat and got some wonderful shots of dawn on the mountain. In April Grob, Schmaderer and Paider arrived on their way to pay a second visit to Sikkim. One evening they each gave a short illustrated talk; Grob on the second ascent of Siniolchu in 1937, Schmaderer on the Nanga Parbat expedition of 1938 and Paider on rock climbing in Switzerland and the Caucasus.

In 1938 the realization suddenly came to the Swiss that they were not playing the part that they should be in the exploration of the Himalaya. Some Swiss had come on expeditions sent by other countries but there had not yet been a Swiss expedition. Die Alpen said : 'Englishmen, Italians, Germans and Frenchmen have sent their best to explore unclimbed mountains. Switzerland alone, a country of native mountaineers, stands inactively aloof.' Steps were taken which led to the formation in 1940 of that important body The Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research, but before it came into existence the sponsors sent a small expedition consisting of Andre Roch, two guides and a topographer, to Garhwal in May 1939. At Ranikhet Mrs Brown welcomed them in charming fashion and organized their departure most admirably. They left Ranikhet with six Sherpas. They climbed Duna- giri, Gauri Parbat and Rataban but lost two porters in an avalanche on Chaukhamba. This was a year of bad accidents from avalanches. Two members of a Polish expedition climbed Nanda Devi East and then the expedition lost two of its members in an avalanche on Tirsuli. A second American expedition went to K2 led by a German-American called Meissner who had been with Willi Merkl on Nanga Parbat in 1932. The expedition was supported by nine Sherpas but Meissner pressed on without securing his lines of communication and one of the climbers and three Sherpas lost their lives. Shipton returned to the Karakoram; he wanted to take Tilman with him but Tilma