Himalayan Journal vol.35
The Himalayan Journal
Vol.35

Publication year:
1979

Editor:
Soli S. Mehta
Index
  1. EDITORIAL
  2. THE STORY OF THE HIMALAYAN CLUB, 1928-1978
    (JOHN MARTYN)
  3. FIFTY YEARS RETROSPECT AND PROSPECT
    (TREVOR BRAHAM)
  4. THE PASSANRAM AND TALUNG VALLEYS, SIKKIM
    (DR EUGEN ALLWEIN)
  5. NANDA DEVI AND THE SOURCES OF THE GANGES
    (H. W. TILMAN)
  6. THE MOUNT EVEREST RECONNAISSANCE, 1935
    (ERIC SHIPTON)
  7. THE SHAKSGAM EXPEDITION, 1937
    (MICHAEL SPENDER)
  8. GANGOTRI TRIANGULATION
    (Major GORDON OSMASTON)
  9. EVEREST, 1976
    (MAJOR M. W. H. DAY, R.E.)
  10. LHOTSE, 1976
    (KANJI KAMEI)
  11. THE SECOND ASCENT OF LHOTSE, 1977
    (DR HERMANN WARTH)
  12. MAKALU, 1976
    (ANDERS BOUNDER & OTHERS)
  13. THE CLEAN-UP TREK, 1976
    (MICHAEL CORDELL)
  14. THE THIRD KOREAN MANASLU EXPEDITION, 1976
    (JUNG SUP KIM)
  15. THE HONGKONG KANJIROBA EXPEDITION, 1976
    (DICK ISHERWOOD)
  16. AVALANCHE ON SISNE, 1977
    (R. A. L. ANDERSON)
  17. DHAULAGIRI IV, 1975
    (KUNIAKI YAGIHARA)
  18. NORTH SIKKIM, 1976
    (HARISH KAPADIA)
  19. NANDA DEVI FROM THE NORTH, 1976
    (H. ADAMS CARTER)
  20. NANDA DEVI SANCTUARY - A NATURALIST'S REPORT
    (LAVKUMAR KHACHER)
  21. A BOTANICAL SURVEY IN THE NANDA DEVI SANCTUARY, 1974
    (N. C. SHAH)
  22. AN ATTEMPT ON NITALTHAUR, 1974
    (MANIK BANERJEE)
  23. CHAMRAO GLACIER EXPEDITION-1977
    (M. DEY)
  24. CHIRING WE, 1977
    (HARISH KAPADIA)
  25. KINNAUR-1976
    (LIEUTENANT-COLONEL BALWANT SANDHU)
  26. BLACK PEAK, 1976
    (MANDIP SINGH SOIN)
  27. NILAMBAR EXPEDITION, 1977
    (RANVIR SINGH)
  28. POLISH K2 EXPEDITION, 1976
    (JANUSZ KURCZAB)
  29. A CRAWL DOWN THE OGRE
    (DOUG SCOTT)
  30. ISTOR-O-NAL NORTH I, 1976
    (RONALD NAAR)
  31. THE ASCENT OF SHERPI KANGRP 1976
    (PROF. KAZUMASA HIRAI)
  32. AFGHAN DARWAZ, 1975
    (RYSSZARD W. SCHRAMM)
  33. SWISS THUI EXPEDITION, 1975
    (DR ADOLF DIEMBERGER and HANS SCHIBLI)
  34. CLIMBING SHERPAS OF DARJEELING
    (DORJEE LHATOO)
  35. OF MOUNTAINS & MEMORIES
    (SITU MULLICK)
  36. EXPEDITIONS AND NOTES
  37. OBITUARIES
  38. BOOK REVIEWS
  39. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
  40. CLUB PROCEEDINGS, 1976
  41. EXPEDITIONS 1975-1977

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

2nd December 1977

Dear Editorial Team,

Thank you so very much for the 1975-76 Himalayan Journal, Vol. XXXIV. It arrived safely this morning.

I have spent a very happy day looking through the Journal so full of most interesting articles and superb black and white pictures of our beloved mountains.

I don't wish to criticise in any way but surely checks are made by you before an article is printed. You must have overlooked the claim made by Kiyoshi Shimizu on page 53 in his article 'Nanda Devi Basin after Forty Years'. He claims his party was the first in the area since Eric Shipton's visit in 1936. On the accompanying map the route of the Japanese party is given, and I see they took the usual Lata Kharak-Dharansi Pass down to Deodi on the banks of the Rishi Ganga River, which we all have climbed. A great many climbers must have passed that way since 1936 ! I climbed that route (and the Rishi Gorges constitute a climb all of their own !) in October 1949. Our aim was Trisul but we never actually set foot on the mountain at all for we ran out of time. However, we arrived not only at Deodi but we actually constructed our own home-made bridge and crossed the white/green swirling waters of the Rishi and camped on the other side. We were making for the Trisul Nala when the decision to return was taken.

We had come up from Ranikhet via Baijnath, Gwaldam, over the Wan Pass, and eventually over the Kuari Pass into Tapoban. We walked all the way of course. It is quite a superb route with views of Trisul and the wall all the way. I have some good black and white photos as the air was clear, like sparkling wine. Frank Smythe claims the view from the Kuari Pass as the most marvellous in the world, and it certainly seemed like that to me with the whole superb panorama of the Central Himalaya spread out before me. I felt deeply emotional, for I was all alone-way ahead of the rest of the party, and I felt very close to God. Not many expeditions go on this 'Breathtaking Views' route now it seems. Most choose the Pilgrim Road to Joshimath. But all take the same way into the Rishi as we did -Tapoban, Lata, Lata Kharak. I think I can claim to be the first European woman to have climbed the Rishi Ganga Gorge, for I was there before the French Expedition to Nanda Devi in which a French lady climber took part. However, I am making no official claim ! I do rather object though to the Japanese party claiming to be the first into the area for 40 years ! Incidentally surely Mr Kiyoshi Shimizu realized that Chris Bonington with Lt. Colonel Balwant Sandhu as co-leader and their Indian/British expedition climbed Changa- bang successfully in May 1974.1 See Lt. Colonel Balwant Sandu's article, page 88 in the Himalayan Journal 1973-74, Vol. XXXIII. Dougal Haston and Doug Scott were the first to arrive on the summit of Changabang, and these two were later to be the first summiters on Everest via the SW. Face, in September 1975. Sadly Dougal was killed by an avalanche in Switzerland in January this year.

Don't you think the Editor could make some remark in the next Journal about Mr Kiyoshi Shimizu's false claim, for there is no way he can say his party was the first into that area for forty years !

Yours sincerely

Mavis Heath

P.O. Bpx 271

Malindi, Kenya

5th January 1978

Dear Mrs Heath,

Regarding the point of the Japanese team's claim of being the first in the area for forty years, it actually referred to that part of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary which forms part of the Uttari Rishi glacier and the extreme north-east corner where most of their climbing took place. I am sure that Mr Kiyoshi Shimizu's claim was not for the normal Rishi Gorge traverse for surely, he himself must know that there was an Indo-Japanese traverse of the Nanda Devi peaks last year. .However, I am grateful to you for having pointed out the ambiguity which could have been explained by a short footnote, had I been a little more alert when reading the proofs. I will correct this by publishing your letter along with a short explanation on the lines outlined above.

It is wonderful to be able to reminiscence on adventures to that part- of the Himalaya in the days when everything had to be done on foot. I am afraid the beautiful Nanda Devi Sanctuary route is in considerable danger of becoming as dirty as the Everest trek, as denuded of trees and greenery as parts of the Kulu valley and the Sanctuary, bereft of rare species of animals which, in the times of Shipton and Tilman, roamed in abundance and without fear-a very thought-provoking report will be published in the H.J. Vol. XXXV.

Soli S. Mehta

17th January 1978

Dear Mr Mehta,

Thank you so very much indeed for your super letter of the 5th January to which I am replying at once as it seems that I addressed my last letter to the wrong person. You see in the Journal you mentioned that you do a lot o£ travelling so I thought I shouldn't bother you but bother the Hon. Sec. instead ! However, I think now I should have sent my letter to you....

Thank you for your explanation re. the Rishi Ganga and the Nanda Devi Sanctuary. How sad that pollution, tree-cutting, and all the other devastation going on in other parts of the world has now come to our beloved Himalaya. I wrote a book about my three 'climb/treks' in the Himalaya and combined them with my three climbs in East Africa. The three in India were Kulu (Rohtang and Humta Passes all on foot. I understand you can drive up the Rohtang now !); Kashmir, visiting Amarnath and Shish Nag in early May, when everywhere was covered in snow and ice. I was quite alone on this trek with six local hillmen acting as porters and we all got caught in the thaw which was very dicey. As I was in my early twenties then, it was quite an adventure to be all alone among the peaks. The third trek was with a companion into the Rishi to climb Trisul, as I mentioned in my letter. Are you really going to print it ? Does it sound OK for publication ! The three mountains of EA were Ruwen- zori (Mountains of the Moon); Kilimanjaro (Africa's highest) and Kenya (the most difficult, and I fell off it !). The book was never published. I was told it was too short so I combined it with travels to some of the more remote lakes of Kenya making it about mountains and lakes, but called it Tonic of the Wilderness, a quotation from the American writer Henry David Thoreau who says, 'We need the tonic of wildness'. And again, 'Morning Air ! If men will not drink this at the fountain-head of the day, then we must bottle some up and sell it in the shops for the benefit of those who have lost their ticket to the morning time of the world'. My book was trying to show my readers some of the beauty of the 'morning time of the world' in the wonder of my climbs, treks and journeys to remote places. However, I still have no publisher. Would any one in your part of the world be interested, or could you put me on to someone, in London say? I have many black and white as well as coloured photos to illustrate the book. Perhaps, there is a publisher somewhere who Is sympathetic to Life Members of the Himalayan Club !

Yours sincerely,

Mavis Heath

Dear Mr Mehta,

I recently received my copy of the Himalayan Journal, Volume XXXIII, for which many thanks.

Having spent thirteen years in both India and Pakistan, it is inevitable that my thoughts often, stray to the times spent in the mountains and the Journal and Newsletters help to maintain a tenuous contact with those far-off peaks.

However, reading the account by W. Stefan of climbs made in the company of Trevor Braham in the Kaghan, in 1972, I was surprised to see that Siran I was claimed as unclimbed at that time (page 195). The peak in question, known to us as Siran P'eak, was in fact climbed by J. H. Winning and myself on the 28th May, 1969, and a note to this effect was forwarded to the Himalayan Club through Cclonel Eric Goodwin at the time. Since communications between India and Pakistan were frequently difficult during that period, it is possible that this note was not received by you and I am unable to confirm that the report ever appeared in the Journal covering that period, having never received my copy, probably for the same reason.

I should be grateful to you if the record could be set straight. An unimportant peak perhaps, but an important principle nevertheless.

With kindest regards,

Yours sincerely,

Keith Stott