Himalayan Journal vol.38
The Himalayan Journal
Vol.38

Publication year:
1982

Editor:
Harish Kapadia
Index
  1. EDITORIAL
  2. THE BRITISH KONGUR EXPEDITION TO CHINA
    (CHRISTIAN BONINGTON)
  3. KAILASH-MANASAROVAR
    (ROMESH BATTACHARJI)
  4. KABRU DOME EXPEDITION - 1981
    (VASANT LIMAYE and SHASHANK KULKARNI)
  5. YALUNGKANG: A TWO-PERSON ATTEMPT
    (CHRIS CHANDLER and CHERIE BREMERKAMP)
  6. UP AND DOWN THE PEAR ROUTE ON DHAULAGIRI I
    (VERA KOMARKOVA)
  7. BRITISH LANGTANG EXPEDITION
    (MIKE SEARLE)
  8. WOMEN ON ANNAPURNA
    (ARLENE BLUM)
  9. EAGLES' NEST ATOP KAMET AND ABI GAMIN
    (Maj J. K. BAJAJ)
  10. MEN AND WOMEN'S ASCENT OF NANDA DEVI
    (Col BALWANT SANDHU)
  11. THE SHEPHERDS OF NANDA DEVI SANCTUARY
    (WILLIAM McKAY AITKEN)
  12. THE GANGOTRI EXPEDITION
    (DOUG SCOTT AND MERVYN ENGLISH)
  13. LIVING WITH AN ANGRY MOUNTAIN
    (PARASH MONI DAS)
  14. SUDARSHAN PARBAT - UNE BELLE MONTAGUE
    (HARISH KAPADIA)
  15. CHANGO '81
    (ROMESH BHATTACHARJI)
  16. HIMALAYAN TRIUMPH AND TRAGEDY
    (DAVE NICHOLLS)
  17. THE UMASI LA - SOUTHERN ENTRANCE TO ZANSKAR
    (LUKE HUGHES)
  18. THE LURE OF NUN
    (B. BARRY NEEDLE)
  19. THE ASCENT OF APSARASAS I IN THE KARAKORAM
    (Brig K. N. THADANI)
  20. SKIING THE KARAKORAM HIGH ROUTE1
    (GALEN A. HOWELL)
  21. TWO ALPINISTS ON THE RUPAL WALL
    (LUIS FRAGA)
  22. GEOLOGICAL NOTES ON THE K2 (CHOGO-RI) MASSIF IN THE KARAKORAM
    (ARDITO DESIO)
  23. THE HIMALAYAN INSPIRATION
    (R. N. PASRICHA)
  24. HIMALAYAN TOURISM AND ENVIRONMENT
    (CAPTAIN M. S. KOHLI, IN (Retd.), AVSM, F.R.G.S.)
  25. EXPEDITIONS AND NOTES
  26. EXPEDITIONS 1980- 1981
  27. IN MEMORIAM
  28. BOOK REVIEWS
  29. CORRESPONDENCE
  30. CLUB PROCEEDINGS, 1981

IN MEMORIAM

MY FATHER died, completely unexpectedly, while 1 was on my second Everest Expedition; he had a little fall by the side of a small road in Salzburg, hitting his head and hand - but obviously he did not think it was a reason serious enough to disturb the family; nor did he inform one of the medicine-specialists we know, he got a first- aid treatment in a hospital and went home. Three days later he felt bad and died the following night, I suppose because of hitting his head when falling. But he never took care when something happened to him and even at his age of 78 he crossed the Gaisberg above Salzburg again and again, entered and explored for fossils and geology lonely gorges, forests, valleys . . . T prefer to die earlier by a heart- attack than to support limits' was one of his usual sayings. He was a dyed-in-the-wool explorer, much further than the mountaineers did know him as 'the Hindu Kush-specialist Diemberger'. He had got the laurea in philosophy and theology and besides having so much feeling for nature. He was a great mind; it was a hard loss for me and my sister. Sometimes, thinking it all over, I realize more and more his influence.

When I was a child, my father took me along one day on to the Kumitzberg near Villach - a little, wooded hill at the gates of my home-town in Carinthia. There were supposed to be red garnets up there - whatever they might be; but I realized from the way he spoke that they must be something very special. We got there, after a long time; they weren't anything very special - just red blobs in the rock. What impressed me most was that I had to walk so far; I remember, my father was very disappointed with me.

Later, however, at Salzburg, other stones began to mean a great deal to me; there was a big river just outside our windows (and it is still there) and its broad rubble-covered flats, which changed in appearance completely after every high-water, seemed to me, when I went home from school, much more important and exciting than all the lovely town, with its parks, churches and fine architecture. My father had shown me once some fossils, which he found, when he was a boy - and one day now I myself found a fossilized snail in a lump of red rock down there by the 'Salzach-rubble'. That gave me a new idea; each flood-water' brought something new down with it and gradually, more and more of it was transferred to our house. 1 found an agreement with my mother - she also loved nature - but I was soon battling for space. My father, just back from the front, sat in a prisoner-of-war camp, and I could not see him. But I could write to him; so, while I was alternately rustling up food from the Americans and hammering away down on the rubble, I kept him posted about my latest finds. He commented back on them and one day, to my great surprise, he sent me a sketch-map. It seems he knew where the red snails were to be found ! I went there the very next day, going on foot with my map - and at the bottom of a deep red ravine I found a whole sea-bed of snails, ammonites, crinoid-stems between the ferns! What a letter to my father after that day . . .!

Even if our lives through the years were running different ways through long periods-as I am home very little - we were always together. I remember, how, collaborating for an Alpine Yearbook, he discovered his interest for the Himalaya and especially for the widely unexplored Hindu Kush. At that time (in the sixties) more and more climbers were fascinated by the savage mountain-world in Afghanistan and Chitral, by the tales they heard from those who had been there, by the pictures of mighty faces and ridges, sharp summits, raging torrents, which had to be crossed, secluded valleys, upland villages whose inhabitants were simple, friendly folk.

But mountaineers are not always very organized and systematic people . . . some of them are. My father, who had out of sheer personal interest involved himself in recording the events in this area - he has since been made an honorary member of the Himalayan Club - was soon the only person who really knew which summits had been climbed and which still offered a prize, where the most interesting objectives could be found, and how to get them. The paradox being, of course, that he has never been to the Hindu Kush. None the less, the walls of his room were covered to the ceiling with photographs of his world of glorious mountains: so he 'must have been everywhere'. With, the advent of spring, not a week passed without some intended expedition appearing on his doorstep, wanting to know 'everything'. They left for their appointed target armed with maps, sketch-maps and all the information they needed. . . . My father shared their adventure and they were thankful to him, gave him new information, it was a fantastic collaboration, a fine 'Hindu Kush-community', that reached all over the world.

Things grow and go; after many years, there was such a lot of Hindu Kush expeditions, that it became hard to keep an eye on all of them. I remember how unsatisfied my father was, when an expedition did not tell him what they had climbed and what results they had. Still even through his last years, he was giving advice to all who asked him. I have climbed many peaks in the Hindu Kush, but his outstanding knowledge of this range was unique. It will take years for me to get through his archive. Even if at present expeditions to this mountain-range are not advisable, this will change, hopefully, after some years. I feel my father has done a great deal for exploration in this fine place of the world.

Just before I left for Everest last year we were a long time together in Salzburg, where I finished my second book; my father worked about the explorations of Alfred Wegener in Greenland, which served for one of the chapters. We had a great time together, he was full of fantasy and imagination . . . and so accurate, at 78 ! When my train left the station, for another expedition, I thought, how many times I had gone and come back to him from some mountain somewhere . . . and looked at him. It was the last time.

Kurt Diemberger

C. J. MORRIS, C.B.E.

JOHN MORRIS, who died in his 86th year, was a Founder-Member of the Club. He served on the Committee for the first six years of the Club's existence and played a significant part in laying the foundations for its future success. He was Assistant Editor of the Himalayan Journal in 1931. He was also a member of the Alpine Club.

John Morris fought in the First World War and his experiences in that frightful carnage are described in his autobiographical book Hired to Kill. After the War he decided to become a regular soldier in the Indian Army and served with the 3rd Gurkhas, first in Palestine and then on the North West Frontier. During his years with the Indian Army he travelled extensively in Nepal, Sikkim and Tibet.

In 1928 the Royal Geographical Society awarded the Murchison Grant to John Morris for his exploration on H. F. Montagnier's expedition to Hunza. He was an acknowledged expert on the history of Nepal and the Gurkhas. Although Nepal was then closed to foreigners Morris obtained permission from His Highness the Maharaja to pay visits to Western Nepal in 1931 and 1932, which are recorded in Vol. 6 of the Himalayan Journal; his book Gurkhas was published in 1933.

After leaving the army Morris studied anthropology at Cambridge. To practise his subject in the field he spent several months in Sikkim which resulted in his book Living with Lepchas.

John Morris took part in two Everest expeditions. In 1922 he was a member of the support party and in 1936 he was transport officer, when his knowledge and experience of travel in the Himalaya were of the utmost value.

In the late thirties he went to Japan to teach English at Tokyo University where, even during the last war, he was held in such esteem that he was merely kept under house arrest until repatriated. After the war Morris settled down in England and was at one time director of the BBC's Third Programme. He made a couple of sentimental journeys to India during his later years and he attended the Club Reunion in London a couple of times. It is always sad for the Club to lose a distinguished member, particularly one of the Founder- Members of whom there are now very few left.

THOMAS A. MUTCH (1931-1980)

TIM MUTCH died on 6 October, 1980, at the age of 49, while descending from the summit of Nun in the Zanskar range of northern India following a bivouac above 21,000 ft with two former students on an expedition which he initiated and led. He was last seen on the morning of the sixth on a precarious ledge at the bivouac site above the steep northwest face of the mountain after a fall the previous day and the loss of a crampon needed to continue the descent. When one of his two companions, Tom Binet, returned that evening with a spare crampon, Tim was gone. Only his ice-axe remained.

Tim Mutch grew up in Morristown, New Jersey, and earned his AB in history from Princeton University where he was active in the mountaineering club, Following military service as an artillery officer in Korea, he secured his MS from Rutgers and his PhD from Princeton, both in geology. His field of study was in part dictated by his interest in mountaineering, for geology let him combine his avocation and vocation in a single occupation. After completing his degrees Tim joined the faculty of Brown University where he served with distinction as teacher, scholar, administrator, and author, in various capacities including chairman of the geology department, Assistant Dean of the undergraduate school, and Associate Dean of the graduate school.

Tim began his climbing in the Tetons with his uncle, and while at Princeton he spent many weekends in the Schwangunks. In the summer of 1952, following graduation from college, he devoted three months to climbing during which he explored unmapped parts of the Coast Range of British Columbia, and made first ascents of Arjuna in that range and Eiffel Peak in the Canadian Rockies. In 1955 after completing military service he went to Pakistan on an expedition to Istor-o-nal in the Hindu Kush. His hopes of returning to the Himalaya on an American expedition to K2 a few years later ended when Pakistan closed off access to the mountains^ He continued climbing in North America, with two attempts on a new route on Robson, ascents in Glacier Park, B.C., and elsewhere.

Two related developments during Tim's time at Brown exerted a major influence on his own life, a lasting influence on the lives of others, and, in one respect, on all of us. The first development was his work on planetary exploration which began in the early I960'a with the study of meteorites, led to his mapping of the moon, and evolved into eight years of work on the Viking project. He headed the Viking Lander Imaging Team and was largely responsible for the development of the remarkable $15 million camera which brought back the first pictures of Mars shown and described by him on national television on 20 July, 1976. Descendants of that camera are now giving us new views of Saturn. The work on planetary exploration and subsequent effort led Tim to write three books, Geology of the Moon, Geology1 of Mars} and Martian Landscape, and on 1 July, 1979, to hih appointment as Associate Administrator of Space Science of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration with overall responsibility for NASA's scientific programs. The Viking Lander was named in Tim's honor.

The second significant development on Tim at Brown was a course in exploration which he initiated and taught for several years. The course began as a study of the writings of the great explorers. Not satisfied with the writings of others, he first brought explorers, including several AAC members, to the classroom to relate their experiences in person. Then, deciding that to experience exploration you must do it, he organized a new course, said by one professor to be the most famous course ever offered at Brown, an expedition to the Himalaya - to climb Devistan in Garhwal. Thirty-three members of the class, undergraduates, alumni and faculty, trained in the Olympic mountains of Washington and then travelled to India where twenty-four made the summit. Tim's last expedition evolved from the 1978 trip, for seven of the eight members had been with him to Devistan. I was the only exception, though I had been Tim's partner since college on earlier expeditions.

In a true sense Tim's life united two worlds of exploration, the traditional world of mountaineering and the modern world of planetary exploration. For those worlds his training as a geologist and his personal qualities of initiative, resourcefulness, determination, humor, and courage enabled him to make his mark with high distinction. No one knew that better than his wife Madeline, who shared his life for so many years since their marriage in 1958, nor his daughters, Patricia, Wendy and Margaret. He will be missed by all who knew him.

Joseph E. Murphy, Jr.

G. E. D. WALLER

BOB WALLER, who died early this year, became a Life Member of the Club in 1946. Bob loved mountains and his climbing extended to tiie Himalaya, the Alps and the Andes. During his time in India in the fifties he paid several visits to Sikkim where he trekked and climbed mainly in the Zemu glacier area. He also enjoyed rock- climbing in the hills near Bombay.

I only came to know Bob after his return to England when he became an enthusiastic supporter of the annual Club Reunion in London which he and his wife attended regularly. His death leaves a gap among members in England, and our sympathy goes out to his widow.

V. S. Risoe

G. H. EMERSON, O.B.E.

GERALD EMERSON, who died suddenly in February 1981, had been a Life Member of the Club since 1932. His introduction to the Himalaya when he went out to India in the late twenties was no doubt influenced by his father, Sir Herbert Emerson who was President of the Himalayan Club in 1934-35 and a great expert on the mountain regions of the Punjab. I am unfortunately unable to give any details of Gerald's Himalayan travels as I only came to know him personally in 1960 when the first Club Reunion in London was held after the War. He continued to take a great interest in the Himalaya and the Club's activities and did not miss a single Reunion. Members in London will certainly miss him. Gerald Emerson had a large collection of books and maps, many of which were left to the Club.

V. S. Risoe

G. B. GOURLAY, M.C.

G. B. GOURLAY, who died recently, was one of the dwindling number of Original Members of the Mountain Club of India which was formed in 1927; he was also a Founder-Member of the Himalayan Club. He served for various periods on the Committee, and was Vice-President in 1937-38 and again in 1948-50.

Climbing mountains was what G.B. enjoyed most, but he was active in many fields of sport and I remember him coaching us on the rugger field in Madras. When stationed in Calcutta he took every available opportunity to visit Sikkim, and an account of his climbs in Lhonak in 1930, including the ascent of Lhonak Peak, appears in Vol. IV of the Himalayan Journal. During those early pre-war years of the Club's existence G.B., together with the late Joan Townend, did a tremendous amount to develop the Eastern Section which was formed in 1934, and put the Himalayan Club on the map by giving advice and assistance to visiting expeditions.

On leaving India after the War, he -retired to his home in Scotland; his later years were marred by illness which sadly prevented him from being able to continue his active interest in the Club's affairs.

V. S. Risoe

BRIG. W. F. K. THOMPSON

BRIGADIER W. F. K. THOMPSON, late Royal Artillery, went to India in 1932 to join a Moimtain Battery. He served in Razmak and Quetta and it was here that he acquired his love of climbing and also his nickname of 'Sheriff'. He joined the Himalayan Club and did a number of original rock climbs round Quetta and in Baltistan.

He returned to England in 1936 and organized the first Himalayan Club dinner the following year. Unfortunately a fall, early in the War, crushed some vertebrae and put paid to any further climbing. But it did not prevent him from commanding the First Airlanding Light Regt. R.A. in Italy and Arnhem and the 61st Light Regt. in Korea, where he came in contact with the Indian Brigade. In 1959 he retired from the Army to become Defence Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph. In this capacity he visited Ladakh during the Indo- China War and was delighted to see old friends and to be among his beloved mountains again. At the time of his death, in June 1980. he was engaged in writing Naval and Military history of the 18th Century.

Mrs. Rosemary Thompson