COL. GOODWIN, who, amongst his many friends, delighted in the name of 'Buster', had a distinguished military career on the North-West Frontier among the Pathan tribes, and when retired settled down at Rawalpindi. There he had eventually become the very hospitable & useful representative of the Himalayan Club, although he had not claimed to be a mountaineer. I had first met him during my two- year residence ('60-'62) at Peshawar University, when my wife and I paid him several visits.
He came of a seafaring family, his father being a maritime captain and his mother a very beautiful Anglo-Armenian lady. Brought up in India, he had the good fortune to serve for approximately 23 years with the Indian Army and in Civil appointments on the North-West Frontier. It was only the urging of his nephew, Major Mohammed Ibrahim Kohistani, that persuaded Buster eventually to write the most interesting and often exciting record of his life on the Frontier. The first edition of this work, entitled Life Among the Pathans (Khattaks), is dedicated to Elizabeth and John Staley, his friends in Pakistan, and published in 1969. The second edition appeared soon afterwards, published privately by a group of the author's friends, notably Mrs. Janet Pott, and obtainable from her at 56 Addison Avenue, London W11 4QP, price £1.00.
The Khattaks are a tribe of Pathans who inhabit the central and southern portions of the Kohat district, among whom Colonel Goodwin had passed the greater part of his service. In consequence he had become conversant with their habits, customs and language, southern Pushtoo or northern Pukhtoo. They are a wild but fascinating people, who inhabit an arid country, noted for its rich salt deposits. It became one of Goodwin's duties to supervise the mining (quarrying) and issue of rock-salt to the general public. As salt was a dutiable commodity, it was a profitable native business to smuggle it from the various outcrops of rock-salt in the hills. To prevent smuggling the Colonel had under his command an armed force of two jemadars, nine havildars, and one hundred and nine sepoys. As he admits, the prevention of smuggling was no sinecure, and many were the bloody skirmishes his men had with smugglers and transborder tribesmen.
There are few Khattak families without a blood-feud on their hands, and as Buster says, these are persecuted from generation to generation. The idea of revenge is inculcated in sons from an early age as the only honourable course to follow. Many are the stories he relates that concern these blood-feuds. Serving amongst these people for m many years, Buster became intimately acquainted with them and their ways, and they with him. They trusted him on account of his bravery and boldness in action, as many of his stories amply but modestly show, the government of India, too, recognizing.
Moreover with his appreciation of music he could enter into that of the Pathan tribes; for it is quite different from Indian music, and has more the tempo of Western music. Some of their airs have been used for marches by European bandmasters of regiments. The Khat- tak Dance was another native feature that especially interested Buster, and he devotes a whole chapter to the various phases of its performance and its importance in the life of the people.
On retiring to 'Pindi he became a kindly host, and many were the friends he entertained, and often with his own cooking of excellent kind. This would be followed by music from his wide collection of records, or stories from his extensive range of experiences and adventures,
N. E. Obell
We first met Eric Goodwin in 1961, when we stayed with him in Rawalpindi while we were preparing to launch an expedition up the Hunza valley. In later years, while living in Pakistan, we started many other northward journeys from under his hospitable roof.
'Buster as he was then known to his friends, was already living in retirement. Occasionally he would drive down to the bazaar; but mostly he stayed at home, dividing his time between his visitors, the garden, the kitchen, the newspaper, his books and his records. In the evening we would join him in the drawing room, to listen to his records of opera. Gounod's Faust, and Donizetti's Lucia, were his favourites. 'Oh, isn't she lovely,' he used to exclaim, as the prima donna sang a particularly melodious aria.
Buster was a wonderful story-teller; and over lunch or tea would tell tale after tale of his own experiences as a Frontier Officer among the Pathans. I've become half a Pathan myself,' he would say. Fortunately he was persuaded to write the stories down, and their subsequent publication - and the widespread appreciation they received —• gave him much pleasure. 'So nice of people to think .of an old fossil like me,' he used to remark.
He also told stories of his mother — amusing, touching, loving stories. And of his father, and shikar; of brother officers and memorable mess dinners; of Commanders-in-Chief and other 'kindly English gentlemen'; of servants and their families. . . .
We loved the stories, and we loved him. He was warm, kind and hospitable; and we are happy to have been among his friends.
Elizabeth and John Staley
Col. E. Goodwin
THE FIGURE was silhouetted against the darkening sky, standing proud and erect, six thousand feet above us, over a mile away. Another figure, almost lost against the shadowed snow and black rock, could just be seen, below the crest of the ridge. It was about nine o'clock on the evening of 17 May. We were slightly puzzled that Pete and Joe had not come onto the air at the time we had arranged for a call, but we were not worried. They were on their way to the end of the unclimbed section of the ENE ridge of Everest, and perhaps they would get all the way to the summit. This was the last time they were seen.
We shall never know what happened, can only make intelligent guesses, but it seems most probable that one of the flutings on the Kangschung side of the ridge collapsed beneath their weight, perhaps as they dug out their tent platform, or on the following day as they worked their way round the Second Pinnacle which barred their way on the ridge.
Their loss is a huge one, not just to their immediate family and friends, or even the mountaineering community, but to an even wider field, whom they reached through their writing, lecturing and in Joe's case, his filming. Although very different in personality, they formed an extraordinarily strong Himalayan partnership and it seems appropriate therefore to consider their lives together, both because of the circumstances of their death, and the way their climbing, and even creative lives, became interwoven.
Joe was born in Hull in 1948, the first son and second child of what was to be a large, very close-knit family of five boys and five girls. The family moved up to Teesside when he was seven and have been there ever since. After going to the local primary school, he went, at the age of 13, to Ushaw College in Durham, to train to be a priest. He was there until the age of 20. A strong individualist, constantly questioning both authority and ideas, he decided that he did not have a vocation, but there is no doubt that the disciplined and structured life of the seminary profoundly influenced him and [helped develop the extraordinary drive and self-discipline that he was to show in later life.
It was at Ushaw College that he was introduced to climbing by a member of the teaching staff, on a small quarry close to the college and in the Lake District in the holidays. He was a good natural rock climber, but certainly not a rock superstar. It was in the bigger mountains that he was to come into his own.
After leaving Ushaw College, he went to Manchester University to study sociology and it was here that he met Dick Renshaw and formed a climbing partnership that enabled them to have some of the most dazzling alpine seasons of any British mountaineers in the early seventies.
They started modestly in 1971 with classics like the Frendo Spur and the North Face of the Chardonnet; were more ambitious the following year with the North Face of the Matterhorn, East Face of the Zinal Hothorn and the North Face of the Dent d'Herens, and then in '73 had an outstanding year, climbing the Walker Spur, two routes on the Eckfeiler Buttress, and the North Faces of the Eiger, Nesthom and the Dent Blanche. The following year they climbed the East Face of the Jorasses, and then that winter, returned to the North Wall of the Eiger to climb it in seven days.
They now felt they were ready for the Himalaya and rather than wait to be invited on someone else's expedition, decided to use the knowledge they had gained on the Eiger in winter, on a Himalayan peak. The south ridge of Dunagiri in the summer of 1975 was the result. They climbed it Alpine style. They had with them six days' food but it took them ten days for the round trip, four of them therefore not only without food, but also liquid, since they had run out of fuel. Dick was badly frostbitten on the descent and this temporarily ended a fine partnership.
It was on their desperate descent of Dunagiri that Joe had become aware of the sheer west wall of Changabang and on his return he approached Pete Boardman with his idea of another two-man expedition—and so another incredibly strong partnership was born.
Both in appearance and personality they were very different. Joe was thin and wiry, while Pete was powerfully built. Joe had a quick, dry sense of humour, and a hard shell that concealed an extraordinarily warm and perceptive heart. Pete .was much more diffident, even soft, with a gentle romanticism that concealed considerable determination.
Pete was younger than Joe, born in Bramhall on Christmas day, 1950, the younger of two sons. He had a secure and extremely happy childhood, going to Stockport Junior School, followed by Stockport Grammar. He started climbing at the age of 15, firstly with school friends and then with the Mynedd Club. He was a good natural rock-climber, and though he was never amongst the top half-dozen climbers pioneering the hardest rock routes of the time, he was certainly close behind them, making one of the very early ascents if not the first free ascent of Woubits Left Hand. The recurring theme was one of boundless appetite and enthusiasm for climbing, of gargantuan climbing feats of the Kilnsey Overhang, Gordale Scar and Malham Overhang in the day, of climbing Cenotaph Corner by moonlight.
He went to Nottingham University in 1971 and this marked the broadening of his frontiers to the Alps. He rapidly worked up through the classics, meeting Joe and Dick for the first time, incidentally, on the northeast ridge of the Droites. He also developed fast, getting off the beaten track on big mixed routes in the Oberland, making first British ascents of the North Face of the Olan, the Gervasutti route on the North Face of the Breithorn, the North Face of the Nesthorn and the North Face Direct of the Lauterbrunnen Breithorn. He was also the driving force in the Nottingham University Club's expedition to the Hindu Kush in 1972, when they climbed five virgin minor peaks, and made five new routes. Two of these were particularly bold on the North Face of Kohe Kliaaik and the North Face of Kohe Mondi, the latter of which took them five days. Both ascents were in Alpine style. The achievement of the expedition was very creditable by any standards, and remarkable for a university club.
It was these ascents that encouraged us to invite Pete to join the 1975 Everest expedition. We felt we had to bring in some new blood. I was immediately impressed by his quiet maturity, through which twinkled a touch of gentle humour and at the same time an element of 'little boy lost', something that he often used as a useful weapon to get his own way.
He was working at Glenmore Lodge at the time, but he had then moved on to become the National officer of the British Mountaineering Council. He took this job very seriously and proved to be an able administrator and diplomat, sitting on innumerable committees. On the way to Everest he came in for a lot of good-natured needling from his anarchistic climbing partners about his role as a mountaineering bureaucrat but he held his own.
Pete of course reached the summit of Everest in the second summit bid, but this very real achievement inevitably was tarnished in his mind, not only by the tragedy of the death of Mick Burke, who made a solo bid for the summit at the same time, but also by the feeling that he had been carried to near the top, by the escalator of the large expedition.
The challenge of the west wall of Changabang, as a two-man push, was therefore particularly attractive. The perseverance that Joe and Pete showed in sieging it, far into the cold autumn, will always rank as a major breakthrough in light-weight expeditioning. Pete also demonstrated his considerable creative ability with Shining Mountain, his book describing the climb. It won the John Llewelyn Rhys prize for young authors in 1979.
In 1977 Pete took over the International School of Mountaineering in Leysin. Joe's career was also beginning to take shape. After leaving university he had taken on a series of temporary jobs ranging from supply teaching to night shifts in a cold store. He then became 'Boylan's' representative in Britain, and this led to running 'Magic Mountain', a climbing shop in the Peak District.
Their Himalayan partnership continued; they climbed together on the abortive 1978 K2 expedition, went with Doug Scott to the summit of Kangchenjunga in 1979, and then made two very determined attempts, with Dick Renshaw, on K2 in 1980. Pete had also had an extremely active year in 1979, visiting Irian New Guinea with his wife to be, Hilary, to make a new route on Karstenz Pyramid, the highest mountain in South-east Asia, and then, after Kangchenjunga, making the first ascent of the south summit of Gaurishankar. This was the subject of his second book, Sacred Summits, which was published posthumously. It captured Pete's romantic love for the mountains and his deep interest both in their topography and history, as well as being a perceptive study of three very different styles of expedition.
.He also demonstrated Siis ability as a. diplomat and organizer when he was elected President of the British Guides Association, doing- much to get them accepted as full members of the international guides- organization. Joe was also active in this period, joining an expedition to the West ridge of Everest in the winter of 1980-81. He was one of the driving forces of the expedition and wrote the expedition book— Everest the Cruel Way, which undoubtedly demonstrated his potential as a writer.
In 1981 they climbed Kongur with A1 Rouse and myself, and this of course led to our expedition to the east-north-east ridge of Everest. I only really got to know Joe during the Kongur expedition. We shared a rope and tent throughout the trip, and it was here that I discovered the warmth, sensitivity and kindness that hid' under the laconic shell of the climbing hardman. He was a man of great contrast, who believed almost fanatically in the maximum conservation of effort. If it was unnecessary to do anything, he would laze around, but when a job had to be done he went at it with extraordinary energy. This was demonstrated in the period before our expedition to Everest. He wrote his second book, The Savage Arena, describing his climbs from 1975 to 1980, over the winter and at the same time was helping with the expedition climbing equipment and organizing all the film gear. On the climb itself he took all the film and showed an extraordinary ability, both in the amount he shot under extremely difficult conditions and in the way he put the film together.
Their two books and the film Joe took, which is to be made up into a television documentary, are perhaps the most apt memorials there could be to these two very talented men. They were both outstanding, innovative mountaineers, at the forefront of what is a particularly exciting period of development, when climbers are tackling the ridges and faces of the Himalaya in the same way that the Alps were developed through the latter part of the nineteenth century into the mid sixties of the present century. This represents an escape from the heavyweight, hierarchic expeditions that have tended to dominate Himalayan climbing up to a comparatively recent period. Bold in their concept, they were careful climbers with excellent mountaineering judgement.
In their short lives they had made an extraordinary impact on the world they lived in, and yet they were only at the threshold of their full development.
59. Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker.
DURING THE night of 17-18 September 1981 Marek Malatynski died on the summit ridge of the Masherbrum — with his companion Przemyslaw Nowacki.
Born on 28 January 1947 and educated at the Politechnika Warszawska (Polytechnic University, Warsaw) as mechanical engineer he was scientific assistant at the Institute of Basic Technical Problems in Warszawa. He started to climb in 1966 and soon became a prominent figure in Polish alpinism. His first expeditions include Turkish Pontus and the Ararat in 1968, Caucasus in 1970, Zagros in Iran in 1971 (an outstanding new route on the South Face of the Kohe Bisutun), Elburz Mountains in the same year (new extreme route on the Northeast Face of the Alam Kuh). In 1976 Marek visited the Saint Elias Mountains in North America, accomplishing the first ascent of the Mount Bering (3550 m). In 1980 he made 5 new routes in Sierra Nevada del Cocuy and Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (Columbia).
As high-altitude mountaineer he was educated in the Pamirs where he climbed in 1972 the Pik Korshenevskoy (7100 m) and the Pik Kommunisma (7483 m). A particularly notable achievement in his mountaineering career was the first ascent of the Kangbachen (7902 m) in the Kangchenjunga massif on 26 May, 1974. As member of the Polski Klub Gorski 1978 expedition he reached 8400 m on the summit slope of Kangchenjunga Central
In 1978 Marek published the book W cieniu Kangczendzengi, (In the Shadow of Kangchenjunga)—a colourful report of the Kangbachen expedition. As mountain publicist (he also studied journalism) he was contributor to the alpine journals Taternik, Wierchy, Himalayan Journal, Iwa to Yuki and other international publications. He was a member of the Polish High Mountain Club. The Polish Mountain Club and the Himalayan Club (since 1978). He was awarded the Gold and the Silver Medal ‘for Outstanding Sporting Achievement'.
On 17 September, 1981 Marek Malatynski with Przemyslaw Nowacki (born 18 January, 1948) and Zygmunt Andrzej Heinrich made the first ascent of the unclimbed Southwest summit (7806 m) of the Masherbrum in the Karakoram, dying with Nowacki on the descent. At the ending of his Kangchenjunga book Marek writes: 'Not till we reached base camp we all felt that the Kangbachen belongs to us. . . He knew that the ascent of a mountain does not end on the summit, but in the base camp. What did he feel dying in the stormy night on the ridge of the Masherbrum? He leaves a widow with two little children.
I HAD chosen Ang Tharkay (Nanda Devi 1934) for his remarkably fine performance in weathering the storm at Camp V and then volunteering to carry to Camp VI (Everest 1933). Beyond that I knew nothing about him. He was small even for a Sherpa, but very well built. We soon learned to value his rare qualities which made him outstandingly the best of all the Sherpas I have known. He had a .shrewd judgement both of men and of situations, and was absolutely steady in any crisis. He was a most lovable person, modest, unselfish and completely sincere, with an infectious gaiety of spirit, He has been with me on all my subsequent journeys to the Himalaya, and to him I owe a large measure of their success and much of my enjoyment.
So wrote Eric Shipton, in Upon That Mountain
I KNEW Ang Tharkay after he had reached the peak of his career as a Sherpa Sirdar, mountaineer and organizer of expeditions. He was, I think, the most distinguished of a distinguished few Sherpa Sirdars whose services were much in demand at the start of the 1950s, when the great resurgence began of post-war expeditions to the Himalaya. The previous decade had been a difficult one for him, living in Darjeeling, bringing up a young family, and often in search of employment. His natural qualities of leadership soon led him into a more lucrative field managing labour teams on contract to the government for road construction and repairs. When he finally retired, he was able to spend his last 12-15 years living quietly on his farm south of Daman to which he had grown very attached, His sons have all made their way in life, and are doing well in their chosen professions. His third son, Sonam Tharkay, has followed in his father's footsteps as a Sherpa Sirdar.
Ang Tharkay accompanied me on two of my journeys in Sikkim over 30 years ago. We traversed an unexplored glacier plateau in the NE, crossing over a high pass south of Pauhunri. We made a winter attempt on Kangchenjau. We climbed two small peaks on the Tibetan border, and attempted two others in very poor weather. On these journeys I was mostly alone with him and a small team of Sherpas hand-picked by him. It was his enthusiasm and ability that provided the main driving force. And I learnt much about human relationships by watching the way in which he treated his men, and witnessing their respect and affection for him. He was a man of the highest integrity.
Perhaps one of my fondest recollections of him was during a visit to Darjeeling in December 1959 when he and 1 walked tip Tiger Hill after a night spent at Senchal In the cloudless and freezing predawn atmosphere the two of us stood there alone, spellbound by the scene spread out before our eyes.' After the early morning gold had spread across the ranges, we raced down to the rest-house where he proceeded to prepare a gigantic breakfast.
His passing marks the end of an era.
THE MOST prominent climbing Sherpa of an era, Ang Tharkay, died of cancer on the 27th July 1981 in Kathmandu. He was 74 years old. Born and brought up in the Khunde village in the Sherpa highlands of Nepal, he later migrated to Darjeeling, the take-off point of pre-war Himalayan expeditions.
Although the first mention of Ang Tharkay's participation in an expedition is in 1931, the Bavarian expedition to Kangchenjunga, he seems to have come to Darjeeling in the late thirties and had been on the climbing scene since.
In 1933 Ang Tharkay was in the team of Sherpas/Bhutias of the British expedition led by Hugh Ruttledge who commended him as 'the great-hearted little Ang Tharkay'.
In 1934 Ang Tharkay was with Shipton and Tilman when they first forced a way through the formidable Kishi gorge into the virgin sanctuary of Nanda Devi. His services were most appreciated by these prominent pioneers of Himalayan exploration and climbing.
In 1935 Ang Tharkay served in two major expeditions. In the summer, he was selected as one of the Sherpas of the Everest expedition led by Shipton. In autumn he was with C. R. Cooke on Kabru North during its first ascent.
In 1936 Ang Tharkay was with Hugh Ruttledge who again led the British on Everest. Then Ruttledge praised Ang Tharkay as 'probably the best mountaineer in the Sherpa community'. In the same year Ang Tharkay climbed with Shipton in. Garhwal Himalaya. This expedition had made a serious attempt to climb Dunagiri. He then served Osmaston in the survey of that region.
In, 1937 Ang Tharkay was again with Shipton, climbing, exploring and surveying in the Karakoram range.
The last major expedition on Everest until the early sixties from, the Tibetan side took place in 1938 and Ang Tharkay was a very prominent member of this expedition as the Sirdar of a thirty-one Sherpa team.
Ang Tharkay, registered as No. 19 in the roll of the Sherpa Bhutia porters of the Himalayan. Club, was now an established Sirdar and one of the first recipients of the coveted, Tiger Medal. He had already emerged as an outstanding mountaineer and he was only thirty-one years old.
During the second World War and in the subsequent years there were very few or no mountaineering expeditions in the Himalaya. So, like most Sherpas and Bhutias, Ang Tharkay looked, towards other fields for a livelihood.
However by 1949, after the historic events around the world, far- reaching political changes had taken place in Asia, and Nepal also had opened its doors to foreigners to climb. So, Ang Tharkay again found himself in his element when he joined the French expedition to Annapurna led by Maurice Herzog. This expedition distinguished itself by reaching the summit of Annapurna and setting the record of the highest summit, over 8000 m, then reached. Ang Tharkay was subsequently awarded, the Legion of Honour by the French Government for his valuable services. He was known to be the first Sherpa to travel to Paris and also see the Folies Bergeres.
In 1951 he was the Sirdar of the Sherpas of the British reconnaissance expedition which pioneered the conventional route to Everest from the Nepalese side and tried to force a way through the Khumbu icefall. The expedition was led by Eric Shipton.
In the spring of 1953 Ang Tharkay went as a Sirdar with another reconnaissance expedition to Bhaulagiri, led by the Swiss Bernard Lautenberg. He then' joined the French expedition to Nun, which made the first ascent of the mountain. The summit was reached by Madame Claude Cogan and Pierre Vittoz and the expedition was led by Bernard Pierre.
In the following year, 1954, Ang Tharkay was on Makalu as the head of the Sherpas in the American expedition led by Dr William Siri.
By 1954, within a short time, much had changed for the Sherpas of Darjeeling as many big mountains had been climbed, and the biggest of all, Everest. When the H. M. I. was born in the same year, Ang Tharkay was deservingly among the chosen seven Sherpas as an instructor under Tenzing, the Everest hero. The Sherpa team was formally trained in Switzerland by the famous Swiss Guide, Arnold Glallhard, in methods of instruction. Ang Tharkay served the H.M.I, for just over two years and then left to follow his instinct and spirit to move on to fresher air and greener pastures.
He worked as a road-building contractor in Western Sikkim for five years and in 1962 he migrated to Nepal. The same year he took the Sirdarship of the second Indian Everest' expedition led by Major' John Bias, and himself reached the height of 27,650 ft. He was' 55 years old then and this was probably his last active climbing venture.
In 1966 he acquired a sizeable tract of farmland close to Kathmandu and spent most of his time on that farm tending the vegetable fields and the animals he kept. His family lived in the heart of Kathmandu in the beautiful mansion he built for them to look after his other enterprise. He later started the travel agency, Nepal Trekking.
When I last met him a few days before he passed away, he held my hand and said, 'Give my greetings to all my friends in Darjeeling'. He is survived by his widow, Ang Yangjin, one 'daughter and four sons.
FATAL ACCIDENTS have robbed this year the British climbing scene of its most proficient and popular climbers. After Boardman and Tasker on Everest, on 17 October 1982 Alex Maclntyre was killed by stonefall on Annapurna south face.
Born on 5 March 1954 in Cottingham, Yorkshire, he was one of the most vigorous personalities in modem Himalayan climbing. During the middle 1970s he made some important ascents in the Alps. His new route via the great couloir right of the Walker Spur (Grandes Jorasses) (1976) will remain one of the most outstanding alpine climbs during last decade. In October, 1977, Alex made the first Alpine-style ascent of the Harlin route on the Eiger north face (4 1/2 days). He also made hard winter ascents in the Alps.
In 1977 Alex met the Polish climber Wojciech Kurtyka, who became his most constant climbing partner., They formed a light-weight expedition group, making remarkable Alpine-style firsts both in the Hindu Kush and the Himalaya. In August 1977 Maclntyre made with Kurtyka and John Porter the first ascent of the 2250 m high northeast face of the Kohe Bandaka (6648 m), perhaps the most difficult climb ever done in the Hindu Kush. The following year this trio with Krzysztof Zurek from Zakopane climbed Changabang (6864 m, September 1978) via the direct south buttress (1500 m of extremely difficult rock). In 1980 Alex was a member of the light Dhaulagiri expedition. With Kurtyka, Rene Ghilini (France) and Ludwik Wilczynski (Poland) they made the first ascent of the ice plank of Dhaulagiri southeast face (May), reaching the summit (8167 m) during a second push via the northeast ridge. The Spring and Autumn seasons 1981 Alex and Kurtyka devoted to the west face of Makalu (8481 m), but both attempts were unsuccessful (they reached a height of 7850 m). During May 1982 Alex was a member of the British Shisha Pangma expedition. He succeeded in making the first ascent of the previously unclimbed Pungpa Ri (7445 m) and then—accompanied by Doug Scott and Roger Baxter Jones—in climbing the south face of the Shisha Pangma (8013 m) by a new route.
During 1978-80 Maclntyre was National Officer of the British Mountaineering Council. He resigned from this position at the end of 1980 to devote more time to climbing. In his short life he made an extraordinary impact on Himalayan climbing.