MOUNTAINS have inspired a variety of thoughts and reactions. To some it is a challenge, beauty or it speaks of what is beyond. But the mountain scenario is also a ground for a scientific study. A discerning eye can dissect it like a surgeon's scalpel. Those beautiful shapes have 'cols', 'ridges', and 'heights'. Many will welcome the article by Jagdish Nanavati in this issue presenting a scientific means to study the mountains and their photographs, relate them to the height and the distance. It should be most helpful to study a climb in retrospect or plan a future climb based on the available photographs. While presenting the theory he records his studies of expeditions to Matri, Nilkantha, Sudarshan and Swargarohini. Whether the mountaineers have the humility to accept the truth or not is a different story. This is a classic exercise of applying the brain to the beauty.
In a similar vein Shuya Sekiguchi unearthed the new details and the photographs of the 1968 climb of Mani Mahesh Kailash. His painstaking analysis proves the truth about the climb by the ladies after 16 years. And, happily enough, it disproves my misgivings about the climb. His efforts are illuminating.
With the publication of The Himalayan Club News-letter 38 in the new format, the Himalayan Journal has made two changes. The exhaustive tables and the Club News sections are dropped. For both the former publication is a better source. Amongst other articles we have two about the new trend - climbing camps in Himalaya, like the ones on Makalu and in Garhwal. The Eastern Kara-koram is now attracting many climbers and is covered exhaustively. The less visited areas of Rupshu, Bhutan and Api have attracted visitors. All in all a rather active year. But is it not always so!
In the death cpf J. A. K. Martyn, the Club has lost one of the distinguished members. He was a regular contributor to HJ. Even with failing health he always responded to any demand. R. E. Hawkins has retired as the Hon. Asst. Editor from this issue. For the past 6 issues he has contributed in a large measure to the improvements in the editorial quality. He, like a true guru, pointed out the mistakes, suggested solutions, set the systems, but always left the final choice to be exercised. HJ will certainly miss him. This is the first issue without his active guidance. It is hoped that the high standards set by him are maintained.
Finally, with many thanks to all my contributors and young assistants, its over to you dear readers.