WORKING for a new issue of the Himalayan Journal is like rekindling an old love affair: contacting climbers and authors who are by now old friends, studying mountains and terrains one always dreams about and of course, the press and all the deadlines one has to keep. It is a long happy road every year. The present issue, in the similar vein, begins with a personal journey to the summit of Everest. There is that lonely and committing climb of Kangchenjunga, kayaking and climbing, monsoon madness, problems of Zanskar mountains and a variety of other experiences are shared. Eastern Karakoram, recently opened to the climbers, receives full attention and should prove an interesting climbing area for many years.
As evident in these pages, climbers have as much flavour in their writings as in their climbing styles. While describing the routes and dangers, their wit and sentiments are unabashed. While some talk to the unvisible companions, some hear music ('funeral dirges'). Few are dodging the 'man-eating stones' to protect against 'nearly quickly downside going'. Perhaps a little humour saves many a tricky situation when the going is tense enough to imagine that 'it's only the sky that moved'. Dangers seems to bring out the best in a person; adrenalin shooting up wit! On the academic side the 'Classification of Himalaya' is an important compilation by H. Adams Carter. It classifies all the Himalayan peaks in proper groups with their official heights. This will go a long way in sorting out the various differences and confusions about the ranges.
I must thank all the contributors and advertisers for their continued support. Shailesh Mahadevia has been an active Business Editor as always. A 'Consolidated Index to Volumes 36-42' will be available by end of the year to allow for an easy reference. Muslim Contractor and, particularly Dhiren Toolsidas have lent invaluable help in all the aspect! of production. Their assistance has been specially appreciated for the past few issues. Now with the return of Soli Mehta as the Editor, I will be happy to join their ranks.