Illustrated Note 7:
Nanda Devi East (7434 m). A Spanish expedition (Ferran Garcia) climbed this summit via the Longstaff Col on 27 June 1994. In 1995 a Czech team (Josef Unerala) lost a member, Miroslav Rychilk on the same route and gave up the attempt.
Illustrated Note 8:
Mulkila IX (5736 m). An Italian expedition (Lucio Calderone) climbed a straight line of 800 m on the north face of this peak in Lahaul. Summit was reached by six members on 16 August 1995.
Ad Carter, our Hon. Member and also an Hon. Member of the Alpine Club died very suddenly at his home, of an embolism on 1 April 1995. At 80 he was still an active climber and skier, indeed the weekend before his death he had been skiing on Cannon Mountain with two of his grandchildren. It is a pleasure and an honour for me to make my tribute to him, but I'm well aware that there are many others better qualified than I to give a personal account of his achievements, especially among the many students whom he introduced to the mountains and to climbing.
H. ADAMS CARTER
My own friendship with Ad dates right back to the British/ American Nanda Devi expedition of 1936. He was the youngest of the Harvard contingent on that party, still a student, in fact his continuing studies kept him back in America so that he travelled out separately and only joined us at base camp. But despite his youth he already had six years of climbing and expedition experience behind him and was also a leading skier, twice captain of the Harvard skiing team and later a member of the American international team in 1937. After starting with family visits to the Alps he had graduated to climbing in Alaska (Mount Crillon) with Bradford Washburn, and was in 1935 a member of the National Geographic expedition to the Yukon which made the first crossing of the St. Elias range and explored and mapped a large area of virgin country. He was quickly integrated into the Nanda Devi party and became an essential contributor to what was a real team effort. He and I have never climbed together since but have always got together whenever opportunity offered, either in Britain or America.
Ad Carter was a great traveller and a great communicator, fluent in French, German and Spanish and with a great aptitude for quickly picking up new languages. In this way he became conversant with Polish, Italian and Slovene and built up a very wide circle of friends in many countries including India. But the background to all this was a strong thread of continuity. He was born, brought up and lived virtually his whole life in the Boston neighbourhood; though not as I had always thought a descendant of the two John Adams American Presidents, he was a member of a distinguished New England family and was a master at Milton Academy for 33 years. It was from his home in Milton that he served the American Alpine Club as Editor of its journal for no less than 35 years.
The war naturally interrupted both his career and his mountaineering activities but in 1947 he completed his Master's degree at Middlebury College and joined Milton Academy where he taught French, German and Spanish until his retirement in 1979. During those years he embarked on a whole series of expeditions, 18 or more, all of which he organised and led himself, to the Andes, mostly to the Cordillera Blance in Peru, taking with him not only boys from his school but other up and coming young climbers who had caught his eye. In 1970 he led a relief expedition to Peru sponsored by the American Alpine Club which included doctors and nurses, after a catastrophic earthquake had left 67000 casualties. But these Andean trips were not all. He also took groups of students to the European Alps and took part in further Alaskan expeditions, to Foraker in 1963 and to Mt. Russell in 1966. In 1976, forty years on from his introduction to the Himalaya, he returned to Nanda Devi in an expedition jointly led by himself and Willi Unsoeld to climb the North ridge. This was both a triumph and a tragedy, for though the route was brilliantly climbed, Nanda Devi Unsoeld, the joint leader's daughter named after the mountain, was taken ill at the high camp and died there. Nor was this all for he remained fit and vigorous, climbing and skiing right up to the end. As Bob Bates has said of him 'He lived life to the full almost to the moment when he died.'
Ad's enduring memorial is the long series of American Alpine Journals which he edited from 1960 to 1995, the year of his death, a whole time job done in the main single-handed. In the course of his editorship he raised the standard of the Journal in many ways, enlarging its scope and making it an international record of mountaineering history. I have to thank Ann Carter for the following elaboration. He built up a network of correspondents with whom he swapped information. Some were club journal editors, some were professional climbing magazine editors w hose publications Ad combed for information each month. And there were many others American, European and Asian who provided information on their local climbing scenes. His command of languages and his many contacts were an integral part of the information gathering.
But most important of all was Ad's legacy to his students and young friends who he not only introduced to mountaineering but inspired with his own love of the mountains and imbued with his own ideals and high standards. I conclude with a quotation from a tribute to him by a distinguished American climber, Rick Ridge way:
'More than anything, more than an editor, more than a loyal friend, Ad was a teacher. This was his raison d'etre on this earth. There are dozens of people out there - no I am certain there are hundreds - whose life's course was altered, perhaps only a degree or two perhaps, like me more than that, because they came under the pull of Ad's teaching'.
He will be sorely missed not only in his own club but by friends in many countries.
A WIFE'S RECOLLECTIONS
When my husband, Adams Carter, died very unexpectedly in April of 1995 at the age of eighty, it was an abrupt ending to 53 wonderful and exciting years together. I was no climber before our marriage in 1942 during World War II, but I was quickly indoctrinated. I joined Ad in Washington, D.C. where he and several other top mountaineers in the War Department were developing equipment for the mountain troops. I soon learned the basics of rock climbing and helped test new types of boots and rope.
My first 'expedition' was to Mount Washington in New Hampshire during the frigid February in 1943. The summit of the mountain holds the record for the world's highest recorded wind speed. We were testing cold weather and mountain equipment and had ample opportunity to sample both wind and cold.
After the War we lived in Chile for nearly a year where Ad was teaching. We made good use of the superb skiing especially on the beautiful volcanoes in the south.
In 1946 Ad began his long career teaching languages at Milton Academy in Milton, Massachusetts. Children and summer expeditions to mountain ranges of the western United States and to the Alps followed. Those early expeditions were for his qualified students who were members of the very active school Ski and Mountaineering Club. Ad was a born teacher and leader who gave his students lessons in life as well as in academics.
Ann Carter and H. Adams Carter
In 1956 we returned to Chile to survey the Ojos del Salado which the Chileans claimed was the highest mountain in the western hemisphere, topping Aconcagua. Our survey proved this was not to be the case.
In the 1960's, when our own boys were old enough to join, Ad's expeditions began to include some of the budding young American climbers and to go farther afield to the Cordillera Blanca of Peru and to Alaska. On the first Peruvian expedition in 1962, two of our sons, aged 14 and 13, made the first ascents of two beautiful 18,000-foot peaks. The same boys, two years later, went on to be members of Ad's expedition which made the second ascent of Mount Foraker, Alaska's second highest, by a new route. My role in many of these expeditions was keeper of the base camp.
The 1970's expended our horizons to include Czechoslovakia and Poland where Ad was working to bring about exchanges between climbers from those two countries and the United States. This brought rewarding and heart-warming results.
1974 took us to Pakistan and the Karakoram where we joined Bob and Gail Bates for an unforgettable trek into the base camp of K2. Bob and Ad were doing reconnaissance for the American expedition attempting K2 the following year. Unlike the present there were other but three expeditions in the region at that time; none on K2.
In 1976 Ad was the co-leader with Willi Unsoeld of the 40th Anniversary ascent of Nanda Devi, this time by the difficult north ridge. To my great disappointment I did not go to base camp as I had injured my back in New Delhi. My consolation was two weeks in Kausani, with its gorgeous view of the Himalaya, much of it spent at the interesting Laxmi Ashram School for hill girls.
After our last expedition to Peru in 1979, Ad had first one hip replacement operation and then another. This somewhat limited his activities in the 80's and 90's to less challenging rock-climbing, hiking and skiing. But we continued our trips to India, Switzerland, Poland, and Yugoslavia. Many of these involved mountaineering conferences and honors.
In 1988 we went to China, again with the Bates', as elderly appendages to the American Meili Friendship Expedition which was attenfpting elusive 6740 m Kaarkarpo in northern Yunnan Province. Several non-climbing family members accompanied the expedition to its departure point for the mountain at Dechen.
For 35, of our 53 years the American Alpine Journal was a very pleasant occupation and love for Ad, which I was also able to share with him. One of Ad's greatest pleasures was meeting and encouraging young climbers, older ones too, during our travels. These contacts were also a great help with the Journal.
Ad was a superb companion for me as well as others. As the many tributes in mountaineering journals and magazines attest, he has left wonderful memories with those who knew him.
Ann B Carter
Fateh Chand Badhwar lived his life to the hilt and left as he would have wanted to - peacefully and without a fuss. Ninety five at the time of passing on, on 10 October 1995, he proved himself to be an exception to at least one proverb 'Those whom the gods love die young'. Few people have been as loved and respected as he was, and for qualities so diverse and clearly manifest. Possessed of a deep sense of personal honour he hated hypocrisy and spoke his mind. Straight both in his bearing and conduct, a stickler at work, he had a wry sense of humour and knew how to relax with friends, whom he had in scores. He was as much as home in official surroundings as in the midst of unspoilt nature, his love for which was both profound and abiding.
Fateh Chand Badhwar
It was this love which was at the root of Fateh Chand Badhwar's association with the Himalayan Club, which he once served as its President. He could not climb the high mountains because of asthma, but as a young student in Sherwood College, Nainital, went on treks and picnics in Kumaon, revelling as in Kashmir at another time in his youth, in the glorious terrain, streams and forests. Nor was he a stranger to the plains. He accompanied his father - a member of the Indian Civil Service - on his tours to the countryside and developed an interest in birds and animals which grew rather than waned with the years. He was a President of the Delhi Bird Watchers Society.
Returning to the hills later in his life, Fateh Chand Badhwar was distressed by the deforestation and litter which was robbing them of their breathtaking beauty. He took every opportunity to talk to the youth about the need to preserve what nature had given them. He was always quick to establish a rapport with young people because he remained young in mind till the very last and shared a number of interests with them, particularly in sports. He was a keen sportsman himself during his student days and won three college colours at Cambridge where he studied engineering. An excellent shot, a keen ang ler and golfer, he also played tennis and polo before World War II. Actually his love of outdoor life began when he was a Boy Scout at the age of eight and continued throughout his life. Mountains had an absorbing fascination for him and he could recognise and name every Himalayan peak.
Fateh Chand Badhwar's professional career began after he received his engineering degree from Cambridge. Starting as a marine engineer he worked subsequently on the construction of docks, canals, water works and sanitation schemes in many European countries. He joined the East Indian Railway in June 1925 and during the early years of service was employed chiefly in the building of new lines, major bridges and large housing projects, as well as a number of power houses and the electrification of yards and colonies. He also worked in the Carriage and Wagons shops at Liluah. He had experience of staff and general administration and studied modern labour practices in other countries as a member of the Government delegation to the International Labour Organisation.
When World War II broke out Fateh Chand Badhwar joined the Corps of Engineers where he rose to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and was awarded the MBE (Military). Recalled to civil administration in 1943, he was the first Indian to be appointed Secretary to the Railway Board. In 1946 he was awarded the OBE (Civil) and posted to the Oudh and Tirhut railway first as deputy general manager and then as General Manager in January 1947. Later he was appointed to the Railway Board as Member Staff in September, and in August 1949 as Member Engineering. In 1951 he was appointed its first Chairman. This post he held till his retirement in October 1954.
Fateh Chand Badhwar was closely associated with the Railway Designs and Standards Organisation which spearheaded the indi-genisation of railway rolling stock and equipment. He also played a leading role in developing housing for railway staff. The Badhwar Park Complex in Bombay is named after him. He was India's representative on the Permanent Commission of the International Railway Congress Association for more than six years and visited Sri Lanka in January 1954 to preside over a meeting of the Inland Transport Committee of the ECAFE. In October 1954 he paid another visit to that country as a Consultant under the Colombo Plan.
At home Fateh Chand Badhwar was made Chairman of the Customs Inquiry Committee and the National Industrial Development Corp after retirement. He joined the private sector by becoming a Director of the Board of Bird and Company in 1955. He was a member of the Indian delegation to the Congress of Commonwealth Chambers of Commerce in 1962 and 1964.
For the last few years the Badhwars have been living a retired life in New Delhi, surrounded by friends, some of them not even aware of the fact that Fateh Chand had been awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1955 for his contribution to engineering. Such was his unwillingness to talk about himself. He symbolised a certain grace, civility, character and honesty that is rapidly vanishing from our country's life.
Charles Evans first saw the Himalaya on the last day of 1944. He was on a short leave at Darjeeling, walking in a chilling mist when suddenly the cloud parted and through a jagged hole the entire Kangchenjunga massif was revealed. The sight of those gigantic mountains, dazzling white in bright sunshine, and seen through a frame of dark cloud was like a physical blow which he never forgot.
After the excitement of the Everest climb in 1953, and before the team returned to the adulation of the crowds in Kathmandu and Britain, it was totally in character that, whatever the outcome of the climb, Charles had already arranged to stay behind in Sola Khumbu during the monsoon with a few Sherpa friends to continue exploration and survey to fill in one of the last 'blanks on the map' to the west of Everest.
Sir Robert Charles Evans
Evans key role on the expedition as deputy leader to John Hunt has been well documented, but even so several national newspaper obituaries after his death of 5 December 1995 were confused in their account of his reaching the south peak of Everest with Tom BourdiUon on 26 May 1953. Using closed circuit oxygen equipment directly from Camp 8 on the South Col at 26,000 ft, they had further to go on their assault than Hillary and Tenzing on the second assault who would be using open circuit sets and starting from Camp 9 at some 27,900 ft well up the SE Ridge. So John Hunt was very careful in briefing Evans and BourdiUon to make the south summit their first objective and only continue to the main summit if three factors held true: the weather was reasonable; their oxygen was working satisfactorily and they were feeling in good shape. In fact. Charles had trouble with his oxygen set; as a result of limited supply he was not feeling too good. When they reached the south summit at 28,700 ft. at 1.30 p.m. - higher than man had ever been before - the weather was not very encouraging either. By the standards of their day, they made the correct and courageous decision to turn back from that point, leaving some oxygen which was now spare for the benefit of Hillary and Tenzing later on. It must have been very tempting, particularly for BourdiUon, to press on regardless, but had they continued and got into difficulties, they could have prejudiced the successful outcome of the whole expedition.
Although in the public eye, Evans' role on Everest may be deemed his major achievement, to his close friends and to the mountaineering fraternity, his inspiring leadership of the successful expedition to the SW face of Kangchenjunga two years later was a much greater endeavour. Apart from the last thousand feet, the slopes of Everest were well trodden, whereas three major expeditions to Kangchenjunga in 1929-31 had been totally repulsed and on the SW face nobody had been above 6100 m. John Hunt who had reconnoitred the east side in the 1930's had stated: 'Those who first climb Kangchenjunga will achieve the greatest feat in mountaineering. It is a mountain that combines in its defences not only the severe handicaps of wind, weather and very high altitude but technical climbing problems and objective dangers of an even higher order than those we encountered on Everest.'
Success on Kangchenjunga, on what was originally anticipated to be only a 'reconnaissance in force', was truly a team effort, with two pairs reaching the near summit on 25 and 26 May (the top being left untrodden out of respect and by prior agreement with the rulers of Sikkim who held the mountain sacred). As Michael Westmacott writing as AC President to The Times stated: 'Evans' leadership was unassuming but masterly. Like John Hunt on Everest, he carried a load to the top camp himself, helping to pave the way for the first ascent next day and continuing to remain high in support. With the agreement of those concerned, Evans' cable reporting success deliberately emphasised the team effort by withholding the names of the summiters. This was in marked contrast to James Morris' initial brief coded message from Everest revealing Hillary and Tenzing's successful partnership before the full story was published'.
Sir Edmund Hillary paid a generous tribute: 'No member of the 1953 Everest Expedition was held in greater respect than Charles Evans. It wasn't so much his formidable determination in the mountains - we all shared that - but Charles had an understanding and warmth of feeling that made him something special to us. I accepted that his advice would always be sound, and his gentle smile made even the greatest difficulty seem much less important. Charles gave the expedition a quiet confidence that helped us deal effectively with the many challenges.'
Charles Evans was born in North Wales on 19 October 1918 and educated at Shrewsbury and University College, Oxford, where he read medicine. He qualified in 1943 and joined the RAMC. He saw service in the Far East (contriving a quick dash up Kinabalu) and in India and Burma. He was mentioned in dispatches before demobilisation in 1946 and the next year took a post as surgical registrar of United Liverpool Hospitals and Liverpool Regional Hospitals, which he held for ten years. He once observed that the two interests of surgery and mountaineering complemented one another; both required a precise hand and nerves of steel. He specialised in the very difficult area of brain surgery.
As a schoolboy, Charles tramped over the Berwyns. His first visit to the Alps was with the OUMC in 1939. The war intervened; then he joined a Climbers' Club meet in 1947 followed by the Taschhorn - Dom traverse and the Zmutt on the Matterhorn. After election to the Alpine Club in 1948, he went to the Himalaya in 1950 withTilman, Jimmy Roberts, Emlyn Jones and Bill Packard; a first foray into the formerly forbidden hinterland of Nepal. They went up the Marsyandi valley to reconnoitre Manaslu and the north side of the Annapurna group, while the French were succeeding in climbing Annapurna I from the south. The following year he had arranged to try Deo Tibba in Kullu with Tony Trower and his godfather Edwin Ker, so turned down an invitation to join the historic 1951 Everest reconnaissance initiated by Michael Ward. Nevertheless, he was selected as Eric Shipton's deputy in 1952 for an attempt on Cho Oyu after the Swiss had unexpectedly gained permission to try Everest that year. Being repulsed on Cho Oyu, they then divided into smaller parties for climbing and exploration. Shipton, Evans, Hillary and Lowe had the excitement of crossing into the Hongu to the totally unexplored Barun valley, dominated by the tempting graceful fluted spire they named Baruntse. The New Zealand Alpine Club organised an expedition there in 1954 under Hillary's leadership and, as a gesture of apperication for including New Zealand climbers on British expeditions, they invited two British climbers to join them: Charles Evans and Mike Ball. They were duly welcomed as honorary New Zealanders!
Back in the U.K., in 1956 he was awarded the Founder's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society. In 1957 he married Denise, daughter of Nea Morin, and they have had three sons; the eldest 'Chuck' being currently Treasurer of the Alpine Club. One year, as a fluent Welsh speaker, he was invited to preside as Chief Druid at the Llangollen Eisteddfod. Soon after, Bangor University were looking for a new Principal. Accepting this academic post in 1958 relieved him of the more rigorous physical demands of surgery. It was a fortuitous decision because within a few years he began to suffer from multiple schlerosis. Even so, during his 26 years at Bangor - much of it spent in a wheelchair - he oversaw a huge expansion of the college's buildings and its student population. He was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales from 1965 to 1967 and from 1971 to 1973. He succeeded Eric Shipton as President of the Alpine Club, 1968-1970, just after the merger between the Alpine Club and the Alpine Climbing Group in 1967. In 1969, as an outstanding Welshman, he was knighted in the special Honours List when Prince Charles was invested as the Prince of Wales in Caernarvon.
When Evans' climbing activities were curtailed, he took to sailing, at one time owning a yacht Trune of Troy which had previously belonged to the author Hammond Innes. When he had to give up sailing himself, he still gained great vicarious pleasure in helping his wife, Denise, to plan and execute ambitious voyages across the Atlantic and to Cape Horn, keeping in regular radio contact.
He published three books: a delightful sketchbook Eye on Everest; the expedition book Kangchenjunga - the Untrodden Peak; and a skilful blend of personal recollection and practical advice On Climbing. In the latter he recalls how some of his clearest and happiest climbing memories are of short days, sometimes of hours, briefly stolen from a period of city life: 'They stand out because the experience they gave was heightened by the abruptness of the transition, and because many of the scenes had a special quality lent by the weather and the season; by the snow or clouds, by the light of dawn or of sunset, or by the night. No matter how fleeting the opportunity, how short the time that can be spared, a man is refreshed by the hills. Every glimpse is worth while'.
Those of us who were with him on Kangchenjunga were delighted that he was well enough to attend our 40th anniversary reunion at Pen-y-Gwyd in May 1995. It was a very special occasion for all of us. The twinkle in his eye was inextinguishable, but we sensed that it was probably the last time that we would all be together with him. We felt very privileged to have been in that select group led by him and to have shared with him 'the wild and lonely places' of which he spoke in his valedictory address to the Alpine Club. Our respect and admiration for him came very close to love. In his own words from On Climbing: 'It is a long way from the Berwyn to the Himalaya, where you can enjoy the finest mountain adventure of all. The mountains and hills are there to be discovered; and whether they are the boy's crags of heather, or the great ranges untrodden since they were made, always they entice us to know them, to master all that bars the way; to them a part of us belongs. Always they speak to us of what is beyond them, and beyond the grasp of our minds; and once we have seriously played with them we can never let them be.'
Paul and I met in 1963 when he was a student at Sheffield University and I- worked at the hospital next door, by coincidence we also lived on the same street in Sheffield just three houses from each other.
My first impression was of a tall, boisterous, extremely articulate young man bursting into the room, well past midnight, to toast bread on a fork in front of an old gas fire in his shared attic flat. I was one of a party visiting his flatmates at the time.
Paul's repartee, laughter, enjoyment of food, friends and late night conversations made quite an impression, and his mischievous wisdom was very apparent even in those early days.
At that time Paul possessed a large motorbike on which we travelled to Wales, the Lake District, and into the Derbyshire Peak District for many climbing and walking weekends. On one occasion giving a lift to a fellow climber Dave Cook (who was hitching down Llanberis pass) three on a bike with me sandwiched in the middle! Sadly the much travelled motorbike was exchanged for a van when we had our first daughter Louise in 1966, and although Paul was completing a Ph.D. in Economic History and teaching at a school in Buxton, Derbyshire we still managed many memorable trips to Scotland, Cornwall and the Alps with Louise and friends - much to the exasperation of both our parents who thought that the responsibilities of parenthood meant that we should 'settle down' and not lead such a busy life. A recurring theme from those outside mountaineering, the frequent question of why or when will he stop climbing, seemed inane why would I want to change that made the man whole - his very persona.
Paul Nunn with his wife Hilary Nunn.
In 1970, Paul took part in his first major expedition to the Caucasus, and this pattern of summer absences became a regular part of our lifestyle, and family holidays were then usually in May or in winter skiing. When our second daughter Rachel was born in 1973 however, Paul took a much more active part in her daily care.
Family life with Paul was never dull, and there were always lots of visitors. Our children were used to visitors from all over the world - taking pot luck with meals and bed space, with animated conversations late into the evening. Paul could always be relied on to inject humour and sometimes controversy into gatherings of friends, colleagues or the girls' boyfriends, so much so that our home was often full of our daughters friends coming to see Paul especially at Christmas and on Sunday evenings for family dinners.
As most parents do, Paul took great delight in his daughters achievements, both academically and recreationally, and was always generous with encouragement and praise, - even eating less than edible meals on their first attempts at cookery. He taught them both to ski initially, but later their expertise in skiing was used to try and improve their fathers technique, which they described as functional! Their adolescent years seemed to pass almost effortlessly, having a father who could make more noise, stay out later, and generally be one step ahead of them, with the very best of humour.
The last few years had for Paul and myself been a process of rediscovery, as our children were grown up and had left home and we were once again able to do the things we liked doing together so many years ago. A calmness had descended on Paul and he was looking forward to many planned excursions with me to climb some of the Munros in Scotland and for me to accompany him on some Himalayan walks. Sadly that has been taken away, though Paul's vital happy memories will always be with me and our daughters, especially when out in the hills and mountains, Paul's spiritual home, - the place where his heart really was.
All climbing involves a balance between ambition and safety, between the conflicting objectives of achievement and survival. The everyday platitude 'safety first' can never apply absolutely to our game; if it did, we would stay in our armchairs. On the other hand, if success were the over-riding factor, we would not survive for long. All climbers have a balance between these two forces, but the point of balance varies with the individual.
For a climber to become well-known, particularly in big mountains where the risks are greater, requires this balance to be towards achievement rather than safety. So it is that often, when a well-known climbers dies, one can say 'I'm not surprised, he had it coming to him'. But no-one can say that about Paul Nunn.
Paul died on 6 August 1995 by an unlucky accident, a freak serac fall at 5800 m, on Haramosh II in the Karakoram, on I he descent after making the first ascent.
Paul James Nunn was born in 1943 in Ireland, but was adopted by an English couple as a young child. He was brought up as a catholic in Macclesfield, and went to Xaverian College in Manchester. He graduated in Economic History at Sheffield University, and after a short spell teaching in a girl's school in Buxton, became a lecturer in Economic History at Sheffield Polytechnic (now Hallam University), where he worked till his end. While there, he did more than the bare minimum to earn his keep, with a wide undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programme, much convoluted discussion of academic course structure within the embryonic university's development, various academic papers published, and a belatedly completed Ph.D., in spite of numerous semi-licit summer afternoon sneaking out to the nearby grit.
He was also a successful family man, with a marriage that has stood the test of time, and two grown-up daughters.
Paul's climbing career was most noted for its all-encompassing generality. He started in the Peak district in his mid-teens, was a prominent member of the Alpha club, the leading British group on rock in the late fifties and sixties. He joined the Climbers' Club in 1967. He pioneered many new routes on British rock, most notably in Derbyshire, the Lakes, and the Highlands, and also on Scottish ice. He wrote a guidebook to Borrowdale, and several to the Peak. Haramosh II was his 21st expedition to distant lands/greater ranges. More recently, he had been involved in the regrettable, but 1 suppose necessary, field of mountaineering politics, as Vice President then President of the British Mountaineering Council; yet more work willingly and diligently undertaken by a man who already led a full (and many would say an over-full) life. He had the over-view and general sympathy with causes not just his own, combined with the intellectual and personal qualities to make more of this than anyone else I can think of ... if he could find the time.
Because of his generality and also his out-going nature, he was a great link-man in British (and world) climbing; a link between different branches of the sport, between different attitudes and generations; in this he will be hard to replace.
Apart from his guidebooks, he co-authored several climbing books, contributed chapters to a numbers of others, and published a collection of his numerous short writings and articles At the Sharp End. This showed greatly entertaining and perceptive writing ability; a promise of another career in which he could have flourished had he had a fifth or sixth life to live.
In spite of his north of England upbringing, his personality showed many of the archetypal traits of his native land. He had a huge bear-like physique, and a character to match. He was highly intelligent, with a lively interest in most matters; he often had, and expressed strong opinions, but not oppressively. His thirst for life was unquenchable; so was his thirst for drink. After a heavy night's imbibing, he retained the ability for tortuously involved discussion about all and sundry to the fascination and exasperation of others in the company. At times you just wanted to switch him off. Did he really believe what he had just said? Did you (or he) even understand his meaning through the alcoholic fog? Perhaps, after several uncomprehending grunted agreements to shut him up, he was mischievously testing his listeners with a preposterous view which no-one could possibly take in or agree with. Of course, this prompted the listener who was still ten per cent sober, and spotted his play, to fight back with a counter view of even more outrageous kind. But this would only encourage him to triple-bluff; you could fight back, but never beat him at this, his own game of drunken verbal sparring. He always had the intellectual upper-hand; or if not, he could certainly better withstand the effects of the alcohol.
I often suspected him of playing such games also when sober; if he did, he had the agility to sidestep neatly whenever I tested for it, so I never knew for certain.
Above all, Nunn was a sociable and friendly man. In pub or on hill, he could and did talk to anyone and everyone about anything and everything. I have immensely enjoyed his company in this country, and on four expeditions, and look back fondly on the memories. I looked forward to many more, but these will now sadly not happen.
He shared the pioneering instinct; that of the romantic mountaineer, rather than the purely technical. He also shared my view that success on a mountain, while important, was secondary to survival; and this, combined with his long-won but seemingly instinctive judgement and nose for danger, made his death specially hard to accept. On Haramosh II we had looked long and hard before our commitment to the route, and were agreed in our judgement that the risk (which there certainly was) was acceptable. Would big mountains retain their appeal, could they be made safe? With all his wisdom and caution, Paul knew that mountaineering was dangerous, and accepted the risk as part of something he loved. When he died, he made no mistake, unless venturing at all into such places be a mistake. The only difference between he and I is that when that serac fell, he was in the wrong place rather than I; so he is dead and I survived. I also accept the risks of our sport, so I must accept too his unfortunate death, but I will miss him.
So the unthinkable has occurred. Paul Nunn, indestructible, cunning, cautious Paul, has been killed with Geoff Tier descending from the summit of Haramosh II (6666 m) by a random serac fall. They were two of my closest friends, and for twenty years we had all shared climbs, tents holidays, expeditions, meals, drinks (in plenty), stories and much laughter.
The passing of Paul leaves a void in British climbing that is too big to comprehend. President of the British Mountaineering Council, Paul had served on just about every important committee within the climbing world - a list that would easily fill the space available for this tribute, and one that would be doubled by including even the sketchiest inventory of his climbs and expeditions. But it is Paul himself who will be desperately missed. That great guffaw, the hand on the shoulder, the sideways glance, the sheer presence of Paul in a pub, on a climb, at a trade show, or in a meeting was for so long an integral part of our lives that we assumed he would last forever. Hard to imagine now, the gritstone evenings without him. No more lounging on Sennen beach in Corowall with wives, children and dogs when Paul, after climbing all morning would immerse himself in an historical text, quoting incomprehensibly learned criticisms with bellows of laughter to a bewildered audience.
And "now no more wisdom - Paul was a mentor to many of us. Shrewd advice, freely given to anyone who asked for it under any circumstances. Paul had one of the brightest minds I have ever encountered. A natural curiosity, combined with rigorous academic discipline and a prodigious ability for hard work, meant that there was a vast breadth and depth of knowledge that he could call on to deal with day-to-day existence.
Paul studied at Sheffield University and eventually completed a Ph.D. - an academic undertaking that competed for his attention with guidebook writing, articles reviews, and all the many diverse subjects in which Paul became involved. He was for many years Principal Lecturer in Economic History at the University of Hallam. His deeply felt socialism made him a staunch defender of student welfare, it also made him an astute political animal and his untimely death has robbed the BMC of a personality who was capable of seeing a broad picture, of accommodating many different factions and opinions. He would surely have become President of the Alpine Club at some future date and his loss will be deeply felt by many in the Club who valued his incisive judgements.
Paul was born in Abbeyleix, Co Laois. Ireland, on 6 January 1943. He was adopted at an early age and brought up in Macclesfield, Cheshire. His parents, kind, gentle and supportive, indulged Paul's early passion for the outdoors, fired by the Boy Scout movement in Macclesfield where he was introduced to hill walking and rock climbing at the age of twelve. From this introduction he never looked back, making frequent forays beyond the Peak District, where he did his first climbs, to the Lake District and Wales.
In the formative years of his climbing, Paul and his friends were already showing signs of burgeoning talent. Their solo ascents of routes on The Roaches and Hen Cloud were viewed as foolhardy in the extreme by the older generation of climbers. In the 1950s the foremost club of the day was the Rock and Ice, with Joe Brown and Don Whillans the leading lights. For years they had dominated the British climbing scene, providing a breakthrough in standards which was to become a bench-mark for others. In the late 1950s another club began to emerge which was to provide a leap forward in standards, the Alpha Club. One of its leading lights was a Manchester climber, Alan ('Richard') McHardy. Through Richard, Paul joined the Alpha Club and so began new partnerships and friendships which endured the changes and ravages of time. The Alpha Club was a loose -knit organisation with no particular geographic base, its only rule 'if you ask to join, you can't'. Entry was by invitation only, and the membership list of its early days reads like a Who's Who of climbing in the 1960s. The Alpha Club's philosophy was to say the least, iconoclastic, mocking, self-critical and of living life in the fast lane. To experience the full weight of them on some weekend crag was chastening, deflating of egos, but above all inspiring, which might seem curious to the outsider, but it provided the spur, you climbed harder and harder. you improved in standard almost overnight, or slipped into climbing obscurity. In the late 1950s and early 1960s. Paul and other members of the Alpha Club produced a string of hard routes in the Peak District and beyond.
As a climber Paul was influenced at an early stage by Tom Patey, and he became the supreme opportunist, grabbing routes in the most unlikely circumstances: his new routes ranged from Cheddar to Cape Wrath with lots in between. He could be extremely devious - sometimes hedging so many bets for a weekend's climbing that he would succeed in outwitting himself. But his loyalty, kindness and friendship were absolutely unswerving, and he worked hard to maintain long-standing climbing partners up and down the country. In the last year, I have had more cause than most to value his care and concern as he single-handedly pulled, pushed and exhorted me down miles of frozen Scottish hillside with a broken leg, delivering me safely in the wee small hours to Fort William hospital.
It was Patcy who in a way, provided Paul with a spiritual home: the remote vastness of the NW Highlands of Scotland. Paul and Tom were both restless spirits, feverish almost in their pursuit of new challenges. They were not disappointed; the traditional clilTs provided endless new challenges all taken and accomplished. The NW Highlands, however, became a spiritual retreat for Paul and friends during the Whitsun holiday, he almost turned it into his particular fiefdom.
During the 1960s Paul never missed a season in the Alps, his ascents too numerous to mention here, and quickly established a reputation as a mountaineer. In the 1970s he was invited to join a succession of international expeditions to the Caucasus in 1970 with Hamish Maclnncs and Chris Woodhall. when they established a new route on the N face of Pik Schuroviky; and to Baffin Island in 1972 with 'Tut' Braithwaite. Dennis Henneck and Doug Scott, again establishing a new route, this time on the East Pillar of Mount Asgard. He returned to Russia in 1974 with Doug Scott. 'Tut", Clive Rowlands and Guy Lee.
Paul was of course a superb all-round mountaineer, like so many big men, he was beautifully neat and precise on rock, his technique honed by years of gritstone and limestone pioneering. Off the rock he was spectacularly clumsy, with a list of impressive breakages to his name. The sight of him leaving a tent, absentmindedly taking the fl\sheet into his trousers and blundering across the campsite towing the tent behind him ranks with the occasion when he managed to drop an entire Chinese meal onto a moving record turntable. And the Great Bristol Sculpture Disaster is best left to the imagination.
Paul's life had many interconnecting strands, but running through everything was his devotion to his wife Hillary and two daughters Louise and Rachel. The rediscovery of his own Irish roots and the tracking of his family gave him great joy. It was also typical of Paul that his gregariousness should have been rewarded in his forties by a completely new set of relatives. Visits to Ireland became increasingly frequent, though it is with a pang of regret that I now realise that our Irish climbing holiday will never happen.
But the Karakoram remained, to the end. his first love. He must have worn his own path to and from the Latok peaks, which exerted a fascination for him despite (or perhaps because of) the death of close friends Don Morrison and Pat Fearnehough on early explorations.
There was marked contrast in Paul when he was on an expedition. His extrovert, restless, dynamism would be quickly replaced by a quiet reflective single-mindedness as life became simple for two months of the year. He was the most wonderfully tolerant companion to share a tent with, and over the years we made hours and hours of long rambling conversation, about anything and everything. His wily, shrewd judgements made him the safest of climbers, possibly even depriving him of success on some expeditions, though in the last few years he had redressed the balance with some fine first ascents. Last year, his expedition with Chris Bonington and Ha-ish Kapadia. making the first ascent of Rangrik Rang, and shortly afterwards, the third ascent of Manirang. was probabh his most fulfiling trip, and one I am proud to have accompanied him on. And, of course, on Haramosh II he was also successful before the final curtain so quickly and cruelly descended.
There is no easy way to say goodbye to Paul, no brave words to hide the loss. I will always miss him. I will always remember him. So, thank God, will many others. Sharing the memories is the only comfort we can offer each other, and Paul Nunn. climber, writer, lecturer and friend provided a superabundance of these.
Toshio Imanishi, the former President of the Japanese Alpine Club (1985-1989) and a member of the Himalayan Club since 1987, died on 15 November 1995 at age of 81 at a hospital in Osaka City. He was born in Nara in 1914.
In 1935, he joined his high school mountain club and in 1938 he joined the Mongol Research expedition while a student of Kyoto University. In 1940, he was a member of a sledge exploration along the Sakhalin Island.
Although Nepal was virtually inaccesible at the time (1953) he led an expedition party of the Academic Alpine Club of Kyoto University to Annapurna IV (7525 m). While at the final camp (7100 m), a furious jet stream prevented him and his party from making the final ascent.
He joined the Manaslu expedition in 1956 which was organised by the Japanese Alpine Club and led by Yuko Maki. On 9 May 1956, accompanied with Sirdar Gyaltsen Norbu, he gained honour as the first Japanese to stand on the summit of Manaslu (8163 m).
In the spring of 1988, he joined China-Japan-Nepal Friendship expedition to Everest, as the general leader in charge of the Japanese team. Three selected members from each country climbed from the Nepal side and three from the Chinese side. Television crews accompanied the successful ascent for live satellite coverage around the world.
As well as being the President of the Japanese Alpine Club, he also served as the Governor of the Lions Club International and Vice-President of the Japan Association of Representative General Contractors. In 1993, he was named Honorary Consul General of Nepal for Osaka in recognition of his exemplary service to Nepal's participation in Expo-70.
He was a man that combined excellent climbing techniques with gracious human qualities. His wonderful warm smile will never be forgotten by those that knew him. He has become a legend in both Nepal and Japan.
The distinguished Japanese mountaineer and authority on Alpine medical science, Hirokichi Tatsunuma, passed away 12 February 1995. He was born on New Year's Day, 1916, in Tokyo, and studied at the Medical School of Keio University. His mountaineering career began in 1936 when he joined Keio University Alpine Club. In 1950 he became a member of the Board of Directors of the Japanese Alpine Club, and three years later was a physician with the first Japanese Manaslu expedition. He was also a member of the 1954 and 1956 Manaslu expeditions. That the summit was reached in 1956 owes much to his medical expertise, particularly with regards to studies of oxygen equipment.
Since then, as the chairman of the Japanese Alpine Club's medical committee he's been a leading figure in the medical study of high altitude mountaineering.
His academic career began in 1949 when he became a lecturer in Health and Physical Education at Keio. Later he was promoted to professor and then director of Keio University's Institute of Physical Education where his remarkable achievements contributed greatly to its development.
Since 1986, he was Hon. member of Japanese Society of Mountain Medicine.
In 1988 the Japanese Alpine Club elected him an Honorary Member because of his wonderful contributions to the club over many years.
|Class of membership and year of election.|
|H. Adams Carter
V. S. Risoe, M.B.E.
F. C. Badhvvar, O.B.E.
W. H. Murray
|Dr. H. de Terra
Sir Charles Evans, D.Sc, F.R.C.S.
Dr. F. F. Snowdon
Paul J. Nunn
(H: Honorary Member L: Life Member O: Ordinary Member)