Chanchal K. Mitra
Flat No. 1 - C,
3 B, Hindusthan Road.
Calcutta - 700 029.
2 January 1996.
Thank you very much indeed for your beautiful greetings card of Spiti from the Himalayan Club collection. How nice of you to remembered me. I am delighted to reciprocate your greetings and have much pleasure in wishing you all in the HC fraternity at Bombay a very prosperous and happy 1996.
I do hope you may kindly permit me to supplement a few lines in Col (Rtd.) C. Wylie's excellent article on Sherpa team in H.J. Vol. 50 (p. 70). In page 75 about Nawang Gombu turning back 650 ft. from the; summit of Nanda Devi, I may add that he did reach it with the 1964 Indian Pre-Everest expedition led by the then Major N. Kumar.
In page 76 of the same article about Nawang Topgay, I may rectify that Topgay's feet were frost bitten during the ascent of Nilgiri Parbat in the Garhwal Himalaya during October 1962 and not in the Nepal Himalaya. That was my first expedition and I still remember the basic skills into which he had personally initiated me to snow and ice craft (couple of years before I had my formal training at H.M.I.). It was he who in those days was a keen about keeping the campsites clean. After his toes were amputed, I think Topgay's major breakthrough in the Himalaya (following recuperation) was in Tirsuli expedition in 1965 under the leadership of K.P. Sharma. He kept the icefall route open under inclement weather conditions. I had the pleasure of his company once again.
Ang Temba was a tiger of inspiration on our very modest Panch Chuli expedition in 1970. He pioneered routes both in the Sona and Meola glaciers and recceed the Nipa glacier approach to Panch Chuli - V as well.
Chanchal K. Mitra