The present volume contains a variety of articles. Some members feel that more attention is given to 'sport' than 'science' in the Himalayan Journal. The editor takes the point, but offers no apologies since he remains at the tender mercies of the authors who contribute the articles. I can aver that no contribution has been turned down because of its modest height. Accounts of peaks climbed too often are generally not accepted, however high they may be. In fact the hunt is always on for the lesser known peaks and areas to be covered by the Journal. The problem lies with contributors, not with poor editors who is perpetually looking for 'suitable' material.

Luckily this volume has energetic contributors covering many 'other' subjects. Bill Aitkin inquires into the 'real' name of Everest- an inquiry that should raise some eye-brows! We have articles by Rasoul Sorkhabi, Doug Scott and our regular contributor A. D. Moddie looking at different aspects of the Himalaya. John Jackson draws on memories to bring out the magic of Sikkim and the Brocken Spectre. Climbers then take over with Suj Tilla, Sepu Kangri, Padmanabh, Arwa Spire, Satling Spires and many others — they are the backbone of the Journal after all. Unknown Arunachal Pradesh receives attention, so does the high Teram Shehr Plateau, explored for the first time. Tributes are paid to the Kings of Karakorams (guess who they are!) and a silent ascetic is given his due. Josef Hala has complied a list of expeditions to the high peaks and their first ascents with nationalities.

The history of the Himalayan Club is brought up to date in this 75th Year of the Club. Many celebrations were held and it was a proud moment in the history of the Club when leading mountaineers from the east and the west gathered at the headquarters of the club in Mumbai, not only to lecture but to walk in the local hills and later in the Himalaya. This is covered in full details in the Himalayan Club Newsletter. The Himalayan Journal received recognition, when its editor was awarded the 'Patron's (Royal) Medal' by the Royal Geographical Society this year for it, amongst other things. For me it was embarrassing to print details of the same here, almost immodest. I was requested to do so by several senior members and persuaded by the President in his own energetic style! They pointed out that in the past HJs details of awards of such medals to other members are printed forming a rare historical record today, and hence such events should be covered for posterity.

It has been a long and historic journey, both for the Himalayan Club and the Himalayan Journal. Several persons and personalities, scholars and editors, and of course climbers and young enthusiasts — all have been associated in this journey. My thanks to all of them and to members who have wished me on receiving this honour. It has been an honour and a personal fruitful journey for me in this association.

The next volume will be the sixtieth issue and it is hoped that the Himalayan Journal will show vigour and maturity that this happy age of superannuation bring!

Harish Kapadia

17th September 2003


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