Volume 67, which covers the events of 2010-11, is another landmark volume of the Himalayan Journal.
The year 2010-11 in many ways, has been a unique year for the Himalaya and the adjoining mountain ranges. Notwithstanding the hectic climbing activity, there is a sudden spurt of young Indians hitting the big league of mountains, especially the eight thousanders, with the lure of climbing Everest remaining foremost. While climbing high mountains is a welcome change, it is important at this juncture to match this trend with quality climbing techniques, so as to ensure that Indian mountaineering continues to grow and mature into the right direction. The club while continuing to fulfill it’s primary role of encouraging climbing and exploration in the Himalaya, is equally committed to encourage and infuse better styles of climbing and ethics, especially in the young generation of climbers. While it is heartening to see a rising trend of mountaineers wanting to climb in the Indian Himalaya, a status quo with regard to the number of expeditions was maintained in 2011, vis a vis 2010.
Care for the Himalayan environment continues to be a core issue for the Himalayan Club. The recent earthquake in Sikkim and the devastation caused thereof amply proves the fragility of the environment, which is indeed a matter of deep concern. The Himalayan Club shares this tragedy with the brave people of Sikkim and assures them of our full support. We will also continue to work committedly, in our effort to rehabilitate the people of Ladakh, in the remote Indus valley.
The year of 2010-11, has also been a year of tragic losses, in the span of which the club has lost some of its key members, who were pillars of our institution. The club was unfortunate in losing Jagdish Nanavati, our President Emeritus, who not only ‘selflessly and dedicatedly’ served the club for many years, but nurtured the institution through its critical phase of the seventies. We also lost our former President and a true visionary of the mountain world, Colonel Balwant Sandhu. The indomitable Nawang Gombu and George Band, former President of the Alpine Club, both our distinguished Honorary members, also bid us adieu along with Joss Lynam, the legendary Irish climber. This volume pays a tribute to all the above, who contributed in many intangible ways to the cause of the Himalayan Club.
This volume is also the first to be edited by Rajesh Gadgil, now the Editor of the Himalayan Journal and marks a distinct change in the most visible legacy of the Himalayan Club. An avid climber himself, he now dons the hat of a young editor and brings to fore a blend of youth and experience, along with Nandini Purandare, the Associate Editor, who is also serving the club as it’s first woman Honorary Secretary. In the timeless journey of the Himalayan Journal, this is yet another step forward.
For those venturing into the high Himalaya this year, I wish you all happy and safe climbing, and of course happy reading!
Colonel Ashok Abbey
President, The Himalayan Club