With the permission of the Surveyor-General of India, we are able to republish from the Records of the Survey of India for 1934 a chart showing the present state of survey and exploration in the Himalaya, Tibet, and Central Asia. Colonel Lewis, the Director of the Geodetic Branch, has kindly made the few necessary corrections to bring the chart up to date to 1935.
The chart classifies the various surveys into three categories: (a) regular departmental surveys, (b) exploratory surveys, and (c) explorers' route surveys. Some of the last are, of course, extremely sketchy. In the Himalaya only modern contoured topographical work, executed since 1910 and based on a rigorous triangulation framework, has been included in the first category. All other surveys, whether by regular officers or surveyors of the Department, non- official surveyors, travellers, or explorers, have been placed in the second or third categories. This is no reflection on the work of a past generation or of those who have done so much to lay the foundations of our knowledge of the geography of Asia, but merely that the time, technique, or facilities available, or the framework, do not warrant the inclusion of these surveys in the highest class of rigorous cartography. Certain small areas covered by modern accurate mountain stereo-photogrammetric survey have not been differentiated from this second category, as the scale of the chart is too small to show them.
It will be observed from a study of the chart that, except in parts of the Bhutan and Assam Himalaya and in the Indus Kohistan, the whole of the Himalayan region is covered at least by exploratory surveys. It may be taken that the inhabited parts are accurately shown, but that in many regions the ground above 15,000 feet has only been roughly sketched. About one-quarter of Tibet is now covered by such exploratory surveys, while there are four other regions fairly densely covered by a network of explorers' routes— south-eastern Tibet east of longitude 96°, north-east Tibet west and south of Koko Nor, the extreme south-west of Tibet, and a comparatively small region south of the Kun Lun in the neighbourhood of longitude 88°. Large areas shown on the 1 ½ million maps 70, 75,. 80, and 81 are still largely conjectural. In these parts the ‘pundit explorers' and other early travellers are still our only authorities.
As regards the Sinkiang province of China, most of which is included in the chart, we owe practically the whole of our topographical knowledge to Sir Aurel Stein and his devoted assistants from the Survey of India, foremost among whom were Lai Singh, Ram Singh, and Afraz Gul Khan. Sir Aurel's extensive geographical surveys cover large areas in sheets 42, 51, 52, 60, 61, 69, 75, 80, 89, and 98. No one man has added more to our knowledge of Central Asia.
The Survey of India is to be congratulated on having undertaken a re-survey of the Garhwal and Kumaun Himalaya. The existing quarter-inch maps of this area have long been very unsatisfactory, but financial stringency has prevented the department from improving them. In September 1935 a new survey of the whole region was started and it is hoped to complete the field-work during the season 1937-8.
It is also welcome news that, in view of the increasing importance of Tehri and Kumaun as climbing centres, the Surveyor-General has decided that the scale of the survey shall be f inch to 1 mile, for publication on the J-inch scale, instead of the J-inch scale which has hitherto been employed for the high Himalaya. The following sheets of this modern survey will be published in due course:
53I/se (south portion up to the Bhagirathi watershed).
53J/NE, 53M/SW (south-west corner from new survey, but completed to the margins from old material).
53N/NW, 53N/NE, 53N/SE.
62B/NW (to Tibetan frontier), 62B/SW, 62B/SE.
During October and November 1935 the survey of the Sian Gad, Jalandri Gad, and Chor Gad (53I) was completed, and rough prints of this area can be supplied now by the Survey of India to any one who requires them. It is hoped to complete the survey of the Gan- gotri glacier basin and sheet 53J/NE by the break of the monsoon, I936-
Meanwhile, a provisional issue of sheet 53N in black and brown is available. It is based on old material but has been brought up to date from such recent work as that of Ship ton's and Tilman's plane- table and reconnaissance surveys. This is much more legible than the previous black edition.
I am indebted to Colonel C. G. Lewis, Director of the Geodetic Branch, Survey of India, for the above information, and to the Surveyor-General for permission to publish it. I take this opportunity of reminding readers that maps of India and adjacent countries on various scales can be obtained direct from the Map Sales Office, 13 Wood Street, Calcutta, or through any Survey of India Office or authorized agent. In England maps are obtainable from either the High Commissioner for India, India House, Aldwych, London, W.C. 2, or from Messrs. Sifton, Praed & Co., Ltd., The Map House, 67 St. James's Street, London, S.W. 1. The continental agent is Dietrich Reimer, Berlin, S.W. 48; the American agent C. S. Hammond & Co., 30 Church Street, Hudson Terminal, New York, and 75 State Street, Boston, Mass. Applications for the rough prints and provisional issues mentioned above should, however, be made direct to the above address in Calcutta.
In continuation of my note regarding the porters of the Nanga Parbat Expedition, 1934, which appeared in the last Himalayan Journal (vol. vii, 1935, pp. 165-8), it is pleasing to record that the five survivors of Camp 8 were, with the consent of Herr Hitler, granted by the German Red Cross Society the Ehrenzeichen des Deutschen Roten Kreuzes (Medal of Honour of the German Red Cross). The five porters so decorated are Kitar, Pasang Norbu, Ang Tsering, Pasang Kikuli, and Da Tondrup (Dawa Tendrup).
Of the 28 surviving porters of the expedition, including the above 5 men, 23, together with the Kashmiri cook, Ramona, have been awarded a memorial medal of the expedition by the Reichssport- fiihrer Herr von Tschammer. This medal has been granted only to those who did well on the expedition.
The design of this medal is by the Berlin sculptor, Jiirgen Klein, a member of the Akademischer Alpenverein Munchen. On one side is shown a porter ascending a mountain-side and carrying a load in the Darjeeling fashion. On the reverse is an inscription engraved in gold lettering:
With their usual thoroughness the authorities have been at pains to discover as far as possible the exact spelling of each porter's name according to Tibetan orthography, and to fit this in with the spelling most in practical use. The names of the recipients as shown on the medals are given below, with the spellings used in my note in the last Journal shown in brackets where they differ. It is to be hoped that the names given first will be used in future and that those in brackets will be dropped.
The award was not granted to Sonam Tobgay, Jigmay, Pasang Lama, Angnima, or Lobsang, who appeared in my list as members of the expedition.
The composition of the Mount Everest Expedition 1936 is as follows: Mr. Hugh Ruttledge (leader), Messrs. F. S. Smythe, E. E. Shipton, P. Wyn Harris, E. Kempson, E. H. L. Wigram, Dr. G. Warren, Lieuts. J. M. Gavin, r.e., and P. R. Oliver, 1/13 F.F. Rifles (climbers), Major C. J. Morris (transport officer), Lieut. W. R. Smijth-Windham, r.c.s. (wireless officer), and Dr. G. N. Humphreys (base doctor).
Of these, Ruttledge (leader 1933), Smythe (1933), Shipton (1933, 1935), Wyn Harris (1933), Smijth-Windham (1933), Morris (1922), Kempson (1935), Wigram (1935), and Warren (1935) have all had experience of Mount Everest before; Smythe (Kangchenjunga 1930, Kamet 1931), Shipton (Kamet 1931, Nanda Devi 1934), Warren (Gangotri, Satopanth 1933), Oliver (Trisul 1933), have all climbed high and widely in other parts of the Himalaya; both Hugh Ruttledge and Morris have travelled and climbed in various parts of the Himalaya over a considerable length of time and have great experience in handling porters. Wyn Harris has climbed with Shipton on two ascents of Mount Kenya in East Africa, Dr. Humphreys has climbed most of the summits of Ruwenzori, flown over and round them, and has led the Oxford University expedition to Ellesmere Land in the Canadian Arctic. All have considerable experience, both with guides and without, in Switzerland.
The selection of the best team for such an undertaking as the climbing of Mount Everest involves a number of considerations, such as the power of rapid acclimatization, resistance to deterioration at very high altitudes, equability of temperament, single-mindedness of purpose, character, besides the more obvious ones, physical fitness, energy, technical experience. Many months of consideration were devoted to the task of choosing the team, and many of those chosen, as well as others, were tried out during 1935 both in Switzerland and the Himalaya. The final responsibility for the selection rests with the Mount Everest Committee of seven members appointed by the Royal Geographical Society, the Alpine Club, and the Himalayan Club, five of whom, including the leader of the expedition, were members of all three bodies. A very strict medical examination was carried out by the R.A,F. authorities, and most unfortunately one or two who would otherwise have been included failed to pass that rigorous test.
After the most careful consideration it was decided that the whole energies of all members of the expedition must be devoted exclusively to the single purpose of the climb. The only scientific work that can be carried out under such circumstances is practical high-altitude physiology. Any dissipation of energy on subsidiary scientific enterprises, such as glaciology, geology, &c., that have no bearing on the difficult problem to be solved must seriously hamper the chances of success and such work had, therefore, to be ruled out. Detailed stereo-photogrammetric survey was, however, included in the programme of the reconnaissance in 1935, and a geologist was also invited, but was unable to accept.
If, in spite of what is written above, there are still some people who think that personal beauty is the sole qualification of an Everest climber, I would recommend them to buy a copy of Everest, ig$3 (Hodder & Stoughton, 1934, price 25s.) and study the photographs opposite pages 17, 21, 28, and 32, and to place an early order with the same publishers for the account of the 1936 expedition.
I have received the following note from the Reader in Historical Geography in the University of Oxford. It is possible that some record exists in India. I would be grateful if some member of the Himalayan Club would make the necessary investigations; there may be some reference to Speke's work in the Himalaya in the publications of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, or of the old Presidency Geographical Societies, now defunct, or possibly in the files of the Survey of India in Calcutta or Dehra Dun.
'Among the early travellers in the Himalaya was J. H. Speke, who is chiefly famous for his two African journeys in company with Burton and with Grant. Speke went out to India in 1844, and during his ten years' service spent his leave "in qualifying himself for geographical research" by exploratory journeys in the Himalaya. According to Grant, "he registered the topographical features of the country by delineating on charts the distances traversed, the courses of the streams, and the form of the mountains, as a guide to future explorers and sportsmen". Grant possessed one, at least, of these maps, while Speke "gave others to those who were most likely to use them". The above details are taken from the obituary notice of Speke in the Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society (Old Series), vol. ix, p. 197. There are no maps by Speke in the Libraries of the India Office and the Royal Asiatic Society in London, and it would be of interest if readers of the Himalayan Journal could throw any light either on the character and the fate of the maps or on the area covered by Speke's travels. It may be recalled that Speke, "with characteristic candour and generosity", showed a map of his route down the Nile to Baker, whom he met at Gondokoro, and thus materially assisted the latter in the discovery of Lake Albert. It may be that the lost maps would contribute materially to the history of Himalayan exploration.—-J. N. L. B.'
In no part of the Himalaya is there greater diversity in the spelling of place-names than in Sikkim. This is not merely because there are in many instances two or more names for the same place; often there are several common spellings for the same name. Guicha, Guichak, Gocha, Gochak are spellings of one pass used by various travellers, each of whom maintains that he is correct; Simvu, Simvo, Simvoo, Sebu, Sebo, Yumtang, Yumthang, Chungthang, Tsetame, Tsung- tang, are four places, not ten.
The Survey of India usually takes the greatest pains to ascertain from local authorities the correct spellings of names and these appear on maps published by the Department from modern surveys. Sikkim names seem, however, to have presented more than usual difficulty, and one wonders whether any one system of transliteration has been officially recognized. Certainly it is quite impossible for an editor dealing with papers on Sikkim to be consistent. Is there any member of the Himalayan Club who would be prepared to devote some time to research on this subject?
In the Himalayan Journal, vol. ii, 1930, pp. 116-20, we gave a short account of the Russo-German Alai-Pamir expedition of 1928 under Rickmers. The results of this expedition included the climbing of Peak Kaufmann (7,127 metres, 23,382 feet) in the Trans-Alai range, which was then thought to be the highest mountain in Soviet territory, and the discovery and mapping of the great Fedchenko glacier, forty-eight miles long. In 1931 Dr. Finsterwalder published his stereo-photogrammetric maps of the Fedchenko region in two sheets on the scale of 1: 50,000, and a more generalized map of the northwestern Pamirs on the scale of 1: 200,000.
Since the 1928 expedition the Russians have continued the exploration of this north-western edge of the Pamir region. In 1931 and 1932 attempts were made to reach Peak Garmo1 (7,495 metres, 24,590 feet), which, as a result of the triangulation and stereo- photogrammetry done in 1928, was now known to be considerably higher than Kaufmann. It was found, however, that the western approaches were blocked by ice-walls about 6,000 feet high. During 1932 Moskwin reconnoitred a route from the north, from which it was thought that Garmo might be reached. Starting from Muk-su, he examined the Fortambek glacier, which is about eighteen miles long, and proved that the Peter-the-Great range has two main ridges. On the northern stands a peak with a height of about7,100 metres (23,300 feet), to which the name Korschenevski was given. It stands up boldly from the Muschketoff glacier towards the Muk-su valley. The other peaks on the ridge seem to be about 20,000 feet; both peaks Fersman and Krupskaya are labelled 6,100 metres.
|38° 48' 720 04'
|6,615 m., 21,700 ft.
|38° 56' 720 01'
|6,868 m., 22,553 ft-
|Pik A.V. 1933
|38° 56' 720 01'
|7,495 m., 24,590 ft.
|39° 03' 72° oo'
|7,100 m., 23,300 ft.
|390 20' 720 50'
|7,127 m., 23,382 ft.
In this Journal I propose to stick to Finsterwalder's names, as the Russian maps are not easily available. I am indebted to Mr. W. G. Kendrew, of Oxford University, for a rough translation from the original, from which I have compiled part of this note.—Ed.
The scientific expedition of 1933 seems to have been a much more extensive affair, comprising forty groups; but only two of these groups were concerned with the Garmo massif. One under N. W. Krylenko, who was a member of the Russo-German expedition in 1928, approached from the north, while the other, under N. P. Gorbunoff, took the Fedchenko route on the east.
Krylenko tried in vain to reach Garmo by way of the Moskwin glacier, an eastern tributary of the Fortambek. He was stopped by a great 6,ooo-foot ice-wall. He then explored the Turamys glacier, a westerly tributary of the Fortambek, hoping from it to reach the Sagran glacier. In their efforts to get over the watershed his party tried to climb Krupskaya by moonlight. A steep snow-slope brought them at 8 a.m. to an altitude of about 18,000 feet, at which point they were forced back by falling stones, one of the party being hit. Unable to force a way over from the Turamys to the Sagran directly, Krylenko turned north towards the Muk-su and ascended the Sagran from its snout. After half a day's march up the glacier the party reached the Schinibini glacier, which descends the west flank of Krupskaya. Open crevasses and very difficult ground, however, showed that there was no route to Garmo from this direction, and after further exploration Krylenko's group started homewards on the 17th September.
Meanwhile, Gorbunoff's party, approaching from the east, was more successful. They had the advantage of Finsterwalder's excellent map, which showed the topography in considerable detail. On the 28th June a depot camp was pitched at 2,900 metres (9,520 feet) on the left bank of the Little Tanimas river. On the 3rd July they ascended the Fedchenko glacier and two days later reached the Biwak or East Garmo glacier. On the 7th camp was pitched by a little lake at 3,900 metres (12,800 feet), opposite the mountain shown on Finsterwalder's map with a height of 6,336 metres.1 The next day the Base Camp was pitched on a lateral moraine of the Gar- mobecken glacier, which was renamed the Stalin glacier, at 4,600 metres (15,900 feet), opposite Finsterwalder's peak '6,346'.
From here difficulties began. Some days were spent establishing Camp 1 at 5,600 metres (18,375 feet) and improving the route between it and the Base Camp. From Camp 1 a sharp secondary ridge with six peaks leads up to the summit of Garmo, and it was these peaks that now had to be surmounted. Loose rocks were removed for safety, pitons and ladders fixed in dangerous places, and on the 29th six climbers (Abolakoff, Getya, Guschtschin, Nikolaieff, and the brothers Charlampieff) with six porters occupied Camp 1, for the reconnaissance of the onward route.
During the reconnaissance of the third peak or the ridge, Nikolaieff was struck by a falling rock and hurled into the valley below. He was killed instantly and his body could not be recovered. Then the younger Gharlampieff went down with inflammation of the lungs, and the health of the porters gave considerable cause for anxiety. After establishing Camp 2 at 5,900 metres (19,358 feet) on the 6th August, and reconnoitring a route over the 5th peak of the ridge, the party descended to the Base Camp, and another party comprising Gorbanoff, Schiyanoff, Romm, and the cinematographer Kaplen took over. This party carried self-recording meteorological and wireless apparatus which was to be set up on the summit of Garmo for scientific purposes. If I understand the text rightly, the meteorological instruments were to be left on the summit and visited periodically, a rather ambitious programme. An observatory has been established on the Fedchenko glacier since 1932, and is permanently staffed; its altitude is 4,300 metres (14,430 feet), a significant feature of Russian enterprise in this region. However, the meteorological apparatus to be taken up the mountain was found to be too heavy and appears to have been faulty in construction, so that the proposal to take it to the summit was abandoned. Delay was also now caused by lack of provisions in Camps 1 and 2 and by the sickness of Schiyanoff, who went down with some kind of poisoning.
On the 22nd August Abolakoff and Guschtschin went up to Camp 1, and the next day went beyond Camp 2 (5,900 metres) on the ridge towards the summit. Camp 3 at 6,400 metres (21,000 feet) was next established. Crossing the sixth peak, Abolakoff, who was leading, started a rock-fall that broke the rope and badly cut Guschtschin's left hand, but he managed to carry on. Two tents were pitched at Camp 3, and on the 26th six climbers established themselves here with the wireless, which on the next day was taken to and dumped at 6,900 metres (22,640 feet), the site of Camp 4. On the 29th Camp 4 was established and it was hoped to make an assault on the summit on the 30th.
Unfortunately Guschtschin's hand had swollen badly and was so inflamed that he was forced to turn back in company with Schiyanoff and Zak, the last of whom had proved unequal to the strain. Getya also fell sick at Camp 4, so that only Gorbunoff and Abolakoff remained fit for the assault. The weather also turned bad. Heavy snow fell and at night the low temperature of — 250 C. was recorded. All were feeling the effects of the exertions at high altitudes, for they had had to do most of the carrying themselves after Camp 1.
When the snow stopped on the 3rd September Gorbunoff and Abolakoff decided to make a dash for the summit. Leaving Getya in Camp 4, they set out along the steep ice-ridge. There seems to have been no particular difficulty on this last section of the climb, since they reached the summit separately, Gorbunoff halting on the way to take photographs. The sun was already setting when the climbers started down and they arrived back at Camp 4 by moonlight. The following day the wireless was set up at 6,850 metres. A halt was made in Camp 3 for a day, Getya being in a bad way, Abolakoff suffering from snow-blindness, and Gorbunoff from frost-bite. On the 6th the descent was continued, and on the evening of the 7 th the Base Camp was reached. The next day the party started the march back to Altin Mazar.