A peek inside the Himalayan Database, the archives of Elizabeth Hawley

A peek inside the Himalayan Database, the archives of Elizabeth Hawley

A couple of weekends ago, I did something I’ve been meaning to do for a while: install the Himalayan Database on my computer and play around with it. The Himalayan Database is a comprehensive record of expeditions to peaks in Nepal, based on the archives of Elizabeth Hawley.

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Tilman and Shipton’s travels in Africa

Tilman and Shipton’s travels in Africa

The Himalayan explorer Bill Tilman spent fourteen years of his life as a coffee planter in Kenya. During that time he and Eric Shipton made a number of exploratory treks and climbs on Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro, and in the Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda.

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The Ascent of Rum Doodle vs. The Ascent of Nanda Devi – how similar are they?

The Ascent of Rum Doodle vs. The Ascent of Nanda Devi – how similar are they?

Two of the best mountaineering books ever written were designed to be read side by side, but I wonder if anyone has. I set myself the challenge of reading alternate chapters of The Ascent of Nanda Devi by H.W. Tilman and The Ascent of Rum Doodle by W.E. Bowman.

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The riddle of Snow Lake and the glacier with no outlet

The riddle of Snow Lake and the glacier with no outlet

When Bill Tilman travelled to the Pakistan Karakoram in 1937, he hoped to solve two unexplained geographical riddles: the existence of an icecap in Central Asia, and a glacier without any river outlet. He relished the opportunity to prove the scientists wrong.

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Bill Tilman: Nepal’s very first trekking tourist

Bill Tilman: Nepal’s very first trekking tourist

A few weeks ago I wrote about the history of Nepal and how it came to open its doors to tourism. In the second post in this series I introduce you to Nepal’s very first trekking tourist, who was already a Himalayan veteran and an interesting character.

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10 great Sherpa mountaineers

10 great Sherpa mountaineers

As the Everest season approaches we will be hearing a lot about the successes of western climbers in the Himalayas over the next few months, but very little about the superstars of high altitude mountaineering. It’s time this was rectified, so here are ten of the greatest tigers of the snow.

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