Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Because It's There

After Dr. Schaller’s talk, we were treated to three authors who talked about their work.

Jim Curran’s talk was titled “Why Did I Climb When I Got So Frightened?” This intriguing title led to some humorous tales (being stuck in a rock chimney – only humorous after the fact). Jim talked about how fright and beauty go together – sometimes you can’t have one without the other.

Following Jim, Bernadette McDonald spoke on “Writing a Life: Himalayan Heroes.” Bernadette is from Banff, Canada, and was an excellent speaker. She highlighted her biographies of three mountain heroes – Elizabeth Hawley, who, as an adventurous young woman from America, moved to Kathmandu and never left. She also talked about her books on Charles Houston and Tomaz Humar, well-known Himalayan climbers.

I was intrigued by her description of her interview technique – she prepared questions labeled green, yellow, and red. Green questions were the early, easy ones. The red questions were saved for the very end, after she got to know the interviewee more thoroughly – questions that were difficult personally or professionally.

The third presenter was Harish Kapadia, editor of the Himalayan Journal. His talk was “Mountaineers Are Like That Only.” He said that mountaineering is a way of life, not a sport. His presentation was very humorous. In 2002 he was part of a joint Indian-Pakistani expedition in the Alps. His recent book Siachen Glacier: The Battle of Roses, was introduced and released by Bill Aitken.

Harish Kapadia

Bill Aitken

Wonderful mailbox somewhere in the wilds of Tibet

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