Arthur Hinton Read, 1922-1961

Publication Year: 1962.


For those of us who have had the opportunity to know and to climb with Arthur Read, the tragic news of his death in an avalanche in Scotland brought shock little less than that his bereaved family suffered. Arthur became one of us when he spent two years at Harvard working for his doctorate in Mathematics (in 1953 and 1954), after academic training and teaching experience in the British Isles. His summers were put to good use in the Interior Ranges of British Columbia. In 1955 he was a member of the American Karakoram party which explored and climbed in the eastern regions of the Hushe Valley in Baltistan, and he became an A.A.C. member later that year. His interest in American mountaineering continued despite his return to Great Britain, and his membership in the A.A.C. was most important to him. He became Lecturer in Mathematics at St. Andrews University in Scotland, and his work, particularly in topology, had already won him a solid reputation in his field.

Along with his love of alpine country, Arthur brought with him a fine British sense of humor, a deep appreciation of the people and country he came to visit, and an enjoyment of active intellect that could be expressed on the university campus or on the heather fields of the high mountains. Arthur contributed wholeheartedly and constructively to our councils and arguments. Yet he was one of those rare companions who could share experience and friendship in silence without it being uneasy or oppressive.

Arthur died in the mountains he loved best. His friends can regret that our opportunity to climb again with him, to share what we all enjoy most, is cut off. All of us will continue to preserve the pleasant memory that we shared with him what we did.

Henry S. Francis, Jr.