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Annapurna To Dhaulagiri: A Decade of Mountaineering in Nepal Himalaya 1950-1960

Annapurna To Dhaulagiri: A Decade of Mountaineering in Nepal Himalaya 1950–1960, by Dr. Harka Gurung. Kathmandu: His Majesty’s Govt. Press, 1968. 122 pages, 8 pages of color plates, 9 plates of black and white, 2 maps, bibliography, appendices and index.

This beautiful little book provides detailed information on many of the mountains of Nepal, and especially the climbs made there in the exploratory years 1950-1960. Summaries are given of the successes and failures of the major climbing expeditions in this decade, but only those whose reports are available in print. One appendix lists the 7000-meter (23,000-foot) peaks in Nepal, together with a map showing their locations. An excellent map of the Annapurna-Dhaulagiri Himal, drawn by Dr. Gurung, is also appended; and “A Select Bibliography” lists books, journals and maps that concern the mountains of Nepal. For certain readers, a second appendix, “Aspects of the Snowman”, complete with its own bibliography, will attract special attention. Dr. Gurung mentions that …the natives believe that the Sahibs are also scared of Yeti; otherwise, why should they be carrying such lethal weapons as ice-axes and crampons?” Although the author shows skepticism about the existence of the Snowman, he suggests keeping an,open mind because “things that persist may or may not exist.” A modest, charming little reference book of value to anyone with an interest in Nepal’s mountains. Dr. Gurung is a member of the International Himalayan Expedition, 1971.

Robert H. Bates