few days ago,
I stumbled upon this webpage about
I am shocked to hear he died in an accident on Annapurna in 1982.
Long ago, with my friends, I was an avid walker –
every holiday I saved up for, had to be spent in the Himalayas.
In post monsoon 1982, we had trekked to the Annapurna Base Camp.
It was our last day when we met Mr Alex McIntyre;
with him, if I remember right, was Mr John Porter.
They arrived with their team of porters.
There was no one else at the base camp except a couple of local shepherds.
We invited them to our tent and and being our team cook,
I made them some sweet indian tea while their porters went on ahead
to find a site for their camp.
We sat and chatted for a bit.
Their third team member had become unwell
and had stayed back in one of the hotels enroute.
We were, well leastways I was, awed to have met ‘real’ mountaneers.
We shook hands and wished them luck, success and good weather.
They went up and pitched camp, we struck ours.
Nearly thirty years on, I somehow still remember him,
that wicked smile
and a wicked wicked sense of humour.
His hair was shorter than in the photograph.
It was a small meeting; I find I had it filed away in my memory.
This bit of news and his photograph brought it all back.
We might have been the last people,
other than their porters, he met before starting on their climb.
Which is why this news leaves me today with an empty feeling,
cruelly struck down in his prime by a single stone which hit him square on the head…
- Link to: Mountain Heritage Trust
a sense of loss for a person I so little knew.
I have long lost contact with my walking mates.
I would so like to, but am unable to share the memory with them.
I write this just in case anyone reading this too may have known him.
To share in his memory.