Skip to comments.Elizabeth Hawley: 'Chronicler of the Himalayas' dies at 94
Posted on 02/09/2018 4:09:45 AM PST by beaversmom
Elizabeth Hawley, who chronicled hiking expeditions on the Himalayas for over 50 years, has died in Nepal aged 94.
The US journalist was a leading authority on the world's highest mountain, Mount Everest, despite never having reached its base camp.
She was seen as a key person to authenticate climbs, keeping meticulous records and verifying claims about successful expeditions.
Tributes have been pouring in from the climbing community.
She died in a Kathmandu hospital on Friday, a week after catching a lung infection.
'The Sherlock Holmes of mountaineering'
Part investigator, part librarian, Ms Hawley had been documenting Himalayan climbs since 1963. She founded the Himalayan Database, a thorough archive of more than 9,600 expedition teams, which she managed until five years ago.
The database is unofficial, but is seen as the most authoritative record of successful climbs in the Himalayas.
Ms Hawley built a reputation of being a formidable, sharp-tongued judge - driving her blue Volkswagen Beetle across Kathmandu to interrogate climbers claiming to have set new records.
"I don't mean to frighten people, but maybe I've acquired this aura of being the arbitrator," she told the BBC in 2010.
"It might scare them into telling me the truth and that might be useful."
Ms Hawley had close friendships with many reputed climbers including Sir Edmund Hillary, one of the first men to reach the top of Mount Everest, who reportedly called her "the Sherlock Holmes of the mountaineering world".
Meanwhile, fellow journalists described her as "one of a kind" and obsessed with getting facts right.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.com ...
A curious pursuit. Mildly interesting. Funny what people find passion for. In her case, for many decades.
Well not many people can say they love their job.
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