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Item #: OP178AB-334
THE SCOTTISH HIMALAYAN EXPEDITION. W.H. Murray 1951 1st edition Hardcover DJ Fine
By Murray, W.H.
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London, 1951, 1st edition. 282 pp, 36 plates 4 in color. Five peaks were climbed. A small expedition to the Garhwal Himalaya with Tom Weir, Douglas Scott and Tom MacKinnon. They climbed five mountains, including making the first ascent of Uja Tirche and forcing the Girthi Gorge. Bright DJ, Book and DJ are Fine. 

One of the greatest quotes in a mountaineering book comes from Murray's Scottish Himalayan Expedition.
 
A quotation by Murray is widely misattributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. The following passage occurs near the beginning of Murray's The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (1951):
... but when I said that nothing had been done I erred in one important matter. We had definitely committed ourselves and were halfway out of our ruts. We had put down our passage money— booked a sailing to Bombay. This may sound too simple, but is great in consequence. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:
 
Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it!

The 'Goethe couplet' referred to here is from an extremely loose translation of Faust lines 214-30 made by John Anster in 1835.

In 1950 four mountaineers, W. H. Murray, Tom Weir, Douglas Scott, and T. D. MacKinnon, made the difficult decision to finance and organize the first Scottish expedition to the Himalaya. Their chosen field was Kumaon, which is the great angle of India between Tibet and west Nepal, divided into the districts of Garhwal, where three famous mountain: already climbed are Trisul, Kamet, and Nanda Devi and Almora, where little mountaineering had eve: been attempted.

The unclimbed peaks of Kumaon are numbered in scores. Semi-tropical valleys and terrific river gorges wind in among a maze of snow-peaks rising over 20,000 feet, and packed densely in clusters Several of these greater clusters had never before been explored by mountaineers. The expedition' plan was to start in Garhwal and work from west to east in six moves:

(1) In May, cross the foot-hills from Ranikhe 100 miles north to penetrate the Rishiganga Gorge and attempt the first ascent of Bethartoli Himal (20,840 feet).

(2) In June, travel north of Nanda Devi and explore the Lampak Range from the south.

(3) At the end of June (when the monsoon breaks cross the main axis of the chain to the Tibetan side where rainfall is low, thence reconnoitre the Lampa group from the north.

(4) In mid July, force the gorges of the Girthi River.

(5) In August, cross the Ralam Pass (18,470 fee to the frontier of Nepal.

(6) Reconnoitre and attempt the Panch Chuli (22,650 feet), a group of unclimbed mountains fame in Hindu mythology.

This plan was duly carried through in all its part It involved 450 miles of mountainous travel, at obliged the party to travel light and live on the country. They obtained food from the small villages in the upper valleys, which are occupied on in summer by Hindu hillmen for the purpose trading over the Tibetan frontier.

The expedition attempted nine mountains and climbed five. Two outstanding achievements we the first ascent of Uja Tirche (20,350 feet) near Tibet, and the forcing of the Girthi Gorge, thus linking two of the great trade-routes of central Asia.

The expedition returned with a very complete photographic record of Kumaon, in color and black and white, of which carefully chosen examples a printed in this book.


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