50 years have gone by…

A reunion of members of the 1967 expedition

Advertisements

Five members of the 1967 West Greenland Expedition held a fifty-year reunion on 21-23 September 2017 at a delectable wooden cabin in Glen Feshie.  They were Alan Robertson, Roger Nisbet, Bill Band, David Meldrum, and Phil Gribbon : Alan North sent best wishes and some pics to project.  Missing members were John Hall who has been untraceable for years, while Wilf Tauber tragically drowned in a climbing accident at Anglesey in 1971.  Nisbet and North are dwellers in USA and it was good to have their support.

The local Cairngorm weather was unkind and gave light dreich drizzle which three cyclists braved and rewarded themselves with big slices of excellent cake at the Inshriach cafe stop.  The two softies ventured out for the brief post-rain sun blink but made sure to return before mine host drove the once-hardy mountaineering explorers to dine well at the Loch Inch outdoor water sport restaurant with the late evening sunset reflecting off the loch.

Needless to say there were many pictures flung on the screen bringing back many memories.  Many were the interjections such as: where was that, I don’t remember doing that, who is that on the picture, what is that mountain, it all looks more impressive than I remember, it is steeper than it felt,….Don’t be discouraged because it all created an overwhelming impression of how lucky we were to have had such a unique experience and still be able to recall a few fleeting memories.

1967 now 800

PWFG

Some books make memories…

…and what I’m reading now

Reading What Makes a Mountain Beautiful?,  reminded me that my expedition diary contained an annotated list of the books I  had read.  The list reveals that among the books outside the light fiction category, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s First Circle got a rave review – though I remember nothing of it. Also, rated “good in patches”, was Gog by Andrew Sinclair and Bram Stoker’s Dracula was enjoyed. Aldoux Huxley’s Brave New World didn’t fare so well getting a comment of  “interesting rubbish”! Payment Deferred by C S Forrester was recorded as “disappointing”. Continue reading “Some books make memories…”

What Makes a Mountain Beautiful?

Books are essential items for expeditions. I would like to say I remember all the books I read on the expedition but I don’t. Six books are mentioned in my diary. One, “The Poetry and Prose of Gerard Manley Hopkins” was lent to me by John (I think). Gerard Manley Hopkins was a nineteenth century Jesuit poet and the few verses of his that I have read are very seriously religious and uninspiring. However some of his prose interested me. “On The Origin of Beauty: a Platonic Dialogue” being one. I do not recall all the dialogue but I do remember that it began by examining whether a six-leafed chestnut tree fan was more beautiful than a seven-leafed fan. The seven-leafed fan was seen to be more handsome even though it was less symmetrical than the six-leafed. So was beauty some complex mix of symmetry and asymmetry or in more general terms regularity and irregularity? Continue reading “What Makes a Mountain Beautiful?”

Climbing in his sleep….

…or the summit of sartorial statements?

It’s strange what you remember after all these years, especially when it comes to matters of detail. This photo was taken from the summit of Croomble, a peak to the north of the col between Taserssuaq and Kangerdluk inlet.  The view is south-east, towards the Ilua fjord region. Continue reading “Climbing in his sleep….”

Going to land?

Phil recalls an earlier flight from 1965

It just didn’t seem right. Our aircraft had been losing height and was now descending in a wide sweeping spiral. No reason was given for this behaviour. What on earth was going on?  Ahead the pack ice was drifting down the east coast of Greenland and glistening in the sunlight under a startlingly blue sky. We were dropping steadily down towards a hostile sea packed with a jumbled jigsaw of broken ice floes and dotted with icebergs drifting calmly southward. Continue reading “Going to land?”

The Power of Maps

…and a really famous Belgian

She didn’t even have a fancy cartouche¹. A few simple words was all it took. “Norse ruins” in the map legend got us going; the sight of “Norse church ruin” and we were done for. For she was telling us that there were items of possible interest all around, demanding to be located and investigated. Little did I know that my vulnerability to seduction-by-map would last a lifetime and that at various times it would drive me into the arms of libraries for lengthy periods of study. For I was a would-be mathematician, with little need for libraries and what they contained. How wrong I was. Continue reading “The Power of Maps”

Getting on and getting on

It was news of the death of actor Robert Vaughn, last survivor of the Magnificent Seven, that prompted me to recall the above image. Here gunslinger The Youngster, with pretend gun cocked, is confronting the Old Timer who persisted in calling him “yoongster”.  If it all looks rather tense, it is only because of the fine acting from the leading players in this youth versus age drama – for Bob was the oldest of the student body.  Continue reading “Getting on and getting on”