The Himalayan Club – Talk by Prominent Mountain Writers, Sunday 10th October 2010

Rachana Sansad College, 278, Shankar Ghanekar Marg, Prabhadevi, Mumbai. Landmark: Behind Ravindra Natya Mandir
Time 11:00 – 17:00

Themes and Speakers: (All are illustrated talks with some films)

1. “Climbing Pinnacle Peak”

+ By Kate Harris
+ (11 am to 12 noon)

Kate Harris will talk about her recent mountaineering trip, an all-women’s expedition to climb Pinnacle Peak (6955m) following in the footsteps of early explorer Fanny Bullock Workman. She will also present about her upcoming expedition, Cycling Silk
(, in which she and a friend plan to bike the Silk Road from Istanbul to India, exploring the potential for wilderness conservation across borders in mountainous regions along the way – including prospects for a Siachen Peace Park

(Tea Break) javascript:void(0)

2. “Highs and lows of a climbing cameraman”

+ By Jim Curran
+ (12.30 pm to 1.30 pm)

A quick journey from North Wales to K2 with clips from 3 films and finishing with his new life as a painter.

(Lunch Break)

3. “A Long Walk in the Himalaya”

+ By Garry Weare
+ (2.30 pm to 3.30 pm)

Reflections on the changing landscape of the Indian Himalaya. A commentary set beneath a backdrop of a five month trek from the source of the Ganges to Kashmir. The narrative will extend beyond descriptions of high passes and varied landscapes to include reflections on the impact of climate change, wildlife conservation and the plight of the snow leopard, development and change in remote rural communities, the responsibilities of authoring trekking guidebook and the future of trekking, as well as the need to return to a troubled Kashmir.

(Tea Break)

4. “Writing a Life: Himalayan Heroes”

By Bernadette McDonald

+ (4 pm to 5 pm)

The history of Himalayan climbing is littered with larger-than-life characters and Bernadette McDonald has written about many of them: from Slovenian solo climber Tomaz Humar to the early K2 explorer Dr. Charles Houston; from the enigmatic Himalayan historian Elizabeth Hawley to the beautiful and charismatic Wanda Rutkiewicz, and more. But beyond the heroics, McDonald searches for stories about the real people inside these Himalayan-sized reputations. She has found people with intense feelings, conflicted motives, titanic struggles, and sometimes, paralyzing fears. In this lecture, she shares the back stories of this process of discovery, a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Himalayan heroes and how their lives are written.

Venue: Rachana Sansad College,

278, Shankar Ghanekar Marg, Prabhadevi, Mumbai.

Landmark: Behind Ravindra Natya Mandir

Date and Time: Sunday, 10th October 2010, 11 am to 5 pm

Registration: Rs 100/- per person for the programme and tea.

Kindly register your names at the Himalayan Club office as mentioned above, in person or by email or through phone. (Payment can be made at the venue on the day of the programme.)

About the Speakers:

Bernadette McDonald, A.O.E.

Bernadette McDonald was the founder and former Vice President of the Mountain Culture Division at The Banff Centre. She was Director of the Banff Mountain Film Festival for almost 20 years, and was founding Director of the Banff Mountain Book Festival. She is a founding member of the International Alliance for Mountain Film and was an invited speaker at the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2001 to launch International Year of Mountains. In 2006 she was presented the prestigious King Albert Award from Switzerland for her contribution to the global mountain community. In 2007 she was given the Summit of Excellence Award for her ongoing work in the mountain community. In 2009 she was given the Alberta Order of Excellence, the highest non-military award given by the Province of Alberta. In 2010 she was named an Honorary Member of the Himalayan Club of India.

She is the co-editor of Voices From the Summit: The World’s Great Mountaineers on the Future of Climbing, editor of Extreme Landscape, and co-editor of Whose Water Is It, all published by National Geographic Books. She is author of I’ll Call You in Kathmandu: the Elizabeth Hawley Story, published by The Mountaineers Books in 2005 and subsequently translated and published in Germany and Italy. Her book, Brotherhood of the Rope, was published in 2007 by The Mountaineers Books and was short-listed for the Boardman-Tasker Prize for mountain literature in England. Her biography of the Slovenian alpinist, Tomaz Humar, was published in 2008 by Random House, England and subsequently in Canada, the United States, Slovenia and Italy. Both Brotherhood of the Rope and Tomaz Humar won the Kekoo Naorobi Award for mountain literature in subsequent years. The Italian edition of Tomaz Humar won the ITAS prize for mountain literature in 2010. She edited Inspiring Creativity in 2008, published by The Banff Centre Press.

Bernadette has degrees in English Literature and Music, with specialization in performance and analytical theory. She studied at The Banff Centre with her ensemble, Fusion 5 and has performed throughout Europe and North America. She is past chair of the board of trustees for the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, and is a member of the international advisory committee for National Geographic’s Expedition Council.

Garry Weare

Garry Weare has had a lifetime of experiences in the Himalaya. Since 1970 he has trekked over 25,000 km mostly in the West Himalaya. Between 1976 and 1989 he ran a trekking company in Kashmir and until 1997 was a full time director of the adventure travel company World Expeditions. Garry is co-founder and now Executive Director of the Australian Himalayan Foundation and is the Honorary Secretary (Australia) for the Himalayan Club. He is an author and acclaimed photographer and still regularly leads treks in the West Himalaya. His publications include:Trekking in the Indian Himalaya (Lonely Planet) all 5 editions between 1986 and 2009 and Long Walk in the Himalaya (Transit Lounge Publications) 2005

Jim Curran

Jim Curran is a freelance cameraman, writer, lecturer, climber, and artist. He has climbed and filmed on fifteen mountain-based documentaries (including two on Mount Everest), with all the great of the British mountaineering scene, including Chris Bonington, Joe Tasker, Alan Rouse, Joe Brown and Peter Boardman. He has also filmed in the Andes, Caucasus and Atlas Mountains and China, and nearer home, on the Old Man of Hoy and St Kilda. He lives in Sheffield where his painting is constantly interrupted by the attractions of the Peak District in general, and the attractions of climbing on gritstone outcrops in particular.

His films and books have won many awards world-wide, and he has been short-listed four times for the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature. His films include Kongur, K2 – Triumph and Tragedy, Barnaj, and Trango, all produced by Chris Lister of Northern Films in Leeds. Book credits include Trango, The Nameless Tower, K2 – Triumph and Tragedy, Suspended Sentences, and K2 – The Story of the Savage Mountain, which won the non-fiction award at the Banff Mountain Book Festival in 1996. He has written the authorised biography of Sir Chris Bonington, High Achiever – The Life and Climbs of Chris Bonington. He has filmed and presented a series of climbs in the UK for the BBC’s Tracks outdoor oriented strand, as well as climbing and filming on Chris Bonington’s latest expedition to Tibet. He has also filmed, scripted and narrated the documentary, Rock Queen with Catherine Destivelle, the French climbing superstar, which won him an ‘EMMY’ award for outstanding electronic camerawork.

was Artistic Director of the annual Kendal Mountain Film Festival, and has recently completed a sixteen hundred mile bicycle ride from the north of the Shetland Islands to Land’s End, and has written a book about his adventures, The Middle-Aged Mountaineer. He has had two one-man exhibitions of his paintings and drawings: at the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal, and most recently at the Alpine Club in 2004. He is now painting full-time.

Kate Harris

Kate Harris is a young Canadian adventurer, writer, and photographer. She has explored and written about mountains on all seven continents, from Svalbard to the Dry Valleys of Antarctica. As a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, she wrote a Master’s thesis on transboundary wilderness conservation and conflict resolution, with a focus on the Siachen glacier dispute. She earned another Master’s degree in earth sciences at MIT. Kate spends as much time as possible living in a tent among mountains, but when she isn’t away on expedition, she works as a freelance nature, travel, and environmental policy writer. Her articles and essays have appeared in The Explorers Journal, Outpost Magazine and Endeavors Magazine. She was named a 2010 “Woman of Discovery” by Wings WorldQuest for her efforts to advocate for wilderness conservation across borders.

Official website:


Hon. Local Secretary, Mumbai

Himalayan Club

314, Turf Estate, Shakti Mills Lane, Mahalaxmi West, Mumbai 400011, India

Phone; (91 22) 2491 2829 E mail:, Web:

Leave a Reply