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Yesterday in Kathmandu, May 13: Liz Hawley has been the best-known chronicler of Himalayan expeditions for over four decades. She is respected by the international mountaineering community because of her complete and accurate records, despite their unofficial status. She has no patience with fools and has had world class climbers quivering under her ‘grilling’ and questions if they provided vague or inaccurate information about a climb. Some have had reputations dented when she had listed their summit as ‘disputed’. Having been interviewed by her on numerous occasions since 1996, it was good to drop in to pay a courtesy call. She’s stopped zipping around her ancient blue VW Beetle for some years now, and has retired, letting Billly Bierling take over the tracking of 100s of expeditions each year that climb in Nepal. She looks quite frail now, at 92, but still sharp as a razor – amazingly, I saw a copy of my book Mountain to Climb on her bookshelf! Gifted to her in 2001.

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