The Himalayan Database

The Himalayan Database
The Himalayan Database.gif
Book cover of The Himalayan Database
AuthorElizabeth Hawley, Richard Sailsbury
Publication date
1 October 2004
Media typeMultimedia CD
WebsiteThe Himalayan Database

The Himalayan Database: The Expedition Archives of Elizabeth Hawley is a large digital and published record of mountaineering in the Nepalese Himalayas since 1903 (i.e. it does not include the Pakistan Himalaya peaks such as K2 and Nanga Parbat etc.), maintained by Richard Salisbury who digitised the records.


The Himalayan Database (HDB), was developed and maintained by Elizabeth Hawley, who remained involved up to her death in 2018.[1][2][3][4][5] It is available as a CD and an 80-page paperback.[4] It fills in for the absence of officially maintained records.[6] It has been published by the American Alpine Club.[7]

As well as being an important repository for climbing statistics on Himalayan mountains, the database also became known for its decisions to disregard or dispute various climbs.[8][9] Notable cases was the decision not to record a 1990 ascent of Cho Oyu by British climber Alan Hinkes, which put a question-mark over Hinkes' claim to have summited all 14 eight-thousanders;[10] and the 1997 ascent of Lhotse by Italian climbers Fausto De Stefani and Sergio Martini[11] which forced Sergio Martini to reclimb Lhotse in 2000 to verify he had climbed all 14 eight-thousanders (De Stefani decided not to re-climb).


See also


  1. ^ Firth, Paul G; Zheng, Hui; Windsor, Jeremy S; Sutherland, Andrew I; Imray, Christopher H; Moore, G W K; Semple, John L; Roach, Robert C; Salisbury, Richard A (2008-12-11). "Mortality on Mount Everest, 1921-2006: descriptive study". The BMJ. 337: a2654. doi:10.1136/bmj.a2654. ISSN 0959-8138. PMC 2602730. PMID 19074222.
  2. ^ "Nepal honours chronicler of Himalayan mountaineering Elizabeth Hawley". The Independent. 2014-08-20. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
  3. ^ Desai, Shail (2016-05-28). "Deaths on Everest: Man-made disaster on the route to personal glory". Retrieved 2017-02-16.
  4. ^ a b REI. "The Himalayan Database CD-Rom: The Expedition Archives of Elizabeth Hawley". REI. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
  5. ^ "Everest 2013: Interview with Richard Salisbury, the Man Behind the Everest Summit Numbers". The Blog on alanarnette.com. 2013-02-18. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
  6. ^ "Does Everest Have a Drug Problem? | VICE Sports". VICE Sports. Retrieved 2017-02-16.
  7. ^ Westhoff, John L.; Koepsell, Thomas D.; Littell, Christopher T. (2012-06-13). "Effects of experience and commercialisation on survival in Himalayan mountaineering: retrospective cohort study". BMJ. 344: e3782. doi:10.1136/bmj.e3782. ISSN 1756-1833. PMC 3374484. PMID 22695902.
  8. ^ If a mountaineer wants worldwide recognition that they have reached the summit of some of the most formidable mountains in the world, they will need to get the approval of Elizabeth Hawley."Elizabeth Hawley, unrivalled Himalayan record keeper". BBC News. 29 August 2010.
  9. ^ "Elizabeth Hawley, Who Chronicled Everest Treks, Dies at 94". New York Times. 26 January 2018.
  10. ^ Elizabeth Hawley (2014). "Seasonal Stories for the Nepalese Himalaya 1985-2014" (PDF). The Himalayan Database. p. 347. But his claim to have now climbed all 8000ers is open to question. In April 1990 he and others reached the summit plateau of Cho Oyu. It was misty so they could not see well; nine years later Hinkes said he had “wandered around for a while” in the summit area but could see very little and eventually descended to join the others, one of whom said they had not reached the top.
  11. ^ Elizabeth Hawley (2014). "Seasonal Stories for the Nepalese Himalaya 1985-2014" (PDF). The Himalayan Database. p. 274. But a South Korean climber, who followed in their footprints on the crusted snow three days later [in 1997] in clearer weather, did not consider that they actually gained the top. While [Sergio] Martini and [Fausto] De Stefani indicated they were perhaps only a few meters below it, Park Young-Seok claimed that their footprints stopped well before the top, perhaps 30 meters below a small fore-summit and 150 vertical meters below the highest summit. Now in 2000 [Sergio] Martini was back again, and this time he definitely summited Lhotse.

External links

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