Kathmandu – Elizabeth Hawley, 94, an authority on Himalayan mountaineering, who chronicled the feats of climbers creating an authentic record of their expeditions, died in Kathmandu, Nepal on Friday.
According to one of her assistants, Billi Bierling, she is very saddened to announce that after a short battle in hospital, Elizabeth Hawley has left us.
“Personally, I cannot put it into words how much this amazing woman has meant to me, how much she has taught me and how much I will miss her in my life.
“We will try and keep up Miss Hawley’s work but of course today the Himalayan climbing world has lost one of its most important pillars,” Bierling, a German climber who began helping Hawley in 2004, said.
Hawley was nicknamed “second summit” for her probing questions to climbers, but handed over her work to volunteers about two years ago after her health deteriorated.
The U.S.-born Hawley came to Nepal in 1959 as a journalist and never left.
Until a year ago, she drove her Volkswagen Beetle along the narrow streets of Kathmandu to interview climbers and tourism officials.
Her Himalayan Database, a digital record of ascents of the world’s highest peaks, is considered the most comprehensive database on Himalayan mountaineering.
The database consists of 9,500 expeditions to 455 peaks in Nepal by 70,000 people.