Some things about climbing Everest change; some do not. Fifty years ago, the American Mount Everest Expedition met a Reuters correspondent named Elizabeth Hawley in Kathmandu. Throughout their expedition Miss Hawley tracked the news that the team sent out via shortwave radio – the messages were often sent in code and relayed by ham radio operators to a Father Moran who was monitoring on his HF radio in K’du.
By the time I got to Nepal to climb in the 1980’s Liz Hawley was already a legend. I was honored and somewhat awed the first time that I met her. Soon I was among those climbers who knew that every time I arrived at my hotel in Kathmandu for a new expedition the phone would ring – often as I was still checking in. Miss Hawley would want to know when we could meet so that she could gather information about team members and our objective. We quickly learned that Elizabeth Hawley just wanted the facts. Those of us who learned to set our egos aside for our Liz Hawley interviews, and get the spelling of team members’ names straight, became very fond of Liz and I can say that her consistent presence in Katmandu over the years since I first met her has meant much to me. I always look forward to those calls.
I am happy to report that Liz keeps up with the times. Within in 24 hours of Berg Adventures climbers reaching the summit on May 17, my Nepalese NCELL mobile phone rang at Base Camp. Miss Hawley was on the line to say, “Congratulations and when will you be in Kathmandu and when can we meet?” Don’t worry, Liz. We will make sure that you can find us. Wouldn’t miss it for the world.