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Checking In

After arriving in Kathmandu, Ueli filed a climbing plan at the office of Himalayan climbing institution Elizabeth Hawley.

At 89, Hawley has interviewed all the greats in the Himalayan climbing community. She’s the definitive Himalayan historian and has met with every climbing party that has trekked through the area in the last five decades.

This year, Ueli sat down with one of Hawley’s assistants and answered questions Hawley will use to keep track of this season’s summit bids. “She asked us what we were planning,” Steck said, “and she told us about all the things that were going on on Everest this year. It was interesting.”

Hawley first went to Nepal in 1960, a time when few journalists and few 37-year-old women were travelling that far into the Himalaya. She was already successful (she had worked for Fortune, Time-Life and Reuters) but decided she needed a different and more global approach to her career. After quitting her day job to roam the world, she ended up moving permanently to Nepal.

Today she focuses only on mountaineering news for Reuters and reports on mountaineering for journals in nine countries. In 1998, Hawley received the King Albert Medal of Merit / Mountain Award. Read more about her and her books on her website: www.himalayandatabase.com