American journalist Elizabeth Hawley, known for chronicling expeditions to Himalayan peaks, died at a hospital in Kathmandu on Friday. She was 94.
Hawley was considered a “leading authority” on Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, despite never having reached its base camp, a BBC report said. She had lived in Nepal since 1960 and wrote about expeditions for over five decades.
Hawley died of complications arising from pneumonia, days after she was admitted to the CIWEC Hospital and Travel Medicine Centre, Reuters reported, quoting Prathiva Pandey, a doctor at the hospital. Hawley had joined Reuters as a journalist in 1962.
The global climbing community has lost a “great friend”, said Ang Tshering Sherpa, former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association. “But her memory will live on in the form of her life’s work.”
Until five years ago, Hawley managed the “Himalayan Database”, an unofficial record of over 9,600 climbs of mountain peaks in Nepal. Climbers considered her validation essential to stake claim to their feats.
Edmund Hillary, who first scaled the Mount Everest in 1953, called Hawley “the Sherlock Holmes of the mountaineering world”.