The Kapadia Interviews

Harish Kapaida is a renowned Himalayan mountaineer and author. He has written extensively on the Himalayas as well as being an Editor of the Himalayan Journal. In 2023, along with a substantial collection of images, Harish donated an archive of video interviews to the Alpine Club Library. These interviews, which feature notable figures from the world of mountaineering, will be released weekly on the Alpine Club YouTube channel from December 2023 onwards and will also be available to browse via this page. 

 

 

Episode 19 - M S Gill

In episode 19, recorded in February 2008, Harish interviews Indian bureaucrat, politician and writer Manohar Singh Gill. The pair discuss Gill's youth, his work in the Indian Administrative Service, his enduring love of the mountains and his work as a writer.

 

 

 

 

Episode 18 - Yoshio Ogata

In 2007, Harish interviewed renowned Japanese mountaineer Yoshio Ogata. In this audio-only interview, the pair discussed Ogata san's numerous expeditions to the Himalaya, his infamous ascent of Himalchuli, which saw him temporarily banned from Nepal, and his family life.

 

 

 

 

Episode 17 - Jim Curran

In October 2010, Harish interviewed writer, artist, filmmaker and general "renaissance man of climbing" Jim Curran. They discuss Jim's early life, his discovery of filmmaking and the many expeditions in which he participated and/or documented. These include trips to the Trango Tower, Everest and K2. Jim also reflects on his memories of key mountaineering figures such as Chris Bonington (who he gently teases for his tendency to misplace things), Paul Nunn and Al Rouse, whose death on K2 is also discussed in this interview.

 

 

 

 

Episode 16 - Trevor Braham

In this episode, recorded on 17 February 2008, Braham discusses his early life in the UK and India, his first trip to the Himalaya and his numerous expeditions over the course of several decades, including the famous 1954 Kangchenjunga reconnaissance which helped pave the way for the 1955 ascent. He also discusses his personal life and his work as an author.

The image of Mr Braham used in the thumbnail image for this episode was taken by Wikipedia user Mtbraham and has been licensed for use under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

 

 

 

 

Episode 15 - Lindsay Griffin

In this episode, recorded in February 2015, Harish talks with Lindsay Griffin, a man sometimes jokingly referred to as "world mountaineering's brain" because of his encyclopaedic knowledge of mountain history.

They discuss Lindsay's first experiences of climbing, his early expeditions and trips to the Alps and his infamous epic in Mongolia. The start of the Mongolian story was sadly not recorded. Lindsay's leg became trapped under a boulder while descending a remote peak. His teammates managed to extricate him from the boulder, but getting him back to civilisation was still a significant challenge, as Lindsay explains. You can hear one of the rescuer's (Julian Freeman-Attwood) side of the same story here.

 

 

 

 

Episode 14 - Krzysztof Wielicki

Wielicki is well-known for having climbed the world's fourteen 8000m peaks, frequently making his ascents by new routes or in winter. Harish and Wielicki discuss how Krzysztof discovered climbing at university and his progression through the Polish climbing system, as well as his first experiences in the Himalaya and his iconic climbs. They also touch on the experience of living and climbing within the communist system of Wielicki's youth.

 

 

 

 

Episodes 11, 12 & 13 - Deepak Sanan and Dhanu Swadi

In this series of three episodes, Harish interviews Deepak Sanan and Dhanu Swadi. Deepak is a former civil servant with the Indian Administrative Service and spent his career based in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. This afforded the couple the opportunity to live and explore in some of the most remote parts of the Indian Himalaya and they even wrote a book about the region: 'Exploring Kinnaur & Spiti in the Trans-Himalaya'.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Episode 10 - Bill Aitken

In this episode, Harish interviews Scottish-born travel writer Bill Aitken. The pair discuss Aitken's early life in Scotland, his university studies and his earliest encounters with India before moving on to cover his writing career. The interview was filmed outside and there are times when planes pass overhead making the conversation more difficult to make out. We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this.

 

 

 

 

Episode 9 - Bernadette McDonald

Episode 9, recorded in February 2013, features mountain writer Bernadette McDonald. Bernadette and Harish discuss her early family life, her evolving professional career, her time at the Banff Mountain Centre and her early biographies of Elizabeth Hawley, Tomaž Humar and Charles Houston.

 

 

 

 

Episode 8 - Karn Kowshik

This episode is an interview with Indian mountaineer Karn Kowshick, conducted on 25 March 2023. The conversation covers Karn's youth in Bombay, his discovery of the mountains, his experiences of climbing in the US and the role he has played in the development of ice climbing in India. He also reflects on his evolving attitude towards western climbers who have visited India to make first ascents.