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 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.





Episode 7 - Tamotsu Nakamura

In this episode, recorded as an audio file in April 2007, Harish interviews the renowned Japanese explorer Tamotsu Nakamura. Tamotsu shares a potted history of Japanese alpinism, before going on to discuss his travels, with a particular focus on his time in Tibet.





Episode 6 - Tony Streather

In this sixth episode, recorded in February 2013, Harish interviews former Alpine Club president Tony Streather. The pair discuss Streather's army career, his famous first ascent of Tirich Mir (with no prior mountaineering experience), the 1955 first ascent of Kangchenjunga, the 1957 epic on Haramosh and his leadership of the 1976 British and Nepalese Army Expedition to Everest which successfully put two British climbers on the summit.





Episode 5 - Devidutta Panda

Episode 5 in this series is an interview with Devidutta Panda, a mountaineer and Wing Commander in the Indian Air Force. Harish and Devidutta discuss Wing Commander Panda's Air Force expeditions (including some first ascents in the Himalaya), his work for the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and some of his other climbs around the world.

For small sections of the recording, including the close, the video briefly drops out. There is also one short segment where the audio is less clear. We apologise for any inconvenience these issues may cause to your viewing experience.





Episode 4 - Yangdu Goba

This interview, conducted in February 2020, features Yangdu Goba and, for some of the time, her husband.

Yangdu is the daughter of Nawang Gombu, the first person in history to climb Everest more than once. Yangdu discusses her father, his passion for education, his concerns regarding commercialisation in the mountains and her family's role in the mountaineering industry. The interview also covers her youth in Darjeeling and her own expedition experiences.

For a small portion of the recording, the video is lost, but the audio continues. Please forgive the inconvenience. The video does return after a few minutes.





Episode 3 - Masato Oki

This interview, conducted in August 2022, features Masato Oki who, over two separate recording sessions, discusses his expedition experiences and Japanese alpinism at large.