Monday, 2 January 2012

Tenzing Norgay at Twilight Tarn

The Twilight Tarn Hut in the Mount Field National Park contains a somewhat dilapidated set of artifacts celebrating various stages in its history. Amongst these is an old 1963 logbook page which notes the visit to the hut of Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. The photo shows the relevant entries.

1963 Logbook Entry, wall of Twilight Tarn Hut - 31st December 2011
Many years ago (1987 I think) on a winter walk around this same route (a bit of an epic through deep snow and across frozen tarns) I visited this hut with various friends. Paul Baker, Tony Morris, Lois Triffitt and I think my brother Chris were amongst them. While we were at the hut someone pointed out loudly that Sherpa Tenzing had been there. This logbook entry must have been on the wall then too. There was an older gentleman there (we were about 22/23), visiting from New Zealand. He piped up and said "I came on that walk!", which rather stunned us. As I recall he had visited at least several times to walk here, and had also been a guest of the Hobart Walking Club who were hosting the "Conqueror of Everest". We were somewhat gobsmacked at the time.

However I note also here that the book is signed above the Tenzing entry (also in 1963 although I can't tell what the dates actually are) by Royce Padman, YHA Field Officer Tas, ?NFC ?Rep, Hobart - on a visit from the Adult Education Mountaineering Camp. I think NFC is the National Fitness Council. I am wondering if this was the same trip, and maybe it wasn't a HWC trip? Anyone who can enlighten further is welcome to send information. I will have to dig through some old Tasmanian Tramps to see if there is any mention of the Tenzing visit. I recall that Sir Edmund Hillary also visited and was taken to various places by the walking club.

FURTHER INFO: It seems indeed that it was the Adult Education Board Easter Camp. There are lots of photos from Jack Thwaites' collection in the Tasmanian Archives ('Find' Tenzing at this link). I think then that the date of Royce Padman's visit is written as "Easter" 1963. Easter Sunday was apparently on 14th April that year. I've found one photo online so far, 5 rows down, second from the right on this page, showing Tenzing holding a wallaby at Mount Field. The Jack Thwaites Bush Diaries site itself is very interesting.

Twilight Tarn Hut, Mount Field National Park - 31st December 2011

1 comment:

adrian rigg said...

I (Adrian Rigg) stayed overnight at Twilight Tarn hut in summer 1977, and with some excitement came across the same 1963 log book entry by Tenzing Norgay. That hut was so full of genuine memorabilia and old stuff, and had a real old world atmosphere. So glad to have had the experience.