Author Topic: Nikomat features in epic mountaineering mystery  (Read 1023 times)

Gil Aegerter

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Nikomat features in epic mountaineering mystery
« on: December 10, 2023, 20:52:16 »
This is an utterly fascinating story on a variety of fronts. The story notes that Johnson probably got the camera, a Nikomat, in Japan. Makes sense since Nikomat was the name used by in the domestic Japanese market for Nikkormat. The photo of the bottom of the camera reveals a number of things. The lens appears to be the first version of the Nikkor 43-86mm, a notorious lens. The camera's meter is set to ASA 64, meaning the film almost certainly was Kodachrome 64. The fact that camera, lens AND FILM survived 50 years of exposure is amazing, probably a testament to dry climate and coverage by ice.

And that's just the camera! So much else to ponder.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2023/12/09/world/americas/aconcagua-mountain-expedition-photos.html

Edited to add: The link is to a pay/register site

Snoogly

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Re: Nikomat features in epic mountaineering mystery
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2023, 02:09:36 »
Deaths and/or unexplained disappearances on mountaineering expeditions tend to have a long tail ...

In 1985 I was the 'third man' on a climbing expedition on Suila Grande, in Peru. I remained at base camp while two young Brits I only knew by name went up the mountain. My visa was set to expire soon, and I would have to depart camp after a set number of days (I forgot how many) in order to be able to reach Lima in time to renew it. Those number of days expired before they came back, and I was faced with a bit of a quandary > Remain with an expired visa and very little food, hoping that two basically mystery men would return. Or, just slip away and tell nobody about it. I didn't know enough about them to be able to inform their families, and I didn't relish the prospect of telling the Peruvian authorities, or the the British embassy, anything about it. Another complication was that Sendero Luminoso were active in the area, and were homing in on Cajatambo - a small 'town' at the end of a road, and a place anyone on the mountain would need to pass through en-route to Lima.

I remained at the camp ...

After being able to wait no longer, one morning I set off walking up the glacier towards the mountain face, to do what, I don't know! Shortly afterwards I met one of the climbers staggering back towards the camp. He explained how he had to cut the rope in order to save himself, but sending the other bloke to his death. He was in a bit of a state, as one can imagine, with a major issue being what to tell people about it. We both decided to say nothing to anyone until we got back to the UK. The local authorities would have arrested him for murder, pending an 'investigation' ...

Three days later the other bloke came back ... Thus ending the long internal debates about who to tell about it, and what to say!

I've got some photos somewhere I will add later (taken on a Pentax :-( )

Oh, if you haven't already figured it out, the climbers were Joe and Simon, and it was the infamous 'Touching The Void' saga.

Just found this montage online - all photos I took. Simon in the center, me on the right. Photos taken minutes after I found him, and while we were pondering what to do and say.

***************
Richard Hawking (not Richard Haw!), in Tokyo

Gil Aegerter

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Re: Nikomat features in epic mountaineering mystery
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2023, 17:49:00 »
Wow, what an adventure! You are a part of mountaineering lore!

Gil Aegerter

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ColinM

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Re: Nikomat features in epic mountaineering mystery
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2023, 16:19:52 »
Thank you each for sharing.

Richard, that was some experience!

Dogman

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Re: Nikomat features in epic mountaineering mystery
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2023, 20:32:41 »
Fascinating stories, both The Times article and Snoogly's. 
"If it's more than a hundred feet from the car, it's not photogenic."--Edward Weston

My Photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/197057338@N03/

golunvolo

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Re: Nikomat features in epic mountaineering mystery
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2023, 22:20:14 »
Fascinating indeed!

JCDowdy

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