Circa 1930s. Frank Smythe. He was a Britisher born in 1900. He did a lot of climbing and stumping around in the Himalayas and this old tree held talismanic significance for him. I felt that significant. You never know where your ideas are going to come from. It’s not the thing but what you invest into it. Frank Smythe was a prolific writer too, a very good writer and some of his books were bestsellers in their time. I read a couple of them in my wild days of armchair mountaineering. Some things stay with you and you don’t even know why exactly. Exoticism. Romanticism. Talismans. To the locals, such as there were, it was just some old tree. Northern India. Way up there. The tree isn’t around these days but the mountains and valleys and passes are the same. The glaciers have shrunk a little.
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