I had to settle for the trekking maps. Next time I go, I’ll take a sheet of paper with ALL the sheet names I can think of, and then some. And this time, if they demur, I will HAVE to do the unethical thing and wave my press card at them!
But then, a few weeks ago, I found this! I’d heard of it before, but I had no clue that it was freely available.
These amazingly detailed topographical maps are the legendary Series U502, made by the US Army Map Service for, yes the US Army, back in 1955. That makes them 55 years old, but boy are they out of this world. These sheets are the real thing- at least in the absence of SOI sheets. And the sheer scope of it is massive too, covering the entire subcontinent, including
From what little of this vast map I’ve seen, most of the Himalayan regions seem to be pretty accurately mapped, at least after checking them against the others. And I can’t begin to describe the joys of learning the names of the many unforgettable places that I’ve seen in the mountains, and all that I’m yet to see. Entire ridge systems, rivers, towns have their names. Now these names might have gone out of use since all those years ago, but many of these I’ve managed to verify. The trend seems to be that of pretty accurate nomenclature.
Anyway, I’m completely in love. Oh, and finally, to end where I began, I now know the names of the eminences you see when you stand atop Chandrashila on a clear October day. It might be a meager victory, but to me that’s momentous!And so, my map woes are at an end- at least until I renew the saga of SOI Topographical maps.