Beginning in 1946, Elizabeth Hawley worked for Fortune magazine as a researcher. Shortly thereafter, she left both her job and the United States itself to travel the world, and thus began her lifelong attraction to the exotic and remote sovereign state of Nepal. In the years that followed, she began reporting on the political and cultural events taking place in her adopted homeland for the likes of Reuters and Time Inc., letting the world in on the strange community of mountaineers, pilgrims and politicians who were descending on Kathmandu, whether in search of adventure, enlightenment or prestige.
Despite the fact that Elizabeth Hawley has never climbed a mountain or visited the hallowed grounds of Everest base camp, she has become the most important record keeper and inspirational authority figure regarding the expeditions, stories, feats, scandals and disasters in the Nepal Himalaya. Now 90 years of age, she has commanded the respect of such legendary personalities as Edmund Hillary, Reinhold Messner, Chris Bonington, Tomaž Humar and Ed Viesturs.
With production under way on a film examining her life and legacy, it is likely that Hawley will continue to hold a special place in the hearts and minds of all visitors looking to experience the legend and grandeur of the world’s most celebrated mountain landscape.