New Friends

I was recently contacted by Bill Crouse and Timo Roller, who each know as much about Mt. Cudi as anyone alive. It turns out that Bill and I each attempted an ascent of Mt. Cudi in the summer of 2011, without being aware of each other, and were both turned back by security forces. He was also warned of land mines on the mountain trails, something I unaware of when I finally made it up them last year! They say, God protects children and fools. Anyway, I highly recommend Bill’s paper on Mount Cudi.

The other scholar who contacted me recently, Timo Roller, wrote of Mount Cudi, “I have been there very often – but only on Google Earth!” I am impressed at how much exploration he has managed to do via satellite photographs. In addition, he extensively researched the earlier German expeditions to Mt. Cudi and located and interviewed the survivors before they died. He has written a book (in German) about the Ark on Cudi, and here is his excellent English-language paper: The German Explorers of Cudi Dağı. I learned from Timo that in addition to the well-known ascent of Mount Cudi by the English explorer Gertrude Bell in 1911, there were three German expeditions to the mountain, Lepsius in 1899, the geologist Bender in 1953 (which I had been aware of), and Hans Thoma in 1983. So mine was the fifth Western expedition up the mountain and the first successful American ascent.