John M. Boyle, age 79, died in Santa Fe, NM on November, 19, 2014.
A native of San Francisco, Boyle was a global adventurer. After serving in the US Army in Germany (1954-1956), Boyle worked a satellite collection program, which took him to tracking stations in remote regions of the world, inspiring him to explore Africa, the Middle East and Asia in challenging expeditions over his lifetime.
Boyle was member of the successful 1983 American Expedition Everest to China where he served as base camp manager and expedition engineer. He designed and implemented a motorized rope relay system to transport 3,000 lbs of equipment and supplies up a rock headwall saving significant time and reducing risk to climbers. The expedition completed the first ascent of the last unclimbed face of Mt Everest via the Kangshung (or east) face in Tibet, getting six climbers of the fourteen member team to the summit without the assistance of Sherpas.
In preparing for the expedition, Boyle began collecting logs and photographic material of past Himalayan expeditions, searching for detailed geographic information to help plan for the first ever ascent of the East Face. This collection grew over the years to 2500 books in 28 languages, 400 expedition reports, and 100 videos and films, with about half of the books autographed by expedition participants. In 1997, Boyle donated the collection to the American Alpine Club which is now the home of the John M. Boyle Himalayan Library.
Boyle was a passionate sailboat racer and long-time member of the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco. He also loved trains. In the 1970s, when Charlie Crocker decided to rejuvenate the Sierra Railroad Company and restore the Jamestown roundhouse and steam operations, Boyle bought shares in the effort of bringing back to life this gem of California history. Jamestown Railtown 1897 is now part of the California State Parks system and open to the public.
Among other successful business engagements, John served as Chief Financial Officer of Crocker Bank in San Francisco from 1974 until the its merger in 1981. Boyle retired from a career in banking and finance to Santa Fe, NM, where he was active in the “Car Table” group of car aficionados and a supporter of the performance arts.
Born on January 28, 1935 in San Francisco, California, Boyle received a BS in Engineering from UC Berkeley (1958), an MBA from Harvard (1962). He is survived by son Blake Boyle of North Bend, WA, daughter Melissa Boyle Mahle and grand-daughter Hana Mahle of Fairfax, VA, sisters MaryEllen Boyle, Michaela Alioto and Kathleen Sullivan and many friends around the globe.
Memorial services to be held in the spring in Santa Fe and San Francisco. Memorial contributions are welcome at the National Dance Institute of New Mexico, 1140 Alto St, Santa Fe NM 87501, 505-983- 7646, www.ndi-nm.org.
“I believe in the yeti. I have seen his tracks, heard his yelping calls, listened to first-hand experiences of local people…Indeed, why should he not exist?“
When Lord John Hunt wrote these words in 1954, the Yeti was an oft-circulating topic of discussion among climbers and explorers. Indeed, it was an obsession for many— trips to the Himalaya at the time weren’t only for climbing, but also for scientific research into the nature of the beast.
With the help of the invaluable resources of the AAC Library, we’ve also obsessed over the Yeti and put together an online exhibit that examines the search for the mythical creature. With great excitement, we bring you the fruits of our explorations— The Yeti!
The AAC Library recently acquired the archives of desert climbers Harvey Carter, Eric Bjornstad, and Huntley Ingalls. Among these rare and significant collections are hundreds of unpublished artifacts and photographs that inspired us to create Desert Pioneers. This online exhibit features never-before-seen media and tells the story of a once-alien landscape that is now a bastion of American climbing.
In celebration of our Annual Benefit Dinner and keynote speaker Yvon Chouinard the American Alpine Club Library has a new online exhibit featuring eleven items that tell the story of the evolution of climbing on El Capitan. Go Explore.
February 2 is the last day to purchase your 2014 Annual Benefit Dinner ticket. Get yours now before they are gone!
The AAC Publications Search is now live! Publication Search allows you to search, read, and explore every year of the American Alpine Journal, Accidents in North American Mountaineering, and Alpina Americana.
Visit the AAC Publication Search and get started!
Explore continues to grow with new galleries featuring:
- Huntley Ingalls Slideshow and Audio Recordings– Early 1960 slides from Ingalls personal slide collection featuring significant first ascents on Utah towers and in Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Gregory William Frux Expedition Cards– In conjunction with Frux’s paintings featured in the AAC Library and his Shawangunk prints that are in the Mountaineering Museum this summer, you can now see his expedition cards in Explore.
While visiting Explore, check out our Ad Carter gallery and our newest exhibit Denali Centennial: Commemorating our Pioneers by Jonathan Waterman.
Today marks the centennial of the first successful ascent of Denali, and to celebrate, we’re unveiling our second online exhibit, “Denali Centennial: Commemorating Our Pioneers,” written and curated by Jonathan Waterman.
The new Explore exhibit chronicles early summit attempts, false summit claims, and the early mountaineers’ primitive equipment, personalities, and experiences on Denali. This is the story of North America’s first alpine style ascent, as well as an audacious siege-style bid that finally led climbers to Denali’s summit.
The AAC Library is looking for individually bound volumes of the 1930 American Alpine Journal and copies of Accidents in North American Mountaineering from 1949, 1950, and 1971. The copies will be used for the AAC publications’ digitization project and returned after the project is complete. The AAC Library contains copies of every AAC publication, however, these specific volumes are not suitable for digitization. Anyone able to help the Library locate these individual volumes will earn some free AAC swag! Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corey Rich of Aurora Photos (a frequent contributor to many of our projects) wrote a nice piece on his website about the Club and why he donates. Thank you, Corey! Read Corey’s piece.
Brendan Leonard, also known as Semi-Rad, a contributor to our friends at Adventure Journal, and the author of many a post on his own blog, uses the AAC Library frequently for research—both for work and for play. He recently spent some time in the Library composing this ode to our collection. Read it on adventure-journal.com.