A letter from Mr. Bruce James

While I was away during our 12th Malaysian General Election (I was away for 2 weeks, back in Muar where I voted), Mr. Bruce James, father of the late Ellie James, emailed me. Here is the email:

I was, of course, interested to see your tribute to my daughter Ellie.

I notice that all the information comes from the internet press. Not all the details are correct.

For instance, Ellie was born in 1986 – December 2.

She was the cleverest person I ever knew and we miss her very much.

If she had not been so supremely fit she would have come down from the summit more slowly and not diverted from the path at the point where it went sharply left.

Ellie and her brother descended to the west of St John’s Peak. Subsequently, Ellie struck out eastwards and climbed the peak but became marooned on the east side of St John’s Peak and was marooned above a sheer drop. Her brother, Henry, stayed put and was discovered by one of the guides later the same day.

Some of the guides heard her cry out from this position but could not believe that she had arrived at a point which people had only reached previously with ropes and other equipment.

As soon as the weather cleared she was spotted immediately. She had tried valiantly to stay warm and must have know that in few more steps she would have fallen to a quicker death.

She died of hypothermia – but we don’t know when.

A question: Why did you choose to compile the information about Ellie?

Yours sincerely

Ellie’s father

Bruce James

And this was my answer:

Hi Bruce,

Thank you for your email. I was surprised when I received your email about Ellie. About your question why… Well, I guess, as I wrote a blog about Mount Kinabalu, it is good for the readers to know a little bit about the tragedy that happened on the mountain, so that climbers will take good care of themselves during the trip, and take the best safety precautions while on the mountain.

I hope the explanation is good, as I don’t have any other reasons for that.

And I am sorry for the incorrect information. I will of course,
publish your email in the blog, so that everybody knows about it.

Take care.


So, if you want to send him regards, just jot a comment below.

This entry was posted in Mount Kinabalu on by .

About drizad

A self employed General Practitioner who lives with his lovely family in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. He dedicates his spare time serving people with precious information on climbing the Majestic Mountain of the Borneo, Mt Kinabalu. Reachable at drizad(at)gmail.com

1 thought on “A letter from Mr. Bruce James

  1. Kay Kastum

    It was indeed a tragedy that impacted a lot of us. But the fact that Ellie tried to find a way to seek help just proves one thing, she was determined and did not let the situation from stopping her. That’s real courage to me.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.