Will, Ben Foster and Pete Winn scouting a rapid on the first descent of the Yangbi River in 1994, a major tributatry to the Mekong in nortwestern Yunnan. Photo by Peter Molnar.
|Will read, spoke and wrote Chinese, had many friends in China and loved to travel there. He first went to Hong Kong to learn Chinese in the mid 1970's, and upon returning found his wife had left him for a musician. In 1987-88 he coauthored an NSF proposal for research in China with Peter Molnar and many other Himalayan tectonicists but unfortunately it was't funded. In 1994 he rowed one of the rafts on a first descent of the Yangbi, then took the train north to hike around Gongga Shan, the highest mountain outside of the Himalayas (24,800 ft). He traveled to Qinghai (northern Tibetan Plateau) many times looking for Cenozoic mammal fossils. In 2002, he had a great visit to Zinjiang in spite of his throat cancer. Until he realized he was going to loose this battle in November, he, Josep Parez and Pete Winn were planning a first descent of the upper Yellow River in Qinghai in 2004 or 2005 to sample a thick Pleistocene section cut by the river. Multidisciplinary Geologic Study of Crustal Shear and Rotation in Yunnan, China (1988 NSF research proposal). First Descent of the Yangbi River, 1994 (Mekong tributary in Yunnan) by Pete Winn. Will's Epic Journal of a Trek to the Gonga Shan Base Camp in Sichuan, 1994 Will between fossil digs (late 1990's) Hung Over - a funny story by Bill Amaral, 1995 Will's July 2002 research proposal to study Pleistocene sediments along the Yellow River in northeastern Qinghai Will's ashes join the Mekong in Tibet, 2004 Ash Spreading Ceremony in SW Tibet, 2006 If you have any pics or stories about Will's research trips in Qinghai and Zinjiang, please send them to me (see home page).|