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Full text of "Mount Rainier : a record of exploration"

Presented to the 

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO 
LIBRARY 

by the 

ONTARIO LEGISLATIVE 
LIBRARY 

1980 



Mount Rainier 



THE MACMILLAN COMPANY 

NEW YORK BOSTON CHICAGO DALLAS 
ATLANTA SAN FRANCISCO 

MACMILLAN & CO., LIMITED 

LONDON BOMBAY CALCUTTA 
MELBOURNE 

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, LTD. 

TORONTO 



( . t . 

Mount Rainier. * JSL- 



Record of Exploration to* 



Edited by 

Edmond 6". Meany 

Profetsor of History in the University of Washington. President of The Mountainttrt 

Author of " Vancouver^ Discovery of Puget Sound " 

" History of the State of Washington," 

etc. 



New Tork 

The Macmillan Company 
1916 

: .<-. 
\^ 4tt . . t ^tll rights reserved 

*' EP -a 







/ 



COPYRIGHT, 1916, 
BY THE MACMILLAN COMPANY. 



Set up and electrotyped. Published November, 1916. 



J. 8. Gushing Co. Berwick & Smith Co. 
Norwood, Maas., U.S.A. 



TCo 
GENERAL HAZARD STEVENS 

EARLY LOVER OF THE MOUNTAIN, THIS BOOK 
IS AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED 



PREFACE 

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK is visited annually 
by increasing thousands of tourists. Many of them seek 
information about the discoveries and explorations of the 
mountain and its environs. Much of the information 
sought, especially that about the origin of place names, has 
never been published. The annals of discovery and ex- 
ploration, which have been published, have often appeared 
in books, pamphlets, or periodicals not easily accessible. 
It is the purpose of this work to gather the essential por- 
tions of the desired information within a compact, usable 
form. 

During the summer of 1915, the mountain was for the 
first time encircled by a large company of travelers. Small 
parties, carrying their luggage and provisions on their 
backs, had made the trip a number of times. The Moun- 
taineers Club, in 1915, conducted a party of one hundred, 
with fully equipped pack train and commissary, around the 
mountain. They camped each evening at or near the 
snow-line. At the daily campfires extracts were read from 
the original sources of the mountain's history. The interest 
there manifested in such records gave additional impulse to 
the preparation of this book. 

It is natural that the chronological order should be 
chosen in arranging the materials, beginning with the dis- 
covery and naming of the mountain by Captain George 
Vancouver of the British Navy. The records are then con- 
tinued to the present time. There still remains to be done 
much scientific work on the glaciers, snowfields, rocks, and 
plants within the Park. It is hoped that this book may 
stimulate such field work as well as the publication of the 
results. 



PREFACE 

The reader will notice that several writers in referring to 
the mountain use some 1 form of the name Tacoma. The 
editor has not hesitated to publish such names as were used 
in the original articles here reproduced. In all other cases 
he has used the name Mount Rainier, approved by the 
United States Geographic Board. 

In the separate chapters it will be noticed that the height 
of the mountain has been placed at varying figures. The 
United States Geological Survey has spoken on this sub- 
ject with apparent official finality, giving the altitude as 
14,408 feet above sea level. How this height was deter- 
mined is told in the official announcement reproduced in 
Chapter XVIII of the text, with comment thereon by 
F. E. Matthes, one of the engineers of the United States 
Geological Survey. 

The place names within the Park have been derived 
from such varied sources that it is well-nigh impossible 
to ascertain the origin and meaning of all of them. For 
the first time they are here (Chapter XIX) gathered into 
a complete alphabetical arrangement with as full informa- 
tion as is now available. The writer would welcome further 
facts about any of the names. 

In the introductory paragraphs before each chapter, the 
editor has sought to express his acknowledgment for assist- 
ance rendered by others in the compilation of the work. 
For fear some may have been omitted he wishes here to 
express gratitude for all such help and to mention especially 
Professor J. Franklin Jameson, Director of the Depart- 
ment of Historical Research of the Carnegie Institution 
of Washington, for his assistance in securing photostat 
reproductions of a number of rare items found in the 
Library of Congress. 

The editor also acknowledges the assistance rendered by 
Victor J. Farrar, research assistant in the University of 
Washington. 

EDMOND S. MEANY. 

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON, 
Seattle, August, 1916. 

viii 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PACK 

I. THE MOUNTAIN DISCOVERED AND NAMED, 1792 . i 
By Captain George Vancouver, R.N. 

II. FIRST APPROACH TO THE MOUNTAIN, 1833 6 
By Doctor William Fraser Tolmie. 

III. FIRST RECORDED TRIP THROUGH N ACHES PASS, 1841 13 

By Lieutenant Robert E. Johnson, U.S.N., of the 
Wilkes Expedition. . 

IV. TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU . 34 

By Theodore Winthrop. 

V. FIRST ATTEMPTED ASCENT, 1857 .... 73 
By Lieutenant A. V. Kautz, U.S.A. 

VI. FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 .... 94 
By General Hazard Stevens. 

VII. INDIAN WARNING AGAINST DEMONS .... 132 
By Sluiskin, Indian Guide. 

VIII. SECOND SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 .... 135 
By S. F. Emmons. 

IX. EXPLORATIONS ON THE NORTHERN SLOPES, 1881-1883 142 
By Bailey Willis. 

X. DISCOVERY OF CAMP MUIR, 1888 . . . .150 
By Major E. S. Ingraham. 

XI. EXPLORING THE MOUNTAIN AND ITS GLACIERS, 1896 159 
By Professor I. C. Russell. 



CONTENTS 



XII. MCCLURE'S ACHIEVEMENT AND TRAGIC DEATH, 1897 183 
By Herbert L. Bruce and Professor H. H. 
McAlister. 

XIII. FIELD NOTES ON MOUNT RAINIER, 1905 . . . 194 

By Professor Henry Landes. 

XIV. GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER . . . . .201 

By F. E. Matthes. 

XV. THE ROCKS OF MOUNT RAINIER . .- . .241 
By George Otis Smith. 

XVI. THE FLORA OP MOUNT RAINIER .... 254 
By Professor Charles V. Piper. 

XVII. CREATION OF MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK . 287 
Memorial by Scientific Societies. 

XVIII. MOUNT RAINIER is 14,408 FEET HIGH . . . 297 
By the United States Geological Survey 

XIX. PLACE NAMES AND ELEVATIONS IN MOUNT RAINIER 

NATIONAL PARK 302 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

First Picture of Mount Rainier. Drawn by W. Alexander, 
from a sketch by J. Sykes, 1792. Engraved by J. 
Landseer for Vancouver's Journal . . . Frontispiece 



PACK 



Captain George Vancouver, Royal Navy i 
Doctor William Fraser Tolmie ..... 6 

Commander Charles Wilkes, United States Navy . . 13 

Theodore Winthrop, from the Rowse Crayon Portrait . 34 

General August Valentine Kautz, United States Army . 73 
General Hazard Stevens ....... 94 

Samuel Franklin Emmons . . . . . .135 

Bailey Willis, from Photograph taken in 1883 . . . 142 

Major Edward Sturgis Ingraham . . . . .150 

Professor Israel Cook Russell . . . . . .159 

Professor Edgar McClure . . . . . .183 

Professor Henry Landes . . . . . . .194 

Francois Emile Matthes . . . . . . .201 

George Otis Smith . . . . . . . .241 

Professor Charles Vancouver Piper . . . . .254 

Peter Rainier, Admiral of the Blue, Royal Navy . . 302 




CAPTAIN GEORGE VANCOUVER. 
Royal Navy. 



MOUNT RAINIER 

A RECORD OF EXPLORATIONS 

I. THE MOUNTAIN DISCOVERED AND 
NAMED, 1792 

BY CAPTAIN GEORGE VANCOUVER, R.N. 

CAPTAIN GEORGE VANCOUVER, the great English navigator and 
explorer, lived but forty years, from 1758 to 1798. He entered 
the British navy on the Resolution under Captain James 
Cook in 1771 and was with that even more famous explorer 
during his second and third voyages, from 1772 to 1780. He 
was placed in command of the Discovery and Chatham in 
1791 and sent to the northwest coast of America. On this 
voyage he discovered and named Puget Sound and many other 
geographic features on the western coast of America. 

The portions of his Voyage of Discovery to the North Pacific 
Ocean, giving the record of his discovery, naming, and explora- 
tion in the vicinity of Mount Rainier, are taken from Volume II 
of the second edition, published in London in 1801, pages 79, 
118, and 134-138. 

[Tuesday, May 8, 1792.] The weather was serene 
and pleasant, and the country continued to exhibit, 
between us and the eastern snowy range, the same 
luxuriant appearance. At its northern extremity, 
mount Baker bore by compass N. 22 E. ; the round 
snowy mountain, now forming its southern extremity, 
and which, after my friend Rear Admiral Rainier, I 
distinguished by the name of MOUNT RAINIER, bore 
N. [SJ 42 E. 

[Saturday, May 19, 1792.] About noon, we passed 
an inlet on the larboard or eastern shore, which seemed 
to stretch far to the northward ; but, as it was out of the 



MOUNT RAINIER 

line of our intended pursuit of keeping the continental 
shore on board, I continued our course up the main inlet, 
which now extended as far as, from the deck, the eye 
could reach, though, from the mast-head, intervening 
land appeared, beyond which another high round moun- 
tain covered with snow was discovered, apparently 
situated several leagues to the south of mount Rainier, 
and bearing by compass S. 22 E. This I considered as a 
further extension of the eastern snowy range ; but the 
intermediate mountains, connecting it with mount 
Rainier, were not sufficiently high to be seen at that 
distance. 

[Saturday, May 26, 1792.] Towards noon we landed 
on a point on the eastern shore, whose latitude I ob- 
served to be 47 21', round which we flattered ourselves 
we should find the inlet take an extensive eastwardly 
course. This conjecture was supported by the appear- 
ance of a very abrupt division in the snowy range of 
mountains immediately to the south of mount Rainier, 
which was very conspicuous from the ship, and the 
main arm of the inlet appearing to stretch in that direc- 
tion from the point we were then upon. We here dined, 
and although our repast was soon concluded, the delay 
was irksome, as we were excessively anxious to ascertain 
the truth, of which we were not long held in suspense. 
For haying passed round the point, we found the inlet 
to terminate here in an extensive circular compact bay, 
whose waters washed the base of mount Rainier, though 
its elevated summit was yet at a very considerable 
distance from the shore, with which it was connected by 
several ridges of hills rising towards it with gradual 
ascent and much regularity. The forest trees, and the 
several shades of verdure that covered the hills, grad- 
ually decreased in point of beauty, until they became 
invisible ; when the perpetual clothing of snow com- 
menced, which seemed to form a horizontal line from 
north to south along this range of rugged mountains, 



THE MOUNTAIN DISCOVERED AND NAMED, 1792 

from whose summit mount Rainier rose conspicuously, 
and seemed as much elevated above them as they were 
above the level of the sea ; the whole producing a most 
grand, picturesque effect. The lower mountains, as 
they descended to the right and left, became gradually 
relieved of their frigid garment ; and as they ap- 
proached the fertile woodland region that binds the 
shores of this inlet in every direction, produced a pleas- 
ing variety. We now proceeded to the N. W. in which 
direction the inlet from hence extended, and afforded 
us some reason to believe that it communicated with 
that under the survey of our other party. This opinion 
was further corroborated by a few Indians, who had in 
a very civil manner accompanied us some time, and 
who gave us to understand that in the north western 
direction this inlet was very wide and extensive ; this 
they expressed before we quitted our dinner station, by 
opening their arms, and making other signs that we 
should be led a long way by pursuing that route ; 
whereas, by bending their arm, or spreading out their 
hand, and pointing to the space contained in the curve 
of the arm, or between the fore-finger and thumb, that 
we should find our progress soon stopped in the direc- 
tion which led towards mount Rainier. The little 
respect which most Indians bear to truth, and their 
readiness to assert what they think is most agreeable 
for the moment, or to answer their own particular wishes 
and inclinations, induced me to place little dependance 
on this information, although they could have no motive 
for deceiving us. 

About a dozen of these friendly people had attended 
at our dinner, one part of which was a venison pasty. 
Two of them, expressing a desire to pass the line of sep- 
aration drawn between us, were permitted to do so. 
They sat down by us, and ate of the bread, and fish 
that we gave them without the least hesitation ; but on 
being offered some of the venison, though they saw us 
eat it with great relish, they could not be induced to 

3 



MOUNT RAINIER 

taste it. They received it from us with great disgust, 
and presented it round to the rest of the party, by whom 
it underwent a very strict examination. Their con- 
duct on this occasion left no doubt in our minds that 
they believed it to be human flesh, an impression which 
it was highly expedient should be done away. To sat- 
isfy them that it was the flesh of the deer, we pointed 
to the skins of the animal they had about them. In 
reply to this they pointed to each other, and made signs 
that could not be misunderstood, that it was the flesh 
of human beings, and threw it down in the dirt, with 
gestures of great aversion and displeasure. At length 
we happily convinced them of their mistake by shewing 
them a haunch we had in the boat, by which means 
they were undeceived, and some of them ate of the 
remainder of the pye with a good appetite. 

This behavior, whilst in some measure tending to 
substantiate their knowledge or suspicions that such 
barbarities have existence, led us to conclude, that 
the character given of the natives of North-West 
America does not attach to every tribe. These people 
have been represented not only as accustomed in- 
humanly to devour the flesh of their conquered enemies ; 
but also to keep certain servants, or rather slaves, of 
their own nation, for the sole purpose of making the 
principal part of the banquet, to satisfy the unnatural 
savage gluttony of the chiefs of this country, on their 
visits to each other. Were such barbarities practiced 
once a month, as is stated, it would be natural to sup- 
pose these people, so inured, would not have shewn 
the least aversion to eating flesh of any description ; 
on the contrary, it is not possible to conceive a greater 
degree of abhorrence than was manifested by these 
good people, until their minds were made perfectly 
easy that it was not human flesh we offered them to 
eat. This instance must necessarily exonerate at least 
this particular tribe from so barbarous a practice ; and, 
as their affinity to the inhabitants of Nootka, and of 






THE MOUNTAIN DISCOVERED AND NAMED, 1792 

the sea-coast, to the south of that place, in their 
manners and customs, admits of little difference, it 
is but charitable to hope those also, on a more minute 
inquiry, may be found not altogether deserving such a 
character. They are not, however, free from the gen- 
eral failing attendant on a savage life. One of them 
having taken a knife and fork to imitate our manner 
of eating, found means to secrete them under his gar- 
ment ; but, on his being detected, gave up his plunder 
with the utmost good humour and unconcern. 

They accompanied us from three or four miserable 
huts, near the place where we had dined, for about four 
miles ; during which time they exchanged the only 
things they had to dispose of, their bows, arrows, and 
spears, in the most fair and honest manner, for hawk's 
bells, buttons, beads, and such useless commodities. 



II. FIRST APPROACH TO THE MOUNTAIN, 

1833 
BY DOCTOR WILLIAM FRASER TOLMIE 

DOCTOR WILLIAM FRASER TOLMIE was a medical officer in the 
service of the Hudson's Bay Company. He was born at 
Inverness, Scotland, on February 3, 1812, and died at Victoria, 
British Columbia, on December 8, 1888. He was educated at 
Glasgow, and when twenty years of age he joined the Hudson's 
Bay Company. In 1833, he was located at Nisqually House, 
Puget Sound. It was then that he made his trip to the moun- 
tain. He later served at other posts in the Pacific Northwest, 
and was raised to the rank of Chief Factor in 1856. He was 
then placed on the board of management of the great company. 
In 1860 he retired from the service. 

In 1850 he was married to Jane, eldest daughter of Chief Factor 
John Work. Their descendants still live at Victoria, British 
Columbia. They, especially the son John W. Tolmie, have 
compared this reproduction from Doctor Tolmie's diary with 
the original manuscript to insure accuracy. So far as is now 
known, this is the first record of a white man's close approach 
to Mount Rainier. 

It is pleasant to note that the new map of Mount Rainier National 
Park, published by the United States Geological Survey, shows 
the peak he climbed and the creek flowing near it bearing the 
name of Tolmie. 

August 27, 1833. Obtained Mr. Herron's consent 
to making a botanizing excursion to Mt. Rainier, for 
which he has allowed 10 days. Have engaged two 
horses from a chief living in that quarter, who came here 
tonight, and Lachalet is to be my guide. Told the 
Indians I am going to Mt. Rainier to gather herbs of 
which to make medicine, part of which is to be sent 
to Britian and part retained in case intermittent 
fever should visit us when I will prescribe for the 
Indians. 




DOCTOR WILLIAM FRASER TOLMIE. 



FIRST APPROACH TO THE MOUNTAIN, 1833 

Aug. 28. A tremendous thunder storm occurred 
last night, succeeded by torrents of rain. The thun- 
der was very loud, and the lightening flashing com- 
pletely enlightened my apartment. Have been chat- 
ting with Mr. Herron about colonizing Whidby's 
island, a project of which he is at present quite full 
more anon. No horses have appeared. Understand 
that the mountain is four days' journey distant the 
first of which can only be performed on horseback. 
If they do not appear tomorrow I shall start with 
Lachalet on foot. 

Aug. 29. Prairie 8 miles N. of home. Sunset. 
Busy making arrangements for journey, and while 
thus occupied the guide arrived with 3 horses. 
Started about 3, mounted on a strong iron grey, my 
companions disposing of themselves on the other two 
horses, except one, who walked. We were 6 in num- 
ber. I have engaged Lachalet for a blanket, and his 
nephew, Lashima, for ammunition to accompany me 
and Nuckalkut a Poyalip (whom I took for a native 
of Mt. Rainier) with 2 horses to be guide on the moun- 
tain after leaving the horse track, and Quilniash, his 
relative, a very active, strong fellow, has volunteered 
to accompany me. The Indians are all in great hopes 
of killing elk and chevriel, and Lachalet has already 
been selling and promising the grease he is to get. It 
is in a great measure the expectation of finding game 
that urges them to undertake the journey. Cantered 
slowly along the prairie a'nd are now at the residence 
of Nuckalkut's father, under the shade of a lofty pine, 
in a grassy amphitheatre, beautifully interspersed and 
surrounded with oaks, and through the gaps in the 
circle we see the broad plain extending southwards to 
Nusqually. In a hollow immediately behind is a small 
lake whose surface is almost one sheet of waterlilies 
about to flower. Have supped on sallal ; and at dusk 
shall turn in. 

Aug. 30. Sandy beach of Poyallipa River. Slept 



MOUNT RAINIER 

ill last night, and as I dozed in the morning was 
aroused by a stroke across the thigh from a large de- 
cayed branch which fell from the pyie overshadowing 
us. A drizzling rain fell during most of the night. 
Got up about dawn, and finding thigh stiff and pain- 
ful thought a stop put to the journey, but after mov- 
ing about it felt easier. Started about sunrise, I 
mounted on a spirited brown mare, the rest on passable 
animals, except Nuckalkut, who bestrode a foal. 
Made a northeasterly course through prairie. Break- 
fasted at a small marsh on bread, sallal, dried cockels 
and a small piece of chevriel saved from the last night's 
repast of my companions (for I cannot call them at- 
tendants). The points of wood now became broader, 
and the intervening plain degenerated into prairions. 
Stopped about i P.M. at the abode of 3 Tekatat families, 
who met us rank and file at the door to shake hands. 
Their sheds were made of bark resting on a horizontal 
pole, supported at each end by tripods, and showed 
an abundance of elk's flesh dried within. Two kettles 
were filled with this, and, after smoking, my Indians 
made a savage repast on the meat and bouillion, 
Lachalet saying it was the Indian custom to eat a great 
deal at once and afterwards abstain for a time ; he, 
however, has twice eaten since. Traded some dried 
meat for 4 balls and 3 rings, and mounting, rode off 
in the midst of a heavy shower. Ascended and de- 
scended at different times several steep banks and 
passed through dense and tangled thickets, occasionally 
coming on a prairion. The soil throughout was of 
the same nature as that of Nusqually. After 
descending a very steep bank came to the Poyallip. 
Lashima carried the baggage across on his head. 
Rode to the opposite side through a rich alluvial plain, 
3 or 4 miles in length and f to I in breadth. It is 
covered with fern about 8 feet high in some parts. 
Passed through woods and crossed river several times. 
About 7 P.M. dismounted and the horses and accoutre- 

8 



FIRST APPROACH TO THE MOUNTAIN, 1833 

ments were left in a wood at the river's brink. Started 
now on foot for a house Nuckalkut knew, and after 
traversing woods and twice crossing the torrents "on 
the unsteadfast footing" of a log, arrived at the house, 
which was a deserted one, and encamped on the dry 
part of river's bed, along which our course lies to- 
morrow. The Poyallip flows rapidly and is about 10 
or 12 yards broad. Its banks are high and covered with 
lofty cedars and pines. The water is of a dirty white 
colour, being impregnated by white clay. Lachalet 
has tonight been trying to persuade me from going to 
the snow on the mountain. 

Aug. 3 1 . Slept well, and in the morning two salmon 
were caught, on which we are to breakfast before start- 
ing. After breakfast Quillihaish stuck the gills and 
sound of the fish on a spit which stood before the 
fire, so that the next comer might know that salmon 
could be obtained there. Have traveled nearly the 
whole day through a wood of cedar and pine, surface 
very uneven, and after ascending the bed of river a 
couple of miles are now encamped about ten yards 
from its margin in the wood. Find myself very in- 
ferior to my companions in the power of enduring 
fatigue. Their pace is a smart trot which soon obliges 
me to rest. The waters of the Poyallip are still of the 
same colour. Can see a short distance up two lofty 
hills covered with wood. Evening cloudy and rainy. 
Showery all day. 

Sunday, Sept. i. Bank of Poyallip river. It has 
rained all night and is now, 6 A.M., pouring down. 
Are a good deal sheltered by the trees. My com- 
panions are all snoozing. Shall presently arouse them 
and hold a council of war. The prospect is very dis- 
couraging. Our provisions will be expended today and 
Lachalet said he thought the river would be too high 
to be fordable in either direction. Had dried meat 
boiled in a cedar bark kettle for breakfast. I got 
rigged out in green blanket without trousers, in In- 



MOUNT RAINIER 

dian style, and trudged on through the wood. After- 
wood exchanged blanket with Lachalet for Ouvrie's 
capot, which has been on almost every Indian at Nus- 
qually. However, I found it more convenient than 
the blanket. Our course lay up the river, which we 
crossed frequently. The bed is clayey in most parts. 
Saw the sawbill duck once or twice riding down on a 
log and fired twice, unsuccessfully. Have been flanked 
on both sides with high, pineclad hills for some time. 
A short distance above encampment snow can be 
seen. It having rained almost incessantly, have en- 
camped under shelving bank which has been under- 
mined by the river. Immense stones, only held in 
situ by dried roots, form the roof, and the floor is very 
rugged. Have supped on berries, which, when heated 
with stones in kettle, taste like lozenges. Propose 
tomorrow to ascend one of the snowy peaks above. 

Sept. 2. Summit of a snowy peak immediately 
under Rainier. Passed a very uncomfortable night in 
our troglodytic mansion. Ascended the river for 3 
miles to where it was shut in by amphitheatre of moun- 
tains and could be seen bounding over a lofty precipice 
above. Ascended that which showed most snow. Our 
track lay at first through a dense wood of pine, but we 
afterwards emerged into an exuberantly verdant gully, 
closed on each side by lofty precipices. Followed fully 
to near the summit and found excellent berries in 
abundance. It contained very few Alpine plants. 
Afterwards came to a grassy mound, where the sight 
of several decayed trees induced us to encamp. After 
tea I set out with Lachalet and Nuckalkut for the 
summit, which was ankle deep with snow for ^ mile 
downwards. The summit terminated in abrupt pre- 
cipice directed northwards and bearing N. E. from 
Mt. Rainier, the adjoining peak. The mists were at 
times very dense, but a puff of S. W. wind occasionally 
dispelled them. On the S. side of Poyallip is a range 
of snow-dappled mountains, and they, as well as that 



FIRST APPROACH TO THE MOUNTAIN, 1833 

on the N. side, terminate in Mt. Rainier, a short dis- 
tance to E. Collected a vasculum of plants at the 
snow, and having examined and packed them shall 
turn in. Thermometer at base, 54 deg., at summit of 
ascent, 47 deg. 

Sept. 3. Woody islet on Poyallip. It rained 
heavily during night, but about dawn the wind shift- 
ing to the N. E. dispersed the clouds and frost set in. 
Lay shivering all night and roused my swarthy com- 
panions twice to rekindle the fire. At sunrise, ac- 
companied by Quilliliash, went to the summit and 
found the tempr. of the air 3 3 deg. The snow was span- 
gled and sparkled brightly in the bright sunshine. It 
was crisp and only yielded a couple of inches to the 
pressure of foot in walking. Mt. Rainier appeared 
surpassingly splendid and magnificent ; it bore, from 
the peak on which I stood, S. S. E., and was separated 
from it only by a narrow glen, whose sides, however, 
were formed by inaccessible precipices. Got all my 
bearings more correctly to-day, the atmosphere being 
clear and every object distinctly perceived. The 
river flows at first in a northerly direction from the 
mountain. The snow on the summit of the mountain 
adjoining Rainier on western side of Poyallip is con- 
tinuous with that of latter, and thus the S. Western 
aspect of Rainier seemed the most accessible. By 
ascending the first mountain through a gully in its 
northern side, you reach the eternal snow of Rainier, 
and for a long distance afterwards the ascent is very 
gradual, but then it becomes abrupt from the sugar- 
loaf form assumed by the mountain. Its eastern side 
is steep on its northern aspect ; a few glaciers were seen 
on the conical portion ; below that the mountain is 
composed of bare rock, apparently volcanic, which 
about 50 yards in breadth reaches from the snow to 
the valley beneath and is bounded on each side by bold 
bluff crags scantily covered with stunted pines. Its 
surface is generally smooth, but here and there raised 



MOUNT RAINIER 

into small points or knobs or arrowed with short and 
narrow longitudinal lines in which snow lay. From 
the snow on western border the Poyallipa arose, and 
in its course down this rock slope was fenced into the 
eastward by a regular elevation of the rock in the 
form of a wall or dyke, which at the distance I viewed it 
at, seemed about four feet high and four hundred yards 
in length. Two large pyramids of rock arose from the 
gentle acclivity at S. W. extremity of mountain, and 
around each the drifting snow had accumulated in 
large quantity, forming a basin apparently of great 
depth. Here I also perceived, peeping from their 
snowy covering, two lines of dyke similar to that al- 
ready mentioned. 

Sept. 4. Am tonight encamped on a small eminence 
near the commencement of prairie. Had a tedious 
walk through the wood bordering Poyallip, but ac- 
complished it in much shorter time than formerly. 
Evening fine. 

Sept. 5. Nusqually. Reached Tekatat camp in 
the forenoon and regaled on boiled elk and shallon. 
Pushed on ahead with Lachalet and Quilliliash, and 
arrived here in the evening, where all is well. 




COMMANDER CHARLES WILKES. 
United States Navy. 



III. FIRST RECORDED TRIP THROUGH 
NACHES PASS, 1841 

BY LIEUTENANT ROBERT E. JOHNSON, U.S.N. 

THE proper and official title of the United States Exploring Ex- 
pedition, 1838-1842, by common speech has been contracted 
to the Wilkes Expedition. The commander of the expedition 
was Charles Wilkes, who entered the United States Navy as a 
midshipman on January i, 1818. On July 25, 1866, he was pro- 
moted to rear-admiral on the retired list. He was born at 
New York City on April 3, 1798, and died at Washington 
City on February 8, 1877. 

He was honored in Europe and America for his scientific attain- 
ments, especially in connection with the expedition that now 
bears his name. That voyage with a squadron of American 
naval vessels was for the purpose of increasing the world's 
knowledge of geography and kindred sciences. They reached 
Puget Sound in 1841 and, while making headquarters at Nis- 
qually House of the Hudson's Bay Company, Commander 
Wilkes sent Lieutenant Robert E. Johnson in command of a 
party to cross the Cascade Range. Search in the Navy De- 
partment revealed only scant information that Lieutenant 
Johnson was from North Carolina. The Historical Commission 
of that State and others there have failed to find information 
about his subsequent career. 

Since he speaks of obtaining a guide, it is likely that he was not 
the first white man to cross the Cascades, but he was the first 
to leave us a known record. The portions of that record which 
bear upon Mount Rainier and its environs is here reproduced. 

Commander Wilkes, before giving the record of his subordinate, 
makes reference to the peak as follows : "The height of Mount 
Rainier was obtained by measuring a base line on the prairies, 
in which operation I was assisted by Lieutenant Case, and the 
triangulation gave its height, twelve thousand three hundred 
and thirty feet." (Narrative, Volume IV., page 413.) 

The final reports of the expedition were to appear in twenty-four 
large volumes and eleven atlases. Several of the volumes were 
never published, and of those completed only one hundred sets 
were printed. The rare monographs were full of information. 



MOUNT RAINIER 

The first part or "Narrative" in five volumes was issued in 
several editions. The portions here reproduced are taken from 
the edition by Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia, 1845, Volume 
IV., pages 418-429 and 468-470. 

I have before stated that Lieutenant Johnson's party 
was ready for departure on the igth May [1841] ; that 
it consisted of Lieutenant Johnson, Messrs. Pickering, 
Waldron, and Brackenridge, a sergeant of marines, and 
a servant. I must do justice to the exertions of this 
officer in getting ready for his journey, which he ac- 
complished in less time than I anticipated, as the delays 
incident to setting out on a novel expedition, and one 
believed by most persons to be scarcely practicable 
in the summer season, are great and tantalizing. In 
making preparations for such a journey, the Indians 
were to be bargained with, and, as I have before had 
occasion to remark, are enough to tire the patience of 
Job himself. First, the Indian himself is to be sought 
out ; then the horse is to be tried ; next the price is to 
be discussed, then the mode of payment, and finally 
the potlatch : each and all are matters of grave consid- 
eration and delay, during which the Indians make a 
business of watching every circumstance of which they 
can take advantage. No one can be sure of closing his 
bargain, until the terms are duly arranged, the pot- 
latch given, and the horse delivered. After obtaining 
horses, Lieutenant Johnson had the saddles, alforcas, 
saddle-cloths, saddle-trees or pack-saddles, etc., with 
a variety of lashings, to prepare. For many of these 
we were indebted to the kindness of Captain M'Niel 
and Mr. Anderson. 1 Others were made on board the 
ship, after a pattern lent us. One of the most impor- 
tant persons to obtain was a good guide, and hearing 
of one who resided at the Cowlitz river, by the name 

1 Captain William Henry McNeill and Alexander Caulfield Anderson, Hudson's 
Bay Company men, then at Nisqually House. Captain McNeill was master of 
the famous old steamer Beaver. Mr. Anderson was in charge of Nisqually House. 
Both men were honored by having their names given to islands in Puget Sound. 

14 



TRIP THROUGH NACHES PASS, 1841 

of Pierre Charles, 1 he was at once sent for ; but I did 
not think it worth while to detain the party until his 
arrival, as he could easily overtake it. Lieutenant 
Johnson, therefore, was directed to hurry his departure, 
and to set out, which he did on the I9th May, at noon, 
and proceeded to the prairie about two miles distant, 
where the party encamped. 

There is little danger on these expeditions of having 
too few articles : the great difficulty is to avoid having 
too many. It turned out as I had anticipated. The 
first night passed in their tent fully satisfied them of 
this, and taught them to dispense with all other bedding 
save blankets. 

Mr. Anderson rode to the encampment before night, 
bringing the news of the arrival of Pierre Charles at the 
fort ; whereupon Lieutenant Johnson returned to make 
an agreement with him and his companion. This 
was done, although, as is to be supposed, their demands 
were exorbitant, in consequence of the belief that their 
services were indispensable. 

Pierre Charles's companion was a young man, named 
Peter Bercier, (a connexion of Plumondon) 2 who spoke 
English, and all the languages of the country. 

On the morning of the 2Oth, they obtained an acces- 
sion to their horses, and set out on their route towards 
the mountains. Although the possibility of crossing 
them was doubted, yet I felt satisfied if exertion and 
perseverance could effect the object, the officer who had 
charge of the party would succeed. This day, they 
made but five miles ; after which they encamped, at the 
recommendation of Pierre Charles, in order that the 
horses might not be over-fatigued, and be able to get 
good pasture and water. Here a number of natives 
visited the camp. Pine trees were in large numbers, 
many of them upwards of one hundred and thirty feet 

1 Pierre Charles, French Canadian, had been an employee of the Hudson's Bay 
Company. 

2 Simon Plomondon was an employee of the Hudson's Bay Company, who re- 
tired and settled in the Cowlitz Valley. 

IS 



MOUNT RAINIER 

in height. On the banks of a small stream, near their 
camp, were found the yellow Ranunculus, a species of 
Trillium, in thickets, with large leaves and small 
flowers, Lupines, and some specimens of a cruciferous 
plant. 

On the 2 ist they made an early start, and in the 
forenoon crossed the Puyallup, a stream about seventy 
feet wide ; along which is a fine meadow of some extent, 
with clumps of alder and willow : the soil was of a black 
turfy nature. After leaving the meadow-land, they 
began to ascend along a path that was scarcely visible 
from being overgrown with Gaultheria, Hazel, Spiraea, 
Vaccinium, and Cornus. 

During the day, they crossed the Stehna. 1 In the 
evening, after making sixteen miles, they encamped at 
the junction of the Puyallup with the Upthascap. 2 
Near by was a hut, built of the planks of the Arbor 
Vitae (Thuja), which was remarkably well made ; and 
the boards used in its structure, although split, had all 
the appearance of being sawn : many of them were 
three feet wide, and about fifteen feet long. The hut 
was perfectly water-tight. Its only inhabitants were 
two miserable old Indians and two boys, who were 
waiting here for the arrival of those employed in the 
salmon-fishery. The rivers were beginning to swell 
to an unusual size, owing to the melting of the snows 
in the mountains ; and in order to cross the streams, 
it became necessary to cut down large trees, over which 
the packs were carried, while the horses swam over. 
These were not the only difficulties they had to en- 
counter : the path was to be cut for miles through 
thickets of brushwood and fallen timber ; steep preci- 
pices were to be ascended, with slippery sides and 
entangled with roots of every variety of shape and size, 
in which the horses' legs would become entangled, and 
before reaching the top be precipitated, loads and all, 
to the bottom. The horses would at times become 

1 Probably the Stone Creek of present usage. 2 Carbon River. 

16 



TRIP THROUGH NACHES PASS, 1841 

jammed with their packs between trees, and were not 
to be disengaged without great toil, trouble, and 
damage to their burdens. In some cases, after succeed- 
ing in getting nearly to the top of a hill thirty or forty 
feet high, they would become exhausted and fall over 
backwards, making two or three somersets, until they 
reached the bottom, when their loads were again to be 
arranged. 

On the 22d, their route lay along the banks of the 
Upthascap, 1 which is a much wider stream than the 
Puyallup. A short distance up, they came to a fish- 
weir, constructed as the one heretofore described, on 
the Chickeeles, 2 though much smaller. 

This part of the country abounds with arbor-vitae 
trees, some of which were found to be thirty feet in 
circumference at the height of four feet from the ground, 
and upwards of one hundred feet high. Notwithstand- 
ing the many difficulties encountered, they this day 
made about twelve miles. 

On the morning of the 23d, just as they were about 
to leave their camp, their men brought in a deer, which 
was soon skinned and packed away on the horses. 
This was the first large game they had obtained, 
having previously got only a few grouse. 

They had now reached the Smalocho, 3 which runs 
to the westward, and is sixty-five feet wide : its depth 
was found to be four and a half feet, which, as it was 
also rapid, was too great for the horses to ford and 
carry their loads. The Indians now became serviceable 
to them. Lieutenant Johnson had engaged several 
that were met on their way, and they now amounted 
to thirteen, who appeared for a time lively and con- 
tented. This, however, was but a forerunner of dis- 
content, and a refusal to go any farther ; but with 
coaxing and threatening they were induced to proceed. 

The road or way, after passing the river, was over a 

1 Meaning up the Carbon River and its branch called South Prairie Creek. 

2 Chehalis River. 3 White River. 

c 17 



MOUNT RAINIER 

succession of deep valleys and hills, so steep that it was 
difficult for a horse to get up and over them with a 
load, and the fall of a horse became a common occur- 
rence. They were all, however, recovered without in- 
jury, although one of them fell upwards of one hundred 
feet ; yet in consequence of his fall having been re- 
peatedly broken by the shrubs and trees, he reached 
the bottom without injury to himself, but with the 
loss of his load, consisting of their camp utensils, &c., 
which were swept off by the rapid current of the river. 

The route lay, for several days, through forests of 
spruce, and some of the trees that had fallen measured 
two hundred and sixty-five feet in length. One of 
these, at the height of ten feet from the roots, measured 
thirty-five feet in circumference, and at the end which 
had been broken off in its fall, it was found to be eight- 
een inches in diameter, which would make the tree little 
short of three hundred feet when it was growing. The 
stems of all these trees were clear of branches to the 
height of one hundred and fifty feet from the ground, 
and perfectly straight. In many cases it was impos- 
sible to see over the fallen trees, even when on horse- 
back, and on these, seedlings were growing luxuriantly, 
forcing their roots through the bark and over the body 
of the trunk till they reached the ground. Many 
spruces were seen which had grown in this way ; and 
these, though of considerable size, still retained the 
form of an arch, showing where the old tree had lain, 
and under which they occasionally rode. As may be 
supposed, they could not advance very rapidly over 
such ground, and Lieutenant Johnson remarks, that 
although he was frequently desirous of shortening the 
road, by taking what seemed a more direct course, he 
invariably found himself obliged to return to the Indian 
trail. 

Daylight of the 24th brought with it its troubles : it 
was found that the horses had strayed, a disaster 
that the Indians took quite coolly, hoping it would be 

18 



TRIP THROUGH NACHES PASS, 1841 

the cause of their return. After a diligent search, the 
horses were found in, places where they had sought 
better food, although it was scanty enough even there. 

During the day, the route led along the Smalocho, 1 
which runs nearly east and west ; and they only left 
its banks when they were obliged to do so by various 
impassable barriers. This part of the country is com- 
posed of conical hills, which are all thickly clothed with 
pine trees of gigantic dimensions. They made nine 
miles this day, without accident ; but when they 
encamped, they had no food for the horses except fern. 
The animals, in consequence, seemed much overcome, 
as did also the Indians, who had travelled the whole 
day with heavy loads. Lieutenant Johnson, by way of 
diverting the fatigue of the latter, got up a shooting- 
match for a knife, the excitement of which had the 
desired effect. 

The trees hereabout were chiefly the cotton-wood, 
maple, spruce, pine, and elder, and some undergrowth 
of raspberry, the young shoots of which the natives eat 
with great relish. 

On the 25th, they set out at an early hour, and found 
the travelling less rough, so that they reached the foot 
of La Tete 2 before noon, having accomplished eleven 
miles. Lieutenant Johnson with the sergeant ascended 
La Tete, obtained the bearings, from its summit, of all 
the objects around, and made its height by barometer, 
two thousand seven hundred and ninety-eight feet : 
its latitude was fixed at 47 08' 54" N. This mountain 
was entirely destitute of wood ; but, having been burnt 
over, was found strewn with huge charred trunks, and 
the whole ground covered with ashes. The inclination 
of its sides was about fifty degrees. 

1 White River. 

2 Lieutenant Richard Arnold, in Pacific Railway Reports, Volume XII, Part I, 
page 191, says: "Near the junction of Whitewater and Green rivers there is a re- 
markable peak called La Tete, from a large rock on its slope resembling the head and 
neck of a man. This is an important point, as it forms the gate of the mountains 
on the west." Modern maps shift the "water" part of the names. They are 
now White and Greenwater rivers. 

19 



MOUNT RAINIER 

The country around seemed one continued series of 
hills, and like La Tete had suffered from the fire. 
According to the natives, although the wood on the 
mountains was destroyed many years since, yet it was 
still observed to be on fire, in some places, about two 
years ago. Most of the tops of the distant peaks had 
snow on them. To the east was seen the appearance 
of two valleys, through which the two branches of the 
Smalocho l flow. 

On descending from La Tete, the river was to be 
crossed : this was found too deep to be forded, and it 
consequently became necessary to form a bridge to 
transport the baggage, by cutting down trees. The 
current was found to run 6-2 miles per hour. They had 
been in hopes of reaching the Little Prairie before night, 
but in consequence of this delay, were forced to encamp 
before arriving there. 

The Indians complained much of the want of food : 
many of the horses also were exhausted for the same 
cause, and exhibited their scanty nourishment in their 
emaciated appearance. 

On the 26th, they reached the Little Prairie at an 
early hour, where, after consultation, it was determined 
to wait a day to recruit the horses, as this was the only 
place they could obtain food. It was also desirable to 
ascertain the practicability of passing the mountain 
with the horses, and at the same time to carry forward 
some of the loads, that the horses might have as little 
as possible to transport. Mr. Waldron and Pierre 
Charles were therefore sent forward with the Indians, 
having loads of fifty pounds each, to ascend the moun- 
tain, while Lieutenant Johnson remained with the camp 
to get observations. Dr. Pickering and Mr. Bracken- 
ridge accompanied the party of Mr. Waldron to the 
snow-line. The prairie on which they had encamped 
was about two and a half acres in extent, and another 
of the same size was found half a mile farther east. 

1 White and Greenwater rivers. 



20 



TRIP THROUGH NACHES PASS, 1841 

The 27th was employed by Lieutenant Johnson in 
determining the positions of this prairie, which proved 
to be in latitude 47 05' 51" N., and longitude 120 
13' W. 1 The variation was 19 39' easterly. At 
sunset, messengers arrived from Mr. Waldron, who had 
reached the summit at noon, and was to proceed down 
to the snow-line to encamp. The snow was found to 
be about ten feet deep, and the party crossing sank 
about ankle-deep, for which reason opinions varied as 
to the possibility of getting the horses over ; but it was 
determined to make the trial. Lieutenant Johnson, 
therefore, set out, leaving a supply of food with an 
old Indian and a horse, both of whom were worn out, 
and unable to proceed. 

By eleven o'clock, they were met by Pierre Charles 
and the Indians, who gave some slight hopes of accom- 
plishing the task of getting all over. Lieutenant 
Johnson determined to take only the strongest horses to 
the edge of the snow. At half-past 5 P.M., they reached 
the best practicable encampment, being a mile beyond 
the place where Mr. Waldron had encamped two days 
before. The snow having melted so rapidly, Lieutenant 
Johnson, taking all things into consideration, determined, 
notwithstanding the forebodings of failure held out by 
the party that had gone before, to make the attempt. It 
now became necessary to push on with as much haste as 
possible, on account of the state of their provisions ; for 
what with the loss sustained in fording the river, and in 
consumption, they were obliged to adopt an allowance. 

On the 29th, they departed, at early dawn, in order 
to take advantage of the firmness of the snow, occa- 
sioned by the last night's frost. They ascended rapidly, 
and passed over the worst of the way, the horses sinking 
no deeper than their fetlocks. They first passed over a 
narrow ridge, and then a succession of small cones, until 
they reached the summit. 

1 This is an error and should read 121 25' W. as Naches Pass is known to be 
121 21 ' and Lieutenant Johnson's "Little Prairie" was a little west of the Pass. 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Mount Rainier, from the top, bore south-southwest, 
apparently not more than ten miles distant. A profile 
of the mountain indicates that it has a terminal crater, 
as well as some on its flanks. The barometer stood 
at 24-950 in. : five thousand and ninety-two feet. 
There was another, to the north-northeast, covered with 
snow, and one to the west appeared about two hundred 
feet higher than the place where the observations were 
taken. This latter had suffered from fire in the same 
way as La Tete, and showed only a few patches of snow. 
To the eastward, a range of inferior height, running 
north and south, was in view, without snow. 

On the western ascent of this mountain, the pines were 
scrubby ; but at the summit, which was a plain, about 
a mile in length by half a mile wide, they were straight 
and towering, about eighty feet in height, without any 
limbs or foliage, except at the top. The distance 
travelled over the top was about five miles. On de- 
scending the east side, the snow was much deeper and 
softer, but the horses managed to get along well, and 
without accident. 

Lieutenant Johnson, in following the party, missed 
the trail, and lost his way for three or four hours. On 
discovering the camp of those who had gone before, 
on the opposite side of a stream, he attempted to cross 
it on a log, in doing which his foot slipped, and he was 
precipitated into the water. Although his first thought 
was to save the chronometer from accident, it was too 
late, for the watch had stopped ; it was not, however, 
so far injured as not to be set a-going, and it continued 
to go during the remainder of the journey : the only 
use I have been able to make of his subsequent obser- 
vations, was to obtain the relative meridian distances 
between the points visited, without the absolute longi- 
tude. It is needless to say, that I placed little or no 
dependence on them, in constructing the map. 

Although the horses had, with one or two exceptions, 
reached the eastern side of the mountain, yet they, 



TRIP THROUGH NACHES PASS, 1841 

together with the Indians, were very much exhausted. 
The time had now come when the Indians, according to 
agreement, were to be paid off, and they had done much 
more than they agreed to do, having crossed the moun- 
tain twice. 

Finding the necessity of retaining all the blankets 
that had been brought with them, in order to buy horses, 
Lieutenant Johnson proposed to the Indians to receive 
an order on Nisqually, in lieu of the immediate delivery 
of the blankets. This they readily assented to, and 
also willingly gave up those that had already been paid 
them, on receiving a similar order, thus showing a 
spirit of accommodation highly praiseworthy. Only 
two of them returned to Nisqually, to whom were 
entrusted the botanical specimens, and the care of the 
horses left upon the road. 

The banks of the small streams on the eastern side of 
the mountain were bordered with the greatest variety 
of trees and shrubs, consisting of poplars, buckthorn 
fifty feet high, dogwood thirty to forty feet high, several 
species of willow, alder, two species of maple, and 
occasionally a yew. The undergrowth was composed of 
Hazel, Vaccinium, Gaultheria, and a prickly species of 
Aralia. The herbaceous shrubs were Goodyera, Neot- 
tia, Viola, Claytonia, Corallorrhiza. The latter, how- 
ever, were not in flower. 

The party on foot, after leaving the Little Prairie 
about half a mile, crossed the northern branch of the 
Smalocho, 1 which was found much swollen and very 
rapid. Two trees were cut down to form a bridge. 
After this, the walking through the forest became 
smooth and firm, and they passed on at a rapid pace. 
The Indians, although loaded with ninety pounds of 
baggage, kept up with the rest. At nightfall they 
encamped at the margin of the snow. 

On lighting their fires, they accidentally set fire to the 
moss-covered trees, and in a few moments all around 

1 Greenwater branch of White River. 
23 



MOUNT RAINIER 

them was a blazing mass of flame, which compelled 
them to change their quarters farther to windward. 
They had made eighteen miles. But few plants were 
found, the season being too early for collecting at so 
high an elevation. The ground was covered with 
spruce-twigs, which had apparently been broken off 
by the weight of the snow. The summit was passed 
through an open space about twenty acres in extent. 
This glade was surrounded with a dense forest of spruce 
trees. There was no danger in walking except near the 
young trees, which had been bent down by the snow, 
but on passing these they often broke through, and 
experienced much difficulty in extricating themselves, 
particularly the poor Indians, with their heavy burdens. 
The breadth of snow passed over was about eight miles. 
At three o'clock they reached the Spipen 1 River, where 
they encamped : this camp was found to be two thou- 
sand five hundred and forty-one feet above the level 
of the sea. The vegetation appeared to our botanical 
gentlemen farther advanced on the east side than on 
the west, at the same height ; the Pulmonarias and 
several small annuals were more forward. There were 
only a few pine trees, and those small, seen on the west 
side of the ridge ; and on the east side, there was a 
species of larch, the hackmatack of the country. While 
they remained at this camp, they found a Pyrola, and 
some new ferns. 

The country about the Spipen l is mountainous and 
woody, with a narrow strip of meadow-land along its 
banks. Mr. Waldron had, on arriving at the camp, 
sent Lachemere, one of the Indians, down the river to 
an Indian chief, in order to procure horses. Those that 
remained after providing for the baggage, were con- 
sequently assigned each to two or three individuals to 
ride and tye on their route. 

On the 3Oth, they proceeded down the Spipen, making 
a journey of eighteen miles, and passed another branch 

1 Naches River. 
24 



TRIP THROUGH NACHES PASS, 1841 

of the river, the junction of which augmented its size 
very considerably. Its banks, too, became perpendic- 
ular and rocky, with a current flowing between them at 
the rate of six or seven miles an hour. After the junc- 
tion, the stream was about one hundred feet broad, and 
its course was east-southeast. 

The vegetation on the east side of the mountains was 
decidedly more advanced than that to the west, and 
several very interesting species of plants were met with 
by the botanists, on the banks of the streams : among 
them were Paeonia brownii, Cypripedium oregonium, 
Pentstemon, Ipomopsis elegans, and several Composite, 
and a very handsome flowering shrub, Purshia triden- 
tata. 

On the 3 ist, they continued their route over a rough 
country, in some places almost impassable for a horse 
from its steepness, and in others so marshy as to require 
much caution to prevent being mired. 

During the morning, they met two Indians, who 
informed them that the chief of the Yakima tribe was 
a short distance in advance, waiting to meet them, and 
that he had several horses. At noon they reached a 
small prairie on the banks of the river, where old Tidias, 
the chief, was seen seated in state to receive Lieutenant 
Johnson ; but this ceremony was unavoidably broken 
in upon by the necessity of getting the meridian obser- 
vations. The chief, however, advanced towards him 
with every mark of friendship, giving the party a 
hearty welcome. In person he was tall, straight, and 
thin, a little bald, with long black hair hanging down 
his back, carefully tied with a worsted rag. He was 
grave, but dignified and graceful. When they had been 
seated, and after smoking a couple of pipes in silence, 
he intimated that he was ready for a talk, which then 
followed, relative to the rivers and face of the country ; 
but little information was obtained that could be de- 
pended upon. 

This tribe subsist chiefly upon salmon and the cam- 

25 



MOUNT RAINIER 

mass-root : game is very scarce, and the beaver have 
all disappeared. The cammass-root is pounded and 
made into a sort of cake, which is not unpleasant, 
having a sweetish taste, but it is very dry, although 
some of the party took a fancy to it. 

Tidias had with him an old man almost blind, who 
claimed much respect, and two young men, whose dress 
of buckskin, profusely ornamented with beads, was 
much admired by the party. During the talk, the old 
chief expressed himself delighted to see the white men, 
and spoke of his own importance, his immense territory, 
etc., in a style of boasting, to which the Indians are 
very much addicted. He said that he was desirous 
of affording all the accommodation he could to the 
party. But although he had eight or ten fine horses 
with him, he would not agree to part with them, as 
they were ail his favourites. He was presented with 
a variety of articles, in return for which he gave the 
party a few dried salmon. 

Towards evening, old Tidias took leave of them, 
saying that it was not proper for an Indian to encamp 
in the same place with a white man, and with a promise 
that he would have horses by ten o'clock the next day ; 
but he had a game to play by procrastinating, in which 
he thoroughly succeeded. 

In the morning they reached the Indian camp below, 
but no horses had arrived. It was far, they said, to 
Tidias's house ; a man could not go thither and return 
in the same day ; no horses or salmon could be brought ; 
no one could be permitted to go. Lieutenant Johnson 
was then told that the road he had to follow was a 
"hungry" road. At last the Indian was induced by 
high offers to exchange good horses for a great number 
of bad ones, and finally consented to part with two 
more. On quitting him they became thoroughly 
aware that all the difficulties were owing, not to any 
indisposition to sell, but were created for the purpose 
of inducing high prices to be given. 

26 



TRIP THROUGH NACHES PASS, 1841 

The party now branched off at right angles to their 
former route, Lieutenant Johnson heartily sick and tired 
of his friend Tidias and his people. Two more of the 
Indians here left them. The country they entered, 
after passing a ridge about six hundred feet high, was 
quite of a different aspect, forming long sloping hills, 
covered with a scanty growth of pines. Many dry 
beds of rivulets were passed, and the soil of the hills 
produced nothing but a long thin grass. There are, 
however, some small valleys where the growth of grass 
is luxuriant, the pines are larger, and the scenery 
assumed a park-like appearance. 

From the summit of one of the hills, a sketch of 
Mount Rainier, and of the intervening range, was 
obtained. 

On the top of the ridge they fell in with a number of 
Spipen Indians, who were engaged in digging the cam- 
mass and other roots. The latter were those of an 
umbelliferous plant, oblong, tuberous, and in taste 
resembling a parsnep. The process used to prepare 
them for bread, is to bake them in a well-heated oven of 
stones ; when they are taken out they are dried, and 
then pounded between two stones till the mass becomes 
as fine as corn meal, when it is kneaded into cakes and 
dried in the sun. These roots are the principal vege- 
table food of the Indians throughout Middle Oregon. 
The women are frequently seen, to the number of 
twenty or thirty, with baskets suspended from the 
neck, and a pointed stick in their hand, digging these 
roots, and so intently engaged in the search for them, 
as to pay no attention whatever to a passer-by. When 
these roots are properly dried, they are stored away 
for the winter's consumption. This day they made 
only fifteen miles, in a northern direction. 

On the 2d of June, they reached the Yakima, after 
having crossed a small stream. The Yakima was too 
deep for the horses to ford with their packs, and they 
now for the first time used their balsas of India-rubber 

27 



MOUNT RAINIER 

cloth, which were found to answer the purpose of float- 
ing the loads across the stream. 

This river is one hundred and fifty feet wide, and 
pursues an east-southeast course, with a velocity of 
more than four miles an hour. At this place were found 
twenty migrating Indians, who have their permanent 
residence on the banks lower down. 

The chief, Kamaiyah, was the son-in-law of old 
Tidias, and one of the most handsome and perfectly- 
formed Indians they had met with. He was found 
to be gruff and surly in his manners, which was thought 
to be owing to his wish to appear dignified. These 
Indians were living in temporary huts, consisting of 
mats spread on poles. Among them was seen quite a 
pretty girl, dressed in a shirt and trousers, with moc- 
casins of skin very much ornamented with fringe and 
beads. They had a number of fine horses, but could not 
be induced to part with any of them. 

Lieutenant Johnson had now succeeded in' purchas- 
ing venison and salmon, and the party again had full 
allowance. 

On the 3d, they continued their route to the north- 
ward, over gradually rising ground, and Lieutenant 
Johnson having succeeded in purchasing three more 
horses, only three of the party were now without them, 
so that the riding and tye system was not quite so often 
resorted to as before. On this plain was seen a number 
of curlews, some grouse, and a large species of hare. 
They encamped again near the snow, and found their 
altitude greater than any yet reached, the barometer 
standing at 24-750 in. : five thousand two hundred and 
three feet. They had again reached the spruces and 
lost the pine, which was only found on the hill-sides 
and plains. 

At 4 A.M. on the morning of the 4th of June, the 
thermometer stood at 28. They on that day con- 
tinued their route up the mountain and across its 
summit, which was here and there covered with patches 

28 



TRIP THROUGH NACHES PASS, 1841 

of snow. I regret to record another accident to the 
instruments. The sergeant, to whom the barometer 
was intrusted by Lieutenant Johnson, in putting up 
the instrument this morning, carelessly broke it ; and 
thus ended the barometrical experiments in the most 
interesting portion of the route. 

It is difficult to account for the scarcity of snow on a 
much higher elevation than they had before reached, 
and under circumstances which would appear to have 
warranted a contrary expectation. Dr. Pickering was 
induced to believe that this change in the climate is 
owing to the open nature of the surrounding country ; 
its being devoid of dense forests, with but a few scat- 
tered trees and no under-brush ; and the vicinity to 
elevated plains, and the ridge being of a less broken 
character. 

The early part of the day was cold, with showers of 
sleet. On the crest of the mountain they passed over 
swampy ground, with but a few patches of spruces : 
after passing which, they began to descend very regu- 
larly towards the Columbia, which they reached early 
in the afternoon, about three miles below the Pischous 
River. 1 The Columbia at this place is a rapid stream, 
but the scenery differs entirely from that of other rivers : 
its banks are altogether devoid of any fertile alluvial 
flats ; destitute even of scattered trees ; there is no 
freshness in the little vegetation on its borders ; the 
sterile sands in fact reach to its very brink, and it is 
scarcely to be believed until its banks are reached that 
a mighty river is rolling its waters past these arid 
wastes. 

[The record of the journey to Fort Colville is omitted, 
to be resumed when the party returning draws near the 
environs of Mount Rainier. The portion omitted 
extends from page 430 to 468 in the original publica- 
tion.] 

1 Wenatchee River. 
29 



MOUNT RAINIER 

The party now pursued the route up the river, and 
in two hours reached the Yakima, up whose valley they 
passed, encamping after making twenty-five miles. 
The country was rolling, and might be termed sandy 
and barren. 

Mount St. Helen's, 1 with its snow-capped top, was 
seen at a great distance to the west. 

On the 5th, they continued their route, and at mid- 
day were overtaken by an Indian, with a note informing 
them of the arrival of Mr. Drayton at Wallawalla with 
the brigade. This was quick travelling for news in 
Oregon ; for so slow is it usually carried, that our party 
were the first to bring the news of the arrival and opera- 
tions of the squadron in Oregon. This intelligence had 
not previously reached Wallawalla, although it is con- 
sidered to be on the direct post-route to the interior, 
notwithstanding we had been in the country nearly two 
months. The news of the murder of Mr. Black, in New 
Caledonia, was nearly a year in reaching some points on 
the coast. 

This was one of the warmest days they had exper- 
ienced, and the thermometer under the shade of a 
canopy stood at 108. At a short distance from the 
place where they stopped was a small hut, composed of 
a few branches and reeds, which was thought to be 
barely sufficient to contain a sheep ; yet under it were 
four generations of human beings, all females, seated in 
a posture, which, to whites, would have been imprac- 
ticable. They had just procured their subsistence for 
the day, and their meal consisted of the berries of the 
dogwood. The scene was not calculated to impress one 
very favourably with savage life. The oldest of these 
had the cartilage of the nose pierced, but the others had 
not ; leading to the conclusion that the practice had 
been discontinued for some years in the nation, who 
still, however, retain the name. 

The country exhibited little appearance of vegeta- 

1 Mount Adams. The two peaks were frequently confused in early writings. 

3 



TRIP THROUGH NACHES PASS, 1841 

tion ; the herbage was quite dried up, and from appear- 
ances was likely to continue so throughout the season. 
The prevailing vegetation consisted of bushes of worm- 
wood, stinted in growth, and unyielding. 

After making thirty-three miles, they encamped 
among loose sand, one hundred feet above the water of 
the river. Many rattlesnakes were found in this vicin- 
ity. 

Owing to the quantities of musquitoes, combined 
with the fear of snakes, the party obtained little or no 
rest, and were all glad to mount their horses and pro- 
ceed on their way. 

In the early part of the day, they arrived at the junc- 
tion of the Spipen with the Yakima : previous to this 
they crossed another branch, coming in from the south- 
west ; the waters of the latter were very turbid, of a 
dark-brown colour, and it was conjectured that it had its 
source at or near Mount Rainier. Along its banks was 
seen a range of basaltic columns. The Yakima was 
crossed during the day in canoes, the river not being 
yet fordable. 

The country, which had for some days exhibited the 
appearance of the Tillandsia districts of Peru, had now 
begun to acquire a tinge of green, and some scattered 
pine trees had become visible. Some small oaks were 
passed, which appeared of a local character. This 
night they again had a number of rattlesnakes in their 
camp. 

On the 8th, the valley had narrowed, and the banks 
becoming more perpendicular, they had a great many 
difficulties to encounter. They stopped at the camp of 
old Tidias, whom, it will be recollected, they had 
encountered after crossing the mountains, and from 
whom they obtained some horses. They soon after- 
wards arrived at the path where they had turned off 
to the north. The river had fallen very much during 
their absence, and there was a marked difference in the 
season, the vegetation being much more backward than 

31 



MOUNT RAINIER 

in the parts they had recently visited. The berries 
were just beginning to ripen, while in the plains, not 
twenty miles distant, they were already over. Old 
Tidias determined to accompany them to Nisqually, 
taking with him his son, and lending them several 
horses. The Spipen, up which they passed, was now 
hemmed in by mountain ridges, occasionally leaving 
small portions of level ground. They encamped at 
the place they had occupied on the 3oth of May. 

The vegetation, since they had passed this place, had 
so much advanced that they had difficulty in recognis- 
ing it again. The wet prairies were overgrown with 
rank grass, from one to two feet in height. After a short 
rest at the foot of the mountain, they began its ascent, 
and reached the crest of the ridge in about three hours. 
On every side they found a low growth of shrubs, which 
they had not suspected when it was covered with snow, 
and causing the summit to differ essentially from the 
broad ridge they had crossed between the Yakima and 
Pischous rivers. They encamped for the night on the 
edge of a wet prairie, which afforded pasturage for their 
horses. 

The next day they passed through several similar 
prairies, and descended the western slope of the moun- 
tain, where they found more patches of snow than on 
the east side. This was just the reverse of what they 
had found on their previous passage ; the season, too, 
was evidently much less advanced. This circumstance 
was supposed to be owing to the denser forest on the 
west, as well as the absence of elevated plains. 

They encamped the same night at the little prairie 
before spoken of, at the foot of the western slope. 
Before reaching it, they met a party of men and women 
carrying a sick chief over the mountain, who was 
evidently dying. It was affecting to see him stretching 
forth his hand to them as they passed, as if desiring to 
be friends with all before he died. He died the same 
night. 

32 



TRIP THROUGH NACHES PASS, 1841 

The two next days it rained almost constantly, but 
they found the road much less difficult to travel than 
before, and the streams were fordable, which enabled 
them to make more rapid progress. 

On the 1 3th, they passed the Smalocho, and on the 
1 5th reached Nisqually, all well ; having performed a 
journey of about one thousand miles without any 
material accident, except those that have been related 
as having occurred to the instruments. They tra- 
versed a route which white men had never before taken, 
thus enabling us to become acquainted with a portion 
of the country about which all had before been con- 
jecture. They had also made a large addition to our 
collection of plants. 



33 



IV. TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF 
HAMITCHOU 

BY THEODORE WINTHROP 

THEODORE WINTHROP was a descendant of the famous Governor 
John Winthrop, of Massachusetts. He was born at New 
Haven, Connecticut, on September 22, 1828, and lost his life 
early in the Civil War near Great Bethel, Virginia, on June 
ip, 1861. His death was deeply mourned as of one who had 
given great promise of success in the field of literature. 

His book, The Canoe and the Saddle, has appeared in many 
editions. It tells of his visit to Puget Sound and across the 
Cascade Mountains in 1853. In that volume he declares that 
the Indians called the mountain, Tacoma. So far as is known 
to the editor, that is the first place that that name for the 
mountain appeared in print. 

In addition to this interesting fact, the book is a charming piece 
of literature, and will endure as one of the classics on the 
Pacific Northwest. The portions here reproduced relate to 
the mountain. They are taken from an early edition of the 
book published by the John W. Lovell Company of New York. 
The edition carries no date, but the copyright notice is by 
Ticknor and Fields, 1862. The parts used are from pages 
43-45, and 123-176. 

The author's niece, Elizabeth Winthrop Johnson, of Pasadena, 
California, kindly furnished a photograph of Rowse's portrait 
of her famous uncle. 

The large and beautiful glacier sweeping from the northeast 
summit past the western slope of Steamboat Prow now bears 
the name of Winthrop Glacier. 

We had rounded a point, and opened Puyallop Bay, 
a breadth of sheltered calmness, when I, lifting sleepy 
eyelids for a dreamy stare about, was suddenly aware 
of a vast white shadow in the water. What cloud, 
piled massive on the horizon, could cast an image so 
sharp in outline, so full of vigorous detail of surface ? 

34 




THEODORE WINTHROP. 
From the Rowse crayon portrait. 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

No cloud, as my stare, no longer dreamy, presently 
discovered, no cloud, but a cloud compeller. It 
was a giant mountain dome of snow, swelling and 
seeming to fill the aerial spheres as its image displaced 
the blue deeps of tranquil water. The smoky haze 
of an Oregon August hid all the length of its lesser 
ridges, and left this mighty summit based upon uplifting 
dimness. Only its splendid snows were visible, high 
in the unearthly regions of clear blue noonday sky. 
The shore line drew a cincture of pines across the broad 
base, where it faded unreal into the mist. The same 
dark girth separated the peak from its reflection, over 
which my canoe was now pressing, and sending waver- 
ing swells to shatter the beautiful vision before it. 

Kingly and alone stood this majesty, without any 
visible comrade or consort, though far to the north 
and the south its brethren and sisters dominated their 
realms, each in isolated sovereignty, rising above the 
pine-darkened sierra of the Cascade Mountains, 
above the stern chasm where the Columbia, Achilles 
of rivers, sweeps, short-lived and jubilant, to the sea, 
above the lovely vales of the Willamette and Ump- 
qua. Of all the peaks from California to Frazer's 
River, this one before me was royalest. Mount 
Regnier Christians have dubbed it, in stupid nomen- 
clature perpetuating the name of somebody or nobody. 
More melodiously the siwashes call it Tacoma, a 
generic term also applied to all snow peaks. What- 
ever keen crests and crags there may be in its rock 
anatomy of basalt, snow covers softly with its bends 
and sweeping curves. Tacoma, under its ermine, is 
a crushed volcanic dome, or an ancient volcano fallen 
in, and perhaps as yet not wholly lifeless. The domes 
of snow are stateliest. There may be more of feminine 
beauty in the cones, and more of masculine force and 
hardihood in the rough pyramids, but the great domes 
are calmer and more divine, and, even if they have 
failed to attain absolute dignified grace of finish, and 

35 



MOUNT RAINIER 

are riven and broken down, they still demand our 
sympathy for giant power, if only partially victor. 
Each form the dome, the cone, and the pyramid 
has its type among the great snow peaks of the Cas- 
cades. 

[Chapter VII, beginning at page 123 of the original 
publication, is entitled "Tacoma."] 

Up and down go the fortunes of men, now benig- 
nant, now malignant. Ante meridiem of our lives, 
we are rising characters. Our full noon comes, and 
we are borne with plaudits on the shoulders of a grate- 
ful populace. Post meridiem, we are ostracized, if 
not more rudely mobbed. At twilight, we are perhaps 
recalled, and set on the throne of Nestor. 

Such slow changes in esteem are for men of some 
import and of settled character. Loolowcan suffered 
under a more rapidly fluctuating public opinion. At 
the camp of the road-makers, he had passed through 
a period of neglect, almost of ignominy. My hosts 
had prejudices against redskins ; they treated the son 
of Owhhigh with no consideration ; and he became 
depressed and slinking in manner under the influence 
of their ostracism. No sooner had we disappeared 
from the range of Boston eyes than Loolowcan resumed 
his leadership and his control. I was very secondary 
now, and followed him humbly enough up the heights 
we had reached. Here were all the old difficulties 
increased, because they were no longer met on a level. 
We were to climb the main ridge, the mountain of 
La Tete, abandoning the valley, assaulting the 
summits. And here, as Owhhigh had prophesied in 
his harangue at Nisqually, the horse's mane must be 
firmly grasped by the climber. Poor, panting, weary 
nags ! may it be true, the promise of Loolowcan, that 
not far away is abundant fodder ! But where can 
aught, save firs with ostrich digestion, grow on these 
rough, forest-clad shoulders ? 

36 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

So I clambered on till near noon. 

I had been following thus for many hours the blind 
path, harsh, darksome, and utterly lonely, urging 
on with no outlook, encountering no landmark, at 
last, as I stormed a ragged crest, gaining a height that 
overtopped the firs, and, halting there for panting 
moments, glanced to see if I had achieved mastery as 
well as position, as I looked somewhat wearily 
and drearily across the solemn surges of forest, sud- 
denly above their sombre green appeared Tacoma. 
Large and neighbor it stood, so near that every jewel 
of its snow-fields seemed to send me a separate ray ; 
yet not so near but that I could with one look take 
in its whole image, from clear-cut edge to edge. 

All around it the dark evergreens rose like a ruff ; 
above them the mountain splendors swelled statelier 
for the contrast. Sunlight of noon was so refulgent 
upon the crown, and lay so thick and dazzling in nooks 
and chasms, that the eye sought repose of gentler 
lights, and found it in shadowed nooks and clefts, where, 
sunlight entering not, delicate mist, an emanation 
from the blue sky, had fallen, and lay sheltered and 
tremulous, a mild substitute for the stronger glory. 
The blue haze so wavered and trembled into sunlight, 
and sunbeams shot glimmering over snowy brinks so 
like a constant avalanche, that I might doubt whether 
this movement and waver and glimmer, this blending 
of mist with noontide flame, were not a drifting smoke 
and cloud of yellow sulphurous vapor floating over 
some slowly chilling crater far down in the red crevices. 

But if the giant fires had ever burned under that 
cold summit, they had long since gone out. The dome 
that swelled up passionately had crusted over and then 
fallen in upon itself, not vigorous enough with internal 
life to bear up in smooth proportion. Where it broke 
into ruin was no doubt a desolate waste, stern, craggy, 
and riven, but such drear results of Titanic convulsion 
the gentle snows hid from view. 

37 




fe&J 



MOUNT RAINIER 

No foot of man had ever trampled those pure 
snows. It was a virginal mountain, distant from 
the possibility of human approach and human in- 
quisitiveness as a marble goddess is from human 
love. 

Yet there was nothing unsympathetic in its isola- 
tion, or despotic in its distant majesty. But this 
serene loftiness was no home for any deity of those 
that men create. Only the thought of eternal peace 
arose from this heaven-upbearing monument like 
incense, and, overflowing, filled the world with deep 
and holy calm. 

Wherever the mountain turned its cheek toward 
the sun, many fair and smiling dimples appeared, and 
along soft curves of snow, lines of shadow drew tracery 
fair as the blue veins on a child's temple. Without 
the infinite sweetness and charm of this kindly change- 
fulness of form and color, there might have been oppres- 
sive awe in the presence of this transcendent glory 
against the solemn blue of noon. Grace played over 
the surface of majesty, as a drift of rose-leaves wavers 
in the air before a summer shower, or as a wreath of 
rosy mist flits before the grandeur of a storm. Love- 
liness was sprinkled like a boon of blossoms upon sub- 
limity. 

Our lives forever demand and need visual images 
that can be symbols to us of the grandeur or the sweet- 
ness of repose. There are some faces that arise dreamy 
in our memories, and look us into calmness in our 
frantic moods. Fair and happy is a life that need 
not call upon its vague memorial dreams for such 
attuning influence, but can turn to a present reality, 
and ask tranquillity at the shrine of a household god- 
dess. The noble works of nature, and mountains most 
of all, 

"have power to make 

Our noisy years seem moments in the being 
Of the eternal silence." 
38 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

And, studying the light and the majesty of Tacoma, 
there passed from it and entered into my being, to 
dwell there evermore by the side of many such, a 
thought and an image of solemn beauty, which I could 
thenceforth evoke whenever in the world I must have 
peace or die. For such emotion years of pilgrimage 
were worthily spent. If mortal can gain the thoughts 
of immortality, is not his earthly destiny achieved ? 
For, when we have so studied the visible poem, and 
so fixed it deep in the very substance of our minds, 
there is forever with us not merely a perpetual posses- 
sion of delight, but a watchful monitor that will not 
let our thoughts be long unfit for the pure companion- 
ship of beauty. For whenever a man is false to the 
light that is in him, and accepts meaner joys, or chooses 
the easy indulgence that meaner passions give, then 
every fair landscape in all his horizon dims, and all 
its grandeurs fade and dwindle away, the glory vanishes, 
and he looks, like one lost, upon his world, late so 
lovely and sinless. 

While I was studying Tacoma, and learning its 
fine lesson, it in turn might contemplate its own image 
far away on the waters of Whulge, where streams 
from its own snows, gushing seaward to buffet in the 
boundless deep, might rejoice in a last look at their 
parent ere they swept out of Puyallop Bay. Other 
large privilege of view it had. It could see what I 
could not, Tacoma the Less, Mt. Adams, meritori- 
ous but clumsy ; it could reflect sunbeams gracefully 
across a breadth of forest to St. Helen's, the vestal 
virgin, who still kept her flame kindled, and proved 
her watchfulness ever and anon. Continuing its pan- 
oramic studies, Tacoma could trace the chasm of the 
Columbia by silver circles here and there, could 
see every peak, chimney, or unopened vent, from Kul- 
shan to Shasta Butte. The Blue Mountains eastward 
were within its scope, and westward the faint-blue 
levels of the Pacific. Another region, worthy of any 

39 



MOUNT RAINIER 

mountain's beholding, Tacoma sees, somewhat vague 
and dim in distance : it sees the sweet Arcadian valley 
of the Willamette, charming with meadow, park, and 
grove. In no older world where men have, in all their 
happiest moods, recreated themselves for generations 
in taming earth to orderly beauty, have they achieved 
a fairer garden than Nature's simple labor of love 
has made there, giving to rough pioneers the blessings 
and the possible education of refined and finished land- 
scape, in the presence of landscape strong, savage, 
and majestic. 

All this Tacoma beholds, as I can but briefly hint ; 
and as one who is a seer himself becomes a tower of 
light and illumination to the world, so Tacoma, so 
every brother seer of his among the lofty snow-peaks, 
stands to educate, by his inevitable presence, every 
dweller thereabouts. Our race has never yet come 
into contact with great mountains as companions of 
daily life, nor felt that daily development of the finer 
and more comprehensive senses which these signal 
facts of nature compel. That is an influence of the 
future. The Oregon people, in a climate where being 
is bliss, where every breath is a draught of vivid 
life, these Oregon people, carrying to a new and 
grander New England of the West a fuller growth of 
the American Idea, under whose teaching the man of 
lowest ambitions must still have some little indestruc- 
tible respect for himself, and the brute of most tyranni- 
cal aspirations some little respect for others ; carrying 
the civilization of history where it will not suffer by 
the example of Europe, with such material, that 
Western society, when it crystallizes, will elaborate 
new systems of thought and life. It is unphilosophical 
to suppose that a strong race, developing under the 
best, largest, and calmest conditions of nature, will not 
achieve a destiny. 

Up to Tacoma, or into some such solitude of nature, 
imaginative men must go, as Moses went up to Sinai, 

40 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

that the divine afflatus may stir within them. The 
siwashes appreciate, according to their capacity, the 
inspiration of lonely grandeur, and go upon the moun- 
tains, starving and alone, that they may become seers, 
enchanters, magicians, diviners, what in conven- 
tional lingo is called "big medicine." For though the 
Indians here have not peopled these thrones of their 
world with the creatures of an anthropomorphic 
mythology, they yet deem them the abode of Tama- 
noiis. Tamanoiis is a vague and half-personified type 
of the unknown, of the mysterious forces of nature ; 
and there is also an indefinite multitude of undefined 
emanations, each one a tamanous with a small t, which 
are busy and impish in complicating existence, or 
equally active and spritely in unravelling it. Each 
Indian of this region patronizes his own personal 
tamanous, as men of the more eastern tribes keep a 
private manitto, and as Socrates kept a daimon. To 
supply this want, Tamanous with a big T undergoes 
an avatar, and incarnates himself into a salmon, a 
beaver, a clam, or into some inanimate object, such as 
a canoe, a paddle, a fir-tree, a flint, or into some ele- 
mental essence, as fire, water, sun, mist ; and tamanous 
thus individualized becomes the "guide, philosopher, 
and friend" of every siwash, conscious that otherwise 
he might stray and be lost in the unknown realms of 
Tamanous. 

Hamitchou, a frowzy ancient of the Squallyamish, 
told to Dr. Tolmie and me, at Nisqually, a legend of 
Tamanous and Tacoma, which, being interpreted, 
runs as follows : 

Hamitchou's Legend 

"Avarice, O Boston tyee," quoth Hamitchou, study- 
ing me with dusky eyes, "is a mighty passion. Now, 
be it known unto thee that we Indians anciently used 
not metals nor the money of you blanketeers. Our 
circulating medium was shells, wampum you would 

41 



MOUNT RAINIER 

name it. Of all wampum, the most precious is Hiaqua. 
Hiaqua comes from the far north. It is a small, per- 
forated shell, not unlike a very opaque quill toothpick, 
tapering from the middle, and cut square at both ends. 
We string it in many strands, and hang it around the 
neck of one we love, namely, each man his own neck. 
We also buy with it what our hearts desire. He who 
has most hiaqua is best and wisest and happiest of all 
the northern Haida and of all the people of Whulge. 
The mountain horsemen value it ; and braves of the 
terrible Blackfeet have been known, in the good old 
days, to come over and offer a horse or a wife for a 
bunch of fifty hiaqua. 

"Now, once upon a time there dwelt where this 
fort of Nisqually now stands a wise old man of the 
Squallyamish. He was a great fisherman and a great 
hunter ; and the wiser he grew, much the wiser he 
thought himself. When he had grown very wise, he 
used to stay apart from every other siwash. Compan- 
ionable salmon-boilings round a common pot had no 
charms for him. 'Feasting was wasteful/ he said, 
'and revellers would come to want/ And when they 
verified his prophecy, and were full of hunger and empty 
of salmon, he came out of his hermitage, and had salmon 
to sell. 

" Hiaqua was the pay he always demanded ; and 
as he was a very wise old man, and knew all the tide- 
ways of Whulge, and all the enticing ripples and placid 
spots of repose in every river where fish might dash 
or delay, he was sure to have salmon when others 
wanted, and thus bagged largely of its precious equiva- 
lent, hiaqua. 

"Not only a mighty fisher was the sage, but a mighty 
hunter, and elk, the greatest animal of the woods, 
was the game he loved. Well had he studied every 
trail where elk leave the print of their hoofs, and 
where, tossing their heads, they bend the tender twigs. 
Well had he searched through the broad forest, and 

42 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

found the long-haired prairies where elk feed luxuri- 
ously ; and there, from behind palisade fir-trees, he 
had launched the fatal arrow. Sometimes, also, he 
lay beside a pool of sweetest water, revealed to him 
by gemmy reflections of sunshine gleaming through 
the woods, until at noon the elk came down, to find 
death awaiting him as he stooped and drank. Or 
beside the same fountain the old man watched at night, 
drowsily starting at every crackling branch, until, 
when the moon was high, and her illumination declared 
the pearly water, elk dashed forth incautious into the 
glade, and met their midnight destiny. 

"Elk-meat, too, he sold to his tribe. This brought 
him pelf, but, alas for his greed, the pelf came slowly. 
Waters and woods were rich in game. All the Squally- 
amish were hunters and fishers, though none so skilled 
as he. They were rarely in absolute want, and, when 
they came to him for supplies, they were far too poor 
in hiaqua. 

"So the old man thought deeply, and communed 
with his wisdom, and, while he waited for fish or beast, 
he took advice within himself from his demon, 
he talked with Tamanoiis. And always the question 
was, ' How may I put hiaqua in my purse ? ' 

"Tamanoiis never revealed to him that far to the 
north, beyond the waters of Whulge, are tribes with 
their under lip pierced with a fishbone, among whom 
hiaqua is plenty as salmonberries are in the woods 
what time in mid-summer salmon fin it along the 
reaches of Whulge. 

"But the more Tamanoiis did not reveal to him 
these mysteries of nature, the more he kept dreamily 
prying into his own mind, endeavoring to devise some 
scheme by which he might discover a treasure-trove 
of the beloved shell. His life seemed wasted in the 
patient, frugal industry, which only brought slow, 
meagre gains. He wanted the splendid elation of 
vast wealth and the excitement of sudden wealth. 

43 



MOUNT RAINIER 

His own peculiar tamanoiis was the elk. Elk was 
also his totem, the cognizance of his freemasonry with 
those of his own family, and their family friends in 
other tribes. Elk, therefore, were every way identified 
with his life ; and he hunted them farther and farther 
up through the forests on the flanks of Tacoma, hop- 
ing that some day his tamanoiis would speak in the 
dying groan of one of them, and gasp out the secret 
of the mines of hiaqua, his heart's desire. 

"Tacoma was so white and glittering, that it seemed 
to stare at him very terribly and mockingly, and to 
know his shameful avarice, and how it led him to take 
from starving women their cherished lip and nose 
jewels of hiaqua, and to give them in return only 
tough scraps of dried elk-meat and salmon. When 
men are shabby, mean, and grasping, they feel re- 
proached for their grovelling lives by the unearthliness 
of nature's beautiful objects, and they hate flowers, 
and sunsets, mountains, and the quiet stars of heaven. 

"Nevertheless," continued Hamitchou, "this wise 
old fool of my legend went on stalking elk along the 
sides of Tacoma, ever dreaming of wealth. And at 
last, as he was hunting near the snows one day, one 
very clear and beautiful day of late summer, when 
sunlight was magically disclosing far distances, and 
making all nature supernaturally visible and proximate, 
Tamanoiis began to work in the soul of the miser. 

"Are you brave/ whispered Tamanoiis in the 
strange, ringing, dull, silent thunder-tones of a demon 
voice. 'Dare you go to the caves where my treasures 
are hid ?' 

"I dare/ said the miser. 

"He did not know that his lips had syllabled a reply. 
He did not even hear his own words. But all the 
place had become suddenly vocal with echoes. The 
great rock against which he leaned crashed forth, 'I 
dare.' Then all along through the forest, dashing 
from tree to tree and lost at last among the murmur- 

44 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

ing of breeze-shaken leaves, went careering his answer, 
taken up and repeated scornfully, *I dare/ And after 
a silence, while the daring one trembled and would 
gladly have ventured to shout, for the companionship 
of his own voice, there came across from the vast snow 
wall of Tacoma a tone like the muffled, threatening 
plunge of an avalanche into a chasm, 'I dare/ 

'You dare/ said Tamanoiis, enveloping him with 
a dread sense of an unseen, supernatural presence ; 
'you pray for wealth of hiaqua. Listen !' 

"This injunction was hardly needed ; the miser 
was listening with dull eyes kindled and starting. He 
was listening with every rusty hair separating from 
its unkempt mattedness, and outstanding upright, a 
caricature of an aureole. 

"Listen/ said Tamanoiis, in the noonday hush. 
And then Tamanoiis vouchsafed at last the great 
secret of the hiaqua mines, while in terror near to death 
the miser heard, and every word of guidance toward 
the hidden treasure of the mountains seared itself 
into his soul ineffaceably. 

"Silence came again more terrible now than the 
voice of Tamanoiis, silence under the shadow of the 
great cliff, silence deepening down the forest vistas, 
silence filling the void up to the snows of Tacoma. 
All life and motion seemed paralyzed. At last Skai-ki, 
the Blue-Jay, the wise bird, foe to magic, sang cheerily 
overhead. Her song seemed to refresh again the 
honest laws of nature. The buzz of life stirred every- 
where again, and the inspired miser rose and hastened 
home to prepare for his work. 

"When Tamanoiis has put a great thought in a 
man's brain, has whispered him a great discovery 
within his power, or hinted at a great crime, that 
spiteful demon does not likewise suggest the means of 
accomplishment. 

"The miser, therefore, must call upon his own skill 
to devise proper tools, and upon his own judgment 

45 



MOUNT RAINIER 

to fix upon the most fitting time for carrying out his 
quest. Sending his squaw out to the kamas prairie, 
under pretence that now was the season for her to 
gather their winter store of that sickish-sweet esculent 
root, and that she might not have her squaw's curiosity 
aroused by seeing him at strange work, he began his 
preparations. He took a pair of enormous elk-horns, 
and fashioned from each horn a two-pronged pick or 
spade, by removing all the antlers except the two top- 
most. He packed a good supply of kippered salmon, 
and filled his pouch with kinni kinnick for smoking 
in his black stone pipe. With his bow and arrows 
and his two elk-horn picks wrapped in buckskin hung 
at his back, he started just before sunset, as if for a 
long hunt. His old, faithful, maltreated, blanketless, 
vermilionless squaw, returning with baskets full of 
kamas, saw him disappearing moodily down the trail. 
"All that night, all the day following, he moved 
on noiselessly by paths he knew. He hastened on, 
unnoticing outward objects, as one with a controlling 
purpose hastens. Elk and deer, bounding through 
the trees, passed him, but he tarried not. At night 
he camped just below the snows of Tacoma. He was 
weary, weary, and chill night-airs blowing down from 
the summit almost froze him. He dared not take his 
fire-sticks, and, placing one perpendicular upon a 
little hollow on the flat side of the other, twirl the up- 
right stick rapidly between his palms until the charred 
spot kindled and lighted his 'tipsoo/ his dry, tindery 
wool of inner bark. A fire, gleaming high upon the 
mountain-side, might be a beacon to draw thither 
any night-wandering savage to watch in ambush, 
and learn the path toward the mines of hiaqua. So 
he drowsed chilly and fireless, awakened often by dread 
sounds of crashing and rumbling among the chasms 
of Tacoma. He desponded bitterly, almost ready to 
abandon his quest, almost doubting whether he had 
in truth received a revelation, whether his interview 

4 6 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

with Tamanoiis had not been a dream, and finally 
whether all the hiaqua in the world was worth this 
toil and anxiety. Fortunate is the sage who at such 
a point turns back and buys his experience without 
worse befalling him. 

"Past midnight he suddenly was startled from his 
drowse, and sat bolt upright in terror. A light. 
Was there another searcher in the forest, and a bolder 
than he ? That flame just glimmering over the tree- 
tops, was it a camp-fire of friend or foe ? Had Tama- 
noiis been revealing to another the great secret ? No, 
smiled the miser, his eyes fairly open, and discovering 
that the new light was the moon. He had been wait- 
ing for her illumination of paths heretofore untrodden 
by mortal. She did not show her full, round jolly 
face, but turned it askance as if she hardly liked to be 
implicated in this night's transaction. 

"However, it was light he wanted, not sympathy, 
and he started up at once to climb over the dim snows. 
The surface was packed by the night's frost, and his 
moccasins gave him firm hold ; yet he travelled but 
slowly, and could not always save himself from a 
glissade backwards, and a bruise upon some project- 
ing knob or crag. Sometimes, upright fronts of ice 
diverted him for long circuits, or a broken wall of cold 
cliff arose, which he must surmount painfully. Once 
or twice he stuck fast in a crevice, and hardly drew 
himself out by placing his bundle of picks across the 
crack. As he plodded and floundered thus deviously 
and toilsomely upward, at last the wasted moon gan 
pale overhead, and under foot the snow grew rosy 
with coming dawn. The dim world about the moun- 
tain's base displayed something of its vast detail. 
He could see, more positively than by moonlight, the 
far-reaching arteries of mist marking the organism 
of Whulge beneath ; and what had been but a black 
chaos now revealed itself into the Alpine forest whence 
he had come. 

47 



MOUNT RAINIER 

" But he troubled himself little with staring about ; 
up he looked, for the summit was at hand. To win 
that summit was wellnigh the attainment of his hopes, 
if Tamanoiis were true ; and that, with the flush of 
morning ardor upon him, he could not doubt. There, 
in a spot Tamanoiis had revealed to him, was hiaqua, 
hiaqua that should make him the richest and greatest 
of all the Squallyamish. 

"The chill before sunrise was upon him as he reached 
the last curve of the dome. Sunrise and he struck the 
summit together. Together sunrise and he looked 
over the glacis. They saw within a great hollow all 
covered with the whitest of snow, save at the centre, 
where a black lake lay deep in a well of purple rock. 

"At the eastern end of this lake was a small, irregu- 
lar plain of snow, marked by three stones like monu- 
ments. Towards these the miser sprang rapidly, with 
full sunshine streaming after him over the snows. 

"The first monument he examined with keen looks. 
It was tall as a giant man, and its top was fashioned 
into the grotesque likeness of a salmon's head. He 
turned from this to inspect the second. It was of 
similar height, but bore at its apex an object in shape 
like the regular flame of a torch. As he approached, 
he presently discovered that this was an image of the 
kamas-bulb in stone. These two semblances of prime 
necessities of Indian life delayed him but an instant, 
and he hastened on to the third monument, which stood 
apart on a perfect level. The third stone was capped 
by something he almost feared to behold, lest it should 
prove other than his hopes. Every word of Tamanoiis 
had thus far proved veritable ; but might there not be 
a bitter deceit at the last ? The miser trembled. 

"Yes, Tamanoiis was trustworthy. The third monu- 
ment was as the old man anticipated. It was a stone 
elk's head, such as it appears in earliest summer, when 
the antlers are sprouting lustily under their rough 
jacket of velvet. 

4 8 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

"You remember, Boston tyee," continued Hamit- 
chou, "that Elk was the old man's tamanoiis, the 
incarnation for him of the universal Tamanoiis. He 
therefore was right joyous at this good omen of pro- 
tection ; and his heart grew big and swollen with hope, 
as the black salmon-berry swells in a swamp in June. 
He threw down his 'ikta'; every impediment he laid 
down upon the snow ; and, unwrapping his two picks 
of elk-horn, he took the stoutest, and began to dig 
in the frozen snow at the foot of the elk-head monu- 
ment. 

"No sooner had he struck the first blow than he 
heard behind him a sudden puff, such as a seal makes 
when it comes to the surface to breathe. Turning 
round much startled, he saw a huge otter just clamber- 
ing up over the edge of the lake. The otter paused, 
and struck on the snow with his tail, whereupon another 
otter and another appeared, until, following their 
leader in slow and solemn file, were twelve other 
otters, marching toward the miser. The twelve ap- 
proached, and drew up in a circle around him. Each 
was twice as large as any otter ever seen. Their 
chief was four times as large as the most gigantic otter 
ever seen in the regions of Whulge, and certainly was 
as great as a seal. When the twelve were arranged, 
their leader skipped to the top of the elk-head stone, 
and sat there between the horns. Then the whole 
thirteen gave a mighty puff in chorus. 

"The hunter of hiaqua was for a moment abashed 
at his uninvited ring of spectators. But he had seen 
otter before, and bagged them. These he could not 
waste time to shoot, even if a phalanx so numerous 
were not formidable. Besides, they might be tama- 
noiis. He took to his pick and began digging stoutly. 

"He soon made way in the snow, and came to solid 
rock beneath. At every thirteenth stroke of his pick, 
the fugelman otter tapped with his tail on the monu- 
ment. Then the choir of lesser otters tapped together 

E 49 



MOUNT RAINIER 

with theirs on the snow. This caudal action produced 
a dull, muffled sound, as if there were a vast hollow 
below. 

"Digging with all his force, by and by the seeker 
for treasure began to tire, and laid down his elk-horn 
spade to wipe the sweat from his brow. Straightway 
the fugleman otter turned, and, swinging his tail, 
gave the weary man a mighty thump on the shoulder ; 
and the whole band, imitating, turned, and, backing 
inward, smote him with centripetal tails, until he 
resumed his labors, much bruised. 

"The rock lay first in plates, then in scales. These it 
was easy to remove. Presently, however, as the miser 
pried carelessly at a larger mass, he broke his elkhorn 
tool. Fugleman otter leaped down, and seizing the 
supplemental pick between his teeth, mouthed it over 
to the digger. Then the amphibious monster took 
in the same manner the broken pick, and bore it round 
the circle of his suite, who inspected it gravely with 
puffs. 

"These strange, magical proceedings disconcerted 
and somewhat baffled the miser ; but he plucked up 
heart, for the prize was priceless, and worked on more 
cautiously with his second pick. At last its blows 
and the regular thumps of the otter's tails called forth 
a sound hollower and hollower. His circle of specta- 
tors narrowed so that he could feel their panting breath 
as they bent curiously over the little pit he had dug. 

"The crisis was evidently at hand. 

"He lifted each scale of rock more delicately. Fi- 
nally he raised a scale so thin that it cracked into flakes 
as he turned it over. Beneath was a large square 
cavity. 

" It was filled to the brim with hiaqua. 

" He was a millionnaire. 

"The otters recognized him as the favorite of Tama- 
noiis, and retired to a respectful distance. 

"For some moments he gazed on his treasure, tak- 

5 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

ing thought of his future proud grandeur among the 
dwellers by Whulge. He plunged his arm deep as 
he could go ; there was still nothing but the precious 
shells. He smiled to himself in triumph ; he had 
wrung the secret from Tamanoiis. Then, as he with- 
drew his arm, the rattle of the hiaqua recalled him to 
the present. He saw that noon was long past, and 
he must proceed to reduce his property to possession. 

"The hiaqua was strung upon long, stout sinews 
of elk, in bunches of fifty shells on each side. Four 
of these he wound about his waist ; three he hung 
across each shoulder ; five he took in each hand ; - 
twenty strings of pure white hiaqua, every shell large, 
smooth, unbroken, beautiful. He could carry no 
more ; hardly even with this could he stagger along. 
He put down his burden for a moment, while he cov- 
ered up the seemingly untouched wealth of the deposit 
carefully with the scale stones, and brushed snow over 
the whole. 

"The miser never dreamed of gratitude, never 
thought to hang a string from the buried treasure 
about the salmon and kamas tamanous stones, and 
two strings around the elk's head ; no, all must be 
his own, all he could carry now, and the rest for the 
future. 

"He turned, and began his climb toward the crater's 
edge. At once the otters, with a mighty puff in concert, 
took up their line of procession, and, plunging into the 
black lake, began to beat the water with their tails. 

"The miser could hear the sound of splashing water 
as he struggled upward through the snow, now melted 
and yielding. It was a long hour of harsh toil and 
much backsliding before he reached the rim, and turned 
to take one more view of this valley of good fortune. 

"As he looked, a thick mist began to rise from the 
lake centre, where the otters were splashing. Under 
the mist grew a cylinder of black cloud, utterly hiding 
the water. 

51 



MOUNT RAINIER 

"Terrible are storms in the mountains ; but in this 
looming mass was a terror more dread than any hurri- 
cane of ruin ever bore within its wild vortexes, Ta- 
manoiis was in that black cylinder, and as it strode 
forward, chasing in the very path of the miser, he 
shuddered, for his wealth and his life were in danger. 

"However, it might be but a common storm. Sun- 
light was bright as ever overhead in heaven, and all 
the lovely world below lay dreamily fair, in that after- 
noon of summer, at the feet of the rich man, who now 
was hastening to be its king. He stepped from the 
crater edge and began his descent. 

" Instantly the storm overtook him. He was thrown 
down by its first assault, flung over a rough bank of 
iciness, and lay at the foot torn and bleeding, but 
clinging still to his precious burden. Each hand 
still held its five strings of hiaqua. In each hand he 
bore a nation's ransom. He staggered to his feet 
against the blast. Utter night was around him, 
night as if daylight had forever perished, had never 
come into being from chaos. The roaring of the storm 
had also deafened and bewildered him with its wild 
uproar. 

"Present in every crash and thunder of the gale 
was a growing undertone, which the miser well knew 
to be the voice of Tamanoiis. A deadly shuddering 
shook him. Heretofore that potent Unseen had been 
his friend and guide ; there had been awe, but no terror, 
in his words. Now the voice of Tamanoiis was inarti- 
culate, but the miser could divine in that sound an 
unspeakable threat of wrath and vengeance. Floating 
upon this undertone were sharper tamanoiis voices, 
snouting and screaming always sneeringly, 'Ha, ha, 
hiaqua ! ha, ha, ha !' 

"Whenever the miser essayed to move and continue 
his descent, a whirlwind caught him, and with much 
ado tossed him hither and thither, leaving him at 
last flung and imprisoned in a pinching crevice, or 

52 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

buried to the eyes in a snowdrift, or bedded upside 
down on a shaggy boulder, or gnawed by lacerating 
lava jaws. Sharp torture the old man was encounter- 
ing, but he held fast to his hiaqua. 

"The blackness grew ever deeper and more crowded 
with perdition ; the din more impish, demoniac, and 
devilish ; the laughter more appalling ; and the miser 
more and more exhausted with vain buffeting. He 
determined to propitate exasperated Tamanoiis with 
a sacrifice. He threw into the black cylinder storm 
his left-handful, five strings of precious hiaqua." 

"Somewhat long-winded is thy legend, Hamitchou, 
Great Medicine-Man of the Squallyamish," quoth I. 
"Why didn't the old fool drop his wampum, shell 
out, as one might say, and make tracks?" 

"Well, well!" continued Hamitchou; "when the 
miser had thrown away his first handful of hiaqua, 
there was a momentary lull in elemental war, and he 
heard the otters puffing around him invisible. Then 
the storm renewed, blacker, louder, harsher, crueller 
than before, and over the dread undertone of the voice 
of Tamanoiis, tamanoiis voices again screamed, 'Ha, 
ha, ha, hiaqua!' and it seemed as if tamanoiis hands, 
or the paws of the demon otters, clutched at the miser's 
right-handful and tore at his shoulder and waist belts. 

"So, while darkness and tempest still buffeted the 
hapless old man, and thrust him away from his path, 
and while the roaring was wickeder than the roars of 
tens and tens of tens of bears when ahungered they 
pounce upon a plain of kamas, gradually wounded 
and terrified he flung away string after string of hiaqua, 
gaining never any notice of such sacrifice, except an 
instant's lull of the cyclone and a puff from the invisible 
otters. 

"The last string he clung to long, and before he 
threw it to be caught and whirled after its fellows, he 
tore off a single bunch of fifty shells. But upon this, 
too, the storm laid its clutches. In the final desperate 

53 



MOUNT RAINIER 

struggle the old man was wounded so sternly that 
when he had given up his last relic of the mighty 
treasure, when he had thrown into the formless chaos, 
instinct with Tamanoiis, his last propitiatory offering, 
he sank and became insensible. 

"It seemed a long slumber to him, but at last he 
awoke. The jagged moon was just paling overhead, 
and he heard Skai-ki, the Blue-Jay, foe to magic, sing- 
ing welcome to sunrise. It was the very spot whence 
he started at morning. 

"He was hungry, and felt for his bag of kamas and 
pouch of smokeleaves. There, indeed, by his side 
were the elk-sinew strings of the bag, and the black 
stone pipe-bowl, but no bag, no kamas, no kinni 
kinnik. The whole spot was thick with kamas plants, 
strangely out of place on the mountain-side, and over- 
head grew a large arbutus-tree, with glistening leaves, 
ripe for smoking. The old man found his hardwood 
fire-sticks safe under the herbage, and soon twirled 
a light, and, nurturing it in dry grass, kindled a cheery 
fire. He plucked up kamas, set it to roast, and laid 
a store of the arbutus-leaves to dry on a flat stone. 

"After he had made a hearty breakfast of the chest- 
nut-like kamas-bulbs, and, smoking the thoughtful 
pipe, was reflecting on the events of yesterday, he 
became aware of an odd change in his condition. He 
was not bruised and wounded from head to foot, as 
he expected, but very stiff only, and as he stirred, his 
joints creaked like the creak of a lazy paddle upon the 
rim of a canoe. Skai-ki, the Blue-Jay, was singularly 
familiar with him, hopping from her perch in the arbu- 
tus, and alighting on his head. As he put his hand 
to dislodge her, he touched his scratching-stick of 
bone, and attempted to pass it, as usual, through his 
hair. The hair was matted and interlaced into a 
network reaching fully two ells down his back. * Ta- 
manoiis/ thought the old man. 

"Chiefly he was conscious of a mental change. He 

54 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

was calm and content. Hiaqua and wealth seemed to 
have lost their charms for him. Tacoma, shining 
like gold and silver and precious stones of gayest 
lustre, seemed a benign comrade and friend. All the 
outer world was cheerful and satisfying. He thought 
he had never awakened to a fresher morning. He was 
a young man again, except for that unusual stiffness 
and unmelodious creaking joints. He felt no appre- 
hension of any presence of a deputy tamanoiis, sent 
by Tamanoiis to do malignities upon him in the lonely 
wood. Great Nature had a kindly aspect, and made 
its divinity perceived only by the sweet notes of birds 
and the hum of forest life, and by a joy that clothed 
his being. And now he found in his heart a sympathy 
for man, and a longing to meet his old acquaintances 
down by the shores of Whulge. 

"He rose, and started on the downward way, smil- 
ing, and sometimes laughing heartily at the strange 
croaking, moaning, cracking, and rasping of his joints. 
But soon motion set the lubricating valves at work, 
and the sockets grew slippery again. He marched 
rapidly, hastening out of loneliness into society. The 
world of wood, glade, and stream seemed to him 
strangely altered. Old colossal trees, firs behind which 
he had hidden when on the hunt, cedars under whose 
drooping shade he had lurked, were down, and lay 
athwart his path, transformed into immense mossy 
mounds, like barrows of giants, over which he must 
clamber warily, lest he sink and be half stifled in the dust 
of rotten wood. Had Tamanoiis been widely at work 
in that eventful night ? or had the spiritual change 
the old man felt affected his views of the outer world ? 

"Travelling downward, he advanced rapidly, and 
just before sunset came to the prairies where his lodge 
should be. Everything had seemed to him so totally 
altered, that he tarried a moment in the edge of the 
woods to take an observation before approaching his 
home. There was a lodge, indeed, in the old spot, 

55 



MOUNT RAINIER 

but a newer and far handsomer one than he had left 
on the fourth evening before. 

"A very decrepit old squaw, ablaze with vermilion 
and decked with countless strings of hiaqua and costly 
beads, was seated on the ground near the door, tending 
a kettle of salmon, whose blue and fragrant steam 
mingled pleasantly with the golden haze of sunset. 
She resembled his own squaw in countenance, as an 
ancient smoked salmon is like a newly-dried salmon. 
If she was indeed his spouse, she was many years older 
than when he saw her last, and much better dressed 
than the respectable lady had ever been during his 
miserly days. 

"He drew near quietly. The bedizened dame was 
crooning a chant, very dolorous, like this : 

'My old man has gone, gone, gone, 
My old man to Tacoma, has gone. 
To hunt the elk, he went long ago. 
When will he come down, down, down, 
Down to the salmon-pot and me ?' 

'He has come from Tacoma down, down, down, 
Down to the salmon-pot and thee,' 

shouted the reformed miser, rushing forward to supper 
and his faithful wife." 

"And how did Penelope explain the mystery?" I 
asked. 

"If you mean the old lady," replied Hamitchou, 
"she was my grandmother, and I'd thank you not to 
call names. She told my grandfather that he had been 
gone many years ; she could not tell how many, 
having dropped her tally-stick in the fire by accident 
that very day. She also told him how, in despite of 
the entreaties of many a chief who knew her economic 
virtues, and prayed her to become mistress of his 
household, she had remained constant to the Absent, 
and forever kept the hopeful salmon-pot boiling for 
his return. She had distracted her mind from the 

56 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

bitterness of sorrow by trading in kamas and magic 
herbs, and had thus acquired a genteel competence. 
The excellent dame then exhibited with great com- 
placency her gains, most of which she had put in the 
portable and secure form of personal ornament, mak- 
ing herself a resplendent magazine of valuable frippery. 

"Little cared the repentant sage for such things. 
But he was rejoiced to be again at home and at peace, 
and near his own early gains of hiaqua and treasure, 
buried in a place of security. These, however, he 
no longer over-esteemed and hoarded. He imparted 
whatever he possessed, material treasures or stores of 
wisdom and experience, freely to all the land. Every 
dweller by Whulge came to him for advice how to 
chase the elk, how to troll or spear the salmon, and 
how to propitiate Tamanoiis. He became the Great 
Medicine Man of the siwashes, a benefactor tp his 
tribe and his race. 

"Within a year after he came down from his long 
nap on the side of Tacoma, a child, my father, was 
born to him. The sage lived many years, beloved and 
revered, and on his deathbed, long before the Boston 
tilicum or any blanketeers were seen in the regions of 
Whulge, he told this history to my father, as a lesson 
and a warning. My father, dying, told it to me. 
But I, alas ! have no son ; I grow old, and lest this 
wisdom perish from the earth, and Tamanoiis be again 
obliged to interpose against avarice, I tell the tale to 
thee, O Boston tyee. Mayest thou and thy nation 
not disdain this lesson of an earlier age, but profit by it 
and be wise." 

So far Hamitchou recounted his legend without the 
palisades of Fort Nisqually, and motioning, in expres- 
sive pantomine, at the close, that he was dry with big 
talk, and would gladly wet his whistle. 

[Chapter VIII, beginning at page 155 of the original 
publication, is entitled : "Sowee House Loolowcan."] 

57 



MOUNT RAINIER 

I had not long, that noon of August, from the top 
of La Tete, to study Tacoma, scene of Hamitchou's 
wild legend. Humanity forbade dalliance. While I 
fed my soul with sublimity, Klale and his comrades 
were wretched with starvation. But the summit of 
the pass is near. A few struggles more, Klale the 
plucky, and thy empty sides shall echo less drum-like. 
Up stoutly, my steeds ; up a steep but little less than 
perpendicular, paw over these last trunks of the barri- 
cades in our trail, and ye have won ! 

So it was. The angle of our ascent suddenly broke 
down from ninety to fifteen, then to nothing. We 
had reached the plateau. Here were the first prairies. 
Nibble in these, my nags, for a few refreshing moments, 
and then on to superlative dinners in lovelier spots 
just beyond. 

Let no one, exaggerating the joys of campaigning, 
with Horace's "Militia potior est," deem that there 
is no compensating pang among them. Is it a pleas- 
ant thing, O traveller only in dreams, envier of the 
voyager in reality, to urge tired, reluctant, and unfed 
mustangs up a mountain pass, even for their own good ? 
In such a case a man, the humanest and gentlest, must 
adopt the manners of a brute. He must ply the whip, 
and that cruelly ; otherwise, no go. At first, as he 
smites, he winces, for he has struck his own sensibil- 
ities ; by and by he hardens himself, and thrashes 
without a tremor. When the cortege arrives at an 
edible prairie, gastronomic satisfaction will put Lethean 
freshness in the battered hide of every horse. 

We presently turned just aside from the trail into an 
episode of beautiful prairie, one of a succession along 
the plateau at the crest of the range. At this height 
of about five thousand feet, the snows remain until 
June. In this fair, oval, forest-circled prairie of my 
nooning, the grass was long and succulent, as if it 
grew in the bed of a drained lake. The horses, un- 
dressed, were allowed to plunge and wallow in the deep 

58 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

herbage. Only horse heads soon could be seen, mov- 
ing about like their brother hippopotami, swimming in 
sedges. 

To me it was luxury enough not to be a whip for a 
time. Over and above this, I had the charm of a 
quiet nooning on a bank of emerald turf, by a spring, 
at the edge of a clump of evergreens. I took my 
luncheon of cold salt pork and doughy biscuit by a 
well of brightest water. I called in no proxy of tin 
cup to aid me in saluting this sparkling creature, but 
stooped and kissed the spring. When I had rendered 
my first homage thus to the goddess of the fountain, 
Mgle herself, perhaps, fairest of Naiads, I drank 
thirstily of the medium in which she dwelt. A bub- 
bling dash of water leaped up and splashed my visage 
as I withdrew. Why so, sweet fountain, which I may 
name Hippocrene, since hoofs of Klale have caused me 
thy discovery ? Is this a rebuff ? If there ever was 
lover who little merited such treatment it is I. "Not 
so, appreciative stranger," came up in other bubbling 
gushes the responsive voice of Nature through sweet 
vibrations of the melodious fount. "Never a Nymph 
of mine will thrust thee back. This sudden leap of 
water was a movement of sympathy, and a gentle 
emotion of hospitality. The Naiad there was offering 
thee her treasure liberally, and saying that, drink as 
thou wilt, I, her mother Nature, have commanded 
my winds and sun to distil thee fresh supplies, and my 
craggy crevices are filtering it in the store-houses, that 
it may be offered to every welcome guest, pure and 
cool as airs of dawn. Stoop down," continued the 
voice, "thirsty wayfarer, and kiss again my daughter of 
the fountain, nor be abashed if she meets thee half- 
way. She knows that a true lover will never scorn his 
love's delicate advances." 

In response to such invitation, and the more for 
my thirsty slices of pork, I lapped the aerated tipple 
in its goblet, whose stem reaches deep into the bubble 

59 



MOUNT RAINIER 

laboratories. I lapped, an excellent test of pluck 
in the days of Gideon son of Barak ; and why ? 
For many reasons, but among them for this ; he 
who lying prone can with stout muscular gullet swallow 
water, will be also able to swallow back into position 
his heart, when in moments of tremor it leaps into his 
throat. 

When I had lapped plenteously, I lay and let the 
breeze-shaken shadows smooth me into smiling mood, 
while my sympathies overflowed to enjoy with my 
horses their dinner. They fed like school-boys home 
for Thanksgiving, in haste lest the present banquet, 
too good to be true, prove Barmecide. A feast of 
colossal grasses placed itself at the lips of the break- 
fastless stud. They champed as their nature was ; - 
Klale like a hungry gentleman, Gubbins like a 
hungry clodhopper, Antipodes like a lubberly oaf. 
They were laying in, according to the Hudson's Bay 
Company's rule, supply at this meal for five days ; 
without such power, neither man nor horse is fit to 
tramp the Northwest. 

I lay on the beautiful verdant bank, plucking now 
dextrously and now sinistrously of strawberries, that 
summer, climbing late to these snowy heights, had just 
ripened. Medical men command us to swallow twice 
a day one bitter pill confectioned of all disgust. Nature 
doses us, by no means against our will, with many 
sweet boluses of delight, berries compacted of acidu- 
lated, sugary spiciness. Nature, tenderest of leeches, 
no bolus of hers is pleasanter medicament than her 
ruddy strawberries. She shaped them like Minie- 
balls, that they might traverse unerringly to the cell 
of most dulcet digestion. Over their glistening sur- 
faces she peppered little golden dots to act as obstacles 
lest they should glide too fleetly over the surfaces of 
taste, and also to gently rasp them into keener sensi- 
tiveness. Mongers of pestled poisons may punch their 
pills in malodorous mortars, roll them in floury palms, 

60 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

pack them in pink boxes, and send them forth to dis- 
tress a world of patients : but Nature, who if she 
even feels one's pulse does it by a gentle pressure of 
atmosphere, Nature, knowing that her children in 
their travels always need lively tonics, tells wind, sun, 
and dew, servitors of hers, clean and fine of touch, to 
manipulate gay strawberries, and dispose them at- 
tractively on fair green terraces, shaded at parching 
noon. Of these lovely fabrics of pithy pulpiness, no 
limit to the dose, if the invalid does as Nature intended, 
and plucks for himself, with fingers rosy and fragrant. 
I plucked of them, as far as I could reach on either side 
of me, and then lay drowsily reposing on my couch at 
the summit of the Cascade Pass, under the shade of a 
fir, which, outstanding from the forest, had changed 
its columnar structure into a pyramidal, and had 
branches all along its stalwart trunk, instead of a mere 
tuft at the top. 

In this shade I should have known the tree which 
gave it, without looking up, not because the sharp 
little spicular leaves of the fir, miniatures of that sword 
Rome used to open the world, its oyster, would drop 
and plunge themselves into my eyes, or would insert 
their blades down my back and scarify, but because 
there is an influence and sentiment in umbrages, and 
under every tree its own atmosphere. Elms refine 
and have a graceful elegiac effect upon those they 
shelter. Oaks drop robustness. Mimosas will pres- 
sently make a sensitive-plant of him who hangs his 
hammock beneath their shade. Cocoa-palms will infect 
him with such tropical indolence, that he will not stir 
until frowzy monkeys climb the tree and pelt him away 
to the next one. The shade of pine-trees, as any one can 
prove by a journey in Maine, makes those who undergo 
it wiry, keen, trenchant, inexhaustible, and tough. 

When I had felt the influence of my fir shelter, on 
the edge of the wayside prairie, long enough, I became 
of course keen as a blade. I sprang up and called to 

61 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Loolowcan, in a resinous voice, "Mamook chaco cuitan ; 
make come horse." 

Loolowcan, in more genial mood than I had known 
him, drove the trio out from the long grass. They 
came forth not with backward hankerings, but far 
happier quadrupeds than when they climbed the pass 
at noon. It was a pleasure now to compress with 
the knees Klale, transformed from an empty barrel 
with protuberant hoops, into a full elastic cylinder, 
smooth as the boiler of a locomotive. 

"Loolowcan, my lad, my experienced guide, cur 
nesika moosum ; where sleep we?" said I. 

"Copa Sowee house, kicuali. Sowee, olyman 
tyee, memloose. Sia-a-ah mitlite ; At Sowee's 
camp below. Sowee, oldman chief, dead. It is 
far, far away," replied the son of Owhhigh. 

Far is near, distance is annihilated this brilliant day 
of summer, for us recreated with Hippocrene, straw- 
berries, shade of fir and tall snow-fed grass. Down 
the mountain range seems nothing after our long 
laborious up; "the half is more than the whole." 
"Lead on, Loolowcan, intelligent brave, toward the 
residence of the late Sowee." 

More fair prairies linked themselves along the trail. 
From these alpine pastures the future will draw butter 
and cheese, pasturing migratory cattle there, when 
summer dries the scanty grass upon the macadamized 
prairies of Whulge. It is well to remind ourselves 
sometimes that the world is not wholly squatted over. 
The plateau soon began to ebb toward the downward 
slope. Descent was like ascent, a way shaggy and 
abrupt. Again the Boston hooihut intruded. My 
friends the woodsmen had constructed an elaborate 
inclined plane of very knobby corduroy. Klale sniffed 
at this novel road, and turned up his nose at it. He 
was competent to protect that feature against all the 
perils of stumble and fall on the trails he had been 
educated to travel, but dreaded grinding it on the 

62 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

rough bark of this unaccustomed highway. Slow- 
footed oxen, leaning inward and sustaining each other, 
like two roysterers unsteady after wassail, might 
clumsily toil up such a road as this, hauling up stout, 
white-cotton-roofed wagons, filled with the babies 
and Lares of emigrants ; but quick-footed ponies, 
descending and carrying light loads of a wild Indian 
and an untamed blanketeer, chose rather to whisk 
along the aboriginal paths. 

As we came to the irregular terraces after the first 
pitch, and scampered on gayly, I by and by heard a 
welcome whiz, and a dusky grouse (Tetrao obscurus) 
lifted himself out of the trail into the lower branches of 
a giant fir. I had lugged my double-barrel thus far, 
a futile burden, unless when it served a minatory pur- 
pose among the drunken Klalams. Now it became an 
animated machine, and uttered a sharp exclamation of 
relief after long patient silence. Down came tetrao, 
down he came with satisfactory thud, signifying 
pounds of something not pork for supper. We bagged 
him joyously and dashed on. 

"Kopet," whispered Loolowcan turning, with a 
hushing gesture, "hiu kullakullie nika nanitch ; 
halt, plenty birds I see." He was so eager that from 
under his low brows and unkempt hair his dusky eyes 
glared like the eyes of wild beast, studying his prey 
from a shadowy lair. 

Dismounting, I stole forward with assassin intent, 
and birds, grouse, five noble ones I saw, engaged in 
fattening their bodies for human solace and support. 
I sent a shot among them. There was a flutter among 
the choir, one fluttered not. At the sound of my 
right barrel one bird fell without rising ; another rose 
and fell at a hint from the sinister tube. The surviv- 
ing trio were distracted by mortal terror. They flew 
no farther than a dwarf tree hard by. I drew my 
revolver, thinking that there might not be time to 
load, and fired in a hurry at the lowermost. 

63 



MOUNT RAINIER 

"Hyas tamanoiis!" whispered Lpolowcan, when 
no bird fell or flew, "big magic/' it seemed to the 
superstitious youth. Often when sportsmen miss, 
they claim that their gun is bewitched, and avail 
themselves of the sure silver bullet. 

A second ball, passing with keener aim through the 
barrel, attained its mark. Grouse third shook off his 
mortal remains, and sped to heaven. The two others, 
contrary to rule, for I had shot the lower, fled, cowardly 
carrying their heavy bodies to die of cold, starvation, 
or old age. "The good die first," ay, Wordsworth ! 
among birds this is verity ; for the good are the fat, 
who, because of their avoirdupois, lag in flight, or 
alight upon lower branches and are easiest shot. 

Loolowcan bagged my three trophies and added 
them to the first. Henceforth the thought of a grouse 
supper became a fixed idea with me. I dwelt upon it 
with even a morbid appetite. I rehearsed, in pro- 
phetic mood, the scene of plucking, the scene of roast- 
ing, that happy festal scene of eating. So immersed 
did I become in gastronomic revery, that I did not mind 
my lookout, as I dashed after Loolowcan, fearless and 
agile cavalier. A thrust awoke me to a sense of pass- 
ing objects, a very fierce, lance-like thrust, full at my 
life. A wrecking snag of harsh dead wood, that pro- 
jected up in the trail, struck me, and tore me half off 
my horse, leaving me jerked, scratched, disjointed, and 
shuddering. Pachydermatous leggins of buckskin, at 
cost of their own unity, had saved me from impale- 
ment. Some such warning is always preparing for 
the careless. 

I soon had an opportunity to propitiate Nemesis by 
a humane action. A monstrous trunk lay across the 
trail. Loolowcan, reckless steeplechaser, put his horse 
at it, full speed. Gubbins, instead of going over 
neatly, or scrambling over cat-like, reared rampant 
and shied back, volte face. I rode forward to see 
what fresh interference of Tamanoiis was here, 

6 4 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

nothing tamanoiis but an unexpected sorry object of 
a horse. A wretched castaway, probably abandoned 
by the exploring party, or astray from them, essaying 
to leap the tree, had fallen back beneath the trunk 
and branches, and lay there entangled and perfectly 
helpless. We struggled to release him. In vain. At 
last a thought struck me. We seized the poor beast 
by his tail, fortunately a tenacious member, and, 
heaving vigorously, towed him out of prison. 

He tottered forlornly to his feet, looking about him 
like one risen from the dead. "How now, Caudal?" 
said I, baptizing him by the name of the part that 
saved his life; "canst thou follow toward fodder?" 
He debated the question with himself awhile. Soli- 
tary confinement of indefinite length, in a cramped 
posture, had given the poor skeleton time to consider 
that safety from starvation is worth one effort more. 
He found that there was still a modicum of life and its 
energy within his baggy hide. My horses seemed to 
impart to him some of their electricity, and he stag- 
gered on droopingly. Lucky Caudal, if life is worth 
having, that on that day, of all days, I should have 
arrived to rescue him. Strange deliverances for body 
and soul come to the dying. Fate sends unlooked-for 
succor, when or horses or men despair. 

Luckily for Caudal, the weak-kneed and utterly de- 
jected, Sowee's prairie was near, near was the 
prairie of Sowee, mighty hunter of deer and elk, 
terror of bears. There at weird night Sowee's ghost 
was often seen to stalk. Dyspeptics from feather- 
beds behold ghosts, and are terrified, but nightwalkers 
are but bugbears to men who have ridden from dawn 
to dusk of a long summer's day over an Indian trail 
in the mountains. I felt no fear that any incubus in 
the shape of a brassy-hued Indian chief would sit upon 
my breast that night, and murder wholesome sleep. 

Nightfall was tumbling down from the zenith before 
we reached camp. The sweet glimmers of twilight were 

F 6 5 



MOUNT RAINIER 

ousted from the forest, sternly as mercy is thrust from 
a darkening heart. Night is really only beautiful so 
far as it is not night, that is, for its stars, which are 
sources of resolute daylight in other spheres, and for 
its moon, which is daylight's memory, realized, soft- 
ened, and refined. 

Night, however, had not drawn the pall of brief 
death over the world so thick but that I could see 
enough to respect the taste of the late Sowee. When 
he voted himself this farm, and became seized of it in 
the days of unwritten agrarian laws, and before patents 
were in vogue, he proved his intelligent right to suffrage 
and seizure. Here in admirable quality were the 
three first requisites of a home in the wilderness, 
water, wood, and grass. A musical rustle, as we gal- 
loped through, proved the long grass. All around 
was the unshorn forest. There were columnar firs 
making the Sowee house a hypaethral temple on a 
grand scale. 

There had been here a lodge. A few saplings of its 
framework still stood, but Sowee had moved elsewhere 
not long ago. Wake siah memloose, not long dead 
was the builder, and viator might camp here unques- 
tioned. 

Caudal had followed us in inane, irresponsible way. 
Patiently now he stood, apparently waiting for far- 
ther commands from his preservers. We unpacked 
and unsaddled the other animals. They knew their 
business, namely, to bolt instantly for their pasture. 
Then a busy uproar of nipping and crunching was 
heard. Poor Caudal would not take the hint. We 
were obliged to drive that bony estray with blows out 
to the supper-field, where he stood aghast at the appe- 
tites of his new comrades. Repose and good example, 
however, soon had their effect, and eight equine jaws 
instead of six made play in the herbage. 

"Alki mika mamook pire, pe nesika klatawah copa 
klap tsuk ; now light thou a fire, and we will go find 

66 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

water," said Loolowcan. I struck fire, fire smote 
tinder, tinder sent the flame on, until a pyre from 
the world's free wood-pile was kindled. This boon of 
fire, what wonder that men devised a Prometheus 
greatest of demigods as its discoverer ? Mortals, 
shrinking from the responsibility of a high destiny and 
dreading to know how divine the Divine would have 
them, always imagine an avatar of some one not lower 
than a half-god when a gift of great price comes to the 
world. And fire is a very priceless and beautiful boon, 
not, as most know it, in imprisonment, barred with 
iron, or in sooty chimneys, or in mad revolt of confla- 
gration, but as it grows in a flashing pyramid out in 
camp in the free woods, with eager air hurrying in on 
every side to feed its glory. In the gloom I strike metal 
of steel against metallic flint. From this union a 
child is born. I receive the young spark tenderly in 
warm "tipsoo," in a soft woolly nest of bark or grass 
tinder. Swaddled in this he thrives. He smiles ; 
he chuckles ; he laughs ; he dances about, does my 
agile nursling. He will soon wear out his first infantile 
garb, so I cover him up in shelter. I feed him with 
digestible viands, according to his years. I give him 
presently stouter fare, and offer exhilarating morsels 
of fatness. All these the hearty youth assimilates, 
and grows healthily. And now I educate him to man- 
liness, training him on great joints, shoulders, and 
marrowy portions. He becomes erelong a power and 
a friend able to requite me generously for my care. 
He aids me in preparing my feast, and we feast to- 
gether. Afterward we talk, Flame and I, we 
think together strong and passionate thoughts of 
purpose and achievement. These emotions of man- 
hood die away, and we share pensive memories of 
happiness missed, or disdained, or feebly grasped and 
torn away ; regrets cover these like embers, and slowly 
over dead fieriness comes a robe of ashy gray. 

Fire in the forest is light, heat, and cheer. When 

6 7 



MOUNT RAINIER 

ours was nurtured to the self-sustaining point, we 
searched to find where the sage Sowee kept his pota- 
bles. Carefully covered up in sedges was a slender 
supply of water, worth concealing fron vulgar dabblers. 
Its diamond drops were hidden away so thoroughly 
that we must mine for them by torchlight. I held a 
flaring torch, while Loolowcan lay in wait for the 
trickle, and captured it in a tin pot. How wild he 
looked, that youth so frowzy by daylight, as, stoop- 
ing under the tall sedges, he clutched those priceless 
sparkles. 

Upon the carte du jour at Restaurant Sowee was 
written Grouse. "How shall we have them?" said 
I, cook and convive, to Loolowcan, marmitpn and 
convive. "One of these cocks of the mountain shall 
be fried, since gridiron is not," said I to myself, after 
meditation. "Two shall be spitted, and roasted ; 
and, as Azrael may not want us before breakfast to- 
morrow, the fourth shall go on the carte de dejeuner!* 

"O Pork ! what a creature thou art !" continued I, in 
monologue, cutting neat slices of that viand with my 
bowie-knife, and laying them fraternally, three in a 
bed, in the frying-pan. " Blessed be Moses ! who 
forbade thee to the Jews, whereby we, of freer dispen- 
sations, heirs of all the ages, inherit also pigs more 
numerous and bacon cheaper. O Pork ! what could 
campaigners do without thy fatness, thy leanness, 
thy saltness, thy portableness ?" 

Here Loolowcan presented me the three birds 
plucked featherless as Plato's man. The two roasters 
we planted carefully on spits before a sultry spot of 
the fire. From a horizontal stick, supported on forked 
stakes, we suspended by a twig over each roaster an 
automatic baster, an inverted cone of pork, ordained 
to yield its spicy juices to the wooing flame, and drip 
bedewing on each bosom beneath. The roasters 
ripened deliberately, while keen and quick fire told 
upon the fryer, the first course of our feast. Mean- 

68 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

while I brewed a pot of tea, blessing Confucius for that 
restorative weed, as I had blessed Moses for his absti- 
nence from porkers. 

Need I say that the grouse was admirable, that 
everything was delicious, and the Confucian weed first 
chop ? Even a scouse of mouldy biscuit met the ap- 
proval of Loolowcan. Feasts cooked under the green- 
wood tree, and eaten by their cooks after a triumphant 
day of progress, are sweeter than the conventional 
banquets of languid Christendom. After we had paid 
our duty to the brisk fryer and the rotund roaster 

rouse, nothing remained but bones to propitiate 
owee, should he find short commons in Elysium, and 
wander back to his lodge, seeking what he might 
devour. 

All along the journey I had been quietly probing 
the nature of Loolowcan, my most intimate associate 
thus far among the unalloyed copper-skins. Chinook 
jargon was indeed but a blunt probe, yet perhaps deli- 
cate enough to follow up such rough bits of conglom- 
erate as served him for ideas. An inductive philos- 
opher, tracing the laws of developing human thought 
in corpore viti of a frowzy savage, finds his work simple, 
the nuggets are on the surface. Those tough 
pebbles known to some metaphysicians as innate 
ideas, can be studied in Loolowcan in their process of 
formation out of instincts. 

Number one is the prize number in Loolowcan's 
lottery of life. He thinks of that number ; he dreams 
of it alone. When he lies down to sleep, he plots 
what he will do in the morning with his prize and his 
possession ; when he wakes, he at once proceeds to 
execute his plots. Loolowcan knows that there are 
powers out of himself; rights out of himself he does 
not comprehend, or even conceive. I have thus far 
been very indulgent to him, and treated him republi- 
canly, mindful of the heavy mesne profits for the occu- 
pation of a continent, and the uncounted arrears of 



MOUNT RAINIER 

blood-money owed by my race to his ; yet I find no 
trace of gratitude in my analysis of his character. 
He seems to be composed, selfishness, five hundred 
parts ; nil admirari coolness, five hundred parts ; 
a well-balanced character, and perhaps one not likely 
to excite enthusiasm in others. I am a steward to 
him ; I purvey him also a horse ; when we reach the 
Dalles, I am to pay him for his services ; but he is 
bound to me by no tie of comradery. He has cau- 
tion more highly developed than any quadruped I 
have met, and will not offend me lest I should resign 
my stewardship, retract Gubbins, refuse payment, 
discharge my guide, and fight through the woods, 
where he sees I am no stranger, alone. He certainly 
merits a "teapot" for his ability in guidance. He 
has memory and observation unerring ; not once in 
all our intricate journey have I found him at fault in 
any fact of space or time. He knows "each lane and 
every ally green'* here, accurately as Comus knew his 
"wild wood." 

Moral conceptions exist only in a very limited degree 
for this type of his race. Of God he knows somewhat 
less than the theologians ; that is, he is in the primary 
condition of uninquisitive ignorance, not in the sec- 
ondary, of inquisitive muddle. He has the advantage 
of no elaborate system of human inventions to unlearn. 
He has no distinct fetichism. None of the North 
American Indians have, in the accurate sense of the 
term ; their nomad life and tough struggle with in- 
structive Nature in her roughness save them from such 
elaborate fetichism as may exist in more indolent climes 
and countries. 

Loolowcan has his tamanoiis. It is Talipus, the 
Wolf, a "hyas skookoom tamanoiis, a very mighty 
demon," he informs me. He does not worship it ; 
that would interfere with his devotions to his real 
deity, Number One. It, in return, does him little 
service. If he met Talipus, object of his superstition, 

70 



TACOMA AND THE INDIAN LEGEND OF HAMITCHOU 

on a fair morning, he would think it a good omen ; if 
on a sulky morning, he might be somewhat depressed, 
but would not on that account turn back, as a Roman 
brave would have done on meeting the matinal wolf. 
In fact, he keeps Talipus, his tamanoiis, as a kind of 
ideal hobby, very much as a savage civilized man enter- 
tains a pet bulldog or a tame bear, a link between 
himself and the rude, dangerous forces of nature. 
Loolowcan has either chosen his protector according 
to the law of likeness, or, choosing it by chance, has 
become assimilated to its characteristics. A wolfish 
youth is the protege of Talipus, an unfaithful, 
sinister, cannibal-looking son of a horse-thief. Wolfish 
likewise is his appetite ; when he asks me for more 
dinner, and this without stint or decorum he does, he 
glares as if, grouse failing, pork and hard-tack gone, 
he could call to Talipus to send in a pack of wolves 
incarnate, and pounce with them upon me. A pleasant 
companion this for lamb-like me to lie down beside in 
the den of the late Sowee. Yet I do presently, after 
supper and a pipe, and a little jargoning in Chinook 
with my Wolf, roll into my blankets, and sleep vigor- 
ously, lulled by the gratifying noise of my graminiv- 
orous horses cramming themselves with material for 
leagues of lope to-morrow. 

No shade of Sowee came to my slumbers with warn- 
ing against the wolf in guise of a Klickatat brave. I 
had no ghostly incubus to shake off, but sprang up 
recreate in body and soul. Life is vivid when it thus 
awakes. To be is to do. 

And to-day much is to be done. Long leagues 
away, beyond a gorge of difficulty, is the open rolling 
hill country, and again far beyond are the lodges of the 
people of Owhhigh. "To-day," said Loolowcan, "we 
must go copa nika ilihee, to my home, to Weenas." 

Forlorn Caudal is hardly yet a frisky quadruped. 
Yet he is of better cheer, perhaps up to the family-nag 
degree of vivacity. As to the others, they have waxed 

71 



MOUNT RAINIER 

fat, and kick. Klale, the Humorous, kicks playfully, 
elongating in preparatory gymnastics. Gubbins, the 
average horse, kicks calmly at his saddler, merely as a 
protest. Antipodes, the spiteful Blunderer, kicks in 
a revolutionary manner, rolls under his pack-saddle, 
and will not budge without maltreatment. Ill-edu- 
cated Antipodes views mankind only as excoriators 
of his back, and general flagellants. Klickitats kept 
him raw in flesh and temper ; under me his physical 
condition improves ; his character is not yet affected. 
Before sunrise we quitted the house of Sowee. 



72 




GENERAL AUGUST VALENTINE KAUTZ. 
United States Army. 



V. FIRST ATTEMPTED ASCENT, 1857 
BY LIEUTENANT A. V. KAUTZ, U.S.A. 

AUGUST VALENTINE KAUTZ was born at Ispringen, Baden, Ger- 
many, on January c, 1828. In that same year his parents 
came to America. On attaining manhood the son entered the 
army and served as a private soldier in the Mexican War. 
At its conclusion he was appointed to the Military Academy 
at West Point. Graduating in 1852, he was assigned to the 
Fourth Infantry and soon found himself in the Pacific North- 
west. After going through the Indian wars here he achieved 
a brilliant record in the Civil War. Continuing in the army, 
he reached the rank of brigadier-general and was for a time 
in command of the Department of the Columbia. He died 
at Seattle on September 4, 1895. 

It was while, as a lieutenant, he was stationed at Fort Steilacoom 
that he attempted to ascend Mount Rainier. His account of 
the trip was published in the Overland Monthly, May, 1875. 
It is here republished by permission of the editor. While 
the ascent was claimed to be complete the climber says there 
was still higher land above him, and it is now difficult to fix 
the exact altitude attained. 

Professor I. C. Russell declares that Professor George Davidson 
made a statement before the California Academy of Sciences, 
on March 6, 1871, to the effect that when Lieutenant Kautz 
"attempted the ascent of Mount Rainier in 1857" he found his 
way barred by a great glacier. From this, says Professor 
Russell, it "seems that he first reported the existence of living 
glaciers in the United States." (See : Israel C. Russell : 
Glaciers of North America; Boston, Ginn & Company, 1897, 
p. 62). The portrait of General Kautz was furnished by his 
daughter, Mrs. Navana Kautz Simpson, of Cincinnati, Ohio. 

In the summer of 1857 I was stationed at Fort 
Steilacoom, Washington Territory. This post was 
located near the village of Steilacoom, on the waters 
of Puget Sound. The post and the village took their 
names from a little stream near by, which is the out- 

73 



MOUNT RAINIER 

let of a number of small lakes and ponds emptying into 
the sound. Quite a family of Indians made their 
permanent home in the vicinity of this creek in former 
years, and were known as "Suilacoom Tillicum." 
According to the Indian pronunciation of the name it 
should have been spelled " Steelacoom," dwelling long 
on the first syllable. 

I was at that time a first-lieutenant, young, and fond 
of visiting unexplored sections of the country, and 
possessed of a very prevailing passion for going to the 
tops of high places. My quarters fronted Mount 
Rainier, which is about sixty miles nearly east of Fort 
Steilacoom in an air line. On a clear day it does not 
look more than ten miles off, and looms up against the 
eastern sky white as the snow with which it is cov- 
ered, with a perfectly pyramidal outline, except at 
the top, which is slightly rounded and broken. It is 
a grand and inspiring view, and I had expressed so 
often my determination to make the ascent, without 
doing it, that my fellow-officers finally became in- 
credulous, and gave to all improbable and doubtful 
events a date of occurrence when I should ascend Mount 
Rainier. 

My resolution, however, took shape and form about 
the first of July. Nearly all the officers had been very 
free to volunteer to go with me as long as they felt 
certain I was not going ; but when I was ready to go, 
I should have been compelled to go alone but for the 
doctor, who was on a visit to the post from Fort Bel- 
lingham. 

I made preparations after the best authorities I 
could find, from reading accounts of the ascent of 
Mont Blanc and other snow mountains. We made 
for each member of the party an alpenstock of dry ash 
with an iron point. We sewed upon our shoes an extra 
sole, through which were first driven four-penny nails 
with the points broken off and the heads inside. We 
took with us a rope about fifty feet long, a hatchet, a 

74 



FIRST ATTEMPTED ASCENT, 1857 

thermometer, plenty of hard biscuit, and dried beef 
such as the Indians prepare. 

Information relating to the mountain was exceed- 
ingly meagre ; no white man had ever been near it, 
and Indians were very superstitious and afraid of it. 
The southern slope seemed the least abrupt, and in 
that direction I proposed to reach the mountain ; 
but whether to keep the high ground, or follow some 
stream to its source, was a question. Leshi, the chief 
of the Nesquallies, was at that time in the guard- 
house, awaiting his execution, and as I had greatly 
interested myself to save him from his fate, he vol- 
unteered the information that the valley of the 
Nesqually River was the best approach after getting 
above the falls. He had some hope that I would take 
him as a guide ; but finding that out of the question 
he suggested Wah-pow-e-ty, 1 an old Indian of the 
Nesqually tribe, as knowing more about the Nesqually 
than any other of his people. 

Mount Rainier is situated on the western side of the 
Cascade Range, near the forty-seventh parallel. The 
range to which it belongs averages about 7,000 to 8,000 
feet in height, and snow may be seen along its sum- 
mit-level the year round, while Rainier, with its im- 
mense covering of snow, towers as high again above the 
range. In various travels and expeditions in the ter- 
ritory, I had viewed the snow-peaks of this range 
from all points of the compass, and since that time 
having visited the mountain regions of Europe, and 
most of those of North America, I assert that Washing- 
ton Territory contains mountain scenery in quantity and 
quality sufficient to make half a dozen Switzerlands, 
while there is on the continent none more grand and 
imposing than is presented in the Cascade Range 
north of the Columbia River. 

About noon on the 8th of July [1857] we finally 
started. The party consisted of four soldiers two 

1 His name is honored in Wapowety Cleaver overlooking the Kautz Glacier. 

75 



MOUNT RAINIER 

of them equipped to ascend the mountain, and the 
other two to take care of our horses when we should 
be compelled to leave them. We started the soldiers 
on the direct route, with orders to stop at Mr. Wren's, 
on the eastern limit of the Nesqually plains, ten or 
twelve miles distant, and wait for us, while the doctor 
and I went by the Nesqually Reservation in order to 
pick up old Wah-pow-e-ty, the Indian guide. 

We remained all night at Wren's, and the next morn- 
ing entered that immense belt of timber with which 
the western slope of the Cascade Range is covered 
throughout its entire length. I had become familiar 
with the Indian trail that we followed, the year previ- 
ous, in our pursuit of Indians. The little patches 
of prairie are so rare that they constitute in that im- 
mense forest landmarks for the guidance of the traveler. 
Six miles from Wren's we came to Pawhtummi, a little 
camas prairie about 500 yards long, and 100 in breadth, 
a resort for the Indians in the proper season to gather 
the camas-root. Six miles farther we came to a similar 
prairie, circular in form, not more than 400 yards in 
diameter, called Koaptil. Another six or seven miles 
took us to the Tanwut, a small stream with a patch of 
prairie bordering it, where the trail crossed. Ten or 
twelve miles more brought us to the Mishawl Prairie, 
where we camped for the night, this being the end of 
the journey for our horses, and the limit of our knowl- 
edge of the country. 

This prairie takes its name from the stream near 
by, and is situated between it and the Owhap on a 
high table-land or bluff, not more than one or two 
miles from where these enter the Nesqually. It is 
perhaps half a mile long, and 200 or 300 yards wide 
at the widest point. The grass was abundant, and 
it was an excellent place to leave our horses. Fifteen 
months before, I had visited this spot, and camped 
near by with a small detachment of troops, searching 
for Indians who had hidden away in these forests, 

7 6 



FIRST ATTEMPTED ASCENT, 1857 

completely demoralized and nearly starving. A family 
of two or three men, and quite a number of women and 
children, had camped in the fork of the Mishawl and 
Nesqually, about two miles from this prairie, and were 
making fishtraps to catch salmon. When we fell in 
with them we learned that the Washington Territory 
volunteers had been before us, and with their im- 
mensely superior force had killed the most of them 
without regard to age or sex. Our own little com- 
mand in that expedition captured about thirty of these 
poor, half-starved, ignorant creatures, and no act of 
barbarity was perpetrated by us to mar the memory 
of that success. 

We accordingly camped in the Mishawl Prairie. 
When I was here before it was in March, and the rainy 
season was still prevailing ; the topographical engineer 
of the expedition and I slept under the same blankets 
on a wet drizzly night, and next morning treated each 
other to bitter reproaches for having each had more 
than his share of the covering. Now the weather was 
clear and beautiful, and the scene lovely in comparison. 
I can imagine nothing more gloomy and cheerless than 
a fir-forest in Washington Territory on a rainy winter 
day. The misty clouds hang down below the tops of 
the tallest trees, and although it does not rain, but 
drizzles, yet it is very wet and cold, and penetrates 
every thread of clothing to the skin. The summers of 
this region are in extraordinary contrast with the 
winters. Clear, beautiful, and dry, they begin in May 
and last till November ; while in the winter, although 
in latitude 47 and 48, it rarely freezes or snows 
often, however, raining two weeks without stopping 
a permeating drizzle. 

On this Qth of July, 1857, the weather was beauti- 
ful ; it had not rained for weeks. The Mishawl 
a raging mountain torrent, when last I saw it was 
now a sluggish rivulet of clear mountain-spring water. 
We started early on our journey, having made our 

77 



MOUNT RAINIER 

preparations the evening before. We calculated to be 
gone about six days. Each member of the party had 
to carry his own provisions and bedding ; everything 
was therefore reduced to the minimum. Each took a 
blanket, twenty-four crackers of hard bread, and 
about two pounds of dried beef. We took Dogue (a 
German) and Carroll (an Irishman) with us ; they 
were both volunteers for the trip ; one carried the 
hatchet and the other the rope. I carried a field- 
glass, thermometer, and a large-sized revolver. Wah- 
pow-e-ty carried his rifle, with which we hoped to 

grocure some game. The soldiers carried no arms, 
ell and Doneheh were left behind to take care of the 
horses and extra provisions, until our return. 

We each had a haversack for our provisions, and a 
tin canteen for water. The doctor very unwisely filled 
his with whisky instead of water. Having sounded 
Wah-pow-e-ty as to the route, we learned he had 
once been on the upper Nesqually when a boy, with 
his father, and that his knowledge of the country was 
very limited. We ascertained, however, that we could 
not follow the Nesqually at first ; that there was a fall 
in the river a short distance above the mouth of the 
Mishawl, and that the mountains came down so 
abrupt and precipitous that we could not follow the 
stream, and that the mountain must be crossed first 
and a descent made to the river above the fall. 

That mountain proved a severer task than we 
anticipated. There was no path and no open country 
only a dense forest, obstructed with undergrowth 
and fallen timber. The sun was very hot when it 
could reach us through the foliage ; not a breath of 
air stirred, and after we crossed the Mishawl, not a 
drop of water was to be had until we got down to low 
ground again. We toiled from early morning until 
three o'clock in the afternoon before we reached the 
summit. As the doctor had taken whisky instead of 
water in his canteen, he found it necessary to apply to 

78 



FIRST ATTEMPTED ASCENT, 1857 

the other members of the party to quench his thirst, 
and our canteens were speedily empty. The doctor 
sought relief in whisky, but it only aggravated his 
thirst, and he poured out the contents of his canteen. 
The severe exertion required for the ascent brought on 
painful cramps in his legs, and at one time, about the 
middle of the day, I concluded that we should be 
obliged to leave him to find his way back to camp 
while we went on without him ; but he made an agree- 
ment with Wah-pow-e-ty to carry his pack for him 
in addition to his own, for ten dollars, and the doctor 
was thus enabled to go on. Here was an illustration 
of the advantage of training. The doctor was large, 
raw-boned, and at least six feet high, looking as if he 
could have crushed with a single blow the insignificant 
old Indian, who was not much over five feet, and did 
not weigh more than half as much as the doctor ; but, 
inured to this kind of toil, he carried double the load 
that any of the party did, while the doctor, who was 
habituated to a sedentary life, had all he could do, 
carrying no load whatever, to keep up with the 
Indian. 

Early in the afternoon we reached the summit of 
the first ascent, where we enjoyed, in addition to a 
good rest, a magnificent view of the Puget Sound Val- 
ley, with Mount Olympus and the Coast Range for a 
background. Here on this summit, too, munching our 
biscuit of hard bread and our dried beef, we enjoyed 
a refreshing breeze as we looked down on the beautiful 
plains of the Nesqually, with its numerous clear and 
beautiful little lakes. There was nothing definite 
except forest of which there was a great excess 
lakes, and plains of limited area, the sound, and a great 
background of mountains. No habitations, farms, or 
villages were to be seen ; not a sign of civilization or 
human life. 

After a good rest we pushed on, taking an easterly 
course, and keeping, or trying to keep, on the spur of 

79 



MOUNT RAINIER 

the mountain ; the forest was so thick, however, that 
this was next to an impossibility. We were not loth 
to go down into ravines in the hope of finding some 
water, for we needed it greatly. It was a long time, 
and we met with many disappointments, before we 
could find enough to quench our thirst. Our progress 
was exceedingly slow on account of the undergrowth. 
At sundown we camped in the grand old forest, the 
location being chosen on account of some water in a 
partially dry ravine. The distance passed over from 
Mishawl Prairie we estimated at about ten or eleven 
miles. On good roads thirty miles would have wearied 
us much less. 

We started early the next morning, and for a time 
tried to keep the high ground, but found it so difficult 
that we finally turned down to the right, and came 
upon the Nesqually River about the middle of the 
afternoon. There was no material difference in the 
undergrowth, but there was an advantage gained in 
having plenty of water to quench our thirst. We 
made about ten miles this day, and camped about sun- 
down. There seemed nothing but forest before us ; 
dark, gloomy forest, remarkable for large trees, and 
its terrible solitude. But few living things were to 
be seen. The Nesqually is a very wide muddy tor- 
rent, fordable in places where the stream is much 
divided by islands. 

We already here began to suffer from the loss of 
appetite, which was to us such a difficulty throughout 
the entire trip. Even the four crackers and two ounces 
of dried beef, which was our daily limit, we found 
ourselves unable to master, and yet so much was 
necessary to keep up our strength. I have never 
been able to settle in my mind whether this was due 
to the sameness of the food or the great fatigue we 
underwent. 

The third morning we made an early start, and 
followed up the stream in almost a due east direction 

80 



FIRST ATTEMPTED ASCENT, 1857 

all day until about five o'clock, when the doctor broke 
down, having been unable to eat anything during the 
day. With considerable cramming I managed to dis- 
pose of the most of my rations. We kept the north 
side of the river, and had no streams to cross ; in fact, 
there did not appear to be any streams on either side 
putting into the river. The valley seemed several 
miles in width, densely timbered, and the undergrowth 
a complete thicket. Not more than ten miles were 
made by us. Just before we stopped for the night, we 
passed through a patch of dead timber of perhaps 100 
acres, with an abundance of blackberries. Opposite 
our camp, on the south side of the river, there was the 
appearance of quite a tributary coming in from the 
southeast. 

We did not get started until about eleven o'clock 
on the fourth morning. After cutting up a deer which 
Wah-pow-e-ty brought in early in the norning, we 
dried quite a quantity of it by the fire. As we antici- 
pated, it proved of much assistance, for we already saw 
that six days would be a very short time in which to 
make the trip. By night we reached a muddy tribu- 
tary coming in from the north, and evidently having 
its source in the melting snows of Rainier. The sum- 
mit of the mountain was visible from our camp, and 
seemed close at hand ; but night set in with promise of 
bad weather. The valley had become quite narrow. 
Our camp was at the foot of a mountain spur several 
thousand feet high, and the river close at hand. The 
gloomy forest, the wild mountain scenery, the roaring 
of the river, and the dark overhanging clouds, with 
the peculiar melancholy sighing which the wind makes 
through a fir forest, gave to our camp at this point an 
awful grandeur. 

On the fifth morning the clouds were so threatening, 
and came down so low on the surrounding mountains, 
that we were at a loss what course to pursue whether 
to follow up the main stream or the tributary at our 

G 81 



MOUNT RAINIER 

camp, which evidently came from the nearest snow. 
We finally followed the main stream, which very soon 
turned in toward the mountain, the valley growing 
narrower, the torrent more and more rapid, and our 
progress slower and slower, especially when we were 
compelled to take to the timber. We often crossed 
the torrent, of which the water was intensely cold, in 
order to avoid the obstructions of the forest. Some- 
times, however, the stream was impassable, and then 
we often became so entangled in the thickets as almost 
to despair of farther advance. Early in the evening we 
reached the foot of an immense glacier and camped. 
For several miles before camping the bed of the stream 
was paved with white granite bowlders, and the mountain 
gorge became narrower and narrower. The walls were 
in many places perpendicular precipices, thousands of 
feet high, their summits hid in the clouds. Vast piles 
of snow were to be seen along the stream the remains 
of avalanches for earth, trees, and rocks were inter- 
mingled with the snow. 

As it was near night we camped, thinking it best to 
begin the ascent in the early morning ; besides, the 
weather promised to become worse. The foliage of 
the pine-trees here was very dense, and on such a 
cloudy day it was dark as night in the forest. The 
limbs of the trees drooped upon the ground, a disposi- 
tion evidently given to them by the snow, which must 
be late in disappearing in this region. 

We followed thus far the main branch of the Nes- 
qually, and here it emerged from an icy cavern at the 
foot of an immense glacier. The ice itself was of a 
dark-blue tinge. The water was white, and when- 
ever I waded the torrent my shoes filled with gravel 
and sand. The walls of this immense mountain gorge 
were white granite, and, just where the glacier termi- 
nated, the immense vein of granite that was visible 
on both sides seemed to form a narrow throat to the 
great ravine, which is much wider both above and 

82 



FIRST ATTEMPTED ASCENT, 1857 

below. The water seems to derive its color from the 
disintegration of this granite.* 

We made our camp under a pine of dense foliage, 
whose limbs at the outer end drooped near the ground. 
We made our cup of tea, and found the water boil at 
202 Fahrenheit. Night set in with a drizzling rain, and 
a more solitary, gloomy picture than we presented at 
that camp it is impossible to conceive. Tired, hungry, 
dirty, clothes all in rags the effects of our struggles 
with the brush we were not the least happy ; the 
solitude was oppressive. The entire party, except 
myself, dropped down and did not move unless obliged 
to. I went up to the foot of the glacier, and explored 
a little before night set in. I also tried to make a 
sketch of the view looking up the glacier ; but I have 
never looked at it since without being forcibly re- 
minded what a failure it is as a sketch. 

On the morning of the sixth day we set out again up 
the glacier. A drizzling rain prevailed through the 
night, and continued this morning. We had a little 
trouble in getting upon the glacier, as it terminated 
everywhere in steep faces that were very difficult to 
climb. Once up, we did not meet with any obstruc- 
tions or interruptions for several hours, although the 
slippery surface of the glacier, which formed inclined 
planes of about twenty degrees, made it very fatiguing 
with our packs. About noon the weather thickened ; 
snow, sleet, and rain prevailed, and strong winds, blow- 
ing hither and thither, almost blinded us. The sur- 
face of the glacier, becoming steeper, began to be in- 
tersected by immense crevasses crossing our path, often 
compelling us to travel several hundred yards to gain a 
few feet. We finally resolved to find a camp. But 
getting off the glacier was no easy task. We found 

* I have no doubt that the south branch of the Nachess, which flows to the east 
into the Columbia, and that the Puyallup and White rivers, which flow west into 
Puget Sound, have similar sources in glaciers, from the fact that in July they are 
all of a similar character with the Nesqually, muddy, white torrents, at a time when 
little rain has fallen for months. Kautz. 

83 



MOUNT RAINIER 

that the face of the lateral moraine was almost per- 
pendicular, and composed of loose stones, sand, and 
gravel, furnishing a very uncertain foothold, besides 
being about fifty feet high. Wah-pow-e-ty and I finally 
succeeded in getting up, and with the aid of the rope 
we assisted our companions to do the same. When 
we reached the top we were a little surprised to find 
that we had to go down-hill again to reach the moun- 
tain side. Here a few stunted pines furnished us fuel 
and shelter, and we rested for the remainder of the 
day. I explored a little in the evening by ascending 
the ridge from the glacier, and discovered that it would 
be much the best route to pursue in ascending to the 
summit. 

When night set in, the solitude of our camp was very 
oppressive. We were near the limit of perpetual snow. 
The water for our tea we obtained from the melting of 
the ice near by. The atmosphere was very different 
from what it was below, and singularly clear when not 
obstructed by fog, rain, or snow. There were no 
familiar objects to enable one to estimate distance. 
When I caught a glimpse of the top of Rainier through 
the clouds, I felt certain that we could reach it in three 
hours. The only living things to be seen were some 
animals, with regard to which we still labor under an 
error. These little creatures would make their ap- 
pearance on the side of the mountain in sight of our 
camp, and feed upon herbage that grew on the soil 
where the snow left it bare. The moment anyone 
stirred from camp, a sound between a whistle and 
scream would break unexpectedly and from some un- 
known quarter, and immediately all the animals that 
were in sight would vanish in the earth. Upon visit- 
ing the spot where they disappeared, we would find a 
burrow which was evidently the creatures' home. 
Everywhere round the entrance we found great num- 
bers of tracks, such as a lamb or kid would make. The 
animals that we saw were about the size of kids, and 

84 



FIRST ATTEMPTED ASCENT, 1857 

grazed and moved about so much like them, that, 
taken in connection with the tracks we saw, we jumped 
at once to the conclusion that they were mountain 
sheep, of which we all had heard a great deal, but none 
of our party had ever seen any. My report of these 
animals, which was published in the Washington 
Republican on our return, was severely ridiculed by 
some of the naturalists who were hunting for unde- 
scribed insects and animals in that country at the 
time. We are still at a loss to understand the habits 
of the creatures, and to reconcile the split hoofs which 
the tracks indicated with their burrow in the earth. 1 

On the following morning the seventh day from 
our camp on the Mishawl the sky showed signs of 
clear weather, and we began the ascent of the main 
peak. Until about noon we were enveloped in clouds, 
and only occasionally did we get a glimpse of the 
peak. Soon after midday we reached suddenly a colder 
atmosphere, and found ourselves all at once above 
the clouds, which were spread out smooth and even as 
a sea, above which appeared the snowy peaks of St. 
Helens, Mount Adams, and Mount Hood, looking like 
pyramidal icebergs above an ocean. At first we could 
not see down through the clouds into the valleys. 
Above, the atmosphere was singularly clear, and the re- 
flection of the sun upon the snow very powerful. The 
summit of Rainier seemed very close at hand. 

About two o'clock in the afternoon the clouds rolled 
away like a scroll ; in a very short time they had 
disappeared, and the Cascade Range lay before us in 
all its greatness. The view was too grand and ex- 
tensive to be taken in at once, or in the short time we 
had to observe. The entire scene, with few exceptions, 
was covered with forests, with here and there barren 
rocky peaks that rose up out of the ridges ; now and 
then a mountain lake, much more blue than the sky, 

1 The burrow was made by the marmot and the split-hoof tracks in the loose 
earth were made by mountain goats. 

85 



MOUNT RAINIER 

and the Nesqually, winding like a thread of silver 
through the dark forests. From the foot of the glacier 
for several miles the bed of the river was very white, 
from the granite bowlders that covered the bed of the 
stream. The water, too, was of a decidedly chalkier 
color near its source. 

We had no time, however, to study the beauties 
that lay before us. We had already discovered that 
there was no telling from appearances how far we had 
to go. The travel was very difficult ; the surface of 
the snow was porous in some places, and at each step 
we sunk to our knees. Carroll and the Indian gave 
out early in the afternoon, and returned to camp. The 
doctor began to lag behind. Dogue stuck close to me. 
Between four and five o'clock we reached a very diffi- 
cult point. It proved to be the crest of the mountain, 
where the comparatively smooth surface was much 
broken up, and inaccessible pinnacles of ice and deep 
crevasses interrupted our progress. It was not only 
difficult to go ahead, but exceedingly dangerous ; a 
false step, or the loss of a foot-hold, would have been 
certain destruction. Dogue was evidently alarmed, 
for every time that I was unable to proceed, and turned 
back to find another passage, he would say, "/ guess, 
Lieutenant, we Better go pack" 

Finally we reached what may be called the top, for 
although there were points higher yet, 1 the mountain 
spread out comparatively flat, and it was much easier 
to get along. The soldier threw himself down ex- 
hausted, and said he could go no farther. The doctor 
was not in sight. I went on to explore by myself, but 
I returned in a quarter of an hour without my hat, 
fully satisfied that nothing more could be done. It was 
after six o'clock, the air was very cold, and the wind 
blew fiercely, so that in a second my hat which it car- 
ried away was far beyond recovery. The ice was form- 
ing in my canteen, and to stay on the mountain at such 

1 He here gives evidence that he had not reached the summit. 
86 



FIRST ATTEMPTED ASCENT, 1857 

a temperature was to freeze to death, for we brought 
no blankets with us, and we could not delay, as it 
would be impossible to return along the crest of the 
mountain after dark. When I returned to where I 
had left the soldier, I found the doctor there also, and 
after a short consultation we decided to return. 

Returning was far easier and more rapid than 
going. The snow was much harder and firmer, and 
we passed over in three hours, coming down, what re- 
quired ten in going up. We were greatly fatigued by 
the day's toil, and the descent was not accomplished 
without an occasional rest of our weary limbs. In 
one place the snow was crusted over, and for a short 
distance the mountain was very steep, and required the 
skillful use of the stick to prevent our going much 
faster than we desired. The soldier lost his footing, 
and rolled helplessly to the foot of the declivity, thirty 
or forty yards distant, and his face bore the traces of 
the scratching for many a day after, as if he had been 
through a bramble-bush. 

We found the Indian and Carroll in the camp. 
The latter had a long story to tell of his wanderings to 
find camp, and both stated that the fatigue was too 
much for them. There was no complaint on the part 
of any of us about the rarity of the atmosphere. The 
doctor attributed to this cause the fact that he could 
not go but a few yards at a time, near the summit, 
without resting ; but I am inclined to think this was 
due to our exhaustion. My breathing did not seem 
to be in the least affected. 

We were much disappointed not to have had more 
time to explore the summit of the mountain. We had, 
however, demonstrated the feasibility of making the 
ascent. Had we started at dawn of day we should 
have had plenty of time for the journey. From what 
I saw I should say the mountain top was a ridge per- 
haps two miles in length and nearly half a mile in 
width, with an angle about half-way, and depressions 

87 



MOUNT RAINIER 

between the angle and each end of the ridge which 
give to the summit the appearance of three small peaks 
as seen from the east or west. When viewed from north 
or south, a rounded summit is all that can be seen ; 
while viewed from positions between the cardinal 
points of the compass, the mountain generally has the 
appearance of two peaks. 

The night was very cold and clear after our return. 
We had some idea of making another ascent ; but an 
investigation into the state of our provisions, together 
with the condition of the party generally, determined 
us to begin our return on the morning of the eighth 
day. The two soldiers had eaten all their bread but 
one cracker each. The doctor and I had enough left, 
so that by a redistribution we had four crackers each, 
with which to return over a space that had required 
seven days of travel coming. We, of course, expected 
to be a shorter time getting back ; but let it be ever 
so short, our prospect for something to eat was pro- 
portionately much more limited. We had more meat 
than bread, thanks to the deer the Indian had killed, 
and we depended greatly on his killing more game for 
us going back : but this dependence, too, was cut off ; 
the Indian was snow-blind, and needed our help to 
guide him. His groans disturbed us during the night, 
and what was our astonishment in the morning to find 
his eyelids closed with inflammation, and so swollen 
that he looked as if he had been in a free fight and got 
the worst of it. He could not have told a deer from a 
stump the length of his little old rifle. 

Our camp was about 1,000 or 1,500 feet below the 
last visible shrub ; water boiled at 199, and, according 
to an approximate scale we had with us, this indicated 
an elevation of 7,000 feet. We estimated the highest 
peak to be over 12,000 feet high. I greatly regretted 
not being able to get the boiling-point on the top, but 
it was impossible to have had a fire in such a wind as 
prevailed round the summit. 



FIRST ATTEMPTED ASCENT, 1857 

As we returned we had more leisure to examine and 
clearer weather to see the glacier than we had coming 
up. There was no medial moraine ; but an icy ridge 
parallel to the lateral moraines, and about midway 
between them, extending as far as we ascended the 
glacier. The lateral moraines were not continuous, 
but were interrupted by the walls of the spurs where 
they projected into the glacier ; between these points 
the lateral moraines existed. The glacier sloped away 
from the ridge to the moraines, more or less sharply, 
and it was no easy matter to get off the ice, owing to 
the steepness of the moraine. The ice melted by 
reflection from the face of the moraine, and formed a 
difficult crevasse between it and the glacier. Bowl- 
ders of every shape and size were scattered over the 
face of the glacier. Large ones were propped up on 
pinnacles of ice ; these were evidently too thick for the 
sun to heat through. The small bowlders were sunk 
more or less deeply, and surrounded by water in the 
hot sun ; but they evidently froze fast again at night. 

The noise produced by the glacier was startling and 
strange. One might suppose the mountain was break- 
ing loose, particularly at night. Although, so far as 
stillness was concerned, there was no difference be- 
tween day and night, at night the noise seemed more 
terrible. It was a fearful crashing and grinding that 
was going on, where the granite was powdered that 
whitened the river below, and where the bowlders were 
polished and partially rounded. 

The great stillness and solitude were also very op- 
pressive ; no familiar sounds ; nothing except the 
whistle of the animal before mentioned and the noise 
of the glacier's motion was to be heard, and if these 
had not occurred at intervals the solitude would have 
been still more oppressive. We were glad to get down 
again to the Nesqually, where we could hear its roar 
and see its rushing waters. The other members of 
the party were so tired and worn, however, that they 



MOUNT RAINIER 

seemed to observe but little, and as we were now on 
our homeward way, their thoughts were set only on 
our camp on the Mishawl, with its provisions and 
promise of rest. 

The first day we passed two of the camps we had 
made coming up, and reached a point where we re- 
membered to have seen a great quantity of blackber- 
ries. It was quite dark by the time we reached the 
little spot of dead timber which seems to be the 
favorite haunt of the creeping bramble in this coun- 
try and to gather our supper of berries we built a 
fire at the foot of a large dead tree. Speedily the 
flames were climbing to the top of the withered branches, 
and casting a cheerful light for a hundred yards round. 
But what we found very convenient for gathering ber- 
ries proved to be a great annoyance when we wanted to 
sleep. During the night we were constantly moving our 
place of rest, at first on account of the falling embers, 
and finally for fear of the tree itself. 

Blackberries are refreshing so far as the palate is 
concerned ; but they are not very nourishing. We 
took our breakfast on them, and continued down the 
Nesqually from six in the morning until six in the 
evening, traveling slowly because of the difficult un- 
dergrowth and our worn-out and exhausted condition. 
We passed another of our camps, and finally stopped 
at what evidently had been an Indian camp. The 
cedar bark, always to be found in such places, we an- 
ticipated would make a shelter for us in case of rain, 
which the clouds promised us. 

No rain fell, however, and we resumed our march, 
continuing down the river five or six miles farther 
than where we firs-t struck it, to a point where the hills 
came close up and overhung the water. There we 
camped, expecting that an easy march on the morrow 
would enable us to reach our camp on the Mishawl. 
We ate our last morsel, and the next morning I was 
awakened by the conversation of the two soldiers. 

90 



FIRST ATTEMPTED ASCENT, 1857 

They were evidently discussing the subject of hunger, 
for the Irishman said: "I've often seen the squaws 
coming about the cook-house picking the pitaties out 
of the slop-barrel, an' I thought it was awful ; but I 
giss I'd do it mesilf this mornin'." 

The morning of the eleventh day we left the Nes- 
qually to cross over to the Mishawl, and traveled on 
the mountain all day, until we reached the stream at 
night completely exhausted. We should have stopped 
sooner than we did, but we were almost perishing with 
thirst, not having had any water since we left the 
Nesqually in the morning. What we took along in 
our canteens was exhausted in the early part of the day. 
We were not more than two miles from the camp in 
the prairie, and notwithstanding that we had had 
nothing to eat all day, except a few berries we had 
picked by the way, we were so exhausted that we 
lay down to sleep as soon as we had quenched our thirst. 

We started up-stream the next morning, thinking 
we had reached the Mishawl below our camp ; but soon 
discovering our mistake, we turned down. At this 
point the Irishman's heart sunk within him, he was 
so exhausted. Thinking we were lost, he wanted to 
lie down in the stream and "drownd" himself. He 
was assured that we should soon be in camp, and we 
arrived there very soon after, before the men left in 
charge of the horses were up. 

Our first thought was of something to eat. I cau- 
tioned all about eating much at first ; but from sub- 
sequent results am inclined to think my advice was not 
heeded. I contented myself with a half cracker, a 
little butter, and weak coffee ; and an hour after, when 
I began to feel the beneficial effects of what I had 
eaten, I took a little more substantial meal, but re- 
frained from eating heartily. 

After a short rest we caught our horses, and the 
doctor and I rode into Steilacoom, where we arrived 
after a hard ride late in the afternoon. As we 

91 



MOUNT RAINIER 

approached the post, we met on the road a number of 
the inhabitants with whom we were well acquainted, 
and who did not recognize us. Nor were we surprised 
when we got a glimpse of our faces in a glass. Hag- 
gard and sunburnt, nearly every familiar feature had 
disappeared. Since the loss of my hat, my head-dress 
was the sleeve of a red flannel shirt, tied into a knot 
at the elbow, with the point at the arm-pit for a visor. 
Our clothes were in rags ; one of the doctor's panta- 
loon-legs had entirely disappeared, and he had impro- 
vised a substitute out of a coffee-sack. In our generally 
dilapidated condition none of our acquaintances rec- 
ognized us until we got to the post. We passed for 
Indians until we arrived there, where we were received 
by the officers with a shout at our ludicrous appear- 
ance. They were all sitting under the oak-trees in 
front of quarters, discussing what had probably be- 
come of us, and proposing means for our rescue, when 
we came up. 

I felt the effects of the trip for many days, and did 
not recover my natural condition for some weeks. The 
doctor and I went to the village next morning, where 
the people were startled at our emaciated appearance. 
We found that the doctor had lost twenty-one pounds 
ir^ weight in fourteen days, and I had lost fourteen 
pounds in the same time. The doctor, while we were 
in the village, was taken with violent pains in his stom- 
ach, and returned to his post quite sick. He did not 
recover his health again for three months. 

The two soldiers went into the hospital immediately 
on their return, and I learned that for the remainder of 
their service they were in the hospital nearly all the 
time. Four or five years after, Carroll applied to me 
for a certificate on which to file an application for a 
pension, stating that he had not been well since his 
trip to the mountain. The Indian had an attack of 
gastritis, and barely escaped with his life after a pro- 
tracted sickness. I attribute my own escape from a 

92 



FIRST ATTEMPTED ASCENT, 1857 

lingering illness to the precautions I took in eating when 
satisfying the first cravings of hunger, on our return to 
camp. 

We are not likely to have any competitors in this 
attempt to explore the summit of Mount Rainier. 
Packwood and McAllister, two citizens of Pierce 
County, Washington Territory, explored up the Nes- 
qually, and crossed over to the head of the Cowlitz 
River, and thence by what was called Cowlitz Pass 
(since called Packwood Pass), to the east side of the 
mountains, searching for a trail to the mining regions 
of the upper Columbia. More recently, surveyors in 
the employ of the Pacific Railroad Company have been 
surveying through the same route for a railway passage. 

When the locomotive is heard in that region some 
day, when American enterprise has established an ice- 
cream saloon at the foot of the glacier, and sherry- 
cobblers may be had at twenty-five cents half-way up 
to the top of the mountain, attempts to ascend that 
magnificent snow-peak will be quite frequent. But 
many a long year will pass away before roads are 
sufficiently good to induce any one to do what we did 
in the summer of 1857. 



93 



VI. FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 
BY GENERAL HAZARD STEVENS 

GENERAL HAZARD STEVENS was born at Newport, Rhode Island, 
on June 9, 1842. His father was Major General Isaac I. 
Stevens, and his mother, Margaret (Hazard) Stevens, was a 
granddaughter of Colonel Daniel Lyman of the Revolution. 
In 1854 and 1855, while the son was only thirteen years of 
age, he accompanied his father, then the first governor of 
Washington Territory, on treaty-making expeditions among 
the Indian tribes. Later he accompanied his father into the 
Union Army as an officer on his father's staff. He was severely 
wounded in the same battle where his father was killed while 
leading the charge at Chantilly, September i, 1862. 

Hazard Stevens continued in the army, and at the end of the war 
he was mustered out as a brigadier general of volunteers. He 
then returned to Washington Territory and went to work to 
support his mother and sisters. On August 17, 1870, he and 
P. B. Van Trump made the first successful ascent of Mount 
Rainier. 

In 1874, he followed the other members of the family back to 
Boston where he remained until his mother's death, a few 
months ago. He then returned to Puget Sound, and is now a 
successful farmer near Olympia. 

His companion on the ascent, P. B. Van Trump, remained in 
Washington. For a number of years he was a ranger at 
Indian Henry's Hunting Ground in the Mount Rainier National 
Park. There he was a quaint and attractive figure to all 
visitors. In 1915, he returned East to live among kinsfolk in 
New York State. 

The names of both Stevens and Van Trump have been generously 
bestowed upon glaciers, creeks, ridges, and canons within the 
Mount Rainier National Park. 

General Stevens prefers to call the mountain Takhoma. The full 
account of the ascent was published by him under the title 
of "The Ascent of Mount Takhoma" in the Atlantic Monthly 
for November, 1876. It is here reproduced by permission of 
the editor of that magazine. 

94 







GENERAL HAZARD STEVENS. 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

Mr. Van Trump made several ascents after that first one, and in 
1905 General Stevens also made a second ascent. He searched 
in vain for the relics he had deposited at the summit thirty- 
five years earlier. The rocks that were bare in 1870 were under 
snow and ice in 1905. 

When Vancouver, in 1792, penetrated the Straits 
of Fuca and explored the unknown waters of the 
Mediterranean of the Pacific, wherever he sailed, from 
the Gulf of Georgia to the farthest inlet of Puget 
Sound, he beheld the lofty, snow-clad barrier range of 
the Cascades stretching north and south and bound- 
ing the eastern horizon. Towering at twice the alti- 
tude of all others, at intervals of a hundred miles there 
loomed up above the range three majestic, snowy 
peaks that 

"Like giants stand 
To sentinel enchanted land/* 

In the matter-of-fact spirit of a British sailor of his 
time, he named these sublime monuments of nature in 
honor of three lords of the English admiralty, Hood, 
Rainier, and Baker. Of these Rainier is the central, 
situated about half-way between the Columbia River 
and the line of British Columbia, and is by far the 
loftiest and largest. Its altitude is 14,444 f eet > while 
Hood is 11,025 feet, and Baker is 10,810 feet high. 
The others, too, are single cones, while Rainier, or 
Takhoma, 1 is an immense mountain-mass with three 
distinct peaks, an eastern, a northern, and a southern ; 
the two last extending out and up from the main cen- 
tral dome, from the summit of which they stand over 
a mile distant, while they are nearly two miles apart 
from each other. 

Takhoma overlooks Puget Sound from Olympia to 
Victoria, one hundred and sixty miles. Its snow-clad 

1 Tak-ho'ma or Ta-ho'ma among the Yakimas, Klickitats, Puyallups, Nis- 
quallys, and allied tribes of Indians, is the generic term for mountain, used pre- 
cisely as we use the word "mount," as Takhoma Wynatchie, or Mount Wynatchie. 
But they all designate Rainier simply as Takhoma, or The Mountain, just as the 
mountain men used to call it the "Old He." (Note in the original article.) 

95 



MOUNT RAINIER 

dome is visible from Portland on the Willamette, one 
hundred and twenty miles south, and from the table- 
land of Walla Walla, one hundred and fifty miles east. 
A region two hundred and fifty miles across, including 
nearly all of Washington Territory, part of Oregon, 
and part of Idaho, is commanded in one field of vision 
by this colossus among mountains. 

Takhoma had never been ascended. It was a virgin 
peak. The superstitious fears and traditions of the 
Indians, as well as the dangers of the ascent, had 
prevented their attempting to reach the summit, and 
the failure of a gallant and energetic officer, whose cour- 
age and hardihood were abundantly shown during the 
rebellion, had in general estimation proved it insur- 
mountable. 

For two years I had resolved to ascend Takhoma, 
but both seasons the dense smoke overspreading the 
whole country had prevented the attempt. Mr. Philo- 
mon Beecher Van Trump, humorous, generous, whole- 
souled, with endurance and experience withal, for he 
had roughed it in the mines, and a poetic appreciation 
of the picturesque and the sublime, was equally eager 
to scale the summit. Mr. Edward T. Coleman, an 
English gentleman of Victoria, a landscape artist and 
an Alpine tourist, whose reputed experience in Switzer- 
land had raised a high opinion of his ability above the 
snow-line, completed the party. 

Olympia, the capital of Washington Territory, is 
a beautiful, maple-embowered town of some two 
thousand inhabitants, situated at the southernmost 
extremity of Puget Sound, and west of Takhoma, 
distant in an air line seventy-five miles. The inter- 
vening country is covered with dense fir forests, almost 
impenetrable to the midday sun, and obstructed with 
fallen trees, upturned roots and stumps, and a perfect 
jungle of undergrowth, through which the most ener- 
getic traveler can accomplish but eight or nine miles a 
day. It was advisible to gain the nearest possible point 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

by some trail, before plunging into the unbroken forest. 
The Nisqually River, which rises on the southern and 
western slopes of Takhoma, and empties into the sound 
a few miles north of Olympia, offered the most direct 
and natural approach. Ten years before, moreover, 
a few enterprising settlers had blazed out a trail across 
the Cascade Range, which followed the Nisqually 
nearly up to its source, thence deflected south to the 
Cowlitz River, and pursued this stream in a northeast- 
ern course to the summit of the range, thus turning 
the great mountain by a wide circuit. The best-in- 
formed mountain men represented the approaches on 
the south and southeast as by far the most favorable. 
The Nisqually-Cowlitz trail, then, seemed much the 
best, for the Nisqually, heading in the south and 
southwest slopes, and the Cowlitz, in the southeastern, 
afforded two lines of approach, by either of which the 
distance to the mountain, after leaving the trail, could 
not exceed thirty miles. 

One August afternoon, Van Trump and I drove out 
to Yelm Prairie, thirty miles east of Olympia, and on 
the Nisqually River. We dashed rapidly on over 
a smooth, hard, level road, traversing wide reaches of 
prairie, passing under open groves of oaks and firs, 
and plunging through masses of black, dense forest 
in ever-changing variety. The moon had risen as we 
emerged upon Yelm Prairie ; Takhoma, bathed in 
cold, white, spectral light from summit to base, ap- 
peared startlingly near and distinct. Our admiration 
was not so noisy as usual. Perhaps a little of dread 
mingled with it. In another hour we drove nearly 
across the plain and turned into a lane which con- 
ducted us up a beautiful rising plateau, crowned with a 
noble grove of oaks and overlooking the whole prairie. 
A comfortable, roomy house with a wide porch nestled 
among the trees, and its hospitable owner, Mr. James 
Longmire, appeared at the door and bade us enter. 

The next morning we applied to Mr. Longmire for 

H 97 



MOUNT RAINIER 

a guide, and for his advice as to our proposed trip. 
He was one of the few who marked out the Nisqually- 
Cowlitz trail years ago. He had explored the moun- 
tains about Takhoma as thoroughly, perhaps, as any 
other white man. One of the earliest settlers, quiet, 
self-reliant, sensible, and kindly, a better counselor 
than he could not have been found. The trail, he said, 
had not been traveled for four years, and was entirely 
illegible to eyes not well versed in woodcraft, and it 
would be folly for any one to attempt to follow it who 
was not thoroughly acquainted with the country. He 
could not leave his harvest, and moreover in three weeks 
he was to cross the mountains for a drove of cattle. 
His wife, too, quietly discouraged his going. She de- 
scribed his appearance on his return from previous 
mountain trips, looking as haggard and thin as though 
he had just risen from a sick-bed. She threw out ef- 
fective little sketches of toil, discomfort, and hard- 
ship incident to mountain travel, and dwelt upon the 
hard fare. The bountiful country breakfast heaped 
before us, the rich cream, fresh butter and eggs, snowy, 
melting biscuits, and broiled chicken, with rich, white 
gravy, heightened the effect of her words. 

But at length, when it appeared that no one else who 
knew the trail could be found, Mr. Longmire yielded to 
our persuasions, and consented to conduct us as far as 
the trail led, and to procure an Indian guide before leav- 
ing us to our own resources. As soon as we returned 
home we went with Mr. Coleman to his room to see a 
few indispensable equipments he had provided, in order 
that we might procure similar ones. The floor was 
literally covered with his traps, and he exhibited them 
one by one, expatiating upon their various uses. There 
was his ground-sheet, a large gum blanket equally ser- 
viceable to Mr. Coleman as a tent in camp and a bath- 
tub at the hotel. There was a strong rope to which we 
were all to be tied when climbing the snow-fields, so 
that if one fell into a chasm the others could hold him 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

up. The "creepers" were a clumsy, heavy arrangement 
of iron spikes made to fasten on the foot with chains and 
straps, in order to prevent slipping on the ice. He had 
an ice-axe for cutting steps, a spirit-lamp for making 
tea on the mountains, green goggles for snow-blindness, 
deer's fat for the face, Alpine staffs, needles and thread, 
twine, tacks, screws, screwdriver, gimlet, file, several 
medical prescriptions, two boards for pressing flowers, 
sketching materials, and in fact every article that Mr. 
Coleman in his extensive reading had found used or 
recommended by travelers. Every one of these he 
regarded as indispensable. The Alpine staff was, he 
declared, most important of all, a great assistance in 
traveling through the woods as well as on the ice ; 
and he illustrated on his hands and knees how to cross 
a crevasse in the ice on two staffs. This interview 
naturally brought to mind the characteristic incident 
related of Packwood, the mountain man who, as hunter 
and prospector, had explored the deepest recesses of the 
Cascades. He had been engaged to guide a railroad 
surveying party across the mountains, and just as 
the party was about to start he approached the chief 
and demanded an advance to enable him to buy his 
outfit for the trip. "How much do you want ?" asked 
the chief, rather anxiously, lest Packwood should over- 
draw his prospective wages. "Well, about two dollars 
and a half," was the reply ; and at the camp-fire that 
evening, being asked if he had bought his outfit, Pack- 
wood, thrusting his hand into his pocket, drew forth 
and exhibited with perfect seriousness and compla- 
cency his entire outfit, a jack-knife and a plug of 
tobacco. 

Half a dozen carriages rattled gayly out of Olympia 
in the cool of the morning, filled with a laughing, singing, 
frolicking bevy of young ladies and gentlemen. They 
were the Takhoma party starting on their adventurous 
trip, with a chosen escort accompanying them to their 
first camp. They rested several hours at Longmire's 

99 



MOUNT RAINIER 

during the heat of the day, and the drive was then con- 
tinued seven miles farther, to the Lacamas, an irregular- 
shaped prairie two miles in length by half a mile in 
breadth. Here live two of Mr. Longmire's sons. 
Their farms form the last settlement, and at the gate 
of Mr. Elkane Longmire's house the road ends. A 
wooded knoll overlooking the prairie, with a spring of 
water at its foot, was selected as the camp-ground. 
Some of the party stretched a large sail between the 
trees as a tent, others watered and fed the horses, and 
others busied themselves with the supper. Two eager 
sportsmen started after grouse, while their more prac- 
tical companions bought half a dozen chickens, and 
had them soon dressed and sputtering over the fire. 
The shades of night were falling as the party sat down 
on the ground and partook of a repast fit for the Olym- 
pians, and with a relish sharpened by the long journey 
and a whole day's fast. 

Early in the morning Mr. Longmire arrived in camp 
with two mules and a pack-horse, and our mountain 
outfit was rapidly made up into suitable bales and 
packed upon the horse and one of the mules, the other 
mule being reserved for Longmire's own riding. We 
assembled around the breakfast with spirits as gay and 
appetites as sharp as ever. Then, with many good-bys 
and much waving of handkerchiefs, the party broke up. 
Four roughly clad pedestrians moved off in single file, 
leading their pack animals, and looking back at every 
step to catch the last glimpse of the bright garments 
and fluttering cambrics, while the carriages drove rap- 
idly down the road and disappeared in the dark, sullen 
forest. 

We stepped off briskly, following a dim trail in an east- 
erly course, and crossing the little prairie entered the tim- 
ber. After winding over hilly ground for about three 
miles, we descended into the Nisqually bottom and 
forded a fine brook at the foot of the hill. For the next 
ten miles our route lay across the bottom, and along 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

the bank of the river, passing around logs, following 
old, dry beds of the river and its lateral sloughs, ankle- 
deep in loose sand, and forcing our way through dense 
jungles of vine-maple. The trail was scarcely visible, 
and much obstructed by fallen trees and underbrush, 
and its difficulties were aggravated by the bewildering 
tracks of Indians who had lately wandered about the 
bottom in search -of berries or rushes. We repeatedly 
missed the trail, and lost hours in retracing our steps 
and searching for the right course. The weather was 
hot and sultry, and rendered more oppressive by the 
dense foliage ; myriads of gnats and mosquitoes tor- 
mented us and drove our poor animals almost frantic ; 
and our thirst, aggravated by the severe and unaccus- 
tomed toil, seemed quenchless. At length we reached 
the ford of the Nisqually. Directly opposite, a perpen- 
dicular bluff of sand and gravel in alternate strata 
rose to the height of two hundred and fifty feet, its base 
washed by the river and its top crowned with firs. The 
stream was a hundred yards wide, waist-deep, and very 
rapid. Its waters were icy cold, and of a milk-white hue. 
This color is the characteristic of glacial rivers. The 
impalpable powder of thousands of tons of solid rocks 
ground up beneath the vast weight and resistless though 
imperceptible flow of huge glaciers, remains in solution 
in these streams, and colors them milk-white to the sea. 
Leading the animals down the bank and over a wide, 
dry bar of cobblestones, we stood at the brink of the 
swift, turbulent river, and prepared to essay its pas- 
sage. Coleman mounted behind Van Trump on the 
little saddle-mule, his long legs dangling nearly to the 
ground, one hand grasping his Alpine staff, the other 
the neck-rope of the pack-mule, which Longmire be- 
strode. Longmire led in turn the pack-horse, behind 
whose bulky load was perched the other member of the 
party. The cavalcade, linked together in this order, 
had but just entered the stream when Coleman dropped 
the neckrope he was holding. The mule, bewildered 



MOUNT RAINIER 

by the rush and roar of the waters, turned directly 
down-stream, and in another instant our two pack 
animals, with their riders, would have been swept away 
in the furious rapids, had not Longmire with great 
presence of mind turned their erratic course in the 
right direction and safely brought them to the opposite 
shore. Following the bottom along the river for some 
distance, we climbed up the end of the bluff already 
mentioned, by a steep zigzag trail, and skirted along its 
brink for a mile. Far below us on the right rushed the 
Nisqually. On the left the bluff fell off in a steep hill- 
side thickly clothed with woods and underbrush, and 
at its foot plowed the Owhap, a large stream emptying 
into the Nisqually just below our ford. Another mile 
through the woods brought us out upon the Mishell 
Prairie, a beautiful, oval meadow of a hundred acres, 
embowered in the tall, dense fir forest, with a grove 
of lofty, branching oaks at its farther extremity, and 
covered with green grass and bright flowers. It takes 
its name from the Mishell River, which empties into the 
Nisqually a mile above the prairie. 

We had marched sixteen miles. The packs were 
gladly thrown off beneath a lofty fir ; the animals were 
staked out to graze. A spring in the edge of the woods 
afforded water, and while Mr. Coleman busied himself 
with his pipe, his flask, his note-book, his sketch-book, 
and his pouch of multifarious odds and ends, the other 
members of the party performed the duties incident to 
camp-life : made the fire, brought water, spread the 
blankets, and prepared supper. The flags attached to 
our Alpine staffs waved gayly overhead, and the sight 
of their bright folds fluttering in the breeze deepened 
the fixed resolve to plant them on Takhoma's hoary 
head, and made failure seem impossible. Mr. Coleman 
announced the altitude of Mishell Prairie as eight 
hundred feet by barometer. By an unlucky fall the 
thermometer was broken. 

The march was resumed early next morning. As 

102 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

we passed the lofty oaks at the end of the little prairie, 
"On that tree," said Longmire, pointing out one of the 
noblest, "Maxon's company hanged two Indians in the 
war of '56. Ski-hi and his band, after many depreda- 
tions upon the settlements, were encamped on the Mis- 
hell, a mile distant, in fancied security, when Maxon 
and his men surprised them and cut off every soul 
except the two prisoners whom they hanged here." 

For eight miles the trail led through thick woods, 
and then, after crossing a wide "burn, ' past a number 
of deserted Indian wigwams, where another trail from 
the Nisqually plains joined ours, it descended a grad- 
ual slope, traversed a swampy thicket and another 
mile of heavy timber, and debouched on the Mishell 
River. This is a fine, rapid, sparkling stream, knee- 
deep and forty feet wide, rippling and dashing 
over a gravelly bed with clear, cold, transparent water. 
The purity of the clear water, so unlike the yeasty Nis- 
qually, proves that the Mishell is no glacial river. Ris- 
ing in an outlying range to the northwest of Takhoma, 
it flows in a southwest course to its confluence with the 
Nisqually near our previous night's camp. We un- 
saddled for the noon-rest. Van Trump went up the 
stream, fishing ; Longmire crossed to look out the trail 
ahead, and Coleman made tea solitaire. 

An hour passed, and Longmire returned. "The trail 
is blind," said he, "and we have no time to lose." Just 
then Van Trump returned ; and the little train was 
soon in readiness to resume the tramp. Longmire rode 
his mule across the stream, telling us to drive the pack- 
animals after him and follow by a convenient log near 
by. As the mule attempted to climb a low place in the 
opposite bank, which offered an apparently easy exit 
from the river, his hind legs sank in a quicksand, he 
sat down quickly, if not gracefully, and, not fancying 
that posture, threw himself clear under water. His 
dripping rider rose to his feet, flung the bridle-rein over 
his arm, and, springing up the bank at a more practi- 

103 



MOUNT RAINIER 

cable point, strode along the trail with as little delay 
and as perfect unconcern as though an involuntary 
ducking was of no more moment than climbing over a 
log. 

The trail was blind. Longmire scented it through 
thickets of salal, fern, and underbrush, stumbling over 
roots, vines, and hollows hidden in the rank vegetation, 
now climbing huge trunks that the animals could barely 
scramble over, and now laboriously working his way 
around some fallen giant and traveling two hundred 
yards in order to gain a dozen yards on the course. 
The packs, continually jammed against trees and 
shaken loose by this rough traveling, required frequent 
repacking no small task. At the very top of a high, 
steep hill, up which we had laboriously zigzagged 
shortly after crossing the Mishell, the little packhorse, 
unable to sustain the weight of the pack, which had 
shifted all to one side, fell and rolled over and over to 
the bottom. Bringing up the goods and chattels one 
by one on our own shoulders to the top of the hill, we 
replaced the load and started again. The course was 
in a southerly direction, over high rolling ground of 
good clay soil, heavily timbered, with marshy swales at 
intervals, to the Nisqually River again, a distance of 
twelve miles. We encamped on a narrow flat between 
the high hill just descended and the wide and noisy 
river, near an old ruined log-hut, the former residence 
of a once famed Indian medicine man, who, after the 
laudable custom of his race, had expiated with his life 
his failure to cure a patient. 

Early next morning we continued our laborious 
march along the right bank of the Nisqually. Towards 
noon we left the river, and after thridding in an easterly 
course a perfect labyrinth of fallen timber for six miles, 
and forcing our way with much difficulty through the 
tangled jungle of an extensive vine-maple swamp, at 
length crossed Silver Creek and gladly threw off the 
packs for an hour's rest. 

104 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

A short distance after crossing Silver Creek the trail 
emerged upon more open ground, and for the first time 
the Nisqually Valley lay spread out in view before us. 
On the left stretched a wall of steep, rocky mountains, 
standing parallel to the course of the river and ex- 
tending far eastward, growing higher and steeper and 
more rugged as it receded from view. At the very 
extremity of this range Takhoma loomed aloft, its dome 
high above all others and its flanks extending far 
down into the valley, and all covered, dome and flanks, 
with snow of dazzling white, in striking contrast with 
the black basaltic mountains about it. Startlingly 
near it looked to our eyes, accustomed to the restricted 
views and gloom of the forest. 

After our noon rest we continued our journey up the 
valley, twisting in and out among the numerous trunks 
of trees that encumbered the ground, and after several 
hours of tedious trudging struck our third camp on 
Copper Creek, the twin brother to Silver Creek, just at 
dusk. We were thoroughly tired, having made twenty 
miles in thirteen hours of hard traveling. 

Starting at daylight next morning, we walked two 
miles over rough ground much broken by ravines, and 
then descended into the bed of the Nisqually at the 
mouth of Goat Creek, another fine stream which empties 
here. We continued our course along the river bed, 
stumbling over rocky bars and forcing our way through 
dense thickets of willow, for some distance, then as- 
cended the steep bank, went around a high hill over 
four miles of execrable trail, and descended to the 
river again, only two miles above Goat Creek. At 
this point the Takhoma branch or North Fork joins 
the Nisqually. This stream rises on the west side 
of Takhoma, is nearly as large as the main river, 
and like it shows its glacial origin by its milk-white 
water and by its icy cold, terribly swift and furious 
torrent. Crossing the Takhoma branch, here thirty 
yards wide, we kept up the main river, crossing and 



MOUNT RAINIER 

recrossing the stream frequently, and toiling over 
rocky bars for four miles, a distance which consumed 
five hours, owing to the difficulties of the way. We 
then left the Nisqually, turning to the right and travel- 
ing in a southerly course, and followed up the bed of a 
swampy creek for half a mile, then crossed a level tract 
much obstructed with fallen timber, then ascended a 
burnt ridge, and followed it for two miles to a small, 
marshy prairie in a wide canyon or defile closed in by 
rugged mountains on either side, and camped beside 
a little rivulet on the east side of the prairie. This was 
Bear Prairie, the altitude of which by the barometer 
was 2630 feet. The canyon formed a low pass between 
the Nisqually and Cowlitz rivers, and the little rivulet 
near which we camped flowed into the latter stream. 
The whole region had been swept by fire : thousands 
of giant trunks stock blackened and lifeless, the pic- 
ture of desolation. 

As we were reclining on the ground around the camp- 
fire, enjoying the calm and beatific repose which comes 
to the toil-worn mountaineer after his hearty supper, 
one of these huge trunks, after several warning creaks, 
came toppling and falling directly over our camp. 
All rushed to one side or another to avoid the impend- 
ing crash. As one member of the party, hastily catch- 
ing up in one hand a frying-pan laden with tin plates 
and cups, and in the other the camp kettle half full of 
boiling water, was scrambling away, his foot tripped in 
a blackberry vine and he fell outstretched at full length, 
the much-prized utensils scattering far and wide, 
while the falling tree came thundering down in the rear, 
doing no other damage, however, than burying a pair 
of blankets. 

The following day Longmire and the writer went 
down the canyon to its junction with the Cowlitz 
River, in search of a band of Indians who usually made 
their headquarters at this point, and among whom 
Longmire hoped to find some hunter familiar with the 

1 06 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

mountains who might guide us to the base of Takhoma. 
The tiny rivulet as we descended soon swelled to a 
large and furious torrent, and its bed filled nearly the 
whole bottom of the gorge. The mountains rose on 
both sides precipitously, and the traces of land-slides 
which had gouged vast furrows down their sides were 
frequent. With extreme toil and difficulty we made 
our way, continually wading the torrent, clambering 
over broken masses of rock which filled its bed, or cling- 
ing to the steep hillsides, and reached the Cowlitz 
at length after twelve miles of this fatiguing work, but 
only to find the Indian camp deserted. Further search, 
however, was rewarded by the discovery of a rude 
shelter formed of a few skins thrown over a frame- 
work of poles, beneath which sat a squaw at work upon 
a half-dressed deerskin. An infant and a naked child 
of perhaps four years lay on the ground near the fire in 
front. Beside the lodge and quietly watching our ap- 
proach, of which he alone seemed aware, stood a tall, 
slender Indian clad in buckskin shirt and leggings, 
with a striped woolen breech-clout, and a singular 
head garniture which gave him a fierce and martial ap- 
pearance. This consisted of an old military cap, the 
visor thickly studded with brassheaded nails, while 
a large circular brass article, which might have been the 
top of an oil-lamp, was fastened upon the crown. Sev- 
eral eagle feathers stuck in the crown and strips of fur 
sewed upon the sides completed the edifice, which, 
notwithstanding its components, appeared imposing 
rather than ridiculous. A long Hudson Bay gun, 
the stock also ornamented with brass-headed tacks, 
lay in the hollow of the Indian's shoulder. 

He received us with great friendliness, yet not with- 
out dignity, shaking hands and motioning us to a seat 
beneath the rude shelter, while his squaw hastened to 
place before us suspicious-looking cakes of dried berries, 
apparently their only food. After a moderate indul- 
gence in this delicacy, Longmire made known our 

107 



MOUNT RAINIER 

wants. The Indian spoke fluently the Chinook jargon, 
that high-bred lingo invented by the old fur-traders. 
He called himself "Sluiskin," and readily agreed to 
guide us to Rainier, known to him only as Takhoma, 
and promised to report at Bear Prairie the next day. It 
was after seven in the evening when we reached camp, 
thoroughly fagged. 

Punctual to promise, Sluiskin rode up at noon 
mounted upon a stunted Indian pony, while his squaw 
and pappooses followed upon another even more puny 
and forlorn. After devouring an enormous dinner, 
evidently compensating for the rigors of a long fast, 
in reply to our inquiries he described the route he pro- 
posed to take to Takhoma. Pointing to the almost 
perpendicular height immediately back or east of our 
camp, towering three thousand feet or more overhead, 
the loftiest mountain in sight, "We go to the top of that 
mountain to-day," said he, "and to-morrow we follow 
along the high, backbone ridge of the mountains, now 
up, now down, first on one side and then on the other, 
a long day's journey, and at last, descending far down 
from the mountains into a deep valley, reach the base 
of Takhoma." Sluiskin illustrated his Chinook with 
speaking signs and pantomine. He had frequently 
hunted the mountain sheep upon the snow-fields of 
Takhoma, but had never ascended to the summit. It 
was impossible to do so, and he put aside as idle talk 
our expressed intention of making the ascent. 

We had already selected the indispensable articles 
for a week's tramp, a blanket apiece, the smallest coffee- 
pot and frying-pan, a scanty supply of bacon, flour, 
coffee, etc., and had made them up into suitable packs 
of forty pounds each, provided with slings like a knap- 
sack, and had piled together under the lee of a huge 
fallen trunk our remaining goods. Longmire, who 
although impatient to return home, where his presence 
was urgently needed, had watched and directed our 
preparations during the forenoon with kindly solicitude, 

108 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

now bade us good-by : mounted on one mule and lead- 
ing the other, he soon disappeared down the trail on 
his lonely, homeward way. He left us the little 
pack-horse, thinking it would be quite capable of 
carrying our diminished outfit after our return from 
Takhoma. 

Sluiskin led the way. The load upon his shoulders 
was sustained by a broad band, passing over his head, 
upon which his heavy, brass-studded rifle, clasped in 
both hands, was poised and balanced. Leaving be- 
hind the last vestige of trail, we toiled in single file 
slowly and laboriously up the mountain all the after- 
noon. The steepness of the ascent in many places 
required the use of both hand and foot in climbing, and 
the exercise of great caution to keep the heavy packs 
from dragging us over backwards. Coleman lagged 
behind from the start, and at intervals his voice could 
be heard hallooing and calling upon us to wait. To- 
wards sunset we reached a level terrace, or bench, near 
the summit, gladly threw off our packs, and waited for 
Coleman, who, we supposed, could not be far below. 
He not appearing, we hallooed again and again. No 
answer ! We then sent Sluiskin down the mountain to 
his aid. After an hour's absence the Indian returned. 
He had descended, he said, a long distance, and at last 
caught sight of Coleman. He was near the foot of the 
mountain, had thrown away his pack, blankets and all, 
and was evidently returning to camp. And Sluiskin 
finished his account with expressions of contempt for 
the "cultus King George man." What was to be 
done ? Coleman carried in his pack all our bacon, our 
only supply of meat, except a few pounds of dried beef. 
He also had the barometer, the only instrument that 
had survived the jolts and tumbles of our rough trip. 
But, on the other hand, he had been a clog upon our 
march from the outset. He was evidently too infirm 
to endure the toil before us, and would not only be un- 
able to reach, still less ascend Takhoma, but might even 

109 



MOUNT RAINIER 

impede and frustrate our own efforts.- Knowing that 
he would be safe in camp until our return, we hastily 
concluded to proceed without him, trusting to our 
rifles for a supply of meat. 

Sluiskin led us along the side of the ridge in a south- 
erly direction for two miles farther, to a well-sheltered, 
grassy hollow in the mountain-top, where he had often 
previously encamped. It was after dark when we 
reached this place. The usual spring had gone dry, 
and, parched with thirst we searched the gulches of the 
mountain-side for water an hour, but without success. 
At length the writer, recalling a scanty rill which trickled 
across their path a mile back, taking the coffee-pot and 
large canteen, retraced his steps, succeeded in filling 
these utensils after much fumbling in the dark and con- 
sequent delay, and returned to camp. He found Van 
Trump and the Indian, anxious at the long delay, 
mounted on the crest of the ridge some two hundred 
yards from camp, waving torches and shouting lustily 
to direct his steps. The mosquitoes and flies came 
in clouds, and were terribly annoying. After supper 
of coffee and bread, we drank up the water, rolled our- 
selves in our blankets, and lay down under a tree with 
our flags floating from under the boughs overhead. 
Hot as had been the day, the night was cold and frosty, 
owing, doubtless, to the altitude of our camp. 

At the earliest dawn next morning we were moving 
on without breakfast, and parched with thirst. Sluis- 
kin led us in a general course about north-northeast, 
but twisting to nearly every point of the compass, and 
climbing up and down thousands of feet from moun- 
tain to mountain, yet keeping on the highest backbone 
between the headwaters of the Nisqually and Cowlitz 
rivers. After several hours of this work we came to a 
well-sheltered hollow, one side filled with a broad bed 
of snow, at the foot of which nestled a tiny, tranquil 
lakelet, and gladly threw off our heavy packs, assuaged 
our thirst, and took breakfast, bread and coffee 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

again. Early as it was, the chill of the frosty night still 
in the air, the mosquitoes renewed their attacks, and 
proved as innumerable and vexatious as ever. 

Continuing our march, we crossed many beds of snow, 
and drank again and again from the icy rills which 
flowed out of them. The mountains were covered with 
stunted mountain-ash and low, stubby firs with short, 
bushy branches, and occasionally a few pines. Many 
slopes were destitute of trees but covered with luxuri- 
ant grass and the greatest profusion of beautiful flowers 
of vivid hues. This was especially the case with the 
southern slopes, while the northern sides of the moun- 
tains were generally wooded. We repeatedly ate ber- 
ries, and an hour afterwards ascended to where berries 
of the same kind were found scarcely yet formed. The 
country was much obscured with smoke from heavy 
fires which had been raging on the Cowlitz the last two 
days. But when at length, after climbing for hours 
an almost perpendicular peak, creeping on hands and 
knees over loose rocks, and clinging to scanty tufts of 
grass where a single slip would have sent us rolling a 
thousand feet down to destruction, we reached the 
highest crest and looked over, we exclaimed that we 
were already well repaid for all our toil. Nothing can 
convey an idea of the grandeur and ruggedness of the 
mountains. Directly in front, and apparently not over 
two miles distant, although really twenty, old Takhoma 
loomed up more gigantic than ever. We were far above 
the level of the lower snow-line on Takhoma. The high 
peak upon which we clung seemed the central core or 
focus of all the mountains around, and on every side we 
looked down vertically thousands of feet, deep down into 
vast, terrible defiles, black and fir-clothed, which 
stretched away until lost in the distance and smoke. 
Between them, separating one from another, the 
mountain-walls rose precipitously and terminated in 
bare, columnar peaks of black basaltic or volcanic rock, 
as sharp as needles. It seemed incredible that any 




MOUNT RAINIER 

human foot could have followed out the course we came, 
as we looked back upon it. 

After a few hours more of this climbing, we stood 
upon the summit of the last mountain-ridge that sepa- 
rated us from Takhoma. We were in a saddle of the 
ridge ; a lofty peak rose on either side. Below us ex- 
tended a long, steep hollow or gulch rilled with snow, 
the farther extremity of which seemed to drop off 
perpendicularly into a deep valley or basin. Across 
this valley, directly in front, filling up the whole horizon 
and view with an indescribable aspect of magnitude 
and grandeur, stood the old leviathan of mountains. 
The broad, snowy dome rose far among and above the 
clouds. The sides fell off in vertical steeps and fearful 
black walls of rock for a third of its altitude ; lower 
down, vast, broad, gently sloping snow-fields sur- 
rounded the mountain, and were broken here and there 
by ledges or masses of the dark basaltic rock protrud- 
ing above them. Long, green ridges projected from 
this snow-belt at intervals, radiating from the moun- 
tain and extending many miles until lost in the distant 
forests. Deep valleys lay between these ridges. Each 
at its upper end formed the bed of a glacier, which 
closed and filled it up with solid ice. Below the snow- 
line bright green grass with countless flowers, whose 
vivid scarlet, blue, and purple formed bodies of color 
in the distance, clothed the whole region of ridges and 
valleys, for a breadth of five miles. The beautiful 
balsam firs, about thirty feet in height, and of a purple, 
dark-green color, stood scattered over the landscape, 
now singly, now in groves, and now in long lines, as 
though planted in some well-kept park. Farther down 
an unbroken fir forest surrounded the mountain and 
clad the lower portions of the ridges and valleys. In 
every sheltered depression or hollow lay beds of snow 
with tiny brooks and rivulets flowing from them. The 
glaciers terminated not gradually, but abruptly, with a 
wall of ice from one to five hundred feet high, from be- 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

neath which yeasty torrents burst forth and rushed 
roaring and tumbling down the valleys. The prin- 
cipal of these, far away on our left front, could be seen 
plunging over two considerable falls, half hidden in 
the forest, while the roar of waters was distinctly audible. 

At length we cautiously descended the snow-bed, 
and, climbing at least fifteen hundred feet down a 
steep but ancient land-slide by means of the bushes 
growing among the loose rocks, reached the valley, 
and encountered a beautiful, peaceful, limpid creek. 
Van Trump could not resist the temptation of unpack- 
ing his bundle, selecting one of his carefully preserved 
flies, and trying the stream for trout, but without a 
single rise. After an hour's rest and a hearty repast we 
resumed our packs, despite Sluiskin's protests, who 
seemed tired out with his arduous day's toil and pleaded 
hard against traveling farther. Crossing the stream, 
we walked through several grassy glades, or meadows, 
alternating with open woods. We soon came to the foot 
of one of the long ridges already described, and ascend- 
ing it followed it for several miles through open woods, 
until we emerged upon the enchanting emerald and 
flowery meads which clothe these upper regions. 
Halting upon a rising eminence in our course, and look- 
ing back, we beheld the ridge of mountains we had 
just descended stretching from east to west in a steep, 
rocky wall ; a little to the left, a beautiful lake, evidently 
the source of the stream just crossed, which we called 
Clear Creek, and glimpses of which could be seen among 
the trees as it flowed away to the right, down a rapidly 
descending valley along the foot of the lofty mountain- 
wall. Beyond the lake again, still farther to the left, 
the land also subsided quickly. It was at once evident 
that the lake was upon a summit, or divide, between 
the waters of the Nisqually and Cowlitz rivers. The 
ridge which we were ascending lay north and south, 
and led directly up to the mountain. 

We camped, as the twilight fell upon us, in an aro- 
i 113 



MOUNT RAINIER 

matic grove of balsam firs. A grouse, the fruit of Slu- 
iskin's rifle, broiled before the fire, and impartially 
divided gave a relish to the dry bread and coffee. After 
supper we reclined upon our blankets in front of the 
bright, blazing fire, well satisfied. The Indian, when 
starting from Bear Prairie, had evidently deemed our 
intention of ascending Takhoma too absurd to deserve 
notice. The turning back of Mr. Coleman only deep- 
ened his contempt for our prowess. But his views had 
undergone a change with the day's march. The affair 
began to look serious to him, and now in Chinook, 
interspersed with a few words of broken English and 
many signs and gesticulations, he began a solemn ex- 
hortation and warning against our rash project. 

Takhoma, he said, was an enchanted mountain, 
inhabited by an evil spirit, who dwelt in a fiery lake on 
its summit. No human being could ascend it or even 
attempt its ascent, and survive. At first, indeed, the 
way was easy. The broad snow-fields, over which he 
had so often hunted the mountain goat, interposed no 
obstacle, but above them the rash adventurer would 
be compelled to climb up steeps of loose, rolling rocks, 
which would turn beneath his feet and cast him head- 
long into the deep abyss below. The upper snow- 
slopes, too, were so steep that not even a goat, far less 
a man, could get over them. And he would have to 
pass below lofty walls and precipices whence avalanches 
of snow and vast masses of rocks were continually 
falling ; and these would inevitably bury the intruder 
beneath their ruins. Moreover, a furious tempest 
continually swept the crown of the mountain, and the 
luckless adventurer, even if he wonderfully escaped the 
perils below, would be torn from the mountain and 
whirled through the air by this fearful blast. And the 
awful being upon the summit, who would surely punish 
the sacrilegious attempt to invade his sanctuary, 
who could hope to escape his vengeance ? Many 
years ago, he continued, his grandfather, a great chief 

114 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

and warrior, and a mighty hunter, had ascended part 
way up the mountain, and had encountered some of these 
dangers, but he fortunately turned back in time to escape 
destruction ; and no other Indian had ever gone so far. 

Finding that his words did not produce the desired 
effect, he assured us that, if we persisted in attempting 
the ascent, he would wait three days for our return, 
and would then proceed to Olympia and inform our 
friends of our death ; and he begged us to give him a 
paper (a written note) to take to them, so that they 
might believe his story. Sluiskin's manner during this 
harangue was earnest in the extreme, and he was un- 
doubtedly sincere in his forebodings. After we had 
retired to rest, he kept up a most dismal chant, or dirge, 
until late in the night. The dim, white, spectral mass 
towering so near, the roar of the torrents below us, and 
the occasional thunder of avalanches, several of which 
fell during the night, added to the weird effect of Sluis- 
kin's song. 

The next morning we moved two miles farther up the 
ridge and made camp in the last clump of trees, quite 
within the limit of perpetual snow. Thence, with 
snow-spikes upon our feet and Alpine staff in hand, we 
went up the snow-fields to reconnoiter the best line of 
ascent. We spent four hours, walking fast, in reaching 
the foot of the steep, abrupt part of the mountain. 
After carefully scanning the southern approaches, we 
decided to ascend on the morrow by a steep, rocky 
ridge that seemed to lead up to the snowy crown. 

Our camp was pitched on a high knoll crowned by a 
grove of balsam firs, near a turbulent glacial torrent. 
About nine o'clock, after we had lain down for the 
night, the firs round our camp took fire and suddenly 
burst out in a vivid conflagration. The night was dark 
and windy, and the scene the vast, dim outlines of 
Takhoma, the white snow-fields, the roaring torrent, 
the crackling blaze of the burning trees was strikingly 
wild and picturesque. 



MOUNT RAINIER 

In honor of our guide we named the cascade at our 
feet Sluiskin's Falls ; the stream we named Glacier 
Creek, and the mass of ice whence it derives its source 
we styled the Little Nisqually Glacier. 

Before daylight the next morning, Wednesday, 
August 17, 1870, we were up and had breakfasted, 
and at six o'clock we started to ascend Takhoma. Be- 
sides our Alpine staffs and creepers, we carried a long 
rope, and ice-axe, a brass plate inscribed with our 
names, our flags, a large canteen, and some luncheon. 
We were also provided with gloves, and green goggles 
for snow-blindness, but found no occasion to use the 
latter. Having suffered much from the heat of the 
sun since leaving Bear Prairie, and being satisfied from 
our late reconnoissance that we could reach the sum- 
mit and return on the same day, we left behind our 
coats and blankets. In three hours of fast walking 
we reached the highest point of the preceding day's 
trip, and commenced the ascent by the steep, rocky 
ridge already described as reaching up to the snowy 
dome. We found it to be a very narrow, steep, irregu- 
lar backbone, being solid rock, while the sides were 
composed of loose broken rocks and debris. Up this 
ridge, keeping upon the spine when possible, and some- 
times forced to pick our way over the loose and broken 
rocks at the sides, around columnar masses which we 
could not directly climb over, we toiled for five hundred 
yards, ascending at an angle of nearly forty-five degrees. 
Here the ridge connected, by a narrow neck or saddle, 
with a vast square rock, whose huge and distinct out- 
line can be clearly perceived from a distance of twenty- 
five miles. This, like the ridge, is a conglomerate of 
basalt and trap, in well-defined strata, and is rapidly 
disintegrating and continually falling in showers and 
even masses of rocks and rubbish, under the action of 
frost by night and melting snow by day. It lies im- 
bedded in the side of the mountain, with one side and 
end projected and overhanging deep, terrible gorges, 

116 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

and it is at the corner or junction of these two faces 
that the ridge joined it at a point about a thousand feet 
below its top. On the southern face the strata were 
inclined at an angle of thirty degrees. Crossing by the 
saddle from the ridge, despite a strong wind which swept 
across it, we gained a narrow ledge formed by a stratum 
more solid than its fellows, and creeping along it, hug- 
ging close to the main rock on our right, laboriously and 
cautiously continued the ascent. The wind was blow- 
ing violently. We were now crawling along the face 
of the precipice almost in mid-air. On the right the 
rock towered far above us perpendicularly. On the 
left it fell sheer off, two thousand feet, into a vast abyss. 
A great glacier filled its bed and stretched away for 
several miles, all seamed or wrinkled across with count- 
less crevasses. We crept up and along a ledge, not of 
solid, sure rock, but one obstructed with the loose stones 
and debris which were continually falling from above, 
and we trod on the upper edge of a steep slope of this 
rubbish, sending the stones at every step rolling and 
bounding into the depth below. Several times during 
our progress showers of rocks fell from the precipice 
above across our path, and rolled into the abyss, but 
fortunately none struck us. 

Four hundred yards of this progress brought us to 
where the rock joined the overhanging edge of the vast 
neve or snow-field that descended from the dome of 
the mountain and was from time to time, as pressed 
forward and downward, breaking off in immense 
masses, which fell with a noise as of thunder into the 
great canyon on our left. The junction of rock 
and ice afforded our only line of ascent. It was an 
almost perpendicular gutter, but here our ice-axe came 
into play, and by cutting steps in the ice and availing 
ourselves of every crevice or projecting point of the 
rock, we slowly worked our way up two hundred yards 
higher. Falling stones were continually coming down, 
both from the rock on our right and from the ice in 

117 



MOUNT RAINIER 

front, as it melted and relaxed its hold upon them. Mr. 
Van Trump was hit by a small one, and another struck 
his staff from his hands. Abandoning the rock, then, 
at the earliest practicable point, we ascended directly 
up the ice, cutting steps for a short distance, until we 
reached ice so corrugated, or drawn up in sharp pin- 
nacles, as to afford a foothold. These folds or pinnacles 
were about two or three feet high, and half as thick, and 
stood close together. It was like a very violent chop 
sea, only the waves were sharper. Up this safe footing 
we climbed rapidly, the side of the mountain becoming 
less and less steep, and the ice waves smaller and more 
regular, and, after ascending about three hundred yards, 
stood fairly upon the broad dome of mighty Takhoma. 
It rose before us like a broad, gently swelling headland 
of dazzling white, topped with black, where the rocky 
summit projected above the neve. Ascending diago- 
nally towards the left, we continued our course. The 
snow was hard and firm under foot, crisp and light for 
an inch or two, but solidified into ice a foot or less 
beneath the surface. The whole field was covered 
with the ice-waves already described, and intersected 
by a number of crevasses which we crossed at narrow 
places without difficulty. About half-way up the slope, 
we encountered one from eight to twenty feet wide and 
of profound depth. The most beautiful vivid emerald- 
green color seemed to fill the abyss, the reflection of the 
bright sunlight from side to side of its pure ice walls. 
The upper side or wall of the crevasse was some twelve 
feet above the lower, and in places overhung it, as 
though the snow-field on the lower side had bodily 
settled down a dozen feet. Throwing a bight of the 
rope around a projecting pinnacle on the upper side, 
we climbed up, hand over hand, and thus effected a 
crossing. We were now obliged to travel slowly, with 
frequent rests. In that rare atmosphere, after taking 
seventy or eighty steps, our breath would be gone, our 
muscles grew tired and strained, and we experienced all 

118 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

the sensations of extreme fatigue. An instant's pause, 
however, was sufficient to recover strength and breath, 
and we would start again. The wind, which we had 
not felt while climbing the steepest part of the moun- 
tain, now again blew furiously, and we began to suffer 
from the cold. Our course, directed still diagonally 
towards the left, thus shunning the severe exertion of 
climbing straight up the dome, although at an ordinary 
altitude the slope would be deemed easy, brought 
us first to the southwest peak. This is a long, exceed- 
ingly sharp, narrow ridge, springing out from the main 
dome for a mile into mid-air. The ridge affords not 
over ten or twelve feet of foothold on top, and the 
sides descend almost vertically. On the right side the 
snow lay firm and smooth for a few feet on top, and 
then descended in a steep, unbroken sheet, like an im- 
mense, flowing curtain, into the tremendous basin 
which lies on the west side of the mountain between 
the southern and northern peaks, and which is inclosed 
by them as by two mighty arms. The snow on the top 
and left crest of the ridge was broken into high, sharp 
pinnacles, with cracks and fissures extending to the 
rocks a few feet below. The left side, too steep for the 
snow to lie on, was vertical, bare rock. The wind blew 
so violently that we were obliged to brace ourselves with 
our Alpine staffs and use great caution to guard against 
being swept off the ridge. We threw ourselves behind 
the pinnacles or into the cracks every seventy steps, 
for rest and shelter against the bitter, piercing wind. 
Hastening forward in this way along the dizzy, narrow, 
and precarious ridge, we reached at length the highest 
point. Sheltered behind a pinnacle of ice we rested a 
moment, took out our flags and fastened them upon 
the Alpine staffs, and then, standing erect in the 
furious blast, waved them in triumph with three cheers. 
We stood a moment upon that narrow summit, bracing 
ourselves against the tempest to view the prospect. 
The whole country was shrouded in a dense sea of 

119 



MOUNT RAINIER 

smoke, above which the mountain towered two thou- 
sand feet in the clear, cloudless ether. A solitary peak 
far to the southeast, doubtless Mount Adams, and one 
or two others in the extreme northern horizon, alone 
protruded above the pall. On every side of the moun- 
tain were deep gorges falling off precipitously thousands 
of feet, and from these the thunderous sound of ava- 
lanches would rise occasionally. Far below were the 
wide-extended glaciers already described. The wind 
was now a perfect tempest, and bitterly cold ; smoke 
and mist were flying about the base of the mountian, 
half hiding, half revealing its gigantic outlines ; and 
the whole scene was sublimely awful. 

It was now five P.M. We had spent eleven hours of 
unremitted toil in making the ascent, and, thoroughly 
fatigued, and chilled by the cold, bitter gale, we saw 
ourselves obliged to pass the night on the summit with- 
out shelter or food, except our meagre lunch. It would 
have been impossible to descend the mountain before 
nightfall, and sure destruction to attempt it in darkness. 
We concluded to return to a mass of rocks not far below, 
and there pass the night as best we could, burrowing 
in the loose debris. 

The middle peak of the mountain, however, was evi- 
dently the highest, and we determined to first visit it. 
Retracing our steps along the narrow crest of Peak 
Success, as we named the scene of our triumph, we 
crossed an intervening depression in the dome, and 
ascended the middle peak, about a mile distant and 
two hundred feet higher than Peak Success. Climbing 
over a rocky ridge which crowns the summit, we found 
ourselves within a circular crater two hundred yards 
in diameter, filled with a solid bed of snow, and inclosed 
with a rim of rocks projecting above the snow all around. 
As we were crossing the crater on the snow, Van Trump 
detected the odor of sulphur, and the next instant nu- 
merous jets of steam and smoke were observed issuing 
from the crevices of the rocks which formed the rim on 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

the northern side. Never was a discovery more wel- 
come ! Hastening forward, we both exclaimed, as we 
warmed our chilled and benumbed extremities over 
one of Pluto's fires, that here we would pass the night, 
secure against freezing to death, at least. These jets 
were from the size of that of a large steampipe to a 
faint, scarcely perceptible emission, and issued all 
along the rim among the loose rocks on the northern 
side for more than half the circumference of the crater. 
At intervals they would puff up more strongly, and the 
smoke would collect in a cloud until blown aside and 
scattered by the wind, and then their force would abate 
for a time. 

A deep cavern, extending into and under the ice, and 
formed by the action of heat, was found. Its roof was 
a dome of brilliant green ice with long icicles pendent from 
it, while its floor, composed of the rocks and debris 
which formed the side of the crater, descended at an 
angle of thirty degrees. Forty feet within its mouth 
we built a wall of stones, inclosing a space five by six 
feet around a strong jet of steam and heat. Unlike the 
angular, broken rocks met with elsewhere, within the 
crater we found well-rounded bowlders and stones of 
all sizes worn as smooth by the trituration of the crater 
as by the action of water. Nowhere, however, did we 
observe any new lava or other evidences of recent vol- 
canic action excepting these issues of steam and smoke. 
Inclosed within the rude shelter thus hastily con- 
structed, we discussed our future prospects while we 
ate our lunch and warmed ourselves at our natural regis- 
ter. The heat at the orifice was too great to bear for 
more than an instant, but the steam wet us, the smell 
of sulphur was nauseating, and the cold was so severe 
that our clothes, saturated with the steam, froze stiff 
when turned away from the heated jet. The wind 
outside roared and whistled, but it did not much 
affect us, secure within our cavern, except when an oc- 
casional gust came down perpendicularly. However, 



MOUNT RAINIER 

we passed a most miserable night, freezing on one side, 
and in a hot steam-sulphur-bath on the other. 

The dawn at last slowly broke, cold and gray. The 
tempest howled still wilder. As it grew light, dense 
masses of driven mist went sweeping by overhead and 
completely hid the sun, and enveloped the mountain so 
as to conceal objects scarce a hundred feet distant. 
We watched and waited with great anxiety, fearing 
a storm which might detain us there for days without 
food or shelter, or, worse yet, snow, which would render 
the descent more perilous, or most likely impossible. 
And when, at nine A.M., an occasional rift in the driving 
mist gave a glimpse of blue sky, we made haste to de- 
scend. First, however, I deposited the brass plate 
inscribed with our names in a cleft in a large bowlder 
on the highest summit, a huge mount of rocks on 
the east side of our crater of refuge, which we named 
Crater Peak, placed the canteen alongside, and 
covered it with a large stone. I was then literally 
freezing in the cold, piercing blast, and was glad to 
hurry back to the crater, breathless and benumbed. 

We left our den of refuge at length, after exercising 
violently to start the blood through our limbs, and, in 
attempting to pass around the rocky summit, discov- 
ered a second crater, larger than the first, perhaps three 
hundred yards in diameter. It is circular, filled with a 
bed of snow, with a rocky rim all around and numerous 
jets of steam issuing from the rocks on the northern 
side. Both craters are inclined the first to the 
west, and the latter to the east with a much steeper 
inclination, about thirty degrees. The rim of the 
second crater is higher, or the snow-field inside lower, 
than that of the first, and upon the east side rises in a 
rocky wall thirty feet above the snow within. From 
the summit we obtained a view of the northern peak, 
still partially enveloped in the driving mist. It ap- 
peared about a mile distant, several hundred feet lower 
than the center peak, and separated from it by a deeper, 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

more abrupt depression or gap than that separating 
Crater and Success peaks. Like the latter, too, it is 
a sharp, narrow ridge springing out from the main 
mountain, and swept bare of snow on its summit by 
the wind. The weather was still too threatening, the 
glimpses of the sun and sky through the thick, flying 
scud were too few and fugitive, to warrant us in visiting 
this peak, which we named Peak Takhoma, to perpetu- 
ate the Indian name of the mountain. 

Our route back was the same as on the ascent. At 
the steepest and most perilous point in descending the 
steep gutter where we had been forced to cut steps in 
the ice, we fastened one end of the rope as securely as 
possible to a projecting rock, and lowered ourselves 
down by it as far as it reached, thereby passing the 
place with comparative safety. We were forced to 
abandon the rope here, having no means of unfastening 
it from the rock above. We reached the foot of the 
rocky ledge or ridge, where the real difficulties and 
dangers of the ascent commenced, at 1.30 P.M., four 
and a half hours after leaving the crater. We had been 
seven and a half hours in ascending from this point to 
the summit of Peak Success, and in both cases we 
toiled hard and lost no time. 

We now struck out rapidly and joyfully for camp. 
When nearly there Van Trump, in attempting to 
descend a snowbank without his creepers, which he 
had taken off for greater ease in walking, fell, shot like 
lightning forty feet down the steep incline, and struck 
among some loose rocks at its foot with such force as 
to rebound several feet into the air ; his face and hands 
were badly skinned, and he received some severe 
bruises and a deep, wide gash upon his thigh. Fortu- 
nately the camp was not far distant, and thither 
with great pain and very slowly he managed to hobble. 
Once there I soon started a blazing fire, made coffee, 
and roasted choice morsels of a marmot, Sluiskin hav- 
ing killed and dressed four of these animals during 

123 



MOUNT RAINIER 

our absence. Their flesh, like the badger's, is ex- 
tremely muscular and tough, and has a strong, dis- 
agreeable, doggy odor. 

Towards the close of our repast, we observed the 
Indian approaching with his head down, and walking 
slowly and wearily as though tired by a long tramp. 
He raised his head as he came nearer, and, seeing us 
for the first time, stopped short, gazed long and fixedly, 
and then slowly drew near, eying us closely the while, 
as if to see whether we were real flesh and blood or dis- 
embodied ghosts fresh from the evil demon of Ta- 
khoma. He seemed both astonished and delighted to 
find us safe back, and kept repeating that we were 
strong men and had brave hearts : " Skookum tilicum, 
skookum tumtum." He expected never to see us 
again, he said, and had resolved to start the next morn- 
ing for Olympia to report our destruction. 

The weather was still raw and cold. A dense cloud 
overhung and shrouded the triple crown of Takhoma 
and made us rejoice at our timely descent. The 
scanty shelter afforded by the few balsam firs about our 
camp had been destroyed by the fire, and the situation 
was terribly exposed to the chilly and piercing wind that 
blew from the great ice-fields. Van Trump, however, 
was too badly hurt to think of moving that night. 
Heating some large stones we placed them at our feet, 
and closely wrapped in our blankets slept soundly upon 
the open ground, although we awoke in the morning 
benumbed and chilled. 

We found many fresh tracks and signs of the moun- 
tain-sheep upon the snowfields, and hair and wool 
rubbed off upon rocks, and places where they had lain 
at night. The mountain-sheep of Takhoma is much 
larger than the common goat, and is found only upon 
the loftiest and most secluded peaks of the Cascade 
Range. Even Sluiskin, a skillful hunter and accus- 
tomed to the pursuit of this animal for years, failed to 
kill one, notwithstanding he hunted assiduously during 

124 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

our entire stay upon the mountain, three days. Sluis- 
kin was greatly chagrined at his failure, and promised 
to bring each of us a sheep-skin the following summer, 
a promise which he faithfully fulfilled. 

The glacial system of Takhoma is stupendous. The 
mountain is really the focal centre and summit of a 
region larger than Massachusetts, and the five large 
rivers which water this region all find their sources in 
its vast glaciers. They are the Cowlitz, which empties 
into the Columbia ; the White, Puyallup, and Nis- 
qually rivers, which empty into Puget Sound sixty, 
forty, and twelve miles respectively north of Olympia ; 
and the Wenass, which flows eastward through the 
range and empties into the Yakima, which joins the 
Columbia four hundred miles above its mouth. These 
are all large streams from seventy to a hundred miles 
in length. The White, Puyallup, and Cowlitz rivers 
are each navigable for steamboats for some thirty 
miles, and like the Nisqually show their glacial origin 
by their white and turgid water, which indeed gives the 
former its name. 

The southwestern sides of the mountain furnish the 
glaciers which form the sources of the Nisqually, and 
one of these, at Sluiskin's Falls, has been already de- 
scribed. The main Nisqually glacier issues from the 
deep abyss overhung by the vast rock along the face of 
which our route of ascent lay, and extends in a narrow 
and somewhat crooked canyon for two miles. The ice 
at its extremity rises in an abrupt wall five hundred 
feet high, and a noisy torrent pours out with great force 
from beneath. This feature is characteristic of every 
glacier. The main Cowlitz glacier issues from the south- 
east side, just to the right of our ridge of ascent. Its 
head fills a deep gorge at the foot of the eastern front 
or face of the great mass of rock just referred to, and the 
southern face of which overhangs the main Nisqually 
glacier. Thus the heads of these glaciers are sepa- 
rated only by this great rock, and are probably not 

125 



MOUNT RAINIER 

more than half a mile apart, while their mouths are 
three miles apart. Several smaller glaciers serve to 
swell the waters of the Cowlitz. In like manner the 
glaciers from the western side form the Puyallup, and 
those from the northern and northwestern sides the 
White River. The principal White River glacier is 
nearly ten miles long, and its width is from two to four 
miles. Its depth, or the thickness of its ice, must be 
thousands of feet. Streams and rivulets under the 
heat of the sun flow down its surface until swallowed 
by the crevasses, and a lakelet of deep blue water an 
eighth of a mile in diameter has been observed upon 
the solid ice. Pouring down from the mountain, the 
ice by its immense weight and force has gouged out a 
mass upon the northeastern side a mile in thickness. 
The geological formation of Takhoma poorly resists the 
eroding power of these mighty glaciers, for it seems to 
be composed not of solid rock, but of a basaltic con- 
glomerate in strata, as though the volcanic force had 
burst through and rent in pieces some earlier basaltic 
outflow, and had heaped up this vast pile from the 
fragments in successive strata. On every side the 
mountain is slowly disintegrating. 

What other peak can offer to scientific examination 
or to the admiration of tourists fourteen living glaciers 
of such magnitude, issuing from every side, or such 
grandeur, beauty, and variety of scenery ? 

At daylight we broke up our camp at Sluiskin's Falls, 
and moved slowly, on account of Van Trump's hurt, 
down the ridge about five miles to Clear Creek, where 
we again regaled ourselves upon a hearty repast of mar- 
mots, or "raw dog," as Van Trump styled them in 
derision both of the viand and of the cookery. I was 
convinced from the lay of the country that Clear Creek 
flowed into the Nisqually, or was, perhaps, the main 
stream itself, and that the most direct and feasible route 
back to Bear Prairie would be found by following down 
the valley of these streams to the trail leading from 

126 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

the Nisqually to Bear Prairie. Besides, it was evidently 
impossible for Van Trump, in his bruised and injured 
state, to retrace our rough route over the mountains. 
Leaving him as comfortable as possible, with all our 
scanty stock of flour and marmots, sufficient to last 
him nearly a week in case of need, I started imme- 
diately after dinner, with Sluiskin leading the way, 
to explore this new route. The Indian had opposed 
the attempt strenuously, insisting with much urgency 
that the stream flowed through canyons impossible for 
us to traverse. He now gradually veered away from 
the course of the stream, until ere-long he was leading 
directly up the steep mountain range upon our former 
route, when I called him back peremptorily, and kept 
him in the rear for a little distance. Traveling through 
open timber, over ground rapidly descending, we came 
at the end of two miles to where the stream is hemmed 
in between one of the long ridges or spurs from Ta- 
khoma and the high mountain-chain on the south. 
The stream, receiving many affluents on both sides, its 
clear waters soon discolored by the yeasty glacial tor- 
rents, here loses its peaceful flow, and for upwards of 
three miles rushes furiously down a narrow, broken, and 
rocky bed in a succession of falls and cascades of great 
picturesque beauty. With much toil and difficulty 
we picked our way over a wide "talus" of huge, broken 
granite blocks and bowlders, along the foot of a vast 
mountain of solid granite on the south side of the river, 
until near the end of the defile, then crossed the stream, 
and soon after encountered a still larger branch coming 
from the north, direct from Takhoma, the product, 
doubtless, of the glaciers on the southern and south- 
western sides. Fording this branch just above its con- 
fluence with the other, we followed the general course 
of the river, now unmistakably the Nisqually, for 
about four miles ; then, leaving it, we struck off nearly 
south through the forest for three miles, and emerged 
upon the Bear Prairie. The distance was about thir- 
ty 



MOUNT RAINIER 

teen miles from where we left Van Trump, and we were 
only some six hours in traveling it, while it took seven- 
teen hours of terribly severe work to make the moun- 
tain-route under Sluiskin's guidance. 

Without his help on the shorter route, too, it would 
have taken me more than twice the time it did. For 
the manner in which, after entering the defile of the 
Nisqually, Sluiskin again took the lead and proceeded 
in a direct and unhesitating course, securing every 
advantage of the ground, availing himself of the wide, 
rocky bars along the river, crossing and recrossing the 
milky flood which rushed along with terrific swiftness 
and fury, and occasionally forcing his way through the 
thick timber and underbrush in order to cut off wide 
bends of the river, and at length leaving it and striking 
boldly through the forest to Bear Prairie, proved him 
familiar with every foot of the country. His objections 
to the route evidently arose from the jealousy so com- 
mon with his people of further exploration of the 
country by the whites. As long as they keep within 
the limits already known and explored, they are faith- 
ful and indefatigable guides, but they invariably inter- 
pose every obstacle their ingenuity can suggest to deter 
the adventurous mountaineer from exposing the few 
last hidden recesses that remain unexplored. 

Mr. Coleman was found safe in camp, and seemed too 
glad to see us to think of reproaching us for our sum- 
mary abandonment. He said that in attempting to 
follow us he climbed up so precipitous a place that, 
encumbered with his heavy pack, he could neither 
advance nor recede. He was compelled, therefore, to 
throw off the pack, which rolled to the very bottom of 
the mountain, and being thus delivered of his necessary 
outfit, he was forced to return to camp. He had been 
unable to find his pack, but having come across some 
cricketer's spikes among his remaining effects, he was 
resolved to continue his trip to, and make the ascent 
of, Rainier by himself; he had just completed his 

128 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

preparations, and especially had deposited on top of 
the lofty mountain which overlooked the prairie two 
caches, or stores, of provisions. 

At daylight next morning, Sluiskin, with his little boy 
riding one of his own ponies, himself riding our little 
calico-colored pack-horse, now well rested and saucy, 
started back for Van Trump, with directions to meet 
us at the trail on the Nisqually. A heavy, drizzling 
rain set in soon afterwards ; Mr. Coleman, who had 
gone early to bring in the contents of his mountain-top 
caches, returned about noon with a very small bundle, 
and, packing our traps upon Sluiskin's other pony, we 
moved over to the rendezvous, pitched Coleman's 
large gum-sheet as a partial shelter, made a rousing 
fire, and tried to be comfortable. Late in the after- 
noon the pony set up a violent neighing, and in a few 
minutes Van Trump, and Sluiskin with his little boy 
behind him, rode up, drenched to the skin. By follow- 
ing the bed of the river, frequently crossing and recross- 
ing, the Indian had managed to ride to the very foot of 
the Nisqually defile, when, leaving the horses in this 
boy's care, he hastened to Van Trump and carefully led 
and assisted him down. Despite the pain of his severe 
hurts, the latter was much amused at Sluiskin's account 
of our trip, and of finding Mr. Coleman safe in camp 
making tea, and for long after would repeat as an ex- 
cellent joke Sluiskin's remark on passing the point 
where he had attempted to mislead me, "Skookum 
tenas man hiyu goddam/' 

We sent the horses back by the Indian to Bear 
Prairie for grass, there being no indications of the rain 
ceasing. The storm indeed lasted three days, during 
which we remained sheltered beneath the gum-sheet as 
far as possible, and endeavored to counteract the rain 
by heaping up our fire in front. About eight o'clock 
on the second morning, Sluiskin reported himself with 
our horse, which he returned, he said, because he was 
about to return to his lodge on the Cowlitz, being des- 

K 129 



MOUNT RAINIER 

titute of shelter and food for his family on Bear Prairie. 
He vigorously replenished the fire, declined breakfast, 
jeered Coleman for turning back, although probably 
the latter did not comprehend his broken lingo, and 
departed. 

Sluiskin was an original and striking character. 
Leading a solitary life of hardships amidst these wilds, 
yet of unusual native intelligence, he had contrived, 
during rare visits to the settlements, to acquire the 
Chinook jargon, besides a considerable stock of English 
words, while his fund of general information was really 
wonderful. He was possessed of a shrewd, sarcastic 
wit, and, making no pretense to the traditional gravity 
of his race, did not scruple to use it freely. Yet be- 
neath this he cherished a high sense of pride and per- 
sonal independence. Although of the blood of the 
numerous and powerful Yakimas, who occupied the 
country just east of the Cascades, he disdained to ren- 
der allegiance to them or any tribe, and undoubtedly 
regarded the superintendent of Indian affairs, or even 
the great father at Washington himself, with equally 
contemptuous indifference. 

As the last rays of the sun, one warm, drowsy summer 
afternoon, were falling aslant the shady streets of Olym- 
pia, Mr. Longmire's well-worn family carry-all, drawn 
by two fat, grass-fed horses, came rattling down the 
main street at a most unusual pace for them ; two bright 
flags attached to Alpine staffs, one projecting from each 
door, fluttered gayly overhead, while the occupants 
of the carriage looked eagerly forth to catch the first 
glimpse of welcoming friends. We returned after our 
tramp of two hundred and forty miles with visages 
tanned and sun-scorched, and with forms as lean and 
gaunt as greyhounds, and were received and lionized 
to the full, like veterans returning from an arduous and 
glorious campaign. For days afterward, in walking 
along the smooth and level pavements, we felt a strong 
impulse to step high, as though still striding over the 

130 



FIRST SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

innumerable fallen logs and boughs of the forest, and 
for weeks our appetites were a source of astonishment 
to our friends and somewhat mortifying to ourselves. 
More than two months had elapsed before Mr. Van 
Trump fully recovered from his hurts. We published 
at the time short newspaper accounts of the ascent, 
and, although an occasional old Puget Sounder will 
still growl, "They say they went on top of Mount 
Rainier, but I'd like to see them prove it," we were 
justly regarded as the first, and as I believe the only 
ones up to the present time, who have ever achieved 
the summit of Takhoma. 



VII. INDIAN WARNING AGAINST DEMONS 
BY SLUISKIN, INDIAN GUIDE 

THE beautiful Sluiskin Falls, at the head of Paradise Valley, 
have been admired by countless visitors to the Mount Rainier 
National Park. The name was bestowed upon them by Stevens 
and Van Trump after their return from what the Indian guide 
believed was sure death. Before they had left him at the 
camp near the falls and started to climb over the snow and ice, 
he delivered an eloquent plea in the Chinook jargon accom- 
panied by natural but effective gestures. 

The speech was remembered and repeated by the white men when 
they returned among their friends. One of those who com- 
mitted it to memory was former Congressman M. C. George 
of Oregon. He furnished a copy. General Stevens in 1915 
revised it, but added: "My Chinook I have somewhat lost, 
so the rendering is probably not so correct as it might be." 

However, the Indian speech and the translation by General Stevens 
will likely be cherished as here reproduced. 

Kloshe nanich, mesika kloshe tilikum. Nika tikigh 
wawa kopa mesika. 

Mesika tikegh klatawa saghalie Takhoma, hyiu 
pelton. Halo tilikum mamook okoke pe mitlite. 
Hyas tyee mitlite kopa saghalie illahee kopa hyiu piah. 
Wake tikigh tilikum chako kopa yahka illahee. 

Ahnkuttie nika papa yahka papa, hyas skookum 
tyee kopa konaway Yakima tilikum, klatawa wake 
siah yahka la tet. Alta nanich piah chuck pe keek- 
wulee tyee chako mimoluse yahka pe hyak klatawa 
keekwulee saghalie illahee, pe hyiu kloshe tumtum. 
Yahka wake mamook alta, halo ikt siwash mamook 
klatawa. 

Kloshe mesika klatawa, kloshe mamook. Hyiu 
snow, kloshe klatawa snow illahee, ahnkuttie nika 
mimoluse Takhoma mowich kloshe ooakut. Alta 

132 



INDIAN WARNING AGAINST DEMONS 

mesika nanich klatawa hyiu stone, wake kloshe klatawa 
pe mesika teahwit tseepie alta mesika klatawa keek- 
wulee pe mimoluse, keekwulee pe mimoluse. Mesika 
klatawa hyas mesachie snow pe keekwulee hyas 
mesachie illahee yahka Takhoma mowich halo klatawa. 
Mesika klatawa hyas saghalie illahee hyiu stone chako, 
hyiu stone chako, pe mesika mimoluse pe kokshut 
mesika. 

Spose mesika klatawa kopa okoke saghalie illahee 
alta mesika hyiu skookum pe cole wind alta yahka 
mahsh mesika kopa keekwulee illahee pe mimoluse 
mesika. Spose mesika mitlite mesachie iktas hyas 
keekwulee tyee mitlite Takhoma mesika mimoluse pe 
mesika mahsh okoke piah chuck. 

Wake mesika klatawa ! 

Mesika mamook nika tumtum kwass, spose mesika 
klatawa Takhoma saghalie. Mesika mimoluse me- 
sika spose klatawa Takhoma. Mesika mimoluse pe 
mesika tilikum sollecks kopa nika. 

Wake klatawa ! 

Wake klatawa ! 

Spose mesika klatawa, nika mitlite mokst sun pe 
alta nika klatawa kopa Olympia pe wawa kopa mesika 
tilikum alta mesika mimoluse siah saghalie Takhoma. 
Mesika potlatch pehpah kopa nika mamook kumtuks 
mesika mimoluse wake nika mesachie. 

Kopet wawa nika. 

TRANSLATION BY GENERAL STEVENS 

Listen to me, my good friends. I must talk to you. 

Your plan to climb Takhoma is all foolishness. No 
one can do it and live. A mighty chief dwells upon 
the summit in a lake of fire. He brooks no intruders. 

Many years ago my grandfather, the greatest and 
bravest chief of all the Yakima, climbed nearly to the 
summit. There he caught sight of the fiery lake and 
the infernal demon coming to destroy him, and he 

133 



MOUNT RAINIER 

fled down the mountain, glad to escape with his life. 
Where he failed, no other Indian ever dared make the 
attempt. 

At first the way is easy, the task seems light. The 
broad snowfields, over which I have often hunted the 
mountain goat, offer an inviting path. But above 
them you will have to climb over steep rocks over- 
hanging deep gorges where a misstep would hurl you 
far down down to certain death. You must creep 
over steep snow banks and cross deep crevasses where 
a mountain goat could hardly keep his footing. You 
must climb along steep cliffs where rocks are contin- 
ually falling to crush you, or knock you off into the 
bottomless depths. 

And if you should escape these perils and reach 
the great snowy dome, then a bitterly cold and furious 
tempest will sweep you off into space like a withered 
leaf. But if by some miracle you should survive all 
these perils the mighty demon of Takhoma will surely 
kill you and throw you into the fiery lake. 

Don't you go ! 

You make my heart sick when you talk of climbing 
Takhoma. You will perish if you try to climb Ta- 
khoma. You will perish and your people will blame 
me. 

Don't go ! 

Don't go ! 

If you will go, I will wait here two days, and then 
go to Olympia and tell your people that you perished 
on Takhoma. Give me a paper to them to let them 
know that I am not to blame for your death. 

My talk is ended. 



134 




SAMUEL FRANKLIN EMMONS. 



VIII. SECOND SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 
BY S. F. EMMONS 

LATER in the same year, 1870, when Stevens and Van Trump made 
their first successful ascent, the achievement was also accom- 
plished by S. F. Emmons and A. D. Wilson of the Geological 
Exploration of the Fortieth Parallel. Samuel Franklin 
Emmons was born at Boston on March 29, 1841. He died 
painlessly and unexpectedly on the eve of his seventieth birth- 
day, March 28, 1911. 

George F. Becker gave him a fervent eulogy which appeared in the 
Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers 
for 1911. He says : "There is not a geological society or even 
a mining camp from Arctic Finland to the Transvaal, or from 
Alaska to Australia, where Emmons' s name is not honored and 
his authority recognized." With all his fame and ability, the 
biographer declares, he was modest to diffidence. 

His account of the ascent is in the form of a letter to his chief, 
Clarence King, who published it in the American Journal of 
Science for March, 1871. It is here reproduced from that 
source. The photograph of Mr. Emmons was obtained from 
the United States Geological Survey. It will be noticed that 
Mr. Emmons calls the mountain Tachoma. 

The Mountain's largest glacier, to which he refers with enthusiasm, 
was for a long time known by the name of White River which it 
feeds. It is peculiarly appropriate that that glacier should 
bear the name given it on the official map of the United States 
Geological Survey Emmons Glacier. 

The glaciers of Mt. Tachoma, or Rainier as it is 
more commonly called, form the principal sources of 
four important rivers of Washington Territory, viz : 
the Cowlitz, which flows into the Columbia, and the 
Nisqually, Puyallup and White rivers which empty 
into Puget Sound. In accordance with your instruc- 
tions, Mr. A. D. Wilson and I visited this mountain 
in the early part of October, 1870, and carried the work 

135 



MOUNT RAINIER 

of making its complete survey, both geological and 
topographical, as far as the lateness of the season and 
the means at our disposal would permit. As the topo- 
graphical work has not yet been plotted, the figures 
given in my notes are merely estimates, and liable to 
subsequent correction. I herewith transmit an ab- 
stract from my notes upon the glaciers, embracing 
those of rather more than half the slopes of the moun- 
tain, those on the eastern side, from the extreme 
southern to the extreme northern point. 

The summit of Tachoma is formed by three peaks, 
a southern, an eastern, and a northwestern : of these 
the eastern is the highest ; those on the south and 
northwest, being apparently a few hundred feet lower, 
are distant about a mile and a half to two miles from 
this, and separated by deep valleys. The eastern 
peak, which would seem to have formed originally the 
middle of the mountain mass, is a crater about a quar- 
ter of a mile in diameter of very perfect circular form. 
Its sides are bare for about 60 feet from the rim, be- 
low which they are covered by a neve having a slope of 
from 28 to 31. This neve extending from the shoul- 
ders of the southwestern peak to those of the northern, 
a width of several miles, descends to a vertical distance 
of about 2000 feet below the crater rim, an immense 
sheet of white granular ice, having the general form of 
the mountain surface, and broken only by long trans- 
verse crevasses, one of those observed being from one 
to two miles in length : it is then divided up by the 
several jutting rock-masses or shoulder of the mountain 
into the Nisqually, Cowlitz and White River glaciers, 
falling in distinct ice cascades for about 3000 feet at 
very steep angles, which sometimes approach the per- 
pendicular. From the foot of these cascades flow the 
glaciers proper, at a more gentle angle, growing nar- 
rower and sinking deeper into the mountain as they 
descend. From the intervening spurs, which slope 
even more gradually, they receive many tributary 

136 



SECOND SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

glaciers, while some of these secondary glaciers form 
independent streams, which only join the main river 
many miles below the end of the glaciers. 

The Nisqually, the narrowest of the three main 
glaciers above mentioned, has the most sinuous course, 
varying in direction from southwest to south, while 
its lower extremity is somewhat west of south of the 
main peak : it receives most of its tributaries from the 
spur to the east, and has a comparatively regular 
slope in its whole length below the cascades. There 
are some indications of dirt-bands on its surface, when 
seen from a considerable elevation. Toward its lower 
end it is very much broken up by transverse and longi- 
tudinal crevasses : this is due to the fact, that it has 
here cut through the more yielding strata of volcanic 
rock, and come upon an underlying and unconformable 
mass of syenite. The ice front at its base is about 
500 feet in height, and the walls of lava which bound its 
sides rise from 1000 to 1500 feet above the surface of 
the ice, generally in sheer precipices. 

The bed of the Cowlitz glacier is generally parallel 
to that of the Nisqually, though its curves are less 
marked : the ice cascades in which each originates, 
fall on either side of a black cliff of bedded lava and 
breccia scarcely a thousand feet in horizontal thick- 
ness, while the mouths of the glaciers, if I may be 
allowed the expression, are about three miles apart. 
From the jutting edge of this cliff hang enormous 
icicles from 75 to 100 feet in length. The slope of 
this glacier is less regular, being broken by subordinate 
ice cascades. Like the Nisqually its lower extremity 
stretches out as it were into the forest, the slopes on 
either side, where not too steep, being covered with 
the mountain fir (Picea nobilis) for several hundred feet 
above the level of the ice, while the Pinus flexilis grows 
at least 2000 feet higher than the mouth of the glacier. 

The general course of this glacier is south, but at its 
extremity it bends to the eastward, apparently de- 

137 



MOUNT RAINIER 

fleeted from its course by a cliff of older felsitic rock, 
more resisting than the lava. The consequence of 
this deflection is a predominance of longitudinal over 
transverse crevasses at this point, and an unusually 
large moraine at its western side, which rises several 
hundred feet above the surface of the glaciers, and 
partakes of the character of both lateral and terminal 
moraines : the main medial moraine of the glacier 
joins this near its lower end. This medial moraine 
proceeds from the cliff which bounds the ice cascade 
source of the glacier on the north, and brings down a 
dark porous lava which is only found high up on the 
mountain near the crater. The position of the medial 
moraine on the glacier would indicate that at least 
half its mass came from the spur on the east, which is 
probably the case. 

This spur, comprehending the whole mass between 
the Cowlitz and White Rivers glaciers, has the shape 
of a triangle whose apex is formed by a huge pinnacle 
of rock, which, as its bedding indicates, once formed 
part of the crust of the mountain, but now stands 
isolated, a jagged peak rising about 3000 feet above 
the glaciers at its foot, so steep that neither ice nor 
snow rest upon it. One of the tributaries to the Cow- 
litz glacier from this spur brings down with it a second 
medial moraine, which is traceable to the mouth of the 
glacier, though in general these tributary glaciers bring 
no medial moraines. 

On the eastern slopes of this spur between the two 
above named glaciers, spread secondary glaciers, fre- 
quently of great width, but owing to the limited height 
of their initial points, of inconsiderable length. These 
end generally in perpendicular cliffs overhanging the 
rocky amphitheaters at the heads of the smaller 
streams which flow eastward into the Cowlitz. Look- 
ing up from the bottom of one of these amphitheaters 
one sees a semi-circular wall of nearly 2000 feet of 
sheer rock, surmounted by about 500 feet of ice, from 

138 



SECOND SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

under which small streams of water issue, falling in 
silvery cascades on to the green bottom below. 

A ridge of high jagged peaks connects this spur with 
the main range of the Cascade Mts. in the east, and 
forms the water-shed between the White and Cowlitz 
rivers. From the connecting saddle one can look 
northward across the brink of six glaciers, which all 
contribute to the White River ; of these the first four 
come from the triangular spur already mentioned and 
are of comparatively little extent. The first two are, 
however, interesting from the vein structure which 
they exhibit ; they both originate in an irregularly ob- 
long basin, having the shape somewhat of an inclined 
ellipse, turning on its longer diameter, the outlets of 
the glacier being opposite the foci. Seen from a high 
point the veins form concentric lines generally parallel 
to the sides of the basin ; the ends of those towards 
the center gradually bend round, until they join 
together in the form of a figure 8, and finally just above 
the outlets form two small ellipses. They thus con- 
stantly preserve a direction at right angles to that of 
the pressure exerted, downward by the movement of 
the ice mass, and upward by the resistance to this 
movement of the rock mass between the two outlets. 

The main White River glacier, the grandest of the 
whole, 1 pours straight down from the rim of the crater 
in a northeasterly direction, and pushes its extremity 
farther out into the valley than any of the others. Its 
greatest width on the steep slope of the mountain must 
be four or five miles, narrowing towards its extremity 
to about a mile and a half; its length can be scarcely 
less than ten miles. The great eroding power of glacial 
ice is strikingly illustrated in this glacier, which seems 
to have cut down and carried away on the northeastern 
side of the mountain, fully a third of its mass. The 
thickness of rock cut away as shown by the walls on 
either side, and the isolated peak at the head of the 

1 It is a pleasure to note that this fine glacier now bears the name of Emmons. 



MOUNT RAINIER 

triangular spur, in which the bedding of the successive 
flows of lava, forming the original mountain crust, is 
very regular and conformable, may be roughly esti- 
mated at somewhat over a mile. Of the thickness of 
the ice of the glacier I have no data for making esti- 
mates, though it may probably be reckoned in thou- 
sands of feet. 

It has two principal medial moraines, which, where 
crossed by us, formed little mountain ridges having 
peaks nearly 100 feet high. The sources of these 
moraines are cliffs on the steeper mountain slope, 
which seem mere black specks in the great white field 
above : between these are great cascades, and below 
immense transverse crevasses, which we had no time 
or means to visit. The surface water flows in rills 
and brooks, on the lower portion of the glacier, and 
moulins are of frequent occurrence. We visited one 
double moulin where two brooks poured into two cir- 
cular wells, each about ten feet in diameter, joined 
together at the surface but separated below : we could 
not approach near enough the edge to see the bottom of 
either, but, as stones thrown in sent back no sound, 
judged they must be very deep. 

This glacier forks near the foot of the steeper moun- 
tain slope, and sends off a branch to the northward, 
which forms a large stream flowing down to join the 
main stream fifteen or twenty miles below. Looking 
down on this from a high overhanging peak, we could 
see, as it were, under our feet, a little lake of deep blue 
water, about an eighth of a mile in diameter, standing 
in the brown gravel-covered ice of the end of the 
glacier. On the back of the rocky spur, which divides 
these two glaciers, a secondary glacier has scooped out 
a basin-shaped bed, and sends down an ice stream, 
having all the characteristics of a true glacier, but its 
ice disappears several miles above the mouths of the 
large glaciers on either side. Were nothing known of 
the movement of glaciers, an instance like this would 

140 



SECOND SUCCESSFUL ASCENT, 1870 

seem to afford sufficient evidence that such movement 
exists, and that gravity is the main motive power. 
From our northern and southern points we could trace 
the beds of several large glaciers to the west of us, 
whose upper and lower portions only were visible, the 
main body of the ice lying hidden by the high inter- 
vening spurs. 

Ten large glaciers observed by us, and at least half 
as many more hidden by the mountain from our view, 
proceeding thus from an isolated peak, form a most 
remarkable system, and one worthy of a careful and 
detailed study. 



141 



IX. EXPLORATIONS ON THE NORTHERN 
SLOPES, 1881-1883 

BY BAILEY WILLIS 

THE Northwest for April, 1883, which was Number 2 of Volume I 
of that magazine, contained an article by Bailey Willis, Assist- 
ant Geologist of the Northern Transcontinental Survey. The 
article is entitled "Canyons and Glaciers. A Journey to the 
Ice Fields of Mount Tacoma." Mr. Willis was born at Idle- 
wild-pn-Hudson, New York, on May 31, 1857. It speaks well 
for his skill and training that he should have attained to such 
a position at twenty-four years of age. 

Since then he has worked out a great career in the United States 
Geojogical Survey, in China and in other parts of the world. 
He is now Professor of Geology at Stanford University. He 
has kindly revised for this publication the product of his 
younger years. And there has also been found a photograph 
of the geologist as he appeared when the surveys were made. 

To this day, people who visit the northern slopes and parks of 
the mountain become familiar with the Bailey Willis trail and 
from Moraine Park they get a view of the wonderful Willis 
Wall named in his honor. 

The Puyallup River, which empties into Puget Sound 
near New Tacoma, heads in three glaciers on Mount 
Tacoma. During the summer months, when the ice 
and snow on the mountains are thawing, the water is 
discolored with mud from the glaciers and carries a 
large amount of sediment out to Commencement Bay. 
If the Coast Survey charts are correct, soundings near 
the centre of the bay have changed from one hun- 
dred fathoms and "no bottom" in 1867, to eighty 
fathoms and "gray mud" in 1877. But when the 
nights in the hills begin to be frosty, the stream be- 
comes clearer, and in winter the greater volume of 
spring water gives it a deep green tint. 

142 




BAILEY WILLIS. 
From a photograph taken in 1883. 



EXPLORATIONS ON THE NORTHERN SLOPES 

For twenty miles from the Sound the valley is nearly 
level. The bluffs along the river are of coarse gravel, 
the soil is alluvium, and a well sunk a hundred feet 
at the little town of Puyallup passed through gravel 
and sand to tide mud and brackish water. From the 
foot-hills to its mouth the river meanders over an old 
valley of unknown depth, now filled with material 
brought down by its several branches. About eighteen 
miles above its mouth the river forks, and the northern 
portion takes the name of Carbon River ; the southern 
was formerly called the South Fork, but it should re- 
tain the name of Puyallup to its next division far up in 
the mountains. A short distance above their junction 
both Carbon River and the Puyallup escape from nar- 
row, crooked canons, whose vertical sides, one hun- 
dred to three hundred feet high, are often but fifty feet 
apart. From these walls steep, heavily timbered slopes 
rise two hundred to eight hundred feet to the summits 
of the foot-hills. These canons link the buried river 
basin of the lower stream with the upper river valleys. 
The latter extend from the heads of the canons to the 
glaciers. They are apparently the deserted beds of 
mightier ice rivers, now shrunk to the very foot of 
Mount Tacoma. 

From New Tacoma the entire course of the Puyallup 
and part of Carbon River are in view. Across Com- 
mencement Bay are the tide marshes of the delta ; 
back from these salt meadows the light green of the 
cottonwoods, alder and vine-maple mark the river's 
course, till it is lost in the dark monotone of the fir 
forest. No break in the evergreen surface indicates 
the place of the river canons ; but far out among the 
foot-hills a line of mist hangs over the upper valley of 
Carbon River, which winds away eastward, behind 
the rising ground, to the northern side of Mount Ta- 
coma. Milk Creek, one of its branches, drains the 
northwest spur, and on the western slope the snows 
accumulate in two glaciers, from which flow the North 

143 



MOUNT RAINIER 

and South Forks of the Puyallup. These streams 
meet in a level valley at the base of three singular 
peaks, and plunge united into the dark gateway of the 
canon. 

A trip to the grand snow peak from which these 
rivers spring was within a year a very difficult under- 
taking. There was no trail through the dense forest, 
no supply depot on the route. No horse nor donkey 
could accompany the explorer, who took his blankets 
and provisions on his back, and worked his way slowly 
among the towering tree trunks, through underbrush 
luxuriant as a tropic jungle. But last summer a good 
horse trail was built from Wilkeson to Carbon River, 
crossing it above the canon, sixteen miles below the 
glacier, and during the autumn it was extended to the 
head of the Puyallup. Wilkeson is reached by a branch 
railroad from New Tacoma. It is on a small tributary 
of Carbon River, called Fletts Creek, at a point where 
the brook runs from a narrow gorge into a valley about 
a quarter of a mile wide. Coal mines are opened at this 
point. The horse trail climbs at once from Wilkeson 
to the first terrace, four hundred feet above the valley ; 
then winds a quarter of a mile back through the forest 
to the second ascent of a hundred feet, and then a mile 
over the level to the third. Hidden here beneath the 
thick covering of moss and undergrowth of the prime- 
val forest, fourteen hundred feet above the present 
ocean level, are ancient shore lines of the sea, which 
has left its trace in similar terraces in all the valleys 
about the Sound. 1 Thence the trail extends south- 
ward over a level plateau. Carbon River Canon is 
but half a mile away on the west, and five miles from 
Wilkeson the valley above the canon is reached. The 
descent to the river is over three miles along the hill- 
side eastward. 

1 The terraces to which reference is here made are not the work of the sea, but 
of lakes whose waters gathered between the mountain slopes and retreating 
glaciers of the ice period. See the article by H. I. Bretz. Geol. Survey of Wash., 
Bull. 8, 1912. 

- 144 



EXPLORATIONS ON THE NORTHERN SLOPES 

From Wilkeson to the river the way is all through 
a belt of forest, where the conditions of growth are very 
favorable. The fir trees are massive, straight and free 
from limbs to a great height. The larger ones, eight 
to twelve feet in diameter on a level with a man's 
head, carry their size upward, tapering very grad- 
ually, till near the top they shoot out a thick mat of 
foliage and the trunk in a few feet diminishes to a 
point. One such was measured ; it stands like a huge 
obelisk 180 feet, without a limb, supporting a crown of 
but forty feet more. The more slender trees are, 
curiously enough, the taller ; straight, clear shafts 
rise 100 to 150 feet, topped with foliage whose highest 
needles would look down on Trinity spire. Cedars, 
hemlocks, spruce and white fir mingle with these giants, 
but they do not compete with them in height ; they fill 
in the spaces in the vast colonnades. Below is the car- 
pet of deep golden green moss and glossy ferns, and the 
tangle of vines and bushes that cover the fallen trunks 
of the fathers of the forest. 

The silence of these mountains is awesome, the soli- 
tude oppressive. The deer, the bear, the panther are 
seldom met ; they see and hear first and silently slip 
away, leaving only their tracks to prove their num- 
bers. There are very few birds. Blue jays, and their 
less showy gray, but equally impudent, cousins, the 
"whiskey jacks," assemble about a camp; but in pass- 
ing through the forest one may wander a whole day 
and see no living thing save a squirrel, whose shrill 
chatter is startling amid the silence. The wind plays in 
the tree tops far overhead, but seldom stirs the branches 
of the smaller growth. The great tree trunks stand 
immovable. The more awful is it when a gale roars 
through the timber ; when the huge columns sway in 
unison and groan with voices strangely human. It is 
fearful to lie in the utter darkness of a stormy night, 
listening to the pulsating rush of the wind, the moan 
of the forest and the crash of uprooted giants upon 

L 145 



MOUNT RAINIER 

the ground listening with bated breath for the re- 
port which may foretell the fall of yonder tall decay- 
ing shaft, whose thick, deep cleft bark blazed so brightly 
on the now dying camp fire. The effect of one such 
storm is seen in Carbon River Valley, above and be- 
low where the trail crosses. The blast followed the 
stream and the mountain slope on the south side ; over 
an area eight miles long and a half a mile to a mile 
wide the forest is prostrate. Single trees stand gaunt 
and charred by a recent fire, but their comrades are 
piled like jackstraws, the toys of the tornado. Over 
and under each other they lie, bent and interlaced, 
twenty, thirty feet deep. Pigmy man strained his 
eyes to see their tops, when they stood erect ; now he 
vainly stands on tiptoe to look over them in their fallen 
majesty. 

To the head of Carbon River from the bridge, on 
which the trail crosses it, is about sixteen miles. The 
rocky bed of the river is 100 to 200 yards wide, a gray 
strip of polished boulders between sombre mountain 
slopes, that rise sharply from it. The stream winds in 
ever-shifting channels among the stones. About six 
milts above the bridge Milk Creek dashes down from 
its narrow gorge into the river. The high pinnacles 
of the spur from which it springs are hidden by the 
nearer fir-clad ridges. Between their outlines shines 
the northern peak of Mount Tacoma, framed in dark 
evergreen spires. Its snow fields are only three miles 
distant, but Carbon River has come a long way round. 
For six miles eastward the undulating lines of the 
mountains converge, then those on the north suddenly 
cross the view, where the river canon turns sharply 
southward. 

Three miles from this turn is Crescent Mountain, its 
summit a semi-circular gray wall a thousand feet high. 1 
At sunset the light from the west streams across the 

1 The amphitheaters which the young geologist mistook for craters are now 
known to be glacier basins eroded by ice. 

146 



EXPLORATIONS ON THE NORTHERN SLOPES 

head of Milk Creek and Carbon River, illuminating 
these cliffs as with the glow of volcanic fires, while 
twilight deepens in the valley. The next turn of the 
river brings Mount Tacoma again in view. Close on 
the right a huge buttress towers up, cliff upon cliff, 
2,500 feet, a single one of the many imposing rock 
masses that form the Ragged Spur between Carbon 
River and Milk Creek. The more rapid fall of the river, 
the increasing size of the boulders, show the nearness of 
the glacier. Turning eastward to the south of Cres- 
cent Mountain, you pass the group of trees that hide it. 

This, first sight is a disappointment. The glacier is 
a very dirty one. The face is about 300 feet long and 
thirty to forty feet high. It entirely fills the space be- 
tween two low cliffs of polished gray rock. Through- 
out the mass the snows of successive winters are in- 
terstratified with the summers' accumulations of earth 
and rock. From a dark cavern, whose depths have 
none of the intense blue color so beautiful in crevasses 
in clear ice, Carbon River pours out, a muddy torrent. 
The top of the glacier is covered with earth about six 
inches deep, contributed to its mass by the cliffs on 
either side and by an island of rock, where a few pines 
grow, entirely surrounded by the ice river. The eye 
willingly passes over this dirty mass to the gleaming 
northeast spur of the mountain, where the sunlight 
lingers after the chill night wind has begun to blow from 
the ice fields. 

The disappointment of this view of the glacier leaves 
one unprepared for the beauty of that from Crescent 
Mountain. The ascent from a point a short distance 
down the river is steep, but not dangerous. The lower 
slopes are heavily timbered, but at an elevation of 4,000 
feet juniper and dwarf pine are dotted over the grassy 
hillside. Elk, deer and white mountain goats find here 
a pleasant pasture ; their trails look like well trodden 
sheep paths on a New England hill. A curious badger- 
like animal, sitting erect on his hind legs, greets one 

147 



MOUNT RAINIER 

with a long shrill whistle that would make a schoolboy 
envious, but trots quickly away on nearer approach. 
The crest of the southwest rim of the amphitheater 
is easily gained, and the grandeur of the view bursts 
upon you suddenly. Eastward are the cliffs and canons 
of the Cascade Range. Northward forest-covered hill 
and valley reach to Mount Baker and the snow peaks 
that break the horizon line. Westward are the blue 
waters of the Sound, the snow-clad Olympics and a 
faint soft line beyond ; it may be the ocean or a fog 
bank above it. Southward, 9,000 feet above you, so 
near you must throw your head back to see its sum- 
mit, is grand Mount Tacoma ; its graceful northern 
peak piercing the sky, it soars single and alone. 
Whether touched by the glow of early morning or 
gleaming in bright noonday, whether rosy with sunset 
light or glimmering ghost-like, in the full moon, whether 
standing out clear and cloudless or veiled among the 
mists it weaves from the warm south winds, it is al- 
ways majestic and inspiring, always attractive and 
lovely. It is the symbol of an awful power clad in 
beauty. 

This northern slope of the mountain is very steep, 
and the consolidated snow begins its downward move- 
ment from near the top. Little pinnacles of rock pro- 
ject through the mass and form eddies in the current. 
A jagged ridge divides it, and part descends into the 
deep unexplored canon of White River, probably the 
deepest chasm in the flanks of Mount Tacoma. The 
other part comes straight on toward the southern side 
of Crescent Mountain, a precipice 2,000 feet high ; 
diverted, it turns in graceful flowing curves, breaks 
into a thousand ice pyramids and descends into the 
narrow pass, where its beauty is hidden under the 
ever-falling showers of rock. 

This rim you stand upon is very narrow ; a hundred 
feet wide, sometimes less, between the cliff that rises 
2,000 feet above the glacier and the descent of a thou- 



EXPLORATIONS ON THE NORTHERN SLOPES 

sand feet on the other side. Snow lies upon part of 
this slope ; stones, started from the edge, leap in 
lengthening bounds over its firm surface and plunge 
with a splash into the throat of the lakelet that lies 
in the amphitheater. The ice slope, dipping into the 
clear water, passes from purest white to deepest blue as 
it passes out of sight in the depths of the basin. 

A two days' visit to this trackless region sufficed 
only to see a small part of the magnificent scenery. 
White River Canon, the cliffs of Ragged Spur, the 
northern slope of Mount Tacoma, where the climber 
is always tempted upward, might occupy him for 
weeks. Across the snow fields, where Milk Creek 
rises, is the glacier of the North Fork of the Puyallup, 
and the end of the horse trail we left at Carbon River 
is within six miles of its base. When a trail is built 
up Carbon River, the way across this divide will be 
found, and, with comfortable stopping places on the 
two rivers, the tourist can pass a delightful week amid 
scenery we now cross the ocean to Switzerland to see. 



149 



X. DISCOVERY OF CAMP MUIR, 1888 
BY MAJOR E. S. INGRAHAM 

MAJOR EDWARD STURGIS INGRAHAM has visited the mountain 
annually since 1888. He has ascended to the summit seven 
times and has spent as many nights in the crater. It was he 
who gave to a number of the prominent features of the Park 
their beautiful and enduring names. 

On his first ascent in 1888 the party included John Muir, most 
famous naturalist of the Pacific Slope. Since he found a 
sheltered pumice patch and suggested camping there for the 
night, Major Ingraham called it Camp Muir, now well known 
to all climbers. 

Major Ingraham prepared an account of the ascent which was pub- 
lished in The Puget Sound Magazine for October, 1888. That 
magazine has long since ceased to be issued. It was edited 
by the editor of this present work, who has rescued the article 
from the rare and almost forgotten files. 

After an extensive career as superintendent of schools, printer, 
militia officer and miner, Major Ingraham has been devoting 
his later years to the boy scout work, in which his love for the 
mountains plays an important part. 

A glacier on the mountain bears the name of Ingraham. How that 
came to be, is related by him as follows : "One time when I was 
on the mountain encamped at the Camp of the Clouds, Pro- 
fessor I. C. Russell and another man, both in their shirt sleeves, 
came tottering into my camp at early morning. They had 
been caught upon the summit and had spent a shivering night 
in the crater. I treated them the best I knew how and they 
departed. When their maps came out I found that a beautiful 
glacier had been named for me Ingraham Glacier." 

Mount Rainier, one of Nature's masterpieces, is the 
most striking object of grandeur and beauty amidst 
the unsurpassed scenery of Washington Territory. 
Occupying nearly a central position geographically 
in the Territory, it is alike an object of pride to the 
inhabitants of the Great Plain of the Columbia and 

150 







MAJOR EDWARD STURGIS INGRAHAM. 



DISCOVERY OF CAMP MUIR, 1888 

to the dwellers on Puget Sound. There are other 
peaks that command our attention, but it is to the 
old monarch that we turn with unfeigned pride and 
exclaim, "Behold a masterpiece!" 

The height of Mount Rainier, as estimated by tri- 
angulation, is 14,444 feet. This height was verified 
by barometer in the hands of one party that reached 
the summit in the month of August of the present year. 
From many points of view it appears a single peak ; 
but in reality it is composed of three peaks of nearly 
the same height. These peaks may be designated as 
northern, crater and southern. They are not in direct 
line, but occupy apexes of an obtuse-angled triangle. 
The northern peak is a cone, with its apex about two 
miles from the summit of crater peak ; the southern 
peak is somewhat flattened on top, and is about one 
and one-half miles from crater peak. Crater peak, 
as the name suggests, has two large craters, with well- 
defined rims one sloping slightly towards the north- 
east, and the other towards the southwest. The cul- 
minating point of this peak is a sugarloaf-shape mass 
of pure snow, about one hundred feet above all adja- 
cent points. The northern and southern peaks are 
inaccessible, except from crater peak, owing to the 
precipitous condition of their sides, which are so steep 
that snow will not cling to them except in small 
patches. Down these sides, during some seasons of 
the year, avalanches go thundering almost hourly with 
a roar that makes the tourist shudder with fear. 

The volcanic condition of Mount Rainier is every- 
where apparent. For miles before the base is reached 
vast quantities of ashes, forming the greater part of 
the soil of that region, plainly tell of extensive erup- 
tions ; the immediate foothills are covered with masses 
of red and black lava ; while pumice is found in great 
abundance upon some of the ridges. All these evi- 
dences suggest that, long ages ago, Rainier was the 
scene of volcanic activity of immense magnitude. 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Ascend to the top, behold the two well-defined craters, 
with their rims perfect ; descend those walls, and try 
to count the many jets of steam constantly puffing 
forth their sulphurous odors, and one is led to believe 
that Rainier has been active at a comparatively recent 
period. 

Mount Rainier, with its many glaciers, is the source 
of the principal rivers of Western Washington. From 
the summit of the three peaks the snow forges its way 
downward until it is compressed into ice ; the ice in 
turn is compressed until it assumes that peculiar blue 
tint that characterizes ice under great pressure. These 
ice streams move slowly down the valleys, about one 
foot in twenty-four hours, conforming to their beds. 
Where the bed is inclined, the glacier breaks into in- 
numerable masses, somewhat regular, with great yawn- 
ing crevasses between. While crossing one of the 
White River glaciers below an ice-fall I had to stand 
clear of a dozen bowlders that came rolling down from 
the brink, telling very forcibly that the glacier was 
moving. These glaciers plow their way down the 
valleys to an elevation of between 30x30 and 4000 feet, 
and there dissolve into water. Some of them termi- 
nate in a gentle incline ; others present a high wall of 
clear ice, with the river issuing from an immense cave ; 
still others deposit vast quantities of stones and earth, 
forming what is called the "terminal moraine." The 
glaciers of the northern peak, five in number, form 
the Puyallup and its principal tributary, the Carbon ; 
the twelve glaciers of the eastern slope of crater peak 
yield the icy waters of the White and Cowlitz ; the 
glaciers of the southern peak form the several 
sources of the Nisqually. The glaciers are from one 
to two miles in width, and from six to twelve miles 
in length. Like the rivers which they form, they 
themselves have tributaries. When two glaciers unite, 
their inside lateral moraines join and form a medial 
moraine. 

152 



DISCOVERY OF CAMP MUIR, 1888 

The ascent of Mount Rainier is difficult and dan- 
gerous. Three different parties have reached the 
summit from the south side namely, Hazard Stevens 
and P. B. Van Trump in 1870; P. B. Van Trump, 
James Longmire and Mr. Bailey, in 1883 ; and a party 
of seven, of which the writer was the projector, in 
August of the present year. A party of three from 
Snohomish claim to have reached the summit by the 
northeast side in the summer of 1884. Several others 
and myself have made two attempts to reach the sum- 
mit from that side, but came to an impassable crevasse 
at an elevation of about 14,000 feet on both occasions. 

On the morning of the loth of last August a party of 
eight gentlemen left Seattle for Yelm with the neces- 
sary equipments and provisions for a two weeks' 
sojourn among the eternal hills. At Yelm we secured 
the necessary horses to convey our outfit to the snow 
line on the south side. The day at Yelm was clear 
and beautiful Mount Rainier never looked so grand 
before. Its three peaks stood out in bold relief against 
the sky, while its walls of ice sparkled with resplendent 
beauty. During the morning and evening the play of 
colors around its base, extending in graduated bands 
far towards the zenith, made our artist groan aloud 
because of his inability to transfer them to canvas. 
It took us three days from the time we left Yelm to 
reach the Longmire Mineral Springs. These springs 
were discovered by Mr. James Longmire in 1883. 
They number twenty-five or more, and are heavily 
charged with carbon dioxide and other gases that 
combine to make the water a very pleasant drink as 
well as a health-giving beverage. Around each spring 
is an incrustation of soda compounds deposited by the 
water. One spring, over which a rude bath-house has 
been constructed, pours forth a large quantity of water 
at a temperature of 85 Fahr. A bath in this water is 
pleasant and invigorating. The view from the springs 
is very beautiful. On the right is the swift flowing 

153 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Nisqually ; on the left, a solid white wall of basaltic 
rock rises to a height of nearly one thousand feet ; 
while in front, seeming only a mile away, Mount 
Rainier stands in silent majesty. There were several 
visitors at the springs. In the near future these 
springs will be sought by hundreds of invalids. We 
would gladly have remained at the springs for several 
days, but, with the old monarch so near, we could not 
delay. The next day found all of the party but two on 
the tramp. That day's work was to ascend to Camp 
of the Clouds, distant about five miles from the springs. 
It was no small task. The trail is steep and rugged, and 
has been traveled but little. About three miles from 
the springs it crosses the Nisqually. From that point 
for a mile it is one of the steepest trails I have ever 
traveled. When the top was reached we were regaled 
by the sight and odor of flowers that surpassed descrip- 
tion in odor and variety. From this point to Camp of 
the Clouds, two miles further on, our path was liter- 
ally strewed with beautiful flowers. This entire region 
is a paradise for the botanist, and the flowers deserve 
a much fuller description. 

At last, after four days of hard tramping, we have 
reached permanent camp at an elevation of about 
6,000 feet. Here we unpack, pitch our tent and turn 
our jaded horses loose. Here we wish all our friends 
with us, and here we would gladly remain a month in 
deep enjoyment of the grandeur and beauty around us, 
but our time is limited and our friends far away. 

Monday noon, August I4th, we carefully prepare 
for the ascent. It is light artillery now a pair of 
blankets, a small supply of provisions, principally 
chocolate, and our Alpine staves complete the outfit. 
With cheerful hearts and steady nerves we begin the 
climb. It is our purpose to ascend to a height of about 
10,000 feet and there make camp for the night. Soon 
we pass the timber line. Our pathway now lies over 
the eternal snow, broken only by a projecting spur of 

154 



DISCOVERY OF CAMP MUIR, 1888 

the mountain. After five hours of hard climbing, we 
come to a ridge covered with sand and pumice. From 
the presence of the latter we know it to be a spot com- 
paratively free from wind, for, on account of the light- 
ness of the pumice, it is easily blown away. Here we 
decide to camp. Two by two we go to work preparing 
our beds. This we do by clearing away the loose 
stones from a space about three by six feet, stirring the 
sand up with our pikes and making a wall of rocks 
around the cleared place. After a half hour's toil we 
declare our beds prepared. Hastily partaking of a 
little chocolate and hardtack, we "turn in/' although 
the hour is early ; but the wind is rising and the sharp, 
stinging cold is upon us. After passing a miserable 
night, we break camp at 4 : 30 o'clock. Throwing aside 
our blankets and part of our provisions, we begin the 
final ascent. Our course takes us along the crest of a 
rocky ridge and beneath a perpendicular wall of basalt 
over a thousand feet in height. Here the courage of 
one of the party failed him, and he concluded to go no 
farther. The most dangerous part of the ascent is 
along the base of this cliff. The earth pitches at an 
angle of 35 from its base, and at three particular 
places this incline is not over six feet wide, ending in 
a perpendicular jump-off of fifteen hundred feet to the 
Nisqually glacier below. After a half hour's crouch- 
ing and crawling we get past this dangerous part of our 
undertaking. We must now ascend almost perpendic- 
ularly one thousand feet to the top of this wall. Ordi- 
narily steps have to be cut in the snow and ice, but on 
this occasion the snow lay in little drifts that served 
as steps. Up this ladder of snow and ice, prepared by 
the winds, we climb, pausing every few steps "to take 
breath." The top is reached at last. Upon consult- 
ing our barometer we find we are 12,000 feet above 
the sea level. A halt is ordered to put six steel brads 
in the sole of each boot, to prevent us from slipping 
on the ice and hard snow that we must now encounter. 



MOUNT RAINIER 

From the crest of this cliff the incline of the moun- 
tain to the summit is less than at any other point and 
consequently fewer crevasses, the terror of the moun- 
taineer. Bracing ourselves for the final effort, we 
resumed the march. On account of the continuous 
ascent and the rarity of the atmosphere we have to 
rest every twenty or thirty steps. Still ascending, 
avoiding the crevasses by a zigzag path, we at last 
reach the last one, or what might more properly be 
called the first crevasse. This crevasse is formed by 
the first breaking off of the snow as it begins to slide 
down the mountain. The upper side is often a per- 
pendicular wall of hard snow from ten to fifty feet 
high. This same crevasse, for it extends half way 
round the mountain, prevented our further progress 
on two previous occasions, when attempting to reach 
the summit from the northeast slope. Luckily on this 
occasion we found a bridge that afforded us a safe 
passage over. From this point we can see a clear path 
to the summit. Upward we climb to where the rim of 
the crater seems but a few hundred feet away. Look ! 
there is a jet of steam right ahead ; one grand effort 
and I sit upon the rim of the crater. I shout a word 
of triumph which sounds strangely shrill to my com- 
panions below, who, one by one, soon gain my exalted 
position. The feeling of triumph that filled the heart 
of each one as he gained that sublime height can be 
realized by no one who has not been in a similar posi- 
tion. 

Space precludes an extensive description of the view 
from our elevated position ; Washington, Oregon and 
the Sound and sea lay below us. A roll of clouds ex- 
tending entirely around the horizon somewhat ob- 
structed the prospect, yet added to the beauty of the 
scene. Mts. Baker, Adams, Hood, St. Helens, and 
Jefferson appeared above the clouds ; the Cascade 
and Olympic ranges, Puget Sound and numerous river 
basins appeared below, while the smoke of distant 

156 



DISCOVERY OF CAMP MUIR, 1888 

cities completed the scene. Reluctantly turning from 
this grand panorama of nature, I gave my attention 
to an examination of the craters. There are two, 
elliptical in shape, and from one-half to three-fourths of 
a mile across. Their rims are bare outside, and in to 
an average depth of thirty feet from the crest. This is 
owing to the internal heat and escaping steam, which 
issues from a hundred jets within the circumference of 
the craters. The steam escapes in intermittent jets 
from little orifices about three-fourths of an inch in 
diameter. The walls of the crater in some places are 
quite warm, all of which plainly indicates that Mount 
Rainier is a volcano, not extinct but slumbering. 

The amount of steam that escapes from the crater 
at any one time varies with the atmospheric pressure. 
In fact, Mount Rainier is a reliable barometer, fore- 
telling a storm with certainty. Everyone who has 
noted the appearance of the mountain from time to 
time is familiar with the peculiar white cloud that is 
frequently seen suspended just above the summit, 
while no other clouds are in sight. This peculiar 
cloud, caused by the condensation of escaping steam, 
is called "Rainier's cap," and is the forerunner of a 
storm. There was considerable snow in the craters, 
but it had the appearance of having recently fallen. 
I believe, should it cease to snow for two or three 
months, the crater would become entirely bare inside ; 
but this is not possible, for it snows on Mount Rainier 
even in midsummer. 

Our party spent about two hours on the summit. 
We would gladly have tarried longer, but the clouds 
were gradually approaching from all points, and we 
did not care to take the chance of spending a night in 
the crater. Our descent in some places was even more 
dangerous than the ascent, owing to the falling rock. 
I recall with a shudder the successful dodging of a 
shower of bowlders on their way down from the top of 
a cliff two thousand feet above. They were singing as 

157 



MOUNT RAINIER 

merrily as a cannon ball just shot from a thirty- 
pounder as they passed my head. 

Our party left the summit about two o'clock, and 
some of us reached "Camp of the Clouds" by six 
o'clock, descending in four hours the same distance 
that we were twelve hours in covering on the upward 
climb. The names of the party making this very suc- 
cessful ascent are : John Muir, P. B. Van Trump, A. C. 
Warner, D. W. Bass, N. O. Booth, C. V. Piper and 
E. S. Ingraham. 



158 




PROFESSOR ISRAEL COOK RUSSELL. 



XI. EXPLORING THE MOUNTAIN AND ITS 
GLACIERS, 1896 

BY PROFESSOR I. C. RUSSELL 

THE name of Professor Israel Cook Russell is permanently asso- 
ciated with Mount Rainier. He was one of America's noted 
geologists. He was born near Garrattsville, New York, 
on December 10, 1852. Graduating from the University of 
the City of New York in 1872, he at once began his career in 
science. In 1874, he was a member of the United States party 
at Queenstown, New Zealand, to observe the transit of Venus. 
From 1878 to 1892, he wrought valuable work in geology for 
the United States Geological Survey. This took him to Alaska 
and various other parts of the country. He succeeded 
Alexander Winchell as Professor of Geology in the University 
of Michigan in 1892 and continued to spend his summers in 
field work. One of his trips was to the West Indies during the 
eruption of Mount Pelee. 

Most of his summer trips were devoted to the mountains and 
valleys of Oregon and Washington. It was during one of 
these trips, in the summer of 1896, that he made the explora- 
tions of Mount Rainier the extensive record of which, fully 
illustrated, appeared in the Eighteenth Annual Report of the 
United States Geological Survey for 1896-1897. The essential 
portions of that record are here reproduced by permission of 
Director George Otis Smith of the Survey, who also kindly 
furnished a portrait of his former colleague. 

Professor Russell was honored with the Doctor of Laws degree 
by his alma mater and by the University of Wisconsin. He 
died suddenly at the zenith of his power in 1906, leaving 
a widow, Mrs. J. Augusta (Olmstead) Russell and three 
daughters. An earnest appreciation of his character and work 
by G. K. Gilbert was published in The Journal of Geology, 
Volume XIV, number 8, November-December, 1906. When 
The Mountaineers Club ascended the mountain in 1909 they 
named in his honor Russell Cliff, a majestic crest near the 
summit and overlooking the Winthrop and Emmons glaciers, 
and later a glacier on the northern slope, near Carbon Glacier, 
was named Russell Glacier. 

159 




MOUNT RAINIER 

The reconnaissance during which the notes for this 
essay were obtained began [1896] at Carbonado, a 
small coal-mining town about 20 miles southeast of 
Tacoma, with which it is connected by a branch of the 
Union [Northern] Pacific Railroad. Carbonado is 
situated on the border of the unbroken forest. East- 
ward to beyond the crest of the Cascade Mountains is 
a primeval forest, the density and magnificence of 
which it is impossible adequately to describe to one 
who is not somewhat familiar with the Puget Sound 
region. From Carbonado a trail, cut through the 
forest under the direction of Willis in 1881, leads to 
Carbon River, a stream flowing from Mount Rainier, 
which it formerly crossed by a bridge that is now 
destroyed, and thence continues to the west of the 
mountain to Busywild. A branch of this trail leads 
eastward to the north side of the mountain, making 
accessible a beautiful region near the timber line, 
known as Spray Park. 

Our party consisted of Bailey Willis, geologist in 
charge, George Otis Smith and myself, assistants, and 
F. H. Ainsworth, Fred Koch, William B. Williams, 
and Michael Autier, camp hands. 

From Carbonado we proceeded with pack animals 
along the Willis trail, already mentioned, to the cross- 
ing of Carbon River. We then left the main trail and 
went up the right bank of the river by a trail recently 
cut as far as the mouth of Chenuis Creek. At that 
locality our party was divided ; Willis and myself, 
taking blankets, rations, etc., and crossing the river, 
proceeded up its bowlder-strewn left bank to the foot 
of Carbon Glacier. The remainder of the party cut a 
trail along the right bank, and in the course of a few 
days succeeded in making a depot of supplies near 
where the river emerges from beneath the extremity 
of the glacier. The pack train was then taken back to 
near Carbonado for pasture. 

The tramp from Carbonado to the foot of the Carbon 

160 



EXPLORING THE MOUNTAIN AND ITS GLACIERS, 1896 

Glacier was full of interest, as it revealed the charac- 
teristics of a great region, covered with a dense forest, 
which is a part of the deeply dissected Tertiary pene- 
plain surrounding Mount Rainier. The rocks from 
Carbonado to Carbon River crossing are coal bear- 
ing. Extensive mines are worked at Carbonado, and 
test shafts have been opened at a few localities near 
the trail which we followed. At Carbonado the river 
flows through a steep-sided canyon about 300 feet 
deep. Near where the Willis trail crosses the stream 
the canyon broadens, is deeply filled with bowlders, 
and is bordered by forest-covered mountains fully 3, coo 
feet in elevation. On account of the dense forests, 
the scenery throughout the region traversed is wild and 
picturesque. At a few localities glimpses were ob- 
tained of the great snow-clad dome of Mount Rainier, 
rising far over the intervening tree-covered foothills. 

The forests of the Puget Sound region are the most 
magnificent on the continent. The moist atmosphere 
and genial climate have led to a wonderfully luxuriant 
growth, especially of evergreens. Huge fir trees and 
cedars stand in close-set ranks and shoot upward 
straight and massive to heights which frequently ex- 
ceed 250 feet, and sometimes are even in excess of 300 
feet. The trees are frequently 10 to 12 feet or more 
in diameter at the height of one's head and rise in mas- 
sive columns without a blemish to the first branches, 
which are in many instances 150 feet from the ground. 
The soil beneath the mighty trees is deeply covered with 
mosses of many harmonious tints, and decked with 
rank ferns, whose gracefully bending fronds attain a 
length of 6 to 8 feet. Lithe, slender maples, termed 
vine-maples from their habit of growth, are plentiful, 
especially along the small water courses. In many 
places the broad leaves of the devil's club (Fatsiahorrida) 
give an almost tropical luxuriance to the shadowy 
realm beneath the lofty canopies formed by the firs 
and cedars. 

M 161 



MOUNT RAINIER 

[A quotation from Bailey Willis is omitted, as the 
whole article is published in this work Chapter IX.] 

The mighty forest through which we traveled from 
Carbonado to the crossing of Carbon River extends 
over the country all about Mount Rainier and clothes 
the sides of the mountain to a height of about 6,000 
feet. From distant points of view it appears as an 
unbroken emerald setting for the gleaming, jewel-like 
summit of the snow-covered peak. 

In spite of the many attractions of the forest, it 
was with a sense of relief that we entered the canyon 
of Carbon River and had space to see about us. The 
river presents features of geographical interest, espe- 
cially in the fact that it is filling in its valley. The 
load of stone contributed by the glaciers, from which 
the stream comes as a roaring turbid flood, is greater 
than it can sweep along, and much of its freight is 
dropped by the way. The bottom of the canyon is a 
desolate, flood-swept area of rounded bowlders, from 
100 to 200 yards broad. The stream channel is 
continually shifting, and is frequently divided by 
islands of bowlders, heaped high during some period 
of flood. Many of the stream channels leading away 
from Mount Rainier are known to have the charac- 
teristics of the one we ascended, and show that the 
canyons were carved under different conditions from 
those now prevailing. The principal amount of can- 
yon cutting must have been done before the streams 
were overloaded with debris contributed by glaciers 
that is, the deep dissection of the lower slope of 
Mount Rainier and of the platform on which it stands 
must have preceded the Glacial epoch. 

After a night's rest in the shelter of the forest, lulled 
to sleep by the roar of Carbon River in its tumultuous 
course after its escape from the ice caverns, we climbed 
the heavily moraine-covered extremity of Carbon 
Glacier. At night, weary with carrying heavy packs 

162 



EXPLORING THE MOUNTAIN AND ITS GLACIERS, 1896 

over the chaos of stones that cover the glaciers, we 
slept on a couch of moss beautified with lovely blos- 
soms, almost within the spray of Philo Falls, a cataract 
of clear icy water that pours into the canyon of Carbon 
Glacier from snow fields high up on the western wall 
of the canyon. 

I will ask the reader to defer the study of the gla- 
ciers until we have made a reconnaissance of the moun- 
tain and climbed to its summit, as he will then be 
better prepared to understand the relation of the 
glaciers, neves, and other features with which it will 
be necessary to deal. In this portion of our fireside 
explorations let us enjoy a summer outing, deferring 
until later the more serious task of questioning the 
glaciers. 

From Philo Falls we ascended still higher, by follow- 
ing partially snow-filled lanes between the long lateral 
moraines that have been left by the shrinking of Car- 
bon Glacier, and found three parallel, sharp-crested 
ridges about a mile long and from 100 to 150 feet high, 
made of bowlders and stones of all shapes, which 
record the former positions of the glacier. Along 
the western border of the oldest and most westerly of 
these ridges there is a valley, perhaps 100 yards wide, 
intervening between the abandoned lateral moraine 
and the western side of the valley, which rises in preci- 
pices to forest-covered heights at least 1,000 feet above. 
Between the morainal ridges there are similar narrow 
valleys, each of which at the time of our visit, July 15, 
was deeply snow-covered. The ridges are clothed with 
spruce and cedar trees, together with a variety of 
shrubs and flowering annuals. The knolls rising 
through the snow are gorgeous with flowers. A 
wealth of purple Bryanthus, resembling purple 
heather, and of its constant companion, if not near 
relative, the Cassiope, with white, waxy bells, closely 
simulating the white heather, make glorious the mossy 
banks from which the lingering snow has but just 

163 



MOUNT RAINIER 

departed. Acres of meadow land, still soft with snow 
water and musical with rills and brooks flowing in 
uncertain courses over the deep, rich turf, are beauti- 
ful with lilies, which seemed woven in a cloth of gold 
about the borders of the lingering snow banks. We 
are near the upper limit of timber growth, where 
park-like openings, with thickets of evergreens, give a 
special charm to the mountain side. The morainal 
ridge nearest the glacier is forest-covered on its outer 
slope, while the descent to the glacier is a rough, deso- 
late bank of stones and dirt. The glacier has evidently 
but recently shrunk away from this ridge, which was 
formed along its border by stones brought from a 
bold cliff that rises sheer from the ice a mile upstream. 
Standing on the morainal ridge overlooking the gla- 
cier, one has to the eastward an unobstructed view of 
the desolate and mostly stone and dirt covered ice. 
Across the glacier another embankment can be seen, 
similar to the one on the west, and, like it, recording a 
recent lowering of the surface of the glacier of about 
150 feet. Beyond the glacier are extremely bold and 
rugged mountains, scantily clothed with forests nearly 
to their summits. The position of the timber line 
shows that the bare peaks above are between 8,000 
and 9,000 feet high. Looking southward, up the gla- 
cier, we have a glimpse into the wild amphitheater in 
which it has its source. The walls of the great hol- 
low in the mountain side rise in seemingly vertical 
precipices about 4,000 feet high. Far above is a shin- 
ing, snow-covered peak, which Willis named the 
Liberty Cap. It is one of the culminating points of 
Mount Rainier, but not the actual summit. Its ele- 
vation is about 14,300 feet above the sea. Toward the 
west the view is limited by the forest-covered morainal 
ridges near at hand and by the precipitous slopes 
beyond, which lead to a northward-projecting spur of 
Mount Rainier, known as the Mother Mountains. 
This, our first view of Mount Rainier near at hand, has 

164 



EXPLORING THE MOUNTAIN AND ITS GLACIERS, 1896 

shown that the valley down which Carbon Glacier 
flows, as well as the vast amphitheater in which it has 
its source, is sunk in the flanks of the mountain. To 
restore the northern slope of the ancient volcano as it 
existed when the mountain was young we should have 
to fill the depression in which the glacier lies at least 
to the height of its bordering ridges. On looking down 
the glacier we see it descending into a vast gulf bor- 
dered by steep mountains, which rise at least 3,000 
feet above its bottom. This is the canyon through 
which the water formed by the melting of the glacier 
escapes. To restore the mountain this great gulf 
would also have to be filled. Clearly the traveler 
in this region is surrounded by the records of mighty 
changes. Not only does he inquire how the volcanic 
mountain was formed, but how it is being destroyed. 
The study of the glaciers will do much toward making 
clear the manner in which the once smooth slopes have 
been trenched by radiating valleys, leaving mountain- 
like ridges between. 

Another line of inquiry which we shall find of interest 
as we advance is suggested by the recent shrinkage 
of Carbon Glacier. Are all of the glaciers that flow 
from the mountain wasting away ? If we find this to 
be the case, what climatic changes does it indicate ? 

From our camp among the morainal ridges by the 
side of Carbon Glacier we made several side trips, 
each of which was crowded with observations of 
interest. One of these excursions, made by Mr. Smith 
and myself, was up the snow fields near camp ; past 
the prominent outstanding pinnacles known as the 
Guardian Rocks, one red and the other black ; and 
through Spray Park, with its thousands of groves of 
spire-like evergreens, with flower-enameled glades 
between. On the bare, rocky shoulder of the moun- 
tain, where the trees now grow, we found the unmis- 
takable grooves and striations left by former glaciers. 
The lines engraved in the rock lead away from the 

165 



MOUNT RAINIER 

mountain, showing that even the boldest ridges were 
formerly ice-covered. Our route took us around the 
head of the deep canyon through which flows Cataract 
Creek. In making this circuit we followed a rugged 
saw-tooth crest, and had some interesting rock-climb- 
ing. Finally, the sharp divide between Cataract 
Creek and a small stream flowing westward to Crater 
Lake was reached, and a slide on a steep snow slope 
took us quickly down to where the flowers made a 
border of purple and gold about the margins of the 
snow. Soon we were in the forest, and gaining a 
rocky ledge among the trees, could look down on 
Crater Lake, deeply sunk in shaggy mountains which 
still preserve all oif their primitive freshness and beauty. 
Snow lay in deep drifts beneath the shelter of the 
forest, and the lake was ice-covered except for a few 
feet near the margin. This was on July 20. I have 
been informed that the lake is usually free of ice 
before this date, but the winter preceding our visit 
was of more than usual severity, the snowfall being 
heavy, and the coming of summer was therefore much 
delayed. 

The name Crater Lake implies that its waters occupy 
a volcanic crater. Willis states that Nature has here 
placed an emerald seal on one of Pluto's sally ports ; 
but that the great depression now water-filled is a 
volcanic crater is not so apparent as we might expect. 
The basin is in volcanic rock, but none of the charac- 
teristics of a crater due to volcanic explosions can be 
recognized. The rocks, so far as I saw them, are 
massive lavas, and not fragmental scoriae or other 
products of explosive eruptions. On the bold, rounded 
rock ledges down which we climbed in order to reach 
the shore, there were deep glacial scorings, showing 
that the basin was once deeply filled with moving ice. 
My observations were not sufficiently extended to 
enable me to form an opinion as to the origin of the 
remarkable depression, but whatever may have been 

166 



EXPLORING THE MOUNTAIN AND ITS GLACIERS, 1896 

its earlier history, it has certainly been profoundly 
modified by ice erosion. 

Following the lake shore southward, groping our 
way beneath the thick, drooping branches which dip in 
the lake, we reached the notch in the rim of the basin 
through which the waters escape and start on their 
journey to Mowich River and thence to the sea. We 
there found the branch of the Willis trail leading to 
Spray Park, and turned toward camp. Again we 
enjoyed the luxury of following a winding pathway 
through silent colonnades formed by the moss-grown 
trunks of noble trees. On either side of the trail worn 
in the brown soil the ferns and flowering shrubs were 
bent over in graceful curves, and at times filled the 
little-used lane, first traversed fifteen years before. 

The trail led us to Eagle Cliff, a bold, rocky promon- 
tory rising as does El Capitan from the Yosemite, 1,800 
feet from the forest-lined canyon of Mowich River. 
From Eagle Cliff one beholds the most magnificent 
view that is to be had in all the wonderful region about 
Mount Rainier. The scene beheld on looking east- 
ward toward the mighty mountain is remarkable 
alike for its magnificence and for the artistic grouping 
of the various features of the sublime picture. In the 
vast depths at one's feet the tree-tops, through which 
the mists from neighboring cataracts are drifting, im- 
part a somber tone and make the valley's bottom seem 
far more remote than it is. The sides of the canyon 
are formed by prominent serrate ridges, leading upward 
to the shining snow fields of the mighty dome that 
heads the valley. Nine thousand feet above our 
station rose the pure white Liberty Cap, the crowning 
glory of the mountain as seen from the northward. 
The snow descending the northwest side of the great 
central dome is gathered between the ridges forming 
the sides of the valley, and forms a white neve from 
which flows Willis Glacier. In looking up the valley 
from Eagle Cliff the entire extent of the snow fields 

167 



MOUNT RAINIER 

and of the river-like stream of ice flowing from them is 
in full view. The ice ends in a dirt-covered and rock- 
strewn terminus, just above a huge rounded dome 
that rises in its path. In 1881 the ice reached nearly 
to the top of the dome and broke off in an ice cliff, the 
detached blocks falling into the gulf below. The 
glacier has now withdrawn its terminus well above 
the precipice where it formerly fell as an ice cascade, 
and its surface has shrunk away from well-defined 
moraines in much the same manner as has already 
been noted in the case of Carbon Glacier. A more 
detailed account of the retreat of the extremity of 
Willis Glacier l will be given later. 

From Eagle Cliff we continued our tramp eastward 
along the trail leading to Spray Park, climbed the zig- 
zag pathway up the face of a cliff in front of Spray 
Falls, and gained the picturesque and beautiful park- 
like region above. An hour's tramp brought us again 
near the Guardian Rocks. A swift descent down the 
even snow fields enabled us to reach camp just as the 
shadows of evening were gathering in the deeper can- 
yons, leaving the silent snow fields above all aglow with 
reflected sunset tints. 

Taking heavy packs on our backs on the morning of 
July 21, we descended the steep broken surface of the 
most recent moraine bordering Carbon Glacier in its 
middle course, and reached the solid blue ice below. 
Our course led us directly across the glacier, along the 
lower border of the rapidly melting covering of winter 
snow. The glacier is there about a mile across. Its 
central part is higher than its border, and for the most 
part the ice is concealed by dirt and stones. Just 
below the neve, however, we found a space about half 
a mile long in which melting had not led to the concen- 
tration of sufficient debris to make traveling difficult. 
Farther down the glacier, where surface melting was 
more advanced, the entire glacier, with the exception 

1 Called the North Mowich Glacier on the present map. 
1 68 



EXPLORING THE MOUNTAIN AND ITS GLACIERS, 1896 

of a few lanes of clear ice between the ill-defined medial 
moraines, was completely concealed beneath a desolate 
sheet of angular stones. On reaching the east side of 
the glacier we were confronted with a wall of clay and 
stones, the inner slope of a moraine similar in all re- 
spects to the one we had descended to reach the west 
border of the glacier. A little search revealed a locality 
where a tongue of ice in a slight embayment projected 
some distance up the wall of morainal material, and a 
steep climb of 50 or 60 feet brought us to the summit. 
The glacier has recently shrunk that is, its surface 
has been lowered from 80 to 100 feet by melting. 

On the east side of the glacier we found several 
steep, sharp-crested ridges, clothed with forest trees, 
with narrow, grassy, and flower-strewn dells between, 
in which banks of snow still lingered. The ridges are 
composed of bowlders and angular stones of a great 
variety of sizes and shapes, and are plainly lateral 
moraines abandoned by the shrinking of the glacier. 
Choosing a way up one of the narrow lanes, bordered 
on each side by steep slopes densely covered with trees 
and shrubs, we found secure footing in the hard gran- 
ular snow, and soon reached a more open, parklike 
area, covered with mossy bosses of turf, on which grew 
a great profusion of brilliant flowers. Before us rose 
the great cliffs which partially inclose the amphi- 
theater in which Carbon Glacier has its source. These 
precipices, as already stated, have a height of about 
4,000 feet, and are so steep that the snow does not 
cling to them, but descends in avalanches. Above the 
cliffs, where the inclination is less precipitous, the snow 
lies in thick layers, the edges of which are exposed in a 
vertical precipice rising above the avalanche-swept 
rock-slope below. Far above, and always the central 
object in the wild scenery surrounding us, rose the 
brilliant white Liberty Cap, one of the pinnacles on 
the rim of the great summit crater. Our way then 
turned eastward, following the side of the mountain, 

169 



MOUNT RAINIER 

and led us through a region just above the timber line, 
which commands far reaching views to the wild and 
rugged mountains to the northeast. This open tract, 
leading down to groves of spruce trees and diversified 
by charming lakelets, bears abundant evidence of 
having formerly been ice-covered, and is known as 
Moraine Park. 

In order to retain our elevation we crossed diagon- 
ally the steep snow slopes in the upper portion of the 
Moraine Park. Midway over the snow we rested at 
a sharp crest of rock, and found that it is composed 
of light-colored granite. Later we found that much of 
the area between the Carbon and Winthrop glaciers 
is composed of this same kind of rock. Granite forms 
a portion of the border of the valley through which 
flow the glaciers just named, and furnished them with 
much granitic debris, which is carried away as moraines 
and later worked over into well-rounded bowlders by 
the streams flowing from the ice. The presence of 
granite pebbles in the course of Carbon and White 
rivers, far below the glaciers, is thus accounted for. 

A weary tramp of about 4 miles from the camp we 
had left brought us to the border of Winthrop Glacier. 
In the highest grove of trees, which are bent down and 
frequently lie prone on the ground, although still liv- 
ing, we selected a well-sheltered camping-place. Bal- 
sam boughs furnished luxuriant beds, and the trees 
killed by winter storms enabled us to have a roaring 
camp fire. Fresh trail of mountain goats and their but 
recently abandoned bed showed that this is a favorite 
resort for those hardy animals. Marmots were also 
abundant, and frequently awakened the echoes with 
their shrill, whistling cries. The elevation of our 
camp was about 8,000 feet. 

From our camp on the cliffs above the west border 
of Winthrop Glacier we made excursions across that 
glacier and to its heavily moraine-covered extremity. 
The snow mantle that is spread over the region about 

170 



EXPLORING THE MOUNTAIN AND ITS GLACIERS, 1896 

Mount Rainier each winter melts first on the rugged 
plateau surrounding the base of the mountain, and, 
as the summer's heat increases, gradually withdraws 
up the mountain sides, but never so as to uncover the 
more elevated region. The snow line that is, the 
position to which the lower border of the mantle of 
perennial snow withdraws late in summer has an 
elevation of about 9,000 feet. The lower margin of the 
wintry covering is always irregular, however, extending 
farthest down on the glaciers and retreating highest 
on the rocks. At the time of our visit the snow had 
melted off of nearly all the region below our camp, 
leaving only dirt-stained snow banks in the more com- 
pletely sheltered recesses and in deeply shaded dells 
in the adjacent forests. On the glaciers all the region 
at a greater elevation than our camp was white and 
free from dirt and stones, while the hard glacial ice 
was abundantly exposed at lower altitudes and ended 
in a completely moraine-covered terminus. Above 
us all was barren, white, and wintry ; below lay the 
flowery vales and grass parks, warm and inviting, 
leading to the welcome shade of noble forests. Our 
course led upward into the frozen region. 

On leaving the camp on the border of Winthrop 
Glacier we began our alpine work. There were five 
in the party selected for the difficult task of scaling 
Mount Rainier; namely: Willis, Smith, Ainsworth, 
Williams, and myself. Taking our blankets, a small 
supply of rations, an alcohol lamp, alpenstocks, a rope 
100 feet long to serve as a life line, and a few other 
articles necessary for traveling above timber line, we 
began the ascent of Winthrop Glacier early on the 
morning of July 23. Our route was comparatively 
easy at the start, but became steeper and steeper as 
we advanced. The snow was firm and, except for the 
numerous crevasses, presented no great difficulties to 
be overcome. In several places the neve rises in domes 
as if forced up from beneath, but caused in reality 

171 



MOUNT RAINIER 

by bosses of rock over which the glacier flows. These 
domes are broken by radiating crevasses which inter- 
sect in their central portions, leaving pillars and castle- 
like masses of snow with vertical sides. At one locality, 
in attempting to pass between two of these shattered 
domes, we found our way blocked by an impassable 
crevasse. Considerable time was lost in searching for 
a practicable upward route, but at length, by making 
a detour to the right, we found a way which, although 
steep, allowed us to pass the much crevassed area and 
gain the sharp ridge of rock which divides the neve 
snow flowing from the central dome of the moun- 
tain, and marks the separation between Winthrop and 
Emmons glaciers. This prow-like promontory, ris- 
ing some 500 feet above the glaciers on either hand, 
we named The Wedge. This is the upward pointing, 
acute angle of a great V-shaped portion of the lower 
slope of the mountain, left in bold relief by the erosion 
of the valleys on either side. As will be described 
later, there are several of these remnants about the 
sides of the mountain at the same general horizon, 
which record a somewhat definite stage in the destruc- 
tion of the mountain by ice erosion. 

On reaching The Wedge we found it an utterly deso- 
late rocky cape in a sea of snow. We were at an al- 
titude of about 10,000 feet, and far above timber. 
Water was obtained by spreading snow on smooth 
rocks or on rubber sheets, and allowing it to melt by 
the heat of the afternoon sun. Coffee was prepared 
over the alcohol lamp, sheltered from the wind by a 
bed sheet supported by alpenstocks. After a frugal 
lunch, we made shelf-like ledges in a steep slope of 
earth and stones and laid down our blankets for the 
night. From sheltered nooks amid the rocks, exposed 
to the full warmth of the declining sun, we had the icy 
slopes of the main central dome of the mountain in full 
view and chose what seemed the most favorable route 
for the morrow's climb. 



172 



EXPLORING THE MOUNTAIN AND ITS GLACIERS, 1896 

Surrounded as we were by the desolation and soli- 
tude of barren rocks, on which not even a lichen had 
taken root, and pure white snow fields, we were much 
surprised to receive passing visits from several hum- 
ming-birds which shot past us like winged jewels. 
They came up the valley occupied by the Emmons 
Glacier, turned sharply at The Wedge, and went down 
the way of the Winthrop Glacier. What tempts these 
children of the sunlight and the flowers into the frozen 
regions seems a mystery. That the humming-birds 
are bold explorers was not new to me, for the reason 
that on several occasions in previous years, while on 
the snow-covered slopes of Mount St. Elias, far above 
all vestiges of vegetation, my heart had been glad- 
dened by glimpses of their brilliant plumage. 

When the sun declined beyond the great snow- 
covered dome that towered above us, and the blue 
shadows crept down the previously dazzling cliffs, the 
air became cold and a strong wind made our perch on 
the rocks uncomfortable. Wrapping ourselves in our 
blankets we slept until the eastern sky began to glow 
with sunrise tints. 

Early on the morning of July 24 [1896] we began the 
climb of the steep snow slopes leading to the summit of 
the mountain. Roped together as we had been on the 
previous day, we slowly worked our way upward, in a 
tortuous course, in order to avoid the many yawning 
crevasses. The way was steep and difficult. Some 
members of the party felt the effects of the rarefied 
air, and as we lacked experience in true alpine work our 
progress was slow and laborious. Many of the cre- 
vasses that our course crossed were of the nature of 
faults. Their upper rims stood several feet above 
their lower margins, and thus added to the difficulty 
of passing them. Our aim at first was to traverse the 
neve of Emmons Glacier and gain the less rugged slope 
bordering it on the south, but the intervening region 
was greatly broken and, as we found after several 

173 



MOUNT RAINIER 

approaches to it, utterly impassable. The climb pre- 
sented no special difficulties other than the extreme 
fatigue incident to climbing steep snow slopes, espe- 
cially while attached to a life line, and the delays neces- 
sitated by frequently turning and retracing our steps 
in order to get around wide crevasses. 

Once while crossing a steep snow slope diagonally, 
and having a wide crevasse below us, Ainsworth, who 
was next to the rear of the line, lost his footing and slid 
down the slope on his back. Unfortunately, at that 
instant, Williams, who was at the rear of the line, 
removed his alpenstock from the snow, was overturned 
by the pull on the line, and shot headfirst down the 
slope and disappeared over the brink of the crevasse. 
A strong pull came on the members of the party who 
were in advance, but our alpenstocks held fast, and 
before assistance could be extended to the man dan- 
gling in midair, he climbed the taut rope and stood 
unhurt among us once more. The only serious result of 
the accident was the loss of an alpenstock. 

Pressing on toward the dark rim of rock that we 
could now and then catch glimpses of at the head of 
the snow slopes and which we knew to be the outer 
portion of the summit crater, we crossed many frail 
snow bridges and climbed precipitous slopes, in some of 
which steps had to be cut. As we neared the summit 
we met a strong westerly gale that chilled us and be- 
numbed our fingers. At length, weary and faint on 
account of the rarity of the air, we gained the lower 
portion of the rim of stones marking the position of 
the crater. While my companions rested for a few 
moments in the shelter of the rocks, I pressed on up 
the rugged slope and gained the top of the rim. 

The stones exposed at the summit are bare of snow, 
possibly on account of the heat from below, and are 
rounded and their exposed surfaces polished. The 
smooth, black bowlders shine in the sunlight much 
the same as the sand-burnished stones in desert regions. 

174 



EXPLORING THE MOUNTAIN AND ITS GLACIERS, 1896 

Here on the mountain's brow, exposed to an almost 
continuous gale, the rocks have been polished by drift- 
ing snow crystals. The prevailing rounded form that 
the stones present may be the result of weathering, 
or possibly is due to the manner in which the fragments 
were ejected from the volcano. My hasty examina- 
tions suggested the former explanation. 

Descending into the crater, I discovered crevices 
from which steam was escaping, and on placing my 
hands on the rocks was rejoiced to find them hot. 
My companions soon joined me, and we began the 
exploration of the crater, our aim being to find the least 
uncomfortable place in which to take refuge from the 
freezing blast rather than to make scientific discoveries. 

The crater that we had entered is one of the smaller 
and more recent ones in the truncated summit of the 
peak, and is deeply filled with snow, but the rim is 
bare and well defined. The steam and heat from the 
rocks have melted out many caverns beneath the snow. 
In one of these we found shelter. 

The cavern we chose in which to pass the night, 
although irregular, was about 60 feet long by 40 wide, 
and had an arched ceiling some 20 feet high. The snow 
had been melted out from beneath, leaving a roof so 
thin that a diffused blue light penetrated the chamber. 
The floor sloped steeply, and on the side toward the 
center of the crater there was a narrow space between 
the rocks and the descending roof which led to unex- 
plored depths. As a slide into this forbidding gulf would 
have been exceedingly uncomfortable, if not serious, 
our life line was stretched from crag to crag so as to 
furnish a support and allow us to walk back and forth 
during the night without danger of slipping. Three 
arched openings or doorways communicated with other 
chambers, and through these drafts of cold air were 
continually blowing. The icy air chilled the vapor 
rising from the warm rocks and filled the chamber with 
steam which took on grotesque forms in the uncertain, 

175 



MOUNT RAINIER 

fading light. In the central part of the icy chamber 
was a pinnacle of rock, from the crevices of which steam 
was issuing with a low hissing sound. Some of the 
steam jets were too hot to be comfortable to the un- 
gloved hand. In this uninviting chamber we passed 
the night. The muffled roar of the gale as it swept over 
the mountain could be heard in our retreat and made 
us thankful for the shelter the cavern afforded. 

The floor of our cell was too uneven and too steeply 
inclined to admit of lying down. Throughout the 
night we leaned against the hot rocks or tramped 
wearily up and down holding the life line. Cold 
blasts from the branching ice chambers swept over us. 
Our clothes were saturated with condensed steam. 
While one side of the body resting against the rocks 
would be hot, the strong drafts of air with a freezing 
temperature chilled the other side. After long hours 
of intense darkness the dome of snow above us became 
faintly illuminated, telling that the sun was again 
shining. After a light breakfast and a cup of tea, 
prepared over our alcohol lamp, we resumed our explo- 
ration, none the worse for the exposures of the night. 

Following the inner rim of the crater so as to be 
sheltered from the gale still blowing steadily from the 
west, we gained its northern border and climbed to the 
topmost pinnacle, known as Columbia's Crest. This 
pinnacle rises about 50 feet above the general level of 
the irregular rim of the crater, and is the highest point 
on the mountain. Its elevation, as previously stated, 
is 14,526 feet. 1 

The magnificent view described by former visitors 
to this commanding station, which we had hoped would 
reward our efforts, was concealed beneath a canopy of 
smoke that covered all of the region about the mountain 
to a depth of about 10,000 feet. The surface of the 
layer of smoke was sharply defined, and appeared like 
an undulating sea surrounding the island on which 

1 Since shown to be 14,408 feet. 
176 



EXPLORING THE MOUNTAIN AND ITS GLACIERS, 1896 

we stood. Far to the northward rose the regular 
conical summit of Mount Baker, like an isolated sea- 
girt island. A few of the rugged and more elevated 
summits, marking the course of the Cascade Moun- 
tains, could be discerned to the eastward. The sum- 
mits of Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens were in 
plain view and seemingly near at hand. All of the 
forest-covered region between these elevated summits 
was blotted out by the dense, heavy layer of smoke, which 
rose until it met the westerly gale of the upper regions. 
During the ascent of Mount Rainier by Emmons 
and Wilson, previously referred to, more favorable 
atmospheric conditions prevailed than at the time of 
my visit, and the region about the base of the moun- 
tain was clearly revealed. In describing the view 
from the summit Emmons says : 

From the northeastern rim of the crater we could look down an 
unbroken slope of nearly 10,000 feet to the head of the White 
River, the upper half or two-thirds of which was so steep that one 
had the feeling of looking over a perpendicular wall. [It was up 
this slope that the climb briefly described above was made.] 
The systems of glaciers and the streams which flowed from them 
lay spread out as on a map at our feet; radiating out in every 
direction from the central mass, they all with one accord curve to 
the westward to send their waters down toward Puget Sound or 
the. Lower Columbia. [Attention has already been directed to 
the westward curvature of the streams from Mount Rainier on 
reaching the tilted peneplain on which the mountain stands, and 
the explanation has been suggested that they are consequent 
streams the direction of which was determined by the original 
slope of the now deeply dissected plateau.] 

Looking to the more distant country, the whole stretch of Puget 
Sound, seeming like a pretty little lake embowered in green, 
could be seen in the northwest, beyond which the Olympic Moun- 
tains extend out into the Pacific Ocean. The Cascade Mountains, 
lying dwarfed at our feet, could be traced northward into British 
Columbia, and southward into Oregon, while above them, at 
comparatively regular intervals, rose the ghost-like forms of our 
companion volcanoes. To the eastward the eye ranged for hun- 
dreds of miles over chain on chain of mountain ridges, which 
gradually disappeared in the dim, blue distance. 

N 177 



MOUNT RAINIER 

In the truncated summit of Mount Rainier there are 
three craters. The largest one, partially filled by the 
building of the two others, is the oldest, and has suf- 
fered so greatly from subsequent volcanic explosions 
and erosion that no more than its general outline can 
be traced. Peak Success and Liberty Cap are promi- 
nent points on the rim of what remains of this huge 
crater. Its diameter, as nearly as can be judged, is 
about 2-J miles. Within the great crater, in the for- 
mation of which the mountain was truncated and, as 
previously stated, lost fully 2,000 feet of its summit, 
there are two much smaller and much more recent 
craters. The larger of these, the one in which we took 
refuge, is about 300 yards in diameter, and the second, 
which is an incomplete circle, its rim having been 
broken by the formation of its more recent compan- 
ion, is perhaps 200 yards across. The rim of each now 
partially snow-filled bowl is well defined, and rises 
steeply from within to a sharp crest. The character 
of the inner slopes shows that much rocky material 
has been detached and has fallen into the cavities 
from which it was ejected. The rock in the crater 
walls is in fragments and masses, some of them well 
rounded and probably of the nature of volcanic bombs. 
In each of the smaller craters there are numerous 
steam jets. These show that the rock below is still 
hot, and that water percolating downward is changed 
to steam. These steam jets evidently indicate the 
presence of residual heat and not an actual connec- 
tion with a volcanic center deep below the surface. 
All the evidence available tends to show that Rainier 
is an extinct volcano. It belongs, however, to the 
explosive type of volcanoes, of which Vesuvius is the 
best-known example, and there is no assurance that 
its energies may not be reawakened. 

In descending we chose the south side of the moun- 
tain, knowing from the reports of many excursionists 
who had ascended the peak from that direction that 

178 



EXPLORING THE MOUNTAIN AND ITS GLACIERS, 1896 

a practicable route could probably be found. Thread- 
ing our way between numerous crevasses we soon came 
in sight of a bold, outstanding rock mass, which we 
judged to be Gibraltar, and succeeded in reaching it 
with but little difficulty. On gaining the junction of 
the rock with the snow fields rising above it, we found 
evidences of a trail, which was soon lost, however, and 
only served to show that our general course was the 
right one. A deep, narrow space between the border 
of Nisqually Glacier and the precipitous side of Gib- 
raltar, from which the snow and ice had been melted 
by the heat reflected from the cliffs on our left, led us 
down to a shelf on the lower side of the promontory, 
which proved a safe and easy way to the crest of a 
rocky rib on the mountain side which extended far 
down toward the dark forests in view below. 

Gibraltar is a portion of the cone of Rainier built 
before the explosion which truncated the mountain. 
It is an outstanding and very prominent rock mass, 
left in bold relief by the ice excavation which has 
carved deep valleys on each side. The rock divides 
the descending neve in the same manner as does The 
Wedge, and causes a part of the snow drainage to flow 
to the Cowlitz and the other part to be tributary to 
the Nisqually Glacier. The rocks forming Gibraltar 
consist largely of fragments ejected from the crater 
above, but present a rude stratification due to the 
presence of lava flows. When seen from the side and 
at a convenient distance, it is evident that the planes 
of bedding, if continued upward at the same angle, 
would reach above the present summit of the mountain. 
Gibraltar, like The Wedge, and several other secondary 
peaks on the sides of Mount Rainier, are, as previously 
explained, the sharp, upward-pointing angles of large 
V-shaped masses of the original volcanic cone, left in 
bold relief by the excavation of deep valleys radiating 
from the central peak. On the backs, so to speak, of 
these great V-shaped portions of the mountain which 

179 



MOUNT RAINIER 

now seem to rest against the central dome, secondary 
glaciers, or interglaciers as they may be termed, have 
excavated valleys and amphitheaters. In the V-shaped 
mass of which Gibraltar is the apex, a broad amphi- 
theater-like depression has been cut out, leaving a bold 
cliff above it. The excavation of the amphitheater 
did not progress far enough up the mountain to cut 
away the apex of the V-shaped mass, but left it with a 
precipice on its lower side. This remnant is Gibraltar. 
An attempt will be made later to describe more fully 
the process of glacial erosion of a conical mountain, 
and to show that the secondary topographic features 
of Mount Rainier are not without system, as they 
appear at first view, but really result from a process 
which may be said to have a definite end in view. 

Below Gibraltar the descent was easy. Our life 
line was no longer needed. Tramping in single file 
over the hard surfaces of the snow field, remnants of 
the previous winter's snow, we made rapid progress, 
and about noon gained the scattered groves of spruce 
trees which form such an attractive feature of Paradise 
Park. 

Fortunately, we found Prof. E. S. Ingraham, of 
Seattle, and a party of friends, including several ladies, 
encamped in Paradise Park, and the hospitality of the 
camp was extended to us. During the afternoon we 
basked in the warm sunshine, and in the evening 
gathered about a roaring campfire and enjoyed the 
society of our companions, who were enthusiastic in 
their praise of the wonderful scenes about their camp. 

The southern side of Mount Rainier is much less 
precipitous than its northern face, and the open park- 
like region near timber line is broader, more diversi- 
fied, and much more easy of access. The general 
elevation of the park is between 5,000 and 7,000 feet, 
and it is several thousand acres in extent. Its bound- 
aries are indefinite. It merges into the heavily for- 
ested region to the south, and into more alpine regions 

180 



EXPLORING THE MOUNTAIN AND ITS GLACIERS, 1896 

on the side toward the mountain, which towers above it 
on the north. To the east it is bordered by Cowlitz 
Glacier, and on the west by Nisqually Glacier. Each 
of these fine ice rivers descends far below timber line. 
The small interglacier, known as the Paradise Glacier, 
may be considered as lying within the limits of the 
park. 

Paradise Park presents many and varied charms. It 
is a somewhat rugged land, with a deep picturesque 
valley winding through it. The trees grow in isolated 
groves. Each bunch of dark-green firs and balsams 
is a cluster of gracefully tapering spires. The undu- 
lating meadows between the shady groves are brilliant 
in summer with a veritable carpet of gorgeous blos- 
soms. In contrast to the exquisite charms of the 
groves and flower-decked rolling meadows are deso- 
late ice fields and rugged glaciers which vary, through 
many tints and shades, from silvery whiteness to in- 
tense blue. Added to these minor charms, and tower- 
ing far above them, is the massive summit of Rainier. 
At times the sublime mountain appears steel blue in 
the unclouded sky, or rosy with the afterglow at sun- 
set, or all aflame with the glories of the newborn day. 
Clouds gather about the lofty summit and transform 
it into a storm king. Avalanches rushing down its 
side awaken the echoes in the neighboring forest. 
The appearance of the mountain is never the same on 
different days ; indeed, it changes its mood and exerts a 
varying influence on the beholder from hour to hour. 

While the central attraction to the lover of moun- 
tain scenery in Paradise Park is the vast snow-covered 
dome of Mount Rainier, there are other mountains in 
view that merit attention. To the east rises the 
serrate and rugged Tattoosh range, which is remark- 
able for the boldness with which its bordering slopes 
rise from the forested region about it and the angularity 
of its many serrate summits. This range has never 
been explored except by miners and hunters, who have 

181 



MOUNT RAINIER 

made no record of their discoveries. It is virgin ground 
to the geologist and geographer. Distant views sug- 
gest that the Tattoosh Mountains have been sculp- 
tured from a plateau, probably an upraised peneplain 
in which there existed a great mass of igneous rock 
rounded by less resistant Tertiary sediments. The 
softer rocks have been removed, leaving the harder and 
more resistant ones in bold relief, to become sculp- 
tured by rain and frost into a multitude of angular 
peaks. This attractive, and as yet unstudied, group 
of peaks is in plain view from Paradise Park, and may 
be easily reached from there by a single day's tramp. 
Many other delightful excursions are open to one who 
pitches his tent in the alpine meadows on the south 
side of Mount Rainier. 



182 




PROFESSOR EDGAR McCLURE. 



XII. McCLURE'S ACHIEVEMENT AND TRAGIC 
DEATH, 1897 

BY HERBERT L. BRUCE AND PROFESSOR H. H. 

McALISTER 

VISITORS to Paradise Valley, who climb above the Camp of the 
Clouds to the snowfields, are sure to be attracted to McClure 
Rock. It is the scene of one of the mountain's earliest 
tragedies, in which Professor Edgar McClure of the University 
of Oregon lost his life. He was trying to measure accurately 
the height of the great mountain as he had already done for 
Mount Adams and other peaks. 

The record of his extensive observations was computed with the 
greatest care by his colleague, Professor H. H. McAlister of 
the University of Oregon. An account of the work so tragically 
ended was prepared by Herbert L. Bruce. Both articles were 
published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for November 7, 
1897, from which paper they are here reproduced. The por- 
trait of Professor McClure is furnished by his brother, Horace 
McClure, editorial writer for the Seattle Daily Times. 

The height of the mountain, 14,528 feet, thus obtained, remained 
in use until 1914, when the United States Geological Survey 
announced its new and latest findings to be 14,408 feet. 

One of the most tragic incidents in modern science 
was the death of Professor Edgar McClure, who lost 
his life on Mount Rainier July 27, 1897. Occupying, 
as he did, the chair of chemistry in the University of 
Oregon, his personal tastes, instincts and ambitions 
were essentially scientific. In addition to this he was a 
member of the Mazamas, whose purposes in the line 
of scientific exploration have lent a romantic interest 
and a cumulative value to the geography of the north- 
west. The particular expedition with which Professor 
McClure was associated when he met his untimely 
death, left Portland with the distinct object of making 

183 



MOUNT RAINIER 

the ascent of Mount Rainier, recording such geo- 
graphical and topographical observations as might be 
feasible. As a member of the expedition Professor 
McClure was placed in charge of the elevation depart- 
ment and set before himself a somewhat more distinct 
and definite purpose, viz., to ascertain by the most 
approved methods and with the most accurately grad- 
uated instruments the precise height of the famous and 
beautiful mountain. How well he accomplished this 
purpose will best appear in the subjoined letter from 
Professor E. H. McAlister, his friend and colleague, 
who with infinite care and sympathetic zeal has worked 
out the data, which would otherwise have been un- 
decipherable not only to the general public but to the 
average scholar. As he himself said when he had com- 
pleted his arduous task : " I have done everything 
possible to wring the truth from the observations. In 
my judgment they should become historic on account 
of the probability of their great accuracy." 

To the accomplishment of this object Professor 
McClure brought all the varied resources of a ripe cul- 
ture and an ardent, vigorous young manhood. His 
plans were all laid with the greatest care. To him their 
fulfillment meant not so much a personal or selfish 
triumph as a victory for science. The very instrument 
on which he most relied for accurate determinations, 
as will be seen from Professor McAlister's statement, 
was not only hallowed by scientific associations, but 
was prepared for its high mission more lovingly and 
assiduously than a favorite racer would be groomed 
for the course. Twice had it looked upon the beauties 
of the Columbia river from the summit of Mount 
Hood, and on three other lofty peaks it had served its 
silent but efficient ministry to the cause of science. On 
one of these, Mount Adams, the altitude determined 
with this instrument was accepted by the United States 
government, yet a new tube was filled for it, Professor 
McClure himself preparing the mercury by distillation, 

184 



McCLURE'S ACHIEVEMENT AND TRAGIC DEATH, 1897 

and seeing to it that the vacuum was exceptionally 
perfect. That the barometer was most carefully 
handled at the time of observation will fully appear 
from the record below. It was suspended by a ring 
and allowed to hang until it had assumed the tempera- 
ture of the surrounding air before being read. Not 
only this, but all the subsidiary phenomena which 
could have the slightest bearing on the result were 
laboriously determined. Concurrent observations were 
made at all salient surrounding stations, while for a 
week before the date of actual observation Professor 
McClure himself had made numerous observations both 
of pressure and of temperature at various sub-stations 
in the vicinity of Mount Rainier, and his collaborates 
has secured simultaneous observations from Seattle and 
Portland. Uniting as he did the fervor of the pioneer 
explorer with the accuracy of the laboratory chemist, 
Professor McClure was peculiarly fitted to obtain a 
result which bids fair to become historic. 

The broken barometer will appeal powerfully to 
every lover of science. If, as has been suggested, a 
monument be reared to mark the spot where the young 
scientist gave up his life, no fitter design could be 
adopted than a stone shaft bearing on its face a bas- 
relief of the historic instrument which he bore on his 
back with sacred care. It is entirely probable that 
this barometer, coupled with his unselfish solicitude for 
the safety of other members of the expedition, was the 
immediate cause of his death. He carried it in a double 
case ; a wooden one which his own hands had con- 
structed, and outside of this a strong leather tube. 
From the latter stout thongs enabled him to strap the 
instrument on his back, much as a pioneer huntsman 
would wear his trusty rifle. While standing on the 
perilous ledge whence he took the fatal plunge, he 
turned to sound warning to his companions whom he 
was leading in a search for the lost pathway down the 
mountain. "Don't come down here ; it is too steep," 

185 



MOUNT RAINIER 

he called, turning so as to make his voice more audible. 
These were his last words. He vanished in the night 
and the abyss. It is likely that the tube, three and a 
half feet in length, caught as he turned and helped to 
hurl him from his precarious footing. Like his own 
high strung frame, the delicate instrument was 
shattered ; but neither of the twain went away from 
the world without leaving an imperishable record. 

It is interesting to note the close correspondence of 
his independent observations with those made by 
others. The height of the mountain had been meas- 
ured many times before he essayed to measure it. 
Some observers had measured it by triangulation, and 
others, notably Major E. S. Ingraham, of Seattle, had 
given its altitude from the readings of mercurial barom- 
eters. Major Ingraham gave the height at 14,524 
feet. It will be noticed that the result obtained by 
Professor McClure was just four feet greater, a re- 
markable coincidence at that vast altitude and among 
conditions of hardship, exposure and uncertainty. 
Prior to Professor McClure's record, the latest measure- 
ment of Rainier had been made by George F. Hyde, 
of the United States Geological Survey, in 1896. He 
pursued the method of triangulation, and, taking as his 
base a line at Ellensburg, in connection with the sea 
level gauge at Tacoma, he figured out the extreme 
height of Rainier at 14,519 feet. 

The value of Professor McClure's determination 
will be heightened rather than lessened by the peculiar 
difficulty and rareness of scientific work in an unex- 
plored territory and from a base which has not all the 
appurtenances and advantages of the older scientific 
stations of the East and of Europe. In this respect 
his work is like that of Agassiz and of Audubon. Not 
unlike those great masters was he in his intense and 
lofty devotion to science. Not unlike them he wrought 
with rigid accuracy where others had worked almost 
at random. Not unlike them he aroused among his 

1 86 



McCLURE'S ACHIEVEMENT AND TRAGIC DEATH, 1897 

friends and students the conviction that he was a born 
high priest of nature, whose chief mission in the world 
was to reveal her secrets to mankind. He offered up 
his life virtually a sacrifice to the cause of popular and 
practical science, and in as lofty a sense as ever dignified 
a Roman arena he was a martyr to the cause of truth. 
To use the matchless figure employed by Bryon in 
describing the death of Henry Kirk White, who died a 
victim to his own passionate devotion to literary art, 
he was like the struck eagle whose own feather "winged 
the shaft that quivered in his heart." 

Just in harmony with this thought came countless 
expressions of sympathy and condolence to the members 
of Professor McClure's family when the sad news of 
his death went abroad. One of the most touching, 
and, to my mind, one of the most typical of all these 
came from an obscure man in an obscure corner of 
Kentucky. He was not a great man himself, as the 
world counts greatness, this man in Kentucky; but 
he knew a great man when he saw him. He had known 
Edgar McClure ; and when he heard the circumstances 
of his death he sat down and wrote a brief note. One 
sentence in it was worthy of Whittier or Emerson. It 
was this : " Edgar McClure died as he had always lived 
on the mountain top." 

In transmitting his results to Horace McClure, 
brother of the deceased scientist, Professor McAlister 
brings to a proper close a labor of love, one that is as 
creditable to his scholarly culture as it is to his un- 
selfish and devoted friendship. 

HERBERT L. BRUCE. 

LETTER OF TRANSMISSION 

University of Oregon, 
Eugene, Or., October 28, 1897. 

MR. HORACE McCLURE Dear Sir: I herewith 
transmit to you for publication my report upon the 

187 



MOUNT RAINIER 

observations of your late brother, Professor Edgar 
McClure, relative to the altitude of Mount Rainier, 
the data having been referred to me for reduction and 
computation by yourself and by the officials of the 
Mazama Club. 

It is but just to myself to say that the long delay 
in the appearance of this report has been caused by un- 
avoidable difficulties in the collection of subsidiary 
data ; in particular, the comparison sheet showing the 
instrumental error of Professor McClure's barometer 
could not be found until the 9th of this month, when 
it was discovered among some effects left by him in 
Portland. A further delay has been occasioned in 
obtaining a few other important data. A report ap- 
proximately correct could have been made some time 
ago, but I felt it was due to the memory of Professor 
McClure's reputation for extreme accuracy that no 
report whatever should be published until I was able to 
state a result for which I could vouch as being the very 
best that the observations were capable of affording. 

The thanks of all concerned are due to Mr. B. S. 
Pague, Director of the Oregon Weather Bureau, for 
numerous courtesies and for his efficient aid in the 
collection of data. 

Very respectfully, 

E. H. McAusTER, 

Professor of Applied Mathematics. 

THE RESULT 

For the benefit of those not interested in the scientific 
details of this report, it may be stated at once that 
the summit of Mount Rainier, according to Professor 
McClure's observations, is 14,528 feet above sea level. 
The altitudes of various sub-stations occupied en route 
will be found further on. An account of the data, 
with description of the methods employed in reduction 
and computation, is given, to indicate the degree of 
reliance to be placed upon the result. 

1 88 



McCLURE'S ACHIEVEMENT AND TRAGIC DEATH, 1897 

The principal observation to which this report refers 
was made by Professor Edgar McClure, of the Uni- 
versity of Oregon, on the summit of Mount Rainier, 
Washington, July 27, 1897, at 4:30 P.M., Pacific standard 
time. The observation consists of a reading of Green's 
standard mercurial barometer, No. 1612, together with 
readings of attached and detached thermometers. It 
appears that the barometer, which was suspended by 
a ring at the top, was allowed so to hang until it had 
assumed the temperature of the surrounding air, be- 
fore being read ; that the sky was clear at the time ; 
and that the place of observation, the highest on the 
mountain, is designated as Columbia Crest. 

The barometric reading, corrected for instrumental 
error and temperature, was 17.708 inches ; the air 
temperature was 29 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Concurrent observations were made at 9:30 A.M. 
and hourly during the afternoon by the regular 
observers at Seattle, Portland, Fort Canby, the Univer- 
sity of Oregon at Eugene, Roseburg, and one observa- 
tion at Walla Walla at 5 P.M. 

In addition to these, during the week preceding the 
27th Professor McClure made numerous observations 
both of pressure and temperature at various sub-stations 
in the vicinity of Mount Rainier, and simultaneous 
observations are furnished from Seattle and Portland. 

At the very outset of the work of reduction it was 
evident that Eugene and Roseburg were under an 
area of relatively low barometric pressure on the 27th, 
representing atmospheric conditions that did not pre- 
vail in the region of Mount Rainier. I therefore 
rejected the observations at both these places, using 
only those at Seattle, Portland, Fort Canby and Walla 
Walla. The strategic position of these four points 
will be seen at once by a glance at the map. 

The method followed in making the reduction was, 
in brief, to deduce from the observations at the four 
base stations surrounding the mountain the actual 

189 



MOUNT RAINIER 

atmospheric conditions prevailing in the immediate 
region of the mountain. More specifically, the pro- 
cess consisted in determining the atmospheric pressure 
and temperature at an imaginary sea level vertically 
under the mountain, which level I shall subsequently 
call the "mean base." 

In this I was greatly assisted by a careful study of 
the daily weather charts issued by the government, 
Mr. Pague having kindly loaned me his official file for 
July. I thus practically had at my disposal observa- 
tions from all the important points on the Coast, both 
before and after the principal observation. With due 
regard to the position and direction of the isobars, 
and giving proper weight to the observations at each 
of the four base stations, I finally deduced 30.130 inches 
as the value of the pressure at the mean base which 
best satisfied all the data. It ought to be said, perhaps, 
that this result does not depend upon my judgment to 
any appreciable extent, but was legitimately worked 
out from the observations and isobaric lines. 

In determining the mean temperature of the air 
column extending from the mean base to the summit 
of the mountain, the observations made by Professor 
McClure during the previous week in the vicinity were 
so numerous and well timed as to leave far less than 
the usual amount of uncertainty. Making due allow- 
ance for the moderate elevations of the stations, these 
observations show clearly that the temperature about 
the mountain at that time followed that of Seattle 
very closely, and was also not much different from that 
of Portland, but departed notably from both the heat 
of Walla Walla and the low temperature of Fort 
Canby. Allowing proper weight to these facts, the 
observations at the base stations, with that of Professor 
McClure at the summit, gave 49 degrees Fahrenheit 
as the mean temperature of the air column. 

I regard the method of reduction outlined above as 
possessing decided advantages over any other that 

190 



McCLURE'S ACHIEVEMENT AND TRAGIC DEATH, 1897 

could be applied to the problem in hand ; especially 
because it admits of using the isobaric charts with 
great freedom and effectiveness, thereby increasing the 
reliability of the result to a marked extent. 

The reduction made, there remained for the final 
calculation the following data : 

Barometric pressure at the summit of Rainier 17.708 inches 

Barometric pressure at mean base 30.130 inches 

Mean temperature of air column 49 deg. F. 

Latitude of Mount Rainer 46 deg. 48 min. 

In making the calculation I used the amplified form 
of Laplace's formula given in the recent publications 
of the Smithsonian Institution, with the constants 
there adopted. Perhaps for the general reader it 
may be important to remark that this formula, besides 
the barometric pressures, contains corrections for the 
temperature of the air column ; for latitude, and for 
the variation of gravity with altitude in its effect on 
the weight of the mercury in the barometer ; for the 
average humidity of the air ; and for the variation of 
gravity with altitude in its effect on the weight of the 
air. I used the latest edition of the Smithsonian 
tables, but afterward verified the result by a numerical 
solution of the formula the altitude being, as stated 
at the beginning, 14,528 feet above sea level. 

It should be noted as an evidence of the great care 
and foresight with which Professor McClure planned 
his work and the success with which he carried it out, 
that the result of his observations agrees within nine 
feet with that obtained by the United States Geological 
Survey in 1895, using, as we may suppose, the most 
refined methods of triangulation the latter estimate 
being 14,519 feet. In connection with so great an 
altitude, nine feet is an insignificant quantity, and the 
close correspondence in the results of the two methods 
of measurement is truly remarkable. I am not inclined 
to regard it as accidental, but as due to the most careful 
work in both cases. 

191 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Having a full knowledge of all the available data, 
I am perhaps better prepared than anyone else to pass 
judgment upon the result set forth ; and while it would 
be folly to give a numerical estimate of the probable 
error, I feel justified in saying that no single barometric 
determination is ever likely to prove more accurate 
than this one of Professor McClure's. At any rate, 
the outstanding error is now too small to justify the 
hazard of any future attempts. 

From the observations made by Professor McClure 
while en route to the summit, together with simulta- 
neous records from Seattle and Portland, the following 
altitudes are obtained : 

FEET ABOVE 
SEA LEVEL 

Eatonville .................. 870 

Kernahan's ranch ............... 1,880 

Longmire springs ............... 2,850 

Mazama camp ................ 5>932 

Camp-No-Camp ................ 12,700 

South side Crater Rainier 



The data in these cases were not sufficient to admit an 
elaborate working-out of the altitude, so that the figures 
given are to be regarded as rather close approximations, 
except in the case of Mazama camp, the altitude of 
which rests upon four observations and is correspond- 
ingly reliable. 

Professor McClure's barometer had a notable his- 
tory in mountaineering. To quote the professor's 
own words : 

" It has twice looked upon the beauties of the Colum- 
bia river from the summit of Mount Hood. It was the 
first barometer taken to the top of Mount Hood, and 
gave the true elevation, 11,225 f eet > in place of 17,000 
or 18,000 feet previously claimed. This barometric 
measurement of Mount Hood was made in August, 
1867, by a government party under the direction of 
Lieutenant R. S. Williamson. The second barometric 
measurement of Mount Hood was made with the same 

192 



McCLURE'S ACHIEVEMENT AND TRAGIC DEATH, 1897 

instrument in August, 1870, by Professor George H. 
Collier." 

In August, 1891, the barometer was carried by 
Professor McClure to the summit of Diamond Peak ; in 
August, 1894, by the writer, to the summit of the middle 
peak of the Three Sisters, in Oregon, giving an altitude 
of 10,080 feet, not hitherto published; in July, 1895, 
Professor McClure took it with the Mazamas to Mount 
Adams, and in July, 1897, to the summit of Mount 
Rainier. 

A new tube was filled and inserted about two years 
ago, Professor McClure preparing the mercury by 
distillation and the writer boiling it in the tube. The 
vacuum was exceptionally perfect. The comparison 
sheet previously mentioned snowed that the instrument 
on the occasion of its last trip read .0x35 inch above 
standard. 

In thus completing the labors of Professor McClure, 
with whom I was so long and so intimately associated, 
I feel a very melancholy satisfaction. For his sake, I 
have spared no pains in collecting all the useful data 
that could be obtained, to make the result reliable to 
the last degree possible in such a case. I leave that 
result as a sufficient guarantee of the accuracy of the 
whole work from beginning to end. 



193 



XIII. FIELD NOTES ON MOUNT RAINIER, 1905 



HENRY LANDES is Professor of Geology and Dean of the College 
of Science, University of Washington, and he has also served 
as State Geologist of Washington, since 1895. He was born 
at Carroll, Indiana, on December 22, 1867. He graduated 
from the University of Indiana in 1892 and obtained the Master 
of Arts degree at Harvard University in 1893. He was assist- 
ant to the State Geologist of New Jersey and Principal of 
the High School at Rockland, Maine, before being elected to 
his present professorship at the University of Washington in 
1895. For a year and a half, 1914-1915, he was Acting Presi- 
dent of the University of Washington. 

He has published many articles and pamphlets on geological sub- 
jects. The one here given appeared in Mazama, published in 
December, 1905, by the Mazamas in Portland, Oregon. It is 
reproduced here with the permission of the author and of the 
mountaineering club. 

The Columbia River afforded to the first people who 
came to Washington and Oregon the easiest and most 
feasible route across the Cascade Mountains. It was 
through this gateway that travel passed from one side 
of the range to the other until the advent of the rail- 
ways in comparatively recent years. The early trav- 
elers along the river who were of an observing or scien- 
tific bent, noted that the rocks were, in general, dark, 
heavy and massive and of the class commonly known as 
basalt. Here and there a sort of pudding stone or 
agglomerate was observed, which in some instances 
might represent a sedimentary deposit, but which here 
had clearly an igneous origin. 

The observations of the early travelers were supple- 
mented later by the further studies of geologists ; and 
from the facts noted along the Columbia River, the 

194 




PROFESSOR HENRY LANDES. 



FIELD NOTES ON MOUNT RAINIER, 1905 

generalization holds good to a great extent on the 
Oregon side, but it is by no means true on the Wash- 
ington side, as has been shown by later studies. 
Granite rocks are encountered within a few miles of 
the Columbia River as one travels north along the 
Cascade Range. Associated with these granite rocks 
are found rocks of a metamorphic type, such as gneiss, 
schists, quartzites, crystalline limestone, slate, etc. 
Such rocks exist south of Mount Rainier, but are not 
conspicuous. North of this point, however, and 
throughout all of the northern Cascades they form the 
great bulk of the rock. 

In other words, in the Cascades of Washington, 
igneous activity has been much more common in the 
region south of Rainier than in that north of the moun- 
tain. When the first observations were made upon the 
great lava flows of southeastern Washington, which 
form a part of the greatest lava plain in the world, it 
was supposed that the lava had its origin in the vol- 
canoes of the Cascades. Later investigations have 
shown this view to be erroneous. The lava of the plain 
has come directly from below through great longitudinal 
fissures instead of through circular openings such as 
one finds in volcanoes. 

It is probable that the Cascades, like most other 
mountains, have had several different periods of up- 
lift. We have several notable examples of mountains 
which have had an initial uplift and then have been 
reduced to base by erosion. By a second upheaval the 
plain has been converted into a plateau, and this in 
time assumes a very rugged, mountainous character 
as a result of the combined forces of air and water. 
Eventually these same forces would reduce the region 
to a plain again. Just how many times this thing 
has happened in the Cascades we do not know. Bailey 
Willis has shown that in the northern Cascades, at 
least, the whole country was reduced to a plain prior 
to the last uplift, which took place in comparatively 

195 



MOUNT RAINIER 

recent times. Out of this plateau, formed by the up- 
lifting of the plain, has arisen through the active attack 
of erosive forces the truly mountainous character of 
the district. Erosion has been at the maximum in the 
mountains because of the heavy precipitation. Pre- 
cipitation in the high mountains being chiefly in the 
form of snow has led to the formation of glaciers, 
producing thereby a rapidity of erosion of the first 
order. The active work of ice and running water has 
given to the mountains an extremely rugged appear- 
ance, characterized by valleys of great depth extending 
into the very heart of the mountains and with precipi- 
tous divides. 

It must be understood that the time consumed in 
the uplifting of the Cascades, and the conversion from 
plain to plateau, was of considerable duration. With 
the beginning of the uplift, the sluggish streams of the 
plain became rejuvenated, and took up actively once 
more the work of erosion. By the time the maximum 
uplift was reached, the plateau had lost to a certain 
degree its character of extreme levelness. The streams 
had already entrenched themselves in rather conspic- 
uous valleys. It is believed that the great volcanoes 
of Washington Rainier and its associates began 
their activities about . the time the uplift described 
above reached its maximum height. In the vicinity 
of Rainier the rock of the old plateau is granite ; and 
the volcano may be said to be built upon a platform 
of that material. On the north side of the mountain 
granite appears conspicuously at a height of about 7,000 
feet ; while on the south side it appears at points varying 
from 5,000 to 6,000 feet above the sea. 

That the surface of the granite platform was irregular 
and uneven may be seen in the walls of the Nisqually 
canyon, near the lower terminus of the glacier. As one 
ascends the canyon to the glacier, the contact between 
the lava rock and the granite shows quite plainly on 
both the right and the left side. On the left the contact 

196 



FIELD NOTES ON MOUNT RAINIER, 1905 

is at least 1,000 feet above that on the right side. A 
little way above the lower end of the glacier, on each 
side of the canyon, a good opportunity presents itself 
to study the contact of the lava and granite. The 
granite at this place shows clearly that it was once a 
land surface ; and one may note weathering for a 
distance downward of seventy-five or one hundred 
feet. The upper portion of the granite shows the usual 
characteristics of weathering, namely, the conversion 
of feldspar into kaolin, the oxidation of iron, etc. At 
this point the lava overlying the granite is quite basic 
and massive. The first flow reached a thickness here 
of fully three hundred feet, and exhibits a fine develop- 
ment of basaltic structure. 

In following up the canyon walls one observes that 
the activity of the volcano for some time was char- 
acterized almost exclusively by lava flows. In the 
main the lava is an andesite, and is very generally of a 
porphyritic structure. Some of the lava flows were of 
great extent, and reached points many miles distant 
from the center of the mountain. While the earlier 
stages of the activity of the volcano were characterized 
by lava flows of great thickness, by and by explosive 
products began to appear, and interbedded with the 
sheets of lava one finds bombs, lapilli, cinders, etc. 

It may be said in general that as the volcano grew in 
years it changed more and more from eruptions of the 
quiet type to those of the explosive character. It is 
plain that a long period of time was consumed in the 
making of that great volcanic pile, and that the erup- 
tions were by no means continuous. It is clearly shown 
that after certain outflows of lava, quietude reigned for 
a time ; that at last the surface of the rock became cool 
and that erosive agents broke it up into great masses of 
loose stones. In later flows of lava these stones were 
picked up and cemented into layers of pudding stone, 
which are styled agglomerates. 

Rocks of an agglomerate type are well shown in the 

197 



MOUNT RAINIER 

walls of Gibraltar. This massive pile is largely made 
up of boulders, great and small, rather loosely held to- 
gether by a lava cement. The work of frost and ice, 
expansion and contraction, loosens the boulders readily, 
and their constant falling from the cliffs gives to this 
part of the mountain's ascent its dangerous character. 
While this volcano belongs to a very late period in the 
history of the earth, it is very clear that there has been 
no marked activity for many thousands of years. The 
presence of steam, which is emitted from the hundreds 
of small openings about the crater, undoubtedly shows 
the presence of heated rock at no great distance below 
the surface. Rock is a poor conductor, however, and 
cooling takes place with very great slowness after a 
depth of comparatively few feet is reached. 

Like most volcanoes, the composite character of the 
cone is shown on Mount Rainier. After a certain 
height is reached in the building up of a cone, the rising 
lava in the throat, or the explosive activities within, 
sometimes produce an opening through the walls of 
the cone, and a new outlet to the surface is formed. 
This often gives the volcano a sort of hummocky or 
warty appearance, and produces a departure from the 
symmetrical character. In the case of Rainier it seems 
to the writer that upon the summit four distinct craters, 
or outlets, are distinguishable. The first crater reached 
by the usual route of ascent is the largest one, and may 
be styled the East crater. It is nearly circular in 
outline, with a diameter of about one-half mile. Its 
walls are bare of snow for nearly the whole of its cir- 
cumference, but the pit is filled with snow and ice. 
Going across the crater to the westward, one passes 
over what is really the highest point on the mountain, 
and then goes down into a smaller crater, or the West 
crater. This is similar in character and outline to its 
neighbor, but here the many jets of issuing steam are 
much more prominent. At a point a few hundred 
feet lower on the mountain-side there is a peak known 

198 



FIELD NOTES ON MOUNT RAINIER, 1905 

as Liberty Cap. A cross-section of the cap is in plain 
view and shows very clearly that this is a minor cone 
or local point of eruption. It is made up of rock very 
similar to the main mass of the mountain ; and it is 
likely that the volcanic activity of the mountain was 
centered here for some time. Looking directly south 
from the West crater one sees at a distance of less than 
a mile another peak which is entirely snow-covered ; 
but which may represent an instance parallel with 
that of the peak on the north side. 

Mount Rainier is so deeply covered with ice and snow 
that the glacial aspects of the mountain are far more 
conspicuous than the volcanic ones. The facts about 
the vulcanism and the history of the growth of the 
mountain are very difficult to study ; and it will be 
a long time before they are fully known. The glaciers, 
on the other hand, are very conspicuous, comparatively 
easy of access, and the many facts concerning their 
extent, rate of motion, recession, or advance, may be 
quite readily determined. The glaciers, while very 
prominent at the present time, were at one time much 
larger than now. There are many things which go to 
prove that they formerly reached much farther down 
the valleys. 

From the top of the mountain one may see off to 
the westward for many miles south of Puget Sound 
prairies of large size, covering a great many square 
miles. These prairies represent the plains of gravel 
derived from the melting glaciers, when these stood 
in their vicinity. From these points of maximum 
extension the glaciers have slowly receded to their 
present position. 

That the glaciers are receding at the present time is 
a matter of common observation. At the lower end of 
the Nisqually glacier the advancing line of vegetation 
is about one-fourth mile below the present limit of the 
ice. It is the opinion of Mr. Longmire that the glacier 
has retreated about that far since he first came to the 

199 



MOUNT RAINIER 

valley, twenty-five years ago. General Stevens was 
able to point out several instances of notable shrinkages 
in the glaciers, especially in the Paradise glacier, since 
his ascent of the mountain in 1870. It will interest 
students of glaciers to know that some permanent 
monuments have been set up at the lower end of the 
Nisqually glacier; and that arrangements have been 
made whereby the retreat of the ice may be accurately 
measured from year to year. 




EMILE MATTHES. 



XIV. GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

BY F. E. MATTHES 

FRANCOIS EMILE MATTHES was born at Amsterdam, Holland, on 
March 1 6, 1874. After pursuing studies in Holland, Switzer- 
land and Germany, he came to the United States in 1891 and 
graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 
1895. Since 1896 he has been at work with the United States 
Geological Survey, mostly in the field of topography. He has 
been honored by and is a member of many scientific societies. 

His topographic work on the maps of Yosemite and Mount Rainier 
National Parks made for him many appreciative friends on the 
Pacific Coast. His pamphlet on "Mount Rainier and Its 
Glaciers" was published by the United States Department of 
the Interior in 1914. He secured consent for its republication 
in the present work. 

The impression still prevails in many quarters that 
true glaciers, such as are found in the Swiss Alps, do 
not exist within the confines of the United States, and 
that to behold one of these rare scenic features one 
must go to Switzerland, or else to the less accessible 
Canadian Rockies or the inhospitable Alaskan coast. 
As a matter of fact, permanent bodies of snow and 
ice, large enough to deserve the name of glaciers, occur 
on many of our western mountain chains, notably in 
the Rocky Mountains, where only recently a national 
reservation Glacier National Park was named for 
its ice fields ; in the Sierra Nevada of California, and 
farther north, in the Cascade Range. It is on the 
last-named mountain chain that glaciers especially 
abound, clustering as a rule in groups about the higher 
summits of the crest. But this range also supports 
a series of huge, extinct volcanoes that tower high 
above its sky line in the form of isolated cones. On 

201 



MOUNT RAINIER 

these the snows lie deepest and the glaciers reach 
their grandest development. Ice clad from head to 
foot the year round, these giant peaks have become 
known the country over as the noblest landmarks of 
the Pacific Northwest. Foremost among them are 
Mount Shasta, in California (14,162 feet) ; Mount 
Hood, in Oregon (11,225 feet); Mount St. Helens 
(9,697 feet), Mount Adams (12,307 feet), Mount Rainier 
(14,408 feet), and Mount Baker (10,730 feet), in the 
State of Washington. 

Easily king of all is Mount Rainier. Almost 250 
feet higher than Mount Shasta, its nearest rival in 
grandeur and in mass, it is overwhelmingly impres- 
sive, both by the vastness of its glacial mantle and by 
the striking sculpture of its cliffs. The total area of 
its glaciers amounts to no less than 45 square miles, 
an expanse of ice far exceeding that of any other single 
peak in the United States. Many of its individual 
ice streams are between 4 and 6 miles long and vie 
in magnitude and in splendor with the most boasted 
glaciers of the Alps. Cascading from the summit in 
all directions, they radiate like the arms of a great 
starfish. All reach down to the foot of the mountain 
and some advance considerably beyond. 

As for the plea that these glaciers lie in a scarcely 
opened, out-of-the-way region, a forbidding wilderness 
as compared with maturely civilized Switzerland, it no 
longer has the force it once possessed. Rainier's ice 
fields can now be reached from Seattle or Tacoma, the 
two principal cities of western Washington, in a com- 
fortable day's journeying, either by rail or by auto- 
mobile. The cooling sight of crevassed glaciers and 
the exhilarating flower-scented air of alpine meadows 
need no longer be exclusive pleasures, to be gained 
only by a trip abroad. 

Mount Rainier stands on the west edge of the Cas- 
cade Range, overlooking the lowlands that stretch to 
Puget Sound. Seen from Seattle or Tacoma, 60 and 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

50 miles distant, respectively, it appears to rise directly 
from sea level, so insignificant seem the ridges about 
its base. Yet these ridges themselves are of no mean 
height. They rise 3,000 to 4,000 feet above the val- 
leys that cut through them, and their crests average 
6,000 feet in altitude. Thus at the southwest en- 
trance of the park, in the Nisqually Valley, the eleva- 
tion above sea level, as determined by accurate spirit 
leveling, is 2,003 feet, while Mount Wow (Goat Moun- 
tain), immediately to the north, rises to an altitude 
of 6,045 feet. But so colossal are the proportions of 
the great volcano that they dwarf even mountains of 
this size and give them the appearance of mere foot- 
hills. In the Tatoosh Range Pinnacle Peak is one 
of the higher summits, 6,562 feet in altitude. That 
peak rises nearly 4,000 feet above the Nisqually 
River, which at Longmire has an elevation of 2,700 
feet, yet it will be seen that Mount Rainier towers 
still 7,846 feet higher than Pinnacle Peak. 

From the top of the volcano one fairly looks down 
upon the Tatoosh Range, to the south ; upon Mount 
Wow, to the southwest ; upon the Mother Mountains, 
to the northwest, indeed, upon all the ridges of the 
Cascade Range. Only Mount Adams, Mount St. 
Helens, and Mount Hood loom like solitary peaks 
above the even sky line, while the ridges below this 
line seem to melt together in one vast, continuous 
mountain platform. And such a platform, indeed, 
one should conceive the Cascade Range once to have 
been. Only it is now thoroughly dissected by pro- 
found, ramifying valleys, and has been resolved into 
a sea of wavelike crests and peaks. 

Mount Rainier stands, in round numbers, 10,000 
feet high above its immediate base, and covers 100 
square miles of territory, or one-third of the area of 
Mount Rainier National Park. In shape it is not a 
simple cone tapering to a slender, pointed summit 
like Fuji Yama, the great volcano of Japan. It is, 

203 



MOUNT RAINIER 

rather, a broadly truncated mass resembling an enor- 
mous tree stump with spreading base and irregularly 
broken top. Its life history has been a varied one. 
Like all volcanoes, Rainier has built up its cone with 
the material ejected by its own eruptions with 
cinders and bombs (steam-shredded particles and 
lumps of lava), and with occasional flows of liquid 
lava that have solidified into layers of hard, basaltic 
rock. At one time it attained an altitude of not less 
than 16,000 feet, if one may judge by the steep in- 
clination of the lava and cinder layers visible in its 
flanks. Then a great explosion followed that destroyed 
the top part of the mountain, and reduced its height 
by some 2,000 feet. The volcano was left beheaded, 
and with a capacious hollow crater, surrounded by 
a jagged rim. 

Later on this great cavity, which measured nearly 
3 miles across, from south to north, was filled by two 
small cinder cones. Successive feeble eruptions added 
to their height until at last they formed together a 
low, rounded dome the eminence that now consti- 
tutes the mountain's summit. It rises only about 
400 feet above the rim of the old crater, and is an in- 
conspicuous feature, not readily identifiable from all 
sides as the highest point. In fact, so broad is the 
mountain's crown that from no point at its base can 
one see the top. The higher portions of the old crater 
rim, moreover, rise to elevations within a few hundred 
feet of the summit, and, especially when viewed from 
below, stand out boldly as separate peaks that mask 
and seem to overshadow the central dome. Espe- 
cially prominent are Peak Success (14,150 feet) on the 
southwest side, and Liberty Cap (14,112 feet) on the 
northwest side. 

The altitude of the main summit has for many years 
been in doubt. Several figures have been announced 
from time to time, no two of them in agreement with 
each other ; but all of these, it is to be observed, were 

204 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

obtained by more or less approximate methods. In 
1913 the United States Geological Survey, in con- 
nection with its topographic surveys of the Mount 
Rainier National Park, was able to make a new series 
of measurements by triangulation methods at close 
range. These give the peak an elevation of 14,408 
feet, thus placing it near the top of the list of high 
summits of the United States. This last figure, it 
should be added, is not likely to be in error by more 
than a foot or two and may with some confidence be 
regarded as final. Greater exactness of determination 
is scarcely practicable in the case of Mount Rainier, 
as its highest summit consists actually of a mound of 
snow the height of which naturally varies somewhat 
with the seasons and from year to year. 

This crowning snow mound, which was once sup- 
posed to be the highest point in the United States, still 
bears the proud name of Columbia Crest. It is es- 
sentially a huge snowdrift or snow dune, heaped up 
by the westerly winds. Driving furiously up through 
the great breach in the west flank of the mountain, 
between Peak Success and Liberty Cap, they eddy 
lightly as they shoot over the summit and there deposit 
their load of snow. 

The drift is situated at the point where the rims of 
the two summit craters touch, and represents the only 
permanent snow mass on these rims, for some of the 
internal heat of the volcano still remains and suffices 
to keep these rock-crowned curving ridges bare of snow 
the better part of the year. It is intense enough, even, 
to produce numerous steam jets along the inner face 
of the rim of the east crater, which appears to be the 
most recently formed of the two. The center of this 
depression, however, is filled with snow, so that it has 
the appearance of a shallow, white-floored bowl some 
1,200 feet in diameter. Great caverns are melted out 
by the steam jets under the edges of the snow mass, 
and these caverns afford shelters which, though unin- 

205 



MOUNT RAINIER 

viting, are not to be despised. They have proved a 
blessing to more than one party that has found itself 
compelled to remain overnight on the summit, saving 
them from death in the icy gales. 

That Mount Rainier should still retain so much of 
its internal heat is not surprising in view of the recency 
of its eruptions. It is known to have been active at 
intervals during the last century, and actual record 
exists of slight eruptions in 1843, 1854, ^58, and 1870. 
Indian legends mention a great cataclysmal outburst 
at an earlier period. 

At present the volcano may be regarded as dormant 
and no apprehension need be felt as to the possibility 
of an early renewal of its activity. The steam jets in 
the summit crater, it is true, as well as the hot springs 
at the mountain's foot (Longmire Springs), attest the 
continued presence of subterranean fires, but they are 
only feeble evidences as compared with the geysers, 
the steam jets, and the hot springs of the Yellowstone 
National Park. Yet that region is not considered any 
less safe to visit because of the presence of these ther- 
mal phenomena. 

In spite of Mount Rainier's continued activity until 
within the memory of man its sides appear to have 
been snow clad for a considerable length of time. 
Indeed, so intense and so long-continued has been the 
eroding action of the ice that the cone is now deeply 
ice-scarred and furrowed. Most of its outer layers, 
in fact, appear already to have been stripped away. 
Here and there portions of them remain standing on 
the mountain's flanks in the form of sharp-crested 
crags and ridges, and from these one may roughly 
surmise the original dimensions of the cone. Mere 
details in the volcano's sculpture, these residual masses 
are, some of them, so tall that, were they standing 
among ordinary mountains, they would be reckoned 
as great peaks. Particularly noteworthy is Little 
Tahoma, a sharp, triangular tooth on the east flank, 

206 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

that rises to an elevation of 11,117 f eet - I n i ts steep, 
ice-carved walls one may trace ascending volcanic 
strata aggregating 2,000 feet in thickness that point 
upward to the place of their origin, the former sum- 
mit of the mountain, which rose almost half a mile 
higher than the present top. 

Nor is the great crater rim left by the explosion 
that carried off the original summit preserved in its 
entirety. Peak Success and Liberty Cap are the only 
two promontories that give trustworthy indication of 
its former height and strength. Probably they repre- 
sent the more massive portions on the southwest and 
northwest sides, respectively, while the weaker por- 
tions to the east and south have long since crumbled 
away under the heavy ice cascades that have been over- 
riding them for ages. Only a few small rocky points 
remain upon which the snows split in their descent. 
The most prominent, as well as the most interesting, 
is the one on the southeast side, popularly known as 
Gibraltar Rock. Really a narrow, wedge-shaped mass, 
it appears in profile like a massive, square-cut promon- 
tory. The trail to the summit of the mountain passes 
along its overhanging south face and then ascends by 
a precipitous chute between ice and rock. It is this 
part of the ascent that is reputed as the most precarious 
and hazardous. 

From the rim points downward the ice cover of the 
cone divides into a number of distinct stream-like 
tongues or glaciers, each sunk in a great hollow path- 
way of its own. Between these ice-worn trenches 
the uneroded portions of the cone stand out in high 
relief, forming as a rule huge triangular "wedges," 
heading at the sharp rim points and spreading thence 
downward to the mountain's base. There they as- 
sume the aspect of more gently sloping, grassy table- 
lands, the charming alpine meadows of which Para- 
dise Park and Spray Park are the most famous. Sep- 
arating these upland parks are the profound ice-cut 

207 



MOUNT RAINIER 

canyons which, beyond the glacier ends, widen out into 
densely forested valleys, each containing a swift- 
flowing river. No less than a dozen of these ice-fed 
torrents radiate from the volcano in all directions, 
while numerous lesser streams course from the snow 
fields between the glaciers. 

Thus the cone of Mount Rainier is seen to be dis- 
sected from its summit to its foot. Sculptured by its 
own glacier mantle, its slopes have become diversified 
with a fretwork of ridges, peaks, and canyons. 

The first ice one meets on approaching the moun- 
tain from Longmire Springs lies in the upper end of 
the Nisqually Valley. The wagon road, which up to 
this point follows the west side of the valley, winding 
in loops and curves along the heavily wooded moun- 
tain flank, here ventures out upon the rough bowlder 
bed of the Nisqually River and crosses the foaming 
torrent on a picturesque wooden bridge. A scant 
thousand feet above this structure, blocking the valley 
to a height of some 400 feet, looms a huge shapeless 
pile of what seems at first sight only rock debris, gray 
and chocolate in color. It is the dirt-stained end of 
one of the largest glaciers the Nisqually. From a 
yawning cave in its front issues the Nisqually stream, 
a river full fledged from the start. 

The altitude here, it should be noted, is a trifle under 
4,000 feet (elevation of bridge is 3,960 feet) ; hence 
the ice in view lies more than 10,000 feet below the 
summit of the mountain, the place of its origin. And 
in this statement is strikingly summed up the whole 
nature and economy of a glacier such as the Nisqually. 

A glacier is not a mere stationary blanket of snow 
and ice clinging inert to the mountain flank. It is a 
slowly moving streamlike body that descends by virtue 
of its own weight. The upper parts are continually 
being replenished by fresh snowfalls, which at those 
high altitudes do not entirely melt away in summer ; 
while the lower end, projecting as it does below the 

208 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

snow line, loses annually more by melting than it re- 
ceives by precipitation, and is maintained only by the 
continued accession of masses from above. The rate 
at which the ice advances has been determined by 
Prof. J. N. Le Conte, of the University of California. 
In 1903 he placed a row of stakes across the glacier, 
and with the aid of surveying instruments obtained ac- 
curate measurements of the distances through which 
they moved from day to day. He found that in sum- 
mer, when the movement is greatest, it averages 16 
inches per day. This figure, however, applies only to 
the central portion of the glacier the main current, 
so to speak for the margins necessarily move more 
slowly, being retarded by friction against the channel 
sides. 

The snout of the Nisqually Glacier, accordingly, is 
really composed of slowly advancing ice, but so rapid 
is the melting at this low altitude that it effectually 
counterbalances the advance, and thus the ice front 
remains essentially stationary and apparently fixed 
in place. Actually, it is subject to slight back and 
forward movements, amounting to a foot or more per 
day ; for, as one may readily imagine, fluctuations in 
snowfall and in temperature, above or below the nor- 
mal, are ever likely to throw the balance one way or 
another. 

A glacier may also make periodic advances or retreats 
on a larger scale in obedience to climatic changes ex- 
tending over many years. Thus all the glaciers on 
Mount Rainier, as well as many in other parts of the 
world, are at present, and have been for some time, 
steadily retreating as the result of milder climate or of 
a lessening in snow supply. Only so recently as 1885 
the Nisqually Glacier reached down to the place now 
occupied by the bridge, and it is safe to say that at 
that time no engineer would have had the daring to plan 
the road as it is now laid. In the last 25 years, how- 
ever, the Nisqually Glacier has retreated fully 1,000 feet, 
p 209 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Evidences of similar wholesale recession are to be 
observed at the ends of the other glaciers of Mount 
Rainier, but the measure of their retreat is not re- 
corded with the precision that was possible in the case 
of the Nisqually Glacier. Eyewitnesses still live at 
Longmire Springs who can testify to the former ex- 
tension of the Nisqually Glacier down to the site of 
the wagon bridge. 

As one continues the ascent by the wagon road a 
partial view of the glacier's lower course is obtained, 
and there is gained some idea of its stream-like char- 
acter. More satisfying are the views from Paradise 
Park. Here several miles of the ice stream (its total 
length is nearly 5 miles) lie stretched out at one's 
feet, while looking up toward the mountain one beholds 
the tributary ice fields and ice streams, pouring, as it 
were, from above, from right and left, rent by innu- 
merable crevasses and resembling foaming cascades 
suddenly crystallized in place. The turmoil of these 
upper branches may be too confusing to be studied 
with profit, but the more placid lower course presents a 
favorable field for observation, and a readily accessible 
one at that. 

A veritable frozen river it seems, flowing between 
smooth, parallel banks, half a mile apart. Its surface, 
in contrast to the glistening ice cascades above, has the 
prevailingly somber tint of old ice, relieved here and 
there by bright patches of last winter's snow. These 
lie for the most part in gaping fissures or crevasses 
that run athwart the glacier at short intervals and 
divide its body into narrow slices. In the upper course, 
where the glacier overrides obstacles in its bed, the 
crevasses are particularly numerous and irregularly 
spaced, sometimes occurring in two sets intersecting at 
right angles, and producing square-cut prisms. Far- 
ther down the ice stream's current is more sluggish 
and the crevasses heal up by degrees, providing a 
united surface, over which one may travel freely. 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

Gradually, also, the glacier covers itself with debris. 
Angular rock fragments, large and small, and quan- 
tities of dust, derived from the rock walls bordering 
the ice stream higher up, litter its surface and hide the 
color of the ice. At first only a narrow ridge of such 
material a moraine, as it is called accompanies 
the ice river on each side, resembling a sharp-crested 
embankment built by human hands to restrain its 
floods ; but toward the lower end of the glacier, as the 
ice wastes away, the debris contained in it is released 
in masses, and forms brown marginal bands, fringing 
the moraines. In fact, from here on down it becomes 
difficult to tell where the ice of the glacier ends at the 
sides and where the moraines begin. 

The lower part of the glacier also possesses a peculiar 
feature in the form of a debris ridge about midway on 
its back a medial moraine. Most of the way it 
stretches like a slender, dark ribbon, gradually nar- 
rowing upstream. One may trace it with the eye up 
to its point of origin, the junction of the two main 
branches of the glacier, at the foot of a sharp rock spur 
on the mountain's flank. 

In the last mile of the Nisqually's course, this medial 
moraine develops from a mere dirt band to a conspicu- 
ous embankment, projecting 40 feet above the ice. Not 
the entire body of the ridge, however, is made up of rock 
debris. The feature owes its elevation chiefly to the pro- 
tective influence of the debris layer on its surface, which 
is thick enough to shield the ice beneath from the hot 
rays of the sun, and greatly retards melting, while the 
adjoining unprotected ice surfaces are rapidly reduced. 

A short distance above the glacier's terminus the 
medial moraine and the ever-broadening marginal 
bands come together. No more clear ice remains 
exposed, irregular mounds and ridges of debris cover 
the entire surface of the glacier, and the moraine- 
smothered mass assumes the peculiar inchoate appear- 
ance that is so striking upon first view. 



MOUNT RAINIER 

In utter contrast with the glacier's dying lower end 
are the bright snow fields on the summit in which it 
commences its career. Hard by the rock rim of the 
east summit crater the snows begin, enwrapping in an 
even, immaculate layer the smooth sides of the cinder 
cone. Only a few feet deep at first, they thicken 
downward by degrees, until, a thousand feet below the 
crater, they possess sufficient depth and weight to 
acquire movement. Occasional angular crevasses here 
interrupt the slope and force the summit-bound trav- 
eler to make wearying detours. 

Looking down into a gash of this sort one beholds 
nothing but clean snow, piled in many layers. Only 
a faint blue tinges the crevasse walls, darkening but 
slowly with the depth, in contrast to the intense indigo 
hue characteristic of the partings in the lower course 
of the glacier. There the material is a dense ice, more 
or less crystalline in texture ; here it is scarcely more 
than snow, but slightly compacted and loosely granu- 
lar what is generally designated by the Swiss term 



neve.' 3 



For several thousand feet down, as far as the 10,000- 
foot level, in fact, does the snow retain this granular 
consistency. One reason for the slowness with which 
it compacts is found in the low temperatures that pre- 
vail at high altitudes and preclude any considerable 
melting. The air itself seldom rises above the freezing 
point, even in the middle of the day, and as a conse- 
quence the snow never becomes soft and mushy, as 
it does at lower levels. 

When snow assumes the mushy, "wet-sugar" state, 
it is melting internally as well as at its outer surface, 
owing both to the water that soaks into it and to the 
warming of the air inclosed within its innumerable 
tiny pores (which tiny air spaces, by the way, give the 
snow its brilliant whiteness). Snow in this condition 
has, paradoxical though it may sound, a temperature 
a few tenths of a degree higher than the melting point 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

a fact recently established by delicate temperature 
measurements made on European glaciers. It is this 
singular fact, no doubt, that explains how so many 
minute organisms are able to flourish and propagate 
in summer on the lower portions of many glaciers. It 
may be of interest to digress here briefly in order to 
speak of these little known though common forms of life. 

Several species of insects are among the regular in- 
habitants of glaciers. Most of them belong to a very 
low order the Springtails, or Thysanura and are 
so minute that in spite of their dark color they escape 
the attention of most passers-by. If one looks 
closely, however, they may readily be observed hop- 
ping about like miniature fleas or wriggling deftly into 
the cavities of the snow. It seems to incommode them 
but little if in their acrobatic jumps they occasionally 
alight in a puddle or in a rill, for they are thickly clad 
with furry scales that prevent them from getting wet 

just as a duck is kept dry by its greasy feathers. 
Especially plentiful on the lower parts of the Rainier 

glaciers, and more readily recognized, are slender dark- 
brown worms of the genus Mesenchytraeus, about I inch 
in length. Millions and millions of them may be seen 
on favorable days in July and August writhing on the 
surface of the ice, evidently breeding there and feed- 
ing on organic matter blown upon the glacier in the 
form of dust. So essential to their existence is the 
chill of the ice that they enter several inches, and 
sometimes many feet below the surface on days when 
the sun is particularly hot, reappearing late in the 
afternoon. 

Mention also deserves to be made of that microscopic 
plant Protococcus nivalis, which is responsible for the 
mysterious pink or light, rose-colored patches so often 
met with on glaciers the "red snow" of a former 
superstition. Each patch represents a colony or cul- 
ture comprising billions of individuals. It is probable 
that they represent but a small fraction of the total 

213 



MOUNT RAINIER 

microflora thriving on the snow, the other species re- 
maining invisible for lack of a conspicuous color. 

To return to the frigid upper neves, it is not to be 
supposed that they suffer no loss whatever by melt- 
ing. The heat radiated directly to them by the sun 
is alone capable of doing considerable damage, even 
while the air remains below the freezing point. At 
these high altitudes the sun heat is astonishingly in- 
tense, as more than one uninitiated mountain climber 
has learned to his sorrow by neglecting to take the 
customary precaution of blacking his face before making 
the ascent. In a few hours the skin is literally scorched 
and begins to blister painfully. 

At the foot of the mountain the sun heat is relatively 
feeble, for much of it is absorbed by the dust and 
vapor in the lower layers of the atmosphere, but on 
the summit, which projects 2 miles higher, the air is 
thin and pure, and lets the rays pass through but little 
diminished in strength. 

The manner in which the sun affects the snow is 
peculiar and distinctive. Instead of reducing the 
surface evenly, it melts out many close-set cups and 
hollows, a foot or more in diameter and separated by 
sharp spires and crests. No water is visible any- 
where, either in rills or in pools, evaporation keeping 
pace with the reduction. If the sun's action is per- 
mitted to continue uninterrupted for many days, as 
may happen in a hot, dry summer, these snow cups 
deepen by degrees, until at length they assume the 
aspect of gigantic bee cells, several feet in depth. Snow 
fields thus honeycombed may be met with on the slopes 
above Gibraltar Rock. They are wearisome to tra- 
verse, for the ridges and spines are fairly resistant, so 
that one must laboriously clamber over them. Most 
exasperating, however, is the going after a snowstorm 
has filled the honeycombs. Then the traveler, waist 
deep in mealy snow, is left to flounder haphazard 
through a hidden labyrinth. 

214 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

Of interest in this connection is the great snow cliff 
immediately west of Gibraltar Rock. Viewed from 
the foot of that promontory, the sky line of the snow 
castle fairly bristles with honeycomb spines ; while 
below, in the face of the snow cliff, dark, wavy lines, 
roughly parallel to the upper surface, repeat its pattern 
in subdued form. They represent the honeycombs of 
previous seasons, now buried under many feet of snow, 
but still traceable by the dust that was imprisoned 
with them. 

The snow cliff west of Gibraltar Rock is of interest 
also for other reasons. It is the end of a great snow 
cascade that descends from the rim of the old crater. 
Several such cascades may be seen on the south side 
of the mountain, separated by craggy remnants of the 
crater rim. Above them the summit neves stretch in 
continuous fields, but from the rim on down, the 
volcano's slopes are too precipitous to permit a gradual 
descent, and the neves break into wild cascades and 
falls. Fully two to three thousand feet they tumble, 
assembling again in compact, sluggish ice fields on the 
gentler slopes below. 

Of the three cascades that feed the Nisqually Glacier 
only the central one, it is to be observed, forms a con- 
tinuous connection between the summit neves and the 
lower ice fields. The two others, viz. the one next to 
Gibraltar and the westernmost of the three, terminate 
in vertical cliffs, over great precipices of rock. From 
them snow masses detach at intervals and produce 
thundering avalanches that bound far out over the 
inclined ice fields below. Especially frequent are the 
falls from the cliff near Gibraltar. They occur hourly 
at certain times, but as a rule at periods of one or 
more days. 

From the westernmost cascade avalanches are small 
and rare. Indeed, as one watches them take place at 
long intervals throughout a summer one can not but 
begin to doubt whether they are in themselves really 

215 



MOUNT RAINIER 

sufficient to feed and maintain so extensive an ice 
field as lies stretched out under them. Surely much 
more snow must annually melt away from the broad 
surface of that field, exposed as it lies to the midday 
sun, than the insignificant avalanches can replace. 
Were they its only source of supply, the ice field, one 
feels confident, would soon cease to exist. 

The fact is that the ice field in question is not de- 
pendent for its support on the avalanches from above. 
It may receive some contributions to its volume through 
them, but in reality it is an independent ice body, 
nourished chiefly by direct snow precipitation from the 
clouds. And this is true, in large measure, of all the 
ice fields lying under the ice cascades. The Nisqually 
Glacier, accordingly, is not to be regarded as composed 
merely of the cascading neves, reunited and cemented 
together, but as taking a fresh start at these lower 
levels. Improbable though this may seem at first, it 
is nevertheless a fact that is readily explained. 

The winter snows on Mount Rainier are heaviest in 
the vicinity of its base ; indeed, the snowfall at those 
low levels is several times greater than that on the 
summit. This in itself may seem anomalous. So ac- 
customed is one to think that the snowfall on high 
mountains increases with the altitude that it seems 
strange to find a case in which the opposite is true. 
Yet Mount Rainier stands by no means alone in this 
regard. The Sierra Nevada and the Andes, the 
Himalayas and the Alps, all show closely analogous 
conditions. 

In each of these lofty mountain regions the precipi- 
tation is known to be heaviest at moderate altitudes, 
while higher up it decreases markedly. The reason is 
that the storm clouds the clouds that carry most of 
the rain and snow hang in a zone of only moderate 
elevation, while higher up the atmosphere contains 
but little moisture and seldom forms clouds of any 
great density. 

216 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

In the Rainier region the height of the storm clouds 
is in large measure regulated by the relief of the Cas- 
cade Range ; for it is really this cooling mountain bar- 
rier that compels the moisture-laden winds from the 
Pacific Ocean to condense and to discharge. It fol- 
lows that the storm clouds are seldom much elevated 
above the sky line of the Cascade Mountains ; they 
cling, so to speak, to its crest and ridges, while the cone 
of Mount Rainier towers high above them into serener 
skies. Many a day may one look down from the sum- 
mit, or even from a halfway point, such as Camp 
Muir (10,062 feet), upon the upper surface of the 
clouds. Like a layer of fleecy cotton they appear, 
smothering the lower mountains and enveloping the 
volcano's base. 

Clouds, it is true, are frequently seen gathering about 
the mountain's crown, usually in the form of a circular 
cap or hood, precursor of a general storm, but such 
clouds yield but very little snow. 

No accurate measurements have been made of the 
snowfall at the mountain's foot, but in the Nisqually 
Valley, at Longmire Springs, the winter snows are 
known often to exceed 20 feet in depth. The summer 
heat at this low level (2,762 feet) is, of course, abun- 
dantly able to remove all of it, at least by the end of 
May. But higher up every thousand feet of elevation 
suffices to prolong appreciably the life of the snowy 
cover. In Paradise Park, for instance, at altitudes 
between 5,000 and 6,000 feet, huge snowdrifts encum- 
ber the flowering meadows until far into July. Above 
an altitude of 6,000 feet permanent drifts and snow 
fields survive in certain favored spots, while at the 
7,ooo-foot level the snow line, properly speaking, is 
reached. Above this line considerable snow remains 
regularly from one winter to the next, and extensive 
ice fields and glaciers exist even without protection 
from the sun. 

It is between the 8,000 and 10,000 foot levels, how- 

217 



MOUNT RAINIER 

ever, that one meets with the conditions most favor- 
able for the development of glaciers. Below this zone 
the summer heat largely offsets the heavy precipita- 
tion, while above it the snowfall itself is relatively 
scant. Within the belt the annual addition of snow 
to the ice fields is greater than anywhere else on Mount 
Rainier. The result is manifest in the arrangement 
and distribution of the glaciers on the cone. By far 
the greater number originate in the vicinity of the 
io,ooo-foot level, while those ice streams which cas- 
cade from the summit, such as the Nisqually, are in 
a sense reborn some 4,000 feet lower down. 

A striking example of an ice body nourished wholly 
by the snows falling on the lower slope of Mount 
Rainier is the Paradise Glacier. In no wise connected 
with the summit neves, it makes its start at an eleva- 
tion of less than 9,00x3 feet. Situated on the spreading 
slope between the diverging canyons of the Nisqually 
on the west and of the Cowlitz on the northeast, it 
constitutes a typical "interglacier," as intermediate 
ice bodies of this kind are termed. 

Its appearance is that of a gently undulating ice 
field, crevassed only toward its lower edge and re- 
markably clean throughout. No debris-shedding cliffs 
rise anywhere along its borders, and this fact, no doubt, 
largely explains its freedom from morainal accumula- 
tions. 

The absence of cliffs also implies a lack of protecting 
shade. Practically the entire expanse of the glacier 
lies exposed to the full glare of the sun. As a conse- 
quence its losses by melting are very heavy, and a 
single hot summer may visibly diminish the glacier's 
bulk. Nevertheless it seems to hold its own as well 
as any other glacier on Mount Rainier, and this ability 
to recuperate finds its explanation in the exceeding 
abundance of fresh snows that replenish it every winter. 

The Paradise Glacier, however, is not the product 
wholly of direct precipitation from the clouds. Much 

218 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

of its mass is supplied by the wind, and accumulates 
in the lee of the high ridge to the west, over which the 
route to Camp Muir and Gibraltar Rock is laid. The 
westerly gales keep this ridge almost bare of snow, 
permitting only a few drifts to lodge in sheltered de- 
pressions. But east of the ridge there are great eddies 
in which the snow forms long, smooth slopes that de- 
scend several hundred feet to the main body of the 
glacier. These slopes are particularly inviting to tour- 
ists for the delightful "glissades" which they afford. 
Sitting down on the hard snow at the head of such a 
slope, one may indulge in an exhilarating glide of amaz- 
ing swiftness, landing at last safely on the level snows 
beneath. 

The generally smooth and united surface of the 
Paradise Glacier, it may be added, contributes not 
a little to its attractiveness as a field for alpine sports. 
On it one may roam at will without apprehension of 
lurking peril ; indeed one can journey across its entire 
width, from Paradise Park to the Cowlitz Rocks, 
without encountering a single dangerous fissure. This 
general absence of crevasses is accounted for largely 
by the evenness of the glacier's bed and by its hollow 
shape, owing to which the snows on all sides press 
inward and compact the mass in the center. Only 
toward its frontal margin, where the glacier plunges 
over an abrupt rock step, as well as in the hump of that 
part known as Stevens Glacier, is the ice rent by long 
crevasses and broken into narrow blades. Here it 
may be wise for the inexperienced not to venture with- 
out a competent guide, for the footing is apt to be 
treacherous, and jumping over crevasses or crossing 
them by frail snow bridges are feats never accomplished 
without risk. 

In the early part of summer the Paradise Glacier 
has the appearance of a vast, unbroken snow field, 
blazing, immaculate, in the sun. But later, as the 
fresh snows melt away from its surface, grayish patches 

219 



MOUNT RAINIER 

of old crystalline ice develop in places, more especially 
toward the glacier's lower margin. Day by day these 
patches expand until, by the end of August, most of 
the lower ice field has been stripped of its brilliant 
mantle. Its countenance, once bright and serene, now 
assumes a grim expression and becomes crisscrossed by 
a thousand seams, like the visage of an aged man. 

Over this roughened surface trickle countless tiny 
rills which, uniting, form swift rivulets and torrents, 
indeed veritable river systems on a miniature scale 
that testify with eloquence to the rapidity with which 
the sun consumes the snow. Strangely capricious in 
course are these streamlets, for, while in the main 
gravitating with the glacier's slope, they are ever likely 
to be caught and deflected by the numerous seams in 
the ice. These seams, it should be explained, are lines 
of former crevasses that have healed again under pres- 
sure in the course of the glacier's slow descent. As a 
rule they inclose a small amount of dirt, and owing 
to its presence are particularly vulnerable to erosion. 
Along them the streamlets rapidly intrench themselves 
- perhaps by virtue of their warmth, what little there 
is of it, as much as by actual abrasion and hollow 
out channels of a freakish sort, here straight and 
canal-like, there making sharp zigzag turns ; again 
broadening into profound, canoe-shaped pools, or 
emptying into deeper trenches by little sparkling cata- 
racts, or passing under tiny bridges and tunnels a 
veritable toy land carved in ice. 

But unfortunately these pretty features are ephem- 
eral, many of them changing from day to day ; for, 
evenings, as the lowering sun withdraws its heat, 
the melting gradually comes to a halt, and the little 
streams cease to flow. The soft babbling and gurgling 
and the often exquisitely melodious tinkle of dripping 
water in hidden glacial wells are hushed, and the silent 
frost proceeds to choke up passages and channels, so 
that next day's waters have to seek new avenues. 






GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

In the region where the new crevasses open the sur- 
face drainage comes abruptly to an end. Here gaping 
chutes of deepest azure entrap the torrents and the 
waters rush with musical thunder to the interior of 
the glacier and finally down to its bed. 

At its lower border the Paradise Glacier splits into 
several lobes. The westernmost sends forth the Para- 
dise River, which, turning southwestward, plunges 
over the Sluiskin Fall (named for the Klickitat Indian 
who guided Van Trump and Hazard Stevens to the 
mountain in 1870, when they made the first success- 
ful ascent) and runs the length of Paradise Valley. 
The middle lobe has become known as Stevens Glacier 
(named for Hazard Stevens) and ends in Stevens Creek, 
a stream which almost immediately drops over a preci- 
pice of some 600 feet the Fairy Falls and winds 
southeastward through rugged Stevens Canyon. The 
easternmost lobes, known collectively as Williwakas 
Glacier, send forth two little cascades, which, uniting, 
form Williwakas Creek. This stream is a tributary of 
the Cowlitz River, as is Stevens Creek. 

Immediately adjoining the Paradise Glacier on the 
northeast, and not separated from it by any definite 
barrier, lies the Cowlitz Glacier, one of the stateliest 
ice streams of Mount Rainier. It flows in a south- 
easterly direction, and burrows its nose deeply into the 
forest-covered hills at the mountain's foot. Its upper 
course consists of two parallel-flowing ice streams, in- 
trenched in profound troughs, which they have en- 
larged laterally until now only a narrow, ragged crest 
of rock remains between them, resembling a partition 
a thousand feet in height. At the upper end of this 
crest stands Gibraltar Rock. 

At the point of confluence of the two branches there 
begins a long medial moraine that stretches like a 
black tape the whole length of the lower course. To 
judge by its position midway on the glacier's back, the 
two tributaries must be very nearly equal in strength, 



MOUNT RAINIER 

yet, when traced to their sources, they are found to 
originate in widely different ways. The north branch, 
named Ingraham Glacier (after Maj. E. S. Ingraham, 
one of Rainier's foremost pioneers), comes from the 
neves on the summit ; while the south branch heads in 
a pocket immediately under Gibraltar. No snow 
comes to it from the summit ; hence we can not escape 
the conclusion that it receives through direct precipita- 
tion and through wind drifting about as much snow as 
its sister branch receives from the summit regions. 
Like the glacier troughs below, the pocket appears to 
have widened laterally under the influence of the ice, 
and is now separated from the Nisqually ice fields to 
the west by only a narrow rock partition, the Cowlitz 
Cleaver, as it is locally called. Up this narrow crest 
the route to Gibraltar Rock ascends. The name 
"cleaver," it may be said in passing, is most apt for 
the designation of a narrow rock crest of this sort, and 
well deserves to be more generally used in the place of 
awkward foreign terms, such as arrete and grat. 

Both branches of the Cowlitz Glacier cascade steeply 
immediately above their confluence, but the lower glacier 
has a gentle gradient and a fairly uneventful course. 
Like the lower Nisqually, it is bordered by long morainal 
ridges, and toward its end acquires broad marginal dirt 
bands. For nearly a mile these continue, leaving a 
gradually narrowing lane of clear ice between them. 
Then they coalesce and the whole ice body becomes 
strewn with rock debris. 

The Cowlitz Glacier, including its north branch, the 
Ingraham Glacier, measures slightly over 6 miles in 
length. Throughout that distance the ice stream lies 
sunk in a steep-walled canyon of its own carving. Im- 
posing cliffs of columnar basalt, ribbed as if draped in 
corduroy, overlook its lower course. Slender water- 
falls glide down their precipitous fronts, like silver 
threads, guided by the basalt flutings. 

From the end of the glacier issues the Muddy Fork 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

of the Cowlitz River, which, joining the Ohanapecosh, 
forms the Cowlitz River proper, one of the largest 
streams of the Cascade Range. For nearly a hundred 
miles the Cowlitz River follows a southwesterly course, 
finally emptying in the Columbia River a short dis- 
tance below Portland, Oregon. 

The name Muddy Fork is a most apt one, for the 
stream leaves the glacier heavily charged with debris 
and mud, and while it gradually clears itself as it 
proceeds over its gravelly bed, it is still turbid when 
it reaches the Ohanapecosh. That stream is relatively 
clear, for it heads in a glacier of small extent and little 
eroding power, and consequently begins its career 
with but a moderate load ; furthermore it receives on 
its long circuitous course a number of tributaries from 
the Cascade Range, all of them containing clear water. 

The name Muddy, however, might with equal ap- 
propriateness be given to every one of the streams 
flowing from the ice fields of Mount Rainier. So easily 
disintegrated are the volcanic materials of which that 
peak is composed, that the glaciers are enabled to erode 
with great rapidity, even in their present shrunken 
state. They consequently deliver to the streams vast 
quantities of debris, much of it in the form of cobbles 
and bowlders, but much of it also in the form of " rock 
flour." 

A considerable proportion of a glacier's erosional 
work is performed by abrasion or grinding, its bed 
being scoured and grooved by the rock blocks and 
smaller debris held by the passing ice. As a result 
glacier streams ordinarily carry much finely com- 
minuted rock, or rock flour, and this, because of its 
fineness, remains long in suspension and imparts to 
the water a distinctive color. In regions of light- 
colored rocks the glacier streams have a characteristic 
milky hue, which, as it fades out, passes over into a 
delicate turquoise tint. But the lavas of Mount 
Rainier produce for the most part dark-hued flour, and 

223 



MOUNT RAINIER 

as a consequence the rivers coming from that peak are 
dyed a somber chocolate brown. 

A word may not be out of place here about the sharp 
daily fluctuations of the ice-fed rivers of the Mount 
Rainier National Park, especially in view of the diffi- 
culties these streams present to crossing. There are 
fully a score of turbulent rivers radiating from the 
peak, and as a consequence one can not journey far 
through the park without being obliged to cross one 
of them. On all the permanent trails substantial 
bridges obviate the difficulty, but in the less developed 
portions of the park, fording is still the only method 
available. It is well to bear in mind that these rivers, 
being nourished by melting snow, differ greatly in habit 
from streams in countries where glaciers are absent. 
Generally speaking, they are highest in summer and 
lowest in winter ; also, since their flow is intimately 
dependent upon the quantity of snow being melted at 
a given time, it follows that in summer when the sun 
reaches its greatest power they swell daily to a prodi- 
gious volume, reaching a maximum in the afternoon, 
while during the night and early morning hours they 
again ebb to a relatively moderate size. In the fore- 
noon of a warm summer day one may watch them grow 
hourly in volume and in violence, until toward the 
middle of the day they become raging torrents of liquid 
mud in which heavy cobbles and even bowlders may 
be heard booming as they roll before the current. It 
would be nothing short of folly to attempt to ford under 
these conditions, whether on horseback or on foot. In 
the evening, however, and still better, in the early 
morning, one may cross with safety ; the streams then 
have the appearance of mere mountain brooks wander- 
ing harmlessly over broad bowlder beds. 

High above the Ingraham Glacier towers that sharp, 
residual mass of lava strata known as Little Tahoma 
(11,117 feet), the highest outstanding eminence on the 
flank of Mount Rainier. It forms a gigantic "wedge'* 

224 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

that divides the Ingraham from the Emmons Glacier 
to the north. So extensive is this wedge that it car- 
ries on its back several large ice fields and interglaciers, 
some of which, lying far from the beaten path of the 
tourist, are as yet unnamed. Separating them from 
each other are various attenuated, pinnacled crests, all 
of them subordinate to a main backbone that runs 
eastward some 6 miles and terminates in the Cowlitz 
Chimneys (7,607 feet), a group of tall rock towers 
that dominate the landscape on the east side of Mount 
Rainier. 

Most of the ice fields, naturally, lie on the shady 
north slope of the main backbone ; in fact, a series of 
them extends as far east as the Cowlitz Chimneys. One 
of the lesser crests, however, that running southeast- 
ward to the upland region known as Cowlitz Park, also 
gives protection to an ice body of some magnitude, the 
Ohanapecosh Glacier. Considerably broader than it 
is long in the direction of its flow, this glacier lies on a 
high shelf a mile and a half across, whence it cascades 
down into the head of a walled-in canyon. Formerly, 
no doubt, it more than filled this canyon, but now it 
sends down only a shrunken lobe. The stream that 
issues from it, the Ohanapecosh River, is really the 
main prong and head of the Cowlitz River. 

The largest and most elevated of the ice fields east 
of Little Tahoma is known for its peculiar shape as 
Fryingpan Glacier. It covers fully 3 square miles of 
ground and constitutes the most extensive and most 
beautiful interglacier on Mount Rainier. It originates 
in the hollow east side of Little Tahoma itself and 
descends rapidly northward, overlooking the great 
Emmons Glacier and finally reaching down almost to 
its level. It is not a long time since the two ice bodies 
were confluent. 

The eastern portion of the Fryingpan Glacier drains 
northeastward and sends forth several cascading tor- 
rents which, uniting with others coming from the lesser 

Q 225 



MOUNT RAINIER 

ice fields to the east, form the Fryingpan River, a 
brisk stream that joins White River several miles 
farther north. 

Below the Fryingpan Glacier there lies a region of 
charming flower-dotted meadows named Summer- 
land, a most attractive spot for camping. 

Cloaking almost the entire east side of Mount Rainier 
is the Emmons Glacier, the most extensive ice stream 
on the peak (named after Samuel F. Emmons, the 
geologist and mountaineer who was the second to 
conquer the peak in 1870). About 5-J miles long and 
if miles wide in its upper half, it covers almost 8 
square miles of territory. It makes a continuous 
descent from the summit to the base, the rim of the old 
crater having almost completely broken down under 
its heavy neve cascades. But two small remnants of 
the rim still protrude through the ice and divide it into 
three cascades. From each of these dark rock islands 
trails a long medial moraine that extends in an ever- 
broadening band down to the foot of the glacier. 

Conspicuous lateral moraines accompany the ice 
stream on each side. There are several parallel ridges 
of this sort, disposed in successive tiers above each 
other on the valley sides. Most impressively do they 
attest the extent of the Emmons Glacier's recent shrink- 
ing. The youngest moraine, fresh looking as if de- 
posited only yesterday, lies but 50 feet above the glacier's 
surface and a scant 100 feet distant from its edge ; the 
older ridges, subdued in outline, and already tinged 
with verdure, lie several hundred feet higher on the 
slope. 

The Emmons Glacier, like the Nisqually and the 
Cowlitz, becomes densely littered with morainal debris 
at its lower end, maintaining, however, for a consider- 
able distance a central lane of clear ice. The stream 
which it sends forth, White River, is the largest of 
all the ice-fed streams radiating from the peak. It 
flows northward and then turns in a northwesterly 

226 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

direction, emptying finally in Puget Sound at the city 
of Seattle. 

On the northeast side of the mountain, descending 
from the same high neves as the Emmons Glacier, is 
the Winthrop Glacier. Not until halfway down, at 
an elevation of about 10,000 feet, does it detach itself 
as a separate ice stream. The division takes place at 
the apex of that great triangular interspace so aptly 
named "the Wedge." Upon its sharp cliff edge, 
Steamboat Prow, the descending neves part, it has 
been said, like swift-flowing waters upon the dividing 
bow of a ship at anchor. The simile is an excellent 
one ; even the long foam crest, rising along the ship's 
side, is represented by a wave of ice. 

Undoubtedly the Wedge formerly headed much 
higher up on the mountain's flank. Perhaps it ex- 
tended upward in the form of a long, attenuated 
"cleaver." It is easy to see how the ice masses im- 
pinging upon it have reduced it to successively lower 
levels. They are still unrelentingly at work. It is on 
the back of the Wedge, it may be added here, that is 
situated that small ice body which Maj. Ingraham 
named the "Interglacier." That name has since been 
applied in a generic sense to all similar ice bodies lying 
on the backs of "wedges." 

Of greatest interest on the Winthrop Glacier are 
the ice cascades and domes. Evidently the glacier's 
bed is a very uneven one, giving rise to falls and pools, 
such as one observes in a turbulent trout stream. The 
cascades explain themselves readily enough, but the 
domes require a word of interpretation. They are 
underlain by rounded bosses of especially resistant 
rock. Over these the ice is lifted, much as is the 
water of a swift mountain torrent over submerged 
bowlders. Immediately above each obstruction the 
ice appears compact and free from crevasses, but as 
it reaches the top and begins to pour over it breaks, 
and a network of intersecting cracks divides it into 

227 



MOUNT RAINIER 

erect, angular blocks and fantastic obelisks. Below 
each dome there is, as a rule, a deep hollow partly in- 
closed by trailing ice ridges, analogous to the whirl- 
ing eddy that occurs normally below a bowlder in a 
brook. Thus does a glacier simulate a stream of 
water even in its minor details. 

The domes of the Winthrop Glacier measure 50 to 
60 feet in height. A sample of the kind of obstruction 
that produces them appears, as if specially provided 
to satisfy human curiosity, near the terminus of the 
glacier. There one may see, close to the west wall of 
the troughlike bed, a projecting rock mass, rounded 
and smoothly polished, over which the glacier rode but 
a short time ago. 

Another feature of interest sometimes met with on 
the Winthrop Glacier, and for that matter also on the 
other ice streams of Mount Rainier, are the "glacier 
tables." These consist of slabs of rock mounted each 
on a pedestal of snow and producing the effect of huge 
toadstools. The slabs are always of large size, while 
the pedestals vary from a few inches to several feet 
in height. 

The origin of the rocks may be traced to cliffs of 
incoherent volcanic materials that disintegrate under 
the frequent alternations of frost and thaw and send 
down periodic rock avalanches, the larger fragments 
of which bound out far upon the glacier's surface. 

The snow immediately under these large fragments 
is effectually protected from the sun and does not melt, 
while the surrounding snow, being unprotected, is 
constantly wasting away, often at the rate of several 
inches per day. Thus in time each rock is left poised 
on a column of its own conserving. There is, how- 
ever, a limit to the height which such a column can 
attain, for as soon as it begins to exceed a certain 
height the protecting shadow of the capping stone no 
longer reaches down to the base of the pedestal and 
the slanting rays of the sun soon undermine it. More 

228 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

commonly, however, the south side of the column 
becomes softened both by heat transmitted from the 
sun-warmed south edge of the stone, as well as by heat 
reflected from the surrounding glacier surface, and as 
a consequence the table begins to tilt. On very hot 
days, in fact, the inclination of the table keeps pace 
with the progress of the sun, much after the manner 
of a sun-loving flower, the slant being to the southeast 
in the forenoon and to the southwest in the after- 
noon. As the snow pillar increases in height it becomes 
more and more exposed and the tilting is accentuated, 
until at last the rock slides down. 

In its new position the slab at once begins to gen- 
erate a new pedestal, from which in due time it again 
slides down, and so the process may be repeated several 
times in the course of a single summer, the rock shift- 
ing its location by successive slips an appreciable dis- 
tance across the glacier in a southerly direction. 

As has been stated, the slabs on glacier tables are 
always of large size. This is not a fortuitous circum- 
stance ; rocks under a certain size, and especially frag- 
ments of little thickness, cannot produce pedestals ; in 
fact, far from conserving the snow under them, they 
accelerate its melting and sink below the surface. This 
is especially true of dark-colored rocks. Objects of 
dark color, as is well known to physicists, have a faculty 
for absorbing heat, whereas light-colored objects, espe- 
cially white ones, reflect it best. Dark-colored frag- 
ments of rock lying on a glacier, accordingly, warm 
rapidly at their upper surface and, if thin, forthwith 
transmit their heat to the snow under them, causing it 
to melt much faster than the surrounding clean snow, 
which, because of its very whiteness, reflects a large 
percentage of the heat it receives from the sun. As a 
consequence each small rock fragment and even each 
separate dust particle on a glacier melts out a tiny well 
of its own, as a rule not vertically downward but at a 
slight inclination in the direction of the noonday sun. 

229 



MOUNT RAINIER 

And thus, in some localities, one may behold the ap- 
parently incongruous spectacle of large and heavy 
rocks supported on snow pillars alongside of little 
fragments that have sunk into the ice. 

There is also a limit to the depth which the little 
wells may attain ; as they deepen, the rock fragment 
at the bottom receives the sun heat each day for a 
progressively shorter period, until at last it receives so 
little that its rate of sinking becomes less than that of 
the melting glacier surface. Nevertheless it will be 
clear that the presence of scattered rock debris on a 
glacier must greatly augment the rate of melting, as 
it fairly honeycombs the ice and increases the number 
of melting surfaces. Wherever the debris is dense, on 
the other hand, and accumulates on the glacier in a 
heavy layer, its effect becomes a protective one and 
surface melting is retarded instead of accelerated. The 
dirt-covered lower ends of the glaciers of Mount 
Rainier are thus to be regarded as in a measure pre- 
served by the debris that cloaks them ; their life is 
greatly prolonged by the unsightly garment. 

In many ways the most interesting of all the ice 
streams on Mount Rainier is the Carbon Glacier, the 
great ice river on the north side, which flows between 
those two charming natural gardens, Moraine Park 
and Spray Park. The third glacier in point of length, 
it heads, curiously, not on the summit, but in a pro- 
found, walled-in amphitheater, inset low into the 
mountain's flank. This amphitheater is what is tech- 
nically known as a glacial cirque, a horseshoe-shaped 
basin elaborated by the ice from a deep gash that 
existed originally in the volcano's side. It has the 
distinction of being the largest of all the ice-sculptured 
cirques on Mount Rainier, and one of the grandest 
in the world. It measures more than a mile and a 
half in diameter, while its head wall towers a sheer 
3,600 feet. So well proportioned is the great hollow, 
however, and so simple are its outlines that the eye 

230 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

finds difficulty in correctly estimating the dimensions. 
Not until an avalanche breaks from the 3OO-foot 
neve cliff above and hurls itself over the precipice with 
crashing thunder, does one begin to realize the depth 
of the colossal recess. The falling snow mass is several 
seconds in descending, and though weighing hundreds 
of tons, seemingly floats down with the leisureliness of 
a feather. 

These avalanches were once believed to be the authors 
of the cirque. They were thought to have worn back 
the head wall little by little, even as a waterfall causes 
the cliff under it to recede. But the real manner in 
which glacial cirques evolve is better understood to- 
day. It is now known that cirques are produced 
primarily by the eroding action of the ice masses em- 
bedded in them. Slowly creeping forward, these ice 
masses, shod as they are with debris derived from the 
encircling cliffs, scour and scoop out their hollow sites, 
and enlarge and deepen them by degrees. Seconding 
this work is the rock-splitting action of water freezing 
in the interstices of the rock walls. This process is 
particularly effective in the great cleft at the glacier's 
head, between ice and cliff. This abyss is periodically 
filled with fresh snows, which freeze to the rock ; then, 
as the glacier moves away, it tears or plucks out the 
frost-split fragments from the wall. Thus the latter 
is continually being undercut. The overhanging por- 
tions fall down, as decomposition lessens their cohesion, 
and so the entire cliff recedes. 

A glacier, accordingly, may be said, literally, to gnaw 
headward into the mountain. But, as it does so, it 
also attacks the cliffs that flank it, and as a consequence, 
the depression in which it lies tends to widen and to be- 
come semicircular in plan. In its greatest perfection 
a glacial cirque is horseshoe-shaped in outline. The 
Carbon Glacier's amphitheater, it will be noticed, con- 
sists really of two twin cirques, separated by an angular 
buttress. But this projection, which is the remnant 

231 



MOUNT RAINIER 

of a formerly long spur dividing the original cavity, 
is fast being eliminated by the undermining process, 
so that in time the head wall will describe a smooth, 
uninterrupted horseshoe curve. 

In its headward growth the Carbon Glacier, as one 
may readily observe on the map, has encroached con- 
siderably upon the summit platform of the mountain, 
the massive northwest portion of the crater rim of which 
Liberty Cap is the highest point. In so doing it has 
made great inroads upon the neve fields that send down 
the avalanches, and has reduced this source of supply. 
On the other hand, by deploying laterally, the glacier 
has succeeded in capturing part of the neves formerly 
tributary to the ice fields to the west, and has made 

fx>d some of the losses due to its headward cutting, 
ut, after all, these are events of relatively slight 
importance in the glacier's career ; for like the lower 
ice fields of the Nisqually, and like most glaciers on 
the lower slopes of the mountain, the Carbon Glacier 
is not wholly dependent upon the summit neves for 
its supply of ice. The avalanches, imposing though 
they are, contribute but a minor portion of its total 
bulk. Most of its mass is derived directly from the 
low hanging snow clouds, or is blown into the cirque by 
eddying winds. How abundantly capable these agents 
are to create large ice bodies at low altitudes is con- 
vincingly demonstrated by the extensive neve fields 
immediately west of the Carbon Glacier, for which the 
name Russell Glacier has recently been proposed. It 
is to be noted, however, that these ice fields lie spread 
out on shelves fairly exposed to sun and wind. How 
much better adapted for the accumulation of snow is 
the Carbon Glacier's amphitheater ! Not only does 
it constitute an admirably designed catchment basin 
for wind-blown snow, but an effective conserver of the 
neves collecting in it. Opening to the north only, its 
encircling cliffs thoroughly shield the contained ice 
mass from the sun. By its very form, moreover, it 

232 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

tends to prolong the glacier's life, for the latter lies 
compactly in the hollow with a relatively small surface 
exposed to melting. The cirque, therefore, is at once 
the product of the glacier and its generator and con- 
server. 

Of the lower course of the Carbon Glacier little need 
here be said, as it does not differ materially from the 
lower courses of the glaciers already described. It 
may be mentioned, however, that toward its terminus 
the glacier makes a steep descent and develops a 
series of parallel medial moraines and that it reaches 
down to an elevation of 3,365 feet, almost 600 feet 
lower than any other ice stream on Mount Rainier. 
A beautiful cave usually forms at the point of exit of 
the Carbon River. 

West of the profound canyon of the Carbon River, 
there rises a craggy range which the Indians have 
named the Mother Mountains. From its narrow back- 
bone one looks down on either side into broadly open, 
semicircular valley heads. Some drain northward to 
the Carbon River, some southward to the Mowich 
River. Encircling them run attenuated rock parti- 
tions, surmounted by low, angular peaks ; while cut- 
ting across their stairwise descending floors are pre- 
cipitous steps of rock, a hundred feet in height. On 
the treads lie scattered shallow lakelets, strung to- 
gether by little silvery brooks trickling in capricious 
courses. 

Most impressive is the basin that lies immediately 
under the west end of the range. Smoothly rounded 
like a bowl, it holds in its center an almost circular 
lake of vivid emerald hue that mysterious body of 
water known as Crater Lake. Let it be said at once 
that this appellation is an unfortunate misnomer. The 
basin is not of volcanic origin. It lies in lava and other 
volcanic rocks, to be sure, but these are merely spread- 
ing layers of the cone of Mount Rainier. Ice is the 
agent responsible for the carving of the hollow. It 

233 



MOUNT RAINIER 

was once the cradle of a glacier, and that ice mass, 

giawing headward and deploying even as the Carbon 
lacier does to-day, enlarged its site into a horseshoe 
basin, a typical glacial cirque. The lake in the center 
is a strictly normal feature ; many glacial cirques 
possess such bowls, scooped out by the eroding ice 
masses from the weaker portions of the rock floor ; 
only it is seldom that such features acquire the sym- 
metry of form exhibited by Crater Lake. The lake- 
lets observed in the neighboring valley heads all of 
which are abandoned cirques are of similar origin. 

As for the skeleton character of the dividing crests, 
it will be readily seen to be the outcome of the headward 
gnawing of opposing cirques. In some places, even, 
the deploying process has attenuated the ridges suf- 
ficiently to break them through. West of Crater 
Lake is an instance of a crest that has thus been 
breached. 

It is a significant fact that the empty cirques about 
the Mother Mountains lie at elevations ranging between 
4,500 and 6,000 feet ; that is, on an average 5,000 feet 
lower than the cirques on Mount Rainier which now 
produce glaciers. Evidently the snow line in glacial 
times lay at a much lower level than it does to-day, 
and the ice mantle of Mount Rainier expanded not 
merely by the forward lengthening of its ice tongues but 
by the birth of numerous new glaciers about the moun- 
tain's foot. The large size of the empty cirques and 
canyons, moreover, leads one to infer that many of 
these new glaciers far exceeded in volume the ice 
streams descending the volcano's sides. The latter, it 
is true, increased considerably in thickness during 
glacial times, but not in proportion to the growth 
of the low-level glaciers. Nor is this surprising in 
view of the heavy snow falls occurring on the moun- 
tain's lower slopes. There is good reason to believe, 
moreover, that the cool glacial climate resulted in a 
general lowering of the zone of heaviest snowfall. It 

234 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

probably was depressed to levels between 4,000 and 
6,000 feet. Not only the cirque glaciers about the 
Mother Mountains, but all the neighboring ice streams 
of the glacial epoch originated within this zone, as is 
indicated by the altitudes of the cirques throughout 
the adjoining portions of the Cascade Range. By their 
confluence these ice bodies produced a great system of 
glaciers that filled all the valleys of this mountain belt 
and even protruded beyond its western front. 

To these extensive valley glaciers the ice flows of 
Mount Rainier stood in the relation of mere tributa- 
ries. They descended from regions of rather scant 
snowfall, for the peak in those days of frigid climate 
rose some 10,000 feet above the zone of heaviest snow- 
fall, into atmospheric strata of relative dryness. It 
may well be, indeed, that it carried then but little more 
snow upon its summit than it does to-day. 

The North Mowich Glacier is the northernmost of 
the series of ice bodies on the west flank of Mount 
Rainier. Like the Carbon Glacier, it heads in a cirque 
at the base of the Liberty Cap massif, fed by direct 
snow precipitation, by wind drifting, and by ava- 
lanches. The cirque is small and shallow, not as 
capacious even as either of the twin recesses in the 
Carbon Glacier's amphitheater. As a consequence the 
ice stream issuing from it is of only moderate volume ; 
nevertheless it attains a length of 3f miles. This is due 
in part to the heavy snows that reenforce it through- 
out its middle course and in part to overflows from the 
ice fields bordering it on the south. These ice fields, 
almost extensive enough to be considered a distinct 
glacier, are separated from the North Mowich Glacier 
only by a row of pinnacles, the remnants evidently of 
a narrow rock partition or "cleaver," now demolished 
by the ice. The lowest and most prominent of the 
rock spires bears the appropriate name of "The Needle" 
(7,587 feet). 

The debris-covered lower end of the glacier splits 

235 



MOUNT RAINIER 

into two short lobes on a rounded boss in the middle 
of the channel. This boss, but a short time ago, was 
overridden by the glacier and then undoubtedly gave 
rise to an ice dome of the kind so numerous farther 
up on the North Mowich Glacier and also character- 
istic of the Winthrop Glacier. 

Separated from the ice fields of the North Mowich 
Glacier by a great triangular ice field (named Ed- 
munds Glacier) lies the South Mowich Glacier, also a 
cirque-born ice stream, heading against the base of 
the Liberty Cap massif. It is the shortest of the 
western glaciers, measuring only a scant 3 miles. 
Aside from the snows accumulating in its ill-shaped 
cirque it receives strong reinforcements from its neigh- 
bor to the south the Puyallup Glacier. 

Toward its lower end it splits into two unequal lobes, 
the southernmost of which is by far the longer. Sharp 
cut rock wedges beyond its front show that when the 
glacier extended farther down it split again and again. 

The north lobe is of interest because the stream that 
cascades from the Edmunds Glacier runs for a con- 
siderable distance under it. In the near future the 
lobe is likely to recede sufficiently to enable the torrent 
to pass unhindered by its front. 

What especially distinguishes the Puyallup Glacier 
from its neighbors to the north is the great elevation 
of its cirque. The Carbon, North Mowich, and 
South Mowich Glaciers all head at levels of about 
10,000 feet. The amphitheater of the Puyallup Gla- 
cier, on the contrary, opens a full 2,000 feet higher 
up. Encircled by a great vertical wall that cuts into the 
Liberty Cap platform from the south, it has evidently 
developed through glacial sapping from a hollow of 
volcanic origin. From this great reservoir the Puyal- 
lup Glacier descends by a rather narrow chute. Then 
it expands again to a width of three-fourths of a mile 
and sends a portion of its volume to the South Mowich 
Glacier. In spite of this loss it continues to expand, 

236 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

reaching a maximum width of a mile and a total length 
of 4 miles. No doubt this is accounted for by the 
heavy snowfalls that replenish it throughout its course. 

Its lower end consists of a tortuous ice lobe that 
describes a beautiful curve, flanked on the north by 
a vertical lava cliff. A lesser lobe splits off to the 
south on a wedge of rock. 

Immediately south of the elevated amphitheater of 
the Puyallup Glacier the crater rim of the volcano is 
breached for a distance of half a mile. Through this 
gap tumbles a voluminous cascade from the neve fields 
about the summit, and this cascade, reenforced by a 
flow from the Puyallup cirque, forms the great Tahoma 
Glacier, the most impressive ice stream on the south- 
west side. Separated from its northern neighbor by 
a rock cleaver of remarkable length and straightness, 
it flows in a direct course for a distance of 5 miles. Its 
surface, more than a mile broad in places, is diversified 
by countless ice falls and cataracts. 

A mere row of isolated pinnacles indicates its eastern 
border, and across the gaps in this row its neves coalesce 
with those of the South Tahoma Glacier. Farther 
down the two ice streams abruptly part company 
and flow in wide detours around a cliff-girt, castellated 
rock mass Glacier Island it has been named. The 
Tahoma Glacier, about a mile above its terminus, 
spits upon a low, verdant wedge and sends a lobe south- 
ward which skirts the walls of this island rock, and at 
its base meets again the South Tahoma Glacier. From 
here on the two ice streams merge and form a single 
densely debris-laden mass, so chaotic in appearance 
that one would scarcely take it for a glacier. Num- 
erous rivulets course over its dark surface only to dis- 
appear in mysterious holes and clefts. Profound, cir- 
cular kettles filled with muddy water often develop on 
it during the summer months, and after a brief exist- 
ence empty themselves again by subglacial passages 
or by a newly formed crevasse. So abundant is the 

237 



MOUNT RAINIER 

rock debris released by melting that the wind at times 
whips it up into veritable dust storms. 

Beautifully regular moraines accompany the ice mass 
on both sides, giving clear evidence of its recent shrinking. 

The partner of the Tahoma Glacier, known as the 
South Tahoma Glacier, heads in a profound cirque 
sculptured in the flanks of the great buttress that 
culminates in Peak Success (14,150 feet). It is in- 
teresting chiefly as an example of a cirque-born glacier, 
nourished almost exclusively by direct snowfalls from 
the clouds and by eddying {.winds. In spite of its po- 
sition, exposed to the midday sun, it attains a length 
of nearly 4 miles, a fact which impressively attests 
the ampleness of its ice supply. 

In glacial times the glacier had a much greater vol- 
ume and rose high enough to override the south half 
of Glacier Island, as is clearly shown by the glacial 
grooves and the scattered ice-worn bowlders on that 
eminence. As the glacier shrank it continued for some 
time to send a lobe through the gulch in the middle of 
the island. Even now a portion of this lobe remains, 
but it no longer connects with the Tahoma Glacier. 

An excellent nearby view of the lower cascades of the 
South Tahoma Glacier may be had from the ice-scarred 
rock platform west of Pyramid Rock. From that point, 
as well as from the other heights of [Indian] Henrys 
Hunting Ground, one may enjoy a panorama of ice and 
rock such as is seen in only few places on this continent. 

East of the South Tahoma Glacier, heading against 
a great cleaver that descends from Peak Success, lies 
a triangular ice field, or interglacier, named Pyramid 
Glacier. It covers a fairly smooth, gently sloping plat- 
form underlain by a heavy lava bed, and breaking off 
at its lower edge in precipitous, columnar cliffs. Into 
this platform a profound but narrow box canyon has 
been incised by an ice stream descending from the sum- 
mit neves east of Peak Success. This is the Kautz 
Glacier, an ice stream peculiar for its exceeding slender- 

238 



GLACIERS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

ness. On the map it presents almost a worm-like ap- 
pearance, heightened perhaps by its strongly sinuous 
course. In spite of its meager width, which averages 
about 1,000 feet, the ice stream attains a length of 
almost 4 miles and descends to an altitude of 4,800 
feet. This no doubt is to be attributed in large meas- 
ure to the protecting influence of the box canyon. 

It receives one tributary of importance, the Success 
Glacier, which heads in a cirque against the flanks of 
Peak Success. This ice stream supplies probably one- 
third of the total bulk of the Kautz Glacier, as one 
may infer from the position of the medial moraine that 
develops at the point of confluence. In the lower 
course of the glacier this medial moraine grows in 
width and height until it assumes the proportions of 
a massive ridge, occupying about one-third of the 
breadth of the ice stream's surface. 

A singularly fascinating spectacle is that which the 
moraine-covered lower end of the glacier presents from 
the heights of Van Trump Park. A full 1,000 feet 
down one looks upon the ice stream as it curves around 
a sharp bend in its canyon. 

A short distance below the glacier's terminus, the 
canyon contracts abruptly to a gorge only 300 feet in 
width. So resistant is the columnar basalt in this 
locality that the ice has been unable to hew out a wider 
passage. Not its entire volume, however, was squeezed 
through the narrow portal ; there is abundant evidence 
showing that in glacial times when the ice stream was 
more voluminous it overrode the rock buttresses on 
the west side of the gorge. 

The name of P. B. Van Trump, the hardy pioneer 
climber of Mount Rainier, has been attached to the 
interglacier situated between the Kautz and the Nis- 
qually Glaciers. This ice body lies on the uneven sur- 
face of an extensive wedge that tapers upward to a 
sharp point one of the remnants of the old crater 
rim. A number of small ice fields are distributed on 



239 




MOUNT RAINIER 

this wedge, each ensconced in a hollow inclosed more 
or less completely by low ridges. By gradually de- 
ploying each of these ice bodies has enlarged its site, 
and thus the dividing ridges have been converted into 
slender rock walls or cleavers. In many places they 
have even been completely consumed and the ice 
fields coalesce. The Van Trump Glacier is the most 
extensive of these composite ice fields. The rapid 
melting which it has suffered in the last decades, how- 
ever, has gone far toward dismembering it ; already 
several small ice strips are threatening to become 
separated from the main body. 

In glacial times the Van Trump Glacier sent forth 
at least six lobes, most of which converged farther 
down in the narrow valleys traversing the attractive 
alpine region now known as Van Trump Park. This 
upland park owes its scenic charm largely to its mani- 
fold glacial features and is diversified by cirques, can- 
yons, lakelets, moraines, and waterfalls. 

In the foregoing descriptions the endeavor has been 
to make clear how widely the glaciers of Mount Rainier 
differ in character, in situation, and in size. They 
are not to be conceived as mere ice tongues radiating 
down the slopes of the volcano from an ice cap on its 
crown. There is no ice cap, properly speaking, and 
there has perhaps never been one at any time in the 
mountain's history, not even during the glacial epochs. 

Several of the main ice streams head in the neves 
gathering about the summit craters, but a larger num- 
ber originate in profound amphitheaters carved in the 
mountain's flanks, at levels fully 4,000 feet below the 
summit. In the general distribution of the glaciers 
the low temperatures prevailing at high altitudes have, 
of course, been a controlling factor ; nevertheless in 
many instances their influence has been outbalanced 
by topographic features favoring local snow accumu- 
lation and by the heavy snowfalls occurring on the 
lower slopes. 

240 




GEORGE OTIS SMITH. 



XV. THE ROCKS OF MOUNT RAINIER 
BY GEORGE OTIS SMITH 

DIRECTOR GEORGE OTIS SMITH of the United States Geological 
Survey was born at Hodgdon, Maine, on February 22, 1871. 
He graduated from Colby College in 1893 and obtained his 
Doctor of Philosophy degree from Johns Hopkins University 
in 1896. He had begun his geological work in 1893 and from 
1896 to 1907 he was assistant geologist and geologist of the 
United States Geological Survey. Since 1907 he has been 
director of that important branch of the Government work. 

He had been studying the rocks of Mount Rainier before he joined 
Professor Russell in the explorations of 1896. The record of 
those studies was published at the same time as Professor 
Russell's report in the Eighteenth Annual Report of the 
United States Geological Survey for 1896-1897. With his 
permission the record is here reproduced in full. So far as is 
known to the present editor it is the most complete study yet 
published on the rocks of Mount Rainier. 

The earliest geological observations on the struc- 
ture of Mount Rainier were made in 1870 by S. F. 
Emmons, of the Geological Exploration of the Fortieth 
Parallel. The rock specimens collected at this time 
were studied later by Messrs. Hague and Iddings, of 
the United States Geological Survey. 1 This petro- 
graphical study showed that "Mount Rainier is formed 
almost wholly of hypersthene andesite, with different 
conditions of groundmass and accompanied by horn- 
blende and olivine in places." The only other petro- 
S-aphical study of these volcanics is that of Mr. K. 
ebbeke, of Munich, 2 upon a small collection made 
on Mount Rainier by Professor Zittel in 1883. 

On the reconnaissance trips on the northern and 

1 Am. Jour. Sci., 3d series, Vol. XXVI, 1883, pp. 222-235. 

2 Neues Jahrbuch fur Min., etc., Vol. I, 1885, pp. 222-226. 
R 241 



MOUNT RAINIER 

eastern slopes of Mount Rainier, during the seasons of 
1895 and 1896, the writer had opportunity to make 
some general observations on the rocks of this moun- 
tain, and the petrographical material then collected 
has since been studied. The observations and col- 
lections were of necessity limited, both by the recon- 
naissance character of the examination and by the 
mantle of snow and ice which covers so large a part of 
this volcanic cone. 

Two classes of rock are to be discussed as occurring 
on Mount Rainier : the lavas and pyroclastics which 
compose the volcanic cone and the granitic rocks 
forming the platform upon which the volcano was 
built up. 

VOLCANIC ROCKS 

GEOLOGIC RELATIONS 

On Crater Peak a dark line of rock appears above 
the snow, and here the outer slope of the crater rim is 
found to be covered with blocks of lava. A black, 
loose-textured andesite is most abundant, and from 
its occurrence on the edge of this well-defined crater 
may be regarded as representing the later eruptions of 
Rainier. Lower down on the slopes of the mountain 
opportunities for the study of the structure of the 
volcanic cone are found in the bold rock masses that 
mark the apexes of the interglacial areas. Examples 
of these are Little Tahoma, Gibraltar, Cathedral 
Rock, the Wedge, and the Guardian Rocks. These 
remnants of the old surface of the cone, together with 
the cliffs that bound the lower courses of the glaciers, 
exhibit the structural relations very well. 

Even when viewed from a distance these cliffs and 
peaks are seen to be composed of bedded material. 
Projecting ledges interrupt the talus slopes and express 
differences of hardness in the several beds, while 
variations in color also indicate separate lava flows 
and agglomeratic deposits. Gibraltar is thus seen to 

242 



THE ROCKS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

be composed of interbedded lavas and pyroclastics, 
and on the Wedge a similar alternation is several times 
repeated, a pink agglomerate being exceptionally 
striking in appearance. 

These lava flows and beds of volcanic ejectamenta 
thus exposed dip away from the summit at a low 
angle. The steepest dip observed was in the amphi- 
theater at the head of Carbon Glacier, where in the 
dividing spur the dip to the northeast is about 30. 
Some exceptions in the inclination of the beds were 
noted on the southeastern slope, where in a few cases 
the layers are horizontal, or even dip toward the 
central axis of the cone. In general, however, the 
volcanics composing Mount Rainier may be said to 
dip away from the summit at an angle somewhat lower 
than that of the slopes of the present cone. In the 
outlying ridges to the north, the Mother Range, 
Crescent Mountain, and the Sluiskin Mountains, the 
structure seems to be that of interbedded volcanics 
approximately horizontal. The extent of the volcanics 
from the center of eruption has not been determined. 
Similar lava extends to the south, beyond the Tattoosh 
Range, and volcanics of similar composition occur to 
the north, in the Tacoma quadrangle. The latter 
lavas and tuffs may have originated from smaller and 
less important cones, now destroyed by erosion. 

A radial dike was observed at only one locality, 
near the base of Little Tahoma. In several cases the 
lava masses, as seen in cross section, are lens-shaped, 
and where associated with fragmental beds have 
unconformable relations. This shows that some of 
the lava flows took the form of streams, relatively 
narrow, rather than of broad sheets. Such a feature 
is in accord with the distribution of rock types. Thus 
along Ptarmigan Ridge for considerable vertical and 
horizontal range the rock shows only slight variation. 
The distribution of rock types will be more fully dis- 
cussed in a later paragraph. 

243 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Of how large a part of the lava flows the crater still 
remaining was the point of origin is a queston to be 
answered only after more detailed observation has 
been made. The best section for the study of the suc- 
cession of flows and ejectamenta is the amphitheater 
at the head of the Carbon Glacier. The 4,000 feet of 
rock in this bold wall would afford an excellent oppor- 
tunity for this were it not that frequent avalanches 
preclude the possibility of geologic study except at 
long range. 

MEGASCOPIC CHARACTERS 

The volcanic rocks of Rainier are of varying color and 
texture. Dense black rocks with abundant phenocrysts 
of glassy feldspars, rough and coarse lavas of different 
tints of pink, red, and purple, and compact light-gray 
rocks are some of the types represented upon the slopes 
of this volcanic cone. In color, the majority of the 
rocks may be grouped together as light gray to dark 
gray. The black and red lavas are less common. In 
texture, the Rainier lavas are, for the most part, com- 
pact. Slaggy and scoriaceous phases are common, 
but probably represent only a small part of the differ- 
ent flows. Near the Guardian Rocks large masses of 
ropy lava are found which suggest ejected bombs. 
Agglomeratic and tuffaceous rocks are of quite com- 
mon occurrence, although less important than the 
lavas. Vesicular lavas occur at several localities, 
and fragments of a light-olive pumice, many as large 
as a foot in diameter, wholly cover some of the long, 
gentle slopes southeast of Little Tahoma and in Mo- 
raine Park. 

Contraction parting or jointing is often observed, 
being especially characteristic of the basaltic types. 
The platy parting is the more common, but the col- 
umnar or prismatic parting is well exhibited at several 
localities. The black basaltic lava east of Cowlitz 
Glacier shows the latter structure in a striking manner. 

244 



THE ROCKS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

The blocks resemble pigs of iron in size and shape, 
and where exposed in a vertical cliff these seem to be 
piled in various positions. 

The rocks on the higher slopes of Mount Rainier are 
in general very fresh in appearance. An exception 
may be noted in the case of the rocks at the base of 
Little Tahoma, where some alteration is evident. The 
bright coloring of the surfaces of the lava blocks and 
the general appearance of the face of the cliff may in- 
dicate fumarole action at this point. There is also 
some decomposition along the inner edge of the crater 
rim, near the steam vents. On the lower slopes, some 
distance below the snow line, the freshness of the rock 
is not a noticeable feature, and it is seen that here 
weathering is of the nature of chemical decomposition 
as well as of mechanical disintegration. 

MICROSCOPIC CHARACTERS 

Microscopically these lavas show more uniformity 
than is apparent megascopically. Rocks which in 
color and texture appear quite diverse are found to be 
mineralogical equivalents. The majority of these rocks 
are andesites, the hypersthene-andesites predominat- 
ing, as was shown by Hague and Iddings ; but over 
large areas the andesites are decidedly basaltic, and, 
indeed, many of the lavas are basalts. The mega- 
scopic differences are mostly referable to groundmass 
characters, the color of the rock being dependent upon 
the color and proportion of glassy base present. There- 
fore the degree of crystallization of groundmass con- 
stituents is of more importance in determining the 
megascopic appearance than is the mineralogical com- 
position, and the basaltic lavas are for the most part 
light gray in color, while the more acid hypersthene- 
andesites are often black or red. 

In petrographic character the lavas range from hyper- 
sthene-andesite to basalt. This variation is dependent 

245 



MOUNT RAINIER 

upon the ferromagnesian silicates, and four rock types 
are represented hypersthene-andesite, pyroxene-an- 
desite, augite-andesite, and basalt any of which 
may carry small amounts of hornblende. A rigid 
separation of these rock types, however, is impossible, 
since insensible gradations connect the most acid with 
the most basic. In the same flow hypersthene-andesite 
may occur in one portion, while in close proximity the 
lava is an augite-andesite. 

These lavas have groundmass textures that vary 
from almost holo-crystalline to glassy. The felted or 
hyalopilitic texture is the most common, and plagio- 
clase is the principal groundmass constituent. The 
feldspars are lath-shaped, often with castellated termi- 
nations. In the more basic phases anhedrons of augite 
and of olivine appear, and magnetite grains are usually 
present. Flowage is often beautifully expressed by the 
arrangement of the slender laths of feldspar. 

Among the phenocrysts feldspar is the most promi- 
nent. It has the usual twinning characteristic of 
plagioclase and belongs to the andesine-labradorite 
series, extinction angles proving basic andesine and 
acid labradorite to be the most common. Zonal 
structure is characteristic, being noticeable even with- 
out the use of polarized light. Zonal arrangement of 
glass inclusions testifies to the vicissitudes of crystal- 
lization, and often the core of a feldspar phenocryst 
is seen to have suffered corrosion by the magma and 
subsequently to have been repaired with a zone of 
feldspar more acid in composition. 

Of the darker phenocrysts, the pyroxenes are 
more abundant than the olivine or hornblende. Hy- 
persthene and augite occur alone or together, and 
are readily distinguished by their different crystallo- 
graphic habits as well as by their optical properties. 
The hypersthene is usually more perfectly idiomorphic 
and occurs in long prisms, with the pinacoidal planes 
best developed, while the augite is in stout prisms, 

246 



THE ROCKS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

usually twinned. Both are light colored, and the 
pleochroism of the hypersthene is sometimes quite 
faint. According to the relative importance of 
these two pyroxenes, the lavas belong to different 
types, hypersthene-andesite, pyroxene-andesite, or 
augite-andesite. 

Olivine occurs in certain of the Rainier lavas, in 
stout prisms somewhat rounded and often with red- 
dened borders. The usual association with apatite 
and magnetite crystals is noted. The olivine varies 
much in relative abundance, so as to be considered now 
an accessory and now an essential constituent, and in 
the latter case the rock is a basalt. 

Hornblende is not abundant in any of the rocks 
studied, although typical hornblende-andesite has been 
described among the specimens collected by Professor 
Zittel. Where it occurs it is in brown crystals, which 
have usually suffered magmatic alteration. In one 
case, where this alteration is less marked, the idiomor- 
phic hornblende is found to inclose a crystal of labra- 
dorite, and thus must have been one of the latest 
phenocrysts to crystallize. It also surrounds olivine 
in this same rock, 1 which is a hypersthene-andesite, 
the hornblende and olivine being only accessory. 

The different textures of these lavas are doubtless 
expressive primarily of diversity in the physical con- 
ditions of consolidation, but also in part of variations 
in chemical composition. The variations in miner- 
alogical composition are likewise referable to these two 
factors, but here the latter is the more important. 
The hypersthene-augite olivine variation, already re- 
ferred to, doubtless well expresses the chemical compo- 
sition of the magma, and deserves to be taken as the 
chief criterion in the classification of the lavas. As was 
noted by Hague and Iddings, the hypersthene and 
olivine play a like role, the former occurring when the 
silica percentage is somewhat higher than in basalt. 

1 Observed by Iddings: Twelfth Ann. Kept. U. S. Geol. Survey, p. 612. 

247 



MOUNT RAINIER 



It is exceptional to find the two in the same specimen, 
the one being absent whenever the other is present. 
The following analysis 1 of the typical hypersthene- 
andesite from Crater Peak shows the lava to be a com- 
paratively acid andesite : 

ANALYSIS OF HYPERSTHENE-ANDESITE FROM CRATER PEAK, 
MOUNT RAINIER 





PER CENT. 


SiO 2 


6l.62 


A1 2 O 3 


1 6. 86 


FeO . . . 


6.61 


CaO 


6.C7 


MeO . 


2.17 


Na 2 O 


I.Q'i 


K 2 O 


1.66 








99.42 



An analysis 2 of one of the light-gray, olivine-bearing 
rocks on the northern slope of the mountain gives a 
silica percentage of 54.86, and is doubtless represent- 
ative of the more basic of the Rainier lavas. 

The sporadic occurrence of hornblende in these 
andesites is principally the result of physical condi- 
tions rather than of chemical composition. The mag- 
matic alteration of the phenocrysts of hornblende 
affords evidence of this variation in consolidation con- 
ditions, a diminution of pressure with continuance of 
slow cooling giving rise to the magmatic alteration of 
the hornblende. That this change took place during 
the later stages of consolidation is shown by the rela- 
tive age of the hornblende, noted above, and also by the 
fact that in one case a phenocryst of augite, where it 
abuts against the hornblende, has protected the latter 
from this alteration. The alteration is in part pseudo- 

1 Hague and Iddings : Twelfth Ann. Kept. U. S. Geol. Survey, p. 225. 
* Oebbeke, op. cit., p. 226. 

248 



THE ROCKS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

morphic, the hornblende retaining its characteristic 
outlines, but often there has been resorption. In 
one andesite the abundance of these remnants of 
hornblende and also of augite anhedrons in the ground- 
mass may justify the conclusion that this augite 
andesite is of derivative origin, of the class described 
by Washington. 1 It may be noted also that hyper- 
sthene shows a tendency to magmatic alteration, 
although only rarely. 

In a basal flow in Moraine Park, the slaggy and 
compact phases show differences in phenocrysts as 
well as in ground mass. The glassy rock has hyper- 
sthene as the predominant phenocryst, while feldspar 
is the more important in the compact and more crys- 
talline andesite. 

The distribution of the rock types described above 
is of interest. On the northern slope of the mountain, 
between Willis and Carbon glaciers, the characteristic 
lava is a gray andesite, smooth to rough in texture, 
and showing platy and columnar parting. Hyper- 
sthene is not the prevailing pyroxene, and olivine is 
usually present, often in such abundance as to make the 
rock a basalt. 

In Moraine Park gray andesites also predominate, 
with both pyroxenes as phenocrysts, but here hyper- 
sthene is the more important. On the eastern slope 
on the Wedge, between Winthrop and Emmons 
glaciers, the lavas are pyroxene-andesites and vary 
much in megascopic appearance, although little in 
microscopic characters. These rocks are quite dis- 
tinct from any seen to the north. The nunatak in 
Emmons Glacier is composed of hypersthene-andesite, 
but on Little Tahoma the lava shows more variety. 
Both augite-andesite and hypersthene-andesite occur, 
while at the southern end of this interglacial rock mass, 
just east of Cowlitz Glacier, the cliffs are composed of 
the prismatic black basalt. On Crater Peak, and 

1 Jour. Geol., Vol. IV, 1896, p. 276. 

249 



MOUNT RAINIER 

below on Gibraltar, hypersthene andesite occurs with 
considerable variation of color and texture. On the 
spurs west of Nisqually Glacier the andesites contain 
both pyroxenes, the augite being somewhat the more 
important. 

The distribution of the volcanic rocks, as deter- 
mined in the study of reconnaissance collections, in- 
dicates that the cone has been built up by eruptions of 
lava and of fragmental material. The successive lava 
streams were doubtless of considerable thickness, but 
were limited in lateral extent. The beds of fragmental 
material are of the nature of flow breccias and of coarse 
agglomerates on the higher slopes, while tuffs occur at 
a greater distance from the center of eruption. This 
composite cone appears to be remarkably free from 
radial dikes, which may indicate that the volcanic 
energy was expended chiefly at the crater. The 
variation in rock types on different sides of the volcanic 
cone may be evidence of changes in position of the 
center of eruption. The destruction of an earlier 
crater and the eccentric position of a later would give 
rise to such a radial distribution of lavas as has been 
described above. 

GRANITE 
OCCURRENCE 

The presence of an acid holocrystalline rock on the 
slopes of Mount Rainier was first reported by Lieu- 
tenant Kautz in 1857, from whose accounts Dr. George 
Gibbs was led to announce the occurrence of granite 
as a dike in recent lavas. 1 Emmons in 1870 observed 
a cliff of "beautiful white syenitic granite" rising 
above the foot of Nisqually Glacier and correctly 
interpreted the geologic relations. In 1895, on a 
reconnaissance trip, the writer identified granite among 
the bowlders composing the lateral moraines of Carbon 

1 Emmons, Bull. Am. Geog. Soc., 1877, No. 4, p. 45. 
250 



THE ROCKS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

Glacier, as well as on the surface of the glacier itself, 
and in the following season bowlders of granite were 
found to be plentiful in the river bed at the foot of 
this glacier. This anomaly of granite bowlders com- 
ing from a volcanic peak was also noted in the canyon 
of the Nisqually by Emmons. 

In the somewhat more careful study of the Mount 
Rainier rocks, search was made and the granite was 
found in place at several points on the northeastern 
slope. A biotite-hornblende-granite was observed on 
Carbon River at the mouth of Canada Creek, about 12 
miles from the summit of Mount Rainier, and at 
Chenuis Falls, 2 miles up the river, a finer grained 
holocrystalline rock occurs, apparently an aplitic 
phase of the granite. In the lower portion of Carbon 
Glacier, near its eastern edge, a nunatak of granite 
can be seen, while the same rock occurs farther to the 
east, beyond the older of the lateral moraines. Higher 
on the slopes of Rainier a more marked ridge of gran- 
ite was traced. A knob rises above the eastern moraine 
of Carbon Glacier at an altitude of between 7,000 and 
8,000 feet, and the more prominent features to the 
east in Moraine Park also owe their survival to the 
greater erosion-resisting power of the granite. 

PETROGRAPHIC DESCRIPTION 

These granites have few features worthy of special 
mention. Hornblende and biotite are the ferromag- 
nesian constituents and vary much in relative im- 
portance. The variations from hornblende-granite to 
biotite-granite occur in the same knob or ridge, and 
considering all occurrences the two varieties seem to be 
of equal development. There is also some variation 
in the amount of quartz present, and in the relative 
importance of the orthoclase and plagioclase. All of 
these characters are also found in the granites of the 
Northern Cascades. 

251 



MOUNT RAINIER 



RELATION TO THE VOLCANIC ROCKS 

Along the side of the knob overlooking Carbon Gla- 
cier the granite as seen from a distance appears to be 
intrusive. Blocks of andesite cover the slope, de- 
posited there by the glacier at a time when it possessed 
greater lateral extent, and the granite talus from above 
crosses this same slope in a narrow band. The rela- 
tions prove less deceptive on close examination, and 
the granite is seen to constitute an older ridge. Far- 
ther along this ridge, at the cliffs on the north-eastern 
edge of Moraine Park, the granitic rock is found over- 
lain by the lava. The actual contact of the two rocks 
is concealed by soil filling the crevice left by disinte- 
gration along the contact plane. The granite, however, 
exhibits no intrusive characters, while the overlying 
andesite becomes scoriaceous in its lower portion, 
although compact immediately above. This contact 
is on the southern side of the granite ridge, the crest of 
which is approximately east-west. This position of 
the lava contact considerably below the highest occur- 
rence of the granite indicates that the topographic fea- 
tures of this old granite ridge were even more marked 
at the time of the eruption of the lavas and the 
building of the volcanic cone. Above this ridge of 
granite on the one side tower the cliffs of bedded 
volcanics which compose the Sluiskin Mountains, and 
on the other is the andesite ridge bounding the can- 
yon of Winthrop Glacier. Thus Mount Rainier, al- 
though a volcanic peak, rests upon an elevated plat- 
form of granite which is exposed by erosion at a few 
points on the slopes of the mountain. 

SUMMARY 

The volcanic rocks of Mount Rainier include both 
lavas and pyroclastics. The breccias, agglomerates, 
and tuffs, although of striking appearance, are, per- 

252 



THE ROCKS OF MOUNT RAINIER 

haps, less important elements in the construction of 
the composite cone. 

The lavas vary much in color and texture, but these 
megascopic differences are referable rather to the 
degree of crystallization of the magma than to its 
chemical character. The variation in the chemical 
composition of the lavas expresses itself in minera- 
logical differences, and thus four rock types are dis- 
tinguished hypersthene-andesite, pyroxene-andesite, 
augite-andesite, and basalt. The distribution of these 
types indicates a radial arrangement of lava streams, 
and hypersthene-andesite is the more abundant variety 
of lava. 

Granite is exposed on the slopes of Rainier where 
erosion has cut away the overlying lava, and it is plain 
that the volcanic cone rests upon an elevated platform 
of older rock, approximately 8,000 feet above sea level. 



253 



XVI. THE FLORA OF MOUNT RAINIER 
BY PROFESSOR CHARLES V. PIPER 

CHARLES VANCOUVER PIPER was born on Vancouver Island, at 
Victoria, British Columbia, on June 16, 1867. He graduated 
from the University of Washington in 1885 and since then 
has received degrees and honors from other institutions and 
learned societies. He was professor of botany and zoology 
at the Washington Agricultural College (now State College of 
Washington) from 1892 to 1903. He has been agrostologist 
in charge of forage crop investigations for the Bureau of Plant 
Industry, United States Department of Agriculture, since 1903. 

He has discovered many new forms of plant life and has published 
many monographs and books in the field of botany. This 
account of the flora of Mount Rainier was first published in 
The Mazama (Portland, Oregon) in two articles, one in Volume 
II, Number 2 (April, 1901), and the other in Volume II, 
Number 4 (December, 1905). They are reproduced with the 
consent of the editor of The Mazama, and Professor Piper has 
revised and amplified them for this purpose. 

Up to an elevation of 4,000 feet or more the flanks 
of Mount Rainier are clothed in a continuous belt of 
somber forest, broken only where glaciers and their 
nascent streams have hewn pathways, or where, alas, 
fire has left desolate slopes marked here and there by 
the whitened, weather-worn shaft of some old tree, a 
dreary monument to its destroyed fellows. This 
forest is composed in its lower reaches largely of Douglas 
spruce. Scattered through it in smaller quantities 
one finds Lovely fir, Western white pine, Western 
hemlock, a few Engelmann spruces, and on the stream 
banks cedar and yew, and now and then a little cotton- 
wood. 

At about the 3,$oo-foot level the character of the 
forest changes. The Western hemlock gives way to 

254 




Copyright by Harris & Ewing, Washington, D. C. 

PROFESSOR CHARLES VANCOUVER PIPER 



THE FLORA OF MOUNT RAINIER 

the larger-coned Black hemlock ; the Douglas spruce 
and Lovely fir are replaced by the Noble fir; and 
the ragged-barked Alaska cedar greets the eye. An- 
other thousand feet and the Subalpine fir replaces its 
two near relatives. From this point upward, the 
forest, now composed only of Black hemlock, Alaska 
cedar and Subalpine fir, to which in some places the 
White-bark pine must be added, is confined largely to 
the crests of ridges and straggles up the mountain in 
irregular broken lines. Between these timbered ridges 
extensive grassy slopes appear, veritable flower gardens 
when in their glory. 

At 6,500 feet elevation the timber ceases to be. 
Scraggly prostrate firs and hemlocks, sprawling as it 
were on the earth for shelter, mark sharply the limit 
of their endurance. Here, too, the continuous carpet 
of grass and flowers ceases and a soil of volcanic 
sand or powdered pumice supports a very different 
vegetation. At 10,000 feet the toughest mountaineer 
of all the flowering plants, Smelowskia ovalis, still 
appears. Far above this, however, even to the crater's 
rim, lichens trace their hieroglyphics on the rocks ; 
and on the steam-warmed rocks of the crater two 
mosses find lodgment, Hypnum elegans Hooker ?, and 
Philonotis fontana Bridel, the latter even in fruit. 

Few plants grow in the dense shades of the lower 
forests, and these are mainly ericaceous. Most plen- 
tiful are Vaccinium ovalifolium, F. macrophyllum, 
Gaultheria ovatifolia, Menziesia ferruginea, Pachystima 
myrsinites, Cornus canadensis and Clintonia uniflora. 
Here, too, occur several weird-looking whitish or reddish 
saprophytes, Monotropa hypopitys, Pterospora androme- 
dea, and Corallorhiza mertensiana. 

On the drier portions of the grassy slopes Lupinus 
subalpinus, Castilleja oreopola, Potentilla flabellifolia, 
Pulsatilla occidentalis, Erigeron salsuginosus, Polygo- 
num bistortoides, Phyllodoce empetriformis, Cassiope 
mertensiana and Vaccinium deliciosum are the most 



255 



MOUNT RAINIER 

attractive plants. Where the ground is springy Vera- 
trum viride occurs in great clumps and Dodecatheon 
jeffreyi, Caltha leptosepala and Ranunculus suksdorfii 
are plentiful. 

In the shelter of the Alpine trees Rhododendron albi- 
florum, Ribes howellii and Arnica latifolia flourish. 
Along the rills Gentiana calycosa, Arnica chamissonis 
and Mimulus lewisii form banks of color. On the 
cliffs Chelone nemorosa, Spiraea densiflora, Polemo- 
nium humile and Castilleja rupicola are perhaps most 
conspicuous. 

Above the limit of trees, in what have been called 
"pumice fields," a characteristic series of plants 
appears. This belt ranges in altitude from 6,500 to 
10,000 feet. It is best developed on the east side 
of the mountain, where the avalanches from Little 
Tahoma have covered great areas with more or less 
finely divided basalt. Conspicuous plants of this 
region are Lupinus lyallii y Spraguea multiceps, Polemo- 
nium elegans, Hulsea nana, Erigeron aureus, Oreostemma 
alpigena, Polygonum newberryi, Poa suksdorfii, Draba 
aureola and Smelowskia ovalis. The last three ascend 
to above Camp Muir, altitude 10,000 feet. 

The first botanist to visit Mount Rainier was Dr. 
William F. Tolmie, surgeon of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, who reached the mountain in 1833. He made 
considerable collections, which were sent to Sir William 
Hooker. Among Tolmie's plants were several not 
previously known. 

The writer collected on the mountain in 1888 and 
again in 1889 and 1895. Since then the following 
botanists have made collections on Mount Rainier : 
Rev. E. C. Smith, in 1889 and 1890; Dr. E. L. Greene, 
in 1889 ; Mr. J. B. Flett in 1895, 1896 and since ; Mr. 
M. W. Gorman in 1897 ; and Mr. O. D. Allen from 1895 
to about 1905. 

Most of the work done thus far has been in Paradise 
Park and its immediate vicinity. Next to this, the 

256 



THE FLORA OF MOUNT RAINIER 

flora of Spray Park is best known. The east slopes of 
the peak have been partially explored, but to the 
knowledge of the writer no botanist has ever yet col- 
lected on the west slopes. 

The list of plants here given numbers 315 species. 
In preparing it, Longmire Springs, altitude 2,850 feet, 
has been selected as the lowermost limit on the south 
side of the mountain, and Crater Lake, altitude about 
3,500 feet, as the limit on the north side. It is quite 
certain that a considerable number of lowland plants 
will have to be added to the list here given, and it is 
possible that a few have been included that will have 
to be dropped, as the exact place of collection of some 
species is not clearly indicated on the labels of the 
specimens. Unless otherwise stated, the notes are 
based on the writer's observations and specimens, 
and refer mainly to the Paradise Park region. 

There yet remains much to be done in the study of 
the Mount Rainier flora. A particularly interesting 
phase of it lies in the matter of altitudinal distribution 
of the various species. 

No attempt is here made to list the plants lower than 
the ferns. The writer has made considerable collections 
of the fungi, liverworts and mosses ; and Mr. O. D. Allen 
has also collected the mosses. These plants should 
receive a larger amount of attention from botanists 
who visit the mountain in the future. 

The following plants were first described from speci- 
mens obtained on Mount Rainier : 

Petasites nivalis Greene. 
Luina piperi Robinson. 
Prenanthes stricta Greene. 
Oreostemma alpigena (Torrey & Gray) Greene. 
Aster amplifolius Greene. 
Arnica aspera Greene. 
Castilleja rupicola Piper. 
Mimulus caespitosus Greene. 
Veronica allenii Greenman. 
Pedicularis ornithorhyncha Bentham. 
s 257 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Pedicularis contorta Bentham. 
Pentstemon tolmiei Hooker. 
Pentstemon newberryi rupicola Piper. 
Gentiana calycosa Grisebach. 
Gentiana calycosa stricta Grisebach. 
Hydrophyllum congestum Wiegand. 
Polemonium elegans Greene. 
Polemonium bicolor Greenman. 
Dodecatheon crenatum Greene. 
Vaccinium deliciosum Piper. 
Ligusticum purpureum Coulter & Rose. 
Hesperogenia Strickland! Coulter & Rose. 
Lupinus volcanicus Greene. 
Stellaria washingtoniana Robinson. 
Potentilla flabellifolia Hooker. 
Luzula arcuata major Hooker. 
Sitanion rigidum J. G. Smith. 
Sitanion rubescens Piper. 
Poa saxatilis Scribner & Williams. 

The type specimens of Saxifraga tolmiei were col- 
lected by Tolmie on the "N. W. Coast." It is alto- 
gether probable that he got them on Mount Rainier, 
where the plant is so abundant. 

LIST OF SPECIES 

COMPOSITAE. (Aster Family.) 

Scorzonella borealis (Bongard) Greene. 

A plant much resembling a dandelion, occurring on the north 
side of the mountain. 

Troximon alpestre Gray. 

A plant much resembling the dandelion, frequent on the grassy 
slopes at 5,500 feet altitude. 

Troximon aurantiacum Hooker. 

This species has entire mostly basal leaves, and bears a single 
head of orange or purple flowers. Common at 5,000 to 6,000 feet. 

Troximon glaucum asperum (Rydberg) Piper. 

(Agoseris leontodon asperum Rydberg.) 

A species with large lemon-yellow flowers and hoary pubescent 
leaves. It occurs in the pumice and lava at 7,500 feet altitude 
and is quite abundant near the base of Little Tahoma. 

Hieracium albiflorum Hooker. 

A tall plant with hairy entire leaves and a rather ample corymb 

258 



THE FLORA OF MOUNT RAINIER 

of white flowers. Essentially a lowland plant, but occurring up 
to 5,500 feet altitude, especially in burnt ground. 

Hieracium gracile Hooker. 

A small hawkweed with yellow flowers in black hairy involucres. 
A common plant at 5,500 to 6,500 feet altitude. 

Cirsium edule Nuttall. 

Plentiful on the ridges of Moraine Park at the limit of trees. 
Also reported by Gorman as occurring in open woods near the 
timber line in Cowlitz canyon. This thistle is abundant at the 
sea level, and the roots were formerly a favorite food of the Indians. 

Saussurea americana D. C. Eaton. 

A peculiar plant with leafy stems, two to four feet high, bearing 
a dense cluster of elongate rayless heads of purple flowers. Found 
only on the high ridge north of the foot of Cowlitz Glacier. 

Senecio ochraceus Piper. 

Goat Mountains, Allen, No. 230. 

Senecio triangularis Hooker. 

A tall species with triangular coarsely dentate leaves and 
numerous rather small heads of yellow flowers. Abundant in the 
marsh at Longmire Springs and in wet places on the mountain 
slopes up to 6,000 feet altitude. 

Senecio ductoris Piper. 

A low species with thickish crenate leaves and deep yellow heads. 
Found only on the moraine on the south side of Cowlitz Glacier. 

Senecio flettii Wiegand. 

Found near Cowlitz Chimneys by Miss Winona Bailey, in 1915 ; 
previously known only from the Olympic Mountains. 

Arnica latifolia Bongard. 

A smooth cordate leaved plant with one to five heads, resembling 
small sunflowers. Not uncommon up to 6,000 feet altitude, espe- 
cially in the shelter of timber. 

Arnica mollis Hooker. 

Similar to the preceding, but the leaves oblong, nearly entire, 
and viscid glandular. Abundant along the rivulets, 4,000 to 
6,000 feet altitude. 

Arnica aspera Greene. 

Described from specimens collected in Spray Park. It is very 
similar to A. mollis Hooker, but the pubescence is coarser. 

Arnica eradiata (Gray) Heller. 

Closely related to the preceding but easily recognized by its 
rayless heads. It occurs on the steep slopes above Sluiskin Falls. 

Luina hypoleuca Bentham. 

A beautiful suffruticose plant, six to twelve inches high, with 

259 



MOUNT RAINIER 

entire oval leaves shining green above and white tomentose be- 
neath. It was originally discovered by Dr. Lyall, of the Inter- 
national Boundary Survey, in the Cascade Mountains at the 
49th parallel. It is not uncommon about Mount Rainier, occur- 
ing on perpendicular cliffs along the Cowlitz Glacier; in similar 
places on the banks of the Nisqually at Longmire Springs ; and 
on the gravel bars of the same river. The flowers are cream- 
colored. 

Rainiera stricta Greene. 

(Prenanthes stricta Greene.) 

(Luina piperi Robinson.) 

(Luina stricta. Robinson.) . 

A tall plant with large oblong entire leaves and a long raceme of 
yellowish, rayless heads. Professor Greene makes it the type of a 
new genus Rainiera, while Dr. Robinson refers it to Luina. The 
plant has been collected in Spray Park by Professor Greene; 
on the Goat Mountains, Allen ; near Mount Adams, Henderson ; 
head of Naches River, Vasey ; and on the high ridge northeast of 
the foot of Cowlitz Glacier by the writer. The statement that the 
plant has milky juice is an error. 

Petasites speciosa (Nuttall) Piper. 

(Nardosmia speciosa Nuttall.) 

Abundant along streams up to 3,000 feet altitude. Easily 
recognized by its large palmate leaves, which frequently measure 
a foot or more in diameter. The flowers appear very early in 
spring with the leaves and have an odor suggesting violets. This 
species is clearly distinct from the Eastern P. palmata (Aiton) Gray 
and was long ago well characterized by Nuttall. 

Petasites frigida (Linnaeus) Fries. 

(Petasites nivalis Greene). 

Common along rivulets 4,000 to 5,000 feet altitude. Re- 
sembling the preceding species, but much smaller and with quite 
different leaves. 

Achillea lanulosa Nuttall. 

An Alpine form of the common Western yarrow. Not rare 
in the decayed lava at 6,000 to 7,000 feet altitude. 

Hulsea nana Gray. 

A sticky plant with pinnatifid leaves and large yellow heads. 
Plentiful on the east side of the mountain near the base of Little 
Tahoma in the pumice fields. This seems to be the northern- 
most limit of the plant. 

Anaphalis margaritacea occidentalis Greene. 
The well-known " Everlasting Flower," which occurs in dry or 
burnt woods up to 4,000 feet altitude. 

260 



THE FLORA OF MOUNT RAINIER 

Antennaria media Greene. 

A small depressed cudweed, only an inch or two high. Common 
at 6,000 feet altitude. 

Antennaria lanata (Hooker) Greene. 

Like the preceding but larger and more hairy. Grassy slopes 
at 6,000 feet. Common. 

Antennaria racemosa Hooker. 

Collected by Allen in the " upper valley of the Nisqually." 
A much larger and greener plant than the preceding species. 

Erigeron salsuginosus (Richardson) Gray. 

The common pink aster or " daisy " of the grassy slopes. One 
of the most conspicuous plants at 4,000 to 6,000 feet altitude, 
but even ascending to 7,000 feet in a much dwarfed form. 

Erigeron acris debilis Gray. 

An insignificant white-flowered species, rare at about 7,500 feet 
altitude. 

Erigeron compositus trifidus (Hooker) Gray. 
A small pinkish aster, with the leaves cut into linear lobes. 
Growing in decayed lava at 7,500 feet altitude. 

Erigeron speciosus De Candolle. 

A handsome species with entire ciliate leaves and rather numer- 
ous heads, with deep violet rays. Collected by Allen in the Goat 
Mountains, No. 222. 

Erigeron aureus Greene. 

(Aplopappus brandegei Gray.) 

A beautiful little aster with bright golden rays, the solitary heads 
on scapes two or three inches tall. Abundant in the pumice, 
7,500-8,000 feet altitude. 

Aster ledophyllus Gray. 

A tall species with leafy stems, and numerous middle-sized 
heads with pink-purple rays. The leaves are entire, pubescent 
on the under side. Not uncommon on the grassy slopes at 5,000 
feet altitude. 

Aster foliaceus frondeus Gray. 

(Aster amplifolius Greene.) 

A species with broad half-clasping leaves and deep-violet- 
colored rays. Professor Greene's type came from Mount Rainier, 
but his species seems not to differ from the plant earlier described 
by Dr. Gray. 

Oreostemma alpigena (Torrey & Gray) Greene. 

(Aster pulchellus D. C. Eaton.) 

A low plant with narrow tufted leaves, the scapes bearing one 
or rarely two large heads. The rays are deep violet. The plant 

261 



MOUNT RAINIER 

is common in the pumice fields at 7,00x5-8,000 feet altitude, but, 
strange to say, also occurs on the borders of small lakes at the 
foot of Pinnacle Peak at 4,500 feet elevation. In exposed places 
at high altitudes the leaves are often curiously twisted. It was 
originally described from the specimen collected on Mount Rainier 
by Tolmie. 

Solidago algida Piper. 

A small goldenrod, two to twelve inches tall, occurring ordinarily 
on the faces of perpendicular cliff's at 5,000 to 6,000 feet elevation. 

Artemisia borealis wormskioldii Besser. 

A silky canescent wormwood about one foot high, its leaves 
pinnate ; found on the north side of the mountain by Flett. 

Artemisia richardsoniana Besser. 

In the Synoptical Flora, Vol. II, p. 371, this species is stated 
to have been collected on Mount Rainier by Tolmie. On the 
sheet in the Gray Herbarium Dr. Gray has indicated that this is 
an error, the specimens having really been collected in the Rocky 
Mountains by Burke. 
CAMPANULACEAE. (Bellflower Family.) 

Campanula rotundifolia Linnaeus. 

This charming and familiar blue bell is abundant on the cliffs 
near the foot of Cowlitz Glacier. 
VALERIANACEAE. (Valerian Family.) 

Valeriana sitchensis Bongard. 

An abundant plant at 4,000 to 6,000 feet altitude. The leaves 
are pinnately compound, the rather large leaflets repandly den- 
tate. The flowers are whitish, usually pink tinged. Like other 
species, this valerian has a decidedly unpleasant odor, that is 
difficult to compare with any other. To the writer the odor is 
always associated with mountain meadows, doubtless because it 
so frequently predominates in such places. 

RUBIACEAE. (Madder Family.) 

Galium triflorum Michaux. 

A very common species of bedstraw which ascends on the lower 
slopes of the mountain. 

Galium oreganum Britton. 

Goat Mountains, Allen, No. 296. 
SCROPHULARIACEAE. (Figwort Family.) 

Chelone nemorosa Douglas. 

A handsome plant with opposite serrate leaves and corymbs of 
purple-red flowers somewhat like those of the foxglove. Dry 
cliffs and slopes at 5,000 feet altitude. Also reported by Gorman 
as occurring at Longmire Springs. 

262 



THE FLORA OF MOUNT RAINIER 

Pentstemon conf ertus Douglas. 

A species with entire leaves and dense clusters of small pale 
yellow flowers. In its typical form the species is one to two 
feet tall, but on Mount Rainier, where it occurs at from 7,000 to 
8,000 feet elevation, it is reduced to two to four inches high, but 
otherwise not differing from the type. 

Pentstemon procerus Douglas. 

Like the above, but blue flowered. It occurs at 8,000 feet and 
on Rainier is scarcely two inches tall, while at lower altitudes it 
is frequently as many feet high. This dwarf Alpine form has 
been described by Professor Greene as a new species under the 
name of Pentstemon pulchellus. It is an interesting fact that 
Tolmie long ago collected on Mount Rainier a dwarf species which 
Hooker named Pentstemon tolmiei. But alas, the specimens are 
in fruit, and it is past finding out now whether his plant was the 
yellow-flowered or the blue-flowered form. Most likely, however, 
it was the latter, as that is far more frequent than the yellow- 
flowered form. 

Pentstemon diffusus Douglas. 

A handsome species with serrate leaves and blue-purple flowers. 
Mount Rainier, Piper 2068. Goat Mountains, Allen 129. 

Pentstemon ovatus Douglas. 

Much like the preceding plant, differing essentially in the 
anthers. Collected by Allen " mountains near the upper valley 
of the Nisqually," and by the writer on the slopes of Mount 
Rainier. 

Pentstemon menziesii Hooker. 

A dwarf prostrate plant with thickish evergreen toothed leaves 
and dull purple flowers, abundant on the rocks at 8,000 feet 
elevation. A variety with the leaves entire instead of denticu- 
late, P. davidsonii Greene, also occurs on the mountain. 

Pentstemon rupicola (Piper) Howell. 

Much like the preceding, but with glaucous leaves and rose- 
colored larger flowers. The writer found it originally on the 
perpendicular cliffs, at the limit of trees above " Camp of the 
Clouds." 

Collinsia tenella (Pursh) Piper. 

Collected by Flett on an old moraine along the Carbon Glacier. 

Mimulus lewisii Pursh. 

Abundant along rills, 4,000 to 5,000 feet altitude. Easily 
known by its opposite dentate leaves, viscid pubescence and rose- 
purple corollas. The original specimens were collected in Idaho 
by the Lewis and Clark expedition. 

263 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Mimulus breweri (Greene) Rydberg. 
(Eunanus breweri Greene.) 

A minute species with pale purple flowers, abundant on dry 
cliffs near " Camp of the Clouds." 

Mimulus alpinus (Gray) Piper. 

(M. luteus alpinus Gray.) 

(Af. scouleri caespitosus Greene.) 

A dwarf plant with matted stolons, the bright yellow flowers 
painting the cliffs wherever there is dripping water. The Mount 
Rainier plants match closely the original types collected by Dr. 
Parry in Wyoming, so that Professor Greene's name is clearly a 
synonym of the earlier one of Gray. 

Veronica alpina Linnaeus. 

A small plant two or three inches high, with several pairs of 
small, ovate, pubescent leaves, and a terminal raceme of small blue 
flowers. Common at 4,500 to 5,500 feet altitude. 

Veronica cusickii Gray. 

A very similar plant to the above, but with larger blue flowers 
and smooth leaves. Abundant just above " Camp of the Clouds." 

Veronica allenii Greenman. 

Much like the preceding species, but with smaller white flowers. 
A new species discovered by Allen " near Paradise River at 5,400 
feet elevation." 

Castilleja miniata Douglas. 

This vivid scarlet " Painted Cup " or " Indian Pink " is easily 
known by its entire leaves. Not infrequent at 5,000 to 6,000 feet ; 
also occurring at lower altitudes down to sea-level. 

Castilleja angustifolia hispida (Bentham) Fernald. 
Very similar to the last, but the flower spikes shorter and the 
leaves cut-lobed. Bear Prairie, Allen. 

Castilleja rupicola Piper. 

Like the last, but smaller, the leaves usually purplish and deeply 
cut, the flowers intensely scarlet and with very long beaks. On 
the cliffs on both sides of Sluiskin Falls, whence the original speci- 
mens were obtained. 

Castilleja oreopola Greenman. 

The common species of the grassy slopes, the flowers reddish- 
purple or occasionally white. 

Pedicularis bracteosa Bentham. 

A tall " lousewort," with fern-like leaves and a long terminal 
spike of greenish-white flowers. Frequent in wet places up to 
5,500 feet altitude. 

364 



THE FLORA OF MOUNT RAINIER 

Pedicularis contorta Douglas. 

A yellow-flowered species not rare at 7,000 feet elevation along 
the Nisqually Glacier. First found by Tolmie on Mount Rainier. 

Pedicularis surrecta Bentham. 

The reddish flowers with long, coiled beaks easily distinguish 
this plant. Common in wet meadows at 4,000 feet altitude. 

Pedicularis ornithorhyncha Bentham. 

Much like the preceding but with beakless flowers. Originally 
described from Mount Rainier specimens collected by Tolmie in 
1833, and not again seen until the writer collected them in the same 
place in 1888. The plant has since been found at two or three 
places north of Mount Rainier, but all in Washington. 

Pedicularis racemosa Douglas. 

The commonest species, easily known by its half prostrate habit, 
lanceolate leaves, and short clusters of white or pinkish twisted 
flowers. Ranges from 3,000 to 5,000 feet elevation. 

PINGUICULACEAE. (Butterwort Family.) 

Pinguicula vulgaris Linnaeus. 

The butterwort, with its greasy entire leaves in a rosette and 
solitary violet flowers is not rare on moist cliffs. 

LABIATAE. (Mint Family.) 

Madronella discolor Greene. 

A very sweet-smelling plant, the only mint as yet found on the 
mountain. Occurs on the talus of the high cliffs on the north side 
of Cowlitz Glacier. 

BORAGINACEAE. (Borage Family.) 

Mertensia laevigata Piper. 

A handsome branched herb, two feet high or more. The large 
entire leaves and the cluster of small blue tubular flowers make 
it readily recognizable. Frequent at 4,000 to 5,000 feet altitude. 

Cryptantha muriculata (A. De Candolle) Greene. 
Goat Mountains, Flett; a small common lowland plant with 
white flowers. 

HYDROPHYLLACEAE. (Waterleaf Family.) 

Hydrophyllum albifrons Heller. 

(Hydrophyllum congestum Wiegand.) 

On the meadows near Van Trump Glacier. 

Romanzoffia sitchensis Bongard. 

A handsome little plant with orbicular coarsely dentate leaves 
and a loose cluster of small white flowers. In habit much like 
some saxifrages. Rare on wet cliff's near Sluiskin Falls. 

265 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Phacelia nemoralis Greene. 

This plant occurs on rock talus along the north side of Cowlitz 
Glacier. 

Phacelia sericea Gray. 

A handsome species with silvery leaves and dense clusters of 
purple flowers. Collected somewhere on the mountain by Rev. 
E. C. Smith in 1890. 

POLEMONIACEAE. (Phlox Family.) 

Phlox difiusa Bentham. 

A prostrate plant with acerose leaves, when in bloom forming 
dense masses of pale blue. Common at 5,500 to 6,500 feet altitude, 
in rocky soil. 

Gilia gracilis (Douglas) Hooker. 

Growing on an old moraine along Carbon Glacier, Flett. 

Gilia nuttallii Gray. 

A white-flowered species found by Rev. E. C. Smith in 1890 
somewhere on the southwest slopes of the mountain. 

Collomia debilis (Watson) Greene. 

Not rare in talus at the base of basalt cliffs on the east side of 
the mountain at 7,000 feet altitude. 

Collomia heterophylla Hooker. 

Found by Mr. Gorman on the gravelly banks of the Nisqually 
at Longmire Springs ; also by Flett ; a common lowland plant. 

Polemonium humile Roemer & Schultes. 

A handsome plant with pinnate leaves and corymbs of pale 
blue flowers. Common on the rocks at 5,000 to 6,000 feet 
altitude. 

Polemonium elegans Greene. 

(P. bicolor Greenman.) 

Similar to the preceding, but smaller and very glandular, the 
blue flowers having a large yellow center. Rather rare in pumice 
at 7,500 feet elevation. 

Polemonium viscosum pilosum Greenman. 

Very much like the preceding plant. Discovered by Allen on 
the Goat Mountains, No. 261. 

GENTIANACEAE. (Gentian Family.) 

Gentiana calycosa Grisebach. 

An elegant plant with deep blue bell-shaped flowers. Abun- 
dant along the rills at 5,000 feet. The species was described from 
Mount Rainier specimens collected by Tolmie in 1833. Grisebach 
also described a variety stricta, based on very trivial characters. 

266 



THE FLORA OF MOUNT RAINIER 

PRIMULACEAE. (Primrose Family.) 

Dodecatheon Jeffrey! Van Houtte. 
(D. crenatum Greene.) 
(D. viviparum Greene.) 

Plentiful in wet places at 4,500 to 5,500 feet elevation. Pro- 
fessor Greene's types came from Spray Park. 

Douglasia laevigata Gray. 

A handsome little plant forming broad mats and bearing blood- 
red flowers in corymbs. Goat Mountains, Allen. 

Trientalis latif olia Hooker. 

Gorman reports this plant as occurring in coniferous woods 
between Longmire Springs and Paradise Park. 

PYROLACEAE. (Indian Pipe Family.) 

Chimaphila umbellata (Linnaeus) Nuttall. 

Reported by Gorman " on the trail above Longmire Springs, 
in coniferous woods." 

Chimaphila menziesii (R. Brown) Sprengel. 

In deep coniferous woods, 2,000 to 4,000 feet elevation. 

Pyrola secunda Linnaeus. 
Growing with the preceding. 

Pyrola bracteata Hooker. 

Reported by Gorman " in coniferous woods along the Nis- 
qually River at 2,850 feet." 

Moneses uniflora (Linnaeus) Gray. 

In woods near the base of the mountain. 

Monotropa hypopitys Linnaeus. 

Common in the dense shade of conifers along the trail above 
Longmire's. 

Pterospora andromedea Nuttall. 

This peculiar plant occurs along the Nisqually trail at about 
3,000 feet altitude.. 

AUotropa virgata Torrey & Gray. 

This queer plant is abundant in coniferous woods on the north 
side of the mountain, but it is doubtful whether it comes within 
our limits. 

ERICACEAE. (Heath Family.) 

Menziesia glabella Gray. 

A shrub four to eight feet high, much resembling a huckle- 
berry, but the fruit is dry. 

Kalmia polifolia microphylla (Hooker) Piper. 

In wet places at 7,000 feet altitude near Nisqually Glacier. 

267 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Phyllodoce empetriformis (Smith) D. Don. 

The common red-flowered heather, abundant on dryish slopes 
at 5,000 to 6,000 feet elevation. 

Phyllodoce glanduliflora (Hooker) Coville. 

Much like the preceding, but the flowers yellowish-white and 
glandular. Frequent at 6,500 to 7,500 feet elevation. 

Cassiope mertensiana (Bongard) Donn. 

A low shrub growing with Phyllodoce empetriformis, and having 
small pendent, bell-shaped white flowers. 

Harrimanella stelleriana (Pallas) Coville. 

On the moist cliff's overlooking the Nisqually Glacier, at 5,500 feet 
elevation. This is the southernmost known station for the plant. 

Gaultheria shallon Pursh. 

The salal-berry is reported by Gorman to occur in coniferous 
woods between Longmire Springs and Paradise Park. 

Gaultheria ovatifolia Gray. 

This species resembles a diminutive plant of the preceding, but 
the berries are red and spicy, and borne singly in the axils of the 
leaves. Abundant in the coniferous woods at 3,000 to 3,500 feet 
elevation. 

Gaultheria humifusa (Graham) Rydberg. 

Much like a small plant of the preceding species, and only an 
inch or two high. Not rare on the slopes near Sluiskin Falls. 

Rhododendron albiflorum Hooker. 

(Cladothamnus campanulatus Greene). 

The white-flowered azalea so common in the shelter of trees 
at 5,000 to 5,500 feet elevation. 

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi Linnaeus. 

The kinnikinnik, essentially a lowland plant, covers the rocks 
at 8,000 feet altitude near Nisqually Glacier. 

Arctostaphylos nevadensis Gray. 

On the gravel bars of the Nisqually at Longmire Springs. 

Vaccinium macrophyllum (Hooker) Piper. 

The most valuable of all the native huckleberries. Easily 
recognized by the nearly black, not glaucous berries, and finely 
serrate leaves. Plentiful at 3,000 to 4,000 feet altitude. 

Vaccinium ovalifolium Smith. 

Much like the preceding, but taller, the leaves entire, and the 
glaucous black berries not nearly so sweet. 

Vaccinium myrtillus microphyllum Hooker. 
(V . scoparium Leiberg.) 

A low, broom-like species, with small leaves and red or wine- 
colored berries. On dry ridges, 4,000 to 5,000 feet altitude. 

268 



THE FLORA OF MOUNT RAINIER 

Vaccinium deliciosum Piper. 

This is the common bilberry of the alpine meadows of the Cas- 
cade and Olympic Mountains in Washington, where it is abundant 
at 4,500 to 5,500 feet altitude. In habit and fruit it resembles V. 
caespitosum, but in floral characters V. ovalifolium, to which Dr. 
Gray rather hesitatingly referred it. From this last it may readily 
be distinguished by its serrulate leaves and low habit, its relatively 
longer filaments, which in V. ovalifolium are only one half as long 
as the anthers, and its small-seeded fruit of very different flavor. 
Very young leaves have the serrulations tipped with small glandular 
appendages. 

UMBELLIFERAE. (Parsley Family.) 

Ligusticum purpureum Coulter & Rose. 

A tall " wild parsnip," with fern-like leaves and small whitish 
or purple-tinged flowers. Everywhere on the slopes, 4,000 to 
6,000 feet elevation. 

Lomatium angustatum Coulter & Rose. 
In rock talus near Sluiskin Falls. 

Lomatium triternatum Coulter & Rose. 

A form of this variable species was found on the Goat Moun- 
tains by Allen, No. 257. 

Angelica lyallii Watson. 

Paradise Park, 5,000 feet elevation. Also common near the 
foot of Cowlitz Glacier. 

Sanicula septentrionalis Greene. 
Goat Mountains, Allen, No. 254. 

Osmorhiza ambigua (Gray) Coulter & Rose. 
Goat Mountains, Allen, No. 256. 

Heracleum lanatum Michaux. 
Common at 4,000 feet elevation. 

Hesperogenia stricklandi Coulter & Rose. 

An interesting plant, the type of a new genus, found in Paradise 
Park by Allen and by Strickland. Also collected on the mountain 
by Flett. Occurs at 6,500 feet elevation. 

HALORAGIDACEAE. (Water Milfoil Family.) 

Hippuris vulgaris Linnaeus. 

Found by Allen at Longmire Springs. 

Hippuris montana Ledebour. 

An interesting little species much resembling some mosses. 
It frequently mats the ground in wet places at 4,500 feet eleva- 
tion. 

269 



MOUNT RAINIER 

ONAGRACEAE. (Evening Primrose Family.) 

Epilobium spicatum Lamarck. 

The common " fireweed," reported by Gorman on the " grassy 
slopes, 5,000 to 6,000 feet altitude." 

Epilobium latifolium Linnaeus. 

A species with flowers like the preceding, but only four to six 
inches tall. Found by Rev. E. C. Smith near the Cowlitz Glacier. 

Epilobium luteum Pursh. 

A yellow-flowered species common along streams, 3,000 to 5,000 
feet elevation. 

Epilobium alpinum Linnaeus. 

(E. hornemanni Reichenbach.) 

Common at 4,000 to 6,000 feet altitude. 

Epilobium anagallidifolium Lamarck. 

A minute species found on the Tatoosh Mountains by Allen. 

Epilobium clavatum Trelease. 

Gravelly slopes at 5,000 feet. Plentiful along the Cowlitz 
Glacier. 

Epilobium fastigiatum (Nuttall) Piper. 

A glaucous-leaved small species, on the gravel bars of the Nis- 
qually, and up to 4,500 feet elevation. 

Gayophytum ramosissimum Torrey & Gray. 

On gravelly slopes near the foot of Cowlitz Glacier. 

VIOLACEAE. (Violet Family.) 

Viola palustris Linnaeus. 

The common swamp violet was found at Narada Falls by Flett. 

Viola adunca Smith. 

Rare in rock crevices near Sluiskin Falls. Flowers deep violet. 

Viola montane nsis Rydberg. 

Like the preceding, but the leaves puberulent. Near Van 
Trump Glacier, at 6,000 feet altitude. 

Viola glabella Nuttall. 

A yellow-flowered species common along streams and in rich 
woods up to 3,000 feet altitude. 

HYPERICACEAE. (St. Johnswort Family.) 
Hypericum bryophytum Elmer. 
A diminutive plant along rills at 5,000 feet elevation. 

ACERACEAE. (Maple Family.) 

Acer douglasii Hooker. 

The smooth maple is common on the headwaters of the Nis- 
qually. 

270 



THE FLORA OF MOUNT RAINIER 

CELASTRACEAE. (Staff Tree Family.) 

Pachystima myrsinites (Pursh) Rafinesgue. 

An evergreen shrub two or three feet high, having considerable 
resemblance to a huckleberry. Common in coniferous woods at 
3,000 to 4,000 feet elevation. 

EMPETRACEAE. (Crowberry Family.) 

Empetrum nigrum Linnaeus. 

A prostrate cespitose shrub with yew-like leaves and black 
berries. Common on the rocks at 7,500 feet altitude. 

OXALIDACEAE. (Oxalis Family.) 

Oxalis oregana Nuttall. 

Common in rich, moist woods up to 3,000 feet altitude. 

Oxalis trilliifolia Hooker. 

With the preceding, which it resembles. It may be distinguished 
by its scapes bearing several flowers, instead of only one, and by 
its narrow pods. 

LEGUMINOSAE. (Pea Family.) 

Lupinus subalpinus Piper & Robinson. 

The common lupine of the grassy slopes, 4,000 to 6,000 feet 
altitude. 

Lupinus volcanicus Greene. 

A small species, with hairy pubescence, growing above the limit 
of the preceding and below that of the following. 

Lupinus lyallii Watson. 

A lovely little plant with silvery foliage. Abundant in the 
pumice fields at 7,000 to 8,000 feet altitude. 

Lathyrus pauciflorus Fernald. 

A wild pea with purple flowers collected by Allen in the Goat 
Mountains. 

Lathyrus nevadensis Watson. 

Very like the preceding but with white flowers. Collected by 
Allen, No. 297, on mountains near the upper valley of the Nis- 
qually. 

Oxytropis cusickii Greenman. 

Goat Mountains, Allen, No. 245. 

ROSACEAE. (Rose Family.) 

Spiraea densiflora Nuttall. 

A low shrub with dense corymbs of rose-colored flowers. Com- 
mon in bogs at 4,500 feet, and on rock cliffs up to 6,000 feet eleva- 
tion. 

271 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Eriogynia pectinata (Pursh) Hooker. 

A little shrub only two or three inches tall, forming dense 
mats. The plant should easily be recognized by its sharply cleft 
leaves and dense erect racemes of white flowers. Abundant at 
5,000 to 6,000 feet elevation. Gorman reports it from near the 
" Sphinx," 8,500 feet. 

Rubus nivalis Douglas. 

A trailing vine, with glossy, green, simple leaves. Common in 
the coniferous forests at 3,000 feet altitude, where it seldom blooms. 
On exposed rocks and banks one rarely finds its dull red flowers 
or bright red, raspberry-like, sour fruit. 

Rubus pedatus Smith. 

A trailing herbaceous plant, with palmately compound leaves 
and strawberry-like blossoms. The smooth red fruit is sour, and 
consists of only a few large drupelets. Common in the woods up 
to 4,000 feet altitude. 

Rubus lasiococcus Gray. 

Much like the preceding, but with simple leaves and pubescent 
fruit. Grows with the preceding, and up to 5,000 feet or more. 

Potentilla flabellifolia Hooker. 

The common cinquefoil of the meadows, with bright yellow 
buttercup-like flowers. Plentiful at 5,000 feet elevation. 

Potentilla dissecta Pursh. 

This has been collected by Allen on the Goat Mountains, No. 251. 

Potentilla glaucophylla Lehmann. 

Near the foot of Gibraltar, at 8,500 feet altitude. 

Potentilla villosa Pallas. 

A species with silvery strawberry-like leaves and bright yellow 
flowers. On the cliffs near the foot of Little Tahoma, at 7,500 
feet elevation. 

Potentilla fruticosa tenuifolia (Willdenow) Lehmann. 
This shrubby cinquefoil occurs along White River Glacier. 

Sibbaldia procumbens Linnaeus. 
Abundant on the ridge near Sluiskin Falls. 

Dryas octopetala Linnaeus. 

Found in talus between Urania and White Glaciers by Pro- 
fessor Flett. This is the southernmost known station in the 
Cascade Mountains. 

Pyrus occidentalis Watson. 

This mountain ash occurs at 4,500 to 5,000 feet altitude, usually 
forming dense clumps. It is seldom over four feet high. From 
related species its dull purple glaucous fruit and dull green leaves, 
serrate only near the apex, easily distinguish it. 

272 



THE FLORA OF MOUNT RAINIER 

Pyrus sitchensis (Roemer) Piper. 

(Sorbus sitchensis Roemer.) 

This species grows from four to fifteen feet high, and is easily 
known by its intense scarlet fruit and shining leaflets, which are 
sharply serrate to the base. The plant of the Cascade Mountains 
matches exactly with the type from Sitka, and we can detect no 
differences in the shrub common in the Blue Mountains and in 
Western Idaho. This shrub has heretofore been known as Pyrus 
sambucifolia Chamisso & Schlechtendahl, but authentic Kam- 
tschatka specimens of this last are clearly different from our plant. 

Rosa nutkana Presl. 

This common wild rose has been collected by Allen on the Goat 
Mountains, at 4,500 feet elevation. 

SAXIFRAGACEAE. (Saxifrage Family.) 

Ribes howellii Greene. 

(Ribes acerifolium Howell.) 

A small currant, two to four feet high, with pendent racemes 
of flowers and glaucous black fruit. Common in the shelter of 
trees up to their limit. 

Ribes bracteosum Douglas. 

A currant with very large leaves and long, erect racemes of 
greenish flowers ; fruit black. It is common along streams at low 
altitudes, and is locally known as " stink currant." Gorman re- 
ports it from Cowlitz Canyon, near the timber line. 

Ribes lacustre (Persoon) Poiret. 

This very prickly gooseberry is reported by Gorman from the 
same locality as the preceding. 

Leptarrhena amplexifolia (Sternberg) Seringe. 

A handsome plant, with a radical tuft of oblong crenate ever- 
green leaves, and an erect scape of small greenish flowers in a 
corymb. The pods when mature are usually deeply tinged with 
purple. Common on the borders of rills at 5,000 feet, and on the 
wet cliffs near Sluiskin Falls. Also reported by Professor Greene 
from Spray Park. 

Tiarella unifoliata Hooker. 

Common in rich woods up to 3,500 feet elevation. 

Mitella breweri Watson. 

In the shelter of trees, common at 6,000 feet altitude. 

Mitella pentandra Hooker. 

Much like the preceding and found in similar places. 

Mitella trifida Graham. 

Found on Mount Rainier and on Goat Mountains by Allen. 

T 273 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Parnassia fimbriata Konig. 

A plant with radical reniform leaves and one-flowered scapes. 
The petals are white and fringed. Not rare in moist places near 
Sluiskin Falls ; also at Crater Lake. 

Heuchera glabra Willdenow. 

On the cliffs near Camp of the Clouds. 

Heuchera micrantha Douglas. 

Mount Rainier, Tolmie, according to Hooker. 

Elmera racemosa (Watson) Rydberg. 

(Heuchera racemosa Watson.) 

Rock crevices at the base of Little Tahoma ; rare. 

Suksdorfia ranunculifolia (Hooker) Engler. 

Rock Cliffs near Camp of the Clouds. 

Saxifraga bongardi Presl. 

Common along rills, 5,000 to 6,000 feet elevation. 

Saxifraga bronchialis austromontana (Wiegand) Piper. 
Abundant on rock cliffs near Longmire Springs, and frequent 
up to 6,000 feet altitude. 

Saxifraga marshallii Greene. 

Rare on the cliffs near Sluiskin Falls. Also collected on the 
Goat Mountains by Mr. Allen. 

Saxifraga odontoloma Piper. 

A species with reniform, coarsely dentate leaves. Common 
along the rivulets, 5,000 to 6,000 feet altitude. 

Saxifraga nelsoniana D. Don. 

Much like the preceding, but the petals oval instead of orbicular 
and clawed. Near Camp of the Clouds ; rare. 

Saxifraga mertensiana Bongard. 

Much like S. odontoloma, but the leaves doubly dentate, and 
usually bearing bulblets among the flowers. North side of Cow- 
litz Glacier; rare. 

Saxifraga tolmaei Torrey & Gray. 

Abundant at 5,000 to 7,500 feet elevation, blooming as soon as 
the snow melts. Easily known by its small, thick, entire leaves, 
and small white flowers, solitary on scapes an inch or two high. 
Originally found by Tolmie, from whose specimens the species 
was described. 

Saxifraga debilis Engelmann. 

Found on Mount Rainier by Mr. Allen. This is the first record 
of the plant west of Colorado. 

Saxifraga caespitosa Linnaeus. 

Collected by Flett and by Allen. Leaves 3 to 5-lobed. 

274 



THE FLORA OF MOUNT RAINIER 

CRASSULACEAE. (Stonecrop Family.) 

Sedum divergens Watson. 

This species is easily known by its small globular leaves. Com- 
mon on the cliffs near Sluiskin Falls. 

CRUCIFERAE. (Mustard Family.) 

Draba aureola Watson. 

A viscid yellow-flowered species, rather rare at and near Camp 
Muir. 

Draba lonchocarpa Rydberg. 

In pumice sand at 8,500 feet altitude. 

Arabis lyallii Watson. 

Common along Paradise River, at 5,000 feet altitude, but also 
occurring in the pumice at 7,500 feet. 

Arabis drummondii Gray. 

Piper No. 2065, referable to this species, is from Mount Rainier. 
Collected near the Cowlitz Glacier. 

Cardamine kamtschatica (Regel) Schulz. 

(C. umbellata Greene.) 

A small " bitter-cress,'* not rare along rills at 5,000 feet eleva- 
tion. 

Erysimum asperum (Nuttall) De Candolle. 

A yellow-flowered plant much like a wallflower, rare at 6,000 
feet altitude. It occurs also in loose rock near Interglacier. 

Smelowskia ovalis Jones. 

A small, white-flowered, canescent plant, interesting because it 
ascends Mount Rainier higher than any other flowering plant. 
Common from 8,000 to 10,000 feet altitude. One specimen was 
collected quite at the base of " The Sphinx." 

FUMARIACEAE. (Bleeding-heart Family.) 
Corydalis scouleri Hooker. 
Common along streams at low elevations. 

BERBERIDACEAE. (Barberry Family.) 

Achlys triphylla (Smith) De Candolle. 

Reported by Mr. Gorman " on the trail from Longmire Springs 
to the Park." The sweet-smelling leaves of this plant have sug- 
gested the name of " vanilla leaf." 

RANUNCULACEAE. (Buttercup Family.) 

Thalictrum occidentale Gray. 

This meadow-rue is not rare near the foot of Van Trump Glacier. 

Anemone drummondii Watson. 

Collected by Flett, No. 2171, on the north side of the mountain 
at 7,000 feet altitude. 

275 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Anemone hudsoniana (De Candolle) Richardson. 

Collected on the Goat Mountains by Mr. Allen, No. 250. 

Pulsatilla occidentalis (Watson) Freyn. 

Common on the dry slopes 5,000 to 6,000 feet elevation. 
Flowers large, white or bluish, developing a large head of tailed 
carpels, which has much the appearance of a hussar's cap. 

Trautvetteria grandis Nuttall. 

A tall plant with large maple-like leaves and loose corymbs of 
delicate white flowers. Abundant in shady woods up to 4,000 
feet elevation. The pallid blossoms, in sharp contrast to the 
shade they dwell in, has prompted the name of " ghost flower." 

Ranunculus suksdorfii Gray. 

A bright-flowered buttercup, not rare in moist places at 5,500 
feet elevation. 

Ranunculus verecundus Robinson. 

On rocky ridges at 7,000 feet altitude, Flett. 

Caltha leptosepala De Candolle. 

(C. macounii Greene.) 

Wet places, 4,000 to 6,000 feet ; plentiful. 

Aquilegia formosa Fisher. 

The common scarlet and yellow columbine of the lowland, found 
on the grassy slopes at 5,500 feet elevation. 

Delphinium bicolor Nuttall. 

A handsome blue and white-flowered larkspur, found in the 
Goat Mountains by Mr. Allen, No. 146. 

Delphinium glaucum Watson. 

This larkspur is tall, three to four feet high, with rather many 
large leaves, and long racemes of pale blue small flowers. Col- 
lected by Mr. Allen in the Upper Nisqually Valley, and by the 
writer near Crater Lake. 

CARYOPHYLLACEAE. (Pink Family.) 

Silene lyallii Watson. 
(S. macounii Watson.) 
(S. douglasii viscida Robinson.) 

Distinguished from its near allies by its four-lobed petals. 
Not rare at 6,000 feet altitude. 

Silene suksdorfii Robinson. 

A low species, with scapes mostly one-flowered. Rather rare 
in the loose basalt talus near the base of Little Tahoma. 

Silene acaulis Linnaeus. 

The " moss campion " of Europe, and common in the Rocky 
Mountains. Collected by Mr. Flett near the Mowich Glacier. 

276 



THE FLORA OF MOUNT RAINIER 

Stellaria borealis Bigelow. 

A prostrate chickweed, common along the Paradise River, at 
5,000 feet elevation. 

Stellaria washingtoniana Robinson. 

Described from specimens collected by Allen on the slopes of 
the mountain at the head of Nisqually River in alder woods. 

Sagina occidentalis Watson. 

A small species of pearlwort, doubtfully referred here, occurs 
rarely along rivulets in Paradise Park. 

Cerastium arvense Linnaeus. 

Goat Mountains, Allen, No. 237. 

Arenaria capillaris Poiret. 

Common on the rocks at 5,000 to 7,000 feet elevation. The 
form with curved leaves, variety nardifolia Regel, is more fre- 
quent than the type. 

Arenaria verna Linnaeus. 

Rather rare in the pumice on the east side of the mountain. 

Arenaria macrophylla Hooker. 

In dry woods at low altitudes. 

PORTULACACEAE. (Purslane Family.) 

Spraguea multiceps Howell. 

A handsome plant, with entire spatulate leaves and dense 
heads of pink or purple flowers. Common in the pumice fields. 

Claytonia sibirica Linnaeus. 

Collected by Flett somewhere near the base of the mountain. 
The commonest lowland " spring beauty." 

Claytonia asarifolia Bongard. 

A plant with fleshy entire leaves and small racemes of white 
flowers. Occasional along the rivulets at 4,000 to 5,000 feet eleva- 
tion. 

Claytonia parvifolia Mocino. 
On the rocks at 3,000 to 4,000 feet altitude. 
Claytonia lanceolata Pursh. 

Common in the grassy meadows. The tuberous root is edible. 
Lewisia columbiana (Howell) Robinson. 

Goat Mountains, Allen. Leaves fleshy, flowers rose-purple, 
showy. 

POLYGONACEAE. (Buckwheat Family.) 

Oxyria digyna (Linnaeus) Hill. 

A small plant with reniform entire leaves, and flowers and fruit 
like those of the common docks. Not rare in rock crevices at 5,000 
to 6,000 feet elevation. 

277 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Polygonum minimum Watson. 

Common at 5,000 to 6,000 feet altitude. 

Polygonum douglasii Greene. 

On a gravelly slope near the foot of Cowlitz Glacier. 

Polygonum newberryi Small. 

Common in the pumice fields, where it is a characteristic plant. 

Polygonum bistortoides Pursh. 

Very plentiful on the grassy slopes, where it is conspicuous by 
its dense white-flowered spikes an inch long, borne singly on slender 
stems a foot or two high. 

Eriogonum compositum Douglas. 

A form of this variable species occurs on the talus at the foot of 
the cliffs on the north side of Cowlitz Glacier. 

Eriogonum pyrolaefolium coryphaeum Torrey & Gray. 

Plentiful in the pumice fields. 

BETULACEAE. (Birch Family.) 

Alnus sinuata (Regel) Rydberg. 

Sitka alder. A small alder, seldom over ten or twelve feet high. 
Common along the streams at low altitude. 

SALICACEAE. (Willow Family.) 

Salix scouleriana Barratt. 

The common upland willow; not rare up to 3,500 feet elevation. 

Salix sitchensis Sanson. 

The " silky willow " is plentiful along the Nisqually at Long- 
mire Springs. 

Salix barclayi Anderson. 

Salix commutata Bebb. 

These two willows make thickets along the rills at about 6,000 
feet altitude. The leaves in the former are smooth above and 
glaucous beneath ; in the latter pubescent on both sides. 

Salix nivalis Hooker. 

A very dwarf willow, with obtuse leaves, growing only a few 
inches high. Found on the north side of the mountain by Flett. 

Salix saximontana Rydberg. 

Very similar to Salix nivalis, but larger in every way. Also 
found by Flett on the north side of the mountain. 

Salix cascadensis Cockerell. 

(S. tenera Andersson.) 

A very dwarf rare willow with leaves acute at each end. North 
slope of the mountain, collected by Flett. 

Populus trichocarpa Torrey & Gray. 

The cottonwood occurs along the Nisqually to some distance 
above Longmire Springs. 

278 



THE FLORA OF MOUNT RAINIER 

ORCHIDACEAE. (Orchis Family.) 

Corallorhiza maculata Rafinesque. 

Common in the coniferous woods at low altitudes. 

Corallorhiza mertensiana Bongard. 

Frequent in the dense coniferous woods up to 3,500 feet. 

Spiranthes romanzoffiana Chamisso. 

A small form of this species was found in a bog on the summit 
of the ridge overlooking the foot of the Nisqually Glacier. 

Peramium decipiens (Hooker) Piper. 

On the trail above Longmire Springs, according to Mr. Gorman. 

Limnorchis stricta (Lindley) Rydberg. 

A tall plant with long spikes of greenish flowers. Not rare in 
wet places at 5,000 feet elevation. 

Listera caurina Piper. 

Common in mossy woods up to 3,500 feet. 

Listera convallarioides (Swartz) Torrey. 

Growing in moist woods near the foot of the mountain. 

LILIACEAE. (Lily Family.) 

Allium validum Watson. 

This wild onion has rootstock-like bulbs. It has been found on 
the north side of the mountain, and only by Mr. Flett. 

Vagnera sessilifolia (Baker) Greene. 

Common in moist woods up to 3,000 feet altitude. 

Streptopus curvipes Vail. 

Common in moist woods at 3,000 feet. Distinguished from the 
Eastern S. roseus by its small size, simple stems, and creeping 
rootstocks. 

Lilium columbianum Hanson. 

The wild tiger lily occurs on dry slopes near Longmire Springs 
and in Paradise Park, at 5,000 feet elevation. 

Fritillaria lanceolata Pursh. 

Goat Mountains, Allen, No. 235. 

Erythronium montanum Watson. 

The white-flowered adder's tongue, so abundant in Paradise 
Park, up to 5,500 feet altitude. 

Erythronium parviflorum (Watson) Goodding. 

Much like the preceding, but the flowers yellow. Frequent 
along rills at 5,500 feet. 

Ciintortia uniflora (Schultes) Kunth. 

Abundant in the coniferous forests at 2,000 to 4,000 feet alti- 
tude. Easily recognized by its tuft of two to four radical leaves, 
which are oblong in form, and its delicate scapes, three or four 
inches high, bearing a single white flower. The berry is blue. 

279 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Trillium ovatum Pursh. 

The wake-robin is plentiful at 3,000 feet altitude. 

Tofieldia intermedia Rydberg. 

This species has been confused with both T. glutinosa and 7*. 
occidentals. From the former it differs principally in its seed 
characters, otherwise being so similar that there are no distinguish- 
ing characters in the flowering specimens. All the Cascade Moun- 
tain specimens apparently belong to T. intermedia, because no 
plant with the seed character of T. glutinosa has as yet been found 
in that range of mountains. 

Veratrum viride Aiton. 

The green hellebore forms considerable clumps, three or four 
feet high. It is frequent on moist slopes in Paradise Park. 

Stenanthium occidentale Gray. 

Goat Mountains, Allen, 233. Also collected on Mount Rainier 
by Rev. E. C. Smith, in 1890. 

Xerophyllum tenax (Pursh) Nuttall. 

The so-called pine-lily or bear-grass is not rare in gravelly soil 
in rather open woods. Straggling specimens are found up to 
5,500 feet altitude. 

JUNCACEAE. (Rush Family.) 

Juncoides glabratum (Hooker) Sheldon. 
Dry, grassy slopes at 5,000 feet. 

Juncoides majus (Hooker) Piper. 

(Luzula arcuata major Hooker.) 

(Juncoides piperi Coville.) 

The plants referred here occur at 7,000 feet altitude, in springy 
places. Allen, No. 44, and Piper, 2172, are identical with Tolmie's 
Mount Rainier specimens. 

Juncoides parviflorum (Ehrhart) Coville. 
Common on dry slopes up to 5,000 feet elevation. 

Juncoides spicata (Linnaeus) Kuntze. 

Rather rare in damp places in the pumice fields, at 8,000 feet 
altitude. 

Juncus subtriflorus (E. Meyer) Coville. 
Common at 5,000 to 6,000 feet elevation. 

Juncus parryi Engelmann. 

Much like the preceding, and growing along with it. 

Juncus mertensianus Bongard. 

Frequent along rills even up to 8,000 feet altitude. 

280 



THE FLORA OF MOUNT RAINIER 

CYPERACEAE. (Sedge Family.) 

Eriophorum polystachion Linnaeus. 

This " cotton-grass " occurs in the low ground around the lakes 
near the base of Pinnacle Peak. 

Carex paddoensis Suksdorf. 

Springy places at 8,000 feet altitude; Allen, 172; Piper, 2541. 

Carex pyrenaica Wahlenberg. 

With the preceding; Allen, 171 ; Piper, 2540. 

Carex phaeocephala Piper. 

Dryish places at 7,500 feet elevation ; Piper, 2535. 

Carex preslii Bailey. 

Common at 5,000 feet, along streams. 

Carex pachystachya Chamisso. 

This species occurs along rills in Paradise Park. 

Carex nigricans Meyer. 

Common at 4,000 to 6,000 feet elevation. 

Carex rossii Boptt. 

On the grassy ridge above Sluiskin Falls. 

Carex geyeri Boott. 

Goat Mountains, Allen, 169. 

Carex mertensii Prescott. 

Rare along stream banks at about 4,000 feet altitude. Some of 
our specimens came from near the foot of Cowlitz Glacier. 

Carex spectabilis Dewey. 

(C. invisa Bailey.) 

In wet meadows at 4,000 feet elevation. 

Carex scopulorum Holm. 

With the preceding. 

Carex ablata Bailey. 

Frequent in the meadows of Paradise Park. 

Carex accedens Holm. 

Paradise Park; Piper, 2550. 

Carex arcta Boott. 

Mount Rainier, 4,000 feet altitude; Allen 271. 

Carex atrata Linnaeus. 

Collected by Allen, August 14, 1895. 

Carex laeviculmis Meinschausen. 

In swamps near the foot of the mountain. 
Carex hepburnii Boott. 

A handsome little plant common at 8,000 feet altitude. 

Carex kelloggii W. Boott. 
Along Paradise River; Piper, 2548. 

281 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Carez rigida Goodenough. 

Allen, 269, and Piper, 2533, are referred here. The last-named 
specimens are from near the foot of Pinnacle Peak. 

GRAMINEAE. (Grass Family.) 

Phleum alpinum Linnaeus. 

The " mountain timothy " is of frequent occurrence at 5,000 
to 6,000 feet altitude. 

Agrostis geminata Trinius. 

Collected by Allen, in 1894. 

Agrostis aequivalvis Trinius. 

The plant referred here is common on the banks of the Paradise 
River up to 5,000 feet. 

Agrostis rossae Vasey. 

Slopes at 6,000 feet elevation ; common. 

Agrostis humilis Vasey. 

Abundant in springy places at 8,500 feet elevation. 

Calamagrostis vaseyi Beal. 

Goat Mountains, Allen, and common on the rocky ridges north 
of Cowlitz Glacier. 

Calamagrostis scabra Presl. 

Not rare at 5,500 feet elevation; near Sluiskin Falls, Piper; 
Tatoosh Mountains, Allen. 

Deschampsia atropurpurea (Wahlenberg) Scheele. 

Common at 5,000 to 6,000 feet elevation. 

Danthonia intermedia Vasey. 

Common at about 5,000 feet altitude. 

Trisetum cernuum Trinius. 

Moist places up to 5,000 feet altitude. 

Trisetum spicatum (Linnaeus) Richter. 

Rare on the ridge near Camp of the Clouds. 

China latifolia (Treviranus) Grisebach. 

Common in wet ground about Longmire Springs. 

Poa arctica R. Brown. 

A grass doubtfully referred to this species is common at 5,500 
feet elevation. 

Poa paddensis Williams. 

One of the most frequent grasses at 5,000 to 6,000 feet. 

Poa saxatilis Scribner & Williams. 

On rock cliffs at 6,000 feet. The type of this species is Piper 
No. 1964, from above Camp of the Clouds. 

Poa suksdorfii Vasey. 

Rather rare in the pumice at 9,000 feet elevation. 

282 



THE FLORA OF MOUNT RAINIER 

Poa lettermani Vasey. 

On the slopes near Camp Muir, growing with the preceding. 

Festuca viridula Vasey. 

The finest grass on the slopes. Abundant at 5,000 feet elevatioa 

Festuca ovina supina (Schur) Hackel. 

In the pumice fields at 8,000 feet altitude. 

Festuca subulata Trinius. 

Longmire Springs, in moist places. 

Bromus marginatus Nees. 

A species doubtfully referred here was collected on the moun- 
tains in 1890 by Rev. E. C. Smith. No 'specimens of it are now in 
our possession. 

Sitanion rigidum J. G. Smith. 

Pumice fields at 8,000 feet. 

Sitanion glabrum J. G. Smith. 

Common on the rocky ridges north of Cowlitz Glacier. 

Sitanion rubescens Piper. 

Dry slopes on the south side of the mountain. 

SPARGANIACEAE. (Bur-reed Family.) 

Sparganium minimum Fries. 

Collected in 1890 by Rev. E. C. Smith, in one of the small 
lakes near the base of Pinnacle Peak. 

TAXACEAE. (Yew Family.) 

Taxus brevifolia Nuttall. Western Yew. 

The yew is not uncommon along the trail from Longmire Springs 
to Paradise Park. It does not ascend much above 3,000 feet eleva- 
tion. 

PINACEAE. (Pine Family.) 

Juniperus sibirica BurgsdorfF. Mountain Juniper. 

The alpine juniper occurs on the banks of the Nisqually, near 
Longmire Springs, and is common on the rocks up to 7,500 feet 
elevation. 

Chamaecyparis nootkatensis (Lambert) Spach. Alaska Cedar. 

The Alaska cedar ranges on the mountain slopes from 3,500 
feet up to 6,000 feet altitude. It is far more abundant on the 
north side of the peak than on the south. Few, if any, specimens 
exceed four feet in diameter, and where the trees are most abun- 
dant the trunks are only one or two feet through. 

Abies grandis Lindley. White Fir. 

Some trees, without cones, which were observed on the trail 
above Longmire Springs, are doubtfully referred here. They are 
more likely to belong to the following species. 

283 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Abies amabilis (Douglas) Forbes. Lovely Fir. 

The Lovely fir is abundant at from 2,500 to 3,500 feet elevation. 
It is usually but a small tree, with beautifully symmetrical form. 
Except when fruiting, it is difficult to distinguish from the low- 
land white fir. 

Abies nobilis Lindley. Noble Fir. 

The finest of all the firs, frequently four to six feet in diameter, 
without a single branch for a hundred feet or more. Easily 
known by the deep red color of the bark when chopped into, and by 
the large cones, covered with reflexed bracts. Abundant at 4,000 
to 5,000 feet. 

Abies lasiocarpa (Hooker) Nuttall. Subalpine Fir. 

This is the primly conical little fir so common in Paradise 
Park. It rarely occurs below 4,500 feet elevation. Its dark purple 
pubescent cones, only two or three inches long, readily distin- 
guish it from the preceding species. 

Pseudotsuga mucronata (Rafinesque) Sudworth. Douglas 
Spruce. 

The Douglas spruce is common up to 3,500 feet elevation. 
There is a marked tendency of the cones to be relatively shorter and 
thicker at this altitude, but otherwise the tree shows little varia- 
tion from its lowland typical form. 

Tsuga heterophylla Rafinesque. Western Hemlock. 
The Western hemlock is abundant at 3,000 feet altitude, but 
usually much smaller than when growing near the sea level. 

Tsuga mertensiana (Bongard) Carriere. Black Hemlock. 

The Black hemlock is frequent from 4,000 to 6,opo feet elevation. 
On the higher slopes it commonly forms clumps with the Subalpine 
fir. When this is the case, the irregular form and dark foliage of the 
hemlock, usually festooned with lichens, form a pleasing contrast 
to the conical form and lighter foliage of the fir. 

Pinus albicaulis Engelmann. White-bark Pine. 

This white-barked nut pine is abundant on the high ridge north 
of the Cowlitz Glacier. It also occurs above Camp of the Clouds. 
It rarely fruits, and when it does the cones, with their sweet edible 
seeds, are quickly torn to pieces by Clark's crow. The trunk and 
branches are frequently adorned with the bright yellow lichen, 
Evernia vulpina. 

Pinus monticola Douglas. Western White Pine. 
Not uncommon at low elevations. The narrow cones, six to 
twelve inches long, are characteristic. 

Pinus contorta Douglas. Lodgepole Pine. 

Reported by Mr. Gorman " on the moraines of the Nisqually." 

284 



THE FLORA OF MOUNT RAINIER 

Picea engelmanni Parry. Engelmann Spruce. 

Rather a rare tree about Mount Rainier, at 3,500 feet elevation. 
In the Sitka or Tideland spruce the leaves are decidedly flattened ; 
in the Engelmann spruce they are nearly square in cross section. 

ISOETACEAE. (Quillwort Family.) 

Isoetes echinospora braunii Engelmann. 

Common in the small lakes near the foot of Pinnacle Peak. 

LYCOPODIACEAE. (Club-moss Family.) 

Lycopodium annotinum Linnaeus. 

A large patch of this handsome species occurs at the point where 
the trail first crosses Paradise River above Longmire Springs. 

Lycopodium sitchense Ruprecht. 

Common on the meadows at 4,000 feet elevation. 

EQTJISETACEAE. (Horsetail Family.) 

Equisetum limosum Linnaeus. 

This species occurs in the bog on top of the ridge above the foot 
of Nisqually Glacier. The old trail to the park led through this 
bog. 

Equisetum arvense Linnaeus. 

Sterile fronds of this plant were observed at Longmire Springs. 

Equisetum robustum A. Braun. 

Common in damp places up to 3,000 feet elevation. Readily 
eaten by cayuses. 

POLYPODIACEAE. (Fern Family.) 

Polypodium hesperium Maxon. 

Not rare in rock crevices on the cliffs overlooking the lakes at 
the foot of Pinnacle Peak. 

Phegopteris dryopteris (Linnaeus) Fee. 

The pretty " oak-fern " is abundant along the trail above 
Longmire's, in deep woods. 

Phegopteris alpestris (Hoppe) Mettenius. 

Forming crown-like tufts in the talus at the foot of cliffs in 
Paradise Park. 

Dryopteris spinulosa dilatata (Hoffman) Underwood. 

The common wood-fern is frequent in the forests at 3,000 feet 
altitude. 

Polystichum lonchitis (Linnaeus) Roth. 

Specimens of this species are in my possession from Mount 
Rainier, but the exact place of collection has passed my recollection. 
Presumably it was found in or near Paradise Park. 

285 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Filix fragilis (Linnaeus) Underwood. 

Diminutive specimens of this fern were collected on the cliffs 
at 8,000 feet altitude. Rev. E. C. Smith found much finer ex- 
amples at a lower elevation. 

Cryptogramma acrostichoides R. Brown. 

Common in the coarse gravel on the bars of the Nisqually, 
occurring even at the foot of the glacier. 

OPHIOGLOSSACEAE. (Adder's Tongue Family.) 

Botrychium lunaria (Linnaeus) Swartz. 

Specimens were collected by Rev. E. C. Smith on the north 
side of the mountain in 1888. 

Botrychium lanceolatum (S. G. Gmelin) Angstroem. 

Longmire Springs, Allen, not otherwise known on the Pacific 
Coast. 



286 



XVII. CREATION OF MOUNT RAINIER 
NATIONAL PARK 

MEMORIAL BY SCIENTIFIC SOCIETIES 

A SURPRISINGLY wide interest was awakened by the proposal to 
create a national park to include the great mass of Mount 
Rainier and its immediate surroundings. Five societies ap- 

Eointed committees to cooperate in securing the needed legis- 
ition from Congress. Those committees prepared a memorial. 
The Senate Miscellaneous Document, number 247, Fifty-third 
Congress, second session, shows that the memorial was intro- 
duced on July 1 6, 1894, by Senator Watson C. Squire from the 
State of Washington. The memorial was deemed of sufficient 
importance to be republished in the Eighteenth Annual Report 
of the United States Geological Survey for 1896-1897. It is 
here reproduced from that publication. 

With all the interest thus manifested, it required nearly five years 
from the introduction of the memorial to witness the achieve- 
ment of its purpose. The act of Congress creating the Mount 
Rainier National Park bears the date of March 2, 1899. 

To the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States of America in Congress assembled: 
At a meeting of the Geological Society of America, 
in Madison, Wis., August 15, 1893, a committee was 
appointed for the purpose of memorializing the Con- 
gress in relation to the establishment of a national park 
in the State of Washington to include Mount Rainier, 
often called Mount Tacoma. The committee consists 
of Dr. David T. Day, Mr. S. F. Emmons, and Mr. 
Bailey Willis. 

At a meeting of the American Association for the 
Advancement of Science, in Madison, Wis., August 
21, 1893, a committee was appointed by that body for 
the same purpose as above mentioned, consisting of 

287 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Maj. J. W. Powell, Prof. Joseph Le Conte, Prof. 
I. C. Russell, Mr. B. E. Fernow, and Dr. C. H. Merriam. 

At a meeting of the National Geographic Society, 
held in Washington, D. C., on October 13, 1893, there 
was appointed a committee for the purpose above 
mentioned, consisting of Hon. Gardiner G. Hubbard, 
Hon. Watson C. Squire, Mr. John W. Thompson, 
Miss Mary F. Waite, and Miss Eliza R. Scidmore. 

At a meeting of the Sierra Club, held in San Francisco 
December 30, 1893, a committee for the same purpose 
was appointed, composed of Mr. John Muir, President 

D. S. Jordan, Mr. R. M. Johnson, Mr. George B. 
Bayley, Mr. P. B. Van Trump. 

At a meeting of the Appalachian Mountain Club, 
held in Boston April n, 1894, a similar committee was 
appointed, consisting of Mr. John Ritchie, Jr., Rev. 

E. C. Smith, Dr. Charles E. Fay. 

The committees thus appointed were instructed by 
the several bodies to which they belong to cooperate 
in the preparation of a memorial to Congress, setting 
forth the substantial reasons for the establishment of 
such park. 

Pursuant to their instructions, the committees pre- 
sent the following memorial to the Congress, and pray 
that such action may be taken by the honorable Sena- 
tors and Representatives as will secure to the people 
of the United States the benefits of a national park 
which shall include the area mentioned above. In 
support of their prayer they beg to submit the following 
statement : 

By proclamation of the President, in compliance with 
the statutes provided therefor, a Pacific Forest Re- 
serve has been established in the State of Washington, 
the western portion of which is nearly coincident with 
the tract of land to be included in the national park 
for which your memorialists pray. 

The western part of this reserve includes many fea- 
tures of unique interest and wonderful grandeur, which 

288 



CREATION OF MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK 

fit it peculiarly to be a national park, forever set aside 
for the pleasure and instruction of the people. The 
region is one of such exceptional rainfall and snowfall 
that the preservation of its forests is of unusual im- 
portance as a protection against floods in the lower 
valleys ; but the scenic features, which mark it out 
for a national park, attract tourists, who set fire to 
the timber. This destruction goes on notwithstanding 
it is a forest reserve, and will continue until protection 
is afforded by adequate supervision of the area, whether 
as a reserve or park. 

The reserve is traversed through the middle from 
north to south by the crest of the Cascade Range, which 
has an elevation varying from 5,300 to 6,800 feet. This 
is the divide between tributaries of Puget Sound, 
flowing west, and those of Yakima River, flowing east. 
Mount Rainier, the isolated volcanic peak, 14,400 feet 
high, stands 12 miles west of the divide, from which it is 
separated by a deep valley. 

The eastern half of the reserve differs from the 
western in climate, in flora, and in fauna, in geographic 
and geologic features, and in aspects of scenery. The 
eastern slope of the Cascade Range within the reserve 
is a mountainous region, with summits rising to a 
general elevation of 6,500 to 7,600 feet above the sea. 
It is forest covered and presents many attractions to 
the tourist and hunter ; but it is not peculiar among 
the mountain regions of America either for grandeur 
or interest, and it is not an essential part of the area 
to be set apart as a national park. 

The western slope of the Cascades within the reserve 
is short and steep as compared with the eastern. Much 
of it is precipitous, particularly opposite Mount 
Rainier, where its bare walls would appear most grand 
were they not in the shadow of that overpowering 
peak. North and south of Rainier this slope is more 
gradual and densely wooded. 

The western half of the Pacific reserve, that portion 
u 289 



MOUNT RAINIER 

which it is proposed shall be made a national park, 
is characterized by Mount Rainier, whose summit is 
but 4 miles from the western boundary of the reserve 
and whose glaciers extend beyond its limits. 

Mount Tacoma is not simply a volcanic cone, peculiar 
for its hugeness. It was formerly a vast volcanic dome, 
30 miles in radius to the north, west, and south ; but 
rivers have cut deep canyons, glaciers have carved 
ample amphitheaters back into the mass, and now many 
serrate ridges rising from a few hundred to 10,000 feet 
above the sea converge at that altitude to support 
the central pyramid, which towers more than 4,000 
feet above its base. 

This grand mountain is not, like Mount Blanc, merely 
the dominant peak of a chain of snow mountains ; it 
is the only snow peak in view, Mount St. Helens and 
Mount Adams being, like it, isolated and many miles 
distant. Rainier is majestic in its isolation, reaching 
6,000 to 8,000 feet above its neighbors. It is superb 
in its boldness, rising from one canyon 11,000 feet in 7 
miles. Not only is it the grandest mountain in this 
country, it is one of the grand mountains of the world, 
to be named with St. Elias, Fusiyama, and Ararat, and 
the most superb summits of the Alps. Eminent scien- 
tists of England and Germany, who, as members of 
the Alpine Club of Switzerland and travelers of wide 
experience, would naturally be conservative in their 
judgment, have borne witness to the majesty of the 
scenery about Rainier. 

In 1883 Professor Zittel, a well-known German geolo- 
gist, and Prof. James Bryce, member of Parliament 
and author of the American Commonwealth, made a 
report on the scenery about Mount Rainier. Among 
other things, they said : 

"The scenery of Mount Rainier is of rare and varied 
beauty. The peak itself is as noble a mountain as 
we have ever seen in its lines and structure. The 
glaciers which descend from its snow fields present all 

290 



CREATION OF MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK 

the characteristic features of those in the Alps, and 
though less extensive than the ice streams of the Mount 
Blanc or Monta Rosa groups are in their crevasses and 
seracs equally striking and equally worthy of close 
study. We have seen nothing more beautiful in 
Switzerland or Tyrol, in Norway or in the Pyrenees, 
than the Carbon River glaciers and the great Puyallup 
glaciers ; indeed, the ice in the latter is unusually pure, 
and the crevasses unusually fine. The combination of 
ice scenery with woodland scenery of the grandest 
type is to be found nowhere in the Old World, unless it 
be in the Himalayas, and, so far as we know, nowhere 
else on the American Continent/' 

These eminent and experienced observers further 
say: 

"We may perhaps be permitted to express a hope 
that the suggestion will at no distant date be made to 
Congress that Mount Rainier should, like the Yosemite 
Valley and the geyser region of the Upper Yellowstone, 
be reserved by the Federal Government and treated 
as a national park/' 

But Mount Tacoma is single not merely because it is 
superbly majestic ; it is an arctic island in a temperate 
zone. In a bygone age an arctic climate prevailed over 
the Northwest, and glaciers covered the Cascade Range. 
Arctic animals and arctic plants then lived throughout 
the region. As the climate became milder and glaciers 
melted, the creatures of the cold climate were limited 
in their geographic range to the districts of the shrink- 
ing glaciers. On the great peak the glaciers linger still. 
They give to it its greatest beauty. They are them- 
selves magnificent, and with them survives a colony of 
arctic animals and plants which can not exist in the 
temperate climate of the less lofty mountains. These 
arctic forms are as effectually isolated as shipwrecked 
sailors on an island in mid-ocean. There is no refuge 
for them beyond their haunts on ice-bound cliffs. 
But even there the birds and animals are no longer safe 

291 



MOUNT RAINIER 

from the keen sportsman, and the few survivors must 
soon be exterminated unless protected by the Govern- 
ment in a national park. 

The area of the Pacific forest reserve includes valuable 
timber and important water supplies. It is said to 
contain coal, gold, and silver. 

The timber on the western slope differs from that on 
the eastern in size and density of growth and in kinds of 
trees. The forests of Puget Sound are world-renowned 
for the magnitude and beauty of their hemlocks, cedars, 
and firs. Their timber constitutes one of the most im- 
portant resources of the State. Nowhere are they more 
luxuriant than on the foothills west and north of Mount 
Rainier. But their value as timber is there subordinate 
to their value as regulators of floods. The Puyallup 
River, whose lower valley is a rich hop garden, is even 
now subject to floods during the rapid melting of the 
snow on Mount Rainier in the limited area above timber 
line. In the broader area below timber line, but above 
3,000 feet in elevation, the depth of snow in the winter 
of 1893 was 9 to J S f eet - Protected by the dense 
canopy of the fir and hemlock trees this snow melts 
slowly and the river is high from March to June. But 
let the forest be once destroyed by fire or by lumbermen 
and the snows of each winter, melting in early spring, 
will annually overwhelm the Puyallup Valley and trans- 
form it into a gravelly waste. The same is true of 
White River and the Nisqually. 

The forests of the eastern slope, tributary to the 
Yakima, are of even greater importance as water 
preservers. They constitute a great reservoir, holding 
back the precipitation of the wet season and allowing 
it to filter down when most needed by crops. In the 
Yakima Valley water gives to land its value. Storage 
of flood waters and extensive distribution by canals 
is necessary. The forests being preserved to control 
the water, the natural storage basins should be improved 
and canals built. For these reasons it is most important 

292 



CREATION OF MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK 

that no part of the forest reserve should be sacrificed, 
even though the eastern half is not included in the 
national park. 

The boundaries of the proposed national park have 
been so drawn as to exclude from its area all lands upon 
which coal, gold, or other valuable minerals are sup- 
posed to occur, and they conform to the purpose that the 
park shall include all features of peculiar scenic beauty 
without encroaching on the interests of miners or 
settlers. 

None save those who can march and camp in the 
primeval forest an now visit Mount Rainier ; but it 
is the wilderness, not the distance, that makes it diffi- 
cult of approach. On the west the distance up the 
Nisqually River from the railroad at Yelm Prairie to 
the reserve is but 40 miles. Though heavily timbered, 
the valley of the Nisqually affords an easy route for a 
railroad. The Cowlitz Valley also offers a line of 
approach without difficulty by rail, it being about 50 
miles from the railroad to the reserve. 

On the northwest the railroad at Wilkeson is but 23 
miles from the summit of Mount Rainier, and the 
glaciers can be reached by riding 25 miles through the 
great forest. 

On the north the Cascade branch of the Northern 
Pacific Railroad crosses the range, only 13 miles in a 
direct line and 19 miles along the summit from the 
northern limit of the reserve. 

On the east the city of North Yakima is but 62 miles 
from the summit of Mount Rainier. 

The proposed park covers a mountain region which 
lies across the line of travel from east to west. The 
railroad winds northward ; the travel down the Colum- 
bia River turns southward to avoid it. The great 
current of tourists which flows north and south through 
Portland, Tacoma, Seattle, Vancouver, and Alaska 
passes to the west within sight of Mount Rainier, 
and when the grand old mountain is obscured by clouds 

293 



MOUNT RAINIER 

the travelers linger to see it, or, passing regretfully on 
their way, know that they have missed the finest view 
of their trip. 

When a railroad is built up the Nisqually or Cowlitz 
Valley to the park and connection by stages is assured 
northward to the Cascade branch of the Northern 
Pacific Railroad and eastward to Yakima, the flood 
of travel will be diverted through the park. 

The point which combines accessibility with sur- 
roundings of great beauty, and which is therefore most 
appropriate as a hotel site, is southeast of Mount 
Rainier, on one of the spurs of the Tatoosh Moun- 
tains, near the Cowlitz Valley. To open this region to 
travel it would be sufficient to establish the hotel and 
its connections down the Nisqually or Cowlitz Valley, 
together with trails to points of interest within the park. 
From the hotel a principal trail would extend north to 
the Emmons and White River glaciers, which would 
thus be easily accessible, and thence the railroad at 
Wilkeson could readily be reached on horseback over 
the old Northern Pacific trail. In the future, stage 
roads, or possibly a railroad, would be extended over the 
Cowlitz Pass to the eastern slope, North Yakima would 
be reached via the Tieton or Tannum Valley, and Tan- 
num Lake would become a favorite resort. 

But the highway which would challenge the world 
for its equal in grand scenery would extend from the 
Cowlitz Pass northward along the crest of the range to 
the Cascade branch. The distance is 50 miles, 31 in 
the park and 19 beyond it to the railroad. Within the 
reserve the summit is open and park-like. On the east 
is a sea of mountains ; on the west is a bold descent 
of 3,000 feet to the valleys of Cowlitz and White rivers, 
beyond which Tacoma rises in overpowering grandeur, 
8,000 feet above the road and only 12 miles distant. 

A committee of your memorialists has carefully 
examined the existing maps of the State of Washington 
with special reference to the position of this reserve, 

2Q4 



CREATION OF MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK 

and finds that the boundaries of the reserve are farther 
east, in relation to Mount Rainier, than was supposed. 
The western boundary traverses the slope of Mount 
Rainier at altitudes of 7,000 to 9,000 feet, and the 
glaciers extend several miles beyond it. In order to 
include all of the glacial area and the immediately 
adjacent forest on the west, your memorialists respect- 
fully recommend that the western boundary of the park 
be drawn one range west of that of the reserve, viz, 
at the range line between ranges 6 and 7 east of the 
Willamette meridian. By this change no part of the 
Wilkeson-Carbonado coal field would be included in the 
park. 

Your memorialists find, as already stated, that it is 
not necessary to include the eastern slope of the Cas- 
cades in the park, and furthermore that it is desirable 
to leave the Natchez Pass on the north and the Cowlitz 
Pass on the south open for the construction of railroads. 
Your memorialists therefore pray that the park be 
defined by the following boundaries : Beginning at 
the northwest corner of sec. 19, T. 18 N., R. 7 E. of the 
Willamette meridian ; thence south 24 miles more or 
less to the southwest corner of sec. 18, T. 14 N., R. 7 
E. ; thence east 27 miles more or less to the summit of 
the Cascade Range ; thence in a northerly direction to a 
point east of the place of beginning, and thence west 
26 miles more or less to the place of beginning. 

Your memorialists respectfully represent that 

Railroad lines have been surveyed and after the es- 
tablishment of a national park would soon be built to 
its boundaries. The concessions for a hotel, stopping 
places, and stage routes could be leased and the pro- 
ceeds devoted to the maintenance of the park. The 
policing of the park could be performed from the bar- 
racks at Vancouver by details of soldiers, who would 
thus be given useful and healthful employment from 
May to October. 

The establishment of a hotel would afford oppor- 

295 



MOUNT RAINIER 

tunity for a weather station, which, in view of the 
controlling influence exerted by Mount Rainier on the 
moisture-laden winds from the Pacific, would be im- 
portant in relation to local weather predictions. 

Your memorialists further represent that this region 
of marvelous beauty is even now being seriously marred 
by careless camping parties. Its valuable forests and 
rare animals are being injured and will certainly be 
destroyed unless the forest reserve be policed during 
the camping seasons. But efficient protection of the 
undeveloped wilderness is extraordinarily difficult and 
in this case practically impossible. 

Therefore, for the preservation of the property of 
the United States, for the protection from floods of the 
people of Washington in the Yakima, Cowlitz, Nis- 
qually, Puyallup, and White River valleys, and for the 
pleasure and education of the nation, your memorialists 
pray that the area above described be declared a 
national park forever. 

For the National Geographic Society : 

GARDINER G. HUBBARD, 

President. 

For the American Association for the Advancement 
of Science : 

J. W. POWELL. 

For the Geological Society of America : 

BAILEY WILLIS. 

For the Sierra Club : 

JOHN MUIR. 

For the Appalachian Mountain Club : 

JOHN RITCHIE, JR. 

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 27, 



XVIII. MOUNT RAINIER IS 14,408 FEET HIGH 
BY THE UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 

THE United States Geological Survey issued a bulletin for news- 
paper publication on January 22, 1914, giving the height 
of the mountain as determined by the most accurate and de- 
finitive methods known. That bulletin is here given as it was 
then issued. At the same time F. E. Matthes, topographer 
with the Survey, sent additional comment to the Sierra Club 
of California, by whom it was published in the Sierra Bulletin 
for January, 1914. This comment is now reproduced by per- 
mission of the Sierra Club. 

The height of the summit of Mount Rainier, Wash- 
ington, has been determined by the United States 
Geological Survey to be 14,408 feet above mean sea 
level. This elevation now officially displaces the for- 
mer supposed height of the mountain of 14,363 feet 
and accords to Mount Rainier the distinction of being 
the second highest mountain peak in the United States, 
Mount Whitney, California, being the highest. The 
correct height of Rainier was determined by a party 
of topographic engineers of the Survey in connection 
with the mapping of the Mount Rainier National Park, 
which was completed last summer. The topographic 
survey of the park was begun in 1910 by F. E. Matthes, 
continued in 1911 by Mr. Matthes and George R. 
Davis, and finished in 1913 by C. H. Birdseye, W. O. 
Tufts, O. G. Taylor, and S. E. Taylor. 

In the mapping of the summit of the mountain a 
terrific blizzard was encountered ; in fact, two ascents 
of the upper portion of the mountain were necessary. 

297 



MOUNT RAINIER 

The first ascent of the upper 5,450 feet was begun at 
5 o'clock A.M., August 1 6 [1913], and dawn broke with 
every indication of developing into a beautiful day. On 
reaching the summit the men encountered a terrific 
gale, clouds enveloped the mountain, preventing ob- 
servations, and by noon snow began to fall. A descent 
was attempted, but the party became hopelessly lost 
in a labyrinth of crevasses, the storm developing into 
a blizzard. To descend further was impossible ; to 
remain was suicide. Consequently a return to the 
crater was ordered, and the men reached it after a 
two hours* climb, utterly exhausted and nearly frozen. 
Here they sought shelter in one of the steam caves, 
where during the long night they were thoroughly 
steamed and half frozen in turn. Strenuous measures 
were employed by the men to keep from falling asleep 
and freezing to death. As it was, their fingers and 
ears were badly frozen. Finally, with a rising barome- 
ter, they succeeded in descending 9,000 feet to a tem- 
porary camp, making the descent in three hours. Here 
they recuperated and prepared for another ascent, 
which was accomplished on August 20, the start being 
made at I o'clock in the morning. Good weather was 
encountered and the mapping of the entire summit was 
finished by i o'clock. 

"If anyone thinks that American glaciers are play 
glaciers, or that the weather which may be encountered 
at the summit of Mount Rainier in August is uniformly 
balmy and springlike," said Mr. Birdseye, whose 
fingers and ears were badly frosted, "let him climb 
Mount Rainier during one of its summer blizzards. 
The steam caves in the crater are not the pleasantest 
places imaginable to spend the night in, but had they 
not been there, not one of us would be alive today to 
tell the tale." 



298 



MOUNT RAINIER IS 14,408 FEET HIGH 

COMMENT BY F. E. MATTHES 

The mountaineers of the Pacific Northwest will no 
doubt jubilate at the above announcement by the 
United States Geological Survey of the new figure for 
the altitude of Mount Rainier. It places that peak 
close to the top of the list of high mountains in the 
United States. Mount Rainier's closest rival on the 
Pacific coast, Mount Shasta, it so happens, has just 
recently been beheaded by the United States Coast 
and Geodetic Survey, and now can claim no more than 
14,162 feet, that is, 218 feet less than it once boasted. 
The great volcano of Puget Sound is thus left well in 
the lead. 

A review of the different figures that have been 
announced in the past for each of the higher peaks of 
the United States would almost justify one to infer 
that these summits have a peculiar habit of fluctuating 
in height from time to time. Both Rainier and Shasta 
have been notorious for their inconstancy ; so much so 
indeed that it is to be feared that the public will lose 
faith somewhat in the trustworthiness of altitude 
determinations in general. There is good reason to 
believe, however, that the last announcements for 
these two peaks are not likely to be changed again. 
About Mount Shasta, perhaps the Coast Survey is the 
only party able to speak positively ; but as regards 
Mount Rainier, the Geological Survey feels satisfied 
that the new figure is the best that can be obtained 
with modern methods and instruments. 

The elevation of Mount Whitney (14,501 ft.), it 
may be remembered, was determined by actual leveling, 
but such procedure would have been impossible on 
Mount Rainier, as the most practicable route to its 
summit leads over many miles of snow and ice, and up 
a precipitous chute several hundred feet in height. 
On thawing snow accurate leveling is out of the ques- 
tion, for the instrument can not be set up so firmly that 

299 



MOUNT RAINIER 

it will not settle slightly between back and fore sights. 
To execute this pottering kind of work in freezing 
weather would entail both hardship and great expense. 
But the obstacle that would have proved entirely in- 
superable to levels on Mount Rainier and led to the 
abandoning of that method is the dreaded Gibraltar 
Rock, well known to many who read this magazine 
[Sierra Club Bulletin]. To carry levels up its precipi- 
tous side is for practical considerations all but im- 
possible. 

It was necessary, in the case of Mount Rainier, to 
resort to long-distance methods of angulation. That is 
to say, sights were taken to its summit from neighbor- 
ing peaks, six to eight miles distant, the altitudes of 
which had been carefully determined, and the posi- 
tions of which with respect to the mountain's summit 
had been computed from a scheme of triangulation. 

It is not possible to execute vertical-angle measure- 
ments of this sort with the precision obtainable by 
leveling ; at the same time by providing a sufficient 
number of checks and repeating each measurement 
many times a result can be attained that can be relied 
on within a foot or two. And closer than that the 
determination of a snowcapped peak, such as Mount 
Rainier, need scarcely be ; for its actual height is 
bound to fluctuate by several feet from year to year 
and even from month to month. 

It is gratifying to note how closely the new trigo- 
nometric determination of Mount Rainier accords 
with the barometric one of Prof. Alexander McAdie 
(14,394 ft.). It is hoped that this agreement between 
the results of two fundamentally different methods 
will strengthen public faith in their reliability, and lead 
to the discarding of other figures (some of them much 
exaggerated) that have appeared in print from time to 
time. 

In closing, it may be said, that the Geological Sur- 
vey's bulletin little more than hints at the fortitude 

300 



MOUNT RAINIER IS 14,408 FEET HIGH 

and pluck of Mr. Birdesye and his party in their almost 
disastrous experiences on the peak. Survey men 
are so frequently confronted by peril in their daily 
work, that they are not apt to write or talk about it, 
and as a consequence the public seldom learns the 
intimate details. It is to be hoped that the history of 
this undertaking will some day appear in full. 



301 



XIX. PLACE NAMES AND ELEVATIONS IN 
MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK 

PLACE names within a region like the Mount Rainier National 
Park are produced by three causes : The first and most impor- 
tant is the actual need of such names by those who work within 
the Park and by those who report upon or write about it. The 
second is the natural desire to honor those individuals whose 
achievements are worthy of commemoration. The third 
cause is found in the vanity of visitors. This is sometimes 
manifested in the harmless and often helpful desire just to be 
the one to name something, but usually it takes the form of a 
desire of visitors to write the names of themselves or their 
friends upon the map. 

The ranger who discovers from a look-out peak a distant fire 
near some unnamed lake or cliff hastens to a telephone, but 
finds his work of sending fire fighters to the place of danger 
much more difficult than if he could use some definite place 
name. Trail builders and patrols continually find a similar 
need for names. For their own use they proceed to invent 
names which often stick. The Mountaineers in 1915 found 
that a trail builder had supplied such a need by giving a beauti- 
ful waterfall near his trail the name of his favorite brand of 
canned peaches. More care of such matters is now being exer- 
cised by those interested working through the United States 
Geographic Board. 

The elevations given are taken from the official map and other 
Government publications. In time all important heights will 
be definitely determined and marked. 

It is hoped that this compilation of the names may be improved 
from year to year. Further facts about any of the names 
would be welcomed by the editor of this work. 

Ada Creek. A tributary of Huckleberry Creek near the north- 
ern boundary of the Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Adelaide Lake. Near the north-central boundary of the Park. 
Origin of name not ascertained. 

302 




PETER RAINIER. 
Admiral of the Blue, Royal Navy. 



PLACE NAMES AND ELEVATIONS 

Affi Falls. In Lodi Creek, in the north-central portion of the 
Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Alice Falls. In Spukwush Creek, in the northwestern portion 
of the Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Alki Crest. In the northwestern corner of the Park. The name 
is from the Chinook jargon meaning " by and by." 

Allen Lake. See Lake Allen. 

Alta Vista. A point near the snow line on the south-central 
slope. It was named by John P. Hartman, who visited the place 
with a Tacoma party in 1889. The name is Spanish and means 
" high view." 

Anvil Rock. On the southern slope, near the upper Cowlitz 
Glacier. The name is descriptive, but who suggested it has not 
been ascertained. Elevation, 9,584 feet above sea level. 

Arthur Peak. In the northwestern corner of the Park. Origin 
of name not ascertained. 

August Peak. Near the northwestern boundary of the Park. 
Origin of name not ascertained. 

Avalanche Camp. On the north slope. Named by a member 
of The Mountaineers, during that club's first ascent in 1909. 
Elevation, 10,900 feet above sea level. 

Baker Point. Outjutting portion of Goat Island Mountain, 
overlooking Emmons Glacier. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Bald Rock. On the southeastern slope, near the Cowlitz 
Divide. The name is descriptive. 

Barnes Pass. On western edge of the Park. Named in honor 
of the photographer, C. A. Barnes, who discovered it while with 
J. H. Weer and J. B. Flett. 

Barrier Peak. A prolongation of Governors Ridge near the 
east-central boundary of the Park. 

Basaltic Falls. On the southeastern slope of the mountain. 
One of the features of Cowlitz Park. Named by Prof. J. B. Flett 
and H. H. Garretson. 

Bear Park. In the northeastern corner of the Park. 

Bee Flat. In the northwestern portion of the Park, just south 
of Chenuis Mountain. 

Beehive. Large rock on the southeast slope. It was named 
by Major E. S. Ingraham in 1888, who says: "It reminded me 
of one of those old-fashioned beehives." Elevation, 11,033 ^ eet 
above sea level. 

Beljica. An interesting peak near the road leading from Ash- 
ford to the Park. The name is a composite made up of initials. 
In July, 1897, a party of nine young people visiting the peak pro- 
vided the name. The B was for Burgon D. Mesler, the e for any 
one of three Elizabeth Drabe, Elizabeth Sharp and Elizabeth 

303 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Mesler, the 1 for Lucy K. LaWall, the j for Jessie K. La Wall, 
the i for Isabel Mesler, the c for Clara Mesler, and the a for Alex- 
ander Mesler. 

Bench Lake. In the southern portion of the Park. The land 
lying above the lake is called The Bench. Elevation of the lake, 
4,500 feet above sea level. 

Berkeley Park. In the north-central portion of the Park, 
between Burroughs and Skyscraper Mountains. Origin of name 
not ascertained. 

Berry Peak. In the northwestern corner of the Park. 

Boulder Creek. A tributary of Ohanapecosh River, in the 
park of the same name, on the eastern slope of the mountain. 

Boundary Peak. Appropriately named, as it lies on the south- 
ern boundary line of the Park. 

Brown Peak. In the northeastern corner of the Park. 

Buel Peak. Near the east-central boundary of the Park. 
Origin of name not ascertained. Elevation, 5,933 feet above sea 
level. 

Burnt Park. In the northeastern corner of the Park. 

Burroughs Mountain. On the northeast slope. It was named 
for the naturalist and was at first called John Burroughs Mountain. 

Butter Creek. Flowing from the Tatoosh Range across the 
southern boundary of the Park. 

Camp Curtis. On the northeast slope. Named by The 
Mountaineers in 1909 in honor of Asahel Curtis, leader of that 
club's first ascent. Elevation, 9,000 feet above sea level. 

Camp Delight. See Camp of the Stars. 

Camp Misery. On the southern slope of the mountain at the 
base of the Beehive. The name is descriptive. Elevation, 
11,033 f eet above sea level. 

Camp Muir. On the southeast slope. Named by Major 
E. S. Ingraham, in honor of the naturalist, John Muir, who selected 
the temporary camping place during their ascent in 1888, because 
the presence of pumice indicated a shelter from strong winds. 
Elevation, 10,062 feet above sea level. 

Camp No Camp. On the southeastern slope, near the summit 
of the mountain. It is in the saddle near the summit of Gibraltar. 
The name indicates a disappointed attempt at rest. Elevation, 
12,550 feet above sea level. 

Camp of the Clouds. On the south slope above Paradise 
Valley. Named on August 12, 1886, by Charles E. Kehoe, 
Charles A. Billings and George N. Talcott of Olympia. During 
their visit there the heavy banks of clouds parted and gave them a 
superb mountain view. Elevation, 5,947 feet above sea level. 

Camp of the Stars. On the southeastern slope of the mountain, 

34 



PLACE NAMES AND ELEVATIONS 

near the foot of Gibraltar. It is a narrow shelf of rocks, affording 
space for a dozen climbers when crowded together and " feet 
hanging over." It was used by one of the Ingraham parties, and 
H. E. Holmes says they at first called it Camp Delight on account 
of their joy at the first rays of morning. Elevation, about 12,000 
feet above sea level. 

Canyon Bridge. In the southeastern part of the Park. The 
Muddy Fork of the Cowlitz River rushes through a very narrow 
and deep rift in the rocks. The spanning bridge gives an attrac- 
tive view. 

Carbon Glacier. This glacier begins at the foot of Willis Wall 
on the north face of the mountain. 

Carbon River. About 1876 coal was discovered on the banks of 
this river suggesting the name, which was also later given to the 
glacier from which the river has its source. 

Carter Falls. One of the beautiful features of the lower Para- 
dise River. Named for an early guide who built the first trail to 
Paradise Valley. For years the Longmires collected a fee of fifty 
cents from each one using the trail. It was willingly paid when it 
was explained that the money went to the builder of the trail. 

Castle Rock. In the northwestern portion of the Park. 
Named from its resemblance to an old castle. Elevation, 6,116 
feet above sea level. 

Cataract Basin. See Mist Park. 

Cataract Creek. Flows from Mist Park to the Carbon River in 
the northwestern portion of the Park. About midway in its course 
are the beautiful Cataract Falls. 

Cathedral Rocks. Extending southeast from the summit. It 
is an extensive cleaver between the upper Cowlitz and Ingraham 
Glaciers. Who first suggested the name has not been ascertained. 
Elevation, 8,262 feet above sea level. 

Chenuis Mountain. An extensive ridge near the northern 
boundary of the Park. On the shoulders of the mountain rest 
three little lakes called Chenuis Lakes. From the northern slopes 
of the mountain there rises Chenuis Creek, which, near its junction 
with the Carbon River at the northwestern boundary of the Park, 
produces the beautiful Chenuis Falls. The name seems to be 
Indian, but its origin has not been ascertained. Elevation of the 
ridge, from 4,000 to 6,000 feet above sea level. 

Christine Falls. On the lower portion of Van Trump creek. 
Mr. Van Trump says the falls " were named after my daughter, 
Christine Louise, by a friend John Hayes, of Yelm." Elevation, 
3,667 feet above sea level. 

Cliff Lake. In the south-central portion of the Park, between 
the Tatoosh Range and the boundary. 

x 3S 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Clover Lakes. In White River Park, in the northwestern part 
of the Park. 

Cold Basin. In the northern portion of the Park, just south of 
Grand Park. 

Colonnade. The ridge lying between the South Mowich 
and the Puyallup Glaciers on the west-central slope of the moun- 
tain. 

Columbia Crest. Name suggested by H. E. Holmes of the 
Ingraham party in 1891. They had spent two nights in the crater 
and before leaving voted on a name for the highest part of the 
summit, with Columbia Crest as the result. It has occasionally 
been called The Dome. By Stevens and Van Trump it was called 
Crater Peak. Elevation, 14,408 feet above sea level. 

Comet Falls. On the southern slope of the mountain, in Van 
Trump Park. Elevation, 5,200 feet above sea level. 

Cougar Falls. Near the southern boundary of the Park, in the 
Nickel Creek tributary of the Cowlitz River. 

Cowlitz Chimneys. Pointed and columnar rocks on the east- 
central slope. Though not adjacent to the glacier or river of that 
name, they undoubtedly got their name from one or the other. 
Elevation 7,607 feet above sea level. 

Cowlitz Cleaver. Near the southern peak of the summit. It 
is appropriately named, as it cleaves the higher streams of ice part 
of which flow into Puget Sound and the rest into the Columbia 
River. 

Cowlitz Divide. A ridge running from north to south in the 
southeastern corner of the Park. 

Cowlitz Glacier. Named by General Hazard Stevens and 
P. B. Van Trump in 1870 when they discovered it to be the source 
of the river by that name. It has its beginning from a group of 
smaller glaciers on the southeast slope of the mountain. Above 
the glaciers lies Cowlitz Park. 

Cowlitz River. The name appears as early as the Lewis and 
Clark reports, 1805-1806, where it is spelled Coweliskee. In 
varying forms it appears in the writings of all subsequent explorers. 
A tribe of Indians by that name inhabited its valleys. The river 
finally flows southward into the Columbia River. 

Cowlitz Rocks. A mass of rocks on the southeast slope, between 
the Paradise and Cowlitz Glaciers. The rocks were named in 
1907 by the veteran guide, Jules Stampfler, who found a name 
necessary to satisfy the curiosity of his companies of tourists. 
Elevation, 7,457 feet above sea level. 

Crater Lake. On the northwest slope. Bailey Willis gave the 
name in 1883. He recently wrote: "The amphitheatres which 
the young geologist mistook for craters are now known to be 

306 



PLACE NAMES AND ELEVATIONS 

glacier basins eroded by ice." Elevation, 4,929 feet above sea 
level. 

Crater Peak. See Columbia Crest. 

Crescent Mountain. On the northern slope. The name was 
used by Bailey Willis in 1883. Near the foot of this mountain lies 
Crescent Lake. 

Cress Falls. In the northwestern portion of the Park, near 
Spukwush Creek. 

Crystal Mountain. On the southwestern slope of the mountain, 
overlooking Indian Henrys Hunting Ground. Elevation, 6,300 
feet above sea level. 

Cushman Crest. On the southern slope, overlooking Nisqually 
Glacier. Named in honor of the late Congressman F. W. Cushman, 
of Tacoma. 

Dege Peak. Overlooking Yakima Park in the northern part of 
the Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Denman Falls. On the western slope, in St. Andrews Creek. 
Named by Ben Longmire in honor of A. H. Denman of Tacoma, 
enthusiastic mountaineer and photographer. 

Devils Dream Creek. On the southern slope of the mountain, a 
tributary of Pyramid Creek. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Dick Creek. Flowing from Elysian Fields to the Carbon River 
in the northwestern portion of the Park. Origin of name not 
ascertained. 

Division Rock. At the lower end of North Mowich Glacier, on 
the northwestern slope of the mountain. 

Doe Creek. A tributary of Ipsut Creek in the northwestern 
portion of the Park. 

Double Peak. Near the southeastern boundary of the Park. The 
height is marked at 6,200 feet. The name was suggested by its form. 

Eagle Cliff. Overlooking Spray Creek in the northwestern por- 
tion of the Park. 

Eagle Peak. Near the south-central boundary of the Park. 
Elevation, 5,955 feet above sea level. 

Echo Cliffs. In the northwestern portion of the Park above 
Cataract Creek. 

Echo Rock. On the northwest slope near Russell Glacier. 
Major E. S. Ingraham named it Seattle Rock because it may be 
seen from that city. He does not know who changed the name. 

Edith Creek. On the southern slope, a tributary of the Paradise 
River. In 1907, Jules Stampfler, the guide, was getting out a 
series of stereopticon views and he needed a name for that creek. 
He does not remember Edith's full name. She was a member of 
one of his parties. 

Edmunds Glacier. On the western slope. In June, 1883, the 

37 



MOUNT RAINIER 

glaciers were visited by Vice President Oakes of the Northern 
Pacific Railroad Company and United States Senator George F. 
Edmunds of Vermont. One result of that trip was an order to build 
what has since been known as the Bailey Willis trail to the north- 
western slopes of the mountain. Another subsequent result was 
the naming of the glacier in honor of Senator Edmunds. 

Elizabeth Ridge. Near Crater Lake in the northwestern corner 
of the Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Elysian Fields. One of the beautiful park regions on the 
northern slope. The name was given by Major E. S. Ingraham in 
1888. Elevation, 5,700 feet above sea level. 

Emerald Ridge. On the southwestern slope of the mountain, 
dividing the lower parts of the Tahoma and South Tahoma Glaciers. 
The name is descriptive, but by whom it was first suggested has 
not been ascertained. 

Emmons Glacier. On the northeastern slope. This is the 
largest glacier on the mountain. For a long time it was called 
White Glacier because it gave rise to the river of that name. The 
river's name came from the glacial whiteness of its waters. The 
present name is in honor of S. F. Emmons, who, with A. D. Wilson, 
made the second successful ascent of the mountain in 1870. 

Eunice Lake. In the northwest corner of the Park near Tolmie 
Peak. Bailey Willis named it Tolmie Lake in 1883; but it was 
not so mapped officially, and the name was changed to honor 
Mrs. W. H. Gilstrap of Tacoma. She and her husband were 
frequent visitors to the Crater Lake region. 

Fairy Falls. On the southeastern slope, in the upper waters of 
Stevens Creek. Elevation, 5,500 feet above sea level. 

Falls Creek. Rises in North Park and flows across the boundary 
at the northwestern corner of the Park. 

Fay Peak. In the northwestern portion of the Park, over- 
looking Crater Lake. Elevation, 6,500 feet above sea level. The 
name was given in honor of Miss Fay Fuller of Tacoma, who in 
1890 was the first of her sex to attain the summit of Mount 
Rainier. 

Fir Lake. A small lake in the southeastern corner of the Park. 

Fish Creek. A tributary of Tahoma Creek in the southwestern 
corner of the Park. 

Fishers Hornpipe Creek. On the southern slope of the moun- 
tain, a tributary of Pyramid creek. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Flett Glacier. Near Ptarmigan Ridge on the northwestern 
slope. The name is in honor of Professor J. B. Flett of Tacoma, 
one of the most enthusiastic explorers of the mountain. 

Florence Peak. In the northwestern corner of the Park. 
Origin of name not ascertained. 

308 



PLACE NAMES AND ELEVATIONS 

Frog Heaven. On the south-central slope of the mountain, to 
the west of Narada Falls. 

Frozen Lake. In the northern portion of the Park, just south 
of Mount Fremont. 

Fryingpan Glacier. There are two conflicting theories about 
this name. One is that some campers lost a frying pan in the river, 
giving it that name, which was later extended to the glacier. The 
other is that Professor I. C. Russell named the glacier from its 
fancied resemblance to a frying pan, and that the name was 
later extended to the river. On the east-central slope of the 
mountain. 

Garda Falls. In Granite Creek, a tributary of Winthrop Creek, 
in the north-central portion of the Park. Named by C. A. Barnes 
in honor of Miss Garda Fogg of Tacoma. 

George Lake. See Lake George. 

Gibraltar. This famous and forbidding cliff of rock just south- 
east of the summit was named by the Ingraham party in 1889. 
Elevation, 12,679 f eet above sea level. 

Glacier Basin. On the northern slope of the mountain. It is a 
rather steep but attractive little park, with a small lake and good 
spring water. Inter Glacier is at its head and Inter Fork passes 
through it. Miners at Starbo Camp maintain a little waterpower 
sawmill, and they have for years worked at prospective mines on 
the slopes of the Basin. They have built a wagon road to their 
camp, by use of which tourists will soon become well acquainted 
with the beauties of Glacier Basin and the surrounding regions. 
Elevation, 6,000 feet above sea level. 

Glacier Island. On the southwestern slope of the mountain. 
The name is descriptive, as the island lies between the lower parts 
of Tahoma and South Tahoma Glaciers. 

Goat Island Mountain. On the northeastern slope of the 
mountain, between Emmons Glacier and Summer Land. 

Goat Island Rock. In the lower portion of Carbon Glacier, 
in the northwestern portion of the Park. 

Golden Lakes. A cluster of beautiful lakes in and near Sunset 
Park, close to the west-central boundary of the Park. At sun- 
down they glow like molten gold. 

Gove Peak. In the northwestern portion of the Park. Origin 
of name not ascertained. 

Governors Ridge. Toward the east-central boundary of the 
Park. The name was suggested by Superintendent Ethan Allen 
of the Park. 

Grand Park. A high and extensive area in the northern portion 
of the Park. The miles of relatively level ground, flower-strewn 
and ornamented with circular groves of alpine firs and hemlocks, 

309 



MOUNT RAINIER 

with deer abundant every summer, make the name an appropriate 
one. Elevation, 5,700 feet above sea level. 

Granite Creek. In the north-central portion of the Park. It 
is a tributary of Winthrop Creek. 

Grant Creek. A tributary to Spray Creek in the northwestern 
portion of the Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Green Lake. In the northwestern corner of the Park. 

Green Park. North of Sourdough Mountains, in the north- 
eastern part of the Park. 

Hall's Camp. See Wigwam Camp. 

Hayden Creek. A tributary of Meadow Creek in the north- 
western corner of the Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Henrys Hunting Ground. See Indian Henrys Hunting Ground. 

Hessong Rock. On the northwest slope overlooking Spray 
Park. It was named in honor of a photographer who lived at 
Lake Kapowsin. 

Hidden Lake. Near White River Park, in the northeastern 
part of the Park. 

Howard Peak. In the northwestern corner of the Park. 
Origin of name not ascertained. 

Huckleberry Creek. Takes its rise in the Sourdough Moun- 
tains and flows northward across the boundary of the Park. 

Huckleberry Park. At the headwaters of Huckleberry Creek 
in the northeastern part of the Park. 

Independence Ridge. Extending from Chenuis Mountain to 
the northern boundary of the Park. 

Indian Bar. A large gravel bar in Ohanapecosh Park on the 
eastern slope of the mountain. 

Indian Henrys Hunting Ground. About 1870, a Cowlitz Indian 
began hunting mountain goats in that region. Henry Winsor, a 
pioneer mail carrier, asked his name and got an unpronounceable 
answer. " That's no name," said Winsor, " your name is Indian 
Henry." His playful joke stuck. On the map the word " Indian " 
is omitted, but the United States Geographic Board has voted 
to restore it. P. B. Van Trump said the Indian's name was 
Sotolick. 

Ingraham Glacier. This beautiful glacier lies between Cathe- 
dral Rocks and Little Tahoma on the southeast slope. It was 
named by Professor I. C. Russell in 1896 in honor of Major E. .S. 
Ingraham of Seattle. 

Inter Glacier. On the northeast slope. It was named by 
Major E. S. Ingraham in 1886 when he attempted but failed to 
ascend the mountain from the north side. The name was sug- 
gested by the glacier being hemmed in by a rim of rocks. 

Ipsut Pass. In the northwestern corner of the Park. Flowing 

310 



PLACE NAMES AND ELEVATIONS 

from it to the Carbon River is a stream called Ipsut Creek. The 
word is said to be a form of an Indian word meaning " bear." 

Iron Mountain. On the southwestern slope of the mountain, 
overlooking Indian Henrys Hunting Ground. The name describes 
the masses of supposed iron stain. Elevation, 6,200 feet above sea 
level. 

Jeanette Heights. On the west-central slope overlooking 
Edmunds Glacier. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Josephine Creek. A tributary of Huckleberry Creek, taking 
its rise in Green Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 

June Creek. Flows across the boundary in the northwestern 
corner of the Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Kautz Glacier. This glacier begins at the foot of Peak Success, 
the southern summit. It was named in honor of Lieutenant 
(afterwards General) A. V. Kautz, who attempted an ascent in 
1857. The creek flowing from the glacier bears the same name. 

Klapatche Ridge. Near the west-central boundary of the Park, 
between the North Puyallup River and St. Andrews Creek. 
Origin of name not ascertained. 

Knapsack Pass. In the northwestern portion of the Park, a 
pass between Fay Peak and Mother Mountain from Mist Park to 
Crater Lake. 

Kotsuck Creek. Flows across the east-central boundary of the 
Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Lake Allen. On the west slope of Mount Wow in the south- 
western corner of the Park. To avoid confusion, it was originally 
named Lake O. D. Allen. The name was given in honor of the 
veteran botanist, who was at one time a professor at Yale Uni- 
versity. 

Lake Eleanor. Near the northern boundary of the Park. 
Origin of name not ascertained. 

Lake Ethel. In the north-central portion of the Park, with 
outlet into the West Fork of White River. The name was sug- 
gested by The Mountaineers in 1912 as a compliment to the 
daughter of Park Ranger Thomas E. O'Farrell. 

Lake George. On the western slope of Mount Wow in the 
southwestern corner of the Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Lake James. In the north-central portion of the Park, with 
outlet into Van Horn Creek. The name was suggested by The 
Mountaineers in 1912 as a compliment to the young son of Thomas 
E. O'Farrell, Park Ranger. 

Lake Tom. A small lake near Arthur Peak in the northwestern 
corner of the Park. 

Landslide. On the northwest of Slide Mountain, in the north- 
eastern corner of the Park. 

3" 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Lee Creek. A tributary of Crater Creek in the northwestern 
portion of the Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Liberty Cap. The northern peak of the summit of Mount 
Rainier. It has been claimed that Stevens and Van Trump gave 
this name at the time of their first ascent in 1870, but Mr. Van 
Trump says they called it Tahoma Peak. One of the early uses 
of the present name was by Bailey Willis, who wrote in 1883 : 
" Over the trees near the outlet, just to the right of this pinnacle, a 
pure white peak towers up into the heavens; it is the northern 
summit of Mount Tacoma, the Liberty Cap." Elevation, 
14,112 feet above sea level. 

Liberty Ridge. To the west of Willis Wall and overlooking the 
head of Carbon Glacier near the northern summit. The name was 
adopted in 1914 by the engineers of the United States Geological 
Survey who made the official map of the Park. It was suggested 
by John H. Williams, author of the book entitled " The Mountain 
That Was God." 

Little Tahoma Peak. A towering and rugged peak on the east 
flank of Mount Rainier. Very few adventuresome climbers have 
as yet attained its summit. Elevation, 11,117 f eet above sea level. 
The only ascent known was made by Prof. J. B. Flett and 
H. H. Garretson. 

Lodi Creek. A tributary of White River, in the north-central 
portion of the Park. The name is said to have been given by 
early prospectors for minerals. 

Longmire Springs. Near the southeastern boundary of the 
Park. The springs were discovered by the pioneer, James Long- 
mire, who acquired title to the property and lived there until his 
death on September 17, 1897. Members of his family still main- 
tain a resort there. The National Park Inn, a postomce, Park 
offices, and other conveniences make Longmire the capital of the 
Park. Elevation, 2,761 feet above sea level. 

Lost Creek. Flows across the northeastern boundary of the 
Park. 

Louise Lake. In the south-central portion of the Park between 
Mazama Ridge and Tatoosh Range. Origin of name not ascertained. 

McClure Rock. On the southeastern slope near Paradise 
Glacier. It marks the place of the tragic death of Professor Edgar 
McClure, of the University of Oregon, in 1897, while descending 
after taking barometric measurements at the summit. Elevation, 
7,384 feet above sea level. 

McNealey Peak. A part of Sourdough Mountains in the north- 
ern part of the Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Madcap Falls. On the southern slope of the mountain, in the 
Paradise River between Narada Falls and Carter Falls. 

312 



PLACE NAMES AND ELEVATIONS 

Maple Falls. In a creek of the same name, near the southern 
boundary of the Park. The creek is a tributary of Stevens Creek. 

Marcus Peak. A part of Sourdough Mountains in the north- 
eastern part of the Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Margaret Falls. On the southeast slope, between Cowlitz 
Park and Cowlitz Glacier. The name was in honor of one of the 
daughters of E. S. Hall, former Superintendent of the Park. 

Marie Falls. On the southeast slope, in the upper waters of 
Nickel Creek. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Marjorie Lakes. Near the north-central boundary of the Park. 
Origin of name not ascertained. 

Marmot Creek. A tributary of Cataract Creek, draining 
Seattle Park, in the northwestern portion of the Park. The name 
is for the whistling marmot, so plentiful in that region. 
i Marsh Lakes. In the southern part of the Park. 

Martha Falls. On the southeast slope. The falls were named 
in honor of the wife of the late Elcaine Longmire, by Ben Long- 
mire, the son. 

Martin Peak. On the northwestern boundary of the Park. 
Origin of name not ascertained. 

Mary Belle Falls. On the southeast slope in the upper waters 
of Nickel Creek. The name was suggested by Superintendent 
Ethan Allen in honor of one of the daughters of E. S. Hall, former 
Superintendent of the Park. 

Mazama Ridge. On the southern slope of the mountain, 
beginning at Sluiskin Falls. Named for the Oregon mountain 
climbing club whose main camp was pitched there in 1905. 

Meadow Creek. Near the northwestern boundary of the Park. 
It rises near Tolmie Peak and was named by Bailey Willis in 1883. 

Mildred Point. On the southwest slope, overlooking the foot of 
Kautz Glacier. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Mineral Mountain. On the north-central slope of the moun- 
tain, overlooking Mystic Lake. The name tells the hopes of early 
prospectors who worked there before the National Park was created. 

Mirror Lakes. On the southwestern slope of the mountain, in 
Indian Henrys Hunting Ground. 

Mist Park. In the northwestern portion of the Park, on the 
shoulders of Mother Mountain. Elevation, 6,opo feet above sea 
level. This park is also known as Cataract Basin. 

Moraine Park. On the northern slope, bordering Carbon 
Glacier. It was named by Professor I. C. Russell. 

Mosquito Flat. In the north-central portion of the Park, near 
Lakes James and Ethel. The name indicates that the place was 
first visited at an unfortunate season. Elevation, 4,40x3 feet above 
sea level. 

313 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Mother Mountain. An extensive ridge in the northwestern 
portion of the Park. The name came from the figure of a woman in 
the rock on the northeastern summit of the ridge clearly seen sil- 
houetted against the sky by those traveling on the Carbon River 
trail. Elevation, 6,540 feet above sea level. 

Mount Ararat. On the southwest slope, overlooking Indian 
Henrys Hunting Ground. Ben Longmire writes : " I named it 
because I found there some long slabs of wood that had turned to 
stone and I thought they might have been part of old Noah's boat. 
I also found a stump with a ring around it as if his rope might have 
been tied there. It was all stone." Elevation, 5,996 feet above 
sea level. 

Mount Fremont. In the northern portion of the Park at the 
western extremity of Sourdough Mountains. The origin of the 
name has not been ascertained. Elevation, 7,300 feet above sea 
level. 

Mount Pleasant In the northwestern portion of the Park, 
overlooking Mist and Spray Parks. 

Mount Rainier. Named for Admiral Peter Rainier of the 
British Navy by Captain George Vancouver in 1792. For his own 
account of the discovery and naming of the mountain, see Chapter I 
of this book. Elevation, 14,408 feet above sea level. 

Mount Ruth. On the northeastern slope of the mountain, over- 
looking the Inter and Emmons Glaciers. The name was given 
in honor of Ruth Knapp, daughter of the prospector who built 
" Knapp's Cabin," a landmark for tourists in the Glacier Basin 
region. Elevation, 8,700 feet above sea level. 

Mount Wow. In the southwestern corner of the Park. It is 
sometimes called Goat Mountain. Elevation, 6,045 ^ eet above sea 
level. 

Mountain Meadows. In the northwestern corner of the Park. 
The name originated with Bailey Willis in 1883. Elevation, 4,000 
feet above sea level. 

Mowich Glaciers. On the western and northwestern slopes 
of the mountain are two beautiful glaciers known as North and 
South Mowich. The name is from the Chinook jargon, meaning 
" deer." Who first suggested the name has not been ascertained. 
Each glacier has its draining stream. These flow together, making 
Mowich River, which crosses the northwestern boundary of the 
Park. North Mowich was once called Willis Glacier and South 
Mowich was called Edmunds Glacier. 

Muddy Fork. On the southeastern slope of the mountain. 
One of several sources of the Cowlitz River, it drains from the foot 
of the large Cowlitz Glacier. 

Myrtle Falls. On the southern slope in Edith Creek, atribu- 



tary of the Paradise River. The name was given by Jules Stam- 
pfler, the guide, in 1907. Myrtle was a member of one of his par- 
ties, but he has forgotten the rest of her name. 

Mystic Lake. On the northern slope of the mountain, between 
the Winthrop and Carbon Glaciers. It is a favorite place for 
campers who expect to attempt the ascent of the mountain on its 
northern slopes. Elevation, 5,750 feet above sea level. Named 
by Prof. J. B. Flett and H. H. Garretson on account of a mysterious 
temporary whirlpool seen near its outlet. 

Nahunta Falls. On the south slope. At one time the falls 
had the name Marie, but it was changed at the suggestion of 
Secretary Josephus Daniels of the United States Navy Depart- 
ment. He says : " The name was familiar to me as one given by 
the Carolina Tuscarora to a river in North Carolina and also to 
their largest fort or ' head town.' ' Secretary Daniels obtained 
from the Bureau of American Ethnology information that the 
name has appeared under various spellings and may mean " tall 
trees " or " tall timbers." 

Narada Falls. On the south-central slope, the principal feature 
of the lower Paradise River. An effort was recently made to 
change the name to Cushman Falls in honor of the late Congress- 
man F. W. Cushman, a strong friend of the Park. The present 
name is of Theosophical origin. Narada was a spiritual being 
worshipped by the Brahman people in India by reason of his 
service to the first race of men. Among modern Theosophists the 
word has become a metaphysical subject, the greater part of which 
is given to esoteric students and cannot be revealed. The word 
itself means " uncontaminated." The wonderful beauty of the 
scene, in its pure and original form, suggested the name to an early 
group of visitors, Theosophists, consisting of the following persons : 
Professor E. O. Schwagerl, Mr. and Mrs. George A. Sheffield, 
Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Knight, Miss Ida Wright (now Mrs. Vern 
Mudgett), Mrs. Addie G. Barlow and Mr. Henry Carter. Eleva- 
tion, 4,572 feet above sea level. 

National Park Inn. At Longmire Springs near the southwestern 
entrance to the Park. This attractive hotel has frequently been 
so overrun with guests that numerous tents have been used for 
sleeping quarters. These are placed in the groves of pines and 
firs on the bank of the Nisqually River. Many trips to interesting 
parts of the mountain are made from the Inn. Elevation, 2,761' 
feet above sea level. 

Natural Bridge. In the north-central portion of the Park. 
Many photographers have scrambled to the scene of this natural 
curiosity. Elevation, 5,400 feet above sea level. 

Needle Creek. Near the east-central boundary of the Park. 



MOUNT RAINIER 

It is a tributary of Kotsuck Creek and takes its rise near the sharp 
cliffs of Cowlitz Chimneys, which may have suggested the name 
" Needle." 

Needle Rock. On the northwest slope, overlooking the North 
Mowich Glacier. The name was given by Professor J. B. Flett 
from its supposed resemblance to Cleopatra's Needle. Elevation, 
7,587 feet above sea level. 

Nisqually Glacier. The large glacier flowing from the southern 
flank of Mount Rainier. It was named by Stevens and Van 
Trump in 1870 when they found it to be the source of Nisqually 
River. 

Nisqually River. Rising at the foot of Nisqually Glacier, it 
flows southwesterly through the Park and empties into Puget 
Sound between Tacoma and Olympia. It was mentioned in the 
Journal of John Work of the Hudson's Bay Company, as early as 
1824. The first settlement by white men on Puget Sound was 
made by the Hudson's Bay Company near its mouth in May, 1833. 
That trading post was called Nisqually House. Rev. Myron Eells, 
the talented missionary, says the word comes from the native word, 
" Squally-o-bish," from the tribe of that name. 

North Mowich. See Mowich. 

North Park. In the northwestern corner of the Park. Eleva- 
tion, about 5,000 feet above sea level. 

Northern Crags. In the northwestern portion of the Park, 
overlooking Elysian Fields. 

Observation Rock. On the northwest slope near Flett Glacier. 
In 1885 it was named Observation Point by Prof. L. F. Henderson. 
An extensive view of western Washington is to be had from its top. 
Elevation, 8,364 feet above sea level. 

Ohanapecosh Glacier. On the east-central slope of the moun- 
tain. Below the glacier lies the beautiful Ohanapecosh Park, from 
which flows the river of the same name, which passes out of the 
Park at the northeastern corner of the boundary. The name is 
Indian, but its meaning has not been ascertained. 

Old Desolate. A ridge in the northwestern portion of the Park 
between Moraine and Vernal Parks. 

Ollala Creek. In the southeastern corner of the Park. The 
name is from the Chinook jargon, meaning " berries." 

Owyhigh Lakes. Near the east-central boundary of the Park. 
The Yakima had a great war leader, Chief Owhigh, and this is 
apparently an honor for him. See narrative by Theodore Win- 
throp in this book, Chapter IV. 

Panhandle Gap. On the east-central slope of the mountain, 
above the Sarvent Glaciers. Elevation, about 7,000 feet above 
sea level. 

316 



PLACE NAMES AND ELEVATIONS 

Panorama Point. On the southern slope of the mountain, over- 
looking Nisqually Glacier. 

Paradise Glacier. On the southeast slope. In 1870, Stevens 
and Van Trump called it Little Nisqually Glacier. 

Paradise River. Stevens and Van Trump called the river 
Glacier Creek in 1870. 

Paradise Valley. On the south-central slope. This is the best 
known part of the Park. David Longmire says that his mother 
(wife of the pioneer, James Longmire) and a Mrs. Jameson were the 
first women to visit the region. As they wound up the zigzag 
trail through the forest they were suddenly in the midst of most 
wonderful mountain scenery. " O, what a paradise ! " exclaimed 
one. '' Yes, a real paradise," answered the other. That was in 
1885, and the name Paradise has remained in use for the valley 
and has also been extended to the river and the glacier from which 
it takes its source. 

Paul Peak. In the northwestern corner of the Park. Origin of 
name not ascertained. 

Peak Success. The southern summit of Mount Rainier. It 
was named in 1870 by Stevens and Van Trump on the occasion of 
their making the first ascent of the mountain. The new map calls 
it Point Success. Elevation, 14,150 feet above sea level. 

Pearl Creek. On the southern slope of the mountain, draining 
Pyramid Glacier into Kautz Creek. About midway in its course 
the creek plunges over what are known as Pearl Falls. 

Pigeon Creek. Near the north-central boundary of the Park. 

Pinnacle Peak. One of the most dominant peaks of the 
Tatoosh Range in the south-central portion of the Park. Its 
height is marked at 6,562 feet. On its northern slope lies an ice 
field called Pinnacle Glacier. The ascent of this peak is attempted 
by many visitors starting from Paradise Valley. 

Plummer Peak. Near the south-central boundary of the Park. 
The name was suggested by Superintendent Ethan Allen in honor 
of the late Fred G. Plummer, Geographer of the United States 
Forest Service. 

Point Success. See Peak Success. 

Prospector Creek. A tributary of Huckleberry Creek in the 
northeastern part of the Park. 

Ptarmigan Ridge. On the northwestern slope of the mountain, 
lying north of the North Mowich Glacier and south of the Flett 
and Russell Glaciers. The name was given on account of the 
large number of ptarmigan families found there each summer. 
Named by Prof. J. B. Flett and H. H. Garretson. 

Puyallup Cleaver. The large ridge of rocks on the western slope 
of the mountain, dividing the Puyallup and Tahoma Glaciers. 

317 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Puyallup Glacier. On the western slope. Its name comes from 
the fact that it feeds one of the branches of the Puyallup River. 

Puyallup River. Two forks of this river rise from the glaciers 
on the western and southwestern slopes of the mountain. The 
river empties into Puget Sound at Tacoma Harbor. There have 
been many spellings of the word in early annals. Rev. Myron 
Eells says the tribe of Indians living on the river called themselves 
" Puyallupnamish." 

Pyramid Park. On the southern slope of the mountain, adja- 
cent to Pyramid Peak. From the park flows a stream called 
Pyramid Creek, and above the park lies Pyramid Glacier, between 
South Tahoma and Kautz Glaciers. 

Pyramid Peak. On the southwestern slope, overlooking Indian 
Henrys Hunting Ground. It was named by James L. Mosman, 
of Yelm, because of its resemblance to a perfect pyramid. The 
same name has been extended to a small park and glacier to the 
northeastward of the peak. Elevation, 6,937 feet above sea level. 

Rainier. See Mount Rainier. 

Rampart Ridge. On the southern slope of the mountain. 
This ridge is a prominent group of crags rising above Longmire 
Springs. Elevation, 3,800 feet above sea level. The nearer and 
higher portion of the ridge is known as The Ramparts. The name 
is an old one, but who first suggested it has not been ascertained. 
Elevation of The Ramparts, 4,080 feet above sea level. 

Ranger Creek. In the northwestern corner of the Park, flowing 
into Carbon River near the Ranger Station at the boundary of the 
Park. 

Redstone Peak. In the north-central portion of the Park, 
between the headwaters of Van Horn Creek and White River. 

Reese's Camp. On the south-central slope of the mountain, 
in Paradise Park. For a number of years John L. Reese has ac- 
commodated visitors in a log and canvas hotel with numerous 
tents for sleeping rooms. The name of his camp has grown so 
familiar that other names are forgotten. The site of his hotel was 
once known as Theosophy Ridge. Beginning with 1916, the 
Rainier National Park Company, a new corporation composed of 
prominent citizens, will supplant Reese's Camp with a modern 
hotel and will provide garages, lunch-stations and other con- 
veniences for the tourists. The elevation at Reese's Camp is 
5,557 feet above sea level. 

Reflection Lakes. On the south-central slope of the mountain. 
These lakes are visited by all who make the trip to Pinnacle Peak 
from Paradise Valley. Elevation, 4,861 feet above sea level. 

Register Rock. On the rim of the crater, where there is securely 
fastened in the rocks a record on which all successful climbers by 

318 



PLACE NAMES AND ELEVATIONS 

way of the Gibraltar route sign their names. Elevation, 14,161 feet 
above sea level, or 247 feet below Columbia Crest, the actual summit. 

Ricksecker Point. On the southern slope. It was named in 
honor of Eugene Ricksecker, the engineer, who had charge of 
building the government road in the Park. Elevation, 4,212 feet 
above sea level. 

Round Pass. Near the southwestern boundary of the Park. 
It is understood that the name is to be changed to Halls Pass in 
honor of former Superintendent E. S. Hall. 

Rushingwater Creek. Flows from the Golden Lakes across the 
west-central boundary of the Park. 

Russell Cliff. At the summit, east of Liberty Cap. It was 
named by The Mountaineers Club, during an ascent in 1909, in 
honor of Professor I. C. Russell. 

Russell Glacier. On the northern slope, just west of Carbon 
Glacier. It was named in honor of Professor I. C. Russell. 

Rust Ridge. In the northwestern corner of the Park. 

St. Andrews Park. On the southwestern slope of the mountain. 
Among the first campers in that region was a group of choir boys 
from St. Mark's (Episcopal) Church of Seattle. It is said that 
they called the place St. Andrews Park. The stream flowing out 
of it is now called St. Andrews Creek, and high up on the western 
slope is St. Andrews Rock, at the entrance to Sunset Amphi- 
theatre. 

St. Elmo Pass. On the north slope, through the ridge that 
divides the Winthrop and Inter Glaciers. It was named by 
Major E. S. Ingraham, who says: "In 1887, I camped on the 
ridge with my party. During the night a great thunderstorm 
arose and we could hear the peals of thunder below. A couple of 
boys who were with the party were sleeping above us. Suddenly 
they called out that the storm was over because they could see the 
stars. I, too, saw stars, but I did not think they were real. I got 
up and began to investigate. What the boys thought were stars 
was St. Elmo fire which had settled on their alpenstocks. Even 
the cooking utensils were aflame with it, and our heads shone. I 
explained the phenomenon and the place was called St. Elmo 
Pass." Elevation, 7,415 feet above sea level. 

St. Jacobs Lake. A small lake in the southeastern corner of 
the Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Sarvent Glaciers. Two small but interesting glaciers on the 
east-central slope, draining into Fryingpan Creek. They were 
named in honor of Henry M. Sarvent, the engineer, who made the 
first detailed map of the mountain. 

Scarface. Near the north-central boundary of the Park. 
The name is descriptive. Elevation, 6,100 feet above sea level. 

319 



MOUNT RAINIER 

Seattle Park. A small but beautiful area in the northwestern 
portion of the Park between the Russell and Carbon Glaciers. It 
was named for the City of Seattle. 

Shadow Lake. On the east-central slope of the mountain, east 
of Burroughs Mountain. Elevation, 6,200 feet above sea level. 

Shaw Creek. A tributary of White River near the eastern 
boundary of the Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 

Silvan Island. On the south side of Emmons Glacier. Named 
by Prof. J. B. Flett. 

Silver Falls. In the southeastern corner of the Park. 

Skyscraper Mountain. In the north-central portion of the 
Park, overlooking Berkeley Park. It is a recent name and comes 
from its supposed resemblance to a modern style of architecture. 
Elevation, 7,650 feet above sea level. 

Slide Mountain. In the northeastern corner of the Park. 
Elevation, 6,630 feet above sea level. 

Sluiskin Falls. On the southeastern slope, in the upper waters 
of Paradise River. Named by Stevens and Van Trump, in 1870, 
in honor of their Indian guide. Elevation, 5,900 feet above sea 
level. 

Sluiskin Mountain. In the north-central portion of the Park, 
overlooking Vernal Park. Evidently an additional, though later, 
honor for the Indian guide of Stevens and Van Trump. Elevation, 
7,015 feet above sea level. 

Snow Lake. Near the southern boundary of the Park. 

Sotolick Point. On the southwest slope. The name is spelled 
" Satulick " on the map. It was suggested by P. B. Van Trump, 
who says Sotolick was the name of Indian Henry. Elevation, 
5,574 feet above sea level. 

South Mowich. See Mowich. 

South Tahoma. See Tahoma. 

Spray Falls. On the northwestern slope of the mountain. The 
highest and most beautiful falls on the north side of the mountain. 
It was probably named when the Bailey Willis trail was built by it 
in 1883. The abundant water breaks into a mass of spray. Eleva- 
tion, 5,300 feet above sea level. 

Spray Park. Above Spray Falls lies this extensive and most 
beautiful park. Its elevation is from 6,000 to 8,000 feet above sea 
level. Several lakes drain into Spray Creek, which produces 
Spray Falls. The name originated at the falls and was later ex- 
tended to the creek and park. 

Spukwush Creek. Flowing from Chenuis Mountain to Carbon 
River in the northwestern portion of the Park. The name seems 
to be Indian, but its origin has not been ascertained. 

Squaw Lake. On the southwestern slope of the mountain, near 

320 



PLACE NAMES AND ELEVATIONS 

the entrance to Indian Henrys Hunting Ground. It is said that 
the Squaw camped there while her hunter husband went further 
up the slopes for his game. 

Starbo Camp. In Glacier Basin, on the northern slope of the 
mountain. It is named for the miner who has maintained a camp 
there for a number of years. Further information is given under 
the head of Glacier Basin. 

Steamboat Prow. On the north slope of the mountain. The 
appropriateness of this name is apparent to any who have visited 
the upper ice fields of the Winthrop and Emmons Glaciers. The 
pointed cliff seems to be buffeting a sea of ice. Elevation, 9,500 
feet above sea level. 

Stevens Glacier. On the southeastern slope, adjoining Paradise 
Glacier. The name is in honor of General Hazard Stevens who, 
with P. B. Van Trump, made the first ascent of the mountain in 
1870. The creek flowing from the glacier is called Stevens Creek ; 
its deep bed is Stevens Canyon, and the overlooking crags are 
Stevens Ridge. 

Stevens Peak. Near the southern boundary of the Park. The 
name is probably an additional honor for General Hazard Stevens. 
Elevation, 6,511 feet above sea level. 

Success Glacier. On the southern slope of the mountain, 
flowing into Kautz Glacier. Between Success Glacier and South 
Tahoma Glacier lies a ridge called Success Cleaver. For the origin 
of the name see Peak Success. 

Summer Land. One of the mountain's most beautiful parks, on 
the east-central slope, above Fryingpan Creek. It was named by 
Major E. S. Ingraham in 1888. 

Sunbeam Falls. On the southern slope of the mountain, in a 
tributary of Stevens Creek. 

Sunrise Ridge. Appropriately named as being at the north- 
eastern edge of the Park. A stream flowing from the ridge is 
called Sunrise Creek. Elevation, about 6,000 feet above sea level. 

Sunset Amphitheatre. A huge cirque extending up toward 
Liberty Cap on the western side of the mountain. From it flow 
the Puyallup and Tahoma Glaciers. 

Sunset Park. So named because it extends to the west-central 
boundary of the Park. 

Sweet Peak. In the northwestern corner of the Paik. Origin 
of name not ascertained. Elevation, 4,500 feet above sea level. 

Sylvia Falls. On the southeastern slope, in Stevens Creek. 
Ben Longmire, who is quite a wag, says : " Bill Stafford named 
some falls, Sylvia Falls, after his sweetheart, and she has not spoken 
to him since." 

Tahoma Glacier. On the southwest slope of the mountain, 

Y 321 



MOUNT RAINIER 

beginning at Sunset Amphitheatre and draining into the South 
Fork of the Puyallup River. Just south of this glacier is another 
called South Tahoma Glacier, which drains into Tahoma Creek, 
which in turn flows into the Nisqually River at the southwestern 
corner of the Park. The name is one of the forms of the word 
Tacoma. Stevens and Van Trump gave the name to what is now 
known as Liberty Cap at the summit. The name is also applied 
to a most prominent peak on the eastern slope of the mountain. 
See Little Tahoma. 

Tamanos Mountain. Near the east-central boundary of the 
Park. The name is apparently one way of spelling the Chinook 
jargon word meaning " spirit." 

Tato Falls. On the southern slope, near the foot of Nisqually 
Glacier. The name was suggested by Superintendent Ethan Allen. 

Tatoosh Range. Near the south-central boundary of the Park. 
The Indian word is said to mean " nourishing breast." A stream 
from the mountains is called Tatoosh Creek. Highest elevation, at 
Unicorn Peak, 6,939 f ee 5 above sea level. 

Tenas Creek. Flowing from Mount Wow across the boundary 
in the southwest corner of the Park. The name is from the Chi- 
nook jargon meaning " little." 

The Burn. Near the southern boundary of the Park. The 
name is too suggestive of a departed forest. 

The Castle. A part of the Tatoosh Range, in the southern 
portion of the Park. 

The Fan. On the southeastern slope, just south of the lower 
part of Cowlitz Glacier. It is a lake whose name was suggested 
by its shape. 

The Palisades. A ridge jutting northwestward from Sour- 
dough Mountains, in the northeastern part of the Park. 

The Ramparts. See Rampart Ridge. 

The Wedge. On the north slope of the mountain, between the 
Winthrop and Emmons Glaciers. A large mass with Steamboat 
Prow at the upper or " sharpened " edge. Named by Prof. 
I. C. Russell and his party in 1896. 

Theosophy Ridge. See Reese's Camp. 

Tilicum Point. On the northwestern slope of the mountain, a 
part of Ptarmigan Ridge. The name is from the Chinook jargon, 
meaning " friend." Elevation, 6,654 feet above sea level. 

Tirzah Peak. A portion of Chenuis Mountain near the north- 
western boundary of the Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 
Elevation, 5,212 feet above sea level. 

Tokaloo Rock. On the western slope, at the lower end of Puy- 
allup Cleaver. Origin of name not ascertained. Elevation, 7,675 
feet above sea level. 

322 



PLACE NAMES AND ELEVATIONS 

Tolmie Peak. In the northwestern corner of the Park. It is 
named in honor of Dr. William Fraser Tolmie, the Hudson's Bay 
Company surgeon, who was the first white man to approach the 
mountain. It was in 1833 that he climbed this peak. In 1883, 
Bailey Willis wrote : " The point remained unvisited for fifty 
years ; last summer I was able to identify it and named it Tolmie 
Peak." A near-by stream is called Tolmie Creek. Elevation of 
the peak, 5,939 feet above sea level. 

Trixie Falls. On the southeastern slope, in Cowlitz Park. 
The name was suggested by Superintendent Ethan Allen in honor 
of one of the daughters of former Superintendent E. S. Hall. 

Tumtum Peak. In the southwestern corner of the Park, visible 
to all on the road to and from Longmire. The name is from the 
Chinook jargon, meaning " heart," and was suggested by the form 
of the mountain. Elevation, 4,678 feet above sea level. 

Twin Falls. On the southeastern slope of the mountain, in the 
lower part of Cowlitz Park. 

Tyee Peak. A part of Chenuis Mountain in the northwestern 
portion of the Park. The name is from the Chinook jargon, mean- 
ing " chief." Elevation, 6,030 feet above sea level. 

Unicorn Peak. Where the Tatoosh Range approaches the 
south-central boundary of the Park, this peak rises to a height of 
6,939 f eet< O R its western flank is an ice field called Unicorn 
Glacier. 

Van Horn Creek. On the northern slope, toward the boundary 
of the Park. The name was suggested by Thomas E. O'Farrell, 
Park Ranger, in honor of Rev. F. J. Van Horn, one of The Moun- 
taineers' party of 1909. The beautiful falls in the creek received 
the same name. Elevation of the falls, about 4,400 feet above sea 
level. 

Van Trump Glacier. On the southern slope. It is named in 
honor of P. B. Van Trump who, with General Hazard Stevens, 
made the first ascent of the mountain in 1870. The creek flowing 
from the glacier has the same name, and the flower-strewn region 
above the creek is called Van Trump Park. Elevation of the park, 
about 5,500 feet above sea level. 

Vernal Park. In the north-central portion of the Park, just 
south of Sluiskin Mountain. 

Virginia Peak. Near the northwestern boundary of the Park. 
Origin of name not ascertained. Elevation, 4,934 feet above sea 
level. 

Wahpenayo Peak. Between the Tatoosh Range and the south- 
central boundary of the Park. Origin of name not ascertained. 
Elevation, 6,234 feet above sea level. 

Wallace Peak. A portion of Chenuis Mountain near the 

323 



MOUNT RAINIER 

northwestern boundary of the Park. Origin of name not ascer- 
tained. Elevation, 5,800 feet above sea level. 

Wapowety Cleaver. On the southern slope, overlooking Kautz 
Glacier. Mr. Van Trump says that Wapowety was the Indian 
guide of Lieutenant A. V. Kautz during his attempted ascent in 
1857. Elevation, about 9,500 feet above sea level. 

Washington Cascades. On the southern slope of the mountain, 
in the Paradise River above Narada Falls. 

Wauhaukaupauken Falls. On the east slope, in Ohanapecosh 
Park. This is one of the remarkable features of the mountain 
streams. The meaning and origin of the Indian name have not 
been ascertained. 

Weer Rock. On the western slope. The name does not appear 
on the map, but it is said to have been agreed upon as an honor to 
J. H. Weer, of Tacoma, who has done extensive exploration work 
upon and around the mountain. He was leader of The Mountain- 
eers, in 1915, when the first large party encircled the mountain at 
snowline. 

White River. This river drains most of the glaciers on the 
northeastern slopes of the mountain. With a grand sweep around 
the mountain, the river flows through its valley to unite with the 
Black River near Seattle, becoming the Duwamish River, which 
empties into Puget Sound at Seattle Harbor. Its name came from 
the glacial character of the water. 

White River Park. Lying between Sourdough Mountains and 
Sunrise Ridge in the northeastern part of the Park. 

Whitman Glacier. On the eastern slope of the mountain 
flowing from the side of Little Tahoma. The name is in honor 
of Doctor Marcus Whitman, who gave his life as a missionary 
among the Indians. He, his wife, and twelve others were mur- 
dered by the Indians near Walla Walla in 1847. The ridge of rocks 
east of the glacier is called Whitman Crest. 

Wigwam Camp. In Indian Henrys Hunting Ground, on the 
southwestern slope of the mountain. For several years a tent and 
log-cabin camp has been maintained here by George B. Hall for 
the accommodation of visitors. Elevation, 5,300 feet above sea 
level. 

Willis Wall. On the northern face of the mountain at the head 
of Carbon Glacier. The great vertical cliff, 3,600 feet high, over 
which avalanches of snow crash throughout the summer months, 
is one of the attractive features of the great mountain. It was 
named in honor of Bailey Willis, on account of his extensive explora- 
tions in 1883. 

Williwakas Glacier. On the southeastern slope of the moun- 
tain, flowing from Paradise Glacier. The stream draining the 

324 



PLACE NAMES AND ELEVATIONS 

glacier is known as Williwakas Creek. Origin of name not ascer- 
tained. 

Wilson Glacier. On the southern slope, above Nisqually 
Glacier. It was named in honor of A. D. Wilson, who, with 
S. F. Emmons, made the second ascent of the mountain in 1870. 

Windy Gap. In the northern portion of the Park, between the 
ridges of Chenuis and Crescent Mountains. 

Winthrop Glacier. On the northern slope, where its head joins 
that of Emmons Glacier. It is named in honor of Theodore 
Winthrop, who passed close by the mountain in 1853 and recorded 
his observations in his book entitled " The Canoe and the Saddle." 
The same name is given to a creek that drains this glacier into 
White River. The glacier was formerly mapped as White Glacier. 

Wright Creek. A tributary of Fryingpan Creek, taking its rise 
near the Cowlitz Chimneys, on the eastern slope of the mountain. 
Origin of name not ascertained. 

Yakima Park. On the northeastern slope, on the shoulders of 
Sourdough Mountains. The name is that of a tribe of Indians 
living east of the Cascade Mountains. It has there been used as 
the name of a county and a city. 

Yellowstone Cliffs. In the northwestern portion of the Park, at 
the southeastern end of Chenuis Mountain. 



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