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Sierra Club Bulletin 

Volume II 
1897 — 1899 

The Sierra Club 


1 899 



Author. Title. Page 

Bailey, Charles A A Yosemite Discovery 216 

Baker, M. S The Lava Refcion of Not them California 312 

Bradley. Cornelius Beach . Exploration of the East Creek Amphitheater 270 

Brown, Bolton Coit . .; . Wanderings in the High Sierra betwen Mt. King and 

Mt. IVilliamson. Part I. 17 

Wanderings in the High Sierra between Mt. King and 

Aft. Williamson. Part //. 90 

A Day with Aft. Tacoma 277 

Church, J. E., Jr From Aft. Rose to Mt. Shasta and Lower Bultes ... 205 

Dudley. William R The Kaweah Group 185 

FiLLlPPi, Dr. FlLlppo DE . . The Ex/tedition of His Highness, Prince Luigi Amedeo 
of Savoy. Duke of Abruzzi, to Mt. St, Elias in 

Southern Alaska ■ 129 

GoMPERTZ, Helen M. . . . Up and Down Bubb's Creek 79 

Herrick, Robert Phihp Stanley Abbot 9 

Hutchinson, Lincoln . . . A Neglected Region of the Sierra 278 

LeConte, J. N The Basin of the South Fork of the San Joaquin River . 249 

Lemmon, John G Conifer s of the Pacific Slope : How to Distinguish Them. 

Part /. 61 

Conifers of the Pacific Slope : Hoiv to Distinguish Them. 

Part It. 156 

Loncley, Howard Mountain Trips : What to Take, and How to Take It . . 29 

Manson, Marsoen Observations on the Denudation of Vegetation : A Sug- 
gested Rf^medy for California 295 

McClure, Lieut. N. F. . . Ascent of the White Mountains of New Mexico . . 222 

Price, Jennie Eli-sworth . . A Woman's Trip through the Tuolumne Carton .... 174 
Solomons, Theodore S. . . An Early .Summer Excursion to the Tuolumne Cafton and 

Aft. Lyell 5° 

Stillman, J. M To Tehipite Valley from the King's River Grand CaAon 44 

Thompson, Charles S. . . . On Mt. Lefroy, August j, i8g6 i 

On Mt. Lefroy, August j, 1897 '49 

The Taking of Mt. Balfour 263 



On the Naming of Mountains 53 

A Tramp in the Emerald Bay Region 56 

Privileges of Members of the Sierra Club 57 

Our Sister Societies , . . . , 57 

Camping A-Wheel 99 

Report of a Trip from Yosemite to King's River via the Basin of the Merced 104 

Note to Professor Stillmaii's Article on a Trip from King's River Canon to Tehipite Valley . 106 

Route from the Grand Canon to Tehipite down the Middle Fork 109 

Notes on a Trip to King's River Canon no 

Food Supply or Mountain Trips m 

A Map of Bubb's Creek Basin 114 

The Mazamas" Trip to Mt. Rainier 192 

A Direct Route from Susanville to Fall River Mills 194 

A Route up the Merced River 197 

Neglected Routes up Mt. Shasta 340 

New Maps of the Geological Survey 285 

A Revised Map of the High Sierra 385 

Pack-Animals, and How to Pack Them 287 

The California Water and Forest Society 374 

Sister Societies 57, 117 

Book Notices 118, 200 

Forestry Notes 201, 244, 290, 320 



Report of Committee on Sierra Club Headquarters in Yosemite Valley 239 

Report of the Secretary, April, 1807 j20 

Report of the Secretary, April, i8g8 246 

Report of the Secretary, April, 1899 ..*..• 326 

Report of the Treasurer, April, 1897 123 

Report of the Treasurer, April, 1898 , 247 

Report of the Treasurer. April, 1899 328 

List of Members enrolled from Januan.-, 1894, to May, 1897 124 

Number 14 

Sierra Club Bulletin 

Vol II No. I 

January, 1897 


Sierra Club Bulletin 

Vol. II 

JANUARY, 1897 


No. I 

On Mt. Lefroy, August 3, 1896; with illustrations- 
Plates I, II Charles Sproull Thompson 

Philip Stanley Abbot; with Portrait— Plate 111 . . Robert Herrich 

Wanderings in the High Sierra between Mt. King 

and Mt. Williamson; Plates IV, V, VI, and 

two sketch-maps Bolton Coit Brown 

Mountain Trips: What to Take, and How to Take 

It Howard Longley 

To Tehipite Valley from the King's River Grand 

Canon— Plates VII, VIII, and map J. M. Stillman 

An Early Summer Excursion to the Tuolumne 

Canon and Mt. Lyell— Plates IX, X . Theodore S. Solomons 

NOTES AND CORRESPONDENCE: On the Naming of Mountains; 
A Tramp in the Emerald Bay Region; Privileges of Members 
of the Sierra Club; Our Sister Societies; Views of the Cana- 



i for publication by the Sierra 
icerninj;; such publication, should 
Bradley, Berkeley, California, 
the distribution and sale of the 
ly, should be addressed to the 
demy of Sciences Building, San 

Sierra Club Bulletin. 

Vol. II. San Francico, January, 1897. No. 1. 

By Charles Sproull Thompson. 

Shortly after dawn, on Monday, August 3, 1896, four 
men gathered, in eager preparation, upon the platform 
which surrounds the Canadian Pacific chalet at Lake 
Louise.* A year before — to the very day, as it chanced, — 
Prof. Charles E. Fay, Mr. Philip S. Abbot, and the writer 
had endeavored to reach the as yet untrodden summit of 
Mt. Lefroy by a couloir which offers the only feasible pas- 
sage through the cliffs of its northern face. The failure of 
that endeavor, a failure fraught with possibilities of ultimate 
success, increased our desire. All winter we had planned 
and plotted to overcome the difficulties of that mountain. 
Now, with a less rigid itinerary, with an added comrade, f 
we made ready for a second, and, as we believed, conclu- 
sive, struggle. 

The surpassing beauty of the view westward from the 
platform that morning remains with me. In the fore- 
ground, completely filling the lower end of the valley, lay 
the dark-green waters of Lake Louise, as yet unruffled by 
the inevitable noonday wind. Four miles away, seemingly 
but two, beyond rock avalanche, terminal moraine, and 

* The valley of Lake Louise lies about two and a half miles southwest from 
Laggan, a station on the Canadian Pacific Railway, seven miles east of Hector 
Pass, where the railway crosses from the Atlantic to the Pacific Slope. 

t Prof. George T. Little, of Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine. 

2 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

low-lying glacier, the summit range of the Continental 
Divide swept across the valley, a wall of gray precipice and 
hanging ice, the snowy battlements of a Canadian Asgard. 
Before its face, now rising, now falling, now dissolving, 
strangely stratified clouds floated in curious undulations. 
The abruptly rising sides of the valley fittingly framed the 
picture, the quiet waters of the lake doubled and intensi- 
fied it. 

Our route lay up this valley. To the left of the moun- 
tain wall, known to us as Mt. Green,* thrusting its imposing 
mass between the Green and the Mitre Glaciers, stood the 
goal of our anticipated effort, Mt. Lefroy. Up its eastern 
face, fronting us, — a snow-corniced precipice, falling four 
thousand feet to the Mitre Glacier, — it is safe to, say that 
man will never go. The northern face, on the other hand, 
offered, as we knew, one possible line of ascent. From 
where we stood, its profile showed a varying slope, inclined 
at an angle of about thirty-five degrees, steepest in its mid- 
dle part, ending below in a line of cliffs eight hundred feet 
high, which overlook the Green Glacier. In this line of 
cliffs a re-entrant angle held an unseen but well-remembered 
tongue of snow, rising with ever-increasing gradient to 
within a comparatively short distance of their summit. 
Above, two rock chimneys offered a passage, possible but 
at the time of our former visit quite impracticable, to this 
upper slope. But the rising sun warned us to hasten. 
Already its rays touched and glorified the snowy apex of 
Mt. Green, — a Pythian oracle, read by us as a prophecy of 

It was a quarter past si.x as our boat pushed out from 
the floating wharf; it was a quarter of seven as its keel 
grounded in the sand of the delta at the head of the lake. 

• So named by Mr. S. E. S. Allen, after the Rev. William S. Green, A. C. . one 
of the first mountaineers in this region. Notman's photographer called it Mt. 

On Mt. Lefroy, August j, iSg6. 3 

Thence our way held through a last Hue of forest trees, 
over rock-strewn and stream-swept flat, over lingering 
patches of winter snow, up, slowly, steadily up, across 
lateral moraine and debris- covered glacier, to the uncer- 
tainly defined line where snow began to hide the hitherto 
open crevasses. Here, 7450 feet above sea-level, 1500 feet 
above the chalet, we paused to put on the rope. We were 
at the open end of a gigantic amphitheater, walled from left 
to right by the perpendicular cliffs of Mt. Lefroy and Mt. 
Green and the hardly less precipitous slopes of Mts. Nichols 
and Despine. Its floor was the Green Glacier upon which 
we stood. Not far from us, open to plain view, rose the 
couloir on Mt. Lefroy of which I have already written. In 
addition to the difiiculties previously encountered, a trans- 
verse schrund now completely divided the tongue of snow 
into approximately equal parts. To pass the schrund, by 
a difficult traverse across the face of a prominent buttress 
on the right, was doubtless possible, but to me the thought 
of such an ascent was far from pleasing. Uninviting as it 
was, we might ultimately be forced to go that way. On 
this day, however, our hopes centered in an ascent through 
the Death Trap. 

Quite unseen from the chalet, quite unseen even from 
where we stood, a curious side passage, hitherto unex- 
plored, led from the amphitheater to the summit of the 
divide. Hidden in the angle between Lefroy and Green, 
its major axis parallel with and between the major axes of 
those mountains, the passage splits the summit range as a 
wedge splits an oaken log — with the grain. In the early 
spring the entrance is swept by avalanches from both 
mountains; in July and August the only danger lies in occa- 
sional ice-falls from the hanging glaciers on Mt. Green, a 
danger easily avoided by keeping under the bare walls of 
Mt. Lefroy. Doubly impressed by the thunder of these 
ice-falls, and by the ferocity of the cliffs at the narrow 

4 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

entrance, an earlier traveler * has given to the lower portion 
of this passage the name by which we knew it, the " Death 
Trap." Thither we turned our steps. 

A magnificent sight opened southward as we swung 
rapidly around the corner of the farther buttress of Mt. 
Lefroy. It came suddenly, almost in the twinkling of an 
eye — a glacier-filled gorge a mile and a half long, at its 
widest perhaps three hundred yards, rising in rounded ter- 
races to the summit of the pass, over two thousand feet 
above. The lower slope, deeply cut between Lefroy and 
Green, lay in heavy shadow; the higher nev6 glistened a 
dazzling white under the undimmed rays of an Alpine Sun. 
Far above, a curved line separated sky from snow, azure 
quartered upon argent. For the next three hours — from 
ten minutes of nine until ten minutes of twelve — ■ four tiny 
specks moved up this glittering causeway. The ascent 
was neither difficult nor toilsome. Once, below the debris 
of an avalanche which had swept far down the narrowing 
slope, we paused to photograph and lunch. As we ate, a 
block of ice broke from the overhanging glacier on a cliff 
near us and fell, pounding into dusty fragments, almost at 
our feet. Two cameras caught its first down-rushing. Thus 
fifteen minutes passed; then upward through the avalanche 
debris and over or around crevasses, one, the last, crossed 
"on all fours" by means of a snow bridge. Ahead the 
sharp white line upon the blue sky grew sharper, nearer, 
then dropped away altgether. The snow broke uj)on an 
edge of scree. We looked across the summit of the conti- 
nental watershed, t 

Wonderful, tremendous ; not beautiful, save as the sub- 
lime always contains elements of beauty; almost overpow- 
ering. Three times that day this scene was burned upon 

• Mr. S. E. S. Allen, of Philadelphia, Pa., who, in 1894, reached the summit of 
this pass from the other (or British Columbia) side of the watershed. Our work 
that day. joined to his, proved it a true pass. 

fThe barometric altitude was 9S50 feet. 

On Mf. Lcf7-oy, August j, i8g6. 5 

my visual memory, — three times, — never to be forgotten. 
Here Mt. Green ended. Below, a great pit, funnel-shaped, 
holding in its depths a sea-green lake, Oesa, glacier-fed, 
glacier-hemmed; beyond, a flamelike peak — Mt. Biddle, — 
and the crescent line of the Ottertails, ended at either horn 
by the fierce Goodsir and the snowy Vaux; in the far dis- 
tance, the Selkirks, soft, unreal, cloud-tipped. This at a 
glance. Then, thrusting themselves upon us by their 
nearness, the truncated summit of Ringrose, the ragged 
shoulder of Hungabee, and the white curves of Glacier 
Dome. At hand, overshadowing us, Lefroy. Never before 
was such a combination of the far and the near. It was 
surel)^ true: — "They have not seen the snowy hills of God 
who have yet to look upon the Rocky Mountains, absolute, 
stupendous, sublimely grave." * 

In this first view, the conquest of Mt. Lefroy seemed 
assured. That portion of its western slope which lay 
directly above us was covered by three ice-streams, or, 
rather, by one ice-stream, broken, more or less continu- 
ously, into three parts. Above this ice-covered slope, 
crowning the mountain, was an almost level palisade of 
yellowish limestone cliffs, weathered into rude turrets and 
bastions. The ice reached to the foot of these cliffs, curved 
to the north, and, sweeping by their right flank, separated 
it from an inconspicuous mound of gray rock, the probable 
summit of the mountain. Hidden beneath a thin layer of 
fresh snow, the surface of this ice inclined at a very consid- 
erable, but not prohibitive, angle. Should that surface prove 
soft and rotten, as from the condition of the ice-slope in 
the pass there was every reason to hope, we should be on 
the summit within two hours. Satisfied with the prospect, 
we turned up a bowlder slide, and near its head,f imme- 
diately above the pass, we ate a second lunch. I noted 

• Gilbert Parker: " Pierre and His People" (Stone & Kimball), p. 141. 
t Barometric altitude, 10,100 feet. 

6 Sierra Club BuHdin. 

curiously that Abbot and Fay were in British Columbia, 
while Little and I remained in the District of Alberta, North- 
west Territory. It was half-past twelve. 

The first blow of the ax upon the ice, heavy, dull, resist- 
ant, altered our plans, dashed our hopes of easy success, 
and, little suspected, turned the fortune of the day. No 
longer an easy, rapid ascent along footholds carelessly 
taken, kicked in the snow; instead, a long, arduous scram- 
ble over intermittent ledges, changing to ice, and toilsome 
step-cutting only as a last resort. Abbot, as ever, went 
first; passed to the right over a whitened scree slope, and 
up a low escarpment* on the southern edge of the largest and 
most northerly of the three ice-streams, the one, in fact, 
which led directly to the summit. We had cause to remem- 
ber that escarpment later in the day. Beyond, rnoving one 
at a time, carefully, cautiously, with no thought of things 
temporal save the glasslike surface beneath our feet, with 
no knowledge save that the slope opened into the Oesa pit, 
we cut a way up and over the second ice-stream, dug 
tooth-and-nail up the treacherous friable limestone of a 
second ledge, passed across the third ice-stream, climbed 
another ledge more degraded, more abominable than its 
predecessor, then moved out upon the ice-dome beneath 
the crowning cliffs. 

Nothing can surpass the supreme exultation of such a 
moment, the clear, exhilarating atmosphere, the great 
silence, the virgin peak almost won, the icy dome on 
which we stood falling into air. The eye, too, swept a 
broadening horizon. Over the tremendous southern preci- 
pice of Green came the snowy top of Huber, prism- 
pointed; to the northwest, beyond Nichols, lay the un- 
mapped, untraversed ice-field of the Waputtehk Mountains, 
holding in their midst the white cone of Balfour, promising 
two days hence an easy victory; to the north, rose the 

* Barometric altitude, 10,300 feet. 

On Mt. Le/roy, August j, i8g6. 7 

massive bulk of Hector, sulking, as usual, behind a cloud. 
All the visible mountains were even now beneath us — all 
save five. Perchance the coming conquest, perchance the 
quickened heartbeat, enhanced the beauty of this second 
view. Its memory gives added glory to the first. 

Across the pleasure fell a deepening shadow. The day 
was passing; already it was half-past five. At such an 
hour our position on the slope became indeed critical. 
Pushed more and more by the general configuration of the 
ledges toward that end of the cliffs farthest from the 
summit, we were now driven either to scale their face or to 
cut a traverse below them to the main ice-stream ; to turn 
their left flank, a line of perpendicular rock conveniently 
near us, was manifestly impossible. Apparently, chance 
favored us. As Abbot touched the base of the cHffs, his 
face brightened, and with a ring of certainty in his voice, 
he exclaimed: "There is a good crack here." A minute 
later we had gathered together upon a tiny bed of scree, 
perhaps eight feet long, and at greatest six feet wide, the 
floor of a re-entrant angle.* Jutting into this bed of scree, 
a narrow knee of rock, some four feet high, offered a first 
upward step. Above the knee, one to the right, the other 
to the left of a broad stone face that filled the inner corner 
of the angle, were two crevices through which a man 
might press. A plan was quickly formed. In rapid suc- 
cession Abbot bade us put off" the rope. Thus released, 
dragging both our two ropes tied together behind him, he 
passed up on the knee, and immediately thence to the 
right-hand crevice. Little followed. Both, entering the 
crevice, disappeared behind the rock-face. Fay and I 
remained upon the scree awaiting the time when, with the aid 

•Barometric altitude. 11,300 feet. Capt. Deville. of the Canadian Topo^aph- 
ical Survey, informs us that the triangulated height of Mt. Lefroy, subject to 
correction, is 11,260 feet. We were, I should judge, 200 feet below and 300 feet 
south of the summit at the time of the accident. Abbot was, of course, consider- 
ably higher. 

8 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

of the rope firmly fastened, we might easily and safely join 
our comrades on the top of the cliffs. To the men above 
two ways opened ; one, along a narrow ledge about a foot 
and a half wide, skirting the face of the cliff, summitwards ; 
the other, at right angles to it, up a shallow groove, 
hopper-shaped, leading directly to the arete. Abbot chose 
the groove, and, entering it, vanished from Little's view, 
The rope, dragging behind, followed foot by foot. 

Success or failure hung in the balance of the flying 
moments. Idly leaning against the protruding knee, I 
watched the mists whirl and eddy around the inaccessible 
pinnacle of Huber. Fay stood about three paces from 
me, under the safe protection of an imposing buttress. 
By leaning a little outward, we both could distinguish the 
separate bowlders of the summit mound. Five, ten, fifteen 
minutes passed. In the impressive silence came the dull 
thud of a falling body, faint and rattling at first, heavy 
and crashing as it came bounding nearer. Crying to Fay 
that a great stone was coming, I made two steps toward 
him, turned, saw Abbot pitch through the left-hand crevice, 
strike upon the top of the knee, turn completely over, and, 
clearing the scree, plunge headlong down the ice-slope. 
Some seconds thereafter we saw him lying at the edge of 
the escarpment, the ropes wound about his body.* 

Three hours later we stood beside him. Looking up, I 
saw again in the gathering twilight those most wonderful 
peaks of the known Canadian Rockies; above them were 
the slowly drifting clouds of a coming storm and the 
depths of an infinite sky. A cool north wind drew gently 
through the pass — Abbot Pass, in remembrance of him 
who lay there motionless upon the snow ! 

*We shall never know how Mr. Abbot chanced to fall. From the nature of 
the death-wound, a V-shaped fracture of the left parietal and the occipital bones 
it is probable that his handhold gave way, and that he fell backward, receiving 
the fatal injury in the initial fall. 




Pldlip Stanley Abbot. 


By Robert Herrich. 

The man of whom the world was deprived by the fatal 
accident on Mt. Lefroy, August 3, 1896, was not merely 
an enthusastic and skilled mountain-climber to whom a 
mischance came in a hazardous sport. Although not yet in 
his twenty-ninth year — scarcely done with the preparatory 
exercises of manhood, — his powers of mind and spirit had 
impressed themselves singularly upon a large number of his 
fellows in every position where he touched them, and had 
marked him for a strong and distinguished career. 

Philip Stanley Abbot was born in Brookline, Mass., Sep- 
tember I, 1S67. His parents were both of old New England 
families from New Hampshire and Maine; among his ances- 
tors were Captain Nathan Hale and Increase Mather. His 
father's youngest brother, from whom the name Stanley 
came, left Harvard to take part in the Civil War, and fell 
at Gettysburg before his classmates had finished their 
junior year; another uncle, General Henry L. Abbot, Corps 
of Engineers, U. S. A., filled high positions, both on the 
staff and in command of volunteer troops, throughout the 
war, and is to-day one of our most eminent scientific men. 
This ancestry left its heritage of intellectual force, moral 
and physical courage, and uprightness with young Abbot. 

In 1876, his father, Mr. Edwin Hale Abbot (Harvard, 
1855) removed from Cambridge, Mass. to Milwaukee, 
Wis. There, in the next ten years, Philip completed his 
studies for admission to Harvard College, entering in 1885 
with the class of '89. His preparation for college, which 

lo Sierra Cbib BuUctin. 

was directed by his father (at one time instructor at Harvard 
in Greek and Latin), was singularly thorough. His grasp 
of Greek was especially remarkable, and his familiarity 
with Greek authors, even in this early period, made of a 
necessary task a literary pleasure. In his entrance exami- 
nations he took honors in thirteeen out of eighteen 
subjects. Moreover, he had already made himself a fair 
entomologist, and his collection of butterflies and insects 
was extensive. Thus, while still a boy, he started the 
seeds of rational, scientific outdoor interests. 

In the summer of 1SS4 he visited England with his 
father, and spent some weeks in wandering among the hills 
of the Lake District, where, in climbing Helvellyn and 
Skiddaw and Great Gable, he had his first taste of the joys 
of his favorite recreation. After leading his class during 
the freshman year — standing higher in percentage on the 
rank list, according to the system then in use at Harvard, 
than any other student in the university, — he was com- 
pelled to withdraw from college on account of illness. 
Leaving America in February, 1887, he traveled with the 
writer successively through Cuba, Mexico, California, and 
the Pacific Slope to Alaska, returning over the Northern 
Pacific to the Yellowstone Park and the East. While in 
Mexico his eyes turned eagerly to the lofty volcanic moun- 
tains, and in April, in company with Dr. Parsons of the 
City of Mexico, and Mr. Barron of St. Louis, he made 
the fatiguing ascent of Mt. Popocatapetl, * going to the 
extreme summit of the crater. During his stay in California 
he made two visits to the Yosemite Valley, from which he 
explored the neighboring Sierra, finally ascending Mt. 
Dana, where he deposited his name in the bottle beside that 
of Dana and a few others. In Alaska the magnificent ice- 
fields aroused his enthusiasm, and at the Muir and Davidson 

* Speaking afterward of his three days' e.xpedition to the summit of Mt. 
Popocatapetl, Abbot described it as a " grind," requiring endurance in the long 
tramp over the snow-fields, but without any demand upon skill. 

PJiilip Stanley Abbot. 1 1 

Glaciers he made such short expeditions as the opportuni- 
ties afforded. On his way East he spent some days in 
walking and riding through the Yellowstone Park. 

Once back in Cambridge, in the autumn of 18S7, with 
restored health and perfect vigor, he devoted himself to all 
legitimate college interests. Having led one class ('89) in 
his freshman year, he now entered a second body of four 
hundred young men ('90), and led his new class in schol- 
arship, taking second-year highest honors in classics. 
Throughout the remainder of his college course, as well as 
later at the Law School, where the competition is more 
severe, he stood among the first two or three each year, it 
being impossible by the new marking system to determine 
the relative grade any more closely. His tastes in schol- 
arship were remarkably broad, as well as keen. Aside from 
the classics, he took high rank in the mathematics, pursued 
some courses in geology with special interest, and during 
the last two undergraduate years specialized in history and 
political economy, to which studies he had plans at one 
time of devoting his life. More remarkable, when we con- 
sider the diversity of his interests, was his proficiency in 
modern languages. German and French he could use with 
ease when he entered college, and later, while climbing in 
the Alps, he spoke German entirely with his guides. He 
taught himself Italian in order to take Professor Norton's 
course in Dante. While in Cuba and Mexico on a pleasure 
tour, he mastered enough Spanish not only to read the 
language with ease, but also to speak it fluently and cor- 
rectly. In later years, when he was traveling in Denmark 
and Norway, he read Ibsen in the original. This range of 
linguistic power would be creditable for a specialist. 

Abbot's interests were not narrowly bookish at any 
period of his life. While in college, he pulled for a time 
with his class crews, rowed in the single-scull races, played 
tennis, and was a skilled hand with the paddle. With 

12 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

other Harvard students, he did practical work among the 
poor of Boston, under the supervision of the Associated 
Charities. He was business manager and editor of the 
college literary magazine, the Harvard Monthly, for two 
years, and an officer of tlie two literary societies, the Signet 
and the O. K. He was also active in social life, keeping 
himself in touch with a large circle of friends. His keen 
enjoyment of music and the theater, and his minute famil- 
iarity with the masters of our literature, rounded out the 
accomplishment of this young manhood. A strong, normal 
physique, and a normal, well-ordered mind, made it possible 
for him to devote himself successfully to these many 
diverse interests. ) 

After graduation, Abbot spent a summer in traveling in 
Europe. Switzerland, which he now saw for the first time, 
he determined to revisit for training in mountaineering; he 
made, also, a pedestrian tour through the mountains of 
Norway. On his return, he entered the Harvard Law 
School, from which he graduated three years later, in 
1893, with a brilliant record. While in the Law School, he 
became manager, and finally editor-in-chief, of the Harvard 
Law Review, a publication which Sir Frederick Pollock 
pronounces to be the best law periodical in English. He was 
also chosen one of the original directors of the Harvard 
Graduates' Magazine. After taking his degree, he was 
elected treasurer of the Harvard Law School Association; 
and it is not too much to say that its brilliant celebration in 
1895 — when, through Abbot's personal influence, Sir 
Frederick Pollock crossed the Atlantic solely to attend the 
anniversary and deliver its oration — was largely due to the 
arrangements made by this young lawyer. His personal 
acquaintance with many of the great law-writers of 
England — Mr. Dicey, Mr. Maidand, Mr. Justice Frye, Mr. 
Bryce, and others — had stimulated his interests in the 
scientific aspects of his profession. In 1895 he was ten- 

Philip Stanley Abbot. 13 

dered a professorship of law in Cornell University, which 
he felt obliged to decline, and a similar appointment at the 
University of Wisconsin was offered him only a few days 
before his death. 

The year 1893-94 Abbot spent in the law office of 
Messrs. Warren and Brandeis, at Boston; from 1894 until 
his death, he was engaged in the law department of the 
Wisconsin Central Lines, at Milwaukee, where, in 1895, he 
was made General Solicitor for the Milwaukee and Lake 
Winebago Railroad Company, and took special charge of 
the construction of the Manetowoc line, which was opened 
only ten days before his death. His duties during these last 
two years were varied and full of large responsibilities. He 
had already achieved what was, for so young a man, profes- 
sional distinction, and won both the confidence and the 
respect of the Federal and the State Courts of Wisconsin, 
before which he appeared in important cases. 

The summer of 1892 Abbot spent in the Alps, "the 
university of mountain-climbing," as he aptly describes 
them. Hitherto his climbing had been but the chance 
sport of vacations, although he had had experience in widely 
diversified regions from the Sierra to the mountains of 
Norway and the White Mountains of New England. In 
company with Peter Sarbach, a celebrated Swiss guide, he 
ascended the Matterhorn, the Gabelhorn, the Weisshorn, 
the Rothhorn, Monte Rosa, and other peaks, thus gaining 
a valuable training in ice- and snow-fields. Fresh and vivid 
accounts of these expeditions may be found in two papers 
which Abbot read before the Appalachian Club,* "An 
Ascent of the Weisshorn, ' ' and ' ' Three Days on the Zinal 
Grat." In 1892, he made a second visit to the Yellowstone 
Park, where he had, on his first visit in 1887, passed over 
Mt. Washburn. During July and August of 1895, in com- 
pany with other members of the 'Appalachian Club he 

' Printed in Appalachia December, 1893, a»d March, 1894. 

14 Sicfra Chib Bulletin. 

visited the Selkirks, a region little explored, on the line of 
the Canadian Pacific Railroad in British Columbia. Three 
members of the party — Prof. C. E. Fay, Mr. C. S. Thomp- 
son, and Abbot — climbed Mts. Hector, Castor, and Ste- 
phens, and made a reconnoissance on Mt. Lefroy.* After 
a month spent in exploring this new field. Abbot returned 
to Milwaukee, determined to revisit the Canadian Rockies 
at the earliest opportunity. Only four parties besides 
this one of the Appalachian Club have attempted to do 
systematic mountaineering in this region; many of the 
commanding peaks have never been reached, and thirty 
miles north of Laggan extends a stretch of glaciers and 
snow-fields unexplored by civilized man. This ^as virgin 
soil which fired Abbot's enthusiasm for discovery. 

At the end of July of the following year, Abbot joined 
the little party of the Appalachian Club — Prof Fay and Mr. 
Thompson, of the former expedition, and Prof. George T. 
Little, who was unfamiliar with this region — for a new 
exploration of the Selkirks. In preparation for this expe- 
dition. Abbot had learned how to use the barometer and 
plane-table in making field-maps, in order that he might 
in some way turn his sport into larger uses. His early- 
acquired information in geology, botany, and entomology 
had been extended by his experiences in the mountains. 
Undoubtedly, had he lived, he would have made some 
valuable contribution to the literature of mountaineering. 

Arriving at Glacier House, July 31st, the party made 
the ascent of Mt. Rogers in the Selkirks, intending later to 
climb Mt. Lefroy (where they had been foiled the year 
before), Mts. Biddle and Sir Donald, and make a thorough 
exploration of the thirty-five-mile Waputtehk ice-field on 
the Continental Divide. Having returned to the Canadian 

^Accounts of this expedition may be found in Appalachia for January, 1896: 
The First Asccnl of Mt. Hector, Philip S. Abbot; Mt. Castor and the Asulkan 
Ridge, C. S. Thompson; Another Story of Mt. Stephen, Prof. C. E. Fay. 

Philip Stanley Abbot. 15 

Rockies, they examined the base of Mt. Lefroy on August 
ist, for a feasible point of approach, and Monday, August 3d, 
one year to a day after their first attempt, started from the 
chalet on Lake Louise for the unconquered summit of 
Mt. Lefroy. 

Few lives of twenty-eight years have been so crowded 
with undertakings of a high order as Abbot's. There was 
no side of his many-sided character left neglected or stunted. 
His broad intellectual interests were genuine; it was not 
pedantry which made him prefer on a railway journey 
Homer, or Dante, or Wordsworth, to a novel. Another 
characteristic equally strong was his love of whatever is 
human. To old and young, in all conditions of life, he 
brought something — a sense of power and fineness in 
living, which entered into their lives. 

Of this many-sided character nothing can be said which 
would adequately describe those more intimate qualities 
that made him far more than a fine machine of intellect and 
will. His humor, his objective, eager interest in whatever 
was really worth effort; his loyalty and effacement of self — 
these qualities all know who worked with him, either on the 
mountains or in the office. He seemed to unite an old 
man's sureness of judgment and a mature man's trained 
energy of mind with a young man's enthusiasm and liber- 
ality. His personal tastes in living were always extremely 
simple; in the midst of a luxury-loving college world, he 
chose to live carefully, in order that he might spend 

Still more subtle but pervasive was the unstained purity 
of his life; no human being had anything but good from 
Philip Abbot. He lived fully and gave abundandy to all, 
and, though but at the threshold of a career, he had accom- 
plished character. 

His passion for the mountains was in many respects 
the expression of his best life. Shordy after his return 

i6 Sierra Chib Bidletm. 

from the first expedition to the Selkirks, he wrote to an 
intimate friend: 

" Palmer's old theory, that the nearest approach we can make 
toward defining the sumnium bonum is to call it ' fullness of life,' 
explains a great many things to me. Once we came out at seven 
o'clock upon the crest of a snow mountain, with two thousand feet 
of rather difficult snow-work before us, when I had expected plain 
sailing — and the daylight had already begun to fade. At the 
bottom of the two thousand feet we were, as it proved, still five 
hours from home; but we could have camped there. But where 
we were, there was notliing more level than the roof of a house, 
except the invisible bottom of an occasional huge crevasse, half- 
masked and halfrevealed. I had been feeling lifeless all that 
day, and we had already had nine hours of work. But the memory 
of that next hour is one of the keenest and most unnnxed pleas- 
ures I have carried away — letting oneself go where the way was 
clear, trusting to heels alone, but keeping the ice-ax ready for the 
least slip, — twisting to and fro to dodge the crevasses, — planning 
and carrying out at the same instant, — creeping across the snow- 
bridges like snails, and going down the plain slopes almost by' 
leaps, — alive to the finger-tips, —is a sensation one can't commu- 
nicate by words, but you need not try to convince me that it 
isn't primary. However, this is by the way." 

"Fullness of life," — that is the truest comment that 
could be made upon Philip Abbot. Fullness of physical 
life led him to test his steady nerves and vigorous body 
upon lofty mountains. Fullness of mental life gave keen 
delight in the problems of his profession, in a Greek 
chorus, in the intricacies of a new language, in a task, what- 
ever it might be, if it involved intellectual eftbrt. Fullness 
of imaginative life raised his sports from physical feats to 
sources of mental and spiritual enjoyment, and filled the 
hills and the ocean with beauty and mystery. And fullness 
of affection and faith in human relations made him an 
ideal son, a strong brother, and a friend who was loyalty 

Chicago, November 5, 1896. 

Wandernigs in the High Sierra. 17 


By Bolton Coit Brown. 

On the I2th of June, 1S96, my wife and I packed our 
mules, and set out from Sanger for the High Sierra. We 
spent the first night two miles beyond Centreville, to the 
delight of the mosquitoes, and the ne.xt three at the " Road 
Camp," four miles from Millwood. We slept one night 
at Round Meadows; and at Bearskin Meadows, — a de- 
lightful place, — remained twenty-four hours. From Bur- 
ton's Meadows, where we camped three days, we made an 
expedition, and climbed Finger Rock, so noticeable a 
feature from Bearskin Meadows. We also gave half a day 
to a rewarding scramble out north, to the top of the walls 
that shut in the King's River; and the mountains afford 
nothing finer than the scenery we enjoyed. Moving delib- 
erately on, we stayed five days at Horse Corral Meadows, 
and tramped to the summit of the glaciated point, a mile 
north; and another day ascended the peak south of the 
Meadow, crossing from it eastward, along the connecting 
ridge, to Lookout Mountain. The view, especially of the 
Roaring River basin,* Mt. Brewer, and the Kaweahs, was 
very grand. That day it rained hard while we were out, 
and our camp was, naturally, soaked. Again, we trudged 
to the southeast two or three miles, then northeast and up 
Grand Lookout, from which the wonderful view of the 
canon and beyond into the great Sierra wilderness, with 

•See Bulletin, Vol. I, Plate X.XII. Mt. Brewer is just in the center of the 

1 8 Sierra Club Bullctm. 

filmy rain and black clouds, and lighter regions pictur- 
esquely contrasting, we shall never forget. One might 
well put in a whole summer hereabouts. In our case, as it 
was, two weeks slipped away before we reached the canon. 

The evening we arrived it stormed, and John Fox hos- 
pitably sheltered us over night in his cabin. The next day 
we went on, and camped in the upper end of the canon, 
where for some days we simply idled about and enjoyed 
ourselves. One morning the tracks on the ground showed 
that a bear had paid us a visit. Doubtless through fright 
at this same bear, the little pack-mule Peggotty ran away 
from the others and got lost. We trailed her through the 
jungle to the river's edge, but a diligent search for^a mile 
along the other shore failed to discover where she came out ; 
so we mourned her as drowned. However, she turned up 
all right afterwards, miles down the river, though how she 
got there is a mystery to this hour. 

The saddle-mule we named Grasshopper, because he 
always jumped over the bad places in the trail. He seemed 
to be a right-minded mule, and we liked him. Having 
planned to see the Charlotta Lake country, we put a pack 
on him, — Satan, the other pack-mule, being too uncertain, 
and Peggotty so very small — and I started through the ford 
on the mare. In midstream, at a sudden cry from Lucy, 
I looked over my shoulder just in time to see poor Grass- 
hopper swept by the powerful current off the ford into the 
deeps below. Instantly, I turned his lead-rope once round 
the saddle-horn and held as hard as I dared, while, with 
just the top of his pack and his head showing, he wallowed 
and struggled for his life to keep from being sucked under 
the big log-jam forty feet below. But the river was high 
and ran like a millrace, and I had to let his rope go, for 
fear he would pull my animal and me into the deep water 
also. He struck the jam just as the mare landed, and I 
sprang and ran for the logs. Meantime he continued to 

Wanderings in the High Sierra. 19 

make a splendid, and to my vast surprise, a successful fight ; 
by the sheer power of his swimming, he was actually hold- 
ing his own against the heavy onset of the river. With his 
submerged pack reeling drunkenly in the current, he looked 
like a sinking steamer, and for a moment it was an even 
chance whether or not he would be sucked under, to drown 
among the black snags beneath the jam. But now, just as 
he had got his head turned towards the side he started 
from, he suddenly stopped paddling, when, of course, the 
current pressed him tight against the face of the jam. 
There must have been a submerged log holding his legs,' 
for he did not go under, though he made no effort, being 
momentarily exhausted. I hurried, but before I could get 
there Lucy, from the other side, had clambered out over 
the driftwood to him, secured his lead-rope, and by pulling 
and encouraging him, succeeded in getting him ashore. 

And now while we waited for the wet pack to dry, there 
began a rain which continued for two days. At the end of 
this time we loaded Peggotty, and, joining forces with Mr. 
Le Conte's party, which came along just then, we all 
crossed together without mishap. Two days' travel brought 
us up to the valley south of Mt. Gardiner, where, ten 
thousand feet high, we camped in the rain under a lean-to 
of poplar branches. The second day I climbed Mt. Gar- 
diner.* Lucy did not go. Upon the mountain, I had the 
pleasure of again meeting Mr. Le Conte and several mem- 
bers of his party. 

We moved on, and at 10,700 feet established ourselves 
on a little promontory beyond Lake Charlotta. It was 

* The frontispiece of the last Bulletin (Vol. I, No. S.) is a sketch of the north- 
ern face of Mt. Gardiner. The name of Mt. Kearsarge under it is a mistake. It is 
perfectly easy to ascend, e.\cept the last spur (the top spike in the sketch), which 
involves a crawl along a knife-edge, above the precipices there shown, and is 
not altogether easy. Mr. Le Conte and I, however, rather to our own surprise, 
succeeded in getting there. Indeed, Mr. Le Conte even carried a camera, set up 
his tripod on the dizzy pinnacle, and took a series of beautiful views. We were, 
apparently, the first to make the ascent. 

20 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

raining; so we built a rude shelter of logs and sticks; and 
it served us very well for a week. One day we went up the 
red peak south of the lake (12,000 feet), and practiced moun- 
taineering by following along the jagged crest just above 
the Cathedral Spires, looking down 4000 feet into Bubb's 
Caiion. A fine thunder-storm, growling over in the Mt. 
Williamson region, sent electricity at us. The invisible 
something passed with tingling prickles and a thin, squeaky, 
crackling sound through our outstretched finger-tips ; and 
Lucy's front hair streamed out towards the storm, like the 
pictures in the high-school books on physics, and "buzzed," 
as she said. 

Our provisions having run out, I took Pegg^ back to 
the caiion for more, making the trip down in four hours. 
On the morrow, accompanied by Dr. Wood and Dr. Little 
of Stanford, I brought back a hundred pounds of groceries. 
We arrived just at dark, and Lucy, who had been alone 
two days and a night, was right glad to see us. 

Next day -we visited Kearsarge Pass (12,000 feet), and 
climbed the peak (13,300 feet) immediately north of it. At 
another time we explored with especial delight a chain of 
lonely, snowy tarns, hidden in the wild mountains north 
of Lake Charlotta. We also climbed the small peak 
(12,000 feet) southeast of the lake. Moving still higher 
up, we camped at the timber-line above Bullfrog Lake, 
whence we ascended University Peak (13,990 feet). The 
next day we went a-fishing, with unlimited success; the 
biggest trout we caught measured fifteen inches by the 

From here we traveled down the Rhoda Creek trail and 
up the south fork of Bubb's Creek — which suppose we 
call South Canon. I think the less this painful name of 
Bubb's is spread around the mountains, the better. Camp- 
ing on East Lake in South Canon, we set out early one morn- 
ing, and at about eight o'clock had reached the summit of 

Wanderings irt the High Sierra. 21 

Mt. Brewer (13,886 feet).* On the way down we developed 
a scheme for leaving Peggotty, and going ourselves over 
the King's-Kern Divide to climb Mt. Williamson. Though 
Lucy had never before been in the mountains, yet already 
she had become so hardy and skillful a climber that I hesi- 
tated at nothing on her account. After much discussion 
as to whether we had rations enough, we decided to risk it 
and start the next morning. 

Having baked up all the flour into eatables, we packed 
it on our backs, and headed up South Canon. A mile 
above East Lake the stream forks, and, following the east- 
ern branch, we soon reached a round, beautiful lake. This 
we named Castilleja Lake, the castilleja blossoms being 
especially perfect and brilliant upon its shores, f From 
here we passed directly up the immense gorge to the south, 
and climbing the wall at its head, found ourselves on the 
crest of the King's-Kern Divide, looking straight down 
Kern Canon. 

It had rained all the morning, and was now so misty 
that not a peak was visible ; we, therefore, had to go pretty 
much by guess. We traveled southeast through an im- 
mense labyrinth of lakes, ponds, pools, and puddles, having 
crossed which we came round the southern end of the last 
lake against the eastern basin-wall, shaped just like South 
America, and climbed into a low, rounded saddle beyond. 
Now we were on the back of a long red spur, which, from 
the big mountain (No i. ?) on the north, extends some 
miles to the south. As the clouds and rain still hid all the 
peaks, we knew nothing better to do than to follow the 

* See Plate IV at the head of this article. The spectator is upon the low east- 
ern ridge that runs from East Lake to the summit, seen at the extreme right in 
Plate V. The line of ascent may be almost an^^vhere on this ridge, until you 
reach the point where it joins the peak. From here there seems to be only one 
practicable route, which is to climb through a small notch just where the drawing 
shows two little snowbanks. Once through this notch, you go up easily upon the 
other side. 

tSee Bulletin, Vol. I. Plate XXV. A photograph by Longley, showing this 
lake and its setting very well. You are looking northwest. 

22 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

back of this red spur southward to its termination in a high 
plateau overlooking the rugged, broken region at the be- 
ginning of Kern Canon.* Descending from the plateau, 
we tramped eastward along the timber-line, past several 
small lakes ; and at last, as night was approaching, and we 
had only the vaguest notion of where we were, we prepared 
to bivouac. 

The elevation must have been more than 11,000 feet; 
and a cold, steady rainstorm was blowing, with no signs of 
improvement. We had neither blankets nor even coats, 
and no tools with which to make a hut, and as there 
were no caves, nor even a protecting ledge, wei said 
nothing at all about the matter. Lucy, bending over to 
shelter them with her back, handed me dry matches, 
wherewith, however, I failed to get a fire, because every- 
thing was too wet to light. With an ax, or even a big 
knife, it might have been done; but, as it was, we gave 
it up. But now, rather than lie all night there on the 
rocks in the storm, we determined to go back a mile to 
where we had seen a burning log, probably left by some 

*See Plate VII. Sketch of bird's-eye view lookii>g north at the southern 
side of the King's Kern Divide, — as seen from an imaginary point in space. 
Longley's photograph. Plate XXVII, fnrnislied some of the data, and my memory 
the rest. Of course there is here no effort to give correct relative heights or 
distances, or the forms of the peaks. It is intended merely to convey a general 
idea of the arrangement of things. This territory is sure to become important to 
mountaineers: for, barring the discovery of some better pass than is yet known, 
it is the most natural highway by which trampers can, from camps on East Lake, 
or Castilleja Lake, easily visit Mt. Williamson and the others. In doing this, 
either Harrison's Pass or the one we discovered and which I have marked 
"Foot Pass," may be used. The latter is very much nearer to Castilleja Lake, 
and not more difficult than the other; also, it is considerably lower. As a mere 
matter of speed and convenience, I should prefer it. If one had the extra energy 
and time, however, it would be well worth while to go one way and return the 
other, for the sake of the scenery. Vou have to go by " Lake South America,'' 
no matter which pass you take. 

The best ascent of Crag Ericsson is from the top of Foot Pass; that of Mt- 
Stanford, from the top of Harrison's Pass. The latter mountain, being a part of 
the divide between the head-basin of Bubb's Creek and the head-waters of the 
south fork of Bubb's Creek, might be climbed from the northeast from the Bubb's 
Creek basin, but it would not be at all convenient. Mt. Stanford and others upon 
the divide which are not given, approach or reach, according to Mr. Le Conte's 
latest observations, a height of 14.000 feet. To suggest the scale, I may say that 
Red Spur is some two or three miles long. 

Wanderings in the High Sierra. 2-' 

herder. On the \va)-, however, we came across a big log- 
which looked rather promising, and, to our great joy, we 
actiuiliy fired it up. Then we piled on so much wood that 
it became a roaring furnace which drove us back and back, 
and scorched the bag of provisions, and made us so hot 
and steamy that we were veritable pillars of cloud. But 
still it rained.* 

Darkness came on, and by the time we had finished our 
lunch, we were so tired that we just lay down among the 
dripping stones, and, e\en while the storm beat upon our 
sun-burned faces, fell asleep. But such slumbers are very 
intermittent, and we never passed more than a few minutes 
without waking, and probably hunting out a new place to 
he on, or, at least, turning the frozen, wet side to the fire, 
and the roasted side to the wind and rain. 

About three, the rain ceased to fall, and not long there- 
after, as we munched our breakfast in the dawn, the storm- 
clouds broke and fled away and hid themselves among the 
snowy fastnesses of the Kaweahs; and the sunrise came so 
glorious that we were repaid over and over for all the 
dreary night. 

See Bulletin, Vol. r. Plate XXVII. This bivouac was, in this picture, just 
one inch from the left-hand edge and two inches from the lower edge. The title 
of this plate is in error as to Madary's (or, as it should now be called, Harrison's) 
Pass, that pass itself being too low to be seen in this picture. The spot which its 
explanator)' foot-note would seem to mean is the one given in Plate VII as 
Rounded Saddle. In the photograph, the ridge forming the sky-line of the left 
half of the picture is Red Spur, and its edge connects (though hardly visible here) 
with the slope of the mountain to the right of the dead tree. This mountain is a 
southern spur of the higher one to the right, which is practically Mt. Stanford, 
though the summit is not quite in sight. The peak to the left of the dead tree is 
not on Red Spur at all, but two or three miles beyond. It is the one we called 
Crag Ericsson. 

To the casual reader these mountain pictures are merely scenery, but to the 
mountaineer, the one who actually travels in these regions, thev are topography 
of the most valuable kind. It should not be forgotten that these are positively 
the only public records of these places in existence. Thev are often more useful 
than a map: in the first place, because in this case there is no map, and in the 
second, because it fixes the topography upon the mind through objects which are 
always m sight,— that is, the peaks and ridges, which are pictured so that you 
recognize the originals when you see them,— instead of fixing it by streams, 
which are the least conspicuous features there are, which often cannot be seen 
at all until you come to them, and whose character and "falls," "fords," and 
" blazes " cannot be known until you visit each one in detail. 

?4 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

Leaving the timber, we tramped up for a mile, to get a 
general outlook, but remained still uncertain where Mt. 
Williamson was. At last we decided to try climbing the 
mountain two miles north of us, a splendid, rough peak, 
apparently about 14,000 feet high.* 

Lucy was not at all used up by our twenty-four hours of 
hardship and exposure, and would not hear of returning to 
camp without climbing something. But, as it turned out, 
this mountain, though fine, was not Mt. Williamson; for, 
when we had gone some hundreds of feet up it, the rugged 
mass of Williamson appeared, unmistakable, miles away to 
the southeast. At once abandoning our contemplated 
ascent, we backed down and hurried across the basih at 
the head of Tyndall Creek to the wide, high saddle sweep- 
ing between Mt. Tyndall and the peak northeast of it. 
This great saddle, which is a part of the Main Crest, we 
crossed before eight o'clock; and clambered down into the 
beautiful and amazingly wild and rough Alpine bowl that 
fills the triangle between Williamson, Tyndall, and Barnard. 

* See Bulletin, Vol. I, Plate XII. A photogr.iph by A. W. rfe la C. Carroll, 
looking northwest from the summit of Williamson, and very interesting topo- 
graphically. The mountain referred to in the te.\t is one and a half inches from 
right edge of picture. The edge of the crater-like hollow (one and a half inches 
up from right-hand corner of plate) is the King's-Kern Divide; the edge just 
below it (seven-eighths of an inch up from corner) is, however, part of the Main 
Crest Divide. The actual Main Crest — by which I mean the dividing line of 
water-flow — crosses the picture about half an inch up from the edge, and runs up 
the steep slopes on the left, which are the northeast face of Mt. Tyndall. The 
flat-topped mountain (two and a half inches from right edge), I take to be " No. 
I," and Mt. Stanford should be very near and exactly behind it. Mt. Brewer is 
three and three-quarter inches from right edge, and the little saw-teeth one inch 
to the left of Brewer are Crag Ericsson. The peak three-eighths of an inch from 
left edge is, probably *' No. 4." Ericsson, Stanford, No. t, No. 4, and the big 
mountain one and a half inches from right edge, are on the King's-lCern Divide. 
The basin that forms the main part of the center of the picture is the head basin 
of Tyndall Creek, which flows off the picture to the left. We crossed the divide 
between Crag Ericsson and No. 4, and practically followed up the Tyndall Creek 
basin and came up over the foreground of the picture, towards the spectator. 
This place is much bigger than it looks, and is the " wide, high, sweeping saddle 
between Mt. Tyndall and the peak northeast of it," referred to in the text. Just 
at the edge of the picture to the right, the smooth saddle breaks away ; and this 
is the northern rim of the big bowl referred to. In coming out we came up 
over the larger snow-bank at the left. Plate XI (a continuation, to the left, of 
the same view) shows the western wall of the bowl — the eastern face of Mt. Tyn 
dall. That cliff is probably two thousand feet high. 

IVanderiyigs in the High Sierra. 25 

Mt. Williamson, which is not on the Main Crest, but to 
the east of it, towered in the morning light, dark, massive, 
and bristling — a stupendous pile and a most impressive 
sight. Its shape may be likened to that of a house, with 
gables east and west. Having crossed the bowl, we at- 
tacked the mountain by climbing up two or three hundred 
feet over a small, reddish slide at its extreme north- 
western angle. Thence we followed a previously selected 
diagonal upwards across the western end of the house, and 
gained a small notch near the eaves on the southwestern 

The climb to this perch, though not especially danger- 
ous, was exceedingly rough, and very impressive because 
of the vast heights above, that seemed almost to overhang 
us, and the vast depths below, that we seemed almost to 
overhang. Looking through the notch, we saw the south- 
ern face of the peak — a wilderness of vertical crags and 
gullies, seemingly impassable. Yet the hope of finding 
there a line of ascent carried us out among them, where, 
after some really ticklish cliff work, we got upon the lowest 
seat of a bottomless amphitheatre with very high and steep 
sides. Wallowing up to the top of a big snow-bank, we 
managed to squirm from it on to the next ledge; thence we 
edged up a crack to the one above, whose smooth slope 
was ascended by sitting down and shoving ourselves up 
backwards with the palms of our hands. The next step 
we reached by cross- bracing ourselves against the sides of 
a vertical crack; everything the gymnasium ever taught us, 
and several things it neglected, now came in play. Even- 
tually, up the bottom of a narrow, steep chijte, over 
patches of snow and ice, with plenty of all-over climbing, 
we got up the highest and steepest part of the southern 
wall of the peak — through the eaves, as it were, — and 
upon the more moderate slope of the roof. From here to 

26 Sierra Club Dullelin. 

the ridge-pole, and thence westward to the summit at its 
end, was easy.* 

By noon we had conquered our mountain and stood 
14,448 feet above sea-level. Naturally, the view is some- 
thing to be experienced rather than described. Everything 
in that part of the world is in sight. Gazing off into the 
immense pale distances of mountain and plain, where it 
seemed as if one saw away into Colorado to the east 
and Mexico to the south, we marveled at that magic 
of atmosphere and light and distance which could trans- 
form mere flat earth and barren mountain into these 
enchanting visions of ravishing beauty. Flocks of gentle 
clouds floated in white multitudes beneath us, while their 
violet shadows dappled the mountain ranges and the tawny 
desert. Owens Valley, hardly five miles away, lay ten 
thousand feet below. Scores of miles to the south, that 
great inland sea, Owens Lake, stretched its vast surface of 
heavenly blue; and, wide as it is, so great was our height, 
that whole topographies of mountain ranges and wide 
plains beyond it lay piled up into the sky in level layers, 
and lost themselves along the immensely remote and hazy 
horizon. About us, and visibly beneath, stood the com- 
pact host of silent, beautiful, restful mountains; snow- 
spotted, cloud-shadowed, sun-lighted, changing always, 
yet each in his place changeless since the dawn of pri- 
meval time. 

The summit, if I remember rightly, held records of 
three ascents, of which one was made fifteen years ago. I 
think they were all from the plains of Inyo County to the 
east. Perhaps we were the first to reach it from the west. 
On the return we fully monumented our route as far as the 

* Clarence King, in his much-exaggerated account of this country, says that 
Mt. Williamson is an " inaccessible bundle of needles." But. liaving gone over 
some of the country he describes, I am strongly inclined to suspect lliat there 
was a general tendency with Mr. King to put down the things he did not himself 
do as impossible. His book is very far from giving a true impression of the 
region from Brewer to Tyndall. 

IVaiideriitgs in the High Sierra. 27 

notch in the southwestern corner; and beyond this left a 
few marks down along the western face. Among such a 
multitude of crags and crannies there may be many ways 
of possible ascent; but from all that we saw, both going 
and returning, they would seem to be rather scarce, and 
not easy to find in a limited time. Two friends of ours, 
who attempted it a few days later from the same side, 
failed to make the summit through going up a chfite, the 
head of which turned out to be a cul-de-sac from which 
they could not climb out. 

Reaching the bottom of the bowl in the middle of the 
afternoon, we crossed it and climbed out over a steep snow- 
field close under the awful precipices of Tyndall's eastern 
face. It would be easy to ascend Mt. Tyndall by its north- 
ern angle. We talked, in a joking way, of doing it then and 
there as we passed; and Lucy declared her ability to com- 
pass it and get back to timber before dark. Probably we 
could have done it, ascending in two hours and descending 
in one; but we refrained. Our labors were beginning to 
tell on us, our shoes were worn to tattered wrecks, and, 
besides, we feared the storm had raised East Lake so high 
as to cover the grass where Peggotty was tied. Therefore, 
although it had taken us a day to get from camp to the 
point where we now were, we determined to try to return 
that night. And we did it, — though we had to run part 
of the way. We tried hard, but failed to make the pass 
over the divide by sunset, and, arriving just at nightfall, 
had to go rattling down its steep northern gullies, all wet 
and slippery, in the dark. Thence, through a mile or two 
of the usual glacial piles of huge blocks, reheved by an 
occasional pallid snow-field, we descended without accident; 
and, leaving Castilleja Lake on our left, worked through 
the granite ledges into the dark pine-woods below. Down 
through these, by our sense of general direction, we 
stumbled and slid; and finally, at about ten o'clock. 

28 Sierra Club BuUelin. 

reached the camp at East Lake. That day we tramped 
and cHmbed, at speed, for fifteen hours, during the last six 
or seven of which we had not paused for two consecutive 
minutes. The lake had risen two feet, and quite covered 
Peggotty's poor little grass; but some wandering moun- 
taineer had come to her rescue and tethered her on the 
feed above. Next day we returned to King's River 
Canon, where we found most of our stock all right; but 
Satan had run away again — fallen in love with a herder's 
outfit, and followed it over into the Middle Fork basin, as 
we afterwards heard. 




















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I ) I 'l I I 'l I i I I I I I 1 I I I I I I 11 I 1 I I I 1 I 1 ■. 


Moiniiain Trips. 


By Howard Longley. 

These are questions of grave concern to every one who 
contemplates a journey into the heart of the Sierra, far 
removed from any source of supply or assistance. Not 
novices alone, but the more experienced as well, unless they 
have recorded the teachings of previous trips, find it 
difficult to determine just what, and how much, to take 
upon a trip of a given length; and frequently discover, in 
the recesses of the forest, that the article they then most 
need was forgotten and left at home. Not only that, but 
the trained mountaineer has learned many expedients 
which more recent recruits would be glad to know ; but 
there is very little published information available. Such 
thoughts prompt the writing of this article. Not wishing 
to be considered an authority, we still hope to be of some 
assistance to those younger in mountaineering than our- 
selves; and, better still, to arouse an interest in the matter 
" which will draw out, in future numbers of the Bulletin, 
the ideas of those old Sierra veterans who can speak to 
the advantage of all. 

Food. — The following is a list of provisions taken by 
our party last summer, the quantity of which will be found 
abundant for three men for two weeks. While it is believed 
no essentials are overlooked, individual tastes will readily 
suggest changes. It is advisable to take only the best 
quality of goods. Meats: gji lbs. ham, $1.25; }{: lb. 

30 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

deviled ham, 15c.; 4 lbs. corned beef, 45c.; 1J2 lbs. (6 
cans) sardines, 85c. ; 2 lbs. salt pork, 20c. Vegetables: 2 
lbs. rice, loc. ; 6 lbs. (2 cans) tomatoes, 20c.; 2 lbs. (i 
pkg.) germea, 20c.; 2 lbs. (i pkg.) prepared buckwheat, 
20c.; 2 lbs. (i can) corn, 15c.; 3 lbs. split peas, 20c.; ij^ 
lbs. Lima beans, dried, 6c.; 20 lbs. potatoes, 40c.; 8 lbs. 
onions, 15c. Fruit: 2 lbs. prunes, 25c.; 3^ lbs. dried 
fruits, 40c.; 30 lbs. (10 cans) Flickinger's canned fruits, 
$3.00; 3 lbs. raisins, 30c.; 3 lbs. (i doz.) lemons, 25c. 
Miscellaneous: 2 lbs. salt, 5c.; pepper, loc. ; 12 lbs. sugar, 
75c.; gibs, cottolene, 90c.; 3 lbs. butter, 65c.; 11 lbs. (11 
cans) Highland evaporated cream, $1.65; ^ lb. Van 
Houten's cocoa, 75c. ; 4 lbs. (2 pint bottles)j gherkins, 
70c.; 4 lbs. (i qt.) olives, 20c.; 3 lbs. soda crackers, 25c.; 
13 lbs. flour, 30c.; Yz lb. baking powder, 25c.; 6 lbs. (2 
doz.) eggs, 40c.; y^ lb. matches, 5c.; can-opener, loc. 
Total weight, 172 pounds; total cost, $15.86. 

It will be noted both dried and canned fruits and vegeta- 
bles are enumerated. The former require considerable pre- 
liminary soaking, and a longer time to cook; and, while 
traveling, the advantage of having some canned goods, 
which can be prepared in a few minutes, more than ofTsets 
the objection to their greater weight. Besides, they afford 
an agreeable variety. We took cocoa, rather than cofifee, 
because it is more strengthening and less bulky. We tested 
several brands of condensed milk, but found the Highland 
cream more palatable, although a greater number of cans 
is required. Rice and germea, with this cream, were pop- 
ular dishes. So were the dried peas and lima beans, cooked 
with the pickled pork. In making up one's list, it should 
be remembered that rice, germea, buckwheat, etc., are equal 
to several times their weight in flour. The first week's 
lunches exhausted the crackers, the last of them being 
much broken. Cottolene was used instead of lard, be- 
cause it keeps better, and is not melted as readily by hot 

Mountain Trips. 3 1 

weather. Two small buckets of it are more convenient 
than one large one. We got fresh butter the day before 
starting, packed it in a tin can with a large-sized screw top, 
and it was as palatable the last day of the trip as the first. 
Five or six dozen eggs, packed in bran in a small box, 
were taken as an experiment. They kept fresh for over a 
week, but by the ninth day were spoiled by the severe jolt- 
ing. The lemons served to disguise the unpleasant flavor 
of water from meadows where sheep had pastured; and the 
olives went with the first week. Raisins are nourishing, and 
a small pocketful will stave off hunger when on forced 

Dishes. — A knife, fork, and spoon apiece, of course; — 
steel knives, well sharpened. Also a plate apiece, and two 
or three extra ones to serve on. Cups are also necessary; 
and, if you want to avoid burnt fingers, they should have 
handles. Two saucers apiece will prove acceptable. The 
above articles can all be had either of tin, granite ware, or 
aluminum; but crockery should not be taken. We got, of 
granite ware, enameled white, and hardly distinguishable from 
porcelain, a cup and deep saucer for 45 cents, and a mush- 
bowl for 20 cents. The three bowls and three saucers 
which we took fitted into each other so as to take but little 
more room than one bowl. 

It is also desirable to have two cans made, costing about 
20 cents each, and holding about a quart, and having large 
openings with screw-tops. These carry safely on the road 
unused portions of cooked food, which would otherwise have 
to be thrown away, or else carried in open cans, with much 
risk of loss and of damage to everything in their neighbor- 

Cooking Utensils. — Of these, we found the following 
articles sufficient: 2 or 3 large spoons for cooking; i 
pancake turner; 2 sheet-iron. 8-inch frying-pans, costing 40 
cents each; 2 8-inch granite ware stew-pans, costing the 

32 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

same; and 2 buckets of heavy tin, made to order for about 
$1.50. The smaller was 9 inches in diameter and 8^ inches 
in height, having a lid (with ring) and a wire handle of the 
same diameter as the bucket. The other was loj^ inches 
in diameter, 10 inches in height, and had a lid (with ring), a 
handle, and 2 rings riveted on the bucket near the bottom at 
points midway between the ends of the handle. There should 
be no solder used in making these buckets, or they will fall 
apart when subjected to the heat of the camp-fire. As the 
smaller bucket was placed in the larger, and its outside 
therefore had to be kept clean, it was never allowed on the 
fire, but was used excusively for carrying and keeping on 
hand fresh water, while the larger one was used for heating 
water and general cooking purposes. We avoided many 
of the discomforts of cooking food over an open fire by 
having a hollow handle made of tin, one foot long, and flat- 
tened at one end so as to readily receive say three inches of 
the handle of the frying- or stew-pan. With this little 
implement, costing ten cents, always cool in our hand, we 
could stand, pleasantly removed from the heat and smoke, 
lift off a pan, flop a cake, or stir the food, and return the 
dish to the stove. The stove, by the way, was made of 
band iron, y'-z inch thick by one inch wide, as shown in the 

30" following cut, and was 

riveted so as to permit 

movement and the bring- 

~^ ing together of the two 

side-pieces. The ends rest on flat stones, about six 
inches above the ground; and by a little adjustment, it 
can easily be made level. It holds three cooking utensils 
at once, is very convenient, costs about $1.00, and weighs 
five pounds. 

Miscellaneous Supplies. — Plenty of strong cord, some 
baling wire, a spool of fine copper wire, a pair of combined 
nippers and pincers, a coarse file, a punch and a package 

Mountain Trips. 33 

of assorted rivets, a handful of various -sized nails and 
screws, some leather straps and thongs, two or three snaps, 
extra boot-laces, two or three iron rings, a paper of hob- 
nails, a paper of tacks — both plain and double-pointed. 
All these were put in one canvas bag, with a draw-string 
top; and its contents, while weighing only five and a half 
pounds, successfully met all emergencies and made many 
repairs. The cost of this assortment was about $2.75. An 
ax, well ground, should be taken along; and a light hatchet 
in addition is often found useful. A pick and short-handled 
shovel are not necessary, but sometimes convenient. At 
least one canteen, holding two quarts, should be taken; and 
it should always be kept full. The inexperienced frequently 
suffer from thirst as a result of being over-confident of 
finding water along the way. A compass should be carried; 
and an aneroid barometer, if one cares to know the extent 
of his ups and downs on the trip. We fished, and so each 
took a rod, lines, assorted flies and leaders; and we impro- 
vised creels out of sections of gunny-sack. Hunters, of 
course, will want to take everything necessary in their 

In addition to the few articles necessary for strictly 
personal use, we took three dish-cloths, three kitchen 
towels, toilet and Ivory soap, and a toilet case for common 
use, containing scissors, tooth-powder, mirror, pins, safety- 
pins, assorted needles, strong thread — black and white, — 
and one-half dozen extra buttons. We also considered 
necessary a note-book, pencils, playing cards. Sierra Club 
map, and two or three books; and the following medicines: 
Arnica, court-plaster, medicine for colds, iodine in ammonia 
for snake bites, Squibb' s mixture for stomach troubles, a 
reliable poison-oak remedy, and a box of vaseline. 

Clothing. — Each person should take one suit of extra 
underclothing, two extra outside shirts, strong and prefer- 
ably of dark color, plenty of socks and handkerchiefs, a 

34 Sierra Club BuUethi. 

pair of heavy gauntlet gloves, either a heavy coat or a 
sweater, and overalls to wear in the mountains, or else an 
extra pair of pantaloons to go home in. These can best be 
carried in a canvas bag, wrapped in the bed when traveling. 
Gloves, shirts, and pantaloons should be heavy and strong, 
for they will be tried severely. A soft felt hat with rather 
broad brim is the proper thing. Never start with boots or 
shoes that are not a perfectly comfortable fit. A person 
who has trodden many weary miles upon blisters larger 
than a quarter-dollar, made by poorly fitting shoes, will 
not overlook this precaution again. With proper hunting 
boots one can ford streams not deeper than the height of 
the boot without getting the feet wet, and in going down 
gravelly slides grit cannot enter to torment, while the heavy 
leather is almost proof against rattlesnakes. Those who 
find boots too tiresome wear heavy shoes and leggings; but, 
for the reasons above given, I would sooner use boots, and, 
if necessary, take a light pair of shoes for camp. Which- 
ever kind is used, should be as strong as possible, with 
thick soles, and hobnailed. , 

Bedding. — Two of us used one sleeping-bag, made by 
laying down a double blanket (not cut apart), opened. 
Upon one-half of it two sheets of canton flannel were laid, 
with the soft sides together, then two quilts upon that, and 
upon this was turned back the other half of the blanket. 
The edges of these various articles were then strongly sewed 
together across the bottom, all the way up one side, and 
two-thirds of the way up the other. The covers being 
fastened together, one can't pull or toss them off during 
sleep, or gradually work out the bottom when upon a slope ; 
and the edges being held tightly together by the sewing, the 
cold wind cannot penetrate. The advantages of a double 
bed over two single ones are that you have the warmth of 
the other body, there is greater liberty of movement, and the 
clothing is not drawn down upon you as much as in a nar- 

Moimtahi Trips. 35 

rower bag. One side of this bed is thicker than the other, 
and that side is placed uppermost which best corresponds 
with the temperature of the atmosphere. If this amount 
of bedding is not sufficiently soft, a feather-bed effect can 
be produced by placing under it a sufficient quantity of 
small pine or fir boughs. Camping-cots are no softer, 
while they are cumbersome to carry, and, the body 
being suspended, the cold air circulates underneath, and 
makes it hard to keep warm. Mr. T. S. Solomons informs 
the writer he finds most convenient a quilt made of 
eider-down, doubled over and fastened across one end and 
up the open side, and this placed in a canvas bag. Com- 
plete for one, this weighs si.x pounds. He claims there is 
much less weight and bulk for the same amount of warmth 
than where cotton is employed; and, if the bedding has to 
be purchased anyhow, perhaps the expense is not much 

In addition to the bed above described, we had a piece of 
canvas, made as shown in the accompanying cut, and used 
as follows: Thebedislaid ^, 

upon the left-hand half, 
with its head toward the 
flap above. When de- 
sired, the other half is 
drawn over the bed. Oth- 
erwise, it affords a clean 
place on which to deposit 

one's clothing, or to dress. When the weather is very 
cold, or there is much wind, or a storm of rain or snow, 
the open side of the bed can be laid to the middle of the 
canvas, so that this last, when folded over, closes the open- 
ing; the cloth can be fastened together by the eyelets at 
the bottom and sides; one can then crawl in, pull the flap 
down over his head, secure it there by hooking the snaps 
at its corners into the rings, and there he is, as warm and 


36 Sierra Club BuUetiyi. 

protected as one possibly can be in wild weather. During 
the day the bed is folded up in the canvas, which protects 
it when traveling. Such a bed for two weighs about 1 8 
pounds, and the cloth 8 pounds more. 

Having now considered what to take, the next subject 
requiring attention is: 


Animals. — If the journey is to be upon good rpads or 
well-made trails, with the country not too rugged, moun- 
tain-bred horses are desirable. If the way is uncertain, 
over rough country, and the opportunities for feed unknown, 
they should be left at home. Under no circumstances 
should horses not thoroughly used to mountain travel be 
taken. As between the small breed of mountain-trained 
mules and burros, there is not so much choice, but the odds 
are in favor of the small mule. He can carry more and 
walk faster than a burro, but his feet may not stand the 
same amount of hard usage; nor is he usually as docile. If 
one indulges in the luxury of an assistant to attend to the 
animals, or if one is not used to considerable physical exer- 
tion, it may be desirable to take saddle-animals. But if 
one must have the care of them himself, or intends to 
explore unknown regions, they should be dispensed with. 
The average mountaineer considers them a useless incum- 
brance. As to the number of animals necessary, it has been 
our experience that good and continued service cannot be 
had from burros, traveling in rough mountainous country, 
when loaded with much more than lOO pounds each, although 
they are occasionally started on a trip with as much as 150 
pounds. Everything mentioned in this article, including 
boxes to pack in, will weigh less than 350 pounds. We had 
three good burros, traveled almost constantly, and brought 
them back in first-class condition. 

Moimtain Trips. 37 

Saddles, Bridles, and Pack-Rope. — Never start 
until the pack-saddles are in good condition. They should 
have both front and back cinches, breast-straps and breech- 
ing; and will cost, new, with a pack-cinch, about $5.00. 
With such a saddle, a properly packed outfit will need very 
little attention, even on the roughest trails; while with a 
poor one, frequent trouble is almost certain. An extra 
gunny-sack, folded, can be used to replace a broken cinch, 
if necessary. Saddle-blankets should be large and soft, 
and may be made of carpet and gunny-sacks, if regular ones 
are not at hand. No bridles are necessary for pack-mules 
or burros; nor is even a halter essential. A lead-rope, tied 
around the neck, will usually answer; while a half-hitch of 
the rope around his nose will bring a stubborn one to time. 
The first few nights out the animals should be staked. 
After they get away from their usual haunts, if food is scat- 
tering, it might be advisable to turn them loose. In such 
case, a bell attached to the one found to be the leader, will 
frequently save much time in searching for them among the 
brush. Our pack-ropes were of ^a-inch cotton rope, each 
about 35 feet long, with a snap on one end, and cost about 
50 cents apiece. The length was ample, either for packing 
or staking the animals out at night. Cotton rope is softer 
and more pliable than manilla; but if you tie a pack with it 
when wet, upon drying it stretches so as to necessitate re- 
adjustment. Moreover, it probably wears out more quickly, 
and cannot be relied upon to survive more than a month of 
continuous service. In addition to a pack-rope for each 
animal, an abundance of smaller rope should be taken for 
lead-ropes, and various purposes. Be sure that one end of 
the pack-cinch has a ring, and the other a large hook. 
Snap the rope into the ring, and then it need only be looped 
over the hook at the other end, instead of being drawn 
through a ring. 

Saddle-bags. — They should be box-shaped, 18 inches 

38 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

long by 1 6 inches deep and 8 inches wide, made of heavy can- 
vas, strongly sewed. There should be two loops of rope about 
a foot long, securely fastened to one upper edge of each, on 
the side next the saddle, and about five inches from the 
ends; and a ring about i^ inches in diameter should be 
strongly attached to the middle of the opposite, or outer, 
edge. One of each pair of these " cuyacks " should have 
three feet of small rope permanently tied to its ring. 
Saddle-bags of this size are ample for use upon a burro 
or small mule, and cost about $3.50 a pair. They cannot 
be made too strong to withstand the rough usage to which 
they will be subjected. . 

Boxes. — If boxes are used for packing, a convenient 
size is twenty inches long, nine inches wide, and fourteen 
inches deep. The ends and the side that comes next the 
animal should be at least three-quarters of an inch thick, and 
the rest may be of one-half-inch stuff; all of light but tough 
wood, dressed and put together with screws. The edges 
and lower corners should be rounded; and they would be 
still more serviceable if the edges were bound with strips of 
thin sheet iron, like trunks. The lid should be on top, 
hinged, and made of one-half-inch stuff with outside cleats 
to strengthen it. Loops of rope should be fastened on the 
thicker side by means of holes bored near the top, and a 
ring should be fastened on the other side by a strap riveted 
on. Such boxes will probably cost fifty cents to one dollar 
apiece, and weigh fifteen pounds. 

Saddle-Bags versus Boxes. — While many packers 
turn up their noses at the use of boxes for packing, others 
are as enthusiastically in favor of them. Boxes are heavier, 
it is true, and their size does not decrease as their contents 
lessen, — which are disadvantages. The objection that they 
chafe the animal does not hold good if the boxes are not 
too large, if the corners are rounded, and if a sufficient 
saddle-blanket is used. A little more skill may be required 

Mou7itain Trips. 39 

to adjust boxes properly upon an animal; but when it is 
accomplished, the pack is there to stay. When the rope is 
tightened around saddle-bags, the pressure upon their 
contents is great, and the breakables are in danger. This 
pressure upon only certain points under the rope, causes a 
readjustment of the contents of the bag as we jolt along the 
road; consequently the rope is slackened, and the pack is 
more liable to slip. With boxes, when the rope is once 
tightened, it necessarily remains at the same tension; and 
the pack, if properly balanced, must ride as safely at the 
end of the day as at the outset. Articles can be disposed 
of in boxes, and taken from them with greater neatness 
and convenience than in saddle-bags; while during a rain- 
storm, whether on the road or in camp, your provisions are 
thoroughly protected. If you are fording a stream, and the 
animal accidentally or of necessity gets deep enough in the 
water to dip the pack for a moment or two, not enough 
water will enter the box to damage its contents, while a 
canvas pack soon becomes water-logged. The box, clo.sed 
on all sides, keeps its contents cleaner than the open-topped 
bag. When in camp, provisions in saddle-bags are not 
safe from the inquisitive and ever-hungry burro or other 
animals, while in boxes they are. A box on its side serves 
as a seat, and another, upright, constitutes a solid and level 
table. The under-side of the lid forms an excellent bread- 
board. A wire passed through two gimlet-holes near the 
top of the rear end of one of the boxes enables the hatchet 
to be securely fastened, where it is ready for instant use, 
and not in the way nor necessary to be detached when 
unpacking. The way the boxes rest on the animal always 
throws the outer edges higher than the inside, and the stove, 
fishing-rod, and other articles which are similarly fastened 
jO the tops of the boxes are therefore well protected, not 
only by the higher portions of the boxes themselves, but, in 
addition, by the horns of the saddle; while, if bedding is to 

4© Sierra Club Biillcliji. 

be placed above them, they are equally well protected from 
breakage through pressure, by reason of the flat and solid 
box on which they rest One can toss the sack of cooking 
utensils and the canteen between the horns of the saddle 
which does not carry the bedding, and by reason of the 
slope of the boxes they will ride safely without being tied. 
When saddle-bags are used, after they and the bedding are 
adjusted and roped up, inclination, and even necessity, 
leads one to tie the various loose articles separately to 
different portions of the pack, and each has to be 'separately 
removed before the pack can be taken off. With boxes, if 
the pack should slip, all that is necessary is to throw aside 
the canteen and sack, loosen the pack-rope, and lift off the 
two boxes with their appurtenances still attached — only 
four articles to remove, and but two of them fastened, — 
thus saving considerable time, trouble and sometimes 
danger. We believe the advantages here enumerated far 
more than offset the objections to boxes for packing; and, 
using both methods at the same time, we have become 
strong advocates of the use of boxes. 

Disposal of Provisions. — Canned goods are always 
ready to be packed, while potatoes, etc., need but a gunny- 
sack. With things ordinarily received in paper from the 
grocer the case is different. Last year we made sacks for 
such articles out of closely woven muslin, with draw-strings; 
and a Dennison tag attached to each conveniently desig- 
nated its contents. Of those who pack in boxes and make 
frequent trips, a few of the more fastidious have square tins 
made to fit the boxes, of proper size and suitably labeled, 
with large screw-tops, in which such articles are kept abso- 
lutely safe from the weather, rough usage, dust, and pur- 
loining animals. 


All our knives, forks, teaspoons, cups, saucers, bowls, 
can-opener, and the two cans of left-over food were con- 

Mountain Trips. 41 

tained in the smaller bucket. That was placed in the large 
one, and six pie-plates laid on top. Then the lid of the 
large bucket was put on, string or baling wire run through 
the ring of the lid and the other rings near the bottom of 
the bucket and tied; and we had, in one package, all the 
dishes and some of the food needed for lunch. These 
things weighed, with the cans empty, twelve pounds. The 
cooking utensils were thrown in a sack, and the opening 
tied. These weighed seven pounds. As one's outfit re- 
ceives a great many handlings upon a trip, it is desirable to 
have as few packages as possible. Consequently, arrange 
to have everything go in "cuyacks," or boxes that can be 
put there. The two for each animal should be of as nearly 
the same weight as possible. Five pounds difference, with 
constant jolting hour after hour, will frequently cause a pack 
to turn. Where the weight cannot be so adjusted, by 
swinging the heavier box a little higher on the animal than 
the other, the equihbrium can be maintained. 

If there are several animals, saddle them all first, and do 
not give the cinches their final tightening until just before 
putting on the pack. This means a less length of discomfort 
for some of the animals, and consequently a greater capacity 
for work. Separate the cinches pretty well, so that the 
swell of the belly will be between and hold them apart, and 
tie them with a piece of string at that distance, so they will 
not spread farther and chafe the animal's legs. Tighten 
the rear girth last, and uncinch it first, or you may have 
trouble, especially with a mule. The breeching and breast- 
straps should be no looser than is necessary to prevent rub- 
bing from the movement of the animal. When the final 
cinching is being done, one's conscience is alwa3's eased by 
remembering that animals invariably distend their abdo- 
mens considerably beyond normal size during that opera- 
tion, and the severe tightening necessary does not, in fact, 
give the amount of pressure at first apparent, and that a 

42 Sicj'ra Club Bulletin. 

hundred-pound pack causes the saddle to settle more closely 
to the animal, and decreases the strain in that way. 

Having nicely balanced each pair of bags or boxes, sus- 
pend them upon the animal by hooking their loops over 
the two horns of the saddle which are on the opposite side. 
The length of the loops can be adjusted so as to obtain a 
properly-balanced pack, either by tying a knot in the loop, 
wrapping it twice around the horn, or twisting it a number 
of times before placing it over the horn, as may, be neces- 
sary. The pack should not be too high, because the higher 
it is built above the animal the more top-heavy it will 
become, and the greater the liabiHty to slip over. On the 
other hand, it should never extend below the animal's abdo- 
men. After the loads are properly placed, run the loose 
end of the rope which is tied to the ring of one of the 
"cuyacks," or boxes, through the ring of the one upon 
the other side, and draw the rope tight, so that, while the 
bags are not pulled out, a considerable portion of their 
weight is sustained by this rope, and prevented from press- 
ing against the animal's sides; and then fasten the rope by 
a loop, rather than by a hard knot. Bedding should be 
protected by canvas from dust and the limbs of trees, and, 
when folded, its length should be across the animal. When 
' ' cuyacks ' ' are used, it is advisable to have a large piece 
of heavy cloth, preferably waterproof, to throw over the 
pack just before putting on the cinch-rope, to protect its 
contents from dust and rain. When cinching, watch that 
the bedding or the pack itself doesn't get pulled lopsided. 

If you cannot make a diamond hitch, take along Mr. 
Le Conte's lucid description of it, contained in the Sierra 
Club Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 8, and with its aid you can 
learn in a few minutes. If you use it upon one trip, you 
will never try another. Using boxes and the diamond 
hitch, when we stopped at noon we could unpack and un- 
saddle the animals in ten minutes, let them feed and rest 

Moujiiain Trips. 43 

for three-quarters of an hour, pack up in twenty minutes 
or half an hour, and be off again. This stop at noon was 
not only good treatment of ourselves, but kindness to the 
burros, and wisdom as well. After a heavy pack has been 
thumping up and down upon an animal's back for three or 
four hours, with a tight cinch cramping his "in'ards," an 
hour's relief is not only considerate, but enables him to put 
in the balance of the day to much better effect than if the 
burden and travel were continuous. 

A good many of the things mentioned in this article may 
be considered unnecessary by the hardy mountaineer, 
especially as regards the variety of food. But these sug- 
gestions are not made for his benefit. Many people, when 
preparing for their first outing, imagine they can enjoy, for 
several weeks, subsistence upon only two or three coarse va- 
rieties of food; and forget that there is considerable difference 
between sleeping upon yielding springs and hair mattresses 
in a warm room, and stretching their aching limbs upon 
hard ground, unprotected from the elements; and thereby 
spoil what might otherwise have been a delightful outing. 
There are hardships enough, and unpleasant features 
enough, in the best-planned mountain trip, without making 
such radical changes in one's manner of living. One cannot 
enjoy either grand scenery or a good temper with a dis- 
gruntled stomach or a chilled body. Mountain trips should 
be for pleasure and recuperation, not for discipline and 
stoicism; and, until one learns for himself what can be dis- 
pensed with, he should take plenty. In this article we have 
endeavored to present an acceptable medium between bur- 
densome superfluity and dissatisfying paucity. To the lover 
of nature a mountain trip affords limitless opportunities for 
instruction and delight; and let us hope that the reader's 
next one will be so arranged that its greatest possibilities 
shall be realized. 

44 Sierra Club Bulletin. 


By J. M. Stillman. 

During the past summer a party of Sierra Club members, 
Professors Chas. N. Little, Geo. M. Richardson, Thos. D. 
Wood, and the writer, being established in camp in the 
Grand Canon of the King's River, made an excursion to 
Tehipite Valley on the Middle Fork, under the guidance 
of that pioneer resident of the King's River country, Mr. 
John Fox. 

As the route we followed under his guidance is not the 
usual route, and is considerably shorter, a brief description 
will perhaps not be without interest to members of the Club. 

The usual route leads up Copper Creek, through Granite 
Basin, and is usually estimated at from three to four days 
each way. The trip by Fox's route can be accomplished 
easily in two days. We left Fox's bridge across the South 
Fork at about 4 p. m. on July 29th, following down the 
north bank of the river for about a mile and a half on a 
well-beaten trail to the canon of Grizzly Creek. The trail 
then turns to the right before reaching the creek, and rises 
sharply up the east bank of the canon. About two miles 
from this turn, we crossed Sheep Creek, a branch of Grizzly, 
and about half a mile or so farther on we camped, staking 
our burros in the rather sparse grass on the divide between 
this branch and the main creek, making our own camp 
somewhat forther down the slope toward Grizzl}' Creek. 
It is not a very good camping-spot, as water is to be ob- 
tained only by a steep climb, and feed is poor. The next 
mornino- we took the trail again, crossing Grizzlv Creek 


Fniin a plujioi^inpli by Walter A. Sla 

To Tchipite Valley from King' s River Grand Canon. 45 

about half a mile or more from our camp. About two 
miles farther the trail passes Wildman Meadow (a good 
camping-spot), turning sharply to the right, though there is 
a trail which forks from the main trail and passes to the left 
down through the meadow. Shortly after passing Wild- 
man Meadow, a small creek (Grouse Creek) is crossed, and 
the trail then climbs a ridge, crossing it just below a lofty 
and striking granite dome, which Mr. Fox calls Mt. Har- 
rington. The summit of the ridge on the trail is about 
eight thousand feet in elevation, and Mt. Harrington cannot 
be much under nine thousand feet high. After crossing 
this spur ridge we descend, traversing a broad valley, well 
covered with manzanita and deer-brush. The trail passes 
well down the valley, to avoid brush and rough rocks bad 
for animals. A small stream flows through this valley, the 
last water before the main divide is crossed. After clear- 
ing the brush, the trail rises on the shoulder of the ridge 
beyond, and maintains its elevation fairly well on the face of 
the slope until it reaches the lightly timbered saddle of the 
main divide, called by our guide "Happy Gap." The 
elevation of the monument on the trail at this summit is 
not far from 9300 feet. The pass commands superb views 
of South and Middle Fork regions. 

From this point the trail runs quite directly about forty- 
five degrees west of north (true meridian), or about sixty 
degrees west of north by the needle. Sheep graze through 
this region, and the trail scatters and ramifies more or less 
in the region through which the trail first passes on de- 
scending from the pass. The route, however, lies a few 
hundred yards to the right of a stream which heads a little 
west of Happy Gap, and finally crosses, by a rough bit 
of trail, a lively stream (Silver Creek) just above its junc- 
tion with the westerly branch. From this point on, the 
trail was obscure, there being no signs of recent travel. 
An occasional stone monument, and the old ax-marks on 

46 Sierra Club Bidlelin. 

trees and brush were the only evidences in many places of 
a trail. The trail was cleared some three years ago, by 
Mr. Fox and others ; but sheep were taken over it one year, 
and did serious damage to it. After crossing Silver Creek, 
the trail rises sharply on the eastern bank, and keeps down 
the creek, but quite a distance above its bed, until an open- 
ing is reached, where are the half-burned remains of a 
rather elaborate camp. This is Big Oak Flat. It is not 
very flat, except in comparison with the country round 
about, which is generally "on edge." The elevation of 
Big Oak Flat is not far from 6000 feet. Here we made 
camp for the night, climbing down the steep bank of Silver 
Creek a hundred feet or more for water. Here, ^Iso, the 
next morning we left burros, blankets, and everything else 
we could spare, and started on foot to complete the trip, as 
the trail seemed unsafe for the pack-animals. 

The trail from this point was at times difficult to find, 
being innocent of hoof- or foot-prints, and most easily 
traced by the old ax-marks on the brush. In direction it 
is quite straight, keeping several hundred feet above Silver 
Creek on the flank of the canon, until the monument which 
marks the summit of the wall of the canon of the Middle 
Fork is reached, about two hours from our camp at Big 
Oak Flat. The monument is about 1600 feet above the 
margin of the river. At this point we abandoned the old 
trail-marks, as Mr. Fox believed that the old trail had been 
too much obliterated to be of service in its present condi- 
tion, and sought a route down the crest of the steep ridge, 
at the head of which stands the monument above men- 
tioned. The descent to the river is steep, and, in its present 
state, difficult, and impracticable for saddle- or pack- 
animals. The rock which forms the canon walls at this point 
is red, splits and splinters easily, and its insecurity is one of 
the chief difficulties of this part of the trail; but on the 
ridges it is usually covered with brush or undergrowth, so 

To Tehipile Valley from King' s River Grand Canon. 47 

that travel is not dangerous. Much time was consumed in 
prospecting for a route, but we finally found our way down, 
having occupied two hours and forty-five minutes in making 
the descent. Our trail struck the river, perhaps a mile and 
a half below the widening of the Tehipite Valley. A trail, 
little used, but clearly to be traced, runs up the river until 
sheared off by a smooth cliff of red rock, which forces ani- 
mals to ford through the edge of the water, though foot- 
travelers can find a route over the point above the cliff into 
the Tehipite Valley proper. 

Tehipite Valley needs no description here. Its most 
striking feature is beyond question the beautiful Tehipite 
Dome, described by Muir in the Century Magazine of 
1 89 1, and certainly rivaling in grandeur and symmetry 
any of the Yosemite cliffs, though not so high as some of 
those. The Tehipite Falls, by which Crown Creek plunges 
in two principal leaps into the valley west of the dome, 
enhance the beauty of that wall of the canon. On the oppo- 
site side of the caiion from Tehipite Dome, is a high 
shoulder, surmounted by a pyramid-shaped mass, which we 
thought fully equal in picturesque beauty to any feature of 
the South Fork Canon, as seen from the valley below. 

On the same (south) wall of the valley, and below 
the pyramid just mentioned, is another very striking feature 
of the walls. This is of the red rock characteristic of so 
much of the Tehipite walls; and, resulting from the way in 
which this rock splits and weathers, the crest of this cliff is 
sculptured into no very strained likeness to some of the 
spreading ruins of ancient fortresses which crown so many 
of the eminences in Europe.* 

Tehipite Valley is much smaller than the Yosemite or the 
King's River Grand Canon, only two or three miles in 

* Since this article was written I hear that the pyramid-crowned mass was 
named " El Comandante" by Winchell. This is on the authority of Mr. Solo- 

48 Sierra Chib Biil/eiin. 

length and probably not much over half a mile wide, in so 
far as its level floor is concerned. It is wilder in aspect 
than the Grand Canon. Its meadows were covered in 
large part with brakes, thimble-berry bushes, and other 
growth waist-high. Its elevation is considerably below 
that of the Grand Canon. The barometer gave 3900 feet 
elevation where our trail struck the river below Tehipite, 
while 4500 feet was the observation at Fox's Cabin, in the 
lower end of the Grand Canon. The floor of Tehipite is 
not much higher than where we struck the river — perhaps 
averaging about 4000 feet. The California bay and the 
poison-oak, of which we found a little in Tehipite, we had 
not seen in the Grand Canon. ; 

The Middle Fork is nearly as large a stream as the 
South Fork; and our fishermen found the fishing fully as 
good as in the South Fork. Trout formed our staple diet 
during our stay. Having no blankets and a short stock 
of provisions, we spent but two nights in the valley, sleep- 
ing, however, very comfortably by the camp-fire, as the 
nights were quiet and not cold. On the morning of August 
2d, we returned, retracing our route to our Big Oak Flat 
camp, whither Mr. Fox had preceded us the day previous, 
to care for the burros. 

Our actual traveling-time on the return trip will perhaps 
be of service to such as may take the trip : 


From bank of Middle Fork to the monument on 

summit of wall i 35 

Thence to camp at Big Oak Flat 2 15 

Thence to Happy Gap (summit of divide) 2 25 

Thencs to Burns' Sheep Corral (our camp for the 

night) I 20 

Thence to Fox's Bridge (South Fork) 3 05 

Total actual traveling-time 10 40 

The general direction of the route between the terminal 
points above given is about forty-five degrees west of the 

To TehipUe Valley from King's River Grand Canon. 49 

true meridian, or about sixty degrees west of north by the 
compass. Happy Gap is almost directly on the line be- 
tween Fox's Bridge and the point where we struck the 
Middle Fork. We estimated the actual distance on the 
trail at not far from twenty-five miles, if thirty miles repre- 
sents the distance from Sequoia Mills to Fox's Cabin. 
Comparatively little labor would convert this route into a 
passable pack-trail ; but unless the sheep were kept off, 
there would be comparatively little inducement for any one 
to construct a trail. It is a pleasure to the Sierra traveler 
to find a region where the vegetation shows no traces of 
recent devastation by sheep. The luxuriant growth in 
Tehipite is a pleasant change from the close-nibbled and 
hoof-beaten meadows of the country in and aronnd the 
South Fork Canon. The route described presents an 
excursion which will be full of interest to the lover of 
beautiful scenery. 

The accompanying sketch of the route is based upon Mr. Le Conte's Sierra 
Club map, and is modified only as seems necessary to give a correct notion of 
the route, though no claim to accuracy is here made. The disttnce by trail 
and the angle of the South Fork and Middle Fork in this region is surely not 
correctly presented in the county map, which served as the basis of that part 
of the Sierra Club map, if I am correctly informed. I think the sketch here 
given is a nearer approximation to the facts. 

50 Szer?-a Club Bulletin. 


By Theodore S. Solomons. 

Accompanied by Miss Stella Sweet, Miss Bertha Sweet 
(U. C. '96), Miss Mabel Sweet (U. C. '99), Miss Mabel 
Davis, and Mr. Adolph Sweet (U. C. '98), I left Yosemite 
Valley on the 13th of June, by the Yosemite Falls Trail. 
A week before, snow covered the lower slopes above the 
walls of the Valley, but the snowfall in all but the highest 
parts of the range having been of recent occurrence (about 
May ist), it had melted rapidly; and we did not encounter 
it as a continuous sheet until we began the ascent of the 
long hill leading to Snow Flat. 

We reached Lake Tenaya on June 14th. The lake itself 
was still entirely frozen, but about its northward shores, for 
some miles back, there were patches of bare ground aggre- 
gating about half the total surface; and short "dry" feed 
was already well up, in sunny spots. On the i6th, the 
summit of the glaciated headland opposite Tenaya Cliff, 
was climbed. The highest point was found to be about a 
mile from the lake, and to command a spacious view. On 
the 17th, the party ascended the creek that enters the lake 
from the North, following the old Virginia Creek trail (the 
initial portions of which, at least, we found reblazed with 
the new and characteristic T mark of the cavalry) until it 
crossed to the west side and ascended the western branch. 
Pursuing the eastern, and apparently larger, tributary, we 
came to a number of lakes and pools discharging their 
waters in both directions. To the north the water flowed 
into Cathedral Creek, by which we hoped to reach the 

Early Excicrsion to the Tuolumne Cation. 51 

Tuolumne River; but soft snow preventing this, we returned 
to Tenaya. On the 19th, we continued along the Tioga 
Road, now nearly free of snow, to within two miles of the 
Tuolumne Meadows, when we turned abruptly northwest, 
passing over the low divide, and camped at noon on the 
southern bank of the Tuolumme, about midway between 
the Meadows and the Virginia Trail crossing. The follow- 
ing morning we started with knapsacks down the river. 
There was carried among us about ninety pounds weight, 
made up, besides camera and plates, of no more than the 
severely simple outfit of food, utensils, and sundry neces- 
saries, carried by previous parties of Club members through 
the canon. 

I found the southern side easier traveling than the north- 
ern; and the views of the walls and cascades are also much 
finer from this side. We made the Le Conte Cascade at 
II A.M. of the 2ist, and Return Creek early next morning. 
From this point I made, alone, a short excursion down the 
river and found the cafion side very rough, steep, and 
brushy; but I remember that the northern side, also, was 
found to be of the same character. Hence, I am in doubt 
as to their comparative advantages, below Return Creek. 
It must be borne in mind however, that the southern side 
of the Muir Gorge is a more or less continuously steep wall 
of great height; but, except in the highest water, it is easy 
to ford the river at many places between the two points 
mentioned; or, indeed, log crossings may usually be found. 

The water-line showed a subsidence of about four feet 
from the highest water-mark of the season; but the cascades, 
nevertheless, were conspiciously finer than when I saw them 
in August, 1894. I shall make and place in the Club-rooms 
a diagram of the upper portion of the canon as far as Return 
Creek, showing the best route of descent. 

On our return, we reached camp early in the afternoon 
of the 23d. On the 24th, we arrived at the head of the 

52 Sierra Club BuUetiti. 

meadow at the base of Mr. Lyell, made the ascent the 
following day over a great deal of low-lying snow, and 
returned to Yosemite by the Cathedral Peak trail, reaching 
the Valley on the 28th. On Summit, Cathedral, and 
Long Meadows, the snow was still deep, although on the 
Tuolumne Meadows and on the high slopes on either side, 
especially to the north, there was not a vestige of it. 

I think our experiment proved the ability of the average 
young woman, in good health, to endure without great hard- 
ship many of the most difficult feats of mountaineering in 
the High Sierra. Our trip was a good test in several ways. 
We walked the entire distance; much snow, swollen streams, 
and wet boggy meadows made it impossible to keep our 
feet dry in the daytime, and often also at night; yet none 
of the ladies ever suffered from so much as a cold. In the 
Tuolumne Canon, than which there is scarcely rougher 
traveling to be found anywhere in California, I found them 
considerably slower than athletic young men, but fully as 
able otherwise to cope with all the physical difficulties; and 
their capacity of endurance of cold water, loss of sleep, 
snow, and certain forms of muscular fatigue, somewhat 
greater, perhaps, than that of the average young moun- 
taineer of the other sex. 

Notes and Correspondetice. 53 


In addition to longer articles suitable for the body of the magazine, the editor 
would be glad to receive brief memoranda of all noteworthy trips or explorations^ 
tot^ether with brief comment and suggestion on any topics of general interest to 
the Club. 

On the Naming of Mountains. 

As the Sierra becomes better known, the problem of finding 
suitable designations for its peaks grows in urgency and in difficulty. 
Our heritage of Indian names seems never to have been very 
large — at least within the High Sierra; and the greater part of 
what might have been saved from that source, has now been 
irrecoverably lost under the spendthrift regime of sheep-herder 
and prospector. On the other hand, the nomenclature which 
these later nomads have invt- nted is generally so void of euphony 
and dignity — is often so unutterably vulgar, — that one can hardly 
regret its scantiness. Here, then, is an opportunity for valuable 
and lasting service to society — or for lasting harm. By common 
consent, the explorer or climber has the right of suggestion or 
nomination; but since there is no counter nomination nor acknowl- 
edged authoritv to alter or amend, his nomination, of itself, is 
practically final. We "stand within his danger," then, indeed; all 
that the court can do directly, is to entreat him to " be merciful." 

Indirectly, however, something may be done by a general com- 
parison of views as to the considerations which should govern in 
the naming of these noble landmarks. As a good opening to such 
a discussion, we present the following suggestions, made by Prof. 
Bolton Coit Brown, in a communication which, we regret to say, 
our limited space does not permit us to print entire: 

The letter opens with a vigorous onslaught on the current fashion 
of naming mountains in honor of men, even though these be 
"men eminent in the physical sciences." Men and their reputa- 
tions inevitably fade out of remembrance. Since the name alone 
can abide, it should be chosen on grounds of inherent fitness, not 
because it may serve for a passing compliment. The writer frankly 
acknowledges his own transgressions in this regard, but professes 
repentance and reformation. In reply to the suggestion that the 
nami.jg be left to those " in authority," he says: — 

"Who indeed can rightly be said to have authority over the 
Sierra Nevada ? Politically, they are the property of the seventy 

54 Sierra Clicb Bulletin. 

million people of the United States; but in a wider and truer sense 
they belong to the human race, and will rear their untroubled 
summits when the memory of the United States is kept alive in 
archaic records and museum specimens. Their use to humanity 
is not that of a collection of memorial monuments minus the 
epitaphs. Their highest, most permanent, most important use 
is not to feed sheep, not to raise timber, not to mine gold, 
not to furnish money-making shows for hotel-keepers, not to 
afford trout-fishing and bear-hunting, not even lor quarrying 
granite or storing water supplies. For all of these things 
they may be used; for some of them, and to some extent, 
they may be well used; but it remains true that these are 
not the highest uses of the mountains. These uses serve but 
material ends, and for the gratification of the inherited, but now 
useless and detrimental, passion for chasing and killing. 

" It is not easy, probably it is not possible, exactly ,to define 
what the highest uses are. But in general we may say that they 
are the uses which men put them to when they go to them for the 
love of them, for the exaltation of spirit and the exhilaration of 
body which comes from them. Underneath what is called the 
'sport' of mountaineering — and a true and noble sport it is, — 
there is something more than mere sport in the ordinary use of the 
word. This something is not in the sport of liorse-racing, of whist- 
playing, or of prize-fighting; it is not in any sport except those 
which touch the nobler sides of human nature. Mountaineering 
has two sides, the athletic and the aesthetic. The athletic side is 
not at all affected by names; the muscular exercise is just the 
same, no matter what the name is. But the other side — the 
poetic — is affected by names; is affected by whatever is or is not 
poetic, is or is not harmonious, beautiful, fitting; and this, either 
to the ear or to the mind. 

" Much of the charm of the mountains depends upon the abso- 
lute harmony of all that is there. There is no intrusive foreign 
thing in them; there is no inappropriate thing; there is no vulgar 
thing. They do not insolently thrust in your face silly placards 
about Hobson's Rat Poison or Johnson's Pills; they do not dis- 
figure themselves with lying real-estate signs; the names of no 
political candidates insult the trees; there are no yelping curs, 
blatant voices, or jangling street-cars; there is no odor of under- 
ground horrors or discomfort of dirty crowds. In the mountains 
all is large, quiet, pure, strong, dignified; there all is beautiful; 
each thing is a perfectly appropriate part of that unity which we 
call nature. . . . All is wholesome to the body, interesting to 
the mind, and agreeable to the senses. And the state of mind 
they tend to put us in may be called poetic. 

" To name some of the parts of this complete unity which we 

Notes and Corresp07ide7ice. 55 

call nature is a practical necessity; and the fundamental reason 
for trying to name them well is, that we do not wish the names to 
jar and to be out of harmony with the rest. We do not want to 
feel the only thing man adds to the mountain — the name — as a 
discord. It is a distinct unpleasantness to be obliged lo know a 
sublime and beautiful mountain gorgeas being Bubb's, for instance. 
The same is true, in degree, of any name that suggests a. person. 

" Why should we not have — what is our e.xcuse for not having 
— names that are appropriate in sound and sense? A good name 
will harmonize; it will, in euphonious syllables, either appropri- 
ately describe (as does Ha/f Dome or Cloud's Rest), or to be to 
us a meaningless, euphonious, appropriate sound (like Tahoma, 
Shasta, Keai'sarge), which may designate that group of impressions 
which we call the mountain. And it will not force on all comers 
any particular piece of suggestion or sentiment, especially none of 
a personal sort, which the namer may have happened to think of. 
Each person ought to have a fair chance to have these things mean 
what they will to him, and should not, as a rule, be afflicted with 
Twin Sisters, DeviCs Slides, or Bridal Veils. All such pseudo- 
romantic appellations smack of childishness and of cheap senti- 

" Sometimes it will happen that a personal name is phonetically 
good, and yet not wishy-washy. In Ritter, for example, we seem 
to hear the clink of rattling stones. Campbell, Stanford, Univer- 
sity Peal:, Gardiner, Whitney, and Williamson, however, are bad, 
as also are King's Caiion, Bubb's Creek, and Cartridge Creek. 
King, Brewer, Barnard, are poor; Woodworth, Ericsson, Jordan , 
and Tyndall, are middling; Blue Cation, Tioga Road, Tehipite 
Valley, Yosemite, Roaring River, are good. North Dome, South 
Canon, East Lake, are inoffensive, but absolutely colorless and flat. 
Bullfrog Lake is not bad; Lake Eleanor is very beautiful. Of 
descriptive names, I should call Cathedral Spires rmAdXYn^; Saw- 
Tooth DTountains and Arrow Peak, good. Tuolumne Meadows, 
in the common pot-bellied corruption of it — Tuh-woU'ummy — is 
absurd; but when given rightly, as I have heard an Indian speak 
it, — Tu-ah-lum'nee, in distinct syllables, — there is hardly a more 
beautiful name in the mountains. Sierra Nevada falls most mu- 
sically upon the ear; and, taken with its meaning, is, perhaps, the 
best name of all. No, not all — Shasta is the best of all. 

"The desirable thing, then, in naming is not "authority," nor 
is it to drag in some man by the hair to " honor " him; but a con- 
sideration of the significance and suggestiveness of words to the 
mind, and of their musical suggestiveness to the ear. This, in the 
long run, will satisfy us best; and it will, in a much longer run, 
satisfy best our friends of the future." 

56 Sierra dub Bulletin. 

A Tramp ix the Emerald Bay Region. 
To the Editor of the Sierra Club Bulletin. 

Dear Sir: — Having recently enjoyed a most deligfhtful outing 
in the mountains to the west of Lake Tahoe, it has occurred to me 
that a few notes of the trip might be of interest to the members of 
the Sierra Club. Our party, consisting of R. R. Dempster, my 
brother (J. S. Hutchinson, Jr.), and mvsel.<", left tlie lake at Emerald 
Bay, carrj-ins; our blankets and several days' provisions. We 
camped the first night higli up on the slope of the ridge which 
rises to the northwest of the bay. We were in good position to 
examine a large part of the canon of the stream which runs down 
to Emerald Bay; and 1 would recommend the following route as 
being easier than the one followed by your party last year. From 
the bay westward for three-quarters of a mile, or a mile, it is cer- 
tainly easier going on the south side of the stream; bujl just below 
where the canon makes a rather abrupt turn to the south, it is 
better to cross to the north side, and follow a depression running 
ofTa little north of west to the base of the smooth, striped cliff 
which forms the northern wall ot the caiion, and then bows around 
and brings you out on the northern shore of Eagle Lake. Above 
Eagle Lake, keep along near the stream until you come to a cas- 
cade and a rocky barrier, which, at first sight, seems impassable, 
save by a wide detour to the north. You will notice, however, a 
few hundred yards to the right (north) of the cascade, a brush- 
covered shelf on the face of the rock barrier, and by a short, hard 
scramble through this brush, and along the shelf, you can reach the 
top in safety. From this point to Glacier Lake there is no diffi- 

Leaving Glacier Lake to the right, we climbed high up over the 
northwestern shoulder of the ridge which forms the eastern side 
of Rockbound Valley, passing en route a little snow-choked lake 
which does not appear on the U. S. Geological Survey map. Our 
camp that night was high up on the eastern side of Rockbound 
Valley, overlooking the whole canon of the Rubicon. 

Next day we followed up the canon of the Rubicon, keeping 
well up on the eastern slope, and around the base of Dick's Peak, 
or Cr\stal Peak, as it is called in Glen Alpine. Early in the after- 
noon we crossed the pass at the head-waters of the Rubicon, and 
plunged suddenly down into Desolation Valley (Devil's Basin on 
the U. S. Geological Sur\'ey map). Then, crossing the slope to 
the south of Heather Lake, we made our way without difficulty 
down to Susie Lake (.spelled Suzy on the map), near which we 
went into camp. 

Our last day's trip was one which is probably very familiar to 
manv members of the Club: — from Susie Lake across to Gilmore 

Noles and Correspo7idence. 57 

Lake, thence to the top of Mt. Tallac, and finally down one of the 
great rocky chl^ltes on its eastern face to Tallac. The whole trip 
was a charming one, full of hard work, but replete with fascinating 

It may be worth while to note what is evidently a misprint in 
the map of the U. S. Geological Survey. The altitude of Eagle 
Lake is given as 8,540 feet. It should undoubtedly be 7,540. 
Respectfully yours, 

Lincoln Hutchinson. 

San Francisco, September 27, 1896. 

Privileges of Members of the Sierra Club. 
To the Editor of the Sierra Club Bulletin. 

Dear Sir:— On my recent trip to King's River Cailon I found 
that an erroneous notion as to the object of Sierra Club organiza- 
tion is held by some of the men we encountered — that it aims to 
establish game preserves for its members, to the exclusion of the 
public from hunting and fishing privileges. On my way to Millwood 
I had to combat that opinion e.xpressed by the stage driver, and 
again in the valley, by the guides; also, by a resident there who has 
a claim upon some meadows and charges for pasturage of animals. 
These men profess to believe that the Club has been actuated by 
selfish motives in inducing Uncle Sam to look after the sheep-men 
and protect the sequoia groves by a patrol of soldiers. They 
claim that members of the Club and a favored few get of the 
military officers permits to carry arms and camping privileges. 
Respectfully yours, 

J. S. Hutchinson. 

San Francisco, August 20, 1896. 

Our Sister Societies. 

It is a royal menu that is presented the lover of nature in Sierra 
Club exchanges accumulated since our last issue. In fancy he 
may ramble under the safe guidance of their many contributors 
over the rugged hills of Scotland, through the pleasant and 
picturesque Carpathian mountains of Hungary, or attempt the 
most arduous ascents among the ragged peaks of Norway, the 
Swiss Alps, the Canadian Selkirks, the snowy summits of Oregon, 
or the Alpine ranges of far New Zealand. It is an interesting 
brotherhood, this mountain-seeking fraternity, and though they 
clothe their speech in various outward forms, they all speak the 
same heart-language. 

Our northern neighbors, the Mazamas of Oregon, make their 

58 Sierra Club Bullcim. 

first appearance in a journalistic way in Volume I, No. i, of 
Mazama: a Record of Mountaineering in the Pacific Northwest. 
It is perhaps the stateliest periodical among our exchanges, 
handsome in dress, type, and paper, generously illustrated with 
fine views of scenery about Mts. Hood and Adams, and with an 
attractive array of contributors. The title "Mazama" will sug- 
gest the purposes of the organization, being a synonym for the 
mountain goat. 

Appalachia for November will be found of unusual interest 
to our members. It contains some well-written accounts of the 
Appalachian Club excursion to the Selkirks, illustrated with 
excellent views. Professor Fay gives a gives a graphic account 
of the excursion in which our fellow-member, Mr. P. S. Abbot, 
lost his life, and there is a portrait of Mr. Abbot, and a biograph- 
ical sketch of his life, from the pen of Prof. Palmer. Our Mr. T. S. 
Solomons has, in the same number, an interesting illustrated 
account of the Grand Canon of the Tuolumne. ) 

The last number of the journal of the Scottish Mountaineer- 
ing Club, well exemplifies that for the true mountain-lover, much 
pleasure and healthful exercise may be obtained without seeking 
the loftiest or most inaccessible mountains, and he need not dis- 
pense with the elements of excitement and danger when scrambling 
amongst the rugged Scottish mountains. 

From the Scotch Highlands to the mountains of New Zealand 
is a "far cry," but the New Zealand Alpine Club Journal 
will carry us quickly there, and we shall find ourselves in a grand 
and inviting region. Its many peaks, of lo 10,000 feet high, 
and its Mt. Cook, about 13,000 feet high, evidently will afford ample 
resource for the members of the New Zealand Alpine Club, and 
its journal is doing much to attract interest to the exploration of 
the '' New Zealand Alps." 

The bulky annua! number (Aabog) of the Norwegian Turis- 
tenforening (Kristiania) will not be found generally easy read- 
ing for Sierra Club readers, with the exception of two or three 
articles in English, but the volume contains some enticing pictures 
of snow-clad and rugged mountain scenery well worth laboring to 

The sixteenth Jahrgang des Siebenburgischen Karpathen- 
VEREINS presents some interesting accounts of mountain excur- 
sions, as also some interesting glimpses of life and customs in 
that mountain frontier between Hungary and Roumania. 

The new Club Alpino Siciliano has begun the issue of a quar- 
terly journal, Sicula, at Palermo. New bulletins are at hand 
from the Societa Alpina Meridionale (Naples), the Club Alpine 
Beige (Brussels), and the Club Alpine Suisse. 

From our cousins, the Geographical Societies, there are several 

Notes and Correspondence. 59 

publications containing many articles of interest and value. Space 
will not permit of extended reference, but they may be seen on 
the shelves at our club-room. The National Geographic 
Magazine for October contains an article on California by Senator 
Perkins; Bulletin No. 3, 1S96, of the American Geographical 
Society contains an interesting article by T. C. Russell on Moun- 
taineering in Alaska; and Vol. I, No. 5, of the Bulletin of the 
Geographical Club of Philadelphia consists of an illustrated 
account of the Peary Auxiliary Expedition of 1894, by Henry G. 

The Club is also in receipt of late publications of the Verein 
FiJR Erdkunde zu Leipzig; and, last but not least, of geological 
and topographic maps of the Kamloops District on the line of the 
Canadian Pacific, from the Geological Survey of Canada. 

J. M. Stillman. 

Views of the Canadian Rockies. 

For the striking views of the Canadian Rockies which illustrate 
the first article of this number, and for the fine portrait of Philip 
S. Abbot which accompanies the second, we are indebted to the 
courtesy of Professor Charles E. Fay, editor of Appalachia, who 
has generously permitted the use of plates belonging to the Appa- 
lachian Mountain Club. The circumstances of their printing pre- 
vented the making of this acknowledgment with the illustrations 

Kit Carson's Tree. 

Dr. Henry Senger informs us that the famous tree which stood 
at the summit of Carson Pass, above Hope Valley, was cut down, 
not by the United States surveyors, as previously reported in the 
Bulletin, but by a Mr. Thornburgh, of Markleeville; and that 
the section with the inscription commemorating Kit Carson's pas- 
sage is now preserved in the rooms of the Mining Bureau, Pioneer 
Building, San Francisco, where it may be seen by visitors. 

Number 15 

Sierra Club Bulletin 

Vol. II 

No. 2 

May, 1897 


Sierra Club Bulletin 

Vol. II 

MAY, 1897 


No. 2 

Conifers of the Pacific Slope: How to Distinguish 

Them— Plates XI, XII John G. Lemmon 

Up and Down Bubb's Creek— Plates XIII, XIV 

Helen M. Gompertz 

Wanderings in the High Sierra, between Mt. King 
and Mt. Williamson— Plates XV, XVI, XVII . 
Bolton Coit Brown 

NOTES AND CORRESPONDENCE: Camping A-Wheel ; Report of 
a Trip from Yosemite to King's River, via the Basin of the 
Merced; Note to Professor Stillman's Article on a Trip from 
King's River Canon to Tehipite Valley; Route from the 
Grand Caiion to Tehipite down the Middle Fork; Notes on a 
Trip to King's River Caiion ; Food Supply for Mountain Trips ; 
A Map of Bubb's Creek Basin ; Maps of the United States 
Geological Survey; Our Sister Societies; Book Notices; 
Annual Rpnnrt« nf Sprrctnrv nnrt Treasurer; List of Regular 

• publication by the Sierra 
ling such publication, should 
dley, Berkeley, California, 
distribution and sale of the 
ning its business generally, 
stary of the Sierra Club, 
""rancisco, California. 

Sierra Club Bulletin. 

Vol. II. San Francisco, May, 1S97. No. 2. 


By John G. Lemmon. 

No I. 

It is not difficult to distinguish the great classes of plants 
from each other, or the groups within these classes, if only 
the attention is directed to certain of their features which 
are characteristic, ignoring, for the nonce, those they possess 
in common with others. The organs most relied upon for 
distinctions are those of the fruit, for this is the product of 
the supreme effort of the plant. Through life it strives, by 
various devices, to escape enemies, overcome crowding 
neighbors, and bring forth its diversified fruit. Locality, 
also, and characters of the stem and foliage, as well as the 
microscopical structure, may be' useful in determination. 

There are about 300 species of oaks on all the earth, but 
so peculiar is the fruit of the oak — the acorn — that an oak 
need never be mistaken for other trees. So, too, of other 
families, the pod-bearers, the grain-bearers, etc. 

' ' Conifer ' ' tells in one word a volume of information 
concerning a certain very interesting order of plants, which 
it is the purpose of this article to present and briefly char- 
acterize. This will be best done by dividing, first, the great 
order, then the groups, again and again, giving the chief 
characteristics of each; then, when the species is reached, 

62 Sierra Club Bullclin. 

pointing out the most salient and distinguishing character- 
istics that may enable the reader, with Httle painstaking, to 
recognize and hereafter /{■?/(?a' many, if not all, of the sixty- 
three species of Conifera of the Pacific Slope.* In this con- 
nection, let me call the attention of the reader to the 
immense preponderance of the cone-bearers in the forests of 
the great Northwest. Of oaks, ashes, maples, and other 
broad-leaved trees, we have few distinct groves on this 
coast, and no large forests, — if we except the few oak 
groves, several miles in extent, that here and there dot the 
interior valleys of California, — while nine tenths of the vast 
mountain forests are composed of narrow-leaved-evergreen, 
pitch-yielding, and particularly, cone-bearing trees. So, if 
we learn to know them, most of the great forest wealth of 
Northwest America will be comprehended. 

Another consideration: this number of species (sixty- 
three) is no small part of the world's Conifers, the rest of 
North America, including Mexico, having little more than 
half as many (thirty-six), and the broad continent of Eura- 
sia, a region nine times as wide, having only fifteen more 

If the observer could take in all the cone-bearing forests 
of the Northwest at one view, examining them at leisure, 
group by group, he would find them separated by funda- 
mental modes of development into two grand divisions — 
Spirales and VerticillaTvE. The largest division, the 
Spirales, develop their leaves and bracts in spirals, or 
coils, about the branchlets, and the cone scales are simi- 
larly coiled about the axis from base to apex. The Verti- 
CiLLAT^, on the contrary, have their foliar and fruit organs 
arranged in circles about the stem and cone, of two or 

*The Pacific Slope (including the enclosed Great Basin) is a naturally delim- 
ited region, with the Rocky Mountains for its eastern boundary. Most of its 
forests are north of the Mexican line. California being but a section of this 
region, sharing many of its trees with the rest of the slope, it is inexpedient to 
attempt a description of California Conifers alone. 

Conifers of the Pacific Slope. 63 

three members each, rarely of four or six, in a circle, one 
above the other. 


Most of the world's cone-bearers being Spirales, we shall 
gain by studying them first. They divide into three dis- 
tinct tribes: — 

Tribe i. Abietine/E. — Very resinous trees, limited to 
the Northern Hemisphere; further distinguished by being 
monoecious (male and female flowers on separate branch- 
lets, of the same trees); fruit a woody or leathery cone or 
bur, with an elongated axis, each scale bearing on its upper 
surface, two, usually winged, seeds. 

Tribe 2. Araucarie^. — Less resinous trees, indigen- 
ous to the Southern Hemisphere, and contrarily distin- 
guished by being dioecious (flowers separated on different 
trees) ; the cone-scales bearing each one seed. This tribe 
being represented here only by cultivated trees, like the 
"Norfolk Island Pine," " Monkey Puzzle," etc., though 
useful for comparison, may now be dismissed. 

Tribe 3. Taxodie.e. — Still less resinous trees of both 
hemispheres, are monoecious; cones small; the scales shield- 
shaped, or club-shaped, not changing direction at maturity, 
each bearing two to six seeds. Abundant in past ages, only 
a few species extant now, including our two Sequoias, — to 
be treated in their order. 


We shall be principally occupied in this paper with pre- 
senting the salient characteristics of the northern pitch trees. 
They are conveniently divided by certain characters of the 
leaves into two unequal subtribes: — 

64 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

SuBTRiBE A. Fasciculari^. — Trees with the con- 
spicuous secondary leaves in fascicles, or little bundles of two, 
three, or five (the pines), or in elongated tufts of twenty to 
sixty leaves each (the true cedars and larches); cones 
requiring one or two years to mature. 

SUBTRIBE B. SoLiTARi^. — Trees with all the leaves 
solitary, not in fascicles or tufted, and all very short — one 
half to t\vo inches; cones maturing in one season (the 
spruces, firs, etc.). 


Separated by foliage duration into two classes: — 

(a) Persistentes. — Trees with evergreen 'persistent 
leaves; cones requiring at least two seasons to mature 
(pines and cedars). 

{F) Decidu.e. — Trees with small, slender, mostly tufted, 
leaves, on short, spur-like branchlets; maturing their cones 
in one season; peculiar for their promptly deciduous leaves 
(the larches). 

We come now to the first of the fascicular and persistent- 
leaved genera. 

First Genus, Pinus — The True Pines. 
Very numerous species of trees; leaves in fascicles of 
two, three, or five each (one species single-leaved), sheathed 
at base with papery scales; fruit a conical, cylindrical, or 
globular cone or bur, requiring two years to complete 
its growth (one American species requiring three years); 
cone-scales with a protuberance (umbo) on the exposed 
portion (apophysis), either at the apex or on the back; 
male flowers numerous, spike-like, one half to four inches 
long, forming a loose rosette near the end, or a ruffle lower 
down upon the male branchlets. Separated chiefly by 
characters of the wood into two subgenera. 

Conifers of the Pacific Slope. 65 

Subgenus I. Strobus — The Soft-wood or White 
Pities. — Trees with the apophysis of the cone-scale thin, 
the umbo at the apex, and devoid of a prickle; leaves 
short and always in fives, their sheaths loose and deciduous. 

Subgenus II. Pinaster — The Hard-wood Pines. — 
Trees with the apophysis enlarged, the umbo on the back, 
in most species terminating in a prickle or stronger spine; 
leaves variable in number, usually long. 

Subgenus I. Strobus — Soft-wood or White Pines. 
These comprise the largest and most valuable pines in the 
world, most of them in Northwest America. Bark thinnish, 
finely checked; wood soft and white; foliage light green; 
leaves always in fives. Five species in two groups : — 

I. Elongate — Long-co7ie Lumber Pines. — Very large 
and valuable trees, affording long shafts for lumber; cones 
pendent, cylindrical, 8 to 26 inches long; three species. 

II. Alpine — Alpine Pities. — Small, often depressed, 
Alpine or sub-Alpine trees, on certain limited elevations. 

Group i. Elongat/e — Long-cone Pines. 

Chief of the Long-cone White Pines is the chief of all 
the family of pines, — 

I. Sugar Pine (^Pinus Lambertiand). — No one 
who, even from the window of a fast-flying railway train, 
has ever seen this majestic tree with its enormous, smooth 
trunk towering aloft, and suspending with long out- 
reaching upper limbs, its matchless cones, like brown 
Chinese lanterns, will ever forget the sight. The trees are 
of the largest dimensions, often attaining a height of 200 to 
300 feet, with a diameter of ten to fifteen feet. Cones usu- 
ally bronze-green until ripe, two to three inches thick until 
opened, then four to six inches in diameter and ten to 
twenty-six inches long — the longest in the world. The 

66 Sierra Chib Bulletin. 

Sugar Pines never form exclusive forests, but are scattered 
among other trees at middle elevations of the Sierra, Coast, 
and Southern Cascade ranges. Its nearest relative is, — 

2. Arizona White Pine {P. strobifonnis). — Large trees, 
found on the highest mountains of Arizona and New Mexico, . 
distinguished by the elongated spoon-shaped cone-scales, 
the cones being two thirds the size of those of Sugar Pine. 
The third species of the Long-cones is, — 

3. Mountain Pine. (JP. monticola). — Small light- 
barked trees of sub-Alpine altitudes, rare in the Sierra, 
northward to the mountains of Oregon and Washington, 
eastward to Montana, where it forms quite extensive forests ; 
distinguished by its smaller and narrower cones, six to 
twelve inches long, the scales thin, weak, usually reflexed 
at maturity. 

Group ii. Alpine — Alpine White Pines. 
Small, often depressed trees, on peaks of the southern 
Rocky Mountains and Great Basin region. Cones small, 
oblong, or ovate. Two species: — 

4. Rocky Mountain White Pine {P .flexilis). — Standard 
or sometimes depressed trees of Colorado peaks, extending 
to the mountains of Nevada, Northern Arizona (a large-cone 
variety), and the Central Sierra; branches slender; cones 
oblong, four to six inches. 

5. White-bark Pine {P. albicaulis). — -Very white- 
barked, sturdily erect at sub-Alpine localities in the north- 
ern Rocky, the Sierra, and Cascade Mountains, or de- 
pressed to solid platforms in the high passes; cones ovate, 
two inches long, set close upon the short, stout, erect, 
white, annual stem; seeds globular, wingless. 

Subgenus IL Pinaster. — Hard-wood Pines. 
Taking up the Hard-wood Pines, we find a much larger 
subgenus, of species variously grouped, first dividing 

Conifers of the Pacific Slope. 67 

according to position of male flowers and the cones into 
two sections, viz: — 

Section i. Terminales — with the flowers and cones 
arising just below the leaf-buds; 

Section 2. Laterales — with these organs arising on 
the side of the growing shoots of the season, some distance 
below the terminal bud. 

Section One. Terminales. — Terminal-coned Pines. 
Nineteen species, separated by characters of the leaves 
and cones into two sub-sections: (a) Brevifolice, — with 
very short leaves, one to two inches long, their sheaths 
deciduous in the first two groups of the section; and 
{b) FracticoncB, — cones breaking from the stem by a 
transverse fracture through the base of the cone; sheaths 

Sub-section A. Brevifolia; — Short-leaf Pines. 
Usually small trees, with small cones and male flowers. 
Three very diverse groups: — 

III. Plumos^e — Plumc-branchcd; 

IV. Edules — True Nnt Pines; 

V. Parvicon^ — Thimble-cone Pines. 

Group hi. Plumos.e— Plume-branched Pines. 

Branchlets plume-like, outreaching, or descending, bear- 
ing pendent near the ends the small oblong or elliptical 
cones; leaves in fives. Two species: — 

6. Balfour Pine (P. Balfouriatia).— Very rare trees 
of limited numbers, sequestered on certain slopes of Mount 
Eddy, near Mount Shasta, and upon the slopes of Mount 
Whitney and neighboring peaks; cones narrowly elUptical, 
three to four inches long, the scales comparatively soft, the 
prickles minute. 

68 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

7. Foxtail Pine {P. aristata'). — Similar, but larger trees, 
on the highest mountains of Nevada, Southern Utah, Colo- 
rado, and southward to New Mexico and Arizona, with a 
few on the Panamint Mountains of Southeastern California; 
cones smaller, nearly cylindrical, the scales harder, with 
slender, half-inch, bristle-like prickles. 

Group iv. Edules — True Nut Pines, or Pinons. 
Natives of hot interior regions, from Nevada and Colo- 
rado to Sonora. Trees rounded in outline; the foliage 
heavy-scented ; leaves in fascicles of one to five, are white- 
lined above with stomata (breathing pores); cones small, 
globose, stemless, hence promptly crowded off at iinaturity; 
cone-scales widely opening at maturity, are few in number, 
the umbo usually very protuberant, but devoid of prickles; 
seeds large, wingless, edible. Four closely related species 
in two pairs — American and Mexican: — 

I si Pair. American Nut Pines. 
Largest of the nut pine trees; cones slightly elongated, 
one to two inches long; seeds soft-shelled. Two species, 
so closely connected that some observers think them forms 
of one species, and in that case they bear the name of 
the first mentioned below. 

8. Single-leaf pine (P. monophylld). — Usually small, 
round-headed trees, but in the Tehachipi Mountains becom- 
ing tall and slim, thirty to fifty feet high, with a diameter of 
two to three feet; headquarters on the mountains and hills 
of the Great Basin, they reach the foothills of the South- 
east Sierra, extending sparsely southward to the mountains 
of Southern California, and eastward to northern Arizona; 
cone largest of the nut pines, one and one half to two 
inches long, the scales with large quadrangular umbos, one 
quarter to three eighths inches high; peculiar for its robust, 
sharp-pointed leaves, w^hich are usually solitary, yet always, 
while young, sheathed at base like a fascicle. 

Conifers of the Pacific Slope. 69 

9. New Mexicaii PiTioti {F. edulis). — Very small, .8:lobe- 
headed trees, only a few feet high, on the plateaus of New 
Mexico, extending sparsely northward to Colorado, west- 
ward to Arizona, and southward to western Texas; leaves 
very slender, in twos; cones smaller, the axis so short that 
when the cone opens it becomes a flat rosette, scales with 
less prominent umbos. The soft-shelled delicious seeds are 
a staple article of diet for the natives, and many tons are 
exported annually. 

2d Pair. Mexican Pifwns. 
These species, though composed of similar, small, 
rounded trees, differ materially in habitat and in the leaves 
and seeds. 

10. Parry Nut Pitie {P. quadrifolia, until recently called 
P. Parrya7id). — Trees with cones one to two inches long, 
the umbos very prominent; seeds soft-shelled; the leaves, 
at first thought to be in fours, are mostly in fives, and very 
robust; headquarters on the San Rafael Mountains of 
Lower California, extending sparsely northward into the 
mountains back of San Diego. 

11. Stone-seed PiTion {P . cemproides'). — Small trees of 
Northern Mexico, extending sparsely into Arizona; cones 
very small, opening like those of P. edulis, an inch thick, 
scales few, with slightly elevated umbo. Trees peculiar for 
their large, hard-shelled seeds, forming a popular Mexican 
diet. The leaves are very slender, and mostly in threes. 

Group v. Parvicon^e — Thimble-cone Pines. 
Usually small trees; the cones often persistent for many 
years, very small, one half to two inches long, slender, nar- 
rowly elliptical until opened, and armed with small incurved 
prickles; seeds very small, narrowly winged; leaves in pairs. 
Two closely-allied species, by many observers considered as 
one, and in that case called by the name of the first species 

7o Sierra Club Bulletin. 

12. Twisted Pine {P. contorta). — Often small, scrubby, 
wind- depressed trees, on the northwest coast, the southern- 
most at Mendocino, often attaining a height of thirty to fifty 
feet, with a thick-barked trunk, two to three feet; extend- 
ing northward, with smaller forms, to Alaska, and, it is 
thought, eastward to Idaho and Montana; cones varying 
from one half inch long in Alaska to one and one half 
inches in lower latitudes. A dwarfed form on the Starved 
White Plains, near Mendocino, begins to bear at one foot 

13. Tamarack Pine {P. Murrayana^. — Usually slender 
trees, of sub- Alpine, wet places, found especially northward 
in the mountains of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, 
and British Columbia, where it is often called " Lodgepole 
Pine," but southward on the Sierra of California, becoming 
large trees, three to five feet in diameter, though the hard, 
outer bark will be but one quarter to one half inch thick, 
resembling that of Eastern and Old-World Tamarack. 
Smaller forms also in the highest mountains of Arizona to 
northern Mexico. Wood singularly light-colored; cones 
larger, one and one half to two and one half inches long. 

Sub-section B. Fracticonm — Broken-cone Pines. 
Usually large and valuable lumber trees, of wide dis- 
tribution; cones ovate-conical, four to eight inches long, 
peculiar for the manner in which they break away from the 
limb by an irregular transverse fracture within the base, 
leaving the undeveloped scales on the limb; seeds with long 
wings, widest above; leaves mostly in threes, five to eight 
inches long. Two groups: — 

Group vi. Communes — Common Lvmbeu Pines. 
Large trees of middle altitudes, from British Columbia 
southward, on the principal ranges, to Arizona, eastward to 
the Black Hills of North Dakota. Two species: — 

Conifers of the Pacific Slope. 71 

14. Westerti Yelloiv Pine {P. ponder osa). — Trees of 
the largest size, attaining on the Sierra a height of 200 to 
300 feet, with a diameter of ten to fifteen feet; bark in the 
typical form, yellowish or whitish, mostly very thick and 
deeply fissured into large, longitudinal plates; cones coni- 
cal-ovate, three to five inches long; male flowers flexuous, 
and peculiar for their great length, three to five inches long, 
forming large rosettes about the bud or the few leaves at 
the ends of the male branchlets. One of the "polymor- 
phous" species, probably divisible into several. One form 
(variety nigricans), with dark brown bark, which is thinner 
and more finely checked; the trees smaller, sap-wood of 
many layers; the limbs usually retained longer than those 
of the yellow-barked trees — is found bordering the yellow 
pine forests of the Sierra; and southward, on the Colorado 
plateau of Arizona and New Mexico, it forms the most of a 
large pine forest. A second well-known form, in my opin- 
ion, is entitled to rank as a good species, to wit: — 

15. Rocky Mo2intain Yellow Pi?ie (P. scopidoruni). 

N. Sp. . Small trees, spire-like in outline, with grayish 

bark, and with smaller cones and harder scales; the foliage 
more scanty, leaves inclined to be tufted near the ends of 
the branchlets, usually in threes, but often in twos. Moun- 
tains of Colorado, westward to Nevada, and eastward to the 
Black Hills of North Dakota. 

16. Black Pine {P. Jeffreyi). — Large trees, affecting, 
usually, more elevated localities tha.n pondeorsa; bark dark 
brown, finely broken into small squares; limbs long and 
spreading; young branchlets and leaves when bruised exhale 
a pleasant orange-like fragrance; cones large, ovate, six to 
ten inches long; umbos prominent, with strong, recurved 
prickles; seeds large, with expanded wings, one half to one 
inch long; male flowers robust, short, one to two inches 
long. Western Montana, through Idaho and Oregon, 

72 Sierra Club BuUethi. 

southward to California, along the Sierra, to the mountains 
of Southern California; perhaps to Lower California, but 
the type there (variety Pejiinstilaris) forming a large forest 
on the San Rafael mountains, of spire-shaped trees, with 
thick, coarsely checked bark, the cones large, very abun- 
dant, with hard, dark-colored scales; leaves large, eight to 
twelve inches long; bud-scales scarious, lacerate, with 
whitish hairs— may be entitled to specific rank. 

Group vii. Novitates — Arizona Brdken-cone Pines. 
Two little-known species on the mountains of Southern 
Arizona and Northern Mexico. 

17. Arizona Pine {P. Arizonica). — A midale-sized 
tree; attaining forty to si.xty feet, on the highest peaks, 
from the Santa Catalina Mountains southward to Chihuahua. 
Peculiar in having its leaves in fives. 

18. Broad-leaf Pine {P. Mayriana, until recently P. 
latifolia). — Medium sized trees, with leaves and bud-scales 
similar to those of the Peninsular Pine; cones ovate, 
oblique, three to five inches long, the scales with recurved 
mammillary umbos, tipped with slender prickles. Santa 
Rita and Huachuca Mountains of Arizona. Perhaps includes 
the form on the Chirricahua Mountains (/". Apachccd), with 
smaller cones, and fewer scales, the apophyses of the cone- 
scales prominently elevated, but not recurved, the umbo 
quadrangular, armed with a stout prickle. 

Section Two. Laterales — Lateral-coned Pines. 

Cones and male flowers arising laterally, i. e. along the 
growing stems at some distance below (later than) the first 
leaves of the season; cone-stems very strong, aiding in 
retaining the cones, often for a long period, on the trees. 
Six species in two groups, the Heavy-cone Pines and Per- 
sistent-cone Pines. 

Co7iifers of the Pacific Slope. 73 

Group viii. Gravicon/e — Heavy-coned Pines. 
Cones of the heaviest and hardest description, usually in 
whorls or circles of three or more, with thick, stout stems, 
two, four, or even six inches long. Although the cones 
usually open at maturity, releasing the very large seeds, 
they remain on the tree until forced off by the growth of the 
bark and wood after the lapse of four to eight years, accord- 
ing to length of stem. 

19. Torrey, or Lotie Fine (P. Torreyana) — Limited to 
a few, sturdy, storm-beaten trees on the beach, twenty miles 
north of San Diego (with a few more on the outlying Santa 
Rosa Island). The cones mahogany-brown, hard as knobs 
of hickory, persisting for about four years, are nearly hem- 
ispherical, with few broad scales, bearing very hard-shelled 
seeds, three fourths of an inch long and half as thick — the 
largest known; the wing abreviated to a thick clasping pair 
of clips holding the seed. Peculiar for these characters of 
the cone and seed, and for the great size of its leaves, 
which are always in fives, and eight to twelve inches 

20. Big-cone Pine {P. Coulleri). — Trees of medium 
size, with long spreading branches, the branchlets of the 
season very stout, to support the immense cones; these 
elongated, elliptical, of matchless size and weight, fifteen to 
twenty inches long, and often attaining eight to ten pounds; 
the scales are very large and thick, the umbo greatly en- 
larged, and with its long, stout, curved spine, becoming a 
stout hook; the hooks on the outer side, near the base, 
being two to four inches long. Seeds half an inch long, 
with very large wings, an inch long; foliage dark green, 
abundant, the leaves in threes, large and long, ten to six- 
teen inches. On the southern coast mountains, from San 
Luis Obispo east to San Bernardino, and south to highest 
peaks near San Diego. 

74 Sierra Club Bulleiin. 

21. Gray-leaf Pine (/*. Sabitiiaiia). — Usually small, 
round-headed, freely-branching trees of the hot interior foot- 
hills bordering both the Sierra and Coast Mountains, from 
Shasta to Southern California, eastward to near Yosemite; 
the scant foliage of a striking grayish color, leaves in threes, 
all but those of the season drooping or early falling; cones 
dark brown, broadly ovate, weighing two to five pounds, 
armed with stout, short hooks, one half to two inches 
long; seeds, as in the Torrey Pine, very large, with a thick, 
hard shell. Peculiar for the light-colored foliage, the trees 
resembling clouds or fog banks in the distance. 

Group i.x. Tenaces. — Persistent-cone Pines. 

Completing the many groups of pines is the quartette of 
Tenaces, those small trees whose cones are produced 
annually in circles about the stems (or singly in the last 
species), mostly not falling at maturity, but remaining 
fastened by their stems to the tree, also generally remain- 
ing closed for a long period. Most familiar is the, — 

21. Monterey Pine {P. radiata'). — Indigenous to the 
Monterey coast, but popular in cultivation. The trees are 
peculiarly marked by characters of the oblique-ovate cones, 
whose scales at base, on the outer side, swell out into 
nearly hemispherical tubercles, or knobs, one quarter to one 
half inch high. The cones are generally held fast by the 
tree during its life; trees four and five feet in diameter may 
be seen on Point Pinos, still retaining every cone they have 
produced, circling the trunk and limbs from base to apex. 
Of course, the lumber is perforated with holes, — the 
channels formed by the cone-stems on their many years' 
journey from heart to bark. 

22. Swamp Pine (/*. nmricaia'). — Small trees in scat- 
tered groves, often in wet places along the coast from Lower 
California to Mendocino, where it becomes a tree similar in 

Conifers of the Pacific Slope. 75 

appearance to the Monterey Pine, but with excessively- 
thick bark for trees of its size, four to six inches thick on 
trees but eighteen inches in diameter; cones small, oval, 
two to three inches long, armed with strong, sharp prickles. 
A peculiarity is in the leaves, which are in pairs, though 
very long, four to eight inches. 

23. Knob Cone Pine (/". attenuatd). — Usually slender 
trees, in groves scattered on sunny slopes, from Idaho to 
Southern California; cones narrow, four to seven inches long, 
in whorls, or circles, generally declined, often incurved, 
attenuate toward each end, outer scales with conical, quad- 
rangular protuberances, and short prickles. A peculiarity 
of this tree is the tapering character of its cones at base, 
whereby they oppose so little resistance to the growing 
trunk that often, instead of being crowded off, they are 
seized by the first encroaching wood-layers, and finally 
enveloped completely. Examples may be seen in the 
Berkeley arboretum. 

25. Chihiialuta Pine (/". CliiJmahuana). — Small, often 
decrepit, trees of Southern Arizona and Northern Mexico; 
leaves in threes, slender, three to six inches long, whitened 
above, the sheath of long, shining, loose, soon-falling bracts; 
cones (requiring three years to complete growth) small, 
top-shaped, one and a half to two inches long, persistent for 
many years. This tree is peculiar in America for its three- 
year cones, and among the Laterales for the promptly 
deciduous sheaths of its leaves.* 

[Genus Cedrus. — -True Cedar. 

Historic trees of the Orient, known by their few, large, 
long-spreading branches, dense foliage of short, one half to 

* The only other three-year pine is P. pinea, the Stone Pine, the classic pine 
of Greek and Roman writers, a small, round-headed tree, much in cultivation, 
with its long leaves in pairs; cones large, ovate, five to six inches long, mahogany- 
colored, the thick scales with rounded umbos, and large blue seeds. 

76 Sierra Club Biilletin. 

two-inch leaves, mostly in tufts of thirty to sixty, on short 
spurs; cones biennial, erect, large, nearly cylindrical, two 
and a half to four inches long, with many close-packed 
smooth scales. Three species, often met with in cultivation. 
The salient characters of the true cedars are here mentioned, 
that they may be compared with those of the so-called 
cedars of America.] 


Trees with small, slender leaves, mostly tufted on the 
ends of short undeveloped spurs, peculiar for being promptly 
deciduous; hence, the trees are naked for a large portion 
of the year. Cones, maturing in one season, are small, 
narrowly elliptical, one to two inches long, pendent from 
the sides of the previous season's growth. Two genera, 
Larix and Pscudolarix. The former only represented in 

Second Genus. Larix. — The Larch. 

In America, usually small trees, called by the aboriginal 
name of Tamarack. Two species of the far northwest. 

1. Western Larch {L. occide^italis). — Often attaining 
a large size, eighty to one hundred feet high and three to 
four feet in diameter. This species is scattered through 
the Selkirk and Gold ranges, and southward sparsely on 
the Rocky Mountains, and the Cascades to Mt. Hood. 
Peculiar for its very thick, spongy bark, resisting the first 
kindling of forest fires. 

2. Woolly Larch {L. LyallW). — Small Alpine trees, 
rare in the northern Rocky Mountains, westward to the 
Galton and Cascade ranges. Cones deciduous, and with the 
branchlets clothed with whitish hair. 

(Concluded in next number.) 

Conifers of the Pacific Slope. 















i— . 






o / 


1 \ 




















U i\ 


\ PitchTrees. 


V TRIBE 3. S Taxodie^ the 
( Taxodiads. 

' TRIBE I \ Cypresses and 
( Allies. 

, TRIBE 2. True Juniper. 


On Pacific Slope, numbered. 

1. Pinus Pines. 

{.Cedrus. True Cedar— Oriental.) 

2. Larix True Larch. 

3. Ficea True Spruce. 

4. Tsuga Hemlock Spruce. 

5. Pseudotsuga - .False Spruce. 

6. Abies True Fir. 

(Araucaria, etc.) Norfolk Island 
Pine, etc. 

[Alhrolaxis, etc.) Tasmanian. 

7. Seqitoia Redwoods. 

8. Thuya - Arbor Vitae. 

9. Libocedrus ,. .. Incense Cedar. 

10. ChamacyparU . Cy^zesi. 

11. Cupressus True Cypress. 

12. Junipel-us Juniper. 

■ 13. Tumion Nutmeg. 

I 14. Taxus Yew. 


Sierra Club BziUetin. 



I. Long-cone 

2. Alpine 

° "5 / 4. Nut Pines 
> .7 \ or Pinons. 

5. Thimble- 
\ cone Pine 

/6. Common 

ti, « \ 7. Arizona 


1. i,«md(*W/a«a . Sugar Pine. 

2. Sirobiformis .Mexican White Pine. 

3. Monticola Mountain White Pine. 

4. Flex His . . 

5. Albicaulii . 

.RoclcyMt. White Piu 
.White-bark Pine. 

6. Bal/ouriana Balfour Pine. 

7. Ari!.taia Foxtail Pine. 

■ 8. Jl/oMO/J/o'""- One-leaf Pine. 

9. EduJis New Mexican PiRon. 

10. Cembroides. ..Stone*seed Piiion. 

11. Quadrifolia. . .ViTXy Pine. 

12. Cimtorta.. Twisted Pine. 

13. Murray ana . . . Tamarack Pine. 

14. Ponderosa.. . Western Yellow Pine. 

15. Scopu/orum - .Rocky Mt. Yellow Pine. 

16. Jeffrtyi Black Pine. 

17. A 

\ 18. May? tana. 

.Arizona Yellow I 
-Broad-leaf Pine. 

8. Heavy- 
cone Pines. 

/ 19. 7b7r<yflK(i Torrey Pine. 

20. CouUert Big-cone Pine. 

I ai. Sabiniana . . .Gray-leaf Pine. 


9. Persistent- 
cone Pines 

' ao Gbnus. Larix — Larches. 

Cedrus — True Ckdars. 


32. Radiata Monterey Pine. 

23. Aiirnuata Knob-cone Piae. 

24. Muficata Swamp Pine. 

25. Chtknahuana.'X op-con^ Vint. 

26. Occtrfifrt/a/w.. Western Larch. 

27. Lyallii Woolly Larch. 

Atlaittica African Cedar. 

Libani Lebanon Cedar. 

Deodava Indian Cedar. 

up and Down Bubb's Creek. 79 

Bv Helen M. Gompertz. 

[In this short account of a summer outing, there is little room 
for details. We took such food as was easily packed on burros, 
nevertheless allowing ourselves some of the best canned fruits and 
vegetables, by way of variety. 

If there be room in the pack, onions, potatoes, and desiccated 
soups are easily carried. 

Any information about the quantity of food, or about suitable 
clothing, can best be given to any one interested in a similar trip 
upon addressing me at Berkeley.] 

A walk of thirty miles from Millwood, Fresno County, 
brought us to camp under the shadow of ' ' The Grand 
Sentinel," in King's River Canon. Blocking the upper 
end of the canon stands Glacier Monument, obstinately 
rearing its stately pyramid in the background of every 
river scene. One might as well expect to see Sahara with- 
out its pyramids, as King's Canon without the monument. 
The party, numbering Mr. J. N. LeConte, Mr. and Mrs. 
W. S. Gould, the Misses Miller, and myself, stayed long 
enough in the canon to take short trips to points of interest: 
up Paradise Canon, to the top of Grand Sentinel, and to 
the summit of Goat Mountain (12,500 feet). Others have 
already called attention to the fine panoramic view of the 
whole Sierra uplift from this peak, and our subsequent trips 
to higher mountains in no wise interfered with the verdict 
that the Goat Mountain view is unsurpassed in its kind. 
It is within such easy reach of the canon, that all should 
make the ascent. 

On our return from a three days' trip to this mountain, 
we spent some time in considering the weighty question of 

8o Sierra Club Bulletin. 

how to make our packs light enough for two small " bur- 
ros " to carry up Bubb's Creek. Our supplies had been 
brought in by pack train, and now the problem was, to take 
enough for a two weeks' stay. To economize in weight, 
down quilts and light blankets were found very suitable. 
As to other baggage, if one be a woman, she will feel a 
glow of pride in the thought of doing her best to rough it, 
whilst she packs into a bag things that seem impossible to 
be without. This is a safe way of bestowing them, because 
at the last moment a handful of anything will be snatched 
from the top, and the rest left behind in the bag. Strange 
to say, no afterglow of satisfaction follows this sacrifice. 

But like war-horses that scent the smoke of battle from 
afar, the dust of Bubb's Creek trail lured us on, and all 
small vexations were forgotten in the pleasure of viewing 
the unfolding beauty disclosed at every turn of the narrow 
gorge. Its sides were bare and precipitous, but the dark 
polished surface served as a foil to the tumbling white tor- 
rent, whose playful leaps gave small hint of the force that 
had worn for it its way into the very heart of the rock. 
Not a good word can be said for the trail that climbs 
along this rocky wall, but in deference to my readers, the 
bad ones will be omitted. Our route followed the old In- 
dependence Trail, up Charlotte Creek to Lake Charlotte. 
Before reaching the latter, a stop of one day was made for 
the ascent of Mt. Gardner (13,200 feet). 

The climb was begun from an altitude of 8000 feet, just 
behind Granite Dome, and proved to be quite easy to the 
lower summit of the double peak. It was a most impressive 
moment, when, having climbed slowly and laboriously over 
a steep bowlder mass, we suddenly came to the top, and 
looked over the sheer, dark cliff, a depth of 1500 feet. For 
days we had looked up at its frowning wall of cold, gray 
granite, and now to be leaning over its edge and gazing 
down its awful depth seemed a triumph indeed. The great 



From a pliotoKrapli by J. N. Le Contu 

From a photograph by J. N. Le Coiile 

up aiid Down Bubb's Creek. 8i 

cliff forms a re-entrant angle, and we stood on one side 
of the angle, looking across at the true summit on the 
other side. Here we met Professor Brown, who followed 
Mr. Le Conte on to the summit. They found that the 
north side of the mountain also fell away in a sheer cliff, so 
that they must cross a sort of " knife-edge" to gain the 
topmost point. To those watching there came a moment 
of dreadful an.xiety, when, the "knife-edge" safely passed, 
the climbers disappeared behind a huge square rock. For 
at that same moment an unseen bowlder crashed down the 
mountain side, and who could say that our friends were 
not carried with it? In a few moments, lengthened into 
hours by suspense, they re-appeared, and this time on the 
hitherto untrodden summit of Mt. Gardner. 

Miss Belle Miller followed them, creeping, step by step, 
along a narrow ledge on the face of the cliff. When she 
reached the "knife-edge," which, to increase the danger 
of crossing, dipped down at a considerable angle, she paused, 
and wisely went no further. She was then but a few feet 
below the summit, and deserves the credit of having dared 
thus far. For myself I reserved the harder (?) task of 
watching one after another of my friends in such perilous 
positions. From my post of observation, they seemed to 
be clinging, like flies, to the cliff itself, and my fears for 
their safety increased with each step that bore them further 
from me. 

Presently, Miss Miller returned, and together we watched 
the others hurl down a bowlder or two, in order to place the 
tripod firmly. The tiny space thus cleared gave room for 
nothing but the camera, and every time that the shutter was 
to be adjusted, or the cap removed, Mr. Le Conte had to 
crawl through, between the tripod legs, and back again. 
This acrobatic performance reminded us forcibly of the man 
of whom it was said, that ' ' he crawled through himself, 
swallowed himself, and smiled with the greatest agility." 

82 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

Far and near stretched a veritable sea of mountains, 
their sharp crests overtopping the general mass in long 
wave-like lines. Toward the southwest a tiny white 
cloud appeared, and from that grew an ominous black one, 
that shrouded Mt. Brewer in its folds. From our sunny- 
eminence, we watched, the storm burst and show glimpses 
of that weather-beaten summit upon which we yet hoped to 
stand. As time passed, the blackness fell over us, too, and 
all unwillingly we heeded the warning of each approaching 
thunder-clap. Plunging down the mountain side, we were 
soon in the midst of a smart hailstorm. It being too near 
the summit for shelter, we kept on our way, and in an hour 
or two had walked ourselves dry, and found our wiy again 
into the land of summer. 

Speaking of summer, calls to mind the current saying, 
that at this season it never rains in the Sierra. In the 
present case the frequent thunder showers were much en- 
joyed, but we soon found it convenient to organize a storm 
brigade, that should put all things under cover before 
the first big drops had fairly fallen. Then we ourselves 
would seek shelter under some big fir-tree, and from be- 
side a huge camp-fire watch the war of the elements. But 
when it fell to raining a dull, steady downpour, the seat of 
war was changed. Our wrath rose with the floods, and 
when night brought no cessation, it was far from soothing 
to lie under a rubber blanket and listen to the patter of the 
raindrops. When the blanket seemed to be getting heavy, 
the monotony was varied by draining off the numerous 
lakes formed in its depressions, and trying it again. Of 
course, it was camp etiquette to declare that one had slept 
like a log all night. But at this safe distance, in time and 
space, I may say, that ' ' water-logged ' ' would have de- 
scribed our condition better. 

A day or two later found us camped at the foot of 
University Peak, just west of Kearsarge Pass. A stormy 

up and Down Bubb's Creek. 83 

day was followed by an evening calm, and then it was our 
good fortune to see the sunset light redden the sharp pinna- 
cles which formed the western spur of the dominant peak. 
We watched the jagged reflections in the chain of gem-like 
lakes at their base. Not a ripple marred the mirror calm 
of the water. It glowed with colors — amethyst, violet, 
deep purple, and then grew black and starry with the sky 
— a good omen for the morrow's climb to University 

At dawn we were breakfasting on rainbow trout and 
cornmeal dodgers. This important ceremony over, we set 
our faces toward the east, where our Mecca rose in bold out- 
line against the clear morning sky. The day before, we 
had viewed it from Kearsarge Pass, whence it shows a for- 
bidding cliff, which seems fairly to overhang and guard this 
gateway to the east. 

From the west, however, our way led over rough talus 
piles at the foot of the pinnacles, past a little frozen lake, 
then across some snowfields, onward, up a steep slope of 
coarse, loose, disintegrated granite, mixed with bowlders 
of various sizes. These, as well as the sand, were set in 
motion at the slightest touch, and, much to our dismay, 
each upward step seemed to carry us downward. With 
much murmuring and vexation of spirit, we finally reached 
the notch in the pinnacles at which we had been aiming, 
and after that, finding the slope much gender, it was easier 
to keep one's footing. We had now skirted the mountain 
to its southern face, quite opposite to the precipice. The 
sky was cloudless, a cool breeze blowing, and although we 
stopped often to rest and to enjoy the prospect, we yet 
reached the top quite easily. 

We were now at last on the main crest of the Sierra. 
From an elevation of 13,900 feet we looked down the east- 
ern face of the range into Owen's Valley, gooo feet below. 
Anon we traced the crest-line, from Mt. Goddard on the 

84 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

north to the Whitney region on the south. Mt. Williamson 
lay near us, Mt. Tyndall further south. Between us and 
Williamson was a lofty mountain yet unnamed, to which we 
gave the name of Mt. Keith, in honor of Mr. William 

After many days of seeing nothing but mountains, we 
could turn, with a feeling of enjoying a new sensation, to 
look upon the wide valley far below. A wavy line marked 
the Owen's River; a dark shadow, the trees and town of 
Independence. So clear was the atmosphere, that two ellip- 
tical forms faintly traced on the plain we made out to be the 
race tracks near the town. We had heard much of the 
"White Sage Honey" of Independence, and, afte/ noting 
the tracks, quite hoped to see the beehives, and hear the 
"drowsy hum of insects." 

With a turn of the glance, all these petty worldly things 
were put aside, and we were again amid our wild accus- 
tomed haunts. Thirty beautiful lakes were counted from 
this point, some shining out of carved bowls on high rocky 
shelves, others nestling in the green hollows below. 

Mt. Brewer, crowning the Great Western Divide, bared 
its snowy bosom to the sunshine. Bathed in light, it no 
longer looked forbidding, but lay beyond us like "the 
promised land." 

Before leaving the summit, Mr. LeConte built a small 
monument, and left beneath it a can containing the names 
of the members of the party; also an account of the naming 
of University Peak, in 1890, by a party of California stu- 
dents, who viewed it on its inaccessible side from Kearsarge 
Pass. The ascent here recorded is supposed to be the first, 
and was made on July 12, 1896. 

In the course of conversation, I once heard Mr. John 
Muir remark, that he disliked to waste a starry night in 
sleep when he might be, instead, on the mountains. I now 
recall the strong desire I felt to stretch myself on the warm 

up and Doum Bubb's Creek. 85 

rocks and spend the night on the summit. But I can lay 
no claim to having done more than desire it, for the thought 
of a good dinner and one of Mr. Gould's inimitable camp- 
fires, soon sent us clambering down the bowlder pile and 
speeding along the slopes, glad that at each step we slid 
down quite a little distance nearer home. The next day, 
being Monday, we devoted to fishing, cooking, and 

With many camping parties the subject of the menu is 
a ve.xed question. We found that the succulent flapjack 
and the filling corndodger palled at times upon our jaded 
appetites; so, armed with a supply of Magic Yeast, and 
trusting to our Dutch oven, we dared the mysteries of real 
bread. Perhaps it was the "magic" in the yeast that 
crowned our efforts with success, but be that as it may, 
housekeepers will appreciate our daring when they remem- 
ber that we were camped at a considerable altitude, and 
had to contend with frequent changes of temperature, 
besides thunderstorms of several hours' duration. I recall 
my first attempt at camp bread with mingled emotions. 
Early one bright, hot morning, I mixed my " sponge," and 
wrapping the basin tenderly in a heavy, red blanket, set it 
to rise, in a sunny place among the rocks. I moved it with 
the sun, and peeped under the red blanket to see if the 
dough had commenced to work. But no bubbles showed 
on the surface, and I despaired of ever seeing it rise. Later 
in the day a splendid thunderstorm broke over us. The 
bread must be kept warm at all costs. I had heard that the 
Russian peasants took theirs to bed with them, but having 
no bed to take mine to, I doubled the red blanket and 
placed the unleavened mass in the warm ashes near the 
campfire. Thoroughly disgusted with the results of my 

n, Mr. Gould and Mr. Le Conte climbed a fine peak north of 
Kearsarge Pass. Two days before, they had also made the ascent of a mountain 
to the south of Lake Charlotte, which gave a fine outlook toward East Lake 
and Mt. Brewer. 

86 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

labor, I gave myself up to enjoyment of the storm. Judge 
of my surprise when, some hours later, it was discovered 
that the bread had risen! It was near nightfall, but that 
bread must be kneaded, set to rise again, and baked before 
we "turned in." The baking was usually done by Mr. 
Le Conte, whose skill in manipulating a Dutch oven is only 
equaled by his dexterity in " flipping the flapjack." 
Finally, when the crisp brown loaves were turned out, and 
our nostrils assailed by their delicious odor, no trouble 
seemed too great for the result. 

Necessity caused us to devise various modes of cooking 
the scant variety of staples at hand, and though we cannot 
boast of ascending mountain peaks before breakfast, we can 
recall with pride the savory surprises that Mrs. Gould hid 
under cover of the Dutch oven, and which to our uniniti- 
ated minds seemed quite as difficult to attain as the moun- 
tain tops. I cannot leave the subject of our larder without 
telling how it was once replenished when supplies ran low. 
Of course, as loyal Sierra Club members, we despised the 
sheep and the sheepmen, but being further instructed, we 
learned not to scorn the advent of a "stray sheep," which 
it was our bounden duty to shoot, in order to save it from 
the hungry bear. 

One morning, after we had left a beautiful camp on Bull- 
frog Lake and made our way down Bubb's Creek, we 
walked along in single file, seeking "whom we mi^ht 
devour." Suddenly, the man in the lead pas^d the Word 
along, "Astray." He turned upon us a beaming counte- 
nance, whose expression quickly turned to one of consterna- 
tion. These two conditions were experienced by each of 
us in turn, when, on surmounting a sHght rise of ground, 
we beheld not only the "stray," but also a man, presuma- 
bly the herder. Visions of broiled chops and roast legs 
which had danced before our eyes vanished all too soon. 
But stay, — a bright thought — we would buy some mutton, 
although it could never have the wild flavor a "stray" 

up and Down Bubb' s Creek. 87 

might have had. We proceeded to parley with the sup- 
posed herder, and as we approached him our wonder grew, 
for we had never seen his Hke before — not among herders. 
Suffice it to say, that he proved to be a traveler like our- 
selves, and willingly aided us to secure the ' ' stray. ' ' Thus 
did we prey upon the beasts of the wilderness and send some 
poor bruin supperless to his lair. 

Our creature wants supplied, we pushed slowly down a 
very rough trail, along this branch of Bubb's to its conflu- 
ence with the main stream. We never could get away from 
the "ubiquitous Bubb's." Here Mr. Gould and Mr. 
Le Conte were obliged to fell a tree and bridge the stream. 
On this we crossed, they making many trips back and forth 
with the pack, while the burros swam gallantly over. In 
the early part of our trip, we had many a tug-of-war with 
these obstinate animals, but much experience had made 
them wise in their latter days. 

Next morning our line of march was toward East Lake, 
from which we proposed to make the ascent of Mt. Brewer. 
It was slow work, there being no trail, each sheepman hav- 
ing " monumented " the way he liked best. We soon 
found it necessary to disregard the monuments and send a 
scout ahead to search out the safest way for our animals. 
The best part of the morning was spent in reaching camp 
at the head of the lake, and on the morrow we were to 
make the last and, as we then thought, the most difficult 

The event proved a longer climb than to University 
Peak, but it was more quickly traveled, because of the 
absence of steep slopes covered with shifting sand. One 
had only to take heed that the hobnails did not slip on the 
highly polished slabs of rock. We noticed great fields of 
glaciated granite, which bore a soft pinkish-gray tinge, 
while that lacking the polish showed a colder, whiter hue. 
Further up began a great clambering and scrambling over 
huge tilted blocks of granite, and what with rolling rocks 

88 Sierra Club Bulletm. 

down the steep snowfield and taking photographs, it was 
eleven o'clock before we reached the top. We had enjoyed 
the exercise of every muscle in the body for the last hour 
or two, and were now content to stretch out and rest. We 
recalled Clarence King's account of his ascent from the 
south side of the mountain, and of his making for that little, 
perilous notch on the divide. Suppose we had been the 
first to come up this way, how hopeless the tangle of moun- 
tains, ridges, and canons would have appeared ! 

A thunderstorm now began to rage over Bubb's Creek, 
while to the south dazzling white clouds floated above Table 
Mountain. Further off, Mt. Whitney reared its proud hel- 
met, flecked with snow, and southward the Kawebh group 
beckoned us on. What more could heart desire in the way 
of variety and grandeur ? 

Mr. Le Conte had told us that on his first visit to the 
mountain the summit was deep under snow, but on this day 
it showed a very different aspect, and but few patches re- 
mained between the rocks. We leaned over the cliff to 
watch the rocks that were hurled from the edge strike 
against the side and bound far out into the air, only to be 
gradually drawn toward the mountain mass again; then, 
leaping over the crevasse, they rolled swiftly over the snow- 
field. Then, less swiftly, less, and less so, until they turned 
over gracefully and lay down in a soft, white bed, as if weary 
with the long descent. 

While scrambling about the summit, just where the snow 
had recently melted. Miss Estelle Miller had the good for- 
tune to find the long buried record left by Professor Brewer 
in 1864. This rather romantic incident, linking us to the 
past, gave an added charm to our visit to Mt. Brewer, and 
really made this day the culmination of all that had gone 
before. We could now conjure up Professors Brewer and 
Gardner taking leave of Clarence King, and from this very 
summit, overlooking his route to Mt. Tyndall. We won- 

up and Down Bubb's Creek. 89 

dered whether even they had had storm, sunshine, and 
dazzling cloud to enhance the wild beauty of the scene. 

So much does my imagination love to dwell upon this 
hour that I cannot choose but let our little party go down 
to camp and then back to civilization without the aid of my 
pen, while I luxuriate a little longer in the sunshine of these 
barren solitudes, which, nevertheless, are filled with arrested 
motion, ready to burst forth into life at the touch of the 
Master's hand. * * * 

Upon our return to Berkeley, it was our great pleasure 
to meet Professor Brewer, who happened to be in Califor- 
nia on the United States Forestry Commission. Mr. Le 
Conte showed him all the photographs taken during our 
trip, including the one of the precious paper which he 
had long ago left on the summit of Mt. Brewer. 

In an exceedingly interesting reminiscence of his ascent, 
he related that he had never until that day met but one 
person who had climbed the mountain. His meeting with 
the exceptional one was in this wise: — 

Some years ago, upon visiting Mammoth Cave, Ken- 
tucky, he wrote his name in the visitors' book, and was 
followed by an Austrian gentleman, who, on seeing the 
name, came to him and asked if he were the Brewer who 
had made numerous ascents in the California Sierra. Pro- 
fessor Brewer replying in the affirmative, the stranger wrung 
his hand with enthusiasm, and gave a spirited account of 
his own ascent of Mt Brewer, some ten years ago. He 
had seen the record in the bottle, but being a passing 
traveler, his discovery was not known to Californians. 

I quote Professor Brewer further in saying, that in the 
course of the Survey of 1864, he and his companions 
crossed and recrossed the Sierra fourteen times ! Surely 
that is an experience worth looking back upon over the 
stretch of a lifetime. That this is Professor Brewer's ver- 
dict, can but enhance for us the value of our own brief 

go Sierra Club Bulletin. 


By Bolton Coit Brown. 

Having roughed it for three weeks, we now proposed to 
give ourselves the fun of making a really proper camp. We 
selected a beautiful spot among a grove of white oaks, 
twenty minutes above the ford in Paradise Valley, and pro- 
ceeded to camp as you ought to camp. We made a fine 
table of a remarkable granite slab, with seats to match, and 
a shelf to hold the water-pail. Also, we built a wonderful 
stone stove, with a patent draught, which worked as no 
camp stove ever worked before. Then we made a beautiful 
wood-pile with the sticks all of a size and of just the right 
kind. We made a kind of leaf-covered roof over the bed, 
after which no rain fell. We arranged a place to wash 
dishes, and one to take baths in at the river, and put a 
regular cut-out trail down to them. We constructed an 
' ' elevator ' ' with platform and rope, by which to hoist the 
eatables into the trees, out of reach of campers' horses 
and of bears. For, in this canon, according to an old fellow 
with a rifle whom we met one day, " you can get a bear- 
fight most any time." And indeed, shortly before our 
advent, a party of ten from the Stanford Camp, two miles 
below, mostly ladies, wearing big hats with mosquito net- 
ting over them, took a stroll up here, and some three 
hundred yards above came face to face with a grizzly bear. 
He was described as "belt high," coming along the trail 
toward them, swinging his head from side to side. For 

Wander irigs in the High Sierra. 91 

the story's sake, it is too bad the bear merely turned 
around and went back up the trail. Professor Kellogg, who 
was leading the procession, pronounced it a grizzly, and 
John Fox says he knew there was one up there somewhere. 
He thinks it is the last one, and speaks lightly of him as 
" Old Club-foot." But Fox can afford to be flippant about 
bears; he used to be a professional hunter of them, and 
long ago he, with his partner, killed two hundred and 
thirty-six grizzlies in the Rocky Mountains. But at last a 
grizzly got his partner, and Fox exchanged the Rockies for 
an abode in the Sierra. He has been there seventeen years 
now; says he likes it better than he does anything else, and 
proposes to "stay with it." 

For some time, Lucy and I had wished to capture a 
desirable mountain, and name it after Stanford University; 
and so, when somebody left a Sierra Club cylinder down at 
the Stanford Camp, I brought it up and we proposed to plant 
it. Owing to a slight accident in camp, Lucy was feeling 
under the weather, and to make the trip less fatiguing, we 
next morning saddled Grasshopper and the mare, and 
rode up Bubb's Canon, and then through South Caflon to 
East Lake. The trail beyond to Castilleja Lake — if one 
may call it a trail — is extremely steep, and I did not 
regret the time I had spent looking over 200 mules for 
the ones with the strongest hind legs. I went on before, 
the train followed — three of them, for Peggy had insisted 
on tagging along for company's sake — and Lucy was rear 
guard to prevent their turning back. At the timber-line, I 
went on alone to search out a route among the polished 
granite mountain-ribs to the lake. This found, the beasts 
came through all right, and we camped two hours before 

In the morning, we gathered up from the stiff frosty 
grass the ropes of our chilled animals, and succeeded in 
leading them up to the top of the face of the immense ter- 

92 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

minal moraine that blocks the mouth of the gorge just 
south of the lake. Here, thick with good feed, was a 
charming little meadow, into the middle of which we 
dragged large rocks — there being no trees or bushes — 
and thereunto anchored the stock. 

This gorge — the same we had traversed on the Mt. 
Williamson trip — we now ascended; and having clam- 
bered up the cliffs at its head, turned eastward, and began 
to climb the adjacent steep and craggy peak.* Working 
slightly to the north, we soon reached the top of the 
eastern wall, and looked over into an appalling gulf, from 
one to two thousand feet deep. Facing now southeast, we 
scrambled on, up among the wild pinnacles, arrd at noon 
gained the summit crag. The elevation seemed about 13,600 
feet, and the view, especially to the south down the long 
and peculiarly straight canon of the Kern, and to the south- 
east toward the Williamson-Tyndall group, and southwest 
to the beautiful, snowy Kaweahs, was extremely interesting 
and wonderfully beautiful. As it seemed that we were the 
first to make this ascent, we built a monument and left a 
record, naming it, in honor of Capt. John Ericsson, and 
in recognition of its extremely craggy character, Crag 
Ericsson. On the last Sierra Club map it is marked 
"No. 5." 

The reason we did not name it Mt. Stanford was be- 
cause from its top we could see that the next mountain to 
the east — " No. 6 " on the Club map — was considerably 
higher, and therefore we kept this name for it. Working 
cautiously down the bottoms of deep and almost vertical 
crevices in the eastern face of Crag Ericsson, we landed on 
the edge of the divide and followed it eastward. Presently 
we came upon three stones built together, marking the 

*See Plate XVI. This sketch is from the summit of Mt. Brewer, 13,886 feet 
high, looking southeast, and eleven miles in an air-line from Mt. Williamson. 

SlERk CI-ll 

Watideriftgs in the High Sierra. 93 

head of Harrison's Pass.* According to my notion, it 
will hardly be a popular pass until a windlass and cable are 
put at its head. Beyond this we ascended a great slope of 
big, tumbled rocks, and at its top, just where you can first 
look over into the deep, snowy gulf to the northeast, we 
found another monument. Its single record showed it to 
have been made two years before by Warren Gregory and 
his companions. 

It now became apparent that the summit of this peak is 
the sharp edge of a thin wall, or curtain of rock, of vast 
height, and precipitous upon both sides. This knife-edge 
runs north and south; it may be a thousand feet long, sags 
a hundred feet in the middle, and rises into a point at each 
end. These ends are very nearly the same height, and the 
above-mentioned monument was at the southern point. 
But we thought the northern one was a little higher, as it 
was certainly the natural termination of the promontory, 
and decided to put the club cyhnder there, if possible. 
Though she had climbed steadily for nine hours, Lucy had 
not felt quite herself all day, and so now, when I cautioned 
her that the passage along the soaring knife-edge, with its 
2000-foot precipices on either side, might prove trying to 
both nerves and muscles, she wisely decided not to attempt 
it. After arranging to meet at a particular lake in the 
amphitheatre below, which she was to reach by following 
down the edge of the southwestern precipice, and descend- 
ing Harrison's Pass, t and I by descending the peak upon its 
northern side, and dropping over into the amphitheatre from 
the north, Lucy started back, and I slowly let myself over 
a smooth rock, and began to work out on the knife-edge. 

*See Plate XXVI, Vol. I,of the Bulletin. In this photograph, to the right, just 
off the picture, is Crag Ericsson; to the left, just off the picture, Mt. Stanford. 
The dotted line goes through the cliffs at Harrison's Pass. 

t See Plate XXVII, Vol. I, of the Bulletin. The peak just to the left of the dead 
tree is Crag Ericsson; the next peak, to the right, is on the map as " No. I," and 
Mt. Stanford is just behind it. You are looking northerly, Tyndall Creek runs 
diagonally and heads to the right, or east. 

94 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

along the top of the wall. In twenty minutes I had accom- 
plished it, and, across the depths beneath us, exchanged 
shouts with Lucy, now but a moving speck among the 

The altitude is probably not far from fourteen thousand 
feet. A bird like an eagle, soaring grandly far beneath, 
saw me or heard my shouts, and circled slowly up to my 
level; and then higher, and higher, till lost in the depths of 
the dark violet sky above. Fourteen thousand feet was 
nothing to him. 

I built a monument and left in it the Club Register, No. 
14, with the name Mt. Stanford upon it. The idea of 
descending northward I abandoned because of thcjcompli- 
cated masses of pinnacles, galleys, and precipices in that 
quarter, which would delay me too long; and started to go 
back the same vi-ay I came, intending to follow down Lucy's 
route. But an apparently practicable chute, just where the 
knife-edge joins the northern peak, tempted me into trying, 
instead, the descent of the western face. I managed to get 
down about a thousand feet, and was then stopped by a 
sheer precipice. However, after climbing back up the 
chute some distance, it proved possible to work southward 
from gulley to gulley, and in this way I gradually descended 
to the cliff-base, and went flying down a steep snow-slope, 
and out over half a mile of talus blocks to the rock-encom- 
passed pool where Lucy had for some time been awaiting 
me. An hour before sunset we reached Castilleja Lake, and 
next morning rode down six thousand feet to our per- 
manent camp in Paradise Valley, — and a rough old ride 
it was. 

But we had not been there very long when I began to 
hanker for another try at Mt. King, which I had tried last 
year, but had not succeeded in climbing. One evening I 
suggested to Lucy that I rise very early the next day and 
endeavor to get to the summit of Mt. King, and return 

Wanderings in the High Sierra. 95 

before night. She replied, " I wish you would; and I hope 
you will get to the top. I would a great deal rather that 
you should do it than anybody else." After that, what 
could I do but go ? 

So in the morning, about an hour after sunrise, — which 
was at least two hours later than it should have been, — I 
took a lunch and a forty-foot rope and started out. Lucy 
came with me to the river bank, and the old mare ferried 
me over. Realizing that there was not a second to waste, 
I at once put on full steam and hustled through tangles of 
bushes, and trees, and jumbles of fallen rocks at a great rate. 
All the raspberry bushes had been recently pawed over, and 
the ripe berries had been eaten, so I fully expected to see 
a bear, but none appeared. However, in a way, I had a 
bear as guide; for I followed the tracks of one up the 
gulley of the second tributary from the east, gaining thus 
the wider cafion above. The first section of this canon is 
painfully long, and its floor is exceedingly rough. At its 
head I ascended a steep slope, two or three hundred feet 
high, alongside of a series of cascades. From the top of 
this rise, e.xactly centering the picture between the canon 
walls, there appeared a sharp, hard peak, which I knew 
must be the edgewise view of Mt. King. It looked very 
far away, and seemed as though it would take at least the 
rest of the day to reach its base, let alone climbing it. How- 
ever, I kept on going, and tore through the exasperating 
jungle of interlocked manzanita bushes and crooked poplars, 
' ' regardless. ' ' Finally I got above this, and hurrying up 
grassy slopes and rocky knolls, at last left the timber alto- 
gether, and ran a couple of miles to the head of a long 
couloir that terminates against a southern spur of Mt. King. 
At about half after eleven I sat a few minutes and lunched by 
the very last green spot. Then I went directly up the steep 
southern face of the peak, until, some five hundred feet be- 
low the summit, I could look over its eastern shoulder — a 

96 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

look which quite gave me a quahii — it being absolutely- 
sheer for more than a thousand feet beneath. Working 
across to the western edge, I looked over that precipice, 
and it was deeper still. These two walls approached each 
other, and where they met is the summit. Near the top the 
rocks got steeper and became more like vertical cliffs. At 
last I could climb no higher unaided.* 

Poised on a narrow ledge, I noosed the rope and lassoed 
a horn of rock projecting over the edge of the smooth-faced 
precipice overhead. But a pull on the rope toppled the 
rock bodily over, nearly hitting me, who could not dodge. 
So I took out the noose, and having tied a big knot in the 
rope-end, threw it repeatedly until this caught in i, crack, 
when I climbed the rope. I did not dally with the job 
either, for every second I was afraid the knot would pull 
through the crack. A few yards above, the operation had 
to be repeated, and before the summit was reached, it was 
repeated several times. The ugliest place of all was exactly 
at the last rock, only a few feet below the top. With great 
caution, and as much deliberation as I had used speed 
below, I finally looped the rope over an all-too-slight projec- 
tion, along the upper edge of the side face of the topmost 
block, and compelled myself to put one foot in it and lift 
myself, and so stand, dangling in that precarious sling, 
until I could get my arms on the top and squirm over. 

This summit is more like that of the spire of Strassburg 
Cathedral (550 feet) where I once stood, than any other 
peak I ever climbed. It is a true spire of rock, an up- 
tossed corner at the meeting of three great mountain 

* Upon this steep southern face of the peak, I kept running across the fresh 
track of some animal like a large sheep or deer. He seemed to be going up 
ahead of me, the track was so fresh. And I saw no returning track, though I 
passed quite across the territory over which the animal must come down. These 
tracks went well up toward this extreme summit, and into higher or wilder places 
than I ever saw sheep or deer tracks. But on my descent, I found the tracks going 
down again. Is it possible that I had scared up a bighorn, which started up the 
peak for safety, but being followed, stood behind some crag while I passed on up 
to the top, and then came out and ran down ? 

Wanderings in the High Sierra. 97 

walls.* It is about thirteen thousand two hundred feet 
high, stands somewhat isolated, and commands a glorious 
view. It is accessible only at the place where I went up, 
and only with a rope at that. The top of the summit-block 
slopes northwest, is about fifteen feet across, and as smooth 
as a cobblestone. If you fall off one side, you will be killed 
in the vicinity; if you fall off any of the other sides, you 
will be pulverized in the remote nadir beneath. 

About half-past one I roped myself down again, spider- 
wise, from this airy pedestal; and having left a row of 
monuments as far as the green spot where I had lunched, 
scampered away down the long couloir, jumping bowlders, 
pools, and streams in the highest spirits. I continued to 
run wherever the surface did not make it absolutely impos- 
sible, hurried in the tail of the afternoon across what 
seemed like miles and miles of chaotic masses of big talus 
blocks, then, in the deepening shadows, down the throat of 
the narrow gorge where the stream dashes, in the twilight 
over massive bowlders in titanic heaps along the base of the 
Paradise Valley walls; then, in the dark, across the rushing 
river I went, foolhardily, mid-thigh deep; and then, rustling 
through the fallen white oak leaves, I sighted the gleam of 
Lucy's fire, and in a moment more, — was home. 

That ended our mountaineering for the summer. We 
remained some days longer in the canon; indeed, we stayed 
until, notwithstanding that we had had three mule loads of 
provisions, we were actually starved out. The streams had 
gone down two thirds, and where six weeks before we had 
washed the dishes, tall plants grew. The grass plumes held 
ripened seeds, and in the jungle swamps, tiger lily and 
columbine had given place to golden rod. As we listened 

• See sketch of northern face of Mt. King in the Bulletin, Vol. I, No. 8, page 
245. The wall to the right runs west, that to the left runs northeast; and upon 
the other side, and making the third "great mountain wall," is another running 
south. The report of the old State Geological Survey says that this northern 
precipiceof Mt. King is " several thousand " feet high— but I should not dare to 
guess so generously as that. 

98 Sierra Club BuHedn. 

to the music and watched the green swirls of our beloved 
river, golden leaves — autumn's first — glided by. Then we 
remembered that life is not all play, and knew the time had 
come for us to leave this noblest of playgrounds. 

And so we went, with sincere regret, and many pledges 
to return, down through the wild beauty of the long canon, 
up the steep trail, and out over the rolling, forest-clad foot- 
hills, toward the yellow plains, sixty miles away. 


Notes and Correspondeyice. 99 


In addition to longer articles suitable for the body of the magazine, the editor 
would be glad to receive brief memoranda of all noteworthy trips or explorations, 
together with brief comment and suggestion on any topics of general interest to 
the Club. 

Camping A-VVhekl. 

In the summer of 1S94 the writer rode a cushion-tired wheel, 
weighing fifty pounds, and loaded with ten pounds of baggage, 
from San Francisco to Lal;e Tahoe, and back to Stockton; and for 
two years considered it the finest trip he had ever had. Last sum- 
mer, however, it was surpassed in his estimation by a tour over 
the same ground, in company with Messrs. Lincoln Hutchinson 
and James S. Hutchinson, Jr. Our route from Sacramento lay 
through Folsom to Auburn, and along the line of the Central 
Pacific Railroad, in places beside the track, and again on the 
wagon road, to Truckee, and then over the toll road to Lake 
Tahoe. After spending four days, walking and camping among 
the magnificent granite mountains west of the Lake, we returned 
over the Placerville road to Stockton. In this case we had lighter 
wheels — mine weighed twenty-three pounds, — and it occurred to 
my friends that, as I had carried a total of sixty pounds on a cush- 
iontire, we ought to be able to carry forty pounds each of blank- 
ets and provisions on our improved mounts; and so we decided to 
try a camping trip. In spite of two " blow-outs," a broken crank, 
a broken saddleclamp, and the fact that neither of the Messrs. 
Hutchinson were in good practice at the start (though they were 
at the finish), the trip was voted a great success. In the hope 
that our e.xperience may prove useful to some readers of the Sierra 
Club Bulletin to whom the expense of getting to the mountains 
seems heavy, we venture to make a few suggestions applicable to 
bicycle camping trips in general. The road maps now published 
will usually suffice for information as to the country through which 
it is desired to pass. 

Carrying the Outfit.— Thu general principle to be observed is. 
Keep the weight oflF those parts of the wheel that are moved in 
steering. The following plan is recommended: Buy a leather 
"touring-bag," made to fit into the frame, which will cost about 
$3.50. This is to carry the cooking utensils and the provisions, 
and it is better not to attempt to carry a much greater quantity of 
provisions than it will hold. The blankets, clothing, and any 
small quantity of provisions that will not go in the "trunk," as 

loo Sierra Club Bulletin. 

we called it, should be made into a roll about sixteen inches long 
and of as small diameter as possible, and fastened behind the 
saddle. Various forms of carrier for the pack behind the saddle 
may be devised, but a couple of pieces of clothesline, four feet 
long, with a loop in one end, will answer admirably. The pack 
may be securely fastened to the wheel as follows: Make the blank- 
ets into a tight roll, sixteen inches long, pass a strap around each 
end, and buckle firmly. Balance this on the rear wheel, buckles 
on top. Standing behind the wheel, hold the looped end of one 
of the pieces of clothesline, and pass the other end forward, under 
the roll, outside of the rear forks, and then upward, between them. 
Take a turn around the horizontal part of the saddlepost, forward 
of the saddleclamp, bring the end of the rope over the bundle and 
pass it through the loop. Do the same with the other rope on the 
other side of the rear forks. Then, holding the roll up against 
the saddle with one hand, pull upward on the free end, first of one 
rope and then of the other, and when as tight as possible, fasten 
with any suitable knot. This operation should be managed in 
such a way that the loops and knots are low down on the back of 
the roll, not under it. Then roll up the spare clothes and any- 
thing that cannot be put in the trunk, and use the ends of the straps 
and of the ropes to fasten this roll on behind the blankets. By 
passing the ropes around the forks as described, they are kept 
sufficiently far apart to prevent the bundle from swinging sidewise 
too much; by taking a turn of each rope around the saddlepost, 
instead of suspending the weight from the hind part of the saddle 
itself, the danger of breaking the saddleclamp is avoided; and 
finally, by having the knots and buckles come in the positions 
mentioned, before putting on the second roll, the entire pack is 
kept from sagging on the rear wheel. When a pack is put on 
behind the saddle, the step cannot be used for mounting, and it 
is advisable before starting on a trip to learn thoroughly the pedal 
mount, for the reason just given, and also to enable one to mount 
on a hill. One should practice until able, in mounting, to start 
the wheel by the weight on the pedal, without any forward push, 
as the pack is apt to be too much for one less expert. And it 
should be practiced on both sides of the wheel, especially if the 
party expects to do any riding beside a railroad. 

What to Take — Blankets. — We each carried a sleeping bag 
about three feet wide, made of one double blanket and an outer 
canvas cover, and there were two rubber blankets in the outfit. 
We intended to put these latter on the ground at night; but it was 
so cold at night in these mountains, that we found it necessary to 
use them for a tent. By locating the bed beside a log three or 
four feet in diameter, rolling a twelve-inch log to the foot, stretch- 

Notes and Correspondence. loi 

ing a small rope from one to the other, and fastening to the rope 
the rubber blankets, and then piling brush along one side, we 
constructed a fairly serviceable tent, which kept the temperature 
above the freezing point. But we concluded that a regular tent 
made of very light canvas, and arranged with guys so that it 
could be set up with only such poles as can be cut with a small 
hatchet each night, would not only be more satisfactory, but 
would also save a great deal of time night and morning, when 
time is most valuable. Such a tent should weigh no more than the 
two rubber blankets, and would answer more purposes. On cold 
nights it was found necessary to supplement the regular bicycle 
costume with a suit of heavy imderclothes. Possibly a sweater 
would be found more serviceable. 

Utensils. — The pails we had, instead of being circular in sec- 
tion, were rectangular, and for convenience in carrying were made 
so as to "nest." This form is recommended for another reason: 
They will stand closer together over the fire. For a party of 
three, there should be five pails, the largest holding from a gallon 
to a gallon and a half Two of them should be arranged so 
that they can be used as a water bath for cooking mush, etc., 
which device we think will save much time and annoyance. We 
carried our pails in a wooden frame, strapped in front of the handle 
of one bicycle, and we put the soap and towels inside the smallest 
one. This arrangement rattled so much, that the hitherto silent 
steed was dubbed by one of our party, the " ice-wagon." Of fry- 
ing pans we had two, which had been purchased some years before 
with two second-hand army haversacks. These pans were oval, 
and each had an oval tin cover, hollow like the pan, and fitting 
into a groove around the edge of the latter, so as to include 
between pan and cover a space an inch or more deep. This com- 
bination made an excellent arrangement for cooking bread, on 
the principle of a Dutch oven. The handles were hinged so as to 
fold over the cover of the frying pan and clamp, thus holding the 
arrangement together in transit. We would recommend a single 
frying pan of this form, but twice the size of ours. Each person 
should carry his own tin cup in such a way as to be readily acces- 
sible at all times. A good way is to hang it on the forward buckle 
of the trunk flap. A small hatchet is indispensable. We carried 
ours in one of the trunks, with a grooved piece of wood tied over 
the edge. Probably a "stove," similar to that described in the 
article on Mountain Trips, in the last Bulletin,* would be worth 

* Vol. \. p. 32. Mr. Longley calls attention to the fact, that through a slip of 
the pen, the iron was made needlessly thick and heavy. One-eighth inch he 
thinks is heavy enough. 

I02 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

Provisions. — We took such as are taken on any camping trip. 
We made no attempt to carry a supply to last the entire two 
weeks, but found that what we could take was, with the bread and 
milk purchased daily, sufficient for about one week. We bought 
a dozen eggs at Cisco, which we carried safely for some miles, and 
at Truckee we replenished almost our entire stock at very reason- 
able prices. Several days later we bought some potatoes. Rice, 
flour, meal, etc., should be carried in small cloth bags, properly 
labeled with indelible ink. If tied so as to leave a little space 
inside, these will readily adapt themselves to the shape of the 
trunk, and pack snugly. It should be said, however, that on 
account of rain, lack of time, etc., we thought best to get some 
of our meals at hotels. Perhaps the following data may be of 

Meals in camp loi Meals at hotels and restaurants 31 

Total cost tio.6o Total cost J I8.35 

Cost per meal per person loj^ cents Cost per meal per person .... s; cents 

The best lunch for such a trip is a pint of milk and a large 
chunk of bread. It satisfies both hunger and thirst, it costs very 
little in the mountains, and at the same time reduces the quantity 
of provisions to be carried, and it permits hard work almost 
immediately afterward. We bought our milk wherever con- 
venient in the morning, and carried it in our canteen, slung over 
the blanket roll or over the handle. It is advisable when milk is 
used for lunch not to drink too much of it at other times. And it 
may also be said, that it is necessary to be sparing in drinking 
water during the first two or three days, in spite of the terrific 
thirst, which will pass away in time. 

The most essential points have now been covered, but a few 
minor suggestions may be worth making. 

The trunk is apt to bulge out, so as to come in contact with 
the ends of the cranks and the sprocket, which will soon wear 
through the leather. To prevent this, pass a piece of buckskin or 
string through small holes made at the points on which the wear 
comes, draw the sides of the trunk together and knot the ends of 
the cord. 

All the wheels ought to be provided with brakes, not for use 
in coasting, which wears out the tire, but to guard against acci- 
dents. It gives one confidence, and permits greater speed in 
riding on roads with sharp turns; it enables the rider, by quickly 
checking his speed, to avoid many collisions with large stones or 
other objects in the road, which might severely strain or damage 
the bicycle, and it is a safeguard in descending a steep hill. 

The rear tire has to support nearly all the weight of the rider 
and pack, and there is no economy in trying to get along with a 

Notes and Conespondence. 103 

badly worn one. Much time and annoyance would probably be 
saved by using comparatively new tires on both wheels. If double- 
tube tire is used, and the outer case is badly worn, or much 
pierced from old punctures, exceedingly fine thorns or bristles 
are apt to reach the inner tube, and it is almost impossible to 
locate the resulting punctures, especially as there is often no still 
water for miles in the moimtains. 

With a small quantity of iron and copper wire, and a light pair 
of pincers, a few wire nails, plenty of strong string, a few buck- 
skin thongs, extra straps, a couple of small machine bolts, a piece 
of tin, ingenuity, and occasionally the assistance of a country 
blacksmith, it is astonishing what apparently irreparable accidents 
can be overcome. But in case of a broken crank, don't try to 
mend it — telegraph for another, and wait till it comes. We speak 
from experience. 

Finally, pay no attention whatever to statements about roads. 
Sometimes they are reliable, but here are two examples: On the 
writer's first trip, mentioned above, he was told in Sacramento by 
two people, who were vouched for as having been over the road 
which follows the Central Pacific Railroad, that he could n't pos- 
sibly get to Lake Tahoe on it; that it was full of bowlders, and 
that a bu;;gy which had come over it a couple of weeks earlier dur- 
ing the great railroad strike had been literally smashed to bits. 
As a matter of fact the road was very good, except in places where 
the dust was deep, and there were no bowlders in it. Again, our 
party last summer were informed by a couple of sheep herders, 
who had just come over the road between Cisco and Summit, that 
we had better ride on the railroad, as on the road we should have 
to carry our wheels — we could not possibly push them. The 
following day we covered the level portions of the road men- 
tioned at the rate of twelve miles per hour, finding it the most 
enjoyable portion of the ride. One of our party rode over it with 
but one pedal. And yet, to the best of our knowledge and belief, 
these people were not practical joker.^, but actually supposed they 
were giving useful advice. 

Our principal reason for undertaking a camping trip on bicycles 
was to save expense. Upon our return we figured up that, 
exclusive of some repairs, but including expenses on the boat to 
Sacramento and railroad fare from Stockton to San Francisco, we 
had spent $12.85 each during the two weeks. But we found that 
this way of traveling is not only economical, but is also ideal for 
the mountain lover. One is absolutely independent of everything 
except wood, water, and something which comes in the general 
category of things called roads; and almost any kind of road will 
do. My friends, who had just returned from King's River Cation, 

I04 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

spoke frequently of the great relief of not needing to regard the 
question of pasture. And when one goes for the pleasure of the 
trip, and is not limited as to expense, many improvements might 
be adopted. For instance, we think very likely an eider-down 
sleeping bag would be lighter and warmer than our blankets, and 
many conveniences for saving time in camp might be devised. 
But, even with such a rough-and-ready outfit as our party had, 
we all unite in saying that for a vacation there is nothing like 
camping on wheels. 

Rov R. Dempster. 
San Francisco, March 27, 1S97. 

Report of a Trip from Yosemite to King's River, via the 
Basin of the Merced. 

On the 3d of July, Mr. Theodore S. Solomons, '98, Mr. Allan L. 
Chickering, U. C, '98, and myself, left Yosemite biy the Little 
Yosemite Trail, with four pack horses. In taking a cut-tiff from 
the head of the Nevada Fall to Lieutenant McClure's trail from 
the southern base of Siarr King, eastward to the Merced River, 
we encountered some difficulty on the slopes southwest of the 
Little Yosemite, but for the benefit of those who in future may try 
this route, we monuniented the way to smooth country. We 
pas.sed to the north of Mt. Starr King, just above the steeper slope 
of the cafion wall. Here storms delayed us for two days; then we 
made good time. We struck McClure's trail about three miles east 
of Starr King, and followed it to the river. It is nowhere a Irail, 
being simply a blazed route, portions of which were formerly 
used by sheepmen. The blazing was done by the cavalry in 1895. 
Very smooth traveling is found until the slopes of Mt. Clark are 
reached, when the route leads over rocky ground, intersected by 
spurs descending from the mountain. The last pitch toward the 
river is down a steep, brush-grown slope, where the route is very 
obscure and the way dangerous to inexperienced animals. Three 
or four hours' work with an axe and crowbar, however, would be 
sufficient to make a fairly good trail of it. This was the only really 
bad place we found along the whole route to the Little Jackass 
Meadows, with the exception of the unblazed portion now to be 
noticed. From the main river to the point on the McClure Fork 
where we intersected the trail described by Lieutenant McClure 
as leading from Jackass Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows, we 
failed to find any clear trail; but we experienced no very great 
difficulty in reaching that point by a route of our own, along 
which, however, there were traces of the passage of the cavalry, 
notably, down the river, from the ford nearly to the McClure 

Notes and Correspondeiice. 105 

The Merced Canon country, I should note in passing, we found 
surpassingly fine; and in my judgment, no more important work 
could be attempted by the Club or the authorities of the Park than 
the rendering of the Upper Canon of the Merced accessible to 
Yosemite tourists. The depression through which runs the main 
stream and its many branches is irregularly formed, and hence 
presents scenery of varied and most picturesque qualities. Bare 
walls, bosses, and promontories strongly suggest the great valley 
beyond, in the hue of the granite and its peculiarly bedded struc- 
ture. In the wide canon bottom is an uninterrupted succession of 
groves, meadows, and lakes, and on the ridges above, and in the 
basins of the smaller streams, the forest growth is the most healthy 
I have seen in analogous portions of the range. I noticed a 
remarkable scarcity of dead trees, especially of the "Tamaracks" 
that grow among the wet meadow flats. Towering above the 
forest ridge, finally, the main crest on the east and the strikingly 
fine Merced Group on the west nearly enclose the Merced Basin, 
and from all points furnish splendid backgrounds to the views. 
Between Lake Merced and Lake Washburn there should be no 
great difficulty in finding a good route; and above the latter the 
canon is wide and not hard to traverse. A few miles above, the 
Lyell Fork enters the main cafion — now a fine river valley — over 
one great sweep of bare granite, a couple of miles in length, down 
the slanting face of which the stream makes a continuous cascade. 
All the tributaries. Gray Peak, Red Peak, and Black Peak Forks 
especially, show cascades only of less dimensions and splendid 
appearance than that of the Lyell Fork. Finer country to camp 
in does not exist in the Sierra — when once the region is pierced 
by a good trail from the west. The lakes have been stocked by 
the Fish Commission, and the whole length of the river for some 
fifteen miles should soon be populous with trout. 

From Mt. McClure Fork the blazed route out of the Merced 
Basin is a splendid one, and the final climb to the pass and the 
descent to Granite Creek on the San Joaquin side so short and 
easy as not to be worth mentioning. The same divide is crossed 
that was considered impassable by the old California Geological 
Survey. There is apparently just this little nook of a pass that had 
been spied and quickly utilized. 

With the exception of the obscure section after crossing the 
main river north of Mt. Clark, previously alluded to, the route 
marked on the Club map, and drawn in more detail on Lieuten- 
ant McClure's map presented to the Club, is perfectly plain 
throughout. The branching of the trail below Sadlier Lake is 
indicated by an immense monument and two T's. In approach- 
ing Littlejackass Meadows by the easternmost of the two branches, 
no direct connection is made with the Mammoth trail, but the lat- 

io6 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

ter is so well worn that it cannot be missed. You have simply to 
continue south. The cut-off eastward to the latter trail from a 
point a few miles below Sadlier Lake we did not identify with any 

Following the Mammoth trail from Little Jackass Meadows to 
Granite Creek, we then made our way without difficulty down 
the eastern side of that creek, and intersected, some miles below, 
the Shut Eye trail, as it is called, leading to the Miller & Lux 
bridge on the main San Joaquin. The bridge across Granite Creek 
on the trail, having been washed away last spring, the sheep herd- 
ers now use a ford considerably higher up, and take a cut-off trail 
east, northeast, and then south, intersecting their main trail about 
halfway down the hill to the river. After crossing the San Joaquin, 
we kept south, parallel to the South Fork, along the Lower trail 
(which we found difficult to follow, perhaps owing to recent heavy 
rains), to Mono Creek, which we pretty thoroughly explored to its 
highest sources. Thence we traveled by trail to Lost VAUey and to 
the north branch of the South Fork, from which an expedition 
was made to Mt. Goddard, the peak being climbed in a storm which 
effectually shut off the view. Two of our horses having cast their 
shoes, it became necessary to make a visit to Ockenden's, where 
is to be found the nearest blacksmith shop. There being time for 
no further exploration of the crest, Mr. Solomons left the party, 
and Mr. Chickering and myself then took the Dinkey trail to 
Tehipite, the Tu-ne-mah trail to the Upper Middle Fork Cafion, 
and the Granite Basin trail to King's River Cafion. From there we 
quitted the mountains, via Millwood, which we reached August 2d. 
The joint collection of negatives which was secured during the trip 
consists of about loo of the size 6.2 xS.2, and some fifty of 3.2x3.2. 
The topographical and other data gathered will be put into the 
form of a supplemental report by Mr. Solomons, and added to his 
report on this region, filed with the Club last April. 

The season was unusually stormy. We had rain, hail, or snow 
some sixteen days out of twenty-five, and, contrary to precedent 
it rained during the night several times. 

Walter H. Starr. 

Note to Professor Stillm.\n's Article on a Trip from 
King's River Canon to Tehipite Valley. 

While the shortness of the distance between the two cafions 
makes the route described by Professor Stillman in the last issue 
of the Bulletin the most desirable one, it will be noticed 
from his account of it that, in its present condition — which 
is not likely soon to be improved — the trail from the divide 

Notes and Correspondence. 107 

to the Middle Fork is obscure, and the way treacherous 
and quite impracticable for animals. It may be well, there- 
fore, to remind those who may desire to visit Tehipite from the 
Grand Canon, or vice versa, that there is another, and a very plain 
and safe trail, by which the trip can be made. It is true, as Pro- 
fessor Stillman suggests, that the time required by this other 
route is considerably greater, but, as offsetting this, the intending 
traveler may promise himself some expansive views of the wildest 
part of the High Sierra, and also some canon scenery quite 
different from, yet fully as inspiring as, that of either Tehipite or 
the Grand Caiion. 

The route referred to makes use, first, of the Granite Basin trail 
to the Upper Middle Fork Canon; next, of the Tu-ne-mah trail to 
Collins' Meadow (Crown Valley), and lastly, of the excellent trail 
thence to the floor of Tehipite. The journey may be traced on 
the new map; and with no other guide than that the tolerably ex- 
perienced Club member could doubtless make the trip without 
mishap; but for the inexperienced, afew verbal directions may not 
be unhelpful. For the suggestion of the cut-off near Collins' 
Meadow and the route to the summit of Tehipite Dome, I am in- 
debted to Mr. W. A. Starr and Mr. A. L. Chickering. The trails 
and the district they traverse will be found described in some 
detail, and illustrated by photographs, in the report on the region 
north of the main King's River, filed with the Club by the writer, 
last April. 

If the start is made from the South Fork, follow the trail lead- 
ing up the cafion on the north side of the river. When within a 
few hundred yards of Copper Creek, which is the large tributary 
entering from the north just east of the escarpment of the North 
Dome, a branch trail will be encountered, leading obliquely to 
the left. This is the Copper Creek, or Granite Basin, trail. It 
ascends the main stream of Copper Creek for about two miles, 
the ascent not being very steep, and then follows the long, 
sloping shoulder between the main basin of the creek — which 
now sweeps toward the northwest — and a western branch bear- 
ing down from Mt. Hutchings. Arrived at the summit of the 
wall overlooking Granite Basin, if the trail has been obscure, 
search along the divide for the monuments, and until the bottom 
of the basin is reached, be careful not to advance without their 
guidance. Before leaving the divide, glance over the basin, fixing 
in mind its topography, and especially the position of the lowest 
point of the northern rim of the basin. This is the pass. It will 
lie in the direction north by ten or twenty degrees west. When 
the trail becomes obscure, or is lost at the bottom of the basin 
among the meadows, make straight for the pass, keeping, how- 
ever, toward the right, or east side, of the basin. As the ascent is 

io8 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

made toward the pass, you cannot fail to fall into the trail, nor to 
keep it thereafter until it reaches the Middle Fork. Just before 
getting to Dougherty Meadow, though, when skirling the southern 
margin of a pond, avoid a well monumented and blazed trail 
which leads to the right, southeastwardly up the hill. Mr. Starr also 
reports that the terminal point of the trail in the Middle Fork 
Canon is about midway between Horseshoe Creek and Dougherty 
Creek, instead of being nearer the former, as it was drawn on the 
map, and also that the distance between the two is not so great. 

The bridge across the Middle Fork was swept away in 1895, 
and has probably not been replaced, but at any time after high 
water the stream may be forded at many points above its site. 
Trails lead up the river on both sides. Cross to the west, and 
follow the path on that side along a sandy flat, strewn with bowl- 
ders, to the angle formed by the intersection of the main canon 
with that of Goddard Creek. Here, winding in zigzag curves, 
now on one face of the angle, now on the other, the Tu-ne-mah 
trail makes its steep ascent to the very summit of the mountain, 
4900 feet above, in something like five miles of trail. In making 
the climb with laden animals, be sure not to start after the noon 
hour, as, on reaching the summit, an equally steep descent of 
about 2000 feet immediately follows. The trail is much worn by 
sheep and pack animals, but in some of the steepest and rockiest 
places, sheep have made many false trails, which are apt to cause 
annoyance, though they cannot mislead for any distance. It is 
well, therefore, to constantly reconnoitre ahead. From the sum- 
mit, the trail is plain to Alpine Meadow, to Blue Canon, and to 
Collins' Meadow, where one of the oldest trails in the mountains 
leads out to the Pine Ridge Settlements. Near the corner of 
Collins' Corral the Tehipite trail parts from the Tu-ne-mah trail, and 
runs south by west to Tehipite, keeping well above Crown Creek. 
It is not necessary, however, to go to Collins'. After passing Kettle 
Rock (which lies to tlie north, and not to the south of the trail, as the 
map shows), select a good route, and make directly south across 
Crown Creek and up the other side to the Tehipite trail. From 
the Kettle Ridge divide (just before reaching which from the 
north, there is a little meadow in which you may camp) the Dome 
may be reached on horseback. Ride southeastwardly directly 
along the watershed of this ridge, taking care not to get off on 
little spurs bearing to the right, until a little depression, or saddle, 
alone intervenes between your ridge and the Dome Ridge, which 
has a north and south trend. Cross to the latter ridge, and you may 
ride almost to within a stone's throw of the true summit, which is 
most safely reached by the spine or crest of the ridge, rather than 
by the ledges on either side. 

Notes and Correspondence. 109 

Average traveling time would be: — 

From King's River Canon to Granite Basin, one afternoon; 
thence to Upper Middle Fork Canon, one short day; thence to 
meadows north of Blue Canon, one day; thence to Tehipite, one 
day. From Tehipite to the end of the stage line atOckenden's, 
or Pine Ridge, two and one half days. 

Theodore L. Solomons. 

Route from the Grand CafJon to Tehipite, down the 
Middle Fork. 

There is yet another way of reaching Tehipite, which may in 
time be found a good alternative, either for the direct route over 
the ridge described by Professor Stillman in our last number, or 
for the longer detour to the north described by Mr. Solomons in 
his memorandum just above. This third route, like the last, leaves 
the Grand Canon by the Copper Creek trail, and is identical with 
it until the Middle Fork is reached, between Dougherty and 
Horseshoe Creeks. From this point, instead of crossing the river 
and climbing the mountain ridge on the north, and descending 
again to reach the valley, the new route follows the Middle Fork 
directly down. During the summer of 1896, Mr. W. L. Richard- 
son and Mr. T. P. Lukens, of Pasadena, made a short reconnois- 
sance of the eastern end of this route, and afterwards arranged to 
have some work done upon the trail, of which Mr. Richardson 
sends us the following account: — 

"From the Middle Fork crossing a trail is marked on the map 
down to Tehipite, and along it is a line of interrogation points, 
the meaning of which we afterwards learned. Mr. Lukens and 
myself made the attempt to get down with three heavy packs and 
two riding animals. The result of about five hours of hard labor 
found us only two and one half miles from camp. As the pros- 
pects for better traveling became less and less the farther we 
advanced, and as our time was limited, we decided to return. 
Mr. Lukens employed two prospectors whom we met inthecaiion 
to build a trail down to Tehipite. I named it the Lukens trail, and 
made two small signs to be placed at each end. Work was com- 
menced the morning we left. I understand the men placed the 
first sign all right; but reaching a somewhat open meadow they 
placed the other sign there, thinking they had reached Tehipite. 
They afterwards discovered their mistake, but did not have time 
to go back for the sign. Neither did they do as much work on 
the lower portion of the trail as they would have done, had they 
had the time. 

"The trail is clean and well made for some distance below 

no Sierra Club Bulletin. 

Broken Dutch Oven. The rest of it, down to Tehipite, has been 
cleared of brush, blazed, and monuniented. This portion of it is 
quite rough, and more work should be done on it to put it in good 
order. I would suggest that if persons going there this summer 
would lend a hand, and spend each but a few hours in work upon 
the trail, we soon might have a broad and easy way of reaching 
Tehipite. And in general, if each member of the Sierra Club 
who spends a portion of his time in the Sierra, summer by summer, 
would do a little work on some of the bad places on one of the 
trails he travels over, in the course of a few years much would be 
accomplished toward putting our principal mountain trails in good 

" Some systematic blazing and monumenting in places where 
trails are not well defined would save a great deal of delay. If a 
small tin sign could be tacked up at the intersections of the main 
trails, it would be of great aid to those traveling without a guide. 
Such signs would cost but a trifle and last a long timei Perhaps 
this is one of the most important improvements which might be 
made in the Sierra. To many it is a difficult thing to find their 
way about the mountains, even with a map and compass, whereas, 
if at each intersecting trail or branch a sign were placed, it would 
dispel that feeling of uncertainty, and one would be confident of 
reaching the end of his journey without having to retrace his steps 
on some wrong trail. 

" Let us begin work at once. There are many campers and 
prospectors who will aid us when they see we are in earnest. I 
should be pleased to hear from others on this subject." 

VV. L. Richardson. 

Notes on a Trip to King's River Canon. 

Our outfit consisted of the usual camp provisions and parapher- 
nalia, the total weight of which, for our party of five persons for a 
three weeks' trip, was about si.x hundred pounds. 

Our guides were Walter Pettit, an old mountaineer and trap- 
per, and John Botkin, a younger man, who acted as assistant to 
Pettit. Both men are thoroughly acquainted with the country 
immediately surrounding the caiion of the South Fork. They are 
painstaking and careful, and our party all agreed that no guides 
could be found that would give greater satisfaction for such a trip 
as ours. 

Our animals, of which we had eight (five pack- and three sad- 
dle-animals), were furnished by Pettit. They were all in good con- 
dition, and thoroughly accustomed to mountain trails. For these 
eight animals and the services of Pettit and Botkin as guides, pack- 
ers, and cooks, we were asked only the very moderate sum of I4.25 

Notes and Correspondence. ill 

per day. We, of course, furnished provisions for both Pettit and 
Botkin, but they provided the horse-feed, when it was necessary 
to purchase any. 

The actual traveling time, from point to point, was as follows: — 

Millwood to Converse Basin 2^ hours 

Converse Basin to Bearskin Meadow 2j^ 

Bearskin Meadow to Burton Meadow 2^ 

Burton Meadow to Horse Corral Meadows 3J/^ 

Horse Corral Meadows to Summit Meadow 2% 

Summit Meadow to Fox's Cabin 2 

Fox's Cabin to Zumwalt's 2j^ 

' Zumwalt's to Mouth of Bubb's Creek ii^ 

Returning: — 

Bubb's Creek to Fox's Cabin 3^ hours 

Fox's Cabin to Summit Meadow 2j< 

Summit Meadow to Horse Corral Meadows 1 

Horse Corral Meadows to Burton Meadow 2 

Burton Meadow to Bearskin Meadow . ..2 

Bearskin Meadow to Big Trees in General Grant Park 2'/ 

Big Trees to Millwood f^ 

I give these distances in hours, instead of miles, for two rea- 
sons. In the first place, the character of the trails and the country 
passed over varies so greatly that a distance given in miles con- 
veys a very inadequate idea of the amount of work to be done in 
going from point to point. In the second place, we could find no 
two persons who were agreed as to the actual distances. 

Two members of our party, with one pack-animal, made a 
trip to Kearsarge Pass, via Lake Charlotte, and returned via Bubb's 
Canon. The traveling times were: — 

Bubb's Creek Junction to L.ake Charlotte 65< hours 

Lake Charlotte to Summit of Kearsarge Pass 2j^ " 

Kearsarge Pass to Bubb's Creek Junction S'X " 

Lincoln Hutchinson. 

Food Supply for Mountain Trips. 

The interest shown in the timely article by Mr. Howard 
Longley in the January Bulletin, on "Mountain Trips; What to 
Take, and How to Take It," leads to the hope that further con- 
tributions of a similarly practical nature will follow. It is of the 
utmost importance that the Club should encourage its members to 
take to the field by supplying them with all the information pos- 
sible; for it is often for lack of just such advice as that given by 
Mr. Longley that many a half-formed plan of campaign in the 
Sierra fails of realization. 

The food question, especially, is a matter of the first import- 
ance. Mr. Longley's list seemed to me to be deficient in meats, 
and somewhat luxurious as to certain articles that are either bulky 

112 Sierra Club Biilktin. 

and difficult to handle or that contain a great deal of water. I am 
assured by the author, however, and am given his permission to 
emphasize the fact here, that the food supply he suggested was 
intended for a party that expected to rely on hunting and fishing 
for part of their animal food, and, in general, that his advice was 
addressed more particularly to those who proposed short trips to 
frequented points. Mr. Longley agrees witli me, that for those 
contemplating lengthy or rough trips, or when, for other reasons, 
weight and bulk must be economized, some modification of his 
list becomes necessary. 

The results of my own experience, and also of that of others 
with whom 1 have discussed the subject, were embodied in some 
suggestions as to outfit which I added to a typewritten report on 
the region south of Yosemite, filed with the Club last year. The 
chief points are these: The most important matter for any 
kind of trip is to take sufficient protein foods, to insure 
replacement of muscular ti^sue. The harder the pnysical work 
the more protein is needed. An average amount would probably 
be a little more than is commonly consumed when at home. This 
is the secret of avoiding emaciation in active or prolonged moun- 
taineering. The other point which applies to mountaineering 
parties in general is, to secure foods of such palatability as to 
insure the highest percentage of digestion. To this end the indi- 
vidual tastes of the diflferent members must be consulted, and a 
kind of average determined. Bulk must never be sacrificed to 
concentration, or the percentage of assimilation will be lowered. 

The details of the ration are best considered by dividing moun- 
taineering parties into two general classes: that to which Mr. 
Longley particularly addressed himself, or those parties that 
attempt only a sojourn of moderate length in frequented dis- 
tricts, and intend to travel easy trails; and secondly, that class 
of parties that set out to traverse the rougher and less frequented 

The former class should take as great a variety as possible. 
They should not hesitate at tomatoes, corn, canned fruits, and 
potatoes, in spite of the large proportion of water which these 
contain, if they have animal power enough to transport them, nor 
at soda crackers and eggs, as long as they are willing to take the 
time to pack these carefully and can afl!brd the space they occupy. 
To such — whom I shall envy — I would suggest, also, canned 
tongue, chicken, lobster, roast beef, and shrimps in tomatoes, as 
being nearly as palatable as the fresh articles. Chocolate and 
nuts (unshelled) are fine foods. 

For parties of the second class, the several conditions to be 
secured are usually about as follows: Food that may be prepared 
easily, and much of it quickly, and in high altitudes; that contams 

Notes and Corresponde?ice. 113 

a proper proportion of protein, that is not too difficult to digest, 
and finally, that may be obtained in as compact and dry a form as 

These conditions are admirably met by the appended schedule, 
which is arranged according to the leading nutritive, and also the 
hygienic, characteristics of the several foods. The first three heads 
form the nutritive classification, and the fourth, the hygienic. 
To illustrate: Dried fruits, being more useful in the purely hygienic 
function of furnishing bulk, acting as an irritant, etc., than in the 
nutritive function of supplying carbo-hydrate matter, have been 
put in the fourth column, but the figure z placed after them indi- 
cates also their chief nutritive characteristic. Conversely, butter 
is most useful as a fat food, but the figure 4 placed after it shows 
that it has also a hygienic value, in that it assists the digestion of 
other foods by rendering them more palatable. Finally, certain 
foods, like beans and bacon, have been related by figures to other 
columns, to show that they partake also, but in a less important 
degree, of other nutritive elements. 

As to the quantity of each food, the relative amounts here given 
were found satisfactory by two persons during one season, and by 
three during another, but only the general proportions of the 
several nutritive classes are insisted on as important. For 
instance, while it would be perfectly safe to eat less mush and 
more bread, or more butter and less bread, it would be poor policy 
to take too little of the proteids or too much of the stimulative 
foods. The total amount given is mtended to provision three men 
for a period of four weeks. Those items in parentheses were not 
always taken by our parties, but are given for the purpose 
of enlarging the list of convenient foods and of furnishing sub- 
stitutes, if desired, for some of the others. 

I have had some success in carrying butter and keeping it 
fresh. I buy the best fresh creamery, in square form, wrap an 
extra butter cloth about it, lay it and fold it in a second cloth 
liberally sprinkled with rock salt, and finally wrap it well in 
several thicknesses of sack cloth and tie it lightly. The package 
is never allowed to become dry, and at night it usually decorates 
the limb of a tree. Thus treated, the butter should be eatable for 
at least six weeks. 

The surplus lard melted in the cooking of bacon is used for 
frying; hence, but little of the fats have been suggested. 

One thing more — though this is hardly a matter of food. If 
you would be happy in your bread-making, discard your heavy 
Dutch oven and beg, borrow, or steal a reflecting oven. They 
are light, fold up, and fit into the pack bag; your bread, biscuit, 
pie, pudding, or cake bakes while you are cooking the rest of 
the meal, and by the same fire, and the contents of the baking 


Sierra Club Bulletin. 

pan are alway in sight, so that none but a blind cook could burn 






12 Corned beef ^ 
12 Roast beef J.. . 
20 Ham J 


3 Rice 

20 Mush cereals , . 
45 Flour 


2 JCottolene, or 

<Beef fat 

6 Bacon / 

8 Butter 4 

2S Condensed 
.... Milk r. 2, 4 - 
5 Shelled 

almonds / . . - 
... (Walnuts) .... 


I Salt 

i^ Pepper 

... (Ketchup) .... 
'/i Mustard 

... (Chicken) ... 
... (Lobster) 

6 Cheese s 

4 Sardines J 

6 Salmon 3 . .. 
.... (Peptonoids) .. 

6 Jam or jelly 
4 Chocolate, J, 4 

40 Sugar 4 

— (Maple sugar).. 

.... (Svrup) 

I Honey 

.... (Vinegar) 

... . (Horseradish).. 
1+ Baking powder 
... (Citric acid) ... 
— {Lemon ex- 
. .. tract) 

— (Smoked her- 

3 Coffee 

<A Tea 

.... (Cocoa) 

2 Whiskey 

.. . (Onions) 

6 Dried fruits?.. 

.. (Rkisins) 

... (Dales, figs)... 

Total, 352 pounds, or 3 pounds per day per man. 

Theodore S. Solomons. 

A Map of Bubb's Creek B.\sin. 

The small map of Bubb's Creek Basin, which appears in this 
number of the Bulletin, will, I hope, be of assistance to those 
who desire to visitthat rugged, though picturesque, portion of the 
King's River Sierra. The more important trails and routes are 
shown along the main stream, up the south fork, and about Mt. 
Gardner and the Kearsarge Pass. The source of the main stream 
appears to be in a wide basin between the Main Crest on the 
east and the spurs of the Kings-Kern divide on the south and west. 
Though no reliable information concerning the trails in this basin 
was obtained, there can be little doubt, from the appearance of 
the country, that it is readily accessible to pack-animals. 

The positions of peaks were determined by reference to Mt. 
Whitney and Mt. Williamson, whose geographical coordinates are 
given in Captain Wheeler's " Geographical Surveys West of the 
One Hundredth Meridian." These give a base line about five 
miles long, and are easily distinguishable from any other high 
points. From this base Goat Mountain, Mt. Gardner, Mt. Brewer, 
Charlotte Peak, University Peak, and an unnamed peak north of 
the Kearsarge Pass, were located as accurately as a small survey- 
or's compass and the local variation of the needle would allow. 
These six points form the basis of the map. Each wa.s ascended, 
and the intervening country sketched, the sketch being afterwards 

Notes and Correspondence. 115 

corrected by numerous compass bearings. All the peaks shown 
on the map were thus located. 

The local magnetic vari.Htion on some of these high peaks is 
ver>' great, being as much as 15° in certain cases. Azimuths taken 
by compass are almost useless, unless checked by back readings 
from points whose magnetic variations are known. Hence, in 
general, a small plane table would probably be as good, or even 
better, for such work. J. N. Le Conte. 

Maps of the United States Geological Survey. 

Readers of the Sierra Club Bulleti.n will be glad to learn 
that the fine topographical maps of the United States Geological 
Survey, hitherto procurable only through favor or by personal 
solicitation, are now offered to the public generally at a merely 
nominal price — in fact, at no more than the cost of the impression. 
The following communication, recently received from Mr. H. C. 
Rizer, Chief Clerk of the Survey, gives all necessary information 
as to how the maps may be procured: — 

" By Congressional enactment, approved February 18, 1897, the 
topographic and geological maps and atlases of the United States 
made and published by the Geological Survey must be disposed 
of through sale. 

" The topographic maps are prepared from actual surveys, to 
serve as a basis for the geologic maps, and show surface eleva- 
tions, roads, and all necessary physical and cultural details. Each 
sheet is designated by the name of a principal town, or some 
prominent natural feature within the district, is si.vteen and a half 
by twenty inches, and covers one sixteenth, one quarter, or the 
whole of a geographical degree, according as the scale is one, 
two, or four miles to the inch, the scale varying with the character 
of the country. About nine hundred such sheets have been 
printed. They will be sold at the rate of five cents per 
SHEET. Orders for one hundred sheets, or over, whether for 
the same or different sheets, will be sold at the rate of two cents 
per sheet. Proportional charges will be made for the larger size 
and special maps. 

"The folios of the Geologic Atlas of the United States, con- 
taining the topographic and the areal, economic, and structural 
geologic maps, together with suitable textual descriptions of the 
region, will be sold at prices varying with the size of the publica- 
tion — usually twenty-five cents. 

" Lists of maps and folios and other publications of the Survey 
will be furnished on application. Remittances must be by money 
order, made payable to the Director of the United States Geolog- 


Sierra Club Bulletin. 

ical Survey, or in currency (at sender's risk) for the exact amount. 
Stamps and checks cannot be accepted. Communications should 
be addressed to:— 

" The Director, 

"United States Geological Survey, 
"Washington, D. C." 

Some forty-one separate atlas sheets of areas in California are 
already announced as ready for distribution, together with thirteen 

in Nevada, sixteen in Arizona, and smaller numbers in Oregon and 
Washington. For the convenience of those who may wish to order 
these maps, the completed sheets of the Sierra region, together 
with some reported as in progress, are represented in the location of 
their areas and under their descriptive titles, in the accompanying 
diagram. Work upon the shaded regions is, as yet, incomplete; 

Notes and Correspondence. 117 

but the Dardanelles sheet, we learn, may soon be expected, 
and the Yosemite sheet awaits only the engraving. It should be 
observed that all the sheets of the series are of the same size; the 
eight larger areas, therefore, at the top of the diagram, are pre- 
sented on a smaller scale. As far as learned, the completed maps 
of areas in California, not shown in the diagram, are as follows: — 

Maps of Ordinary Scale. Special Maps of Larger Scale. 

Anaheim, Redlands. Banner Hill, 

Camp Mojave, Redondo. Genesee, 

EI Cajon, San Bernardino, Grass Valley, 

Escondido, San Francisco, Indian Valley, 

Las fiolsas, . San Pedro, Nevada City, 

Oceanside, Santa Monica, Taylorsville, 

and one large map, combining the topography of four ordinary 
sheets, entitled Lake Tahoe and Vicinity. 

The following folios of the Geologic Atlas for California are 
announced as ready for distribution, at the uniform price of twen- 
ty-five cents each, save the Nevada City folio, which costs fifty 
cents: — 

Placenille, Marysville, Nevada City, 

Sacramento, Lassen Peak, Pyramid Peak, 

Jackson, Smartsville. 

Our Sister Societies. 

The SociETA Alpina Meridionale sends us its Calendario 
for 1897, containing the programmes of the Club and a valuable 
compilation of data concerning the heights and various ascents of 
many Alpine summits. 

The Alpine Journal (London) contains an interesting series 
of accounts of mountain climbing in the Alps, Norway, and New 
Zealand, and a brief notice of an ascent of Aconcagua (over 
24,000 feet) by Zurbriggen, on January 14th. His companion, Mr. 
Fitzgerald, failed to reach the summit on account of sickness over- 
coming him at an elevation of 23,000 feet. 

Several interesting articles occur in the publications of the 
geographical societies. 

The February number of the National Geographic Magazine 
contains a careful paper, well illustrated, on Crater Lake and 
the region about, by J. S. Diller, of the United States Geological 
Survey. The Bulletin of the American Geographical Society, 
XXVIII, No. 4, contains a summary of the topographic work of 
the United Slates Geological Survey in 1895, by Henry Gannett, 
a valuable article on Mexico, its geography, geology, fauna, com- 
merce, etc., by Minister Romero, and a brief account of the 
utmost waters of the Missouri, by J. V. Brower. 

ii8 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

The Bulletin of the Geographical Club of Philadelphia, and 
the Bulletin and Comptes Renuus of the Soci^t^ de Geographic 
contain interesting articles, not, however, this time, in the line of 
mountain explorations. 

VVe acknowledge, also, the receipt of the Biennial Report ok 
THE Bureau of Highways, which has to do with a subject not for- 
eign to the interests of the Sierra Club, and of that valuable journal. 
Science, containing many notes of interest which it exceeds our 
space to notice here. 

Among other journals received are the transactions of the 
Massachusetts Horticultural Society for 1896, and the proceedings 
of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 1896. (Pt. 

Book Notices. i 

"A Guide to Chamonix and the Range of Mont Blanc," just 
issued by John Murray, and from the pen of the veteran moun- 
taineer and author, Edward Whymper, is a work far above the 
ordinary guidebook in merit and interest. It is at the same time 
a guidebook in the usual sense, and a very interesting history of 
mountaineering in the region indicated in the title. To every 
lover of the mountains it will be found more entertaining than a 
novel, and the pleasure of reading is much enhanced by the excel- 
lent and well selected maps and illustrations. Of special interest 
are the accounts of De Saussuse's ascent of Mont Blanc in 1787, 
and of the surveys and work of construction of Dr. Janssen's 
observatory on the glacier crowned summit of Mont Blanc. 

" Mountain Observatories in America and Europe," by Edward 
S. Holden, published by the Smithsonian Institution, is another 
new book, the scope of which is by no means confined to technical 
data, but includes a very interesting compilation of many facts and 
experiences relating to life and exploits at high elevations. It 
contains also a considerable number of excellent full page illus- 
trations of mountain summit scenery, collated from various 

" Further Contributions to the Geology of the Sierra Nevada," 
by Henry W. Turner, a publication of the United States Geologi- 
cal .Survey, will not be without interest to the Sierra traveler, even 
if not a trained geologist. Though dealing mainly with the 
petrography of various districts of the Sierra, it contains many 
observations of a more general character, relating to the history 
and structure of the Sierra, that will be of interest to the observ- 
ing mountain climber. For instance, in the account of the 
" Yosemite Area " (p. 710), the author notes the observation of 

Notes and Correspondence. 119 

"glacial markings dose to the water's edge in August, when the 
water is low, showing how little cutting has been done since the 
glacial period. The Grand Canon has here a depth of 5000 feet." 
Sierra Club members will also be pleased to note that, " a geologic 
map will be made of the Yosemite area in the near future." Mr. 
Turner, in referring to the Mt. Dana area, remarks: "The enter- 
prising members of the Sierra Club of San Francisco are familiar 
with the district, and in several of the Bulletins of the Club may 
be found descriptions and good illustrations of the scenery." 

" Rocks, Rock Weathering, and Soils," by G. P. Merrill (The 
Macniillan Co., 66 Fifth avenue, N. Y., price I4.00), is a much 
more interesting work for general reading than might, perhaps, 
be inferred from the title. The author is Curator of Geology in 
the United States National Museum, and deals in a very readable 
way with the influences at work in the disintegration of rocks. 
The frequenter of the mountains, who has noted the peculiar and 
characteristic methods of weathering of the various rock forma- 
tions, will find it very instructive to see here the causes of these 
peculiarities in the physical and chemical structure of the rocks. 
Many illustrations add to the clearness of the explanations, and 
copious quotations and references increase its value to the more 
special student. The concluding sections on the influence of for- 
ests and on the evil effects of their denudation, should be read by all 
who desire information on the vital questions of forest preservation 
and management. John M. Stillman. 

Sierra Club Bulletin. 


From April 30, 1896, to April 30, 1897. 

The past year of the Sierra Club has been one of quiet 
growth ; its outward signs of activity have not been so many 
as in former years, but the appreciation of its work has 
been manifested in various ways. Particularly is this true 
in reference to the recognition that has been awarded the 
Club's publications by the older kindred organizations of 

The visit of the Forestry Commission appointed by the 
National Academy of Sciences to the Pacific Coast last 
autumn was one of great importance to the Club; and the 
Directors offered every assistance possible to the Commis- 
sion in its work, and believe that their efibrts were to some 

The Register Boxes prepared for the summer of 1896 
were much better adapted than the former ones; but they 
were not ready soon enough, so that but three were taken 
out. The following reports of them have been made : — 

" Register Box No. 13. — Deposited on the summit of 
Pyramid Peak on the 20th day of July, 1896, by 
Edward R. Taylor and Henry H. Taylor. The altitude of 
this summit is 10,020 feet. Panorama is: Dick's Peak, 
north; portion of Lake Tahoe visible in northeast; Tallac 
Mountain, northeast to left of Tahoe; Echo Lake, northeast 
by east; Heather Lake, northeast; Strawberry Valley, 
south; Desolation Valley, north, running to the east. We 
came from Gilmore's by way of Susie Lake; leaving at 
8:30 A.M., and reaching summit at 2:50 p.m. The day is 

Secretary' s Report. I2i 

delightful, with gentle breeze on summit; cloudless over- 
head, with some cumulus clouds low down in horizon to 
eastward; temperature, 90° Fahrenheit." — Edward R. 

Register Box No. 14. — " If you go up Bubb's Cafion 
to South Caflon, turn and ascend it to its fork, a mile or 
two above East Lake, follow then the eastern fork to its 
head in an amphitheatre two or three miles east, you will 
find yourself at the base of the eastern precipices of a grand 
mountain that juts northward from the mass of the Kings- 
Kern Divide. It has a sort of double summit. Upon the 
northern of the two summits I built a monument and left 
therein the Sierra Club Cylinder, No. 14. The mountain 
we called Mt. Stanford, and was on the Club map (I 
think) as peak 'No. 5.'" — Bolton C. Brown. 

Register Box No. 16 was deposited on the summit of 
Dick's Peak on Sunday, the 26th day of July, 1896, by 
Samuel H. Boardman and Elliott McAllister. They 
reported that they climbed to the summit from Half Moon 
Lake in one hour and ten minutes; that the panorama 
showed the headwaters of Rubicon River to west and 
northwest, the Emerald Bay region to north; Tallac Moun- 
tain to east. Pyramid Peak to south; that the altitude is 
10,015 feet, being 230 feet higher than Tallac Mountain; 
that a fine specimen of the Pbms albicaulis was found a 
few feet below the summit; that they had climbed north 
from Half Moon Lake, up the water-run, and well over the 
saddle on the ridge, before turning west and directly up to 
the summit. 

Register Box No. 10, deposited on the summit of Mt. 
Tallac on the 26th day of September, 1894, by Mr. 
Dorville Libby, was found to be in a bad condition. The 
Register Box was sound; but the record had been com- 
pletely filled on both sides of the sheets; the sheets were so 
broken and so badly torn by reason of the character of the 

,122 Sierra Club BtiUdin. 

paper used, that the record was brought back to the Club. 
A strong Hnen paper has been adopted for the new cyhnder. 
During the past few months the best of the Club's pho- 
tographs have been on exhibition in San Francisco, at Mr. 
Vickery's, at the University of California, and in Los 
Angeles. The thanks of the Sierra Club are again due to 
Mr. Howard Longley of Los Angeles, who has presented 
another album of photographs taken in the King's River 
Cafion region. 

The total collected for dues, for the year ending April 

30, 1897 I826 85 

Publications sold up to same date 26 64 

^853 49 

Cash deposited to account of Treasurer $846 85 

Balance on hand 6 64 

I853 49 

The following are the Directors elected for the ensuing 
year, at the annual election of April 24, 1897: — 

Prof. C. B. Bradley, Mr. John Muir, 

Prof. George Davidson, Mr. Elliott McAllister, 
Pres. David Starr Jordan, Mr. Warren Olney, 
Prof. Joseph Le Conte, Prof. J. H. Senger, 
Prof. J. M. Stillman. 

The officers elected by the Board of Directors will be 
announced later. 

Elliott McAllister, 


Treasurer' s Report. 123 

From May i, 1896, to April 30, 1S97. 


Cash on hand, May 2, 1896 I242 18 

Total cash received from Secretary 824 98 

Total $1,067 16 


Printing $249 10 

Clerk hire 60 00 

Rent no 00 

Janitor 12 00 

Postage and expressage 76 15 

Stationery 20 55 

Binding 21 60 

Typewriting 4 70 

Photographic plates and engraving 106 62 

Albums 17 15 

Maps 201 95 

Brass Tubes and expressage 23 10 

Commission on collections 19 90 

Incidentals 7 51 

I930 33 
Cash on hand 136 83 

Total $1,067 16 

Henry Senger, 



Sierra Club Bulletin. 


This is 

Enrolled since January, 1894. 
continuation of the list published on page 107, Volume 

Abbot, Mr. Philip S.* . 
Andrews, Mr. T. P. . 
Atkinson, Mr. Chas. B. 
Bartling, Miss Florence 
Baxter, Mr. Clifford . 
Bell, Mr. Chas. D. 
Bender, Mr. C. T. . 
Benson, Lieut. H. C. . 
Berry, Mr. Thomas C. 
Boardman, Mr. Samuel H. 
Borland, Mr. Archie 
BosQui, Mr. Edward 
Brewer, Prof. William H. 
Broder, Mr. John . 
Brown, Prof. Bolton C. . 
Brown, Prof. Elmer E. 
Caldwell, Mr. Wm. A. . 
Campbell, Mr. Douglas H. 
Carlon, Mr. T. H. . 
Carroll, Mr. J. P. . 
Carter, Mr. Henry C. . 
Chickering, Mr. Allen L. 
Church, Jr., Prof. J. E. . 
Coleman, Mr. A. B. 
Cooke, Mr. Fred. A. 
Corbett, Mr. H. W. 
Cory, Prof. Clarence L. 

. Milwaukee, Wis. 

109 Montgomery St., San Francisco 
. Yosemite, Cal. 
. 2324 Clianning Way, Berkeley, Cal. 

2415 Haste St., Berkeley, Cal. 
. Berkeley, Cal. 

Reno, Nevada 
. Presidio, San Francisco 

202 California St., San Francisco 
. 1750 Franklin St., San Francisco 

Mills Building, San Francisco 
, 523 Clay St., San Francisco 

418 Orange St., New Haven, Conn. 
. Visalia, Cal. 

Stanford University, Cal. 
. Berkeley, Cal. 

Berkeley, Cal. 

Stanford University, Cal. 

Coulterville, Cal. 
. Randsburg, Kern Co., Cal. 

233 Fifth Ave., New York 
. Berkeley, Cal. 

Reno Nev. 

Martinez, Cal. 

Truckee, Cal. 

18 Rue Bonaparte, Paris, France 

Berkeley, Cal. 


Regular Members. 


Crocker, Mr. H. R. . 
Demarest, Mr. D. C. . 
DiBBLEE, Mr. a. J. 
DoBLE, Mr. Robt. Mc F. 
Eastwood, Miss Alice 
Eells, Mr. a. G. . 
Ellis, Mr. S. L. N. 
Fox, Mr. Chas. J. 
Freer, Mr. Selwyn C. . 
Fulton, Mr. Robt. 
GiBBs, Mr. Geo. 
Glascock, Hon. John R. . 
Goodfellow, Mr. W. S. 
Gray, Mr. E. P. . 
Greenleaf, Mr. Chas. R. . 
Hahn, Mr. B. VV. 
Hamilton, Mr. James L. 
Hammond, Mr. VVm. H. 
Henderson, Mr. F. G. . 
Hill, Mr. E. Coke 
Hill, Mr. Robert L. 
hodgkingson, miss frances 
Hopper, Mr. Jos. C. 
Howard, Mr. Carl . 
Jacobs, Mr. Lester 
Jaffa, Prof. M. E. 
Jensen, Mr. E. VV. . 
Johnson, Mr. J. S. 
Johnston, Mrs. Anna M. 
Kelley, Mr. Tracy R. 
Kernaghan, Mr. Geo. F 
Kinney, Mr. Abbott . 
Leavens, Mr. G. F. 
Lenher, Mr. Victor 
Lewers, Mr. Robt. 
Lillis, Mr. S. C. . 
Lisser, Prof. Louis 
Little, Mr. Chas. N. . 
LoNGLEY, Mr. Howard 
Lukens, Mr. T. P. 
Madray, Mr. M. R. 

Sequoia, Tuolumne Co., Cal. 

Altaville, Stanislaus Co., Cal. 

Ross, Marin Co., Cal. 

202 Sansome St., San Francisco 

819 Market St., San Francisco 

325 Montgomery St., San Francisco 

Visalia, Cal. 

845 Tenth St., San Diego, Cal. 


Reno, Nevada 

Berkeley, Cal. 

969 Broadway, Oakland 

East Oakland, Cal. 

Nucleus Bldg, San Francisco 

2700 Bancorft Way, Berkeley, Cal. 

Pasadena, Cal. 

Exeter, Cal. 

Visalia, Cal. 

Courthouse, Los Angeles, Cal. 

969 Broadway, Oakland, Cal. 

Badger, Tulare Co., Cal. 

Deer Park Inn, Truckee, Cal. 

Kennet, Shasta Co., Cal. 

1206 Alice St., Oakland, Cal. 

Mills Bldg, San Francisco 

Berkeley, Cal. 

Camera Club, San Francisco 

Visalia, Cal. 

Bo.x 36, Visalia, Cal. 

2324 Channing Way, Berkeley, Cal. 

Pasadena, Cal. 

Lamanda Park, Cal. 

Pasadena, Cal. 

Mechanicsburg, Penn. 

Reno, Nevada 

2826 California St., San Francisco 

Mills College, Alameda Co., Cal. 

Stanford University, Cal. 

Courthouse, Los Angeles, Cal. 

Pasadena, Cal. 

722 Front St., Fresno, Cal. 


Sierra Club Bulletin. 

Magee, Mr. Walter . 
Manson, Mr. Marsden 
McClure, Lieut. N. F. 
McPhaill, Mr. J. S. 
Mead, Mr. Louis D. . 
Meredith, Mr Geo. S 
Metcalf, Mr. J. B. 
Michaels, Mr. Henry 
Morgan, Mr. Ross 
MuiR, Mr. D. G. 
MuiR. Mrs. John . 
MuNKHOusE, Mr. O'Gorman 
Oge, Mr. Wm. L. . . . 
Otis, Mr. G. E. . 
Page, Dr. B. M. . . . 
Pendergrass, Mr. J. R. . 
Pierce, Mr. E. B. . 
PiscHL, Dr. Kaspar . 
Pomeroy, Mr. J. N. 
Power, Mr. Maurice E. . 
POWNALL, Mr. J. B. . . 

Reynolds, Mr. H. G. 
Richardson, Prof. G. Mann 
Richardson, Mr. W. L. . 
Ross, Prof. Edw. . 
RowELL, Mr. Chester H. . 
Sanborn, Mr. F. G. . 
Sanders, Mr. Geo. H. . 
Setchell, Prof. Wm. A. . 
Slauson, Mr. Jas. . 
Smith, Prof. A. W. . 
Sperry, Mr. Jas. L. 
Stanton, Mr. Wm. 
Starr, Mr. VV. A. . . . 
Stephenson, Mr. F. W. . 
Stokes, Mr. Anson Phelps . 
Stone, Mr. F. P. . 
Story, Mr. H. L. . 
Stuart, Mr. W. C. . 
Swett, Mr. John . 
Tenney, Mr. H. Melville . 

Berkeley, Cal. 

Sacramento, Cal. 

Fort Bliss, Texas 

Visalia, Cal. 

Berkeley, Cal. 

Union Nat'l Bank, Oakland, Cal. 

Berkeley, Cal. 

34 First St., San Francisco 

loi Sansome St., San Francisco 

Martinez, Cal. 

Martinez, Cal. 

L. and S. F. Bank, San Francisco 

723 Market St., San Francisco 

Redlands, Cal. ) 

214 W.California St., Pasadena, Cal. 

Visalia, Cal. 

693 Los Lobles Ave., Pasadena, Cal. 

63 Crocker Bldg, San Francisco 

222 Sansome St., San Francisco 

Visalia, Cal. 

Columbia, Tuolumme Co., Cal. 

Pasadena, Cal. 

Stanford University, Cal. 

Pasadena, Cal. 

Stanford University, Cal. 

Fresno, Cal. 

Bancroft-Whitney Co., San Fran'co 

418 California St., San Francisco 

Berkeley, Cal. 

Los Angeles, Cal. 

Stanford University, Cal. 

Big Trees, Calaveras Co., Cal. 

Pasadena, Cal. 

1058 Eighteenth St., Oakland, Cal. 

Care Sherman & Clay, San Fran'co 

47 Cedar St., New York 

Bancroft-Whitney Co., San Fran'co 

Altadena, Los Angeles Co., Cal. 

Pasadena, Cal. 

Martinez, Cal. 

396 South Second St., SanJos^.Cal. 

Regjilar Members. 


Thaw, Dr. A. Blair . 
Thompson, Mr. Chas. S. 


Tinning, Mr. W. S. 
Tinning, Mrs. W. S. . 
Turner, Mr. H. W. 
Upham, Mr. Isaac O. 
Veeder, Mr. H. P. 
Vivian, Mr. Arthur H. 
Wentworth, Mr. B. H. 
WiELAND, Mr. Albert G. 
Wood, Dr. Thos. D. . . 
Wright, Mr. Howard E. 

Santa Barbara, Cal. 

99 Adams St., Chicago, 111. 

1 169 Broadway, Oakland, Cal. 

Martinez, Cal. 

Martinez, Cal. 

U. S. Geol. Sur'y, Washington, D.C. 

loi Battery St., San Francisco 

Angels Camp, Cal. 

Flood Building, San Francisco 

Denver Nat'l Bank, Denver, Golo. 

Crocker Building, San Francisco 

Stanford University, Cal. 

302 California St., San Francisco 

Number i6 

Sierra Club Bulletin 

Vol. II No. 3 

January, 1898 


Sierra Club Bulletin 

January, 1898 

Vol. II 

No. 3 


The Expedition of His Highness, Prince Luigi 

Amedeo of Savoy, Duke of Abruzzi, to Mt. 

St. Elias in Southern Alaska— Plates XVlli, 

XIX, XX Dr. Filippo de Fillippi 

On Mt. Lefroy, August 3, 1897— Plate XXI . . C. S. Thompson 
Conifers of the Pacific Slope— How to Distin- . 

guish Them — Part II — Plates XXII, XXIll, 

XXIV John G. Lemmon 

A Woman's Trip through the Tuolumne Caiion 

Jennie Ellsworth Price 

The Kaweah Group— Plate XXV . . Professor William R. Dudley 

Rainier; A Direct Route from Susanville to Fall River 
Mills; A Route up the Merced River; Book Review; Forestry 

publication by the Sierra 
ins such publication, should 
'egory, 222 Sansome Street, 

istribution and sale of the 
ing its business generally, 
tary of the Sierra Club, 
rancisco, California. 




d^- d^d^^ 

Sierra Club Bulletin. 

Vol. II. San Francisco, January, 1898. No. 3. 





[It is with much pleasure that the Bulletin presents to its 
readers the only full account yet published in America of the expe- 
dition of the Prince of Savoy to Mt. St. Ellas. It has been prepared 
from a lecture by Dr. Filippo de Fillippi, delivered in Turin before 
the llalian Alpine Club, and first printed in the Rivista Alensile 
del Club Alpino Ilaliano, for November, 1897. The translation is 
by Dr. Paolo de Vecchi, a member both of the Torino Italian Alpine 
Club and the Sierra Club. — Editor.'] 

In the beginning of February, 1897, Prince Louis of 
Savoy decided to make an expedition to Alaska and attempt 
the ascent of Mt. St. Elias. He selected as companions, 
Umberto Cagni, member of the section of the Torino Italian 
Alpine Club, Francesco Gonella, President of the same sec- 
tion, Vittorio Sella, member of the section of Biella of the 
Italian Alpine Club, and Dr. Filippo de Fillippi of the sec- 
tion of Torino. To complete the party there were four 
guides: Joseph Petigax and Lorenzo Croux, Antonio 
Maquignaz and Andrea Pellissier; and, also, Erminio 
Botta, the special guide of Mr. Sella, whom he had accom- 
panied on his trip to the Caucasus. 

As soon as the company was completed, the work of 
preparing the material for the expedition was begun. Dr. 
Paolo de Vecchi, a member of the section of Torino of the 


Sierra Club Bulletin. 

Italian Alpine Club, who lives in San Francisco, California, 
and who is also a member of the Sierra Club, took charge 
of the preparation of food and arms.* Professor Fay, of 
Boston, ex-President of the Appalachian Mountain Club, 
took charge of the means for transportation. Professor 
George Davidson, of San Francisco, and Israel C. Russell, of 
Michigan, gave much valuable advice and bibliographical 
information, so that gradually the materials for a success- 
ful expedition were prepared, and the trip rendered more 
rapid and easy. The equipment of the expedition was 
made in great part in Italy and London, only the food and 
arms being bought in San Francisco. 

The party left Torino, May 17, 1S97, and, after spending 
three days in London buying materials, left Liverpool on 
the 22d of May, on the " Lucania " of the " Cunard Line," 
had a splendid trip, and arrived in New York the night of 
May 28th; and the following morning proceeded, via the 
Pennsylvania Railroad, to San Francisco, arriving there the 
3d of June, at night. The six days in San Francisco were 
busily spent selecting the food and properly preparing it 
for such a trip; and on the evening of the 9th the expedi- 
tion left San Francisco by rail, for Seattle, where it arrived 
the nth, in time to catch the " City of Topeka," which 
sailed the 13th for Sitka, the capital of Alaska. A few days 
before, the schooner "Aggie," specially chartered, had left 
Seattle to wait for the expedition at Sitka, bringing with 
her ten American packers of Seattle, under the orders of 
Major E. S. Ingraham, who had selected them specially for 
the purpose. 

Alaska, which is so well known at this moment from the 
discovery of rich deposits of gold, has no need of very much 
description. It is separated from the English territory by 
the 141st meridian of longitude W. (Greenwich), to a point 

♦Note.— In this connection Dr. de Vecchi gratefully acknowledges the kind- 
ness of Captain Gustave Niebaum, Mr. Leon Sloss. and others of the Alaska 
Commercial Company. 

The Ascent of Mt. St. Elias. 131 

thirty miles from the Pacific. From this point the bound- 
ary Hne follows the summit of the mountains lying parallel 
with the coast, in an irregular line, as far as latitude 56 
north, at the head of the Portland Canal, and thence down 
the canal to Prince of Wales Island. It is a long strip of 
land extending along British Columbia for 500 miles. In 
its southern part this portion of the coast is an intricate 
archipelago, a continuation of which extends along the 
coast of Columbia to the island of Vancouver. 

Sitka, the capital of Alaska, lies in this extreme south- 
ern point of the territory, among a few settlements of white 
people, with a great number of Indians. The condition of 
the country is almost the same as it was thirty years ago, 
when it passed from the Russian government to the United 
States. This government has continued, by more progres- 
sive methods, to utilize the productions of the country, 
which are principally furs, fish, and minerals. The Indians 
of the coast are at present under a very liberal government, 
but apparently are only in part civilized. They could very 
much improve their condition if it were not for the unfortu- 
nate tendency of the race which renders their civilization 

The trip from Seattle to Sitka occupies six days, and 
the boat runs through the strait between the island of Van- 
couver and the coast of British Columbia, along a tortuous 
canal of the Alexander Archipelago, which is very pictur- 
esque and rich in almost virgin forests and in glaciers which 
come to the sea. 

It is impossible to give in this short article an adequate 
description of these fantastic surroundings, of the strange 
luminous night in which the sun-setting is confused with 
the sun-rising, of the sea full of icebergs, which float 
quietly around the boat, and of the coast capriciously cut up 
by canals and small bays, and covered everywhere with 
a thick vegetation of conifers. The trip is a continual sue- 

132 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

cession of beautiful tableaux of admirable color, and keeps 
the passenger on the bridge of the boat fascinated by such 
new and striking views of savage nature. 

The most populous city of Alaska is Juneau, the only 
city formed there since its occupation by the United States. 
It is situated at the end of a small bay, near a well- 
known mine — the Treadwell — and is at present the starting 
point for the miner who goes to the rich placers of the 
interior. Unless disappointed in the strong immigration now 
going in that direction, this city will grow very rapidly. 
When the expedition passed, in June, 1897, the place was 
very quiet and the few inhabitants seemed to be unoccupied. 
Besides the few white people, there were a good many 
Indians loafing around, — dirty, with faces colored and hair 
hanging over their shoulders. Only two months afterward, 
the expedition returning found the city very lively, full of 
an excited crowd in a ferment from the discovery of the 

From Juneau the boat goes up to Glacier Bay, and, over 
the blue sea, full of large blocks of ice which appear to be 
marble tombs of a large cemetery, emerge two great ice 
docks. To the left appears the imposing peak of IVIt Fair- 
weather, and to the right, at the end of the bay, the Muir 
Glacier, from the walls of which fall, at intervals, masses of 
ice, which plunge into the sea with a deafening sound. From 
accurate measurements made by G. F. Wright, the center 
of this glacier moves with a speed of twenty yards a day. 

The 20th of June, the expedition landed at Sitka, situate 
on the i.sland of Baranoff, with a natural bay covered with 
islands and rocks and opening on the ocean. Sitka is the 
limit where the regular navigation stops, and there the 
archipelago which surrounds the coast stops also, between 
the fifty-eighth and fifty-ninth parallels. From this point 
there extends to the northwest a bare coast, and in a length 
of 300 miles there is only one bay of importance, — Yakutat. 

The Ascent of Mt. St. Elias. 133 

All the rest of the coast is exposed to the stormy sea, and 
is very dangerous to approach. This part of the Pacific is 
navigated once a month by the steamers of the Alaska 
Commercial Company as far as Cook's Inlet, where com- 
mences the great peninsula of Alaska to which is attached 
the chain of the Aleutian Islands separating Behring Sea 
from the Pacific Ocean. On one of these steamers, the 
"Bertha," the expedition left, the night of the 20th of 
June, with the "Aggie" in tow, having our guides and the 
ten American packers under Major Ingraham. The trip 
was far from good, and the weather did not allow the sight 
of the mountains to be enjoyed. 

To the north of Sitka, and beyond the opening of Cross 
Sound, the coast is straight, without any bay, bordered by 
bastion-like rocks hanging over the sea, behind which are the 
imposing tops of Mt. Crillon, Mt. Fairweather, and Mt. La 
Perouse. Then are seen the great Pacific glaciers, plunging 
into the ocean, and after some fifty miles begins to appear 
the top of Mt. St. Elias, which seems to emerge gradually 
from that sea of ice. One understands how every naviga- 
tor has been impressed by such a sight, and especially why 
St. Elias has attracted the attention of so many daring 
mountain climbers. 

Around, isolated from St. Elias, toward the east, 
appear also, in their magnitude, the tops of Mt. Augusta, 
Mt. Logan, Mt. Cook, and Mt. Vancouver. 

At 10:30 of the night of the 22d of June, the " Bertha" 
with the schooner "Aggie," reached port Mulgrave on 
Yakutat Bay, opposite the Indian village, and was received 
by the cheering natives gathered at the landing, and the 
terrible barking of the innumerable dogs. The village has 
perhaps twenty wooden houses, which are all small 

There are here four or five white people, among them 
Rev. Hendriksen, a Swedish missionary, who is much inter- 

134 Sierra Club BulUiin. 

ested in meteorology, and who took charge of the two 
barometers left there by the expedition. 

A few hours after the morning of the 23d, the " Bertha" 
left Port Mulgrave with the "Aggie" in tow, and crossing 
the bay, landed on the coast of the Malaspina Glacier. 
This glacier has its head at the apparent foot of the moun- 
tains above named, has an average elevation of 300 yards 
above the sea, and is about fifty miles long by thirty in width, 
with an approximate surface of 1776 square miles. The 
front line of the glacier extends along the coast for ninety- 
four miles, and is separated from it only by a narrow strip of 
forest, which appears here and there covering it with; quite 
a rich vegetation. The coast is bare, save only at a few 
points, and at one of these points the ice extends to the sea. 
From this immense extent of glacier run many rivers 
and creeks, which bring to the sea a large quantity of 

Four expeditions had before attempted the ascent of Mt. 
St. Elias. The first, in 1886, sent by the New York Times, 
included Professor Libby, F. Schwatka, and H. W. Seton- 
Karr. The second, in 1888, included E. H. and Harold 
W. Topham, G. Broke and William Williams. Both 
landed on the Pacific coast, opposite Chaix Hills, the land- 
ing being on the Malaspina, to the southward of St. Elias, 
and they tried to reach the top from the west and the south. 
The first expedition reached only 75 11 feet. The second 
reached 8154 feet, but both had to abandon the attempt, 
as the slope selected was too steep, and also on account of 
the lack of good packers and sufficient provisions. 

The other two expeditions, both directed by Professor 
Israel C. Russell, were organized by the National Geo- 
graphic Society and by the U. S. Geological Survey, in 1890 
and 1891. The first year, Russell landed at theendof Yakutat 
Bay, at the foot of the ridge which comes from the eastern 
part of the Cook chain, and keeping along the base of it on 

The Ascent of Mt. St. Elias. 135 

the boundary between Malaspina Glacier and the glaciers tri- 
butary to the chain, he reached the Hitchcock Hills, and 
through the depression of the Pinnacle Pass, the Seward 
Glacier, and then, crossing the Dome Pass of the Samovar 
chain, he reached the Agassiz Glacier. From there he had 
before him the natural road of the large basin of the Newton 
Glacier to the top, but bad weather, due especially to the 
season being late, compelled him to return when he was 
almost at the foot of the mountain. 

The next year he made the attempt again, landing on the 
Pacific coast where Schwatka and Topham had landed. 
The heavy seas were the cause of a wreck which cost the 
lives of six persons. Crossing the Malaspina, he climbed 
the glaciers of Agassiz and Newton, to the base of the Pyra- 
mid, and the morning of the 24th of July, 1891, he left the 
last camp, with two companions, to attempt the ascent. 
With great fatigue, cutting the steps on the steep wall of 
snow which closed the end of the Newton Basin, he arrived 
at noon on the hill between Mt. St. Elias and Mt. Newton, 
12,284 fest^ above the sea, and began to ascend the 
ridge of snow which extended directly from the hill to the 
top. At 14,432 feet of altitude, he had to renounce the 
attempt on account of the late hour and the threatening 
weather. Wet to the bone for many days, badly protected 
from the snow in poorly-made tents, exhausted physically 
by the continual work, and impressed by the gigantic ava- 
lanches falling from such a steep wall to the valley, he 
decided to wait for good weather, and finally abandoned the 
attempt; so returning to the coast where he had landed, he 
followed the edge of the Malaspina Glacier, exploring the 
immense coast to the end of the bay of Yakutat. 

These two explorations convinced the scientists that Mt. 
St. Elias was not a volcano, but a mountain formed of crystal 
rocks. Accurate triangulation and hypsometric determina- 
tion of the principal peak resulted in forming a very good 

136 Sierra Club Bulleiin. 

map, which was quite useful to the Prince, and will be so to 
any future expedition. 

Having explored all the coast of the Malaspina, Russell 
could indicate the best point for landing, and it was by his 
advice that his Highness landed on the west coast of the 
bay, a few miles north of Cape Manby, near the mouth of 
the Osar River. From this point the itinerary already 
planned was followed punctually. First crossing the forest 
and the large frontal moraine, a distance of eight miles, 
then traversing the Malaspina obliquely, and reaching the 
foot of the Hitchcock Hills, twenty-three miles farther, the 
expedition went up to the Seward Glacier, along the, west 
side of the hills, until it reached the ridge which borders the 
north part of the Pinnacle Glacier, ten miles from the 
Hitchcock Hills. From this place, crossing the Seward 
and Dome Pass, which is a depression of the chain of the 
Samovar Hills, they reached the eastern edge of the Agassiz 
Glacier, climbing the long valley of the Newton Glacier, a 
distance of twenty-two and one-half miles. This is domi- 
nated by a snowy hill, from which a ridge of ice with moderate 
inclination reaches St. Elias, and it is over this ridge that 
the expedition reached the top, returning on the same 

One hour after leaving the little Indian village on the 
morning of the 23d of June, a thick fog compelled the 
"Bertha" to stop in the middle of the bay, where the 
expedition had to wait impatiently until after two o'clock 
P. M., when the atmosphere began to clear up and the 
coast appeared with its line oi trees. 

Far away could now be seen the base of the Cook chain, 
with its icy block-tributary of the Malaspina filling up the 
valleys. The expedition approached very prudently to 
explore the coast, and at five was at the mouth of the Osar 
River. Umberto Cagni, who was exploring the coast, 

The Ascent of Ml. St. Elias. \2>1 

found the landing- possible, and the unloading of the steamer 
began at once. At eight o'clock the Prince left the 
schooner, and in a few hours, upon a sandy elevation on 
the border of the Osar River, the first camp was established, 
and at night the expedition tried to take rest, notwithstand- 
ing the furious attack of the numerous and ferocious mosqui- 
toes. The schooner left the same night for Port Mulgrave 
to wait for the return. 

Fifteen days before, another expedition under the direc- 
tion of Professor Bryant of Philadelphia had landed at the 
same point. 

About three miles of forest separated the camp from the 
ridge, and on the morning of the 24th, the Prince, heading 
a small party, went ahead to find a practical road. The 
other members, left to the care of the tent, put away safely 
the reserve materials which were to be left on the coast, 
and began to form the different packs, which had to be 
carried by the packers to the foot of the ridge, across the 
confluence of the Osar River, over a bridge naturally formed 
by the trunk of a tree. The road ran along the right side 
of the river, now in the sand or in the gravel of the large 
bed of the river, now at the edge of the forest, under large 
trees or in thick bushes, or through the rich vegetation of 
the ferns which grow under the pines, over a level plain 
made soft by the ferns and mosses with which the trunks of 
these conifers are covered. Hawks, crows, magpies, geese, 
seagulls, and many small birds made the place very lively 
with their cries. 

There were some footprints of bear, but the expedition 
had no time to lose. The second camp was established at 
150 feet above sea-level, on the edge of the ridge, which 
is bare and full of mud and stones, with some blocks of 
granite. Crossed by small creeks and ponds, the bottoms 
of which are of very fine sand, this ridge is about four miles 
long, and ends abruptly at 492 feet above the sea-level. 

138 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

with a very neat edge cut towards the glacier, yet covered 
with a thick layer of snow. 

For six days the work was directed with great ability by 
the Prince, and on the night of June 29th all of the provis- 
ions were brought to the edge of the glacier, with the help of 
four Indians who afterwards left for Yakutat, carrying the 
last letters. 

The sleds are ready, but a trying trip is anticipated on 
account of the soft snow. Upon the sleds is packed food for 
sixteen days; three large Whymper tents; two small Mum- 
mery tents for high mountains, with waterproof which 
keeps the bottom dry; a black tent for the photographic 
work; a sack-bed blanket of feathers, which they use on a 
very light iron folding bed, extending eight inches from the 
ground; two aluminum coal oil stoves, such as were used by 
Nansen, and two alcohol stoves, which can be quickly 
lighted during the march. Every member has a sack 
which contains a complete suit of clothes. Vittorio Sella 
has two large photographic machines. The expedition 
carries two mercurial barometers, two large aneroids, 
psychometer, hygrometer, compass, inclinometer, alcohol 
and mercurial thermometers, hypsometer, field glasses, sani- 
tary provisions, smoked spectacles, manilla ropes, wooden 
litters, such as were used by Sella on his trip to the 
Caucasus, which are to be used where it is impossible to 
use the sleds. 

The food is divided into daily rations. A tin box and a 
sack, weighing together forty-si.x pounds, contain all that 
is necessary for ten persons in one day — crackers, canned 
meat, paste for soup, Liebig's extract, butter and lard, con- 
densed milk, sugar, tea, coffee, half a pint of rum, choco- 
late, dried and canned fruit, cheese, salt, pepper, soap, 
matches, three candles, coal oil and alcohol. The American 
packers were provided in about the same way by Major 
Ingraham. Altogether the expedition carries on the four 
sleds a weight of 635 pounds. 

The Ascetit of Ml. St. Elias. 139 

The expedition leaves the ridge on the first day of July 
at 3 A. M. The temperature is two degrees centigrade, 
and the atmosphere clear. The immense white glacier of 
Malaspina extends as far as the sight. To the right, from 
the Cook chain, come different slopes, forming between them 
valleys full of ice; and in front, about twenty-five miles 
distant, stands Mt. Augusta at the entrance of the Seward 
Glacier, which falls in a cascade over the Malaspina, through 
a bed made by the Hitchcock and Samovar Hills on either 
side. Behind all these stands, like a gigantic pyramid, 
Mt. St. Elias. 

The expedition leaves the rocks with emotion, for there 
is before it the unknown expanse of snow and ice, an icy 
ocean to which there is no limit. What will become of the 
goods left behind if the rain and the snow should fall 
incessantly? But there is no time to think of emotions, 
and there is the little camp of green tents to rest the eye 
from this immense solitude. The tents are generally set in 
picturesque disorder, being arranged only so as to turn the 
openings away from the wind. If the snow was soft, it was 
soon made hard by the feet, and in a few minute-s after 
stopping and unloading the sleds, the camp was formed, the 
coal oil stove set to burn, and soon the soup was boiling. 
During the cold and rainy days the cooking was done 
under a tent, and after the meals a siesta and a little con- 
versation were the only distractions. 

It takes three days to cross the Malaspina Glacier. The 
sleds being very heavily loaded and the snow soft, it 
requires the strength' of all the expedition to proceed. 
A thick layer of snow covers everything, so that it is 
impossible to see the crevasses. The surface is undulated 
in long ditches, with an inclination, gentle, but perceptible 
enough to the men pulling a sled, and besides, the bottoms 
of many pond-depressions where the snow was melted is an 
impediment to progress. Many narrow creeks run over 

140 Sicr)-a Club Bulletm. 

the ice between the two borders of the valley, and they are 
crossed with bridges made with the picks. The panorama 
is monotonous but grand. After the first brilliant, sunny 
day, follows fog and a little rain, and then his Highness, at 
the head of the expedition and connecting the others with 
the ropes, has the unpleasant task of directing with the 
compass the progress of the party, which is rendered 
perfectly desolate by the persistent fog. 

On July 3d, at 3:30 P. M., after ten hours of marching in 
a dense fog, the members of the e.xpedition, fatigued and 
wet, arrived at the Hitchcock Hills, and were pleasantly 
received by a flock of white mountain quail, which rose 
from the few bushes covering the steep hill. 

The party is now at the foot of the Seward, and pitches 
its tents on the snow at 1676 feet above the sea level. It is 
the seventh camp since tlie departure. The next day, the 
4th of July, the Prince takes a rest, in honor of Independ- 
ence Day and of the American packers who are rejoicing 
on their national anniversary. They were a curious group, 
those packers, and very difficult to describe. Five were 
students of the universities in science, in letters, and in 
philosophy. Four were mariners and among these a 
professor of Latin and Greek, and our poet. They all 
worked well and with enthusiasm, following diligently 
the direction of Major Ingraham, who did more than 
could be expected for the good success of the enterprise. 
Independence Day was employed by the guides in studying 
the ascent of the Seward. 

Crossing the left ridge, among the ice and rocks, the 
party reaches the front where the cascade of the Seward runs 
into the Malaspina. Between the masses of ice and the 
extreme peak of the Hitchcock Hills there is a steep fall, 
full of snow, about 328 feet high. This bastion the guides 
begin to attack with their picks, and before noon of the 5th, 
through a trail made in zigzag form, the expedition has 







MI 5T EU AS^r; , ^^'Jlfl^'/^jii 

The Ascent of Aft. St. Ellas. 141 

reached the top of the Seward, facing a large amphitheater 
crowned by the tops of Augusta, of Matasona, and of St. 

If the Malaspina is a great calm lake, the Seward is a 
stormy sea, about seven miles wide and a chaos of disorderly 
piled-up masses. To the steep walls of Augusta and Mata- 
sona are attached masses of ice-like snow, and far behind 
is plainly visible St. Elias, with its northern ridge, over which 
the climb must be made. The undertaking does not look 
difficult. The proportion of the surrounding panorama is 
so great that the top of the mountain looks small, and one can- 
not yet realize how high it is. Capricious spots of fog hang 
over the different peaks, moving and giving to the sky the 
different colors of the rainbow and producing a magnificent 
effect. The condition of the glacier compels the expedition 
to attack its left flank, sometimes dragging the sleds over 
the plain formed by the snow, sometimes carrying them on 
the shoulder and across the sudden undulations of the ice. 
The party is reduced by five American packers, who go 
back to bring the food from the last camp on the Malaspina. 

The 8th of July, passing over the snowy creeks and 
a few spots covered with herbs, with some violets and 
anemones, the expedition climbs a glacier which, coming 
from the Pinnacle Pass, extends to the Seward, surround- 
ing a spur of the Hitchcock foothills. This large surface 
is crossed with the sleds, and the 9th of July a camp is set 
at 3178 feet above sea level, on a small hill at the north 
foot of the Pinnacle. It is the twelfth camp, and it has 
taken sixteen days to reach this low altitude. 

The expedition is now thirty- five miles from the coast. 
Near this camp on the rocks at the top of the hill there is 
found a fragment of tent and some stones piled up as a 
signal. They are the only traces of human beings found 
on the trip, left in 1890 by the first expedition of Russell 
while descending the Pinnacle Pass. The expedition 

142 Sierra Chib Bidlciin. 

gathers many conglomerate rocks and some fossil shells 
among the round pebbles and the sand on the top. At this 
point the American packers leave the party, and under the 
direction of Major Ingraham, form a chain to bring food 
from the Malaspina to a point half way up the Newton 
Glacier. The Prince personally supervised this important 
service, and the provisions were punctually carried to the 

The Seward Glacier is so split that the e.xpedition 
crosses only with difficulty, the loth of July, after a reconnoi- 
tering movement made by the Prince himself The sky is 
overcast, the temperature mild, and the snow soft, and 
it is difficult to proceed over dice-like blocks of snow. 
Fortunately, they are hard enough to sujiport the weight. 
There are no blocks of true ice, but of snow of different 
thicknesses, and at the base of Mt. Owen and Mt. Augusta 
there is a layer of Artmaria belonging to the Samovar, 
above which is an immense valley covered with ice, reaching 
the Dome Pass at an elevation of 3936 feet above the sea- 
level, and behind appear the beautiful peaks of Mt. Owen 
and Mt. Irving. 

The top of the pass is reached on the 12th of July, in 
the fog and a little mist, and the next day camp pitched 
on the edge of the Agassiz Glacier, at 3480 feet above the sea 
level. It is the fifteenth camp and the foot of the true 
mountain. At this point the expedition leaves the last sled 
and everything which is not absolutely necessary. 

The Newton Glacier, seven miles long 'and from two- 
thirds of a mile to one and seven-eighths miles in width, has 
three sides, and the wall of the valley, full of snow, is sur- 
rounded by magnificent peaks of ice hanging over and 
covered by fresh snow. It takes thirteen days to reach the 
top, forming six camps and stopping every mile and a 
quarter, fighting the snow, which is falling almost continu- 
ally, blinded by very thick fog, and walking with great 

The Asceyit of Mt. St. Elias. 143 

fatigue over the snow in which the members sometimes 
plunge to the hips. The scene is terrifying among those 
blocks of ice, over bridges of snow not always steady and 
with the continual noise of the avalanches of snow, mixed 
with stones, which are falling day and night. Of thirteen 
days, only three were tolerably clear, and during these the 
panorama was really enchanting, with its different colors 
changing at every instant, and with a characteristic indigo- 
blue, very different from the coloring of the Italian Alps. 
These glaciers differ from those of the Alps in that the stormy 
weather in Alaska is not dangerous, and the thunder is not 
heard mingled with the noises of the avalanches. It is 
impossible to realize the difficulties of this last trip among 
the immense crevasses covered by snow, where the passage 
is dangerous, and where the members sometimes plunge 
to the shoulders; and here the guides show their ability in 
digging and pounding the snow, with great fatigue, to make 
a trail. 

Half way up the glacier the expedition leaves one tent 
and all the iron folding beds, and there, for the first time, 
hears through the packers, of the party of Bryant, whom 
they had met on the other side of the Newton, he having 
renounced the further ascent on account of the sickness 
of one of his men. 

On the evening of the 28th of July, with the sky in part 
clear, the expedition leaves the last camp on the Newton, 
the twenty-first one, at 8958 feet altitude. In front stands 
the pyramid of St. Elias. The 29th of July, three guides 
advance to cut steps on the wall of the hill, and the Prince 
goes back to bring some food from the last camp. The 
evening is very clear and every one of the expedition is 
enthusiastic and ready for the approaching last attempt. 
They leave at four o'clock on the morning of the 30th, 
with two tents, the bed blankets, two and one-half days 
rations, one coal oil and one alcohol stove, all the instruments 

144 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

and the two photographic machines. The snow is a little 
harder. The morning is very clear, and the expedition 
crosses as rapidly as po^ible the space almost brushed over 
by the previous avalanches, and in an hour and a half 
reaches the foot of the wall and there begins the ascent 
of that steep bastion. At first Sella slips down, and then 
a guide loses his coat and fifteen minutes are lost in 
recovering it; and after climbing over the shoulder of the 
guide in many instances, they reach the top of the ridge 
and camp at 1 2, 2S4 feet above the sea level. This hill stands 
on the south of the large ridge of St. Elias, and at the north 
of the snowy ridge of Newton. At its foot lies, the great 
ice valley of Newton. The atmosphere is so clear that the 
far-awry sea and all the peaks around — Ir\'ing, Vancou- 
ver, Augusta, and Cook — can be seen. From St. Elias, 
and from the rocks of Newton, continual avalanches of 
snow and ice and stone fall with tremendous noise. The 
sun-setting is beautiful. The sky is steel-blue, the rest of 
the horizon orange-red, and Augusta looks like a vol- 
cano in eruption. The temperature, eight degrees below 
zero centigrade, and a cold breeze compel the members to 
retire under the tent. The nights are a little longer, but 
longer still are the exciting thoughts of the next day's 
undertaking. They are all up at midnight, and after a 
good, boiling cup of coffee, they form the last pack, — a few 
rations for one day, the mercurial barometer, two aneroids, 
the igrometer, the alcohol and mercurial thermometers, and 
the two photographic machines. 

The night is very calm, very clear, and Venus brilliant 
over the top of Newton. The members are divided into 
three divisions. His Highness, Cagni, the two guides 
Petigax and Maquignaz, and then Gonella, between Croux, 
and Botta, and last. Sella with De Fillippi and Pellissier — 
all silent, evidendy moved by the realization of this hard 
undertaking; every one intensely conscious of this last 

The Asce7i( of Hit. S/. Elias. 145 

attempt, consulting the barometer and the direction of the 
wind every instant. The last ridge is split with a cut in 
the ice, and the fresh snow is very fine, leaving at intervals 
an uncovered space of hard snow, in which the guides cut 
the steps, Petigax and Maquignaz at the head, relieving 
each other every hour, while the members ascend as rapidly 
as the way is open. .Soon, across the cut in the ice, the 
snow is not so soft. The day clears up and the peaks look 
silvery. Very fine snow blows in their faces at intervals, 
while the first rays of the sun gild the top of Newton, and 
about twenty miles distant emerges the imposing peak of 
Logan. The ascent is made in very calm weather, with an 
ideal temperature, rare in the mountains, without perspira- 
tion or cold. 

After crossing the second rocks, over a kind of black 
island, the instruments are disposed for observations by 
Cagni. The temperature is eight degrees below zero centi- 
grade. All around is white and brilliant with pearly color. 
They are now higher than the top of Augusta, can see the 
great mass of Logan to its base, and an immense sea of ice, 
the largest after the Malaspina, circumscribed at the south- 
east of St. Elias, extending at great length on the horizon. 
The atmospheric pressure begins to tell on the members of 
the expedition, with some nausea, palpitation, and the 
usual fear of not beiijg able to reach the end. At nine 
o'clock, at 16,400 feet of altitude, the Prince makes a halt 
and the party breakfasts. The march becomes now very 
fatiguing. One after the other feels the effect of the rare- 
faction of the air, with some headache, difficult breathing, 
and general weakness. 

The Prince at the head leads the way, and proceeds 
cautiously, trying to keep the men all together. The 
ascent is uniform, without difficulty, but notwithstanding 
that, begins to affect everyone with the exhaustion which 
precedes the end of a serious undertaking. Every step 

146 Sierra Club Bidlcim. 

seems to be the last, and every fifteen minutes the party is 
obliged to stop for five or six minutes. All at once appears 
the great point covered with snow, and the members hasten 
up, taking breath every ten minutes. They follow each 
other perfectly exhausted and unconscious yet that they 
are there. One hundred and sixty feet from the top, Peti- 
gax, who is at the head, stops to give way to the Prince, 
telling him, "It is for you to touch the top first, as you 
deserve it by your perseverance." His Highness steps 
to the top of St. Elias, and all the others run, anxious and 
exhausted, to join him in the hurrah. The victory is com- 
plete, and it is all Italian. All ten have accomplished the 
purpose for which they left their own country. 

No one can describe that moment. Many of those men, 
who for thirty-eight days had struggled to stand the trying 
ordeal, sobbed like children. Their anxiety, their exhaus- 
tion, the palpitation, disappeared in that moment of enthu- 
siasm. It was 11:45 of the 31st of July, and the Italian 
flag was waving, hanging to a post, while the little crowd 
stood cheering Italy and the King. 

The temperature is twelve degrees below zero, centi- 
grade. The mercurial barometer points to 385 MM., and 
with the correction shows an altitude of 18,086 feet above 
the sea level, closely approximate to that of 18,080 feet, 
calculated in 1891 by Russell with triangulation. All the 
other determinations were erroneous. The only one which 
approached it was the one taken from the sea in 1792 by 
the Italian navigator, Malaspina, of 17,843 feet. 

The ascent lasted ten hours and a half, climbing 5802 feet. 
According to the calculation of his Highness, deducting from 
the total time only half an hour lost in making observations 
and half an hour for breakfast, in the first five hours there 
were climbed 3310 feet, with an average of 662 feet to the 
hour, while the last four and a half hours only 2391 feet 
were climbed, with an average of 531 j4 feet to the hour. 

The Ascent of Ml. St. Elias. 147 

The horizon was beautiful and very clear. At 1:15 
p. M. the expedition started back, and at five the party of 
the Prince, which had preceded, stopped for the other, and 
the next day, the first of August, without incident, the expe- 
dition reached the Newton, and the 3d day of August met 
again the American packers who were waiting. It was snow- 
ing, but notwithstanding that, the descent was very rapid. 
His Highness had arranged so that food was well distributed 
all along the road, and every day the expedition could make 
three of the previous camps, removing all that has been 
left. The snow was very soft and everybody plunged to the 
hips, so that walking was very painful. The bridges were 
less sure and the crevasses more frequent. The 5th of 
August the expedition left the valley of the Newton and the 
noisy rumbling of the avalanche, and the tedious trip on 
sleds along the Agassiz over the Dome Pass became almost 
unbearable on account of the soft snow which covered every- 
thing. Between the 6th and 8th of August the expedition 
crossed the Seward, with snow, rain, fog, and sun only at 
intervals. No accident happened, thanks to the ability of the 
guides in dragging and carrying the sleds, which excited 
the admiration of the American packers. 

The winter coat of the Seward which was thick with 
snow one month previous, has disappeared; the snow is 
melted, and waterfalls with small blocks of ice are seen, and 
rich blossoming vegetation. The 8th of August camp is 
set on a depression of the Hitchcock ridge, and the next 
day the expedition reaches the Malaspina plain. A 
different sight greets the eyes of the members, because the 
Malaspina has changed its appearance and a part of the 
snow melted and many crevasses opened, rendering the 
road very tedious and difficult; so much so that for a long 
way they are obliged to walk in the muddy snow to the' 
knee. The trace of the sleds cannot be found, and the 
Prince is obliged to head the caravan with a compass, so as 

148 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

to reach the coast at the same place where they had disem- 
barked. At I p. M. of the loth they are in view of the 
Bay of Yukatat, where the "Aggie" arrived in the morning 
from Port Mulgrave, and is in waiting under full sail. The 
arrangements made by his Highness were perfectly correct, 
as he had ordered the schooner to be there between the 
loth and nth of August. 

In six hours the bare surface of ^the Malaspina was 
crossed with the sleds, running very rapidly, only at 
intervals receiving some shock by the unseen crevasses; 
and after crossing the three ridges and pulling the sleds 
with all their force, the party stopped, tired of the lone march, 
between the rocks and the mud of the last ridge, near some 
provisions which had been left by the last camp of the 
Bryant expedition. For the first time they slept on stone, 
after forty days of life spent on the snow. They had 
descended in ten days over all that zone of glacier which it 
took thirty days to cross before. 

At noon of the i ith began the embarkation, and on the 
morning of the 12th, at 8 o'clock, the Prince left the 
landing. They spent the forenoon at Port Mulgrave, and 
the morning of the 13th of August they left, under full 
sail, for the return. The weather was beautiful, and the 
majestic chain of mountains splendid under the rays of the 
sun. After four days of rest on the deck of the schooner, 
they reached the Bay of Sitka, the 17th of August, fifty- 
seven days after they had left it. 

The return to Europe was rapid. [First on the "City 
of Topeka ' ' to Seattle, and then across Canada to Niagara 
Falls and to New York, whence they left at 1 1 130 a. m. 
of the 4th of September on the " Lucania." 

The party dissolved in London on the i ith of September, 
after four months of companionship. 

.mt^js^msm m sm^ mm^ 


AKI'.iH I'ASS, FKDM liHir 111-" Ml. NK'H( 


On Mi. Lefroy, August j, iS^y. 149 

By C. S. Thompson. 

In the early spring of 1896, Mr. Philip S. Abbot invited 
his friend, Professor Harold B. Dixon, of Owen's College, 
Manchester, Eng. , to climb with him, at some future day, 
among the Canadian Rockies. In consequence of that 
invitation, and its delayed acceptance, there is now, on the 
southern end of the summit ridge of Mt. Lefroy, overlook- 
ing certain cliffs, a small, hastily erected cairn. Thrust into 
a crevice, between two foundation stones, is a brass pocket 
match safe, containing a soiled, much-folded slip of paper, 
upon which is written: " On the summit of Mt. Lefroy, 
Aug. 3d, 1897: H. B. Dixon, J. Norman Collie, C. E. 
Fay, Arthur Michael, C. L. Noyes, H. C. Parker, J. R. 
Van Derlip, C. S. Thompson, Peter Sarbach, guide." 

About three o'clock in the morning we pulled away from 
the wharf in front of the Lake Louise chalet. The night was 
dark, clear, and cold, almost frosty. To right and left before 
us were the profile masses of the Beehive and of Goat* Moun- 
tain; between them, up the valley, the ghostly white shapes 
of Mt. Lefroy and Mt. Green; behind, the lonely chalet 
and the radiance of the morning star. The all-including 
silence was broken only by the creaking of the rowlocks 
and the steady dip of the oars in the quiet water. At the 

* The Canadian Topographical Survey has recently changed 'the name of 
this mountain to " Fairview," and has expressed a preference for Mt. Victoria 
over Mt. Green, and for Lefroy glacier over Green glacier. For the sake of uni- 
formity with a preceding article in the Sierra But/eitn, I use in this, when neces- 
sary, the older names. 

150 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

head of the lake we landed on a small alluvial delta, over 
which we moved, splashing and stumbling in the deceptive 
candle-light of two folding lanterns, toward a belt of wood- 
land crossing the valley. I was somewhat in advance of 
the others, and in the darkness, treading with a certain 
familiarity through underbrush and over moss-covered 
stones, I separated entirely from them. Beyond this last 
stretch of woodland, following a dry stream bed, I picked 
an easy way among bowlders, distinctly visible in the grow- 
ing twilight. The air freshened with the coming morning, 
the color slowly crept into the shadowy grass and trees, 
the details of glacier and precipice grew upon the moun- 
tains, the great eastern face of Mt. Lefroy was once 
more gray. Strangely enough, there was no sound of bird 
or animal, only the sibilant rush of the glacial stream, and, 
on the right, over my shoulder among the alders, the just 
audible voices of my companions. They had skirted the belt 
of woodland, had crossed the stream, had found the well- 
cut trail, and were now rapidly rejoining me. 

Above the snout of the nearly level glacier, which here 
begins to fill the floor of the valley, the party gradually 
divided. Collie, Fay, and Van Derlip pushed forward 
along the top of the northern lateral moraine; those 
left behind soon turned, under the guidance of Sarbach, 
upon the rock-strewn ice. By this change we would, in 
ordinary seasons, have outstripped our more swift-footed 
companions. This summer the warm July rains, abnor- 
mally heavy, had melted the hitherto abundant snow 
bridges, so that by the time we reached the very moderate 
ice fall which marks the open end of the frozen amphithea- 
ter at the head of the valley, we were involved in an appar- 
ently endless maze of crevasses. Skirting these — to right, 
to left, — cutting an occasional foothold on their nearest 
margin, we jumped, with no downward glance, from one 
sland of ice to another. Once only, we tied ourselves to 

On Mt. Lefroy, August j, rSgy. 151 

the rope and thus were safely jerked forward one by one, 
in midair leap, by Sarbach, who had gone before us to the 
farther side. Some distance ahead, Collie, Van Derlip, and 
Fay were dancing to the same tune. 

Beyond the crevasses, where the early spring avalanches 
from the encircling mountains pound the glacier into a 
solid mass, we turned gradually southward, toward Abbot 
Pass. Four thousand feet above the sun was shining upon 
the upper snows of Mt. Green; with us, between the 
remarkable walls that guard the entrance to the lower slope 
of the pass, the air, cold and damp, was still gray with the 
last traces of the dawn. Our ascent was never easier; first, 
over two terraces built of a rubble of ice blocks, cemented 
by their powdered fragments, then over a third, covered 
with a fresh snow that effectually blocked all crevasses. As 
we rose, the unforgotten western face of Mt. Lefroy came 
fully into view. There, again, was the familiar ice slope, 
divided vertically into three streams by intermittent but- 
tresses of curiously rotten limestone. The angle of ascent, 
modified, doubtless, in memory, seemed steeper; the cov- 
ering of fresh snow, concealing the grayer ice, except in 
two places, promised a safer, less difficult climb, than 
that of the year before. We ate a second breakfast, seated 
on the scree at the summit of the pass. 

Here our more serious work began. Dividing into three 
groups, each group upon a separate rope, we turned directly 
up the face of the mountain, at right angles to our former 
course. For some now forgotten reason, our rope, on which 
were Collie, Parker, and myself, was detained in the pass sev- 
eral minutes after the departure of the others. Following 
up a small hill of great stones piled against the mountain, 
we came upon the snow slope directly under the southern 
line of buttresses, toward which our friends, under the guid- 
ance of Sarbach, were slowly rising. The snow, dry but 
compact, gave good footholds — needful, for the slope was 

152 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

as steep as the steepest house roof, and growinfj steeper. 
Passing to the right of the lowest and most isolated of the 
buttresses, we came shortl}' to the second, readily sur- 
mounted by a narrow ladder of snow held between it and a 
satellite ledge upon its right flank. From the top of this 
improvised ladder, keeping always on the northern edge of 
the most southerly of the three ice streams, the one along 
whose farther margin we had labored so desperately just a 
year before, we held a steady course upward to the third but- 
tress. There the two leading ropes, following Sarbach, had 
changed snow for rock, and with much caution, were edging 
up its shattered face. Even with their utmost care, two or 
three stones flew by us and ricochetted down the slope. 
Swerving again to the right, pardy to avoid the missiles, 
partly because we judged this course the easier, we kept 
determinedly upon the snow. Accordingly, when the 
others returned to the margin of the ice stream at a point 
somewhat below the foot of the fourth buttress, we fell into 
line ahead of Michael, Noyes, and Van Derlip, and 
directly behind Sarbach, Dixon, and Fay. No place in all 
our 'climbing required greater care. We were standing, 
one above another, on an ice slope covered with less than 
two inches of snow, and exceedingly steep, so steep that at 
times it seemed as if Collie's shoes would graze my face. 
Below, the snow-covered ice, slightly concave, fell like an 
admirably adapted chute toward a precipice overlooking 
the gorge beyond the pass. Above, there was the sound 
of Sarbach' s ice axe, step-cutting, and, out in the center of 
the ice stream, a grim patch of gray, glistening in the sur- 
rounding white. Upon such a slope our movement was 
necessarily slow. Time and again, in the leisure of those 
moments, I looked across that narrow ice sheet to a line of 
low broken ledges, the path of our last year's party, the 
path that we too must have taken but for the favoring snow. 
The chffs where Abbot fell were very near, and the chimney 

On Mt. Lc/roy, August j, iSgj. 153 

up which he so resolutely climbed was fully in view. 
Somewhere at its top, at some point plainly visible, the 
friable rotten limestone had cracked beneath his hold. I 
lived that day again. 

Above this fourth buttress the snow, most fortunately, 
became deeper, but the angle of the slope, instead of mod- 
erating, as we had expected, became disappointingly greater.* 
We clung to the mountain side like flies. Once more Sar- 
bach's rope decided that rocks were better than snow, and 
forthwith assaulted the fifth buttress, the highest and least 
formidable. To this point our path had been not more than 
fifty feet south of the continental watershed in British 
Columbia; now, traversing a band of snow below the 
buttress upon which Sarbach's party was scrambling, CoHie, 
Parker and I crossed to the southern margin of the middle 
ice stream, in the territory of Alberta, f and moved upward 
thereon. The end was at hand. Resting on our axes until 
Sarbach could resume the leadership, we again followed, still 
always upon the snow. As we went, we passed a stone 
loaded with frost feathers. It had been a winter's night upon 
the summit. 

A ridge, or razor edge, over which the snow swept in 
cornices that overhung the precipices of the eastern face; 
at either end a low turret, like a crumbling chimney on the 
roof-tree of an old manse: this is the summit of Mt. Lefroy.| 
Toward the southern turret, where the watershed turns 
abruptly from ridge to pass, Abbot, Fay, Little, and I had 
gazed with unsatisfied desire half a summer's day. Upon it 
our party now gathered —thirsty, tired, silently triumphant. 
There we remained, seated astride, from twenty minutes 
past eleven until half-past twelve. 

As far as the eye could see through an atmosphere 

* Collie estimated the angle of the slope at 65°. 

t On this face of Lefioy the line of division between the watersheds is almost 
imperceptible, and, at times, difficult to determine. 
X Barometric altitude (mercurial), 11,425 feet. 

154 Sierra Club Bullelin. 

unsurpassedly clear, there were mountains beyond moun- 
tains, without end. Among them we recognized familiar 
shapes. Hector, the great ark Assinniboine, and the towers 
of Goodsir; nearer, the pyramid of Temple, and Hunga- 
bee, the chieftain, with his ten men, Heejee, Saknowa, 
Sagovva, Neptuak, and all the others curving in Indian file 
behind him. Across the hidden valley of the Columbia, 
southwestward, were the vast snowfields of the southern 
Selkirks, yellow in the distance. For a radius of a hundred 
miles the world was ours, a wilderness of uncultivated 
valleys, of peaks and glaciers. 

As the sun was slowly changing the snow on the western 
slope into a granular, treacherous mass, which slides upon 
such an inclination with the slightest disturbance, like flour 
or finely bolted starch, there was some danger in remaining 
long where we were. Sarbach, Dixon, and Fay were the 
first to move, returning, as they had come, by the face 
of the fifth buttress. Curving by this upon the snow, I 
saw Sarbach, like a nineteenth century Porthos, seated at 
the top of what, by courtesy, might be called an exceed- 
ingly shallow chimney, his feet braced like a divided pair 
of compasses, around his waist the knotted end of an Alpine 
rope, along whose extended length Fay and Dixon per- 
formed most circumspectly all manner of unexpected con- 
tortions. Then our own footing demanded immediate 
attention, and for more than an hour they were hidden from 
our view. We moved, one at a time, backwards, as if 
going down a steep ladder, pounding our feet well into 
the softening, but easily compacted snow, and at each 
step driving in the handles of our axes almost to the 
head. The passage down the ice steps, the engrossing 
nature of our occupation, and the exhilaration of the 
descent, after a successful ascent, prevented this mode of 
progression from being wholly monotonous. I admit, 
indeed, a slight feeling of regret as we faced about at the 

On Aft. Lefroj, August j, iSg-]. 155 

foot of the lowest buttress and glissaded to the pass. There 
we variously disposed of ourselves. Collie crawled to the 
end of a rocky promontory jutting into the Pacific Slope, 
where he closed his eyes in apparent slumber; Parker 
busied himself with photographic and other scientific obser- 
vations, while I cut bits of fat and portions of the browned 
salted exterior from a roast of mutton, and ate them raven- 
ously. Half way up the mountain, certain small black 
figures were moving imperceptibly downward. An hour 
later we were all once more safely on the pass. 

There is little more to tell. Leisurely, much behind the 
others, Collie, Parker, and I descended to the Green glacier, 
and crossed it to the foot of Mt. Nichols. There, on the 
highest point of the lateral moraine, not far from the spot 
where our party of August 5th in the preceding year had 
finally left the ice, we sat dow n to rest. On that day, look- 
ing back, I had watched a sudden rain squall drive across 
Abbot Pass, hiding it behind a veil of streaming gray; now 
I saw it, as never before, in the dazzling beauty of a sunny 
afternoon. The three years' struggle with Mt. Lefroy was 

156 Sierra Club Bulletin. 



Bv John G. Lemmon. 

No. 2. 

Our first number treated of the general classifications of 
the great order of Coni/erce, followed by groupings and 
descriptions of a little over a third of them, — the Fasiculars — 
Pine, Larix, and Cedar. 

This article continues the classifications, grouping and 
describing the other subtribe of Northern Pitch trees — 
the Soliiarcs — including the Spruces and Firs. Then fol- 
lows a discussion of the tribe of Taxodiads, including the 
Sequoia and its allies. 

The Whorl-cone Conifers, the second great division of 
the order, and embracing the so-called American Cedars, 
the Cypresses, and the Junipers, — supplemented by a dis- 
cussion of the Taxaceee, or drupe-fruited trees (by some 
authors referred to the Conifers) — will remain for a third 


The Solitary-coned Pitch Trees — Spruces and 


Very resinous and evergreen trees of the Northern 
Hemisphere, with all the leaves solitary, not in fascicles or 
tufts, and all very short; male flowers solitary, spike-like, 
or globular; cones maturing in one season, with two seeds 
upon each scale, mostly broadly winged. Separated by 
the position and direction of the cones into two classes — 
Pendant-fruited and Erect-fruited Solitares. 

r c 

Conifers of the Pacific Slope. 157 


The Spruces. 
Beautiful evergreens, yielding tough timber; cones 
small, elongated, pendant from or near the ends of the 
branchlets, not confined to the upper limbs, but borne by 
any of them; scales persistent upon the axis, like those of 
the pine, not deciduous like the true fir, the edges thin, 
rounded, not bearing protuberances or prickles, a thin, 
flat, leaf-like appendage (bract) attached to the back of 
each; spikes or heads of male flowers solitary, terminal, or 
scattered. Three (or, with Hesperopeuce., four) genera, in 
two sections: — 

Section i. Inclus^ — Naked-cone Spruces. 

Cones terminal or next to a terminal leaf bud, the small, 
undeveloped bract included by the growing scales; leaves 
promptly deciduous in drying; branchlets roughened by 
the coils of short, peg-like, ligneous leaf-bases (pulvina), 
left by the falling leaves — this latter character readily 
revealing the trees of this large group. Two genera: — 

Third Genus. Picea — The True Spruces. 

Stately and valuable lumber and ornamental trees of 
mountainous and northern regions; branches very rough, 
caused by the prominent pulvina; seeds without resin- 
vesicles. Sixteen known species, five in Northwest 
America, in two groups: — 

Group i. Northcoast Spruces. 

Two easily distinguished species : — 

I. Tide-land Spruce {Picea Siicke7isis, Trautv and 
Mayer). — Large pyramidal trees, attaining 150 to 200 feet 
in height, with a diameter of eight to twelve feet in its head- 
quarters along the fog-drenched Lower Columbia, extend- 
ing, with smaller trees, northward to Alaska, southward to 

158 Sierra Chib Bulletin. 

Mendocino. Bark thin and flaky; branchlets thick, rigid; 
cones cylindrical or narrowly elliptical, one and one-half to 
two and one-half inches long, yellowish; scales elliptical, 
notched at apex; bract large, lanceolate, six centimeters 
long; leaves flat, scattered, pungent, young ones whitened 
above with lines of stomata; the pulvina two centimeters 

2. Weeping Spruce {P. Breweriatta, Watson). — Beau- 
tiful trees of small size, and extremely local; recently dis- 
covered on the west end of the Siskiyou Mountains, about 
twenty miles from the ocean; a few trees on nearby moun- 
tains, north and south. Readily distinguished by; its long, 
slender, drooping branchlets, six to eight feet long, and its 
peculiar cones, narrowly elliptical, two to three inches long, 
narrowed with many empty scales to each end. 

Group ii. Interior .'vnd Southern Spruces. 
Three species, difficult to distinguish : — 

3. Columbian Spruce {P. Columbiana, Lemmon). N. Sp. 
— Medium sized trees of the Columbian region, with 
headquarters on the Cascade Range of Washington, where 
it attains a height of seventy-five to one hundred feet, with 
a diameter of three to five feet, extending, with smaller 
forms, southward to Oregon, eastward to Idaho and Mon- 
tana, northward to British Columbia, with dwarfed speci- 
mens in Alaska. Bark light-colored, thin, hard, and flaky; 
branches short, especially those on the upper half of the 
tree; branchlets slender, two to three millimeters thick; 
cones small, narrowly elliptical, one and one-half to two 
and one-half inches long, yellowish; scales obovate, thin, 
edges wrinkled, scale bracts small, acute, three to four milli- 
meters long. Recently separated* from Engelmann's 
Spruce, a much larger tree with many different characters, 
inhabiting a more southern region. 

' Garden and Foresl, May 12, l897- 

Comfers of the Pacific Slope. 159 

4. Engelmann's Spruce (/'. E)igelmanni, Parry.). — 
Becoming large trees, 100 to 150 feet high, and four to six 
in diameter, in its headquarters on the Rocky Mountains of 
Colorado, at elevations of 5000 to 12,000 feet, ranging 
northward, in smaller forms, to Wyoming, southward to 
New iVIexico and Arizona, and westward to Utah. Spindle- 
form trees (the upper limbs larger than the preceding), with 
thick, brown bark, deeply furrowed; branchlets more 
robust than preceding; cones brownish, larger, elliptical, 
two to three inches long; scales rhomboid, thicker and firmer; 
bracts larger and truncate or spatulate. 

5. Blue Spruce (/". pungetts, Engelm.). — Small trees, 
along streams or in wet places, rare and local in a few locali- 
ties of Wyoming, Colorado, and Utah, at lower altitudes 
than the preceding, and never forming exclusive forests. 
Foliage strikingly light green or bluish; the leaves rigid 
and pungent — -characters that usually distinguish the 

Fourth Genus. Tsuga — Hemlock Spruces. 

Branchlets roughened by pulvina, but not so markedly 
as in the true spruces; cones terminal, small; leaves petioled 
or stalked, each with a single resin duct along the back; 
seeds with resin vesicles on upper surface. Male flowers in 
globular clusters, terminal or scattered, raised at maturity 
out of the bud by a half-inch stipe. Six known species; 
two in our North Pacific region (or one only if Hespcropeicce 
is maintained) : — 

I. Westem Hemlock (7i. Mertensiana, Carr.) — Pictur- 
esque pyramidal, often very large trees; headquarters 
in the great fog-nurtured forest along Puget Sound, 
where it attains a diameter of eight to twelve feet, extending 
through British Columbia to Alaska, southward through 
Washington and Oregon to Northern California. Distin- 

i6o Sierra Chib Bulletin. 

guished by its light-green foliage of short, flat leaves, in two 
ranks, bordering pinnate branches forming broad horizon- 
tal or declined sprays, the little ovate half-inch cones, like 
tassel buttons, fringing the whole. This species very simi- 
lar to the hemlock of the Eastern States and Canada, and 
the two Chinese species, but widely different from the next. 

2. Alpine Hemlock ( ZJr. Pallo?iia7ia, Engelm.). {Hes- 
peropeucc Pattoniana. Lemmon). — Often very large, six 
to ten feet in diameter, always exceedingly graceful trees, 
in scattered groves of alpine or sub-alpine forests in the 
Sierra, Cascade, and Northern Rocky Mountains. Detected 
at sight, by their dark-green foliage, the spire-like out- 
line, the slender sprays of foliage, each branch tapering 
to a slender shoot that sways with every breeze. Cones 
largest of the genus, narrowly elliptical, one and one-half 
to three inches long, purple until ripe, then light brown; 
the scales usually reflexed; leaves quadrangular, usually 
somewhat tufted, resin duct very large; pollen grains 

This lovely Alpine Spruce has so many aberrant and 
peculiar characters that the writer published it once as the 
type of a distinct genus.* 

A variety (^Hookeriana, Lemmon) of smaller trees with 
shorter upper branches — rendering the tree sharply pin- 
nacled — cones one and one-half inches long; scales not 
reflexed at maturity; extends from the Northern Cascades 
and Northern Rockies through British Columbia to Alaska. 

Section 2. Exsert^e — Feather-cone Spruces. 
Cones subterminal, the scales strongly convex, bracts 
membraneous, one fourth of an inch or more wide, greatly 
developed and long exserted, about an inch long, trilobed, 
the middle one being the extension of the strong awl-shaped 
midrib, the side ones cuneate, acute; buds of both kinds 

' Hesperopeuce Pattoniana, Third Report, State Board Forestry, 


--^ 2 

p ■z 

Conifers of the Pacific Slope. i6r 

very large; one-fourth to one-half inch long, of few large 
brown scales; leaves petioled, flat, on young trees in two 
ranks, mostly scattered, not standing on pegs, nor promptly 
deciduous. One genus, peculiar to our western region: — 

Fifth Genus. Pseudotsuga. — False Hemlock 

Comprising the largest and most valuable spruce trees 
in the world. Cones ovate or elliptical, light brown or 
darker; leaves one to two inches long, whitened beneath 
with stomata, and each with two longitudinal resin ducts. 
Two species: — 

I. Doaglas Spruce {,Ps. iaxifolia, Britton.) — Large, 
strong-timbered trees of wide distribution, but limited 
to our Pacific region, forming the greater part of the dense 
forests around Puget Sound, where it attains the enormous 
diameter of twelve to fifteen feet, with a height of 300 to 
450 feet. It extends, with less dimensions, northward to 
Alaska, eastward to the Rocky Mountains, southward on 
both coast and interior ranges, with many wide gaps, far 
into Mexico. Bark very thick on large trees, and deeply 
fissured, black or reddish. Lower branches often sending 
out long, slender, drooping, branchlets, si.x to eight leet long; 
this form especially common in the high, moist regions 
around Yosemite, and northward to Shasta. Cones two 
and one-half to three and one-half inches long, light brown, 
beautifully decorated with the three-parted, feather-like 
bracts, by which it may always be readily distinguished. 
Very strong and serviceable timber, variously designated 
by lumbermen as Red Fir, Yellow Fir, and Oregon Pine. 

A small form of this tree, with spongy, corky bark, 
small cones, one and one-half inches long, and short, scant 
leaves, is found on the peaks of Northern Arizona, at eleva- 
tions of 9000 to 10,000 feet. This form was recently pub- 
lished as a marked variety — the Cork-bark Spruce.* 

* Ps, iaxifolia, var. suberosa, Lemmon. Erythea, vol. 1-48, 1893. 

l62 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

2. Big-cone Spruce (^Ps. maerocarpa, Lemmon). — 
Smaller, less symmetrical trees, larger limbed, and with 
darker and much larger cones ^ — largest of the spruces — 
five to seven inches long, half as wide when opened; the 
scales firmer and thicker; bracts firmer; seeds very large, 
with half-inch wings. A local species limited to the San 
Bernardino and neighboring mountains; particularly dis- 
tinguished by its magnificent and beautifully feathered cones. 
First separated from preceding and published by the writer 
in 1879,* and repeated frequently before its appearance in 
the Forestry Report of 1890. f 

The Firs. 
Mostly becoming large trees; branches arising annually 
in symmetrical horizontal whorls or circles of three to nine, 
pinnate again and again, forming fan-like strata of dense 
foliage; leaves short, mostly in two ranks; cones maturing 
in one season, either erect (or arrect, becoming erect in the 
Chinese fir); scales and bracts deciduous, leaving the cone 
axis standing on the limb. Two genera: one {Keleleeria) 
peculiar to China, the other widely distributed and parti- 
cularly abundant on the Pacific Slope. 

Sixth Genus. Abies — The True Firs. 
Cones cylindrical, or nearly so, and oblong, of many 
compact scales, erect upon the uppermost limbs, taking the 
place of branchlets (very plain illustrations of the fact that 
all cones are but condensed and much modified branches). 
The bracts are membraneous, and at first much larger than 
the scales, in some species remaining undeveloped, in others 
greatly enlarged and long-exserted; scales numerous, wide 
above and slightly convex in the exposed part, but unarmed, 
deciduous with the persistent bracts at maturity; seeds with 

* Tsuga maerocarpa, in Pacific Rural Press, Feb. 8, 1879. 

^ Pseudotsuga maerocarpa. Third Report, State Board Foresty, p. 134, 

Conifers of the Pacific Slope. 163 

resin vesicles, and three fourths covered by the clasping 
base of the broad wing. Male flowers oblong, colored, 
scattered, solitary in the axils of last year's leaves; these 
mostly twisted at base to bring them into two ranks. 

The firs are readily detected, the world over, by their 
symmetrical layers of branches, diminishing in size from base 
to apex, and by the prim, erect cones, the scales falling away 
at maturity. Of the ten western species several are closely 
connected, therefor, difficult to distinguish. May be divided, 
for convenience, into three groups: — 

Group i. Northern Firs. 

Extending from Alaska southward to Northern Califor- 
nia, and along the Rockies to Colorado. Cones of the 
northern species dark colored; leaves mostly flat. Four 
species: — 

1. Sub-Alpine Fir (^Abies lasiocarpa, Nuttall). — Small 
spire-shaped alpine and sub-alpine trees of the high 
peaks in Alaska and British Columbia; southward in 
larger forms, and in detached groups to Colorado and Ore- 
gon. Bark thin, smooth, milk-white outside; cone very 
small, narrowly elliptical, two to three inches long, purple, 
with short, tangled hairs. Male flowers red, conspicuous. 

2. Lovely Fir {A. amabilis. Loud.). — Larger, full- 
crowned trees, in detached groves on mountain slopes, 
or sub-alpine, from British Columbia southward to Oregon, 
— especially abundant on the slopes of Mount Hood. Bark 
gray, one to two inches thick; cones strictly cylindrical, 
oblong, three to four and one-half inches long, dark pur- 
ple, shining; scales striated within, cartilaginous (retracting 
with great force when confined in making botanical speci- 
mens) ; leaves dark green, flat, crowded upon the branch- 
lets. Male flowers crimson, ' conspicuous, beautifully 
decorating the borders of the sprays of foliage. 

164 Sierra Club Biilfeliu. 

3. Noble Fir {A. tiohilis, Lindley). — Very large trees, 
six to tea feet in diameter, and 200 to 300 feet in height, 
on the Cascade Mountains near Mount Hood, southward 
nearly to California, and on the Coast Range from the 
Columbia nearly to the Siskiyou Mountains. Bark thicker, 
brownish; cones brown, very large, nearly cylindrical, five 
to seven inches long; scales numerous, narrow as compared 
to others, the brown bract membraneous, a half inch wide, 
very long, protruding one-half to one inch, strongly reflexed, 
the subulate midrib almost black. Noble trees, distin- 
guished by their limited habitat and peculiar cones. Excel- 
lent timber trees, manufactured in Oregon under the name 
of " Larch." 

4. Oregon White Fir (.4. ^raadis, Lindley). — Large 
trees of the Northwest, in moist localities, abundant in the 
region of Puget Sound, mingled with Douglas Spruce, south- 
ward to the Mendocino coast. Bark usually thin, finely 
checked, dingy white or darker; cones dark green, nar- 
rowly oblong, two to three inches long; bract undeveloped, 
hence concealed; leaves mostly in two ranks, one to one- 
half inches long, dark green, and shining above, conspicu- 
ously whitened below, with numerous lines of stomata. 

Group ii. California Firs. 
Varied trees, some of the largest size, limited to the 
mountains of California. Cones lighter colored. Four 
species: — 

5. California White Fir (A. Lowiana, Murr.). — The most 
abundant of the California firs, extending a little way 
over the line into Oregon, southward, on both the Sierra 
and Coast Ranges, to Southern California. Often attains a 
height of 150 feet, with a diameter of four to six feet. Bark 
whitish, thick, and fissured; cones light green until maturity, 
then yellowish, oblong, two and one-half to three and one- 
half inches long; bracts concealed; leaves quite long, one 

Conifers of the Pacific Slope. 165 

to two inches, mostly in two ranks by a twist at base, 
slightly whitened below. This tree is, by some authorities, 
referred to A. gra7idis, from which it is separated by habitat, 
fruit, and foliage. Others refer it to A. concolor, as was 
done in our Forestry Report, and the recently published 
hand-book,* but it may reasonably be regarded as distinct. 

6. California Red Fir (/4. fnagnifica, Murr.). — Magnifi- 
cent trees, attaining, in the high Sierra, the largest size of 
any of the genus, eight to twelve feet in diameter, with a 
height of 200 to 250 feet, in dense forests trimming them- 
selves to a height of 100 feet or more, thus presenting a 
shaft of imposing size, supporting the great crown of strati- 
fied limbs, surmounted, in the autumn, with circles of match- 
less cones. Quite local in the middle Sierra, from Plumas 
to Kern counties, often mingling with the preceding, but 
usually at higher elevations of 8000 to 10,000 feet. Readily 
detected by its very thick bark, two to four inches, deeply 
fissured, brown without, dark red within (detected by cut- 
ting or breaking — this character giving the tree the name 
of Red Fir), and the very large, light purple cylindrical 
cones, largest of the genus, six to eight inches long and 
half as thick; bracts usually enclosed, or rarel)' slightly 
exposed; leaves quadrangular, not twisted nor in two ranks, 
those on upper limbs short and close-wrapped, giving the 
branchlets almost the appearance of nakedness. 

7. Shasta Fir {A. Shas/c?isis, Lemmon). iV. Sp. — 
Medium sized trees eighty to one hundred feet high, two to 
four feet thick, with some characters similar to preceding, 
but sufficiently distinct. Bark thinner, finer checked than the 
preceding; cones smaller, darker, inclined to be elliptical, 
rather than cylindrical; scales more protuberant at apex, the 
bract broadly cuneate and cuspidate, usually developed to a 
great size, protruding one-half to one inch from between the 

♦Third Rep. State Board Forestry, p. 148, 1S90, and Hand-book West-Ameri- 
can Cone-bearers, 3d ed., 1895. 

i66 Sierra Chtb Bulletin. 

scales. Forms a dense, almost exclusive forest, on the high 
lava plateau of Mount Shasta, with a few trees scattered on 
the volcanic summits of neighboring peaks. 

Has been confounded with the preceding — A. niagnifica 
— but Dr. Murray founded that species upon very different 
trees growing ' ' on the high, une.xplored part of the Sierra 
Nevada to the eastward of San Francisco." Published as 
a variety of the Magnificent Fir, 1890, and recently raised 
to the rank of a species. * 

Another form — van xanthocarpa, Lemmon, the "Golden 
Fir," becoming of large size, with thinner bark than the 
preceding, finer checked; cones smaller, and dai^k yellow, 
with long, lighter colored bracts. Found on the southern 
slope of Shasta, at about 9000 feet altitude. The golden 
cones are unique in the genus. 

8. Bristle-cone Fir {A. venusta, Koch). — Small, slender, 
pinnacled trees, few in number, local upon certain slopes 
of the higher Santa Lucia Mountains, near the Monterey 
line. Cones oval or elliptical, two and one-half to three 
and one-half inches long, with firm scales, the broad 
bracts barely concealed, but the strong midrib greatly 
prolonged, one to two inches, and recurved; buds largest of 
the genus, one-half inch long; leaves large and broad, lanceo- 
late, one to two inches long, much whitened beneath by 
many lines of stomata, mostly in two ranks, with twisted 
bases, — all very distinguishing characters of this most beau- 
tiful of the firs, which the discoverer, David Douglas, not 
inaptly, named venusta, in honor of the goddess of beauty, 
Venus; but as all these Northern pitch trees were called 
pines in his day (1S31), subsequent separation of the genus, 
and founding of new genera, required that his name of 
Pinus venusta must be changed to Abies venusta, and 
Professor Koch was the first to do this — hence, under the 

*A, magnifica, var. Shastensis, Lemmon. Third Report State Board Forestry, 
1890, and .4. Sliastensis , Lemmon, N. Sp., in Garden and Forest, May 12, 1897. 

Conifers of the Pacific Slope. 167 

rules, the corrected binomial is to be credited to the latter 
person, as foregoing. 

Group hi. Eastern and Southern Firs. 
Two quite dissimilar species: — 

9. Colorado White Fir {A. concolor, Parry). — An exceed- 
ingly white-foliaged tree, attaining a medium size in its 
headquarters on the mountains of Colorado, thence extend- 
ing in scattered groves, southward to New Mexico and 
Arizona, westward through Utah, sparsely to Southern 
California. Bark gray, thick; leaves flat, very large, one 
and one-half to two inches long, whitened with lines of 
stomata on both sides (whence the name concolor), young 
shoots, also, hoary-whitened, the large circular leaf scars, 
slightly elevated, forming shallow cups; cones small, two to 
three inches long, pale yellow. This beautiful fir, whitened 
in so many of its parts, is readily detected. 

10. Arizona Fir {A. Arizonica, Merriam). N. Sp. — 
A beautiful little fir, local on the San Francisco Mountains of 
Northern Arizona, between the altitudes of 8900 and 9500 
feet, and at similar altitudes on a few neighboring peaks. 
Trees about sixty feet high by one foot in diameter; bark "a 
highly elastic, fine-grained cork, usually creamy white, with 
irregularly sinuous ridges " ; leaves of lower branches nearly 
flat, three-fourths inch long, of the upper, triangular and 
shorter, one-half inch long; cones dark purple, very small, 
two inches long, three-fourths thick, the scales much broader 
than long; bracts and seed- wings also broader than long. 

Discovered and described by Dr. C. Hart Merriam.* 
Excepting the peculiarities of the bark, the characters of 
this fir are not far removed from A. lasiocarpa, to which 
Professor Sargent thinks it belongs, in which case it may 
be designated as Abies lasiocarpa, variety Arizonica, the 
Cork-barked Fir. 

' Proc. Biol. Soc, Washington, Vol. X., Nov. 3, 1 

i68 Sierra Club Bulletin. 


(Inserted here to complete the classification.) 

Less resinous, mostly lofty trees, with branches in sym- 
metrical whorls, one whorl or circle to each season; flowers 
dioecious {i. e. male on one tree, female on another), or 
moncEcious (on same tree); cones globular; scales numer- 
ous, spirally arranged, consolidated with the smaller bract; 
seeds, one to six to each scale. 

Beautiful trees of the Southern Hemisphere, one genus 
of which, Araucaria, is frequently found in cultivation, and 
just coming into bearing in California. Flowers dicEcious; 
cone-scales deciduous, large, and mostly armed with strong 
spines, each scale bearing one large seed, firmly imbedded 
between the scale and consolidated bract. Chief of the 
species cultivated are, Ar. excelsa, " Norfolk Island Pine," 
with magnificent, ample, horizontal sprays of dense foliage, 
consisting of awl-shaped, soft leaves, scattered all around 
the numerous, slender, pinnate branchlets; the Ar. Bidwillii, 
"Bidwill's Araucaria," with strong, cartilaginous, ovate- 
lanceolate, spine-tipped leaves, one and one-half to two 
inches long; cones very large, ovate, eight to twelve inches 
long, with heavily-armed scales, and seeds one and one-half 
inch long, and half as thick; and Ar. imbricata, " Monkey 
Puzzle," large trees of the Andes of Chili, with the formid- 
able leaves long, persistent, and imbricated or lapped closely 
around the long, drooping limbs and the trunk — defying 
the attempts of monkeys to climb the trees — hence the 
very large, delicious nuts, are preserved for use, by the 


Cypress-like trees of both Hemispheres, less resinous 
than the two preceding tribes, but the arrangement of 
organs spiral like them. Includes trees of the largest size, 

Conifers of the Pacific Slope. 169 

abundant in past ages, a few only now extant Leaves 
small, scale-like or rarely linear; cones requiring one to two 
seasons to mature, are small, globular or oblong, mostly 
woody; bracts partially consolidated with the scale or obliter- 
ated; seeds, two to nine to each scale. Two classes: — 


(Inserted to complete classification.) 

Trees with small, tender, deciduous leaves; cones 
embossed or reticulated; scales peltate or club-shaped. 
Two genera, neither with representatives native to our 
region, but often found in cultivation. Glyptostrobus, the 
Embossed Cedar, an only species, with minute deciduous 
leaves; cones about the size of a hen's egg, the spirals of 
scales largest in the middle of the cone, the dark, separat- 
ing lines give it the appearance of being in a net or reticule. 
A native of swampy ground, in China, where it is called 
by a name meaning Water Pine. Taxodium, Bald Cypress 
(largely present in early ages), is now represented by one 
species in the Southern States and a second in Mexico. 
Branchlets slender, and elegantly pinnated with delicate 
leaves, in two ranks, deciduous; cones broadly ovate, one 
to one and one-half inches long, hard, with an uneven sur- 
face. The Bald Cypress of the Southern swamps is particu- 
larly noted for its "knees" — conical, tumor-like bodies, 
arising from its roots, to a height of two to three feet, 
covered with a smooth, red bark, like that of young trees, 
and hollow. The part these curious excrescences play in 
the economy of the parent is unknown. 


Trees retaining their leaves during several years. Four 
genera; Sequoia, Crytotneria, and Sciadopitis — the two last- 
named Southern and Oriental trees, often met with in culti- 
vation, hence needing brief descriptions: — 

170 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

The Cryptomerias are beautiful, pyramidal trees, often of 
great size, like those planted hundreds of years ago, around 
the temples of Japan. They resemble our big Sequoias, 
but may be at once detected by their early bearing habit, 
trees being filled with fruit at a foot or two in height; 
cones globular, about a half inch in diameter, the scales 
palmately divided at the edge, so that the open, ripe cone 
is somewhat prickly. The Sciadopiiis, a solitary species 
from Japan, is distinguished by its verticillate or umbrella- 
like rays of "cladoles," these being modified branchlets, 
performing the office of leaves, two to four inches long. 

Chief of the Evergreen Taxodiads is the chief .of all trees 
in size — the great Redwoods belonging to the remarkable 
Western: — 

Seventh Genus. Sequoia — Redwoods, or Big Trees. 

Largest and noblest trees known, peculiarly confined to 
the limits of California. Cones oval; seeds like those of a 
parsnep; scales arranged in three coils, each an obpyra- 
midal or cuneate section, the point inwards, entering the 
cone axis, the apophysis, or exposed part, rhomboid, slightly 
embossed, with a depressed, transverse line, and a central 
seta or bristle (when young), about a fourth inch long, the 
scales, when maturing, shrinking a little to discharge the 
numerous seeds, but not changing position; seeds four to 
nine to each scale. Male flowers, yellow, about one half 
inch long, axillary upon young shoots — these, as well as 
those of the cones, clothed with short scales. 

The character and value of the wood are too well known 
to need further mention. About a score of species are 
known by their vestiges to have dominated the forests in 
past ages. Two surviving species: — 

I. Coast Redwood {Sequoia sempervirens, Decaine). — 
Famous lumber trees of the coast, growing in ravines 
and wet places, in numerous groves, from near the southern 

Conifers of the Pacific Slope. 171 

boundary of Monterey County, northward, with larger, 
compact bodies, to Mendocino and Humboldt Counties 
— a few small saplings being found just over the line in 
Oregon. Cones small, oblong, or oval, one-half to three- 
fourths inch long; scales about twenty; seeds about fifty; 
leaves bright green, flat, one-half to one inch long, mostly 
in two ranks, those on the main stems and peduncles, and 
usually the lower ones on the spreading branchlets, short, 
scale- like, and oppressed. This, the renowned Coast Red- 
wood, is the most valuable tree of the California forests, 
often attaining eight to twelve or rarely fifteen feet in dia- 
meter, with an unexcelled height of 300 to 400 feet, the 
limbless trunk, eighty to one hundred feet; bark soft, por- 
ous, very thick, six to twelve inches, deeply fissured longi- 

Trees remarkable for tenacity of life, roots and stumps 
readily sprouting, adventitious buds arising, even from 
the heart-wood of burned stubs. Forest being removed 
by lumbermen with most efficient and expeditious machin- 
ery. Probably not a single unprotected tree will be left 
standing fifty years hence. 

2. Sierra Big Tree (S. Washingtoniana, Sudworth). — 
Gigantic trees with straight, comparatively smooth, colum- 
nar trunks, 300 to nearly 400 feet high, and twenty to 
thirty, even forty feet in diameter. Strictly limited to the 
western slope of the Southern Sierra, in half a hun- 
dred groves, or forming larger forests of 2000 to 5000 
acres, beginning with a small, lately discovered grove in 
Placer County, at an elevation of 5000 feet, extending south- 
ward in detached groves, as at Calaveras (the first dis- 
covered grove), 4700 feet, Tuolumne 5500 feet, Mariposa 
6000 feet, to the numerous groves and larger forests at 
higher elevations, in Fresno and Tulare Counties. 

This colossal Washington tree, unmatched in all the 
world for the size and uniformity of its stupendous column. 

172 Sifrra Club Bulletin. 

and the thickness of its bark (one to two feet), differs from 
its only living brother, the Coast Redwood, beside the points 
named, mainly in having softer, darker colored wood, and 
softer and thicker bark, larger cones, which are ovate, about 
the size of a hen's egg, the seeds numerous, 150 to 200 to 
a cone; leaves small, scale-like, rigid, acute, and scattered; 
branchlets pendulous; also, this tree is not so tenacious of 
life, and does not sprout from the stump or roots. Trees 
of a preceding generation (as shown by their stubs or bits 
of trunk in almost every grove), seem to have attained the 
enormous age of 4000 to 5000 years. As all the present 
generation have the appearance of vigorous youth, with full 
crowns of limbs, and seldom a hollow trunk, and as they are 
now most of them protected in reservations, it is probable 
that many of them will reach or exceed any age yet pre- 
dicted upon ring-countings of ancestors.* 

( To be concluded. ) 

* For an account of the change of the name of this famous tree from Scquov 
g:igantea to .S". IVashingtoniana, and the reasons therefor, see late article in Sun 
day Call, San Francisco, June 13, 1S97, and republications (with corrections an( 
additions) in Oak/and Enquirer, June 16, 1897, and Pacific Coast Wood and Iron 
San FranciscOj November, 1897. 



Cones naked. 

/PiCKA— Tn 




^ Cones feathered \ False Spruce. 

( Keteleeria, 
J Chinese Fir. 

True Fir. 

!one scales d 



Abiks — True 

■ Coast 

^ Species. 

1. SUckensi 

2. Brewerit 

3. Columbia 

4. Engelma 

5. Pungens Blue Spruce. 

Tide-land Spruce. 
.Weeping Spruce. 

-Columbian Spruce. 
.Engelmann Spruce. 

1. Mertensii 

2. Pattonial^ 

■ Western Hemlock. 
.Alpine Hemlock, 

Northern / 

Firs. 1 3- Nobilis. 

1, Taxifolia .Douglas Spruce. 

2. Macrocarpa Big-cone Spruce. 

Lasiocarpa Sub-Alpine Fir. 

AmabiUs Lovely Fir. 

...Noble Fir. 
4. Grandis Grand Fir. 

f5. Lowiana California White Fir. 
6. Ma^nifica California Red Fir. 
7. Shastensis Shasta Fir. 
8. Venusta Bristle-cone Fir. 

„ , (9. Concolor Colorado White Fir. 

Southern | 

\ Firs. ( 10. Arizonica Arizona Fir. 

JIBE TWO. Arauca- 
Southern Pitch Trees. 

^Etc, Etc. 

^IBE THREE. Taxo- 


Leaves deci< 


I Semperviren- 



Sequoia— Red- 

1. Sempervirens Coast Redwood. 

2. Washing ioniana Big Tree. 

174 Sierra Club Bidleiin. 


Bv Jennie Ellsworth Price. 

It was late in July when our party of four, Mr. W. F. Reid, 
Mr. Theodore Solomons, Mr. Price, and myself, gazed 
from the top of El Capitan into the Yosemite Valley. 
We had left roads and stages, footprints and dust, 
behind at Gin Flat, whither we had journeyed by foot 
from Hodgdon's, and had followed across country, through 
forests and meadows, into canons, over ridges, until we 
had reached the well-known paths of the tourist. After 
a few days in the valley, we left for the High Sierra, 
the Cathedral Peak trail guiding us in the direction of 
the Tuolumne Meadows, until Cloud's Rest was passed, 
where, leaving all marks of civilization behind, we made 
our way up the Merced River to the top of Merced 
Peak. Then back again, through beautiful green fields 
and dense pine forests, to the Merced-San Joaquin divide, 
and on to the summit of Ritter. But it was not until we 
had passed over McClure's trail into the Tuolumne Mea- 
dows, and had camped at Lake Tenaya, that we began in 
earnest preparations for our descent of the Tuolumne Canon. 

For many months the thought of ascending Ritter and 
descending this Grand Canon had been uppermost in our 
minds when discussing our proposed trip, and now that 
four weeks of delightful experience had given us strength 
and courage, and having accomplished one of the desired 
feats, nothing could dampen our enthusiasm toward making 
the second a reality. So we spent the whole of the morn- 

A Woman s Trip Through the Tuolumne Canon. 175 

ing of the tenth of August in dividing camp provisions 
and packing knapsacks, for, after nearly a month of pleas- 
ant companionship, our party practically disbanded at Lake 

Mr. Price, Mr. Solomons, and myself took the old Vir- 
ginia Creek trail, which leaves the lake just back of the 
cabins, and started boldly on our journey. For a mile or 
more the way was plainly marked, but, as we advanced, only 
an occasional "T," the distinctive government blaze, would 
greet our searching eyes, and finally all traces of recent 
travel disappeared. At times we could distinguish blazes of 
years ago on the fallen trunks of dead trees, or, grown 
obscure, on the sides of living pines, and again even these 
marks disappeared, and maps were our only means of 
guidance. Toward the close of the afternoon we passed 
McGee Lake, reached the White Cascades, and, climbing 
to an elevation on the left of the river, gazed into the 
Tuolumne Canon with greatest interest and expectancy. 
The scene was enchanting! The Tuolumne River, after 
dashing itself into foaming rapids, rushed on down the 
canon in silvery masses until it spread itself out like shin- 
ing ribbon amid the green foliage of the forest pines. The 
walls of the canon rose ruggedly grand on either side, 
becoming higher and higher, closing nearer and nearer, 
and blending in the dim western horizon. Inspiring as 
was the picture, we could not linger long. So with consid- 
erable difficulty, we made our way, with our animal, down 
the slope along the White Cascades, and in a short time, 
were enjoying for a last time, until Hetch-Hetchy was 
reached, the warmth and comfort of our sleeping bags and 

Break of day found us up making final preparations. 
Mr. Solomons had decided to accompany us on a photo- 
graphing tour as far as Return Creek. So, after carefully 
staking our mule in the midst of a grassy marsh, we slung 

iy6 Sierra Club Bidletin. 

our knapsacks and began our journey. We were all well 
laden, for a camera and outfit burdened one back, Mr. 
Price carried twenty-five pounds, five days' provisions for 
our party of two, his sweater, and a revolver, and I followed 
with a knapsack containing the cooking utensils, my 
Jersey, and a few other articles. Its nine pounds I found 
as much as I could manage. In fact, at first it seemed 
more than I was equal to, for it took some time to get the 
proper bend to the back and learn to descend a rock with- 
out going head foremost, or rather, pack foremost. But 
experience is quickly gained in the Tuolumne Canon, and 
it was not long before our loads seemed a part of our- 

Having camped on the southern bank of the river, we 
decided to descend for some distance on that side instead 
of taking the northern bank, along which previous trampers 
had made their way. But before we had traveled far, we 
regretted we had not crossed the river at the start, for the 
rocky slopes, over which we were obliged to walk, grew 
both steep and smooth, and we could hardly find a safe 
foothold, while the brush became almost impenetrable, and 
we made discouragingly slow progress. But we were fully 
compensated for the delay, for walls had now appeared on 
either side of the river, whose masses of granite claimed 
our full attention. With the " Three Brothers" on our left, 
"Tuolumne El Capitan" and an adjoining bluff on our 
right, we felt the grandeur of the canon had not been exag- 
gerated. The tremendous height of the wall-like face front- 
ing on the river with almost perpendicular cliffs, and its 
color, vertically striped in darker and lighter yellow-grays, 
glistening in the morning sun, made a wonderfully striking 
picture. The beauty of the water enhanced the charm of 
the landscape; for, although only a few moments before 
dashing itself in wildest confusion over granite walls, it 
had calmed now into a silvery expanse, glistening here in 

A IVomaft's Trip Through the Tuolumne Cation. 177 

rippling diamonds, and tliere reflecting the glories of the 
overhanging cliffs. 

On we went, over the glaciated surfaces of the rocks, 
often climbing up for several hundred feet in narrow cracks, 
or sliding down a distance as great, to advance only a few 
yards; then, scrambling over high talus and around bowl- 
ders huge as houses, and forcing a way through sharp, 
dense thickets — such was our course for several hours, 
along the mountain river, growing more beautiful in its 
series of small falls and cascades. Finally, about noon, 
we approached a point in the river where the water, as 
if having accumulated energy for a glorious climactic 
surprise, suddenly dashed over immense granite stairways 
in a wonderful succession of foaming cascades. The tre- 
mendous force of the water, the fearful roar, the tearing, 
dashing, whirling mass, beaten into snowy foam as it 
rushed down the granite inclines, were far more grand and 
inspiring in reality than any photograph could picture to 
the imagination. We lunched below the Le Conte Cascade, 
in full view of its foaming, whirling torrents, and were loath 
to leave the scene. A short walk brought us to the Upper 
California Cascade, the most beautiful and majestic of the 
whole series. We had great difficulty in finding a way 
down the glaciated surfaces of the rocks to a position near 
enough to see the full extent of the water. Seated finally 
on a buttress near the foot of the cascade, with the mist 
falling over us, we gazed with wonder and delight on the 
exulting, on-rushing mass of snowy torrent, spreading 
itself over waves of granite, while leaping high in the air 
with glorious whirls, or shifting from side to side, tossing, 
tumbling, roaring, with all the exuberance and sprightli- 
ness of young mountain energy. Most graceful, most 
picturesque, this cascade was for me the crowning glory of 
the Tuolumne Canon. 

Leaving our place on the edge of the buttress, against 

178 Sierra Club Bullelbi. * 

which the whole force of the water dashes, and then, unable 
to advance, turns abruptly to the right, we began to descend 
the gentle granite slope to the left of the river. We advanced 
rapidly, for the face of the rock was rough, and there was 
no danger of slipping. Suddenly, when about half way 
down, we found ourselves on a glaciated surface, unable to 
advance or retreat one step without losing foothold and 
sliding upon the sharp rocks below. After many efforts, Mr. 
Price finally succeeded in swinging himself into a position 
where he had one good foothold, but I, too short of limb 
to follow his example, with no notch in which to place finger 
or edge of shoe, simply waited, with the palms of rny hands 
tightly pressed against the rock, wondering how long I could 
keep myself from the fatal plunge. Just at that moment, Mr. 
Solomons, returning from a distance, and seeing our predica- 
ment, hastened to my rescue with a long pole, and just as 
I was beginning to slide, placed it beneath my slipping foot, 
and gave me hold firm enough to risk one step in the direc- 
tion of Mr. Price, and grasp his outstretched hand. 

At half past four in the afternoon, when we had reached 
the confluence of Return Creek and the Tuolumne, we 
decided to make a crossing to the north side of the river, 
and wandered up and down the bank looking for a shallow 
place to ford. The river was, however, very swift at this 
point, its rocky bed slippery and uneven, and we felt it 
would not be safe to venture with our knapsacks on our 
backs, for their weight might at any moment overbalance 
us, and not only damage provisions, but in all probability 
wash bag and all down stream. We finally decided to 
attempt a crossing over a narrow channel, where the water 
dashed between the walls with a rush that was terrific, and 
a roar nearly deafening. Near the center of the stream, 
dividing the channel into two parts, stood a huge bowlder, 
and to this rock we managed, after many attempts, to throw 
a small tree to serve as a footbridge. Had the farther end 

A Wo7na7i s Trip Through, the Tuohnnne Canon. 179 

of the tree rested upon a rough, flat surface, we would have 
experienced no difficulty, but the face of the rock was not 
only inclined, but smoothly polished by the water, making 
the crossing all the more venturesome. But, finally, sum- 
moning up our courage, though almost dazed by the rush 
and roar of the foaming torrent, only a few inches beneath 
our feet, one after another, we passed over the rounding 
surface of the log to the bowlder beyond. Then, crouching 
on the slippery rock, we succeeded in drawing our foot- 
bridge after us, and again made use of it in reaching the 
opposite shore. Landed in safety on the northern bank, 
we bade farewell to our fellow-traveler, Mr. Solomons, and 
left him to make liis way with his photographing outfit up 
the cliffs to the north of Return Creek, while we continued 
our tramp down the canon. 

After an hour or more of rough scrambling through 
brush and over talus, we willingly confessed we had had 
enough experience for one day, and were ready to stop at 
the first comfortable camping place. Here a mild discus- 
sion arose between the two members of our party as to 
what constituted a good sleeping spot, when we must rest 
for the night with neither blankets nor down sleeping bags 
for a covering. Mr. Price declared himself in favor of a 
bed of leaves, with a great fire on either side, and I advo- 
cated the advantages of a sand bank, where the flame could 
not reach us unknowingly. But nature did not seem to 
heed my decision, for we traveled on and on, and found 
no sleeping place such as I desired. Finally an inviting 
spot under the trees near the river was selected, and tossing 
off our knapsacks with great satisfaction, we were soon 
enjoying a supper of corn-meal mush, dried apricots, and 
beef bouillon. After finishing our meal, I left Mr. Price to 
gather wood while I repaired to the river to wash our few 
cooking utensils. It was not long before I saw my hus- 
band in great distress, gesticulating wildly, and rushing 

i8o Sierra Club Bulletin. 

toward the stream in strangest fashion, motioning me to 
leave the spot where I stood spellbound. For a moment 
I could not think at all; then a confusion of emotions passed 
through my mind, and finally I thought of snakes. The 
stories of rattlers and their abundance in the caiion had not 
been a pleasant prospect from the beginning; and now, on 
our first night, we had been attacked, and Mr. Price prob- 
ably bitten. In great anxiety I awaited his approach, and, 
finally, above the roar of the water, I made out that the 
cause of all my fears, and Mr. Price's gesticulations, was 
nothing more dangerous than wasps. Sleep, we knew, in 
the vicinity of a disturbed wasps' nest, with a fire to keep 
the insects stirring, was ne.xt to impossible; so, quickly 
gathering our belongings, in the darkness we made our 
way along the stream in quest of a new sleeping ground. 
It was no pleasure at that late hour to drag our weary 
limbs over jagged rocks that often tripped our careless feet, 
or to slip every now and then, in spite of ourselves, into 
little pools of cold water; but fortunately, we had not far 
to travel, and this time it was a sand bank we found. An 
ideal spot it was, sheltered on three sides by huge bowlders 
that acted as reflectors for the heat of the fire, and having 
ready, within reach, wood of all shapes and sizes, tossed 
there by spring torrents. Sleeping without blankets was a 
novel experience, but not as uncomfortable as would be 
expected. With leggings for a pillow, we managed to 
sleep the greater part of the night, rousing ourselves at long 
intervals to replenish our fire. 

Morning found us somewhat stiff and sleepy, but, withal, 
refreshed, and ready for another day's experience. Dur- 
ing the early hours, our tramp was a pleasant variety of 
open flats, rough climbing over talus, and hard scrambling 
through small clumps of trees. 

We were now in that portion of the canon where the 
walls began to rise higher and grow more perpendicular, 

A tVoma?i's Trip Thi-otcgh Ihe Tuohanne Canon. i8i 

until, in the distance, tlie double-peaked Tuolumne Castle 
seemed to pierce the very skies. We found ourselves gaz- 
ing about us with ever-increasing wonder and awe, while a 
feeling of our own helplessness and insignificance took 
possession of us. Just before noon, from the terrific rush 
and roar of the water, we knew we were approaching the 
Muir Gorge, where the angry river, after rising and falling 
for miles, transforms itself into a hissing, seething mass 
of churning water. Fascinated, we stood on a great bowlder 
and watched the frothing water hurl madly past into a 
veritable prison of granite. Out of this chasm rose, side 
by side, two bare gray walls to the height of a thousand 
feet, where the northern wall suddenly turned and swept 
back to the side of the canon, forming a great rocky spur. 
Over this rough point we began our scramble about two in 
the afternoon. On reaching the summit, we found the 
Sierra Club register can buried under a substantial monu- 
ment, and to the records added our names, the first since 
'94. We camped soon after reaching the river again, and 
slept the sleep that only the tired mountaineer can enjoy. 
The third day was our hardest, for the forest fires, which 
were raging in the adjoining sections of country, made 
the air close and sultry. Our ambition seemed to vanish, 
and we advanced only because it was a necessity, and with 
the perspiration fairly dripping from our faces. Fortu- 
nately, however, we had reached Pait Valley, and had 
delightful walking all morning over small garden-like open- 
ings and level flats, through groves of trees and bushes 
heavily ladened with ripe thimble berries. About half past 
ten two large deer, startled by our footsteps, went bound- 
ing over the floor of the caiion, crashing through bushes 
and groves of young trees in wildest haste and confusion. 
For hours we wandered over bears' trails, as well trodden 
as the ordinary tourist path, and often walked into the 
feeding grounds of the bear among the manzanitas. For 

i82 Sierra Club Bullethi. 

miles their tracks were visible on the sandy soil, and fre- 
quently we were led, in following the trail, to the resting- 
places of these animals, under the cover of low, sheltering 

In the meantime the walls of the canon, as we had been 
advancing, had grown less and less perpendicular, farther 
and farther apart, lower and lower, until, in the distance 
toward Hetch-Hetchy, though the clifTs were still rugged 
and picturesque, much of their solemn grandeur disappeared. 

In the afternoon, after leaving Pait Valley, we met with 
rough work once more, and had several hours of diffi- 
cult scrambling over talus that seemed almost irfipossible 
to climb around or over, through brush that pierced our 
clothing, and over rounded, polished stones by the water- 
side. The heat was most oppressive, and by five o'clock 
we were worn out and ready to camp. Just then a sight 
met our eyes that will long remain in memory. We were 
on the talus, piled several hundred feet high, and silently 
struggling along, when, suddenly to our right, and only a 
few feet away, there feirly shot into the air from out the 
shelter of huge blocks of granite, two large snakes. They 
seemed to stand on their very rattles, while, with heads 
erect, all unmindful of our observations, they twisted their 
long bodies around about each other, and sported in the 
most playful manner. The sight was uncanny, yet we 
stood fascinated for some moments. A second later a 
shower of missiles made known our presence, and in an 
instant, rattling loudly as they went, the two reptiles disap- 
peared in the rocks below. A short walk brought us to 
the river once more, and to a comfortable camping place; 
but no sooner had our knapsacks reached the ground, than 
from our very feet came the penetrating, unmistakable 
rattle again, and two more reptiles were before us. It did 
not take long to despatch the snakes and secure their 
rattles, but the place had lost its charm for camping pur- 

A Woman' s Trip Through the Tuolunuic CaTion. 183 

poses, so we slung our knapsacks and started on. More 
weary than ever, now, we were glad to drop into the first 
inviting place we came across, and before many minutes 
had passed, supper was over and we were fast asleep. 
About twelve o'clock we aroused ourselves to set fire to 
the great pile of wood which had been collected during the 
evening, for up to that time the atmosphere, warmed by 
the burning forests, had made other heat unnecessary. 
As the first dry twig cheerily crackled in the silence of 
midnight, from the rocks beyond the fire, and only a few 
yards away, came once again the same warning note of the 
rattler. Another snake had been disturbed. But, feeling 
that all efforts, at that time of night, to escape our unpleasant 
neighbors were useless, we calmed ourselves as best we 
could, and in a short time had forgotten our fears in quiet 

We were off on the morning of the fourth day at half-past 
five, and by seven were delightedly gazing on one of the 
most beautiful and varied water scenes in the whole cation. 
The river, after dashing in small, picturesque whirls for a 
hundred feet or more, suddenly fell over a perpendicular 
wall, then dashed on over a silvery apron, smooth and 
regularly inclined, and then threw itself, with tremendous 
force, down a great stone stairway in foaming, whirling, 
tumbling cascades. An hour later, we could see dimly, 
but unmistakably outlined, far into Hetch-Hetchy, the 
massive Sugar Loaf; but, before reaching the valley itself, 
we had to cross one of the roughest spurs that we had met 
during the whole journey. It was a veritable hauling our- 
selves up for long distances, then crawling with greatest 
precision around slippery ledges, only to let ourselves 
down the rocky cliffs as best we might, jumping, sliding, 
or slowly edging away; but by ten o'clock we had camped 
for the day at the entrance to Hetch-Hetchy. 

Our journey was over; regret and gladness mingled — 

184 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

gladness, that an end had come to constant labor; regret, 
that so much of grandeur and magnificence was far behind 
us in the canon. A feeling, almost of indignation, rose 
within us, when we thought of the glorious cascades, the 
sheer granite walls, the great Muir Gorge, all pent up 
within a narrow mountain cleft, inaccessible to the great 
majority. But anyone who is anything of a mountaineer 
can see this region, and should journey through the entire 
length of the canon, for it is a scenic wonderland, with 
never a dull step in the whole distance. 

\_Ediior Sierra Bulletin: — The .Sierra Club is developing some 
capital mountaineers, and Mrs. Price must be one of the best. 
The Tuolumne Canon is perhaps the roughest of all the Sierra 
streets, and her quiet walk through it was a fine, notable per- 
formance. As far as I know, she is the only woman who has 
traced it through its entire length. The Club should make some 
sort of a trail through this magnificent cafion. Simply cutting 
lanes through the densest of the chaparral tangles would go far to 
render it accessible. Very truly yours, John Muir.] 


Key to the Sketch-Map of the Kaweah Group of Mountains. 

Av. C— Avalanche Canon. 
A. M.— Alwill's Mills, on the Mineral Ki 
C. C. — Cache Camp. 
C. C. L. — Cache Lamp Lake. 

E. F.— '• East Fork" of Kern. 
E. Mt.— Emiiire Mountain. 

F. G.— Farewell Gap. 

F. L. C— Five-Lakes Canon. 

G. C— Gallafs Corral and Lake. 
G. L. — Glacier Lake. 

H. M.— Heather Meadow. 
K. K.R.— Kern-Kaweah River. 

K. L. — Kaweah Lakes (upper and lowe 
L. B. R.— Little Blue Rock. 
L. C— Lost Canon. 
L. R —The " Lion Rock." 
L. Col.— Lake Columbine. 
L. M. L. — Lower Monarch Lake. 
L. L— Lake of Islands. 
M B.— Milestone Bowl. 
M. Plat.— Milestone Plateau. 
P. — Kern-Kaweah Pass. 
P. G.— The " Picket Guard " Peak. 
P. P.— Plumbago Peak. 

R. Cr.— Rock Creek. 

R. G. — Redspur Gap. 

R L.— Rockslide Lake. 

S. B.— '■ The Sugar Bowl " \ 

S. C— Soda Caiion. 

T. L— Tamarack Lake. 
Th. G.— Thunder Gap. 

T. G.— Timber Gap. 
U. M. L —Upper .Monarch Lake 
Wh.Cr.— Whitney Creek. 

The Ke 

1 Rii 

er runs nearly on the meridii 


2. Whitney Creek points nearly toward Mt. 

^. Mt. Guyot, as viewed from Moraine Lake, lies 
midway between Mt. Whitney and .Sheep Moun- 

The Sketch Map is planned two miles to the 


5. The dotted lines mark the 
followed ill 1896 and 1897. 

:ipal route 

The Kaweah Group. 185 


By Professor William R. Dudley. 

In July, 1896, I made my way across the Sequoia 
National Park, by the way of Mt. Silliman and the Marble 
Fork, to Aha Meadow, explored a passage across Buck 
Canon (one of the steepest and roughest canons in the 
Southern Sierra), and reached Mineral King by way of 
Redwood Meadow and Timber Gap. None of the hunters 
or stockmen we met about Mineral King could give us a 
clear account of any trail to the Kaweah Mountains. 
Ascending Miner's Peak ("locally known at present as "Saw- 
tooth," from its peculiar beak-like form, and usually esti- 
mated at about 13,000 feet elevation) eastwardly from 
Mineral King, we perceived that the Kaweahs extended 
much further eastward than the maps represent them — most 
maps, indeed, following the Hoffmann-Whitney map of 
1873, place them directly on the Western Divide. Not only 
were they apparently largely detached, but between them 
and the Western Divide (on which Miner's Peak is situated) 
was a deep groove — the canon of the Big Arroyo, just as 
between the Kaweahs and the Whitney Divide was a deeper 
groove, the Grand Canon of the Kern. 

The Kaweah River has always been represented as tak- 
ing its rise from some portion of the peaks of that name, 
and was currently believed to do so by the hunters and 
campers who frequent the region of Mineral King every 
summer. I determined to trace this river to its source if 
possible; and James Rice, of Visalia, who had hunted well 

1 86 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

up the Middle Kaweah, was able to give us explicit and 
valuable directions for the first half of the journey. The 
trail from Redwood Meadow crossed Granite Creek, fol- 
lowed the right bank of the Kaweah for a mile, then crossed 
and climbed to Wet Meadow (the Last Chance Meadow of 
the Sierra Club map), thence passed northeastward, through 
Bear Paw and Quaking Asp Meadows, to the " Lone Pine," 
where it descended from the high ground to the open 
glaciated upper valley of the Kaweah. It is noticeable that 
traveling is comparatively easy in the upper valleys of the 
Sierra streams. Trouble comes in at the rocky passes 
between the upper valleys and in the narrow canons in the 
lower altitudes. We camped at the upper meadow of the 
Kaweah, which was named Heather Meadow, from the 
large amount of Bryanthus Breweri, or " Sierra Heather," 
growing about. It was by nature a beautiful secluded 
Alpine meadow, but ruined by sheep. Looking down upon 
the meadow from the east was a noble peak, whose head 
and projecting arete cliffs had, in the descending sun, all 
the repose of the front of a couchant lion. It was named 
the Lion Rock. The Kaweah comes from the north of this 
peak, and its source was found in one small and one larger 
lake, fed by small glaciers from its rear, and from the divide 
of which the peak is a spur. These were named the 
Kaweah Lakes. 

To the north of these lakes was the beginning of the 
Kings-Kaweah Divide, and over a high foot-pass in this, 
but close to the Western Divide, we found the source of the 
Roaring River in a beautiful circular lake fed by a well- 
formed glacier. It was after the middle of August, but 
small icebergs were floating in this and the upper Kaweah 
Lake, broken from the glacier fronts. From this fact and 
the presence of old snow and blue ice in these steeply 
sloping but not extensive snow fields, we speak of them as 
glaciers. Their motion, which must be slow, was not 

The Kaiveah Group. 187 

observed. We were overtaken here by a storm of hail, 
accompanied by thunder and lightning, and named the pass 
to Roaring River, Thunder Gap. From this point the open 
upper valley of the river stretches straight away north- 
wardly. Ascending, on another day, to the summit of the 
Western Divide, by way of the canon south of the Lion Rock, 
we saw the head lakes of the Big Arroyo lying in a deep 
canon at the foot of the cliffs, east and south of us; and ofT 
to the southeast of these lakes were the great black Kavveah 
peaks, connected with the divide apparently (and in 1897 
we learned the truth of this supposition), only by a narrow 
sharp arete, several miles in length. Daily storms prevented 
further effective e.xploration that summer. 

Early in July, 1897, accompanied by Messrs. Wight and 
Dudley, students at Stanford, and by Mr. Dean, of Three 
Rivers, on the Kavveah, who furnished us with our saddle 
and pack animals, we made our way over the Salt Creek 
and Hockett trails — partly over my old collecting grounds 
of 1895 — to the southern side of the Kaweahs, by way of 
the Kern River Canon. Taking Funston's sheep-trail, the 
only break for many miles in the great western wall of the 
canon, we ascended to Mr. Funston's cabin at the great 
meadow on the plateau south of the Kaweahs. This is a 
rolling plateau, several miles square, 9000 to 10,000 feet 
elevation, and covered with Tamarack pines and meadows. 
We have mapped it as the Chagoopah Plateau, as it is 
traversed by the creek forming the Chagoopah Falls. A 
week was spent in this vicinity exploring the Big Arroyo 
and Mt. Kaweah, the ascent of the latter being easily made 
in one day. I quote from Vol. I., page 382, of the 
Geological Survey of California, by J. D. Whitney: " This 
last-named (Kaweah Peak) was not reached by our party, 
but its height was estimated to be over 14,000 feet. From 
its great elevation and peculiar position opposite the highest 
point of the Sierra, and the immense depth of the canon 

1 88 Sierra Club B idle tin. 

of the Kern between it and Mt. Whitney, it would probably 
command the grandest view which could be obtained in the 
whole range of the Sierra." This view is, in fact, one of 
the most instructive, if not the grandest. Stimulated by 
what it revealed, I resolved to try the exploration of the 
canons north of the Kaweahs, which we afterward named 
the Kern-Kaweah River and the Milestone Bowl. This 
was accomplished, by way of the Kern River Canon, after 
another week's hard riding and climbing. The Kern- 
Kaweah Pass, out of the Kern, is something that will debar 
the ordinary explorer from this canon for some time to 
come, and should not be attempted, except with such 
excellent mountain animals as Mr. Dean furnished us. We 
ascended the main branch of the Kern-Kaweah to its source, 
which lies on the east side of the sharp ridge (about 12,500 
feet elevation) connecting the Western Divide with the 
Kaweahs. One small brook comes from that peak of the 
Western Divide at whose western and northwestern bases 
lie Kaweah Lake and Glacier Lake, sources of the Kaweah 
River and Roaring River. We looked over this connecting 
ridge and saw, at its western base, the head lakes of the Big 
Arroyo, the same I had looked at, in August of 1896, from a 
point opposite, on the Western Divide. 

We next ascended to the Milestone Bowl, and from the 
plateau at its head (over 13,500 feet, and once a part of 
Milestone Peak) we had the most complete view of the 
Kaweahs obtainable, and one of the best general views of 
the Sierra I have seen. Here it was shown even better 
than from Mt. Kaweah, that the group consisted of three 
chains (with a remnant of a fourth), spreading southeast 
and east from the connecting ridge in a fan-shaped manner, 
as indicated on the map. From their lofty elevation and 
east and west trend, there is more snow among them in 
August than among most of the peaks of the Southern 
Sierra. The black peaks of the main chain are thin, saw- 

The Kaweah Group. 189 

like, and very precipitous on both faces. From near 
Fresno I have seen them in midwinter, through a gap in the 
Western Divide, peering over, black and ragged, from 
behind the snow-mantled peaks of the ranges about them. 
Their faces were too steep for snow to lie on them. The 
gray Kaweah (Mt. Kaweah) the easternmost peak of the 
main chain, somewhat more tedious of ascent than Mt. 
Whitney, but perfecdy safe, has been reckoned as about 
14,140 feet elevation. From Mt. Kaweah, this chain 
continues east to near the Kern, in a long, reddish, sloping 
ridge, seen from many places in the Kern River Canon. 
We named it the Red Spur. Where it terminates near 
the Kern is the grandest scenery of the canon. There is a 
fine pyramidal peak at the eastern end of the third range, 
which was always in the background of the view as we 
entered and ascended the narrow cleft of the Kern- Kaweah. 
This was named the Picket Guard. 

Finally, descending from the upper Kern-Kaweah to 
the Kern by the pass through which we had left it, we 
ascended the middle fork for a mile or two, climbed out of 
the canon eastward, and, by the end of the second day from 
the Kern, we had reached Mt. Whitney, ascended to its 
summit, and returned to our camp at its base. It was about 
one full day's journey from the junction of the Kerns to the 
Upper Crabtree Meadow. 

Before our return to the valley, we were enabled to see 
most of the larger tributaries of the Kern; and apparently 
the Big Arroyo and the Kern Kaweah separately pour 
more water into the main stream in midsummer than any 
of the branches from the east; and the Kern-Kaweah is 
larger at its junction with the Kern than the Kern itself 

The above is the merest outline of the two efforts at the 
exploitation of this region, and gives nothing of the splen- 
dor of its great peaks, the beauty of its waterfalls, the 
grand processional of scene in the upper Kern River 

igo Sierra Chtb Bullcfi7i. 

Canon, or the devastation occasioned by sheep-feeding on 
all the ranges except that of the beautiful Chagoopah 
Plateau (Funston's) where a more rational practice pre- 
vails. On the other ranges the great obstacle to the 
explorer is not danger from crag or chasm, but the starva- 
tion threatening his animals, through the destruction of the 
fine natural meadow pasturage by sheep. 

The accompanying map is expected to give the true 
relationship of only the principal points about the Kaweah 
Mountains. It does not include a considerable amount of 
detail accumulated in notes and sketches, also in photo- 
graphs which Mr. Wight took largely for my satisfaction. 

It has been constructed, however, with considerable care 
in regard to proportion, the position of lakes, streams, and 
mountains, and their relation to certain well-known points, 
such as Mt. Whitney, the Milestone, and Miner's Peak. 
The dotted lines represent our journeys, and usually 
correspond to trails (mostly of sheep men), sometimes to 
routes of our own choosing. 

Those who consult the map are asked to observe that it 
presents the following geographic facts practically new to 
science: — 

1 . It shows the almost complete isolation of the Kaweahs 
fi'om the Western Divide, and their division into three or 
four chains. 

2. These peaks are wholly drained by branches of the 
Kern River, principally by the Big Arroyo and the Kern- 
Kaweah, which have never before been mapped recogniz- 
ably, neither have any explorations of them been published. 

3. The Kaweah River drains no part of the Kaweah 

4. The lakes at the river-sources and elsewhere are 
new to the maps. A considerable number among the 
Kaweahs and along the Western Divide are not indicated. 

The Kaweah Group. igi 

but with the number given suggest the elevated and highly- 
glaciated character of the region. 

5. The peaks giving rise to the Kaweah and Roar- 
ing Rivers and the two chief branches of the Upper Kern 
represent one of the principal geographical centers of the 
Southern Sierra. 

192 Sierra Club Bulletin. 


In addition to longer articles suitable for the body of the magazine, the editor 
would be glad to receive brief n'emoranda of alt noteivorthy ttips or explorations, 
together with brief comtnetU and suggestion on any topics of general interest to 
the Club. 

The Mazamas' Trip to Mt. Rainier. 

The Mazamas, the mountaineering society of the Pacific North- 
west, with headquarters at Portland, pursue the custom of making 
a concerted expedition to some mountain region in their field 
during each summer, and invite to join them all others who will 
go, to climb some snow peak, explore its surroundings, and enjoy 
its attractions. Their expedition of 1S97 was to Mt. Rainier,* Wash- 
ington, and was the most ambitious they have yet attempted. It 
brought together, late in July, in Paradise Park, on the south side 
of Rainier, about two hundred mountain lovers. Of these, about 
seventy-five were bold enough to wish to climb the mountain, 
while the rest found abundant fields for enjoyment on the glaciers 
and among the lesser though difficult peaks of the neighboring 
Tatoosh Range. To conduct so large a company at once to the 
summit of a mountain so high, so difficult to climb, and offering 
so many dangers to the climbers, was more of a problem in moun- 
taineenng than the Mazamas had as yet had to face. It was most 
successfully solved. All those who proposed to climb were 
formed into a battalion of five companies, under strict military 
discipline, and all signed a formal pledge to obey orders strictly. 
On the climb the companies marched in one long line, single file, 
all starting and halting according to command. Thus the whole 
company was kept closed up, and laggards were not left behind. 
The first day's climb was an easy one, to "Camp Muir," at an 
elevation of about 10,000 feet, about four miles above the snow- 
line. Camp was made on an exposed ridge of bare rocks. 
Several decided not to go beyond this point, where the real diffi- 
culties and dangers of the ascent begin. 

The ascent from Camp Muir to the summit and return was 
accomplished the next day, July 27th, between five in the morning 

*See discussion of the name of this mountain in No. 4, Vol. 
Bulletin, by O. B. Van Trump. 

Notes and Correspondence. 193 

and nine in the evening. There were sixty on the whole expedi- 
tion who reached the summit, two small parties climbing in 
advance of the main company. The last 2000 feet of the climb 
were rendered unusually dangerous by the condition of the snow, 
which was hard and crusted, as well as very steep. But, with 
constant vigilance and continued use of the life line, all accidents 
were escaped. The party reached the summit about 4 P.M., and 
were able to stay in the crater less than an hour before it was 
necessary to return, leaving eight of their number to spend the 
night on the summit and burn red fire in the evening, and to 
attempt heliographing and kite-flying the following day. The 
atmosphere was remarkably clear, and the signal lights were seen 
and answered from Tacoma and several other distant points. The 
attempts at kite-fiying and heliograpliing, owing to insufficient 
preparations, were unsuccessful. 

One fatality marked the expedition. At about eleven o'clock 
on the night of tlie descent. Prof. Edgar McClure, of the Univer- 
sity of Oregon, while within an hour of the main camp at snow- 
line, lost his footing on a steep slope of snow, and was dashed 
upon a pile of rocks at the bottom as he slid. Death was probably 
instantaneous. On the next night two others slipped very near 
the same place, and fell into a small crevasse, but were rescued 
after some three hours. 

Excepting these accidents, which occurred after the dangers of 
the ascent were all supposed to have been passed, and after the 
vigilance previously exercised had been relaxed, the ascent was a 
remarkable record of successful mountaineering. That sixty 
persons should have gone in one party to the summit of so high 
and difficult and dangerous a mountain as Rainier, and all have 
returned practically to the foot of it without even a scratch or a 
sprain, is very noteworthy; and the higliest praise is due to the 
Captain of the expedition, Mr. Edward S. Curtis, of Seattle, and 
to the strict discipline which he maintained. 

Without the maintenance of military order in climbing, either 
a much smaller number would have succeeded in reaching the 
summit, or else there must almost certainly have been serious 
accidents at some of the places of danger. It is doubtful, how- 
ever, whether it will be thought desirable again to attempt to 
make an ascent with so large a company; and it may be that this 
ascent of the Mazamas will stand for a long time to come as the 
best record of concerted climbing yet established. 

Earl Morse Wilbur. 

194 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

A Direct Route from Susanville to Fall River Mills. 

A study of the map of California will reveal two possible direct 
routes from Reno to Mt. Shasta. These two routes, passing the one 
through Quincey, the other through Susanville, converge beyond 
these towns until they meet at Fall River Mills, from which a road 
leads directly to Mt. Shasta and Sisson. 

When planning our trip last summer, we wished to try the 
route via Quincey, but were warned that there existed no road to 
the north beyond Prattville in the Big Meadows, unless we went 
into the Sacramento Valley. We were also informed that the 
only road from Susanville lead by a circuitous route through the 
desert, via Eagle Lake and Bieber, a distance of loo miles. Both 
of these statements we afterwards found to be incorrect. 

At Susanville we were told of a direct route via Prne Creek, 
which had been traversed by a few, who were enthusiastic over 
its advantages. But they were unable to givs an accurate descrip- 

I was persuaded to take it and to abandon it half a dozen times 
within as many hours; but, of course, the last man to offer his 
advice won the day and sent us forth with fair directions for the 
first half of the journey, but with only these words ringing in our 
ears to direct us over the remainder of it: " If you lose the road, 
after leaving Pine Creek, bear to the northwest until you reach 
Fall River Valley." Before night we found the headquarters of 
Galen C. McCoy, who had a thorough knowledge of all the 
northern Sierra uplands, resulting from an acquaintance of twenty 
years with them. Under his direction I drew a chart of the 
remainder of the road, which we followed without further trouble. 

This road, via Pine Creek, is superior to the old road via Bieber 
in almost every respect. First, in having a length of seventy miles, 
while the latter is thirty miles longer. Second, in lying in the midst 
of timber and meadows, instead of desert. Third, in having 
but one long grade down the gradual descent into Fall River 
Valley, and, fourth, in having two stations now available, which 
divide the road into sections varying from eighteen to twenty- 
eight miles. 

The road via Bieber may have one advantage, that of being 
kept open during the winter more easily than the other. But of 
this I cannot speak positively. 

For these reasons, I offer the following map as a means of 
opening a road, which, in time, I believe, must become the direct 
line of communication between Susanville and Fall River Valley. 

The character (^ indicates blazes on the road. 

1. (^ — "To Prattville, Bridge Creek, and Pine Creek." 

2. «0 — "To Prattville." 

I^otes and Correspondence. 195 

3. c^ — "To Pine Creek." This signboard is in a tree, just 
where the road turns down a hill, and might easily be overlooked. 
The right-hand, though fainter road, must be taken. 

4. <0 — "To Hog Flat Dam and Pursers." 

The Reservoir is a large shallow pond, formed by a dam built 
across the lower part of Hog Flat, for the purpose of storing 
water for irrigation in Honey Lake Valley. 

5. CX, — "To Susanville." At the foot of a short grade leading 
down into the northern portion of Hog Flat. The main road 
leads to the right and out of the flat. The left-hand road runs 
directly up the flat to McCoy's headquarters, the fence of which 
can barely be distinguished in the distance. 

A dim cut-ofT of two miles leads back to main road. 

Bridge Creek is a misnomer. The stream at its mouth is not 
more than four and a half feet wide. 

Feather Lakes are each perhaps one-half mile long, lined with 
reeds. Through low saddle to northwest, Mt. Shasta can be seen 
low down on the horizon, covered with snow. One-half mile 
further on, a road from Prattville to Grasshopper crosses main 
road. This is the road north from Prattville, whose existence had 
previously been denied. 

6. (Xj — "To Susanville." 

Pine Creek flows through northern part of large barren pine, 
about six miles long and three miles wide, sloping from Feather 
Lakes to low saddle in the north. Part near Feather Lakes 
thinly dotted with pines. A small cabin, looking at first in the 
distance like a horse grazing, is in the center of the barren, near 
the meadow. On further side of Pine Creek is a small enclosure 
with cabin. This was formerly Cone's headquarters, now 
abandoned, the headquarters having been moved about four miles 
to Harvey Valley. Road passes to east of cabin about 150 yards 
and crosses road from enclosure to Harvey and Dixie Valleys, a 
signboard indicating the left-hand road to Fall River. 

7- 'be? — "To Fall River," " Harvey and Dixie Valleys." The 
road to Pittville and Fall River formerly passed through Dixie 
Valley, a hay and stock valley, about six miles long and two wide, 
exclusive of bench land, but, on account of its roughness, has 
lately been abandoned. 

Rock Springs is a bench of timber, south of road, bordered 
by a reef of rocks fifteen feet high, fringed with aspens. To 
find spring, go 150 yards west from signboard to big lone pine 
tree, fifty yards west of clump of four pine trees, and then back 
toward reef. 

8. 1^— "To Fall River," "To Susanville." 

The right-hand road, marked "To Fall River," passes by Jim 

196 Sierra Chtb Bulletin. 

Eldridge's, ten miles from Pittville. Take left-hand road, via 
Poison Lake, since it is shorter, has an easier grade, and has a 
station nearer at hand. At signboard the road is almost obliter- 
ated, but can be seen a short distance to the west. 

Poison Lake. — The road to the north of Poison Lake is at times 
hard to find, on account of the high water, but there are numerous 
wagon tracks. Go to northwest corner of lake, where a road 
marked by cattle tracks leads over ridge and directly north two 
miles to George Long's Cattle Camp. This consists of a pond of 
water enclosed by fence near ledge of rock. North are two other 
enclosures, one of which contains an empty cabin. To the east, 
at a distance, is cabin in depression known as Dry Lake. 

Black Butte is a low, forest-clad peak, with gradually sloping 
sides, and somewhat more prominent than other hills Jaround it. 
It is situated about six miles north of Poison Lake. The road 
from George Long's Cattle Camp to Jelley Camp and Shird 
Eldridge's passes through depression to the west of it, while the 
road from Rock Springs to Jim Eldridge's passes east of it. 
Black Butte is at the summit of the Sierra range. Joe Long's 
Sheep Camp is to the right of the road, but hidden by trees. 

Jettey Camp is an abandoned cabin on the west side of a gulch 
which runs north and terminates in a cation leading toward Pitt 
River. In the gulch are enclosed springs. The road is barely 
traceable at this point. Two routes are now available to Fall 
River, one leads directly past the cabin, west four miles to Ward's 
headquarters. Here pass west through gate, down hill one and 
one-half miles, to old Fort Crook road, which passes Bald Mountain. 
This is the shortest route, but the most desolate. To take the 
second route, cross to east side of gulch, south of cabin, and take 
road to the north on the ridsje above the gulch. This road leads 
to the dairy ranch of Shird Eldridge, where good accommodations 
will be found. After leaving Eldridge's, take road north, winding 
to west around his meadow fence, until the old road from Jelley 
Camp, through meadow to Willow Springs, is reached. Follow 
this road a few rods until a new road turns from it to the west and 
leads up ridge to the west. This road is a cut-off from the old 
road, and will soon take its place. We followed it by means of 
Eldridge's wagon tracks. After a gradual descent of eighteen 
miles, through pines, junipers, and lava, Snell's white house and 
windmill will appear to the right. From this point take every 
left hand road for six miles, over the upland within sight of the 
ranches, until the road winds from north of west to south, and 
leads along an arm of the valley to Fall River Mills. 

J. E. Church, Jr. 

November 26, 1S97. 

Notes and Correspondence. 197 

A Route up the Merced River. 

Of the many trips which may be taken from Yosemite Valley 
as a starting point, into the grand and picturesque scenery of the 
National Park, one of the finest is a route up the Merced River 
Canon, explored last July by our party, with two pack animals, a 
horse and a mule. Owing to the uncertainty of finding a way up 
this caiion with pack animals, and fearing, in case of failure, to 
mislead others, we did not attempt to blaze or monument a route, 
except in some few places, and having made but brief memoranda 
at the time, only very general notes of the course can now be given. 

Leaving Yosemite Valley late in July, we followed the trail 
leading to the Tuolumne Meadows by the way of Clouds Rest 
and Cathedral Peak, to a point about two and one half miles 
beyond its junction with the Clouds Rest trail, and about one half 
mile beyond Hopkins Meadow. Here we left the trail and 
worked down into the canon of the Merced River, just above 
Little Yosemite. Our route then lay for some distance over a 
surface e.xhibiting the most remarkable evidence of glaciers to be 
found in this whole region — rounded, billowy masses of granite, 
beautifully polished and perfectly striated, as though the work 
had been done but yesterday. The best route here appeared to 
be about midway between the river and the wall to the left, 
avoiding the fissured surface of the granite near the former, and 
the talus of the latter. Proceeding a short distance, it was found 
advisable to approach nearer the north wall and cross a fiw spur, 
beyond which Echo Creek joins the Merced. Coming down to 
the river, traveling was found comparatively easy through 
meadows and groves and along cascades, till an inclined, glaciated 
surface, extending from high on the canon wall to the river, was 
reached. To cross the river at this point was not practicable. 
With sure-footed, unshod mules or burros, it would be possible to 
cross safely the granite surface, but one of our animals being 
shod, for us to have attempted it would certainly have been 
unwise. A way along the river was found, where, with the excep- 
tion of about thirty feet, there was no difficulty in proceeding. 
This thirty feet consisted of a granite slope, incHned at an angle 
of about forty-five degrees, and extending into the river. Across 
this surface we placed long, slender tamarack logs, firmly sup- 
ported at their ends. Upon them we lay brush, rocks, and 
pine needles, and thus constructed a sort of bridge. The 
results of our work will probably be washed away by the next 
high rise of the river, but the bridge can be reconstructed with 
two or three hours' work. Just beyond this point is Lake Merced, 
a perfect gem in a setting of granite. The next three or four 
miles presented no difficulties, till some steeply-inclined, boggy 

igS Siena Club Bulletin. 

ground, thickly covered with aspens, was reached. Here it was 
necessary to exercise some care in preventing our animals from 
miring, and from falling over huge moss and brush-covered 
bowlders. After passing this place, we came to another granite 
obstruction, similar to that below Lake Merced, and just beyond 
which lay Lake Washburn. Our progress on the norlli side of the 
river was here absolutely barred, but we proceeded as far as we 
could, then crossed to the opposite bank, and, advancing a short 
distance on this side, we recrossed at a point fifty or seventy-five 
yards below the outlet of the lake. This recrossing was necessary, 
for on the south shore of the lake the talus extends into the water, 
and renders progress with animals difficult, if not impossible. 

Lake Washburn is similar in size and coloring to I ake Merced, 
but, unlike the latter, which is centered in a park-like opening, 
this lake approached so near the high overhanging Jifalls, that 
they reproduce themselves in the silvery water below with a 
clearness and beauty seldom surpassed in the Sierra. 

About one mile beyond this lake, the caiion terminates in a 
high scarp, or cirque, with perpendicular walls, fifteen hundred or 
more feet in height, down which, at a distance of about one third 
of a mile apart, three large streams plunge in magnificent 
cascades. The first is the Lyell Fork of the Merced; tile second, 
a little further to the south, the main Merced, and the third, still 
further to the south, the Merced Peak Fork. No possible way of 
advancing appeared, except up alongside one of these cascades, 
and a glance showed how futile would be an attempt to climb up 
the Lyell Fork. On the south side of the main Merced, the ascent 
would have been comparatively easy, had it not been for a low, 
but vertical, wall about half way up, which effectually prevented 
further progress with anunals. So we attempted the north side, 
and with some difficulty found a way up two thirds of the distance, 
but here advance was barred by a sheer wall. Our only recourse 
was to cross the cascade and proceed the remainder of the distance 
on the south side, and it was with some hesitation and misgivings 
that we attempted the crossing at the only possible place, and 
where the angle of descent was less than at other portions of the 
cascade. This crossing, while not particularly difficult at low 
water, would be attended with great risk at other times, for, if the 
footing of pedestrian or pack animal should once here be lost, the 
result would be a fatal plunge for hundreds of feet to the cation 
below. For this reason, it is desirable that a way be found up the 
Merced Peak Fork, and it is likely that this is possible, and the 
Merced River reached by crossing the low intervening divide. 

After crossing the stream, we reached the head of the cascade 
by working carefully over the glaciated granite of the south side. 

Notes atid Correspondence. 199 

and up an improvised stairway, over loose granite blocks, to some 
large meadows above, which we named the Merced Meadows. 
These meadows, while not so extensive as the Tuolumne Meadows, 
are very similar, and particularly resemble that portion of the 
latter above the Dana Fork. Continuing up the main stream as 
it bends to the south, nearly to the foot of a fine, rugged peak at 
its headwaters, we crossed the divide into the basin of the Merced 
Peak Fork, from which an easy ascent of Merced Peak was made. 
Returning to the Merced Meadows, and crossing to the east of 
them, we reached McClure's trail, which, though well blazed and 
monumented, offers little, if any, evidence of travel. A full descrip- 
tion of this trail may be found on page 333 of No. 8, Volume I., 
of the Sierra Club Bulletin, under the title of "Jackass 
Meadows to Tuolumne Meadows." 

To the east of the Merced Meadows, at the foot of the Merced- 
San Joaquin divide, is a series of table-lands and lake basins, 
where nestle some of the most picturesque glacier lakes. A 
traveler in this region should not fail to leave the trail for an 
excursion to these lakes, and for a climb to the Merced San 
Joaquin divide, from which, overlooking the basins of the branches 
of the North Fork of the San Joaquin, a view of Mt. Ritter and 
the Mniarets may be had, surpassing in grandeur anything else 
in tlie whole Sierra. 

Returning to McClure's trail, it is easily followed to the Lyell 
Fork, which it crosses just above the point where the river makes 
its plunge in splendid cascades into the Merced caiion. At this 
point we left the trail, and ascended the stream about a mile to an 
ideal camping spot at a beautiful meadow, thickly bordered by 
large tamarack pines, which we made the headquarters for trips to 
Mt. Florence, Mt. Lyell, and Mt. Kellogg. The first two may be 
ascended without difficulty from this direction, but the last-named 
presents some difficulties in ascending the last two or three 
hundred feet, and may be much more easily climbed from the Rush 
Creek basin. McClure's trail guided us the remainder of the 
distance to the Tuolumne Meadows. At the McCIure Fork of the 
Merced, we took the "shorter but more difficult way" indicated in 
Lieutenant McClure's notes on page 334 of the Bulletin. The 
difficult portion of this route is covered in a mile or more from its 
junction with the plainer trail which leads west, and the retnainder 
of the distance is delightful. 

The whole upper Merced region is a constant succession of 
charming surprises, splendid forests, beautiful velvety meadows, 
glorious cascades and crystal, glacier lakes. To me it is the 
finest region of the Sierra. Robert M. Price. 

200 Sierra Club Bullclin. 

During the past summer Sierra Club cylinders were placed 
upon the following mountains: — 

Freel Peak, September loth, by Mr. Dorville Libby. 
Merced Peak, July 29th, by a party composed of Mr. and Mrs. 
R. M. Price, Mr. F. W. Reede, and Mr. Theodore S. Solomons. 
Mt Florence, August 4lh, by Mr, Reede and Mr. Solomons- 
Mr. Hoffman, by Mr. Solomons and Mr. Turner. 
Cathedral Peak, by Mr. Solomons and Mr. Charles A. Bailey. 
Mt. Ritter, July loth, by Miss Helen Gompertz and Mr. J. N. 
Le Conte. 

University Peak, July 21st, by a party composed of Mr. and 
Mrs. Charles J. Durbrow, Miss Catharine E. Wilson, Miss Caroline 
Rixford, Dr. Emmet Ri.\ford, Mr. VV. W. Sanderson, and Mr. 
Harry VV. Knoll. The gentlemen of the latter party also ascended 
Mt. Brewer and Mt. Stanford, placing a cylinder upon the latter 
peak and leaving their names in the cylinder already upon the 

Book Review. 

In the last number of the Bulletin, we made mention of 
Edward Whymper' s " Guide to Chamonix and the Range of Mont 
Blanc." The Sierra Club has since received, from the same dis- 
tinguished author, a companion book, "A Guide to Zcrmatt and 
the Matterhorn." Everything that was said in the last number 
concerning the Guide to Chamonix, may be repeated with emphasis 
with reference to the Guide to Zermatt. It may be that to some 
persons the work would not possess all the interest of the most 
exciting novel, but certainly all good Sierra Club members will 
find it a book to be read with absorbing interest. It is thoroughly 
illustrated with maps and engravings, contains all the desired 
information necessary to the tourist, and is crowded with interest- 
ing history and narrative relating to the exploration of this region, 
which the author designates as the " Cream of the Alps." — (John 
Murray, publisher.) J. M. S. 

Forestry Notes. 

Edited by Professor William R. Dudley. 

Such a thing as a public forestry policy appears to exist in 
America, although it is somewhat shadowy when compared 
with the systems in vogue in the countries of Central Europe. 
Looking over an important document issued by the United States 
Land Office, in January, 1897, entitled: "Compilation of Public 
Timber Laws," one observes that the forestry "policy " presents 
itself under three phases. The fundamental Act is that of March 
2, 1831 (Section 2461, United States Revised Statutes), which pro- 
hibits the cutting of timber from any of the public lands for any 
purpose whatever, except for use of the Navy of the United States, 
and imposes a punishment for violations of the law. The next is a 
modification of the above, and authorizes the cutting of timber, 
first by right-of-way railroads, then by miners, agriculturists, and 
others, for use in construction or on claims, and this legislation is 
chiefly embodied in the Congressional Acts of March 3, 1875, 
June 3, 1878, and August 4, 1892. Lastly, and this is practically 
the initial step of a new policy, the Act of March 3, 1891, author- 
izing the President of the United States to make forest reserva- 
tions. All other Acts and decisions relating to the public forests 
are extensions of these three principles. 

During the year ending with June, 1897, there has been a 
remarkable exploiting of forestry ideas and agitation of forestry 
questions, as is witnessed by the following events: — 

June II, 1896: Congress appropriated 125,000, "to enable the 
Secretary of the Interior to meet the expenses of an investigation 
and report by the National Academy of Sciences on the inaugura- 
tion of a national forestry policy for the forested lands of the 
United States." 

July 2, 1896: The United States Forestry Commission, 
appointed under the above Act by Wolcott Gibbs, President 
of the National Academy, began its investigations. It consisted 
of seven members, including the President of the Academy 
as an ex officio member. The others were: Charles S. Sargent, 

202 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

author of the volume on Forestry in the Tenth United States 
Census and Director of the Arnold Arboretum; General Henry 
L. Abbott, of the United States Engineer Corps; Prof William H. 
Brewer, of Yale University; Alexander Agassiz, a large owner of 
mines; Arnold Hague, United States Geological Survey; Gifibrd 
Piuchot, practical forester. 

February i, 1897: The Commission made its preliminary report, 
recommendnig the creation of thirteen forest reservations, with a 
total area of 21,379,840 acres, and situated in the States of South 
Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Utah, and 

Washington's Birthday, 1897: The President of the United 
States set aside, under the Act of Congress of March 3, 1891, the 
above thirteen tracts as Forest Reservations. Tlie above recom- 
mendation of the Commission, and the action of the President in 
reserving this large amount of forest land from sale or entry, 
took the enemies of an honest and economical utilization of the 
national forests by surprise. The sparsely-settled Rocky Moun- 
tain and Cascade Mountain States are largely controlled or 
" owned " by the lumber and mining companies; and the Senators 
from these States moved concertedly and with great alacrity against 
the forest reservations. In less than a week after the President's 
proclamation, they had secured, without opposition, the passage 
of an amendment to the Sundry Civil Bill, completely restoring to 
the public domain all the reservations created on February 22d, 
except those in Caliiornia, which were allowed to stand at the 
su.;gestion, it is understood, of the Senators from that State. The 
House failed to agree to this amendment, however, and, as the 
entire Sundry Civil Bill remained inoperative from lacking the 
President's signature, the Cleveland reservations came out of the 
session unscathed. In the extra session which followed the 
inauguration of President McKinley, the discussion was renewed, 
prolonged to the end of the session, and was remarkable for the 
acrimony shown by the Northwestern Congressmen. The opinion 
of Congress for 1S97, on our forestry policy, was finally expressed 
in the Sundry Civil Expense Bill, passed June 4th. This Act 
restored to the public domain, until March i, 1898, all the forest 
reservations of February 22d, excepting those of California, and 
appropriated $150,000 for a survey of all the forest reserves made 
under the Act of March 3, 1S91, besides decreeing certain regula- 

In the meantime, an Act passed Congress, February 24th, pro- 
viding for the trial and punishment of those who willfully or 
carelessly set fires in forests. 

On May ist was printed the final report of the United States 

Forestry Notes. 203 

Forestry Commission appointed by the National Academy — an 
important paper, elaborating a national system of forest adminis- 
tration and recommending the creation of two additional national 
forest parks, to include the Grand Canon of the Colorado and 
Mt. Rainier, besides reporting on the existing conditions of the 
forests of the public domain, and giving the text of proposed 
legislation bills providing for the above-mentioned forest adminis- 

On June 30th the United States Commissioner of Lands, 
Hermann, issued a circular of "Rules and Regulations Governing 
Forest Reserves." 

In addition to the above, a very large number of articles in 
popular and technical journals have appeared, discussing questions 
of forestry raised by the President's proclamation of February 
22d, and the long debate ensuing. The year has been chiefly 
memorable, indeed, for active discussion, so far as forestry is con- 
cerned, and the probable enlightenment of a larger number who 
have given this subject but little thought heretofore. In view of 
the temporary annulment by Congress of President Cleveland's 
orders establishing the thirteen new forest reservations, and the 
great danger to which the reservation policy is e.xposed, the 
practical gain would appear to be small. But such a subject as 
economic forestry has everything to gain by a full public discussion, 
and everything to lose by a restriction of discussion to political 

The suspension of the President's orders of February 22d for 
one year only, from March i, 1897, makes it probable that the 
subject will come up again during the coming session, or at least 
during the life of the present Congress. The vote of the two 
houses, therefore, in the late extra session, becomes a matter of 
interest. The test vote, in the debate in the Senate, on the 
amendment abrogating the orders of President Cleveland, stood 
32 to 14 in favor of abrogation. Five days after, on May nth, 
and after considerable debate, the House refused to concur with 
the Senate amendment, by a vote of 100 to 39. It has before been 
noticed of late years, that the branch of Congress which should 
show the greatest statesmanship is less conservative of the rights 
of the whole people, and more the champion of special interests, 
than the more popular branch. 

California is to be congratulated that all the withdrawals of 
public land from sale or entry (reservations) thus far made still 
remain uncanceled. The large Sierra Reservation (including 

204 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

the Stanislaus) extends northward along the Sierra about 220 
miles, from near the latitude of Bakersfield to within four or five 
townships of Lake Tahoe. Reservation of all the government 
land along the Sierra to the northern boundary of the State, until 
experts could decide what should be finally withheld for the public 
good, and what should be thrown again on the market, would be 
a wise act on the part of President McKinley, and probably would 
meet with very little opposition from the people of California. A 
considerable portion of this region has already been mapped by 
the United States Geological Survey. 

Number 17 

Sierra Club Bulletin 

Vol. II 

No. 4 

June, iJ 


Sierra Club Bulletin 

JUNE, 1898 

Vol. II No. 4 


From Mt. Rose to Mt. Shasta and Lower Buttes 

—Plates XXVI, XXVII J. E. Church, Jr. 

A Yosemite Discovery Charles A. Bailey 

Ascent of the White Mountains of New Mexico 

Lieut. N. F. McClure, U. S. A. 

A Day with Mt. Tacoma Bolton Coit Brown 

Notes and correspondence: a trip to the Kaweah River; 
Sierra Club Headquarters in Yosemite Valley ; Neglected 
Routes up Mt. Shasta ; Foresty Notes ; Secretary's Report ; 
Treasurer's Report. 

All communications intended for publication by the Sierra 
Club, and all correspondence concerning such publication, should 
be addressed to the Editor, Warren Gregory, 222 Sansome Street, 
San Francisco, California. 

Correspondence concerning the distribution and sale of the 
publications of the Club, and concerning its business generally, 
should be addressed to the Secretary of the Sierra Club, 
Academy of Sciences Building, San Francisco, California. 

[_; 'S t/5 

't/i t ^ 

< ^ n 

* 5 B 

■^' i; o 

Sierra Club Bulletin. 

Vol. n. San Francisco, June, 189S. No. 4. 


By J. E. Church, Jr. 

Shortly after Commencement Day in 1897, in company 
with a party from the University of Nevada, I made the 
ascent of Mt. Rose, the loftiest of the group of peaks to the 
south-west of Lake Tahoe. From the summit we saw on 
the distant horizon to the north-of-west a bold snow-clad 
mountain, apparently much higher than the one on which 
we stood. It was a lone butte, pyramidal in shape, and 
lay far beyond the main crest of the Sierra. I had often 
heard that Mt. Shasta could be seen on clear days from 
Mt. Rose, but its nearness puzzled me. This mountain 
was not over 150 miles from us, while Mt. Shasta, at a con- 
servative estimate, should be 240 miles distant. A linger- 
ing desire, therefore, to visit Mt. Shasta, which Mrs. Church 
and I had had ever since our return from Yosemite, became 
a definite resolution to solve the doubt by a closer inspec- 
tion of the mountain in dispute. 

The way overland seemed long, and possibly tedious, but 
was better adapted to our purpose than the speedier trip by 
rail; for it made possible all the delights of camping and 
traveling in the very heart of nature. Our means of con- 
veyance consisted of two saddle horses loaded with bed- 

2o6 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

ding, cooking utensils, and supplies enough to last us from 
town to town. The trip was to take twenty-one days, but 
it was actually thirty-one before we saw home again. 

Our course, as far as Susanville, followed, in a general 
way, the low, broken ridge of the northern Sierra, through 
vast forests of pine, cedar, and fir, clothing the long divides 
and extending far down into the valleys. Beyond Sardine 
Valley, in the midst of rain and snow, we slid down the 
muddy grade to Loyalton, only to toil upward again from 
Beckwith into the mist which was still hovering over the 
summits. In Clover Valley we took our midaay meal 
under the lea of a bleak point where we might be partially 
shielded from the cold wind. With a homesick protest 
against the behavior of our dry climate, we pushed on; and 
our murmuring was soon changed to glad surprise. 

Just where Clover Creek enters the gorge on its way to 
Genessee Valley, we passed through an extensive formation 
of conglomerates, worn into the most fantastic shapes. We 
were in the midst of castles and towers tenanted by faces 
which gazed upon us from the angles and sides of nearly 
every rock. In the midst of it all, the road was flanked 
by two large pillars, which formed a gateway through which 
we passed from the disagreeable experience of the previous 

The road now accompanied the river in its rapid descent. 
Before us lay a deep depression, which threaded its way in 
and out among the ridges until it was lost to our gaze in 
the sunset glow. Toward this the river dashed in reckless 
haste down its deep canon bed, stopping only long enough 
to gain strength for its next mad rush over the rocks. 
With almost equal haste, but less recklessness, the road 
wound its way along a sharp gash in the canon wall. At 

From Mt. Rose to Mt. Shasta and Lassen Bidtes. 207 

times it descended sharply to the river bed, only to be forced 
upward again by some sharp point of rock. At other 
times it was forced to make a wide detour, but just as often 
would it hasten back to join its companion. Pines, young 
and old, green and hoary, clad the steep walls from the 
foaming rapids far below us to the very snow-tipped 

Just at nightfall we reached the valley floor and pitched 
our camp. Here, just as we were preparing to eat our 
hard-earned supper in the dull glow of the campfire, we had 
a last, parting shower, which sent us scurrying to get into 
our weather coats and pick up our perishables. It was 
soon over, though; and after drying our bedding and warm- 
ing up our cold meal, we slept soundly, and next day 
enjoyed a quiet Sunday in a veritable Yosemite. 

From this point we journeyed down the Indian River to 
Taylorville, and thence to Susanville. At noonday, when 
at the very crest of the range, there loomed up on our west- 
ern horizon a large mountain answering closely the descrip- 
tion of the lone butte seen from the summit of Mt. Rose. 
At a distance of forty miles it stood forth in solitary gran- 
deur, clear and distinct in its covering of snow. This 
mountain we knew to be Lassen Buttes, and determined 
to visit it upon our return. 

At Susanville we remained only long enough to secure 
the necessary outfit for the remainder of our journey. Here 
we left the well-known roads and passed directly through 
the wide ranges inhabited by sheep herders and cattle men. 
The country was an alternation of gentle pine-clad slopes 
and broad mountain meadows, enlivened here and there by 
a peak which raised its head a little above the timber line. 
Here oppressive silence reigned, broken only by the foot- 

2o8 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

beats of the ponies. We might travel fifty miles without 
seeing a human being presuming that we wished to find one. 
One man, however, we did look up, and found him after 
much searching among the meadows, although his cabin was 
near at hand. He was Galen C. McCoy, a man well worth 
knowing, and full of tales of experience and adventure in 
the early times. With him we spent a most interesting 
day, and then, with the aid of our compass, we struck north- 
west for the settlements in Fall River Valley, sixty miles 
away. * . 

We had not gone far before we saw on the horizon a 
fleecy cloud, which presently took on the outline of the 
mountain we had so long been traveling to see. And 
when, after much anxious steering of our course from lake 
to lake and from stream to stream, we reached Fall River, 
there, at the end of the vista down the valley, stood Mt. 
Shasta, its rough lines still melting away in the distance, 
until it resembled a huge cone with its apex in the clouds. 
Two days more brought us to our destination through a 
region strewn with lava boulders so thick and sharp that 
many places would be impassable were it not for a road. 
The ground was parched. Rivulets trickling down from 
the snow-clad slopes were nowhere to be found. The 
porous ashes and cinders absorbed them all, and did not 
release them until they burst forth in springs and streams 
far down where the strata cropped out at the base of the 

Varied feelings took possession of us as we slowly rode 
round the mountain on our way to Sisson, from which place 
we hoped to climb its rugged sides. The eastern slope 

*A full account of this portion of the trip has been given in the Sierra 
Clue Bulletin of January, 1898. 

From Ml Rose to Mt. Shasta aud Lassen Buttes. 209 

appeared to be easy; but on the south, the long serrated 
ridges which formed the bulwark of the mountain and led 
directly to the summit, seemed, with their towering pinna- 
cles, to defy any attempt in this direction. The clouds, 
also, hovering lightly round the summit, made the rocky 
mass appear a veritable fortress of the gods, whose battle- 
ments no mortal might scale. Yet, up this very slope we 
were destined to make the ascent. 

We reached Sisson on July 7th, and at once began to 
make arrangements for the climb. At first every one 
dissuaded us from the attempt, urging the heavy snow-fall 
and the storms which were still raging about the summit. 
We ourselves were almost on the point of giving up the 
ascent, when our guide consented to make the attempt 
next day, if only the clouds would leave the mountain. 

The next day was fair. We rode up the narrow, rocky 
trail through the timber, and finally reached the dwarfed, 
straggling trees that mark the end of vegetation and the 
beginning of snow and ice. Here, at an altitude of 8,000 
feet, we lay on the pebbly ground near a burning log, and 
slept till dawn. The guide's daughter had accompanied 
us thus far, but finally decided to remain in camp. 

Our equipment for the day's climb consisted only of 
absolute essentials: cold cream and dark glasses, to avoid 
the effects of glare from the snow; a coil of rope for use in 
slippery places; and heavy coats, in case a fierce wind was 
encountered on the summit. For food, we filled our 
pockets with crackers and chocolate, as having most 
nourishment and least weight. Our heaviest burden was a 
canteen, which we filled at the only spring on all the 
mountain side. 

At six o'clock, supported by heavy pikes, we began a 

2IO Sierra Clnb Bulletin. 

weary climb of seven hours straight up the snow, which 
melted enough with the sun's warmth to form a soft, yet 
firm, pathway for our feet. We were climbing up the 
bottom of a steep, snow-filled valley, flanked on either 
hand by sharp, serrated ridges, leading direcdy up to a 
projecting point on the old crater-rim known as Thumb 

We kept in the middle of the crater to avoid the falling 
rocks, which the freezing and thawing of the cliffs caused to 
be hurled down with a sound resembling the sh^rp crack 
of a rifle. On reaching the last and steepest part of this 
ascent, we found the snow so hard that we could scarcely 
gain a foothold, and a misstep meant a sudden slide down 
among the rocks that projected from the snowfield. We 
sought, therefore, somewhat more secure footing on a reef of 
loose stones, which brought us safely nearly up to Thumb 

We had now surmounted the worst obstacles, when my 
wife, who had become exhausted by the altitude and the 
recent difficulties encountered, insisted that she be per- 
mitted to continue the climb by herself to Thumb Rock, 
while the guide and I hastened on to gain the summit 
while time permitted. We had not gone far when a stone 
turned beneath my feet and went rolling down the mountain. 
I thought every moment that it would stop, but every 
bound only accelerated its speed, until it went like a cannon- 
ball in its wild course over the rocks. I immediately 
thought of my companion sitting on the reef directly in its 
path. But nothing could be done, and I stood weighing 
the chances of its flying off to one side. Hearing its 
rumbling, she had now jumped up, and I could see the rock 
pass her a few yards to the right. 

Fro7n Mt. Rose to Mt. Shasta and Lasseti Buties. 2 1 1 

On reaching Thumb Rock, we paused a few moments to 
gaze into the giddy depths; then casting aside rope and 
canteen, we hastened up the remaining 1,500 feet over 
Black Hill, and came out upon the level top of the mountain. 
This had formerly been the principal Shasta crater, perhaps 
about a mile in diameter. Its walls are now entirely gone, 
except a small fragment on the north-east side. On this 
narrow ruin, 14,444 'g^' above the sea, the Coast Survey 
years ago erected a small sheet-iron pillar, surmounted by a 
Bell-shaped reflector, intended to be used in the triangulation 
of this region.* It was to this "monument" that a horse, 
chartered by the Examiner, was said to have climbed last 
season, and that, too, with a young lady on its back. If it 
did so, it must have been a Pegasus, or been assisted by 
rope and tackle part of the way at least. 

The lower, or so-called Crater Summit, which forms the 
western spur of the main peak is a typical crater, sur- 
mounted by a low cinder cone. It was so thoroughly e.xtinct 
that there was a frozen lake near the outer edge. This sum- 
mit is easily accessible from the one above, but being 2,500 
feet lower down, the exertion of returning prevents nearly 
all mountain climbers from visiting it. 

Our first task was to clear the ice from the record book 
and record the unusual weather conditions by which we 
were favored. The air was perfectly calm, and the sun 
shone as warmly as in the May days. Such a condition at 
an altitude of 10,000 or over have I found only twice out of 
six times. From the record, but one ascent earlier in the 
season than the present one had been made in any year, 
when four guides, including my companion, had carried 

The device was found to be utterly worthless for the purpose, and the refiect- 
; bell is now completely tarnished. 

212 Sierra Club Bulletiii. 

fireworks to the summit one Fourth of July several years 

During our upward climb, the horizon had gradually been 
receding, until there was an uninterrupted view for nearly 200 
miles in every direction. 

To the south we could trace the Sacramento Valley, its 
air tremulous with the heat, almost to Sacramento. 

To the south-east, as far as the eye could see, the land- 
scape was a mere billowy waste of mountains, unbroken 
save by Lassen Buttes in the foreground. On the horizon, 
and almost lost in the haze, I could discern a minute rounded 
summit. It may have been Mt. Rose. To the north the 
Sierras gradually dwindled away until they were merged 
into the Cascades. 

An hour and more had quickly passed. It was now 3 
p. M. , and we must hasten down. Under no consideration 
could we remain on the mountain over night; for without 
fire we must surely suffer. Just below the ' ' monument ' ' 
we visited some hot springs, just a remnant of the hot 
times when rock instead of water was boiling at the same 
place. We gathered a few specimens and hastened on. 

While coming down Black Hill, my pike slipped from 
my hand, and I went sliding over a precipice and into our 
old crater below. So I had to move cautiously along, de- 
pending only upon the nails in my shoes. After a few 
slips and slides with safe recovery, we reached Thumb 
Rock, and found Mrs. Church awaiting our arrival. She 
had succeeded in reaching the altitude of 13,000 feet, but 
declared that height to be her limit. 

The snow slope, which had now been softened consider- 
ably by the sun, extended from this point without a break 
to within half a mile of our camp, and would afford us a 

From Mt. Rose to Mt. Shasta and Lassen Buttes. 213 

quick, smooth passage for three miles if we would entrust 
ourselves to it. The example of the guide sliding away 
from us brought us to a decision. We laid a barley sack 
upon the snow, sat down tandem upon it, held our feet 
straight before us as snow catchers, and dropped swiftly, yet 
safely, toward the lower levels. We reached camp within 
two hours after leaving the summit, although we had spent 
seven toiling up. 

The young lady who remained in camp had a far different 
experience. A mountain lion came through the camp, 
sniffed at the horses, and after giving its characteristic 
childlike wail, departed, leaving the young lady unnoticed 
and the dog shivering with fright near a snow-bank. 

We quickly saddled our impatient horses and descended 
through the twilight 5,000 feet more to Sisson. 

We were tired indeed, but started next day on our return 
trip down the canon of the Sacramento River to visit the 
beautiful Shasta Mineral Springs and the famous tavern at 
the foot of Castle Crag. When we came into the yellow 
fields, with their stately oaks so like those of our native 
State, we were happy. But soon the intense heat drove us 
to other thoughts, and not even the delicious fruits could 
stay our progress toward the cooler pines and mountains 
we had but recently left. We turned directly east from 
Anderson, and began to ascend the long lava slopes sur- 
rounding Lassen Buttes, the next goal of our journey. Ar- 
rived at the Buttes, we spent three days amid very interest- 
ing surroundings. One adventurous climb was in search of 
Bumpass' Hell, or, as I should call it, the Devil's Kitchen. 
Here pots of mud and mineral paint were slowly boiling and 
slopping their contents over their sides; then a huge tea- 
kettle was puffing merrily; while steam came hissing and 

214 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

screaming from the vents of a steamer under the cliff. On 
the other side of the " kitchen" a large reservoir, filled with 
hot water from the springs and cold water from the melting 
snow, provided a comfortable bath. The ground all round 
the springs was salt, and one had the sensation of breaking 
through as he passed from one boiling spring to another. 
No wonder then that Bumpass, an old trapper, who fell 
through and scalded his feet in the boiling mud, when asked 
about his mishap, said that he thought he had been to hell. 
So this place took his name and his designation ; but recently 
the Government substituted for this popular term the less 
interesting name Bumpass Hot Springs. 

The next day I climbed alone to the top of Lassen 
Butte (10,400 feet high). This butte is a cinder cone, sur- 
mounted by a cap of shattered rock, which thus far has re- 
sisted the pulverizing efTorts of nature. The sides of the 
cone, however, are beds of yielding cinders so steep that it 
would be almost impossible to gain a foothold in them. But 
on the south eastern edge, heavier strata crop out and form 
a cinder path directly to the summit, up which a horse 
might be taken. 

From the summit I could look down into other old craters, 
black as furnaces, dotting the ridge to the north and the 
south. Each of these formed a peak or butte by itself. 
Therefore, I suppose, the plural designation, Lassen Buttes, 
was given to the group. 

But most charming and longest to be remembered were 
the lakes lying nestled among the wooded slopes — gems of 
emerald and crystal in their settings of rock. 

I took a long farewell of old Shasta, which was only one 
hundred miles away, and frowned all things else in that 
direction into insignificance. Yet I had to look carefully 

From Mt. Rose to Alt. Shasta and Lassen Buttes. 215 

to distinguish its white outlines through the hazy atmos- 
phere which encircled it. Therefore, it seemed probable 
that if it appeared so indistinct from Lassen Buttes, it could 
not be seen at all from Mt. Rose, which was twice as far 
distant. * 

The remainder of our journey was uneventful. We rode 
continuously for six days through the Big Meadows, Indian, 
American, Mohawk and Sierra Valleys, in order to reach 
home by the end of the week. 

On Friday, being mindful of the old adage that "Last 
impressions linger longest, ' ' we wished to make our last 
camp at Lake Independence, amid most beautiful surround- 
ings. But when three miles distant from the lake, we found 
nailed to the signboard the following legend: "Campers 
not allowed." Since our appearance placed us decidedly 
in that class, we turned sadly away. But there was a com- 
fort in our disappointment; we would the sooner reach 
home. So we retraced our steps, and after a last night 
among the hills, descended once more with strengthened 
minds and bodies to resume our daily tasks. 

*0n October 30, an unusually clear day, I ascended Mt. Rose to search a last 
time for Mt. Shasta. The recent fall of snow upon the higher peaks gave me a 
means of determining the relative heights of the mountains. The lone pyramidal 
peaic seen in June was not over 3, 000 feet high, and was too far west to be even 
Lassen Buttes. It is probably Sierra Butte, near Sierra City. But directly north- 
west, and much farther away, Lassen Buttes could be seen for the lirst time. I 
gazed long and intently at the sky directly beyond them where I had hoped to 
get a glimpse of the towering summit of Mt. Shasta, but my sight could not pen- 
etrate the faint mist on the horizon. I was convinced that Mt. Shasta would 
never be seen unless the atmosphere were phenomenally clear, and such occasions 
would only occur in the depth of winter. But even then success would be im- 
probable, for the greatest distance at which observers have been able to signal — 
from Mt. Shasta to Mt. Helena, 190 miles— is 40 miles less than the distance now 
sought to be traversed. 

2i6 Sierra Club Bulletin. 


By Charles A. Bailey. 

That there are three superior points of observation in 
Yosemite has long been accepted as a well-attested fact. 
That there should remain undiscovered a fourth point 
whose base upholds a well-beaten trail and whose summit, 
but a stone throw from the trail, commands a view to be 
classed with that of Inspiration Point, Glacier Point, and 
Cloud's Rest, may well awaken our interest and surprise. 
Nor is that surprise lessened when we consider that Yosem- 
ite has been continuously ransacked by zealous devotees 
whose search for every charm has been characterized by the 
greatest daring and enthusiasm. 

A characteristic common to the three noted points men- 
tioned is the scope afforded the vision. One is impressed 
with magnitude and variety, but detail is lost in immensity. 

The wealth of beauty in Yosemite is found in her living, 
leaping waters and their immediate surroundings. Come 
in touch with them, beauty unfolds, becomes expressive 
and radiant. The best point to behold beauty, then, must 
be near the spot where most waters boldly leap from the 
finest heights and tumble and swirl along the most rugged 

After many clamberings in Yosemite, the idea became an 
absorbing one: how remarkable and delightful such a point 
would be, especially if from it the vision could embrace five 
such waterfalls as Upper and Lower Yosemite, Vernal, 
Nevada, and Illilouette. 

A Yoseniiie Discove?y. 217 

With this end in view, the expansive heights and depths 
of Glacier Point, and the uplifted, ragged rim from Royal 
Arches to Eagle Peak were sought and traversed without 
avail. Springing from out the long flank of Half Dome, 
peering among the canons, was the defiant and untrodden 
Grizzly Peak. Here the obstacles were great, but the 
incentive was greater, so the only known ascent of Grizzly 
Peak was accomplished, but the reward was incomplete. 
Vernal and Nevada were near, and thus more beautiful. 
Upper and Lower Yosemite were clearly seen, but the 
Illilouette was partially hidden behind a cliff. 

To Walter E. Dennison, a most worthy mountain com- 
panion, I suggested the idea for a further search which he 
heartily approved. 

Rough triangulations were then made to locate the con- 
verging point of the lines of vision of the five waterfalls. 
This led to the selection of the flank of Grizzly Peak. 

An invitation was then extended to Mr. Andrew Dalziel 
to accompany us, which he accepted. Up the long sweep 
of talus, over the straggling benches, out and along 
Grizzly's flank, down to the humble abutment where the 
rivers join; there the idea was wrought into the ideal. 

On that lowly crag one may stand without change of 
position and behold those five wondrous waterfalls — a crag 
adding completeness to Yosemite visions, and one that will 
ever endear itself to the appreciative who haply may find it. 

That this point might no longer remain incognito, but be 
known to all lovers of Yosemite, on June 14, 1897, accom- 
panied by Walter E. Magee and Warren Cheney, of Berke- 
ley, by right of discovery shared by W. E. Dennison, I 
deposited thereon Register Box of the Sierra Club, No. 15, 
and took the liberty of naming it Sierra Point, in honor of 
the Sierra Club, and raised a flag bearing the name. 

2i8 Sierra Club Bulleim. 

The day following, I was accompanied by those two noted 
veterans, Professor Joseph Le Conte, of the University of 
California, and Galen Clark, of Yosemite, also by Percy 
Gaskill, Raymond and Bryant Bailey, the latter aged 13. 

We were soon joined by Mr. H. L. A. Culmer, of Salt 
Lake City, and by Miss Charmian Kittredge, who was the 
first lady to make the ascent. 

For the guidance of others, I monumented three rough 
pedestrian trails thereto, each starting from the Vernal and 
Nevada trail; one opposite the Happy Isles, about sfeventy- 
five yards below the drinking tub; another a little below 
Point Rea; the other just above. The upper trails are 
shorter, and encounter less loose debris. 

Within a few days after the raising of the flag, the ascent 
was accomplished by eight ladies and others. It may be 
leisurely made in about forty-five minutes. 

On July 1 2th, at a regular meeting of the Yosemite Com- 
missioners, in recognition of services rendered and the 
great interest manifested in Yosemite by the Sierra Club, 
Sierra Point was officially christened, and so let it be, for 
perhaps no other point can more worthily bear the name. 

Perched on the eastern edge of the great flank of Half 
Dome is a singular granite wall. Sharpened to a ridge on 
top, its base spreads out several hundred feet. Its length 
may be several thousand feet, its height five hundred. 

At the upper end is the abutment that withstood the 
glaciers that cut down the wide-spreading flank of Half 
Dome, and left the bare, inclined western portion of this 
wall, which no man can scale. 

At the lower end is the abutment that breasted the 
rushing volume of the combined plunging waters, now 
extending down to the river's brim. Its eastern face is 

A Yosetmte Discovery. 219 

furrowed, seamed and broken into irregular blocks, resting 
one on the other, which at any time may fall in greater 
mass than that avalanche which recently crashed in thunder 
from Glacier Point, moved the forest, covered with its dust 
the Happy Isles, and darkened the sun from the Royal 
Arches to Casa Nevada. 

The base of this wall is so inclined that the upper part 
exceeds the lower 1000 feet in altitude. 

The lower or southern end of this wall breaks away in 
benches, contracting to narrow ledges at its sheer western 
side, and broadening out against the abrupt edge of its 
eastern side. The upper abutment forms Grizzly Peak; the 
lower abutment forms Sierra Point. 

The surface of this point is triangular — shrinking from 
forty feet wide to a sharp angle in a length of 100 feet, and 
is covered with broken rocks, hurled from above. One 
rock furnishes water immediateiy after a rain — others form 
a rough-hewn sepulcher — among others spring two Doug- 
las spruce, one of which bears the flag. 

Crouching so low among the mighty as to be in almost 
perpetual shadow, is this remarkable point in Yosemite. 

Grayer than Sentinal Rock, uncouth as Indian Canon, 
low as Royal Arch, obscurity seemed to be its destiny. 
Apparently unworthy of name or notice, no one clambered 
its side or sought its summit. The only attention it ever 
had was the blasting from its side of the Vernal and Nevada 

It stands at the junction of the Merced and Illilouette 
canons, and there it stood, ragged and sheer, while the 
mountains were shattered and the gorges were hewn when 
Yosemite was born. 

Its easiest ascent demands a climb; its very summit is 

520 Sierra Club BulleUn. 

broken and angular, and there, from an area of about one 
yard square, and from there only, and in their greatest rel- 
ative nearness, can be seen those five great waterfalls of 

Nearest eastward is Vernal, in all its beauty; above and 
beyond, Nevada. Southward is seen the full length of 
Illilouette Canon, in its bare ruggedness, with Illilouette 
Fall in profile at its upper end. Westward are seen Upper 
and Lower Yosemite Falls; also Eagle Point, Yosemite 
Point, and Lost Arrow. } 

Down the canons wind the rivers and extend the forests. 
Creeping up the opposite heights to a like altitude are piles 
of talus. The new lie exposed against the cliffs, the old 
are buried among the pines. 

Nor are the pines sepulchral. Scrambling up the great 
walls, lining ledges, standing in niches, surmounting pin- 
nacles, grasping rocks of high place, in stateliness they 
flourish and adorn. 

Across the canons are the massive, towering walls of 
Glacier Point and Panorama Rock, meeting at a right 
angle, the angle broken by the rugged canon of the Illilo- 

Sweeping grandly down is the great corner buttress of 
Glacier Point, supplemented by a series of seven others 
so securely laid that old Popocatepetl might rest firmly 
on them. 

At your feet the canons join, and the waters meet to go 
dashing together in the swelling Merced; behind is the 
upward, sprawling sweep of Grizzly Peak. 

At hand are the Royal Arches, North Dome, Washing- 
ton Column, and absorbing details of beauty and immensity. 
The Cap of Liberty stands forth, flanked by Mount Brod- 

A Yosernite Discovery. 221 

erick; Casa Nevada nestles at its feet, ever enriched by the 
beautiful Vernal and Nevada. The choice of Yosernite is 
about you; the waters are gathered to sing their loudest 
refrain while beauty triumphs. 

Comparatively humble as Sierra Point is, it may become 
more humble still, may crumble to the sands that lie at its 
base, and. yet forever remain the same, for it is the con- 
verging point of vision of the five great waterfalls. 

Do you want a vision ? An exalted ambition will lead 
every lover of nature there to see, for there the receptive 
soul may thrill and expand, and thence bear away beautiful 
memories forever. 

To Cloud's Rest we may ascribe the most comprehen- 
sive view of the Sierra; to Glacier Point the most complete 
view of Yosernite canons; to Inspiration Point, an inspir- 
ing view; to El Capitan we will bow as the colossal greet- 
ing and farewell, and yet declare that Sierra Point is the 
point of beauty, the one altogether lovely. 

Sierra Club Bulletin. 


Bv Lieutenant N. F. McClurk, U. S. A. 

On almost any clear day, if one climb to the top of the 
water-tower at Fort Bliss, Texas, and look to the north- 
northeast over the great plain lying in that dii^ection, he 
will see, above the distant horizon, a single peak. It is the 
great White Mountain or Sierra Blanca of New Mexico. 
If asked how far it is, the uninitiated would say about fifty 
miles, and would estimate its height at 8,000 feet. But dis- 
tances and altitudes are deceptive in the clear atmosphere 
of the Southwest. It is 112 miles away in an air-line, and 
rises to a height above the sea level of 12,000 feet. It is 
one of the grandest mountains in New Mexico, though 
several higher ones may be seen in the northern part of 
that Territory. 

On November I, 1897, my troop, "A," Fifth Cavalry, 
Captain A. C. Macomb, commanding, started on its annual 
practice march from Fort Bliss, Texas. On the 6th we 
camped at the Mescalero Indian Agency, a beautiful spot 
among the pine forests of the Sacramento Mountains. 
From this point to the summit of the White Mountains, by 
the shortest route, is twenty miles. I had often longed to 
scale that majestic mass, and the opportunity had at last 
arrived. Owing to an unfortunate accident to one of our 
men, we remained in camp on the 7th and 8th. We were 
to begin our return march on the loth; so this left us the 
9th only to devote to the journey. At 6 a. m. on that 

Ascen/ of the White Mountain of New Mexico. 223 

day, Captain Macomb and I, with two of our men and an 
Indian named Marion as guide, left our camp at the 
agency and proceeded north up one of the canons coming 
down to the main stream near that place. 

It was bitter cold, but after a ride of five miles through 
beautiful pine forests similar to those of our beloved Sierra 
Nevada, we came out on the main divide, and, the country 
being here more open, we began to feel the warmth of the 
tardy sun. There was something exhilarating in that dry, 
cold, crisp atmosphere, and, well-mounted as we were, we 
could not help feeling the beauty of the panorama of forest 
and mountain now unrolling before us. 

After traveling three miles farther, the formation became 
different, the ridges grew more rocky, and the pines and 
firs changed into scrub oak in such thickets that riding 
became quite difficult. Here turkeys and deer abound. 
We killed several of the former, but none of the latter. 
After getting out of the first canon, we kept on the main 
divide, bearing a little west of north, and gradually ascended, 
until Carrizo Spring, fifteen miles from the agency, was 
reached. Here the timber practically ended, and the next 
five miles lay up the rocky ridge leading to the peak from 
the south. In places snow covered the ground, rendering 
the traveling difficult, while a sharp wind which had sprung 
up made the atmosphere biting and chilly. 

It was 2:05 P. M. when we finally dismounted at the foot 
of the last steep slope, and left our horses sheltered in a 
sunny nook on the lee side of the main ridge. 

The summit now appeared to be about 200 feet above us, 
but we called it 1,000 by the time we reached it. It 
was 2:40 P. M. before we stood beside a large granite 
monument on the extreme top, and gazed in wonder 

224 Sierra Club B^dletin. 

at the scene of grandeur unfolded to our view. It 
was singularly clear, and the field of vision was limited only 
by the rotundity of the earth. To the north gray hills and 
plains, alternating, gradually shaded away into the great 
peaks rising near Santa Fe and Las Vegas Hot Springs. To 
the northeast, and comparatively near, could be seen old 
Fort Stanton. To the east for many miles lay timbered 
mountains, which gently sloped away into the valley of the 
Pecos River, and this in turn merged into the Llano Estu- 
cado, or Staked Plain. To the southwest rose the Guada- 
lupe mountains, amidst whose arid, barren slopes a squadron 
of my old regiment, the Fourth Cavalry, once underwent 
great hardships through the incompetency of a guide, being 
three days and two nights without water. To the south 
the Hueco mountains could be seen loo miles away, and 
beyond these, peaks of some of the ranges of Old Mexico, 
150 miles distant, were dimly outlined. Thirty miles 
to the west lay the San Andr6as Mountains, and south of 
these, in succession, came the Organ Mountains and the 
Franklin Mountains. At the southern end of the latter are 
El Paso and Fort Bliss, 112 miles as the crow flies. Two 
objects on the desert to the west deserve special mention. 
One is the "White Sands," a great field of granulated 
gypsum, fifteen miles wide by thirty long. This gypsum 
is almost pure, and the wind has collected it into great 
cream-colored (almost white) drifts, some of which reach a 
height of over fifty feet. This wonderful formation lies on 
an otherwise open plain, and how it came there no man 
knows. Measurements made at its eastern border show 
that it is drifting eastward at the rate of twelve feet per 

To the north of the "White Sands," and covering the 

Ascent of the White Mountain of New Mexico. 225 

plain for a distance of twenty-five miles in length and six 
in breadth, lies the "Mai Pais," or ancient lava flow. It 
was distinctly visible from one point of vantage, but as I 
have never been nearer than on that day, I will attempt no 
description of it. 

Stuck in a crevice of the granite monument, we found a 
tin can with the names of a number of students of the New 
Mexico Agricultural College written on a piece of paper 
therein. We put our names "on the list," though our 
hands were so numb from the cold that we could scarcely 
write. For this reason, and on account of the limited time, 
we tarried but a few minutes on the summit. 

It was 3:15 P.M. when we reached the spot where we 
had left our horses. The short November day was rapidly 
coming to a close, when we again drew rein at Carrizo 
Spring, and we determined to take a different route back 
to camp from this point. We knew that traveling through 
these heavy oak thickets after dark would be nearly impos- 
sible. We now started down the little stream from the 
spring, and were soon in the depths of a mighty canon. It 
was long after dark before we emerged into the compara- 
tively open country and turned south. Fortunately, the 
moon was shining, and we now began to make time. Our 
guide never faltered. On and on, over meadows and hills 
and valleys, through underbrush and forests, he held his 
way. It was bitter cold, and I had no overcoat, but by 
jumping off my horse and leading for a half-mile now and 
then, I managed to keep from freezing. 

It was nearly 10 P. m. when we finally rode into camp, 
tired, chilled and hungry, but feeling that the journey had 
been well worth the hardships encountered and overcome. 

The White Mountain is the main peak of a range called 

226 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

"The White Mountains," in south-central New Mexico. 
There are a number of peaks in that Territory on the great 
ridge running south from Colorado which are higher than 
Sierra Blanca, but I venture to say that from none of them 
is there such an extended view as the one which we 
enjoyed that day. 

To the west of the peak we noticed a large, square- 
shaped patch of thick fir forest growing in a canon a thou- 
sand feet below the summit. So regular in fojm was it, 
and so well-defined were its ledges, that it appeared almost 
as though planted there by the hand of man. The thick- 
ness of the branches was attested by the heavy snow lying 
unmelted beneath them. We were struck by the small 
quantity of snow at other places on or near the top, and by 
the amount of luxuriant grass growing all the way up, even 
to the very summit. 

The view from the White Mountain is remarkably open 
and unobstructed. Like Shasta, it stands so far above 
everything within a hundred miles of it that all else appears 
insignificant when compared to it. Its name arises from 
the fact that during eight months of the year the highest 
part is covered with snow, which is quite notable in a warm, 
dry country. In many places in New Mexico they will tell 
you that Sierra Blanca is 14,000 feet high, but lam inclined 
to believe that it is but little, if any, in excess of 12,000 feet. 

A Day Witk ML Taconia. 227 

By Bolton Coit Brown. 

Stage loads upon stage loads of Mazamas moving toward 
Mt. Tacoma had reached Longmire's Springs. Pack-ani- 
mals with tents, and Captain Skinner with his restaurant, had 
gone up ahead to the snow-line in Paradise Park. The 
main body was to follow and camp there to-morrow. But 
my time was limited; "large bodies move slowly;" and 
since it was but 3,000 feet, I went up myself that afternoon. 

Surely an Esquimau must have named it ' ' Paradise,' ' 
for its arctic surroundings. The altitude is 7,000 feet, and 
now in the middle of July the ground was half covered with 
heaped snow, while far below, in their deep gorges, flowed 
glaciers. Above, the mountain was simply sheathed 
in snow-covered ice-rivers that flowed down from the vast 
rounded summit — as once lava did — and broke into iceberg- 
cascades and stupendous ice-cliffs on a scale of fearful and 
and amazing bigness. 

The tents were so pitched as to make the most of the 
poor shelter given by the last few groups of spruce trees. I 
had in mind to rise very early and make a push for the 
summit on the morrow, returning the same day. Thus I 
should be back at the Springs on time for a certain stage. 
No one had been up this year; but I knew the route from 
at least three or four careful descriptions of it by persons 
who had been over it. I once ascended Mt. Shasta in this 
way, climbing more than 6,000 feet of wind-swept slopes. 
It was a very snowy season, and deep snow lay far below 

228 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

the timber line. Yet I got up, alone, the first ascent of the 
year, too, and without the slightest serious trouble. There 
was cold wind, fatigue and nausea — that was about all. 
There seemed no reason why I should not try Mt. Tacoma in 
the same way. When I mentioned my plan to Captain 
Skinner, he told me that several such ascents had been 
made, one of them by a man who had neither ice-axe nor 
alpenstock. Though I am but an amateur mountaineer, 
yet I thought I could at least try to do what these men had 
done. And the Captain — "an elderly naval man," with a 
hopeful face, a white beard, and a head that experience has 
leveled, and the ability to distinguish between mere possi- 
bilities of awful things and the actual chances of having 
them happen to you — he said he thought I was all right to 
try, and that I should probably make it. 

Towards midnight I crept into my very inadequate sleep- 
ing bag, and shivered away a miserable period in the corner 
of the tent. I may have slept an hour. At one I called on 
Captain Skinner, and, while I dressed for the march, he 
actually rose from his warm blankets and cooked me a hot 
breakfast, which is a thing one fully appreciates when 
about to attack the last 8,000 feet of Mt. Tacoma at 2 o'clock 
in the morning. 

As we stood outside the tent, the weather showed none 
too promising. It was warmish and damp, with some solid- 
looking clouds obscuring the moon and stars. Still, there 
was a fair chance that it would clear off, and I decided to 
start. I looked towards the great peak but it was 
clothed with darkness. I paused and waited; and it 
chattered its cold teeth at me, and the echoes told of falling 
rocks far up among the desolate solitudes. 

My provisions were a lunch of dried fruits and meat. 

A Day With Mt. Tacoma. 229 

with some cheese and a pound of chocolate in my pocket. 
Of course I carried smoked goggles and strips of black 
cloth to tie over my face on the snow. I wore two com- 
plete suits of Jagir's heaviest underwear, besides a thick 
woolen camp-shirt, an ordinary suit of clothes, and a pair of 
blue overalls, lashed at the calf with a string in place of a 
legging. Also, I had a good alpenstock. 

The peak lay to the north, but in order to avoid a basin 
that looked suspicious in the dark, I first trudged over the 
snow a mile eastward. Then I came to something like a 
white granite wall or ledge. It proved to be the edge of a 
great glacier. I got up on it, and its smooth, broad surface 
furnished excellent walking. Turning to the north, I now 
moved over this deep ice pavement towards the peak — 
visible only as a place in the sky where there were no stars. 
Over the underlying mountain form the glacier undulated in 
a kind of huge billow. To get around the face of one of 
these, hundreds of feet high, I went some distance west- 
ward and climbed to the surface above by a cliff of rocks. 

Here I was about 8,000 feet high. The clouds had de- 
creased. The moon in her last quarter cut with keenest 
brilliancy against the black sky; and Venus, the morning 
star, shone with extraordinary brightness. Beyond the 
serrate shoulder of the mountain the faintest suggestion of 
dawn could be detected. Often I paused just to stand and 
feel the majesty and the solemnity of the time and place. 
Sometimes I lay flat on my back and gave myself up to the 
nameless exaltation and exultation that such a mountain and 
such a morning bring to the heart of the nature lover. 
Every man to his taste, but I love the lonely climb, never 
yet lonely to me. 

An hour of steady work, mostly backwards, since that 

230 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

was less cramping, and I reached a small archipelago 01 
rocky islets. Rounding this, I took my bearings — it was 
lighter now, and the sky wonderfully beautiful — for Gibraltar 
Rock, a mile away. Though I finally reached it, lack of 
training showed in my poor speed. Then came cliffs and 
chutes and tumbles of rock, much like those we had on Mt. 
Williamson, only these were not so steep. It is all volcanic, 
and forms most unpleasant footing, and equall}' unpleasant 
handling. The slope was steep, and a cold whistling wind 
fought me every step. 

Reaching at last the place they tell about — under 
Gibraltar Rock — I clambered cautiously out, hugging 
along under overhanging rocks a thousand feet high, while 
below me things dropped hundreds of feet to a mass of 
blue crevasses. The going required care, — and received 
it. Rocks rattled from the cliffs overhead, and shot like 
meteors through space beside me. But I was too close 
under the wall to be hit. One was so swift I did not see it; 
I heard a whizz! — like a quail going ten times as fast as 
common — that was all. The places where drippings had 
iced over the slope called for especial caution. I got on 
well enough, but there were several rather wicked gulleys. 
At one bad one the broken ends of a last year's rope now 

Some two hours of this work brought me to the worst 
place of all, where you get in the angle between rock-wall 
and ice-wall. Down the chute which this angle forms is a 
regular discharging-route for all the rocks that get loose 
above. One must cross the bottom of this and then climb 
an almost upright face of snowy ice and icy snow, more or 
less thawed and more or less covered and disguised by dirt 
from the cliff above, and thickly bestuck with insecure 

A Day With Mt. Taconia. 231 

rocks and stones, — the whole more or less rotted by sun- 
shine, and more or less undermined by the water rushing 
beneath it. 

As I studied it, I was glad I had picked up and brought 
along a discarded hatchet. People are supposed always to 
get past here before ten o'clock; but it was now after eleven, 
and for an hour the sun had been loosening rocks to shoot 
themselves down that throat. Still, there was less bombard- 
ment than I expected, though what stones did come, came 
with an appalling whizz ! 

It was no place to fool around and wonder, and I instantly 
commenced cutting my way across the bottom. Then in 
the same way I started up the hummocky ice-slope on the 
west. For a hundred feet I cut every step, and then 
crawled over upon the surface proper of the glacier. 
Though this was very steep, yet one could just manage to 
ascend without chopping footholds. Practically the last of 
the rocks were now passed; the rest of the mountain is 
armored hundreds of feet thick in one vast ice-cap, split, 
where the slopes favor it, into awful crevasses. 

I was so tired, and the air was so thin, and the wind so 
furious, that I crept slowly on hands and knees, resting 
ever few feet. My hat I tied on with a big bandage, that 
somewhat protected my face. Above rose two glistening 
ice-cliffs, the upper lips, as it were, of two crevasses, with a 
smooth gateway between them. A few minutes after crawl- 
ing through this gap, I looked clean over the top of Gibral- 
tar. Good! I was 12,000 feet up, all the bad climbing had 
been done, and it was hardly past midday. But the summit 
heaved itself still 3,000 feet aloft. 

From here the ascent would, ordinarily, be simply a 
tramp. There are abysmal crevasses, it is true, but they 

232 Sierra Club BiiUeiin. 

are big enough to slide a village into, and easily avoided. 
I felt a little nausea, and had eaten almost nothing since 
breakfast. Twenty-five hundred feet above and a mile 
away a shining ice-wall rose from the smooth baldness of 
the white snow. It was the upper edge of a great crevasse. 
Though similar ice-ridges appeared below and about me, 
yet between me and that one the surface stretched in one 
unbroken sweep of frozen snow. Straight down this slope 
rushed the fierce wind, and along the bottom opened one 
mighty, blue ice-throat, the greatest of crevasses, probably 
hundreds of feet deep. 

The sun could only thaw the first half-inch or so of the 
smooth snow; and even this half-inch was now decreasing, 
since it received constantly less and less sunshine. It was 
extremely difficult to get a foothold. And, besides, when 
I stood up I felt as if the wind might overcome my adhesive 
powers, and whisk me down into the crevasse. So I went 
at it on hands and knees. Holding the alpenstock near 
the middle with both hands, I struck it transversely, flat, 
into the surface of the crust, and then moved my knees up 
to it. Then holding from a slide by sticking in my toes, I 
lifted the stick and again stuck it down and carefully crawled 
up to it. Yes, and even so I had to rest twice to the rod. 
The surface grew constantly harder, and the gale blew icy 
cold. When I had made 500 feet above Gibraltar, I calcu- 
lated that, even if I succeeded in keeping up my present 
speed, I should be five more hours climbing that slope. 
The air was painfully thin. Harder grew the snow ; more 
savage and cutting the blast. Merrily bits of glittering ice 
swept tinkling by, flying or racing for the crevasse. I won- 
dered, if I did not hold on, if I should lie there or slide 
down. I tried it and — I slid. 

A Day With Mt. Tacoma. 233 

Still I crawled on, — a few feet and then a rest, a few 
more and another rest. As a quadruped I bore my weight 
on the tops of my fists, wherefore I had lame and swollen 
wrists the next day. My leather gloves, soaked, of course, 
froze as stiff as tin gloves. By accident I discovered that 
my fingers were also beginning to freeze; whereat I 
stabbed the alpenstock deep and straddled it while I thawed 
them into tingling aches that wrung from me some small 
groans. Then I crawled again. 

At last Gibraltar looked a thousand feet beneath. I had 
reached 13,000 feet. For hours not a spot of the earth 
had been visible — barring three remote peaks. I looked 
down a vertical half-mile, and far, far out on an unbroken 
sea of fleecy and most beautiful clouds. As far as vision 
reached, this soft cloud-ocean tossed its cottony crests, and 
swept steadily and swiftly towards the southeast. There 
must have been 20,000 square miles of it in sight. It 
might mean storms below. Overhead hung the indigo 
vault, and the sun shot dazzing light. Just above the top 
and close to it there formed at times a lace-like film of 
cloud. Right over my head it scudded with a speed more 
like a waterfall than a cloud. As I rested astride the thick 
ash staff, a low, steady, musical note came to my ears. At 
first I thought the glacier must somehow be making it. 
But it was the alpenstock humming in the gale. 

By this time it had become evident that if I gained the 
top I must stay all night in the crater. This I did not 
wish to do; and, more especially, I did not wish to get 
storm-stayed up there. Moreover, I did not know how 
bad the wind was capable of blowing, but I knew that if it 
blew much harder it would simply blow me down the slope 
and into the crevasse. 

234 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

All things considered, then, it seemed wisest to turn 
back and descend while I yet might. I dared not go 
down with the regular glissade, for fear of slewing round 
and losing control of myself. I squatted, or sat, on one 
hip, and, holding for my life to the staff, edged slowly 
down. I kept wondering how I should fare in running the 
batteries of flying stones at that hour. By the time I got 
there, however, the sun had softened the ice and snow, and 
the passage proved altogether easier than I expected. 
Some rocks fell, not many, — also some big icicles. A 
stone the size of a small stove hustled over my head, but 
already I was close under the protecting walls of Gibraltar 

Having ample time, I took it very easy; and it was prob- 
ably four o'clock when I reached the last rocks of The 
Cleaver, and prepared to traverse the great snow-surface of 
the glacier. And here were the clouds. I noted the 
position of the sun, the peak, the direction of the wind — 
now much milder — and the run of the snow furrows. 
Thirty paces from the rocks I could see nothing but the 
snow at my feet. I supposed the clouds formed a sheet a 
few hundred feet thick and that I should soon come out 
below it. All I could see was an impenetrable, luminous 
mist. Once there appeared in the air very near me a lovely 
double rainbow. 

I reached the island of rocks at which I had aimed, and 
thence set out for another that I hoped I could steer to. 
In general, thirty feet was the limit of vision in any direc- 
tion, though occasionally a fleeting glimpse of the pale sun 
disc corrected or confirmed my line of march. The rocks 
did not appear. After a while the surface began to tilt 
steeply down to the left* and the furrows to run across the 

the declivity down which Professo 

A Day IVith Ml. Tacoma. 235 

wind. There came to me a faint memory of something 
like that, with crevasses at the bottom, seen in the early 
morning. I sheered to the right, and began to "follow the 
ridge." By-and-by an astounding appearance showed in 
the eastern mists — I stared amazed at the round sun! I 
had completely reversed my direction without knowing it. 
Turning back, I set off again, though with a feeling of un- 
certainty, both novel and unpleasant for those rocks. And 
this time I reached them. So far so good; but it was 
miles and miles yet to camp, and every mile full of actual 
or possible ridges, crags, pitches, precipices and — chiefly — 
enormous glaciers with their crevasses. 

The next incident was the finding of tracks — made a day 
or two before, and still faintly visible. Naturally, I followed 
them like a sleuth, cherishing a reasonable hope of being led 
right into camp. How could I know the people who made 
them had also been lost ? as I learned upon meeting them 
the next day. But after two or three hours, I lost faith in 
the tracks, and put in another hour or so tramping back 
and forth in an effort to reach a certain sound that came by 
gusts from the mist-encumbered space, and sounded like a 
waterfall near camp. But I always pitched up at the edge 
of an ice-cascade, or a precipice of rocks, or else a hollow 
of air, out of which it was obvious the sound did not come. 
Two ptarmigan loomed up in the fog — bigger, at first, than 
turkeys — astonishing me beyond measure. They were 
queer-acting birds, and evidently much more at home than 
I was. 

While I made a long crossing at the brink of a steep de- 
clivity of the glacier surface, the night began to darken. 
Having nothing else to do, and persistently refusing to be 
tempted by easy ways into going lower than I believed the 

■236 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

■camp to be, I still followed the sound of the phantom water- 
fall. Very likely it was, after all, only the roaring of the 
wind-blown forests in the gulfs below. 

A small but serious crevasse slashed across my path; and 
I noticed that it was rather near when I discovered it. I 
took the hint, and camped on the very next rock-islet 1 came 
to. It was as big as a city door-yard, and tilted at about the 
angle of some in San Francisco. But it revealed absolutely 
nothing — cliflT, cave or angle — in the way of shelter from the 
wind and rain. I forgot to mention the rain/ which had 
now been drizzling for some hours. Still, it was not ex. 
tremely cold; the rain was of the Scotch-mist variety, and 
the wind, though it blew, did not rise to the violence of a 
gale. I put three stones as big as a water-pail in a row, 
chinked in their crannies a little, and lay down in the lee 
of them. There was just light enough to make out by 
the watch that it was half-past eight. It would be only six 
hours till daylight. 

The minutes crawled by — ten, fifteen, twenty, — and the 
glow of exercise had died out of me, and I felt a chill a 
foretaste of what the night had in store — when a thrilling 
something swept by on the wind — something like a far-off 
shout. I could not believe it, yet sprang up and bawled 
lustily, and listened — no answer. Again I composed my 
bones to the stones of my bed, rested my head upon the 
canteen of ice-water, and shut my eyes — saying to myself 
that I had imagined it. But no! again I scrambled to my 
feet, certain this time that I had heard a chorused shout. 
Hard against the wind I bawled my answer, and flailed the 
rocks with the alpenstock. They heard me. Five minutes 
more and I slipped out on the snow to meet a search-party 
of nine hardy Mazamas, with ropes and lanterns, and a firm 
good-will to fetch me back to camp alive or dead. 

A Day With ML Tacoma. 237 

It was merely the wildest freak of luck that they found 
me, for there was absolutely nothing to go by. I was sur- 
prised, and am still, that they tried it; because, by all the 
laws of probabilities, I ought to have been in the crater that 
night. I never dreamed of causing them any anxiety, 
unless I failed to appear by the next evening. But, as it 
turned out, it was very fortunate for me that they took 
another view of it. 

As quickly as possible I accounted for myself, and stepped 
into Captain Skinner's restaurant tent, by the fire. One 
of the young women brought me — my blessing shall ever 
follow her! — a good drink of hot milk — better than barrels 
of whiskey. And that night I slept in a tent, under blan- 
kets, alongside of a hot camp-stove. 

I felt no stiffness, e.xcept in my wrists, the next day, 
and walked down to Longmire's Springs with normal 

As to the best way to go up that mountain, I'm "of the 
same opinion still." That is, given reasonable weather and 
a climber in reasonable condition, and I still think that 
the least exhausting way would be to start as I did and 
make the summit at one march, reaching there about three 
in the afternoon. This would leave five hours, which is 
quite enough, of daylight in which to get back to camp. 
Moreover, it has several times been done in this way, and 
some experienced climbers up there also hold this view. 

238 Sierra Club Bulletin. 


In addition to longer articles suitable /or the body of the magazine, the editor 
would be glad to receive brief memoranda of all noteworthy tjnps or explorations, 
together with brief comment and suggestion on any topics of general interest to 
the Club. 

The Kaweah River and its neighboring ranges are attracting 
more and more attention from mountain lovers. Ip August of 
last year, a party made up of Messrs. Robert L. Hill, G. W. Hill 
and W. H. Perkins, of Tulare County, started from Eshorn Valley 
for a trip with pack-animals to the headwaters of the Kern River, 
and thence to Mt. Whitney. They proceeded in an easterly direc- 
tion, crossing the north fork of Kaweah River, nearly due 
south of Baldy Mountain, then following the divide to the north 
of Dome Rock, where e.xcellent camping-ground was found. 
From this place they followed the main canon of the north fork 
of the Kaweah about three miles, thence crossing the Divide, 
traveled southwesterly along the government patrol route through 
the Sequoia National Park. Leaving this trail at Willow Meadow, 
they took a northeasterly course along the main Marble Fork of 
the Kaweah River, to a small meadow lying south of Mt. Silliman. 

From this point easterly, good traveling was found along the 
north bluff of the Marble Fork to within three miles of its head- 
waters, where a small tributary from the north was ascended to 
the summit of the main dividing ridge. This divide was crossed 
about one mile north of Moose Lake, and followed until a perpen- 
dicular wall several hundred feet in height blocked the way. The 
extreme head of Buck Cafion was then entered, and the route 
pursued in a northeasterly course through a mass of boulders to 
a point four miles from the main Kaweah peaks. Here the 
animals were left, and a passage on foot attempted across the 
main western crest to the Kern River side. 

The pass, however, which had seem practicable from a dis- 
tance, was found, on nearer inspection, to be a part of the 
perpendicular wall partially surrounding the headwaters of a 
tributary of Roaring River. Here the Sierra Club seal was 
painted upon a large, smooth rock. As considerable work would 
have been required to make the pass feasible for animals, the 
party concluded to retrace their steps from this point. 

It will thus be noticed that this party has ascended the Marble 

Notes and Correspondence. 239 

Fork on its northern side, and traversed the table-land between 
the Marble Fork and Buck Canon, passing across the head of 
that canon to the Middle Kaweah. 

The committee of the Sierra Club appointed for the purpose 
of securing headquarters for the Club in the Yosemite Valley, 
has performed its work most efficiently, as the following extracts 
from its report will show: — 

Yosemite Valley, June 9, 1898. 
To the President and Board of Directors of the Sierra Club: 

Gentlemen: — We wish to report the following progress in 
connection with the Sierra Club headquarters in Yosemite Valley. 

The agreement made with the Board of Yosemite Commis- 
sioners last fall, was that the building known as the Sinning 
Cottage be repaired by that Board for the use of the Sierra Club 
as a bureau of general information. The Club was to furnish the 
house, and keep there all its publications, maps and collections 
relating to the high Sierra. The salary of the attendant during 
the summer months was to be borne equally by the Club and the 
Board of Commissioners. In return for their share of the expense, 
the attendant was to assist the Guardian by directing campers to 
their grounds, and giving general information concerning the 
Valley to visitors during his absence. 

Your committee wishes to state that the above agreements 
have been carried out. The Sinning Cottage contains two rooms, a 
large one in front, and a small one in the rear. The former con- 
tains a large extension-table for books, periodicals, newspapers, etc. 
On the walls hang framed photographs of the high Sierra, and all 
the maps in the possession of the Club covering that region. A 
large map of the Yosemite National Park, by Lieutenant Benson, 
U. S. A., has been loaned by Mr. Miles Wallace, Guardian. The 
small room is carpeted, and fitted up with a desk and chairs to be 
used as an office by the attendant. A cabinet will soon be con- 
structed to accommodate the increasing collection of specimens, 
both botanical and geological. 

The Club is to be congratulated upon securing the services of 
Mr. Wm. E. Colby as attendant, as he is so thoroughly familiar with 
the high Sierra and the canons in the neighborhood of Yosemite. 

It has been suggested by some members of the Board of Com- 
missioners that the small dwelling-house adjoining the Sinning 
Cottage be fitted up by the Club for the use of its members. A 
number of sleeping apartments could be cheaply furnished, and a 
dark room constructed for use of members of the Club only. It 
would be well for the Board of Directors to confer with the 
Yosemite Commission upon this point as soon as possible, as in 
the opinion of your committee, such a club-house would be of the 
greatest value. 

We wish further to state that arrangements have been made 
with Mr. George Kenney, proprietor of the livery stables, whereby 
members of the Sierra Club can obtain saddle and pack-animals 
for high mountain trips covering several days at the rate of one 

240 Sierra Chib Bulletin. 

dollar per day rental. This includes, of course, both riding and 
pack-saddle outfits. 

The Club owes many thanks to the Board of Commissioners, 
especially to Mr. Abbott Kinney and Mr. Miles Wallace. Also to 
many of residents of the Valley who have contributed to the 
collections which have so far been secured, particularly to 
Mr. Galen Clark, and Mr. Charles B. Atkinson, members of the 
club. Signed, 

J. N. Le Conte, 
Charles A. Bailey, 


Neglected Routes Up Mt. Shasta. , 

Within recent years the ascent of Mt. Shasta has been made so 
exclusively by way of Horse Camp and Thumb Rock, that it is 
often taken for granted that there is no other practicable route. 
It may be well, therefore, to remind our climbers that there are at 
least two other routes as good, and in some respects even better. 
Of the way up the long, sloping ridge to the east, between Mud 
Creek and Ash Creek, I cannot speak from personal experience, 
and I need only refer the reader to an interesting account of it by 
Mr. George S. Meredith, in the Overland Monthly, Second 
Series, Vol. 25, p. 451. Its chief advantages are its comparatively 
gentle slope, its freedom from snow until the summit is nearly 
reached, and the possibility of riding a large portion of the way. 
The distance of its starting point from the railroad is, no doubt, 
an item against it in the case of the ordinary tourist; but not so in 
the case of many who visit the region equipped to range more 
widely. And, furthermore, I understand that a new lumber rail- 
road, built to reach the forests about the eastern base of Shasta, 
is now available to bring the mountaineer quite as near to the 
starting point for this climb as he would be to the other at Sisson. 

Yet another route is the one somewhat slightingly referred to 
by Mr. Meredith in his article as "an abandoned route by way of 
the crater." It is, indeed, abandoned; I have heard of no ascent 
by it since my own, on July 31, 1883. Yet, as compared with the 
regular "Sisson trail," which I had tried on a previous ascent, the 
advantages seem heavily on the side of the crater route. As im- 
portant items in the account, I would name the more varied 
interest afforded by the crater itself, and the Whitney glacier, 
with the wonderful snow-grottoes at its head; the shortening of the 
climb by a thousand feet or more through the greater elevation of 
the night camp; the better footing — mostly on firm rock or on 
hard snow; the more even grade throughout; the escape from the 
insufferable heat and glare of the climb up a long snow-trough 

Notes and Correspvnde^ice. 241 

directly facing the sun, — for here the snow-field may be traversed 
in shadow; and lastly, the escape from the falling stones which 
come thundering down the ravine as soon as the sun has thawed 
them from their perch on the crags at its head. A brief account 
of my own climb will, perhaps, serve better to indicate the route 
than a more formal set of directions. 

Leaving Sisson in the afternoon, we followed the regular trail 
to within, perhaps, a mile and a half of Horse Camp. Here, as 
the trail skirts the base of the great southwestern buttress of the 
mountain — the buttress of which the crater is the culmination — 
we turned directly up the ridge, picking our way over rough lava 
ledges, passing the timber-line, and finally bivouacking on the 
open mountain-side at an elevation of perhaps 10,000 feet. The 
spot was near an emerald-green pool of water at the foot of a long 
S-shaped snowbank stretching up the ridge towards the crater. 
This snowbank is a constant feature of the mountain-side in sum- 
mer, and by its shape and position can be readily picked out from 
Sisson. Its location is important, since no other water can be 
had within a long distance. Here my guide and I were joined by 
three young students, who were to make the climb with me on 
the morrow. The guide, in common with all of his kind at Sis- 
son, had done his utmost to prevent me from taking this route; 
and his preposterous account of its dangers had convinced me 
that he knew nothing at all about it. I therefore arranged to 
leave him in camp with the horses. Though we were consider- 
ably above the limit of living timber, about us were scattered the 
withered remains of dwarf trees that had once grown here during 
some cycle of less rigorous seasons; and these furnished our 
camp-fire. The night was calm, and we did not suffer from cold. 

Next morning I was up betimes, breakfasted, and was ready 
to start at twenty-five minutes past three, or just as soon as it 
was light enough to see where to place my feet. The young men 
could not be persuaded to leave their warm blankets — so my 
climb was made alone. Its first stage was right up the ridge to 
the crater-butte. Shortly before I reached its rim, a level bar of 
sunlight had kindled its crags into flame. After some little explo- 
ration of the crater, I resumed my climb, crossing by a saddle to 
the main mountain, and then up the easy slope of the Whitney 
glacier to the Black Hill. Halfway up I encountered a crevasse 
stretching in a grand curve quite across the glacier. It was not 
too wide for an easy spring, were one quite sure of his foothold 
on the upper edge, and were one not quite alone. Fortunately, a 
sliver of ice was presently found to furnish the intermediate step, 
and the difficulty was quickly surmounted. I paused a few mo- 
ments to e.xplore and admire some wonderful snow-grottoes 

242 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

formed by the settling of the snow-field away from the enormous 
drifts which comb over the ridge in southerly storms, — and again 
to enjoy my favorite exhilaration of rolling stones down the moun- 
tain-side. The smooth, hard slope of the snow-field was an 
incomparable track for such bowling, and my position enabled 
me to follow the huge stones until they actually vanished from 
sight in the distance. 

Save for the brief time spent on the crater-butte, all the journey 
so far had been made in the shadow of the mountain. I now 
emerged into dazzling sunlight on the upper plateau, and saw the 
summit itself directly before me. A few minutes more and I was 
there — at a quarter past nine in the morning. I am not aware 
that the summit has ever been reached by another sojcarly in the 
day; and my exceptional time I am disposed to ascribe chiefly to 
the excellence of the route. I entered my name duly in the record 
book; lunched most refreshingly on crackers and hot bouillon 
made from beef extract and cook':'d in my tin cup over the steam 
spring; rested, looked about me, and dreamed for two hours; 
and then started down again. It was not, however, by the route 
of my ascent, but along the plateau westward, then down one of 
the snow-chutes to the south, and so diagonally across the ravine 
to camp. It was then one o'clock p. m. Siesta and dinner, and 
the ride back to Sisson in the late afternoon completed a most 
memorable day. Were the thing to be done again, I would sug- 
gest but a single change in the program. I would send the horses 
around to meet me at Horse Camp, and would make the descent 
by the usual route via Thumb Rock and the southern ravine. 
The combination of a fine climb over firm rock and hard snow, 
with the exhilarating descent of some three miles by glissade, 
would be simply irresistible. 

With reference to the possibility of seeing Mt. Shasta from 
points about the southern end of Lake Tahoe — a question 
touched upon by Professor Church in his article in the present 
number of the Bulletin — it is well to remember that Shasta, 
Lassen and Mt. Rose are placed so nearly in a straight line as 
altogether to prevent, it would seem, any such possibility, even 
were the atmosphere perfectly transparent. Mt. Lassen, how- 
ever, is persistently mistaken for Mt. Shasta all through the region 
from Diablo eastward to the Summit, and no amount of evidence 
seems able to dispel the error. On any clear day Mt. Lassen may 
be distinctly seen from Mt. Tallack, and doubtless also from 
Pyramid Peak and from Mt. Rose. And even when the air is 
too thick to permit the dark mass of the mountain itself to be 
seen, it may often be picked out by the flash from the long snow- 
field which fills the great ravine on its southern face. It looks 

Notes and Correspondence. 243 

then like a straight white bar rising unsupported and a little 
aslant from the northern horizon. 

In conclusion, let me refer all who may be interested in such 
matters to the valuable information regarding these two great Cal- 
ifornian volcanoes — their history, their structure, and their most 
recent activity — found in the studies of J. S. Diller of the U. S. 
Geological Survey, particularly in the Annual Report of the 
Survey for 1886-87, Part I, p. 401; in Bulletin of the Geological 
Survey, No. 79; and in an admirable monograph entitled: "Mt. 
Shasta, a Typical Volcano." 

Cornelius B. Bradley. 

The sketch map of the Kaweah Group prepared by Professor 
Dudley, which appeared in the last issue of the Bulletin, was 
reduced one-half by the photographic copy. The scale, there- 
fore, should have been given as four miles to the inch and not two 
miles as there stated. 

244 Sien-a Club Bulleiin. 


Edited by Professor William R. Dudley. 

In the January (1S96) number of the "Bulletin" a plea was 
made for the establishment of one or more wild parks among the 
coast redwoods — one north of San Francisco and one, if possible, 
in the Santa Cruz mountains. Whether the United States Gov- 
ernment still owned any considerable amount of this timber-land 
was then a matter of uncertainty, but it has since been settled in 
the negative by the United States Forestry Commission. Hence 
the questions now are: Shall we favor such parks ? can we secure 
them, and how? under whose control shall they be ? 

The problem is a different one from the preservation of the 
great forests of the national domain situated elsewhere. The 
latter question appeals to one because of its economic importance 
to the whole people. The motive underlying the segregation 
and preservation of portions of the original redwood forest is 
almost wholly one of sentiment, but it seems to me it ought to 
appeal to the whole people also. It is a sentiment not different 
in kind from that which bids us preserve the homes of the great- 
est citizens of our nation, and talk of their great and good deeds 
by our firesides. 

All of the timber-land of value in the coast ranges is now in 
private hands, and we can foretell with sufficient exactness the 
time when the first growth of the redwoods will be entirely swept 
away; but we would save certain representative portions from 
such destruction, have them so husbanded and developed that 
many generations of our people shall be able to look upon prime- 
val groves of the loftiest species of conifer our civilization has dis- 

We have been accustomed to consider the Sequoia of the 
Sierras as the greatest and most wonderful — indeed, one of the 
rarest conifers of the world. It was fortunate in having John 
Muir for a friend, and now it is the best-protected species of tree 
in the New World, the Sequoia and the General Grant National 
Parks being established with no other object than the preservation 
of this species. But the reasons which could be urged for the 
establishment of the Sequoia National Park could be pressed still 
more strongly in favor of the redwood national parks. The red- 

Forestry Notes. 245 

woods are much more numerous, it is true, than the individuals 
of the sister species, but the former is more difficult to cul- 
tivate, not flourishing well outside the ocean fog-belt, while the 
big tree grows well in many climates, and is certain of becoming 
familiar to a much greater number of people. Sargent has found 
some of the redwoods considerably taller than any big trees that 
have been measured, and we may safely set down the former as 
the tallest coniferous species living. If one is rare and limited 
to the southern Sierras of California, the other is confined to the 
California coast ranges, no other portion of the globe producing 
any living specimens of either species. Lastly, Mr. Muir is as 
much in favor of the redwood parks as he was of the others. 

The small grove of redwood giants at Felton, Santa Cruz 
County, has been visited by thousands whose only knowledge of 
the species is from such a visit. If this grove is sold it ought to 
pass into the hands of the railroad or the General Government, 
its safety being probably assured in either case. During the past 
two years I have gone over, with some care, the standing redwoods 
of the Pescadero, the Butano, Gazos and Big Basin regions of the 
Santa Cruz Mountains. One of these tracts is especially fitted by 
nature for a park, and the whole is quite unfit for any but forest 

Of the available tracts north of San Francisco I know less 
than other members of the club. 

This movement needs money, for the reason that the nation 
has given away all of these valuable redwood lands, and if we 
desire to preserve a few hundred acres as an object lesson, we 
must apparently buy them back. The influence of the Sierra 
Club has heretofore been largely advisory, although we believe 
that influence has been widely felt. There is no reason to doubt 
that its success will be equally great if it addresses itself to this 
more arduous task. W'hy should we not, during the summer, 
gather all information possible on available tracts of coast forest, 
as well as possible contributors to a fund, and submit the same to 
the autumnal meeting of the society ? 

246 Sierra Club Bulletin. 


FROM APRIL 30, 1897, TO APRIL 30, 1898. 

One of the most important movements of the Club this year has 
been the establishment of Club Headquarters in Yosemite Valley, 
for the purpose of stimulating excursions to the high Sierra, and 
for furthering the work of the Club generally. A more detailed 
report of what has been accomplished in this matter wilj be found 
elsewhere in the Bulletin. 

Last October, through the kindness of the Appalachian Moun- 
tain Club, the Sierra Club exhibited the Sella collection of Alpine 
and Caucasian views. This collection is one of the finest of 
alpine views in existence, and it was much appreciated by those 
who saw it. 

The session of the American Forestry Association, which was 
to have been held in Yosemite this summer, in which the Sierra 
Club was largely interested, has been postponed to a more favor- 
able season. 

The following have been made Honorary members of the 
Club: Prof Joseph LeConte, Prof. Charles S. Sargent, Prof. Wm. 
H. Brewer. 

The following are the Directors and Officers elected for the 
ensuing year at the annual election on April 30, 1898: — 

Mr. John Muir President. 

Mr. Warren Olnev Vice-President. 

Prof C. B. Bradley Treasurer. 

Prof W. R. Dudley Corresponding Secretary. 

Mr. Robert M. Price Recording Secretary. 

Prof. George Davidson, Pres. David Starr Jordan, 

Prof. J. N. Le Conte, Mr. Elliott McAllister, 

and the following committees have been appointed: — 

Auditing Committee . 
Directors Le Conte, Davidson, McAllister. 

FHihtications and Communications. 
Mr. John Muir, Chairman. 
Mr. Warren Gregory, Prof. J. N. LeConte, 

Mr. T. S. Solomons, Prof C. B. Bradley, 

Prof. J. M. Stillman, Prof. W. R. Dudley, 

Mr. Howard Longley, Mr. James Runcie. 

Secretary's Report. 247 

Directors Olney, Dudley, Bradley. 

Parks and Reservations. 
Pres. David Starr Jordan, Chairman. 
Prof. George Davidson, Mr. T. P. Lukens, 

Mr. James Runcie, Mr. Charles A. Bailey. 

The total collected for dues for the year J619 62 

Collected for Yosemite headquarters 48 00 

Publications, etc., sold 15 8s 

Total $683 47 

Cash deposited to account of Treasurer J660 65 

Balance cash on hand 22 82 

Total $683 47 

Robert M. Price, Secretary. 


Cash on hand, May i, 1897 J135 83 

Received from Secretary 661 04 

JS796 87 

Printing I316 62 

Clerk hire 62 40 

Rent 80 00 

Janitor 12 00 

Postage expressage 108 66 

Stationery 17 05 

Typewriting 2 00 

Commission on collections 8 70 

Taxes 2 10 

Telegrams and telephones 80 

Lantern service 10 00 

Sella collection 86 95 

Yosemite headquarters 40 00 

Cash on hand 49 59 

I796 87 
H. Senger, Treasurer. 


Number i8 

Sierra Club Bulletin 

Vol. II 

No. 5 

January, 1899 


Sierra Club Bulletin 

Vol. II 

JANUARY, 1899 


No. 5 

The Basin of the South Fork of the San Joaquin River 

-Plates XXIX., XXX J. N. LE Conte 

The Taking of Mt. Balfour 

— Plates XXXI., XXXII Charles S. Thompson 

Exploration of the East Creek Amphitheater j 

-Plates XXXm., XXXIV Cornelius Beach Bradley 

A Neglected Region of the Sierra 

-Plates XXXV., XXXVI., XXXVII. • . Lincoln Hutchinson 

NOTES AND CORRESPONDENCE: Height of the Tehipite Dome; 
New Maps of the Geological Survey ; A Revised Map of the 
High Sierra— Plate XXXVIIl.; Pack-Animals, and How to 
Pack Them; Forestry Notes. 

publication by the Sierra 
ingsuch publication, should 
•egory, 222 Sansome Street, 

I tribution and sale of the 
iig its business generally, 
tary of the Sierra Club, 
incisco, California. 

J^n. 3<^/ ^ 

r ^ ^^^ 

I// W--y 

Sierra Club Bulletin. 

Vol. II. San Francisco, January, 1899. No. 5. 


By J. N. Le Conte. 

That portion of the Sierra Nevada Range drained by 
the South Fork of the San Joaquin and the Middle Fork 
of King's River may well be called the heart of the High 
Sierra. Although the summit peaks do not rise to quite 
such an elevation as do some at the source of the Kern, 
still the mountains are so much more rugged, the canons so 
much deeper and more numerous than in the southerly 
region, that the peculiarly savage type of High Sierra 
scenery seems to reach its culmination here. 

Our information bearing on the San Joaquin Sierra 
is almost entirely due to Mr. Theo. S. Solomons, who 
visited the region during three summers, and explored 
nearly two-thirds of the great basin of the South Fork. 
His work, which is incorporated in the last edition of the 
Sierra Club map, is remarkably accurate, considering the 
extent of the country covered and the few instruments 
at his disposal. By referring to the map, it will be seen 
that the South Fork of the San Joaquin River heads at 
Mt. Goddard and flows north-west nearly parallel to the 
main crest for a distance of forty miles, where it joins with 
the Middle Fork, makes an abrupt turn to the west, and 

250 Sifrta Club Bulletin. 

flows through a deep transverse canon to the California 
plain. This stream is fed by four main tributaries from the 
east. The first and largest is Mono Creek, which enters 
about twelve miles above the junction of the principal 
forks, and drains the crest from the Red Slate group to 
Mt. Abbott. The second, Bear Creek, joins the South 
Fork five miles above. Ten miles farther the North 
Branch enters through a very deep canon and drains a 
vast area about the foot of Mt. Humphreys. And last is 
the Middle Branch, heading back to the Goddard Divide. 
South of this divide are the sources of the Middle Fork of 
King's River. This region is the roughest and most inac- 
cessible in the whole range, and has not as yet been 
mapped, even in the most general way. 

It was my good fortune last spring to be able to make 
arrangements with Mr. C. L. Cory for an extended trip 
through the upper San Joaquin country, with particular 
reference to the unmapped region about Mt. Humphreys. 
Our plan was to follow the South Fork to its source, mak- 
ing side excursions to the main crest by way of the large 
tributaries, and thus run a rough chain of triangulation 
between the highest peaks from Mt. Ritter to Mt. Whitney. 
If time permitted, we hoped to push across the King's 
River basin, and thus make that magnificent and wild 
cross-country trip from Yosemite to the King's River 

The start was made from Wawona, on June 16th. As 
we did not expect to be able to replenish our stock of pro- 
visions during the next six weeks, we took two pack- 
animals with us. We entered the mountains by the same 
route as that followed by Mr. Solomons,* namely, over the 

* See Publications of the Sierra Club, \'ol. I., p 221. "A Search for a High 
Mountain Route from the Yosemite to the King's River Canon." Theo. S. Solo- 

Basin of the South Fork of the San Joaquin. 25 1 

Mammoth Trail to the Jackass Meadows, across the Middle 
Fork of the San Joaquin at Miller's sheep-bridge, and 
thence by the Miller and Lux trail to its crossing at Mono 
Creek. The trail up to this point runs through the forest 
belt of the Middle Sierra, and it was covered without diffi- 
culty by noon of June 2 1 St. Here we left the main trail 
and started up the creek to make our first acquaintance 
with the summits. Throughout its lower course Mono 
Creek flows through a wide, level valley covered with red- 
dish sandy soil and a sparse growth of timber. Higher up 
it comes down through a magnificent canon, whose walls 
rise to a height of 2,000 feet above the stream. The south- 
ern wall is especially fine, and at intervals side-gorges break 
through it, forming deep recesses, about whose heads are 
the snowy summits of the Abbott group, nearly 14,000 feet 
in elevation. A rough trail led up the left bank, and 
scarcity of feed for our animals drove us far up the canon, 
nearly to the fourth recess, before we camped, at 7:30 P. M., 
at an elevation of 9, 100 feet. 

The Abbott group appeared the most inviting, but we 
wished, if possible, to get a station nearer Mt. Ritter; so 
we decided on Red Slate Peak for our first climb. By five 
the next morning we were off with camera, plane-table, and 
lunch, and took our way up the first stream entering Mono 
Creek from the north. After a couple of hours' steady 
climbing, we came in sight of a splendid jagged peak, 
which appeared to be the one we were seeking. In order 
to reach its base, we were obliged to climb out upon the 
main crest of the range at an elevation of 1 1,500 feet. 
From this point we saw that Red Slate Peak was far 
beyond, and that the nearer one was evidently that called 
Red-and-White Peak on the map. This latter, though not 
so high as Red Slate, is a far more imposing object; but it 
appeared to be entirely inaccessible from the south. So it 

252 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

was without any great feelings of regret that we turned our 
attention to the more distant mountain. We were now 
forced to descend the eastern slope of the range for nearly 
2,000 feet into a deep canon, most of the way lying over 
hard-frozen snow-fields. Once at the bottom, it was an 
easy matter to skirt the southern spurs of Red-and-White 
Peak and make our way into a snow-filled canon that led 
up to the Red Slate. We crossed long stretches of snow, 
around the margin of several frozen lakes, and at last 
reached the foot of the mountain and started up its southern 
flank. From this point the ascent is quite easy, although 
the jagged fragments of slate are even more trying to the 
patience than to the shoes. We reached the top by noon, 
after seven hours' steady climbing. There was no monu- 
ment or sign of any sort to show that an ascent had ever 
been made before. 

The view from the summit is one of the very finest that 
the High Sierra affords, and was the most truly Alpine we 
saw during the whole trip. Toward the north the crest 
retains its rugged character for a distance of ten miles only, 
beyond which it breaks down in the neighborhood of the 
Mammoth Pass. But to the south the mountains were 
piled up in indescribable confusion, over an unnamed and 
almost unknown wilderness. Rising above the sweeping 
snow-fields were a few giants of the range which we were 
able to recognize — Mt. Abbott and Mt. Gabb,* at the head 
of the Mono Creek recesses; the Seven Gables, on Bear 
Creek; still farther to the south, the spiry summit of Mt. 
Humphreys; and farthest of all, old Mt. Goddard, which 
lifted its head high above its neighbors. To the west was 

* These two peaks were named by Prof. Wm. H. Brewer and party, '■f the Cal- 
ifornia Geological Survey in 1864. On account, however, of the ii... --finite way in 
which they were located upon the map of Central California, they have never 
since been, and probably never will be, identified. On the new Sierra Club map 
(1S99I these names will be given to the two most prominent points in the immedi- 
ate vicinity. 


Basin of the South Fork of the Safi foaquin. 253 

the great basin of Fish Creek, and close by the pinnacles 
of the Red-and-White group; while far to the north we 
could recognize our old friends of the Yosemite region — 
Lyell, Ritter, Dana, and Conness. By noon the sky was 
thickly overcast, and a cold wind made it very difficult to 
do any map-work; but by 1:30 p.m. we had succeeded 
fairly well and started down. 

At five in the evening we reached camp, only to find to 
our dismay that one of our pack-animals was dead — 
probably poisoned by eating laurel. This accident cost us 
four days' delay, during which time we lived with a party 
of hospitable sheep- men till we could replace our jack, 
" Dewey," with a rare mule, " Dynamite." 

The loss of time prevented an attempt at Mt. Abbott, 
so we started out again on June 27th, crossed the divide 
between Mono and Bear Creeks, and descended by a terri- 
bly rough route, and without a trail, into the canon of the 
latter. Once in the bottom, there was no more trouble, 
and we made our way up the canon to the foot of the Seven 
Gables, camping a second time at 9,100 feet. On the 
morning of the 29th, the Seven Gables was ascended. 
1 hough over 13,000 feet in elevation, the ascent is made 
without the slightest difficulty; in fact, we reached the top 
by 8:45 A. M. Now for the first time we obtained a clear 
view of Mt. Humphreys, about nine miles away in an air- 
line. One glance at it showed that its summit was difficult, 
if not impossible, of access. We could see that this moun- 
tain formed the culminating point of a long knife-edge on 
the main crest. The western side was a sheer precipice for 
certainly 1,000 feet; and with our knowledge of the eastern 
slopes of High Sierra peaks, we knew that that side was at 
least as bad, if not worse. So there was only one possible 
route to the summit, and that was along the knife-edge 
itself, although it was gashed down in many places by deep 

254 Sierra Chib Bulletin. 

clefts. Furthermore, the region to the west of it was one 
of peculiar ruggedness, and it seemed as though we could 
not get our animals within a day's march of the mountain 
from any direction. The day was a perfect one, and we 
remained on the summit for hours, gazing at the wonderful 
panorama. By four o'clock we started down, and returned 
to " Mosquito Camp " all too soon. 

During the next two days we made our way back to 
Mono Creek, and again took the Miller and Lux trail up 
the South Fork of the San Joaquin to Lost Valley or the 
Blaney Meadows. This is a Yosemite-like valley about four 
miles below the junction of the North Branch and the South 
Fork, and here is located the main camp of the sheep-men, 
whose range extends over the whole region drained by the 
upper South Fork. At a fine hot spring we found the 
camp, and in the evening one of the pack-trains came in. 
From the packer we learned that the canon of the North 
Branch was utterly impassable for animals, but that it might 
be possible to reach Mt. Humphreys by keeping on the 
high ridges to the north of the canon. So, at noon of July 
2d, we climbed 3,000 feet out of the South Fork Canon, and 
camped at an elevation of 10,550 feet, just below the top of 
the ridge. A magnificent panorama was now spread out 
before us. We were in the angle between the tremendous 
canons of the Main South Fork and the North Branch, each 
3,000 feet deep. The former, in a perfect maze of tribu- 
tary gorges, headed back to Mt. Goddard and the wilder- 
ness of peaks to the east of it. The latter was directly 
beneath us, but the bottom of the canon could not be seen, 
as the summits of the northern wall rose so high as to be 
projected against the southern, which rose precipice upon 
precipice far above us into the region of snow. Farther 
up we could see the silvery thread of the stream. The 
whole course of the canon could be followed to the point 

Basin of the South Fork of the San Joaquin. 255 

where it forked into two almost equal branches encircling 
Mt. Humphreys. The last of the sunset rays shone upon 
this great mountain, rising like a golden spire out of the 
deep shadow. Even at a distance of ten miles its great 
height could be appreciated, for not a peak within a radius 
of eight miles even approached it in altitude. 

It is needless to relate the experiences of the next two 
days, for they consisted of nothing more than a series of 
fruitless attempts to get eastward across a plateau scored 
with deep transverse canons. So we returned to the hot- 
spring camp in despair, and decided to abandon the attempt 
of getting our pack-animals any nearer. 

So, early on the morning of July 6th, we packed our 
knapsacks with food for three days, took a light feather 
quilt apiece, the plane-table, aneroid, and Sierra Club 
register-box, but left behind from force of necessity the 
camera. Thus equipped, we took our way up the South 
Fork canon as far as the North Branch, crossed this latter 
on a log bridge, and started up its canon. Any one who 
has traveled one of these great canons without a trail will 
understand what the work of the next three hours was 
like. It was breaking through thick brush, climbing over 
or between huge bowlders of the talus slope, or scaling 
rocky promontories which projected into the stream. By 
10 A. M. we reached the forks of the river, and found the 
traveling easier as we took our way up the south tributary. 
Finally we climbed out of the canon by its north side, and 
made our way over a desolate moraine-strewn plateau to 
the last storm-beaten tree, where we threw down our packs 
for a camp at an elevation of 11,000 feet, at the very foot 
of Mt. Humphreys. 

It would be impossible to describe our feelings as we 
stood at last in the presence of this great mountain, so 
utterly different from any other in the Sierra. It stood 

256 Sierra Club Bulleti7i. 

alone, a solitary pinnacle of rock, rising 3,000 feet above a 
wide, desolate plain. Not a tree nor a vestige of vegeta- 
tion was in sight, nor was there even a trimming of snow 
to relieve its savageness of aspect. The western side 
appeared to be a sheer precipice for 1,500 feet. That the 
whole ridge was a knife-edge we could tell by the myriad 
of tiny fringing columns projected against the sky. On 
the north the rocks fell in a clear sweep 500 feet from 
the summit to the knife-edge, and in the other direction, 
after a gradual slope for a short distance, there was another 
break of 1,000 feet to the southern knife-edge. The east- 
ern side we could not see, but there could be no doubt that 
it also was a precipice. At first there seemed to be no 
possible way of getting to the top. We sat for hours in 
silence, gazing at the mighty shaft, and as the sun sank 
behind us we watched the shadows creep amongst the 
crags. Then we became aware of a gorge up the southern 
wall, which the shadows threw into relief; but even with 
the aid of our telescope, it seemed a hopeless task to 
ascend it. 

By five next morning we set out across the wilderness 
of old moraines toward the mountain. Soon the sun rose, 
but its warmth did not reach us, for the mountain cast its 
shadow far out over the plateau; but golden streamers of 
light crowned the summit like a glorious aureole. We 
reached the foot of the debris pile in a couple of hours. It 
was not over 500 feet high, and soon we were upon the 
rocky front. We made our way without great difficulty up 
a rugged gorge to the crest of the southern knife-edge, 
where the warm sunlight poured in through a cleft in the 
ragged wall. From here we could see the awful precipice 
on the eastern side, a granite wall 2,000 feet high, as 
smooth as the face of El Capitan. Our ridge rose in a 
vertical edge for hundreds of feet, offering not a single foot- 

Basin of the Soidh Fork of the Sati Joaquin. 257 

hold. So after basking a while in the sunshine, we made 
our way to the little gully which had been seen from below. 
This ran transversely up the western face, and our hopes 
rose when we approached it, as the way seemed clear for 
several hundred feet. But these hopes were of short dura- 
tion, for we soon encountered steep slopes covered with 
clear ice, which could not be ascended without either rope 
or ice-ax. I think a climber, properly equipped, might 
easily pass this place; and perhaps early in the season, 
when the gorge is filled with snow, one might ascend by its 
aid. But whether this would eventually lead to the summit 
is by no means certain. The little gorge crossed the main 
ridge, and seemed to run out into nothing on the face of 
the great eastern precipice. After pushing even beyond 
what seemed safe, we descended to the foot of the western 
cliff, and cautiously worked our way around its base, thus 
finally gaining the top of the northern knife-edge at the 
point where the summit rises vertically above it. No one 
could possibly ascend the mountain from this side, and we 
could again see the eastern wall. So we climbed along the 
crest northerly to the top of a little pinnacle, and lay down in 
full view of the summit, which looked down upon and defied 
us. What would we not have given for our camera at 
that moment! If it had only been possible to bring away 
a photograph — a suggestion of that wonderful sight, that 
spire of granite over five hundred feet high, not two hun- 
dred feet wide where we stood, and whose sides continued 
on a thousand feet below! I have never felt so impressed, 
so utterly overpowered, by the presence of a great moun- 
tain as when standing amongst the crags of Mt. Humphreys 
looking up that smooth wall to its airy summit, and again 
down ten thousand feet into the depths of the Owen's 

We built a monument where we stood and deposited 

25S Sierra Club Bulletin. 

therein the Sierra Club register-box, which I trust will 
some day be taken on to the summit. The aneroid read 
13,550 feet, and on careful comparison on return to camp 
of the height still remaining with that already covered, we 
judged that the mountain was a tride over 14,000 feet.* 
This is probably very nearly correct, as Mt Humphreys 
overtops everything north of the Palisades. The descent to 
the talus was slow but not difficult, and camp was reached 
by one o'clock. After lunch we shouldered our knapsacks 
and went down as far as the forks of the stream, camping 
for the night at the more reasonable elevation of 9,300 

By ten o'clock next morning we returned to the hot 
spring. During the morning it rained hard, but cleared off 
in the night; and finding the weather fairly settled by noon, 
we started with our outfit up the canon of the South Fork 
on July 8tli The trail was rather obscure, though not very 
rough, and the cation was truly magnificent. The west side 
was a fine rocky wall for a distance of many miles, over 
which the tributaries from that direction plunged in a suc- 
cession of cataracts. By evening our trail crossed the 
river, and we camped in a grassy flat on the further side, 
near the junction of the Middle Branch. This last large 
tributary enters between two bold, rocky buttresses, and 
forms a fall of considerable height. Its canon looked invit- 
ing, but we had alread}' wasted too much time in the North 
Branch country, and so pushed on up the main stream, 
reaching the base of Mt. Goddard by noon of the loth. 

* There is no doubt that the mountain we attempted is the true Mt. Humphreys. 
The location of the mountain as given by our triangulation from Mt. Ritler checks 
closely with that given by the California Geological Sur^-ey when their map of 
Central California is corrected for a slight error in longitude, and is within 250 
>-ards of the position given by Capt. Wheeler in his " Sur\-eys West of the lootb 
Meridian." There is no mountain of equal height nearer than Mt.' Darwin, eight 
miles south. On our return to the hot spring, we learned tlial three different parties 
from Owen's Valley had attempted the ascent before, but had failed. 

Basin of the South Fork of the San Joaquin. 259 

The South Fork of the San Joaquin heads in a wide, grassy 
valley, very much like the upper Tuolumne meadows, but 
hemmed in on both sides by snowy ranges of mountains. 
One can ride a horse without the slightest difficulty quite to 
the foot of Mt. Goddard; but there his journey must end, 
for there is no possible way of taking animals across the 
Goddard Divide, or, even if it could be crossed, of descend- 
ing the rocky gorges leading down to the King's River 

We camped near the timber-line and rested in the after- 
noon while watching the cirrus clouds drifting about. In 
the morning the whole sky was heavily overcast, but we 
had decided to wait no longer for this uncertain High 
Sierra weather, and so made our way across the intervening 
meadow-land to the foot of the mountain. The ascent of 
Mt. Goddard is accomplished without the least difficulty. 
It is very much such a climb as Mt. Dana affords, for the 
whole mountain is covered with loose fragments of slate. 
The view from the summit is unquestionably the most 
extensive to be found in the High Sierra. Every promi- 
nent point of the crest can be seen from Mt. Conness to 
Mt. Whitney, a distance of one hundred and twelve miles 
in an air-line. That portion of the crest from Mt. Hum- 
phreys to the Palisades is especially fine, all the higher 
peaks about the latter averaging over 14,000 feet. The 
upper tributaries of the King's River flow in deep parallel 
gorges, separated by high, jagged divides. The canons of 
Goddard and Disappearing Creeks are amongst the deepest, 
descending over 8,000 feet in a comparatively few miles. 
The aneroid reading on Mt. Goddard was 13,500 feet. 

From this point we could clearly see that our route to 
the south was blocked, unless we should abandon our outfit 
and proceed on foot. We had been told on several occa- 
sions of a certain Baird trail, which crossed from the San 

26o Sierra Cbib Bulletin. 

Joaquin over to the North Fork of the King's at some 
point to the north-west of Goddard. From our elevated 
position we were sure we could see the point at which it 
crossed the high divide, and after some hesitation decided 
to make an attempt to follow it. So we took careful note 
of the intervening country, trying to impress on our memo- 
ries the prominent landmarks, till, warned by the gathering 
thunderstorm, we were obliged to pack up our things and 
return to camp about noon. The following morning found 
us on the march by five o'clock. We retraced our steps a 
mile or so down the South Fork to the point where North 
Goddard Creek enters it. Here a wide bench runs diago- 
nally up the west wall of the canon, and, as we had hoped, 
we found the remnants of an old trail. This we followed 
carefully for nearly two miles; but in spite of all our efforts, 
we lost all trace of it in a wide meadow some thousand feet 
above the river canon. We would not retreat, however, 
till every attempt to cross the divide had failed, and so 
decided to push on without a trail. The gap at the head 
of the meadow was evidently impassable. The next one to 
the north proved to be even worse; but after two or three 
hours' scrambling over the ridges to the south we finally 
came upon a pass to the north of Red Mountain that 
seemed a litde better. I climbed to the crest of the divide 
to pick out a possible way, but found no sign of a trail, and 
the pass was fearfiilly rough. It seemed a great risk to 
take our animals up; but the great basin of the North Fork 
of King's River, dotted with lakes and meadows, looked 
so inviting that I marked out the best way with ' ' monu- 
ments " and returned to the packs. My companion 
reported that a lower pass was to the south of Red Moun- 
tain, but as the one ahead was at least passable, we decided 
to try it. Everj' Sierra climber who departs from the 
beaten paths will understand what the experience of the 

Basin of the South Fork of the San foaquin. 261 

next few hours was; so I will not describe the process of 
building trails across talus-slopes nor of boosting mules up 
steep slopes of sand. But we finally reached the top with- 
out serious accident, and, thinking our troubles over, tied 
our four-footed companions in misery to a couple of bowl- 
ders, while we ascended Red Mountain to get a better view 
of the country to the south. But we little knew what was 
ahead; for the descent to the lake basin below was even 
worse than the climb. It was nearly three o'clock before 
we finally pulled up upon the shore of a little lake, after ten 
hours of the hardest work of our trip. We rested at the 
lake the remainder of the day, and next morning started 
across the basin of the North Fork of King's River. There 
was no trail, of course, and the route was very rough, but 
by the best sort of luck we made our way down into the 
cafion of the North Fork, and over another high divide 
to the headwaters of Crown Creek, which flows into the 
Middle Fork of King's River at Tehipite Valley. This 
stream was followed without difficulty, till late in the even- 
ing we ran across a well-marked trail. 

There was no more trouble after this. On the morning 
of July 14th we followed the trail to Collins's Meadow, and 
from there descended into the Tehipite Valley. The 
wonders of this magnificent canon have seldom been 
exaggerated. The only real exception seems to me to be 
in the estimated height of the great dome, which is cer- 
tainly not over 3,000 feet, probably a little less, — far different 
from 5,200 feet, as sometimes claimed. In the canon we 
found some campers, with whom we traveled for the next 
two days over that most villainous of trails up the river 
cafion to Simpson Meadow. Here we left them and took 
the Granite Basin trail over the great divide between the 
main forks of the King's River. From our camp in Copper 
Creek basin we made a last climb to the summit of Goat 

262 Sierra ChA Bulletin. 

Mountain, took a farewell view out over the glorious Alps 
through which we had been traveling, and on the afternoon 
of July 19th descended by the familiar Copper Creek trail 
to our old stamping-grounds of the King's River Canon. 

The Taking of Mt. Balfour. 263 


By Charles S. Thompson. 

One hundred and eighty miles from the forty-ninth 
parallel, and due north of the boundary-line between 
Idaho and Montana, the Canadian Pacific Railway crosses 
the watershed that divides the Sascatchewan, flowing 
toward Hudson's Bay, from the Columbia, which empties 
into the Pacific. Howse Pass, the next possible crossing 
for a railway, is forty miles to the north-west. Between 
these passes there is an elongated, glacier-covered plateau, 
having its greater axis in a north-westerly and south- 
easterly direction, and forming the central of five parallel 
mountain ranges which here collectively form the Canadian 
Rockies. Among the numerous snow-covered peaks which 
rise from this central plateau, the highest, with possibly one 
exception, is Mt. Balfour. 

We passed a leisurely Friday, the 13th of August, upon 
a bit of dry ground between river and marsh, about twelve 
miles from the railway up the Bow Valley. This valley, 
now under one name, now under another, as open meadow, 
as forest, as a wilderness of wash and bowlders, extends in 
unbroken continuity to the head-waters of the Athabasca 
and the Arctic watershed. As the afternoon shadow of the 
precipitous escarpment which upholds the Balfour snow- 
fields drifted nearly to our tents, we made ready for 
departure. The packing of our selected outfit — a Ulum- 
mery tent, two blankets, some coffee, oatmeal, bread, and 
some boxes of sardines — detained us little, but the cross- 

264 Sierra Club Btilletin. 

ing of the ford, hissing with the melted snow and ice of six 
hot days delayed us vexatiously. Then as we passed north- 
ward through a spruce forest toward the Lower Bow Lake 
our chosen pack-horse, a cunning brute, in an incautious 
moment of freedom, bolted through wood and ford back 
to his fellow-animals. So it was dusk or later, before we 
camped on a small open terrace in the ribbon of rising 
woodland that separates the western shore of the lake from 
the escarpment. 

At daybreak we crawled reluctantly from our toy tent 
to an undesired breakfast of oatmeal porridge, bread and 
coffee. Then leaving Edwards, our packer, to take back 
our outfit to the ford, we turned almost immediately from 
the lake and struggled upward among thickly-growing 
trees, through a litter of underbrush and tangled logs. It 
was the most fatiguing hour of the day. Suddenly — for 
there is no warning vista — we came upon Lake Mar- 
garet, a sapphire-colored water hidden in a re-entrant 
curve of the escarpment. A semicircle of grey cliffs was 
reflected in it. To north and south these cliffs rose appar- 
ently in one clean rock-face from forest to sky-line. The 
central — that is to say, the western — wall was broken by 
two precipices so separated that of the upper only the fore- 
shortened summit appeared from where we stood. Diago- 
nally across the lower precipice was the white line of a long 

We moved along the southern shore of this lake and 
crosssing through the alder-bushes at its head, — though 
not without rending of garments — began our ascent at the 
foot of the northern cliffs not far from the central wall. A 
long, steep, narrow stone slope runs up to some broken 
ledges that in turn lead to impassable perpendicular rock. 
From below nothing seems more impossible. But just as 
we reached the foot of the perpendicular face, some semi- 

From a pliolograpli l)y C. S. Tliompson. 

The Taking of Mi. Balfour. 265 

continuous shelves of rock enabled us, by careful combina- 
tions, to make a mid-air traverse between precipices to the 
parapet that divides the central wall. 

In beauty of natural coloring few scenes can surpass that 
which we then viewed. Below us, the dark blue of Lake 
Margaret, forest girt, contrasted with the opalescent green 
of the Lower Bow Lake, and that in turn with the spruce- 
filled valley and the gray eastern mountains beyond. 
Before us a pulpit-shaped pinnacle of limestone, iron- 
stained, black and reddish brown, overshadowed a lake of 
rare hue, a liquid turquoise set in the basin terrace of the 
western wall. Over its farther shore, the drab and white of 
a dying glacier hid in part the weather- darkened face of the 
upper precipice. 

We crossed the tedious stone slides that lined the basin 
and sat down upon the glacier near a rushing streamlet for 
a second meal. In mountain-climbing it is well to face diflS- 
cullies with a filled stomach, and a critical problem now lay 
before us. At the head of the glacier a broad line, crooked 
but continuous, declared the presence of a berg-sckrund, or 
great crevasse, a deep chasm separating the top of the 
glacier from the rock face. These schrunds can often be 
crossed by bridges of winter snow, wind-packed or ava- 
lanche-packed therein; but here the intense heat of the pre- 
ceding week, stripping the glacier to gray ice, had almost 
entirely destroyed them. At one point far up its southern 
edge, a narrow veneer, preserved by the shadow of a 
neighboring turret, bridged the forbidding line in a dis- 
heartening manner. Nor did its appearance improve as we 
ascended. But at the pinch, strategy* prevailed and we 

* As I have written, the glacier did not quite cover the second precipice. At 
the foot of the turret, a ravine, perhaps two hundred yards wide, made a cross sec- 
tion of both glacier and schrund. In the upper section of the schrund there was 
wedged some snow quite as soft and thin as the bridge upon the surface. But on so 
steep a slope, the angle at which our weight fell upon the snow was exceedingly 
favorable. It was the difference between breaking an egg by pressure upon its 
sides or upon both ends. 

266 Sierra Club Bul/ethi. 

crossed, cautiously it is true, to the summit of the escarp- 

We entered a different world, a rolling Arctic plain daz- 
zling in its brilliancy, sloping gradually from south to north. 
At the farther edge of this plain a palisade, partially ice- 
submerged, rose at first gradually, then suddenly into a 
beautiful snow peak completely glacier-clad. This was Mt. 

It was clear that we must somehow get upon the pali- 
sade, — that is, upon the southeastern ridge, or ar^ie, — and 
follow it, come what might, to the summit. Three open- 
ings were possible. Between us and the mountain, follow- 
ing the foot of the palisade, the converging glaciers of peak 
and plain had worn a trench or moat filled with crevasse- 
shattered ice From the moat two tongues of snow, sus- 
piciously gashed, ran upward to notches in the ar^te. 
Neither route was attractive. Of the two the more north- 
erly was longer, more distant, and more broken. The 
southern end of the palisade, surmounted by pinnacles 
grotesquely human, dropped its sky-line into a wave of 
snow. We determined to cross at this point in an attempt 
to gain the ridge from the other side. If the wave ended 
in a precipice, we could retreat down the trench to the 
shorter snow tongue. 

We moved in a south-westerly direction, following the 
circumference of a circle whose center was Mt. Balfour. It 
was a pleasant, easy walk, at first over almost level ice, 
then over snow more and more inclined. The air was com- 
fortably cool and clearer of smoky haze than on any day 
that week. The uncertainty gave the needed excitement. 
Near the top of the wave another schrund pushed us under 
the end of the palisade, then a sudden turn and we were 
upon the sharp-cut crest, looking westward into British 
Columbia. Fifty feet below, the snow changed into a 


^.TE xxxir. 

From a pliutograph by C. S. Thompson. 

The Taking of Mt. Balfour. 267 

rough macadam that in turn disappeared beneath another 
ice-field. A glance to the north quickly assured us that 
this western ice-field followed our chosen arc'te, rising indeed 
at a distance of two miles and a half almost to its level. 
Half a mile beyond that point was the summit of Mt. Bal- 
four, no nearer than when we stood a long hour before on 
the edge of the escarpment, but presenting, so far as we 
could see, no insuperable difficulties. Hitherto we had 
been playing for position; now our course was straight away 
for the goal. 

The journey over the western ice-field was uninterest- 
ing — a sloppy walk over slushy snow that rose and fell in 
long swales, over which Balfour's summit alternately rose 
and disappeared. At the top of the third swale we came 
unexpectedly upon the edge of a precipice, a south-western 
spur from the main crest forming with it a A -shaped angle, 
into which we were forced. At the apex of this angle we 
came again upon the watershed, this time upon our much- 
desired arete overlooking the ice-fields of Alberta and British 
Columbia. Beyond the angle there was a depression in the 
crest, where a soft stratum of rock had decayed into a stony 
clay, then a sudden uplift, almost a minor peak, followed by 
a second depression or saddle, from which there was a 
steady rise at an increasing angle to the summit. The view 
along this ridge was most impressive. 

We had gained our desire only to abandon it. Once in 
the depression, we chose rather to traverse the western 
slope of the uplift with the certainty of success than to 
assault it along the arete with the uncertainty of a descent 
from it into the second saddle. Our traverse was slow, 
partly on account of the friability of the rocks, which had 
in places crumbled into a coarse sand, partly because of the 
instability of the larger fragments thereon. It was there- 
fore with some relief, for our day ran short, that we drew 

268 Sierra Chib Bulletiyi. 

ourselves into a breach that admitted us to the second 
saddle, as cozy a lunching-place as we could desire. Even 
cold water was not lacking. So we opened a box of sar- 
dines and ate. 

From this point onward the arete was half ledge, half 
ice, like a thin cake, heavily frosted, set on edge — a very 
thin cake and thick frosting ; for where we sat in the sad- 
dle — and this width was rarely exceeded — the ridge was 
but twelve feet across and half that distance ice. The line 
between rock and ice was at all times abruptly and continu- 
ously defined. In our advance we kept near this mediate 
line, upon the ice along the easier gradients, upon the 
rock where the increased slope required step-cutting. 
Nothing hindered us, and at five minutes of three we were 
upon the summit, a circular platform of broken stones 
about twenty feet in diameter, and so level that it was impos- 
sible accurately to determine the highest point. 

Time goes quickly upon a mountain-top ; yet even with 
that knowledge, I cannot account for the rapid passing of 
that hour. There were the usual ceremonies consequent 
upon such an occasion — the building of a cairn, the reading 
of our aneroid (11,050 ft.), and the taking of various bear- 
ings with our prismatic compass. Then we lazily stretched 
ourselves upon the stones, as comfortably as possible, to 
enjoy the view. It was different from any summit vista I 
had seen — unique in its impressive isolation. Surrounded 
by miles of glacier-swept table- land, lifted by the distant 
escarpment high above the valley floors, the eye swept the 
horizon in vain for the green of growing vegetation. Every- 
where ice and snow, cut by black lines of rock, the desola- 
tion of the frozen North. Across the gap which marked 
the valley of the Bow, I saw, gray in the haze, the prow- 
like summit of Mt. Hector. With that sight there came a 
vision of that day when I had stood thereon gazing with 

The Taking of Mt. Balfour. 269 

desire upon the mountain whereon I now sat. And with 
that vision came the words of one no longer with us, who 
then stood beside me: " The memory of the great snow- 
field, as we saw it from Mt. Hector, and of Mt. Balfour 
above all, is an abiding and haunting one." The taking of 
Mt. Balfour finished what he had planned. In success was 
much sorrow. 

270 Sierra Club Bulletin. 


Bv Cornelius Beach Bradley. 

A visit to the Southern Sierra had long been a cherished 
wish of mine, postponed, however, of necessity year by 
year, until its fulfillment seemed almost hopeless. But at 
last all obstacles were removed by an invitation to join a 
party of friends making their first trip in that region — Mr. 
and Mrs. Robert M. Price, Miss Lalla Harris, and Mr. 
Joseph Shinn. Leaving Niles on the morning of June 25th, 
we reached Sanger the same afternoon, and Millwood, at 
the end of the wagon-road, on the next day. Here we 
found our "jacks" awaiting us, and next morning, the 
27th, we began our actual tramp. Three short marches 
brought us to King's Canon, where we spent two days. 
Eleven days were spent among the various branches of 
Bubb's Creek. On July i ith, we struggled over the King's 
and Kern Divide by way of Harrison's Pass, and four days 
later we stood on the summit of Mt. Whitney. From this 
point began our homeward journey, via the Hockett and 
Jordan trails; and on the 22d we once more struck a wagon- 
road on the Tule River, and our 200-mile tramp was ended. 

Aside from the complete change and the quickening both 
of body and spirit, which are the prime motives of all such 
expeditions, we had proposed to ourselves three definite 
objects of effort: the exploration of the great amphitheater 
at the head of the eastern arm of Bubb's Creek, the ascent 
of Mt. Whitney, and a reconnaissance of the upper basin 



^ Jb'.CW E 

3>j^^ >7ifc^„Pos. 



r"' T- --r '"-K'^ 

Exploration of the East Creek Amphitheater. 271 

of Roaring River by way of some pass in the neighbor- 
hood of Milestone Mountain. But our time was strictly 
hmited — too limited, as it proved, for the execution of so 
extended a program and for much wayside pleasuring too. 
Our trip was therefore a strenuous one. On eight days 
only out of the twenty-seven, were we not actually packed 
up and on the march; and five out of the eight were spent, 
either by some or by all of the party, in climbing or in 
exploring, which was quite as arduous as the marching. To 
say nothing of Mt. Whitney, five of the great peaks of the 
amphitheater at the head of Bubb's Creek were climbed, — 
three of them for the first time, — and a sixth, also new, 
was almost conquered, when a blinding thunderstortn, with 
hail and rain, rendered further progress too hazardous to be 
thought of We had, of course, the usual experiences with 
animals and packs, and the inevitable perplexities about 
directions and trails in a region where trails are, so to speak, 
conspicuously obscure or altogether absent. But, thanks 
to the excellent management of our leaders, and thanks to 
the excellent foresight of our commissariat, we escaped not 
merely all untoward and disabling accidents, but almost 
everything that could really be called hardship — Harrison's 
Pass alone excepted. We all came through — horse, foot, 
and dragoons — in prime condition. 

After leaving the Canon, our first attack was upon the 
unexplored eastern branch of Bubb's Creek, which, for 
convenience of designation, it is proposed to call East 
Creek. Its valley is really the continuation of the main 
Bubb's Creek valley beyond the confluence of its south 
fork, or South Creek, as Professor Brown suggests that it 
be called. Its lower portion, as iar as the junction of Kear- 
sarge Creek, is well known, being traversed by a trail to 
Bullfrog Lake, intersecting there the main Kearsarge trail 
via Lake Charlotte. But beyond Kearsarge Creek there is 

272 Sierra Cbib Bulletiyi. 

no record of any exploration, save that of sheep-herders. 
We found it an open U-shaped valley, with an unbroken 
rock-wall on its northern side, forming at first the jagged 
ridge known as the Kearsarge Pinnacles, and further on 
sweeping up into the great peaks of the main divide, 
beginning with University Peak and ending with Mt. Keith. 
On the southern side there is no continuous wall, but 
instead, a series of bold promontories, the ends of long 
walls or buttresses running up into the King's and Kern 
Divide, some miles away to the south. Two of these 
promontories, standing guard, as it were, the one at the 
entrance to the valley and the other just within it, form a 
striking pair, and we named them the Videttes.* A third, 
standing more detached, and in the very center of the 
mighty cirque at the head of the valley, we named Center 

It was late in the afternoon of July 3d when we left the 
trail to Bullfrog Lake, and entered u-pon terra incognita. 
Finding good open country all along on the north side of 
the stream, we pushed on some two miles up the valley, 
and camped beside a bleak little meadow directly abreast of 
University Peak. Just beyond our camp was a great ava- 
lanche track, where some fifty or seventy-five years ago a 
great snow-field, breaking loose from its moorings far up 
on the slopes of the peak and plunging down the moun- 
tain-side, had swept quite across the valley and dashed part 
way up the slope on the. other side. Its track was per- 

* Both are finely shown in the xnew of Bullfrog; Lake, Plate xiii. of the Sierra 
Club Bulletin, Vol. II., and reproduced in this number. The dark hill immediately 
beyond the lake on the left is the end of the Pinnacle ridge. The bold peak next to 
the right, but across the valley, is the East Vidette, seen end on. and to best 
advantage. In the extreme distance, above the center of the picture is Deerhorn 
Mountain, close up to the Kern Divide; and from it stretches down the long, thin 
ridge which ends ne;tr the right of the picture in the West Vidette, seen broadside 
on. Between the two runs Deerhorn Creek. The Pinnacles are shown in Plate 
xiii. of the Bulletin, Vol. I., seen, of course, from the other — the northern — side. 
Their southern aspect, however, is very similar. 

i m^M 

Exploration of the East Creek Amphitheater. 273 

haps 600 yards wide, and as clean-cut as the swath of a 
scythe. Within it every tree was prostrated, and their 
rotting trunks — lying all one way on the open bottom, or 
heaped in a confused winrow at the very end, where the 
crest of the wave recoiled from the opposite slope — 'were 
eloquent witnesses to the terrific force of the avalanche. A 
similar track, but older and less conspicuous, we had passed 
perhaps a mile below. Both form striking gray bands across 
the valley, visible miles away from any commanding point 
of view. 

Ne.\t morning reconnaissance was made in various direc- 
tions; but a storm presently burst upon us, and the rest of 
the day we had to spend, for the most part, huddled 
together under such meager shelter as we could improvise. 
But the clouds broke away before sunset, and, thanks to 
the endless resources of the ladies, while everything was 
still dripping about us, we sat down to a Fourth-of-July 
dinner long to be remembered — with daintily cooked 
viands and abundant good cheer, as well as with appro- 
priate toasts and speeches. We could not know for some 
three weeks yet what actually was doing at Santiago and 
elsewhere on that fateful Fourth, but the uncertainty only 
gave an added touch of pathos to the sentiments. 

On the 5th we resumed our work of exploration. One 
of us was detailed to keep camp; three were to climb an 
unknown peak on the main crest, next beyond University 
Peak ; while to me fell the easier task of climbing Center 
Peak and of mapping the stream which heads beyond it in 
Junction Peak. Both ascents were entirely successful ; each 
party built a cairn and left therein a record of the ascent. 
But unfortunately I was not on hand to save the other par- 
ty from the serious indiscretion of naming their peak Mt. 
Bradley. I protest that I had done nothing to deserve 
such treatment at their hands, nor had there been either 

274 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

tacit consent or even contributory negligence on my part; 
for my views on the naming of mountains have been pub- 
licly and emphatically expressed. And, worst of all, there 
seems now no way to remedy the mischief, unless it be by 
making the ascent myself some time, and stealing the 
record! — a device which somehow did not occur to me at 
the moment. 

Next day we all set out together to climb Mt. Keith, the 
peak next beyond the last, singled out and i\amed some 
years ago, but never as yet ascended, so far as we could 
learn. After two hours of leisurely walk up the open valley 
we reached its foot, and two hours later we stood on its 
summit — the highest peak in all the Bubb's Creek circuit, 
with only Whitney, Shasta, and two or three others over- 
topping it in all California. The day was fine, and the view 
superb. All the nearer world seemed spread out like a 
map at our feet, while east, west, north, and south, as far 
as eye could reach, rolled a billowy sea of mountain peaks, 
streaked and tipped with snow-foam. A cairn was built, 
and in it was deposited one of our two Sierra Club register- 
boxes, with names, date, and record of this, the first ascent. 

To climb Junction Peak was all that now remained to 
complete our conquest of this portion of the Sierra crest, 
and for that climb we had reserved our second register-box. 
But my reconnaissance of the day before, and the view still 
nearer at hand from the summit of Keith, had convinced us 
that it was not to be climbed by either of the faces in view 
from the north. Yet it might perhaps be climbed from the 
south after we had crossed the divide. 

And a few days later two of us, pushing on from Harri- 
son's Pass, did try it by way of the high quadrate mesa 
embraced between the arms of Tyndall Creek. But just at 
the farther end of the mesa, where it drops away to a splin- 
tered and crumbling knife-edge leading up to the main 

Exploration of the East Creek Amphitheater. 275 

peak, the thunderstorm to which reference has already been 
made burst upon us. So, after sheltering ourselves awhile 
among the rocks from the fury of the hail, we were content 
to clamber down again in safety, and tramp some miles in 
the rain to the appointed rendezvous with our friends. 
Meanwhile Mr. Price, remaining behind at the pass, had 
climbed Mt. Stanford, being the only person, so far as the 
record shows, to reach the cairn built by Professor Brown 
in 1896. All others had ventured no farther than Gregory's 

But to return to our camp on East Creek. Although 
our exploration of the valley was by no means complete, 
since it covered little more than the great amphitheater at 
its head, nevertheless it was felt that we must push on. Still 
University Peak was too temptingly near at hand to be 
left without a visit. So, while two of us broke camp and 
took the pack-train around by trail to Bullfrog Lake, the 
other three took the more direct route right over the peak, 
rejoining us in camp at about 6 P. M. 

The rest of our trip may be more briefly dismissed. 
After crossing the King's and Kern Divide, it became evi- 
dent that the time still remaining at our disposal would not 
suffice for the whole of our program. Either Mt. Whitney 
or Roaring River must be left out. A careful reconnais- 
sance for some miles along the Kern River failed to reveal 
the promised trail or opening leading over into the Roaring 
River basin. We could not be sure that there was any 
practicable pass at all. So, considering that a bird in the 
hand is worth two in the bush, we decided on the Whitney 
trip. The return by the southern route was but the inevi- 
table result of abandoning the Roaring River scheme. 

In general, the country immediately south of the divide 
seemed to us much less beautiful and interesting than the 
Bubb's Creek basin. It was a region of vast spaces with 

276 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

little in them; bleals; sandy deserts, boggy moors without 
shrub or tree, dreary miles of moraines. Even the forests 
on the hillsides had a ghastly look; for the tiny, short 
needles of the Balfour pine cannot cover, or even soften, 
the nakedness of the ground. The reddish-brown trunks 
rise stark and stiff out of white granite rocks or sand. 
The Balfour pine itself, however, is a striking tree, with 
more variety of individual character and form, with more 
piquancy of carriage than almost any pine we had ever 
seen. Then there is a peculiarity of texture in much of the 
granite of this region, which causes it to weather in strange 
spiry and flamboyant forms, quite unlike the splintering 
into angular blocks along the Bubb's Creek crests. A 
striking example is seen in the fantastic conical spires which 
dot the northern roof-like slope of Mt. Tyndall. The top- 
most layer of all, however, as seen on the summit of Mt. 
Whitney, is a fine massive, enduring rock, split indeed by 
frost into immense blocks, but not crumbling into sand. 
And it is doubtless to this enduring quality of the rock that 
Mt. Whitney owes its pre-eminence. 

The country grew more interesting again as we neared 
the Kern River; and from there on we were in a region 
populous with campers from the Inyo and San Joaquin Val- 
leys. The upper — and larger — Kern Lake we found to 
be only a meadow, flooded not very long ago by a fall of 
rock which dammed up the river. The lake is an unsightly 
thing; dead trees are rotting in stagnant water, and the bed 
is fast filling up with silt. It will not be long before it is 
meadow again. On the Kern we had the only two adven- 
tures of the trip — the capture of our best fish, a five-pound 
river-trout, and the narrow escape of one of our party 
from the claws of an angry mother- bear. 

The Tule River, which we struck below Nelson's (just 
off the southern edge of the Club map), was in its way one 


Exploration of the East Creek Amphitheater. 277 ,| 

of the most beautiful things we had seen. Though flowing 
through open foot-hill country clothed only with chaparral 
and scrub, the water was crystal-clear from its mountain 
springs, and the bed of the stream was of clean white 
granite rock in situ, sculptured into a succession of deep 
oblong pools; and over the smooth lip of each the water 
fell in charming cascades, or chutes, into the pool below — 
a string of emeralds on a silver chain. 

Among the many things one would like to have done on 
such a trip, I may mention two or three which we should 
still wish to do were we ever again in that region. We 
should like to have another chance to climb Junction Peak, 
and to ascertain the truth about a reported pass in the 
second gap to the west of that peak. We should like to 
complete our map by exploring to their heads all the south- 
ern tributaries of East Creek, especially Deerhorn Creek. 
We should like to carry a few live trout from Bubb' s Creek 
to plant in East Lake and Lake Reflection. And, more 
than all these, we should like to find ourselves with a fort- 
night to spare about the head-waters of Roaring River. 

278 Sierra Club Bu/leH7t. 


Bv Lincoln Hutchinson. 

One day in September, 1896, with two companions, I 
stood on the summit of Mt. Tallac. When, after enjoying 
the beauty of the nearer panorama, we turned our attention 
to the more distant features of the landscape, we found 
ourselves particularly attracted by the peaks of the main 
ridge of the Sierra, which stretched off to the south-east- 
ward from where we stood. The nearer peaks were bare 
and uninviting, but at a distance of forty or fifty miles was 
a section where the mountains seemed to have gathered up 
their forces for a mighty display. A confused mass of 
jagged peaks, blue and white in the distance, seemed to be 
beckoning us on to many an Alpine adventure. We then 
and there promised ourselves that some day we would seek 
a nearer acquaintance with those peaks. 

About a year later, in August, 1897, the same party of 
three pushed southward from Tallac into the region of the 
Blue Lakes. A short side trip from Kit Carson Pass took 
us to the summit of Round Top in Alpine County, and 
from that point we again had a most charming view of the 
section which had so attracted us a year before. We found 
ourselves much nearer to those jagged white and blue 
peaks, yet still too far away to hope for an intimate 
acquaintance at that time. Again we turned homeward, 
carrying with us a determination that some time in the near 
future we would make our way into the heart of that rugged 



C^-r f,-., I - 

A Neglected Region of ike Sierra. 279 

Upon our return to San Francisco, we set to work to 
learn as much as possible about the section we had seen 
and the best way to get to it. We could find, however, 
but little information, save of the vaguest sort. As one 
member of the Sierra Club expressed it to us, that portion 
of the mountains seemed to be pretty nearly terra incog- 
7iita so far as the Club was concerned. Lieut. McClure's 
article on the canons to the north of the Tuolumne River, 
in one of the Club Bulletins, gave us the nearest approach 
to definite information which we were able to find. Unfor- 
tunately, however, his explorations did not carry him quite 
as far north as we wished to go. 

As to maps we were more fortunate. Mr. J. N. Le 
Conte's map of a portion of the Sierra, published by the 
Club a few years ago, was of assistance to us as to the 
extreme southern edge of the section we wished to reach, 
but it, like Lieut. McClure's description of his explorations, 
did not reach far enough northward to give us all we 
wanted. But at the last moment, through the courtesy of 
the Secretary of the Club, we were enabled to get a photo- 
graphic reproduction of the advance copy of the Darda- 
nelles sheet of the U. S. Geological Survey's map. This, 
we found, covered our region and gave us invaluable 
assistance in determining our route. 

As a result of our various investigations, we determined 
to make Sonora our starting-point, to follow the old 
Sonora-Mono toll-road till we reached the higher moun- 
tains, and then to be governed as to our further move- 
ments by what we saw and learned of the country before 
us. The result was a trip as fine as anything the whole 
Sierra can offer, and it is with the hope that the attention 
of all mountain-lovers in California, and of members of the 
Sierra Club in particular, may be drawn towards a much 

28o Sierra Club Bulletin. 

neglected region, that I attempt to give an outline of our 

Our party consisted of five: Messrs. M. R. Dempster, 
A. G. Eells, C. A.Noble, J. S. Hutchinson, Jr., and myself. 
We set out on foot from Sonora on the forenoon of June 
5th last, with three jacks, a camping outfit, and provisions 
for about three weeks. 

It is unnecessary to give in detail the reasons which led 
us to follow just the particular route we took. Suffice it to 
say that our primary object throughout was to find scenery, 
and that we governed our movements accordingly, climb- 
ing prominent peaks here and there, in order to get general 
views which would enable us to pick out the most promis- 
ing routes. It is a wild, rugged, lonely region, and we 
had to plan each day's march with the utmost care, yet on 
the whole we encountered very few really serious difficul- 
ties. We followed the Sonora-Mono road to a point about 
seven or eight miles west of the summit of Sonora Pass, 
then turned off to the south-eastward up the East Fork of 
Relief Creek, and made our way by good trail to Kennedy 
Lake, at the western end of Kennedy Pass. Kennedy (J. 
F. Kennedy, of Knight's Ferry), by the way, claims some 
two or three thousand acres of land in that immediate 
region and may raise exasperating objections to parties 
passing over his trails. To avoid delay, it might be well 
for any one planning such a trip to communicate with him 

From Kennedy Lake we crossed the main ridge, over 
the pass, to the head-waters of the Walker River. Then, 
following up the West Fork of that river, we made our way 
southward, in a general direction, crossed high passes, and 
finally succeeded in getting to the head-waters of Fall River, 
which flows a little west of south, through Jack Main's 
Canon, into Lake Vernon and Hetch Hetchy. This portion 

A Neglected Region of the Sierra. 281 

of our trip, from Kennedy Lake to the upper end of Jack 
Main's Canon, was the only serious part, and it may be 
worth while to give our route somewhat in detail. In some 
places we were able to make use of existing trails, but often 
they were poorly marked, and it was only by constant 
reference to map and compass that we could follow them. 
Wherever practicable we improved the monumenting as we 
passed along. Over a considerable distance we were our 
own pioneers and here also, so far as time permitted us, we 
marked our route with monuments. Our exact course can 
best be shown by means of the accompanying sketch. By 
using this, in connection with the Dardanelles sheet (now 
published) of the map of the Geological Survey, future 
parties should be able to avoid any great delay or difficulty. 
It may be well to suggest a possible variation from our 
route. Instead of passing round Grizzly Peak over its 
western shoulder, it would probably be easier and shorter 
to go over its eastern shoulder. (This alternative route is 
indicated on the accompanying map thus: .) 

The greatest difficulty which threatened us was snow on 
the passes. We took our animals as high up as 10,200 feet, 
and if this had been a year of ordinary snowfall, we would 
certainly have found our way blocked at several points. As 
it was, we managed to get through by a process of dodging 
the worst places, and floundering through the others. 
Generally it would probably be best not to attempt the trip 
earlier than the last week of June or the first week of July. 

Two short side trips are worthy of special mention. 
From a camp near the head of Jack Main's Canon (a most 
beautiful canon, by the way, and deserving of a more 
poetic name) two of our party made their way to the lake 
(known as Jack Main's Lake) in which Fall River has its 
rise. Close to the head of the canon they found a curious 
natural phenomenon similar to one which Lieut. McClure 

282 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

describes much lower down in tlie canon — two tunnels, 
each two or three hundred feet in length, into which the 
river disappears, and through which it makes its way. The 
walls of these tunnels were composed in part of a beauti- 
fully crystallized substance which we have since found to 
be dolomite. 

The other side trip was from the same camp in Jack 
Main's Canon to Tower Peak, the highest point within 
easy reach of our route. The jacks were left in camp in 
the care of one of the party, while the other] four of us set 
out with sleeping-bags and two days' provisions on our 
backs. There were no serious difficulties in the climb, and 
the view from the summit was inspiringly grand. The peak 
is not high as Sierra peaks go (only 11,704 feet), yet the 
panorama from its summit covers the whole sweep of the 
Sierra from Tallac to Lyell and beyond, a wilderness of 
massive peaks and dazzling snow with dark furrows of 
forested canon slanting across. And that trip also brought 
us the never-to-be-forgotten memory of a night spent far up 
on a barren, exposed, precipitous ridge 11,000 feet above 
the sea, in a weird world of snow and ice and rock, silent 
and cold as death itself, and with the stars so near and so 
brilliant that they seemed within reach of our finger-tips. 

Upon our return to Jack Main's Canon we set out at once 
on our journey back to Sonora. Our route presented no 
special difficulties, being, for the greater part, over well- 
marked trails. We followed down the Fall River trail to 
Lake Vernon, turned westward to Lake Eleanor, and then 
made our way, via Lord's, back to the Sonora-Mono road 
at a point known as Long Barn. A large part of this 
return route is already familiar to members of the Sierra 

It has not been my purpose to give anything like a 
detailed account of our trip. As I stated at the outset, all 



From a photograph by Lincoln Hutchinson 

From a photograph by Lincohi Hutchinson. 



From a photograph by Lincohi Hulchinson. 

From a photograph by Liticoln Hutchinson. 

A Neglected Region of the Sierra. 283 

that I have wished to do is to call attention to the fact that 
one of the finest sections of the Sierra is being neglected. 
Some faint idea of the nature of the country may perhaps 
be given by the accompanying photographs, chosen more 
or less at random from among the many we took during 
our trip. It must not be forgotten, however, that photo- 
graphs can give but the vaguest impression of the real 
beauty and grandeur of our mountains. Color and per- 
spective are such vital factors in all such scenes. 

To persons at all accustomed to mountaineering this 
region is easily accessible, and it is to be hoped that others 
may turn their attention in that direction. If any mem- 
bers of the Club, or others, care for more details in regard 
to the trip, the members of our party will be glad at any 
time to give such information as we have. 

284 Sierra Club Bulletin. 


In addition to longer articUs suitablr for the body of Ihe mas^azine, the editor 
would be s^ad to receive brie/ memoranda 0/ all noteworthy trips or explorations, 
together with brief comment and suggestion on any topics of general interest to 
the Club. 

The office of the Sierra Club has been moved to Roym 4S, Merchants* 
Exchange Building, San Francisco, where all the maps, photographs and 
other records of the Club now are. 

There are but a few copies on file of No. j. Vol. I., of the Bulletin. The 
Club would like to purchase additional copies if that number, and we hope 
any member having extra copies will send them to the Secretary. 

As suggested by Mr. Le Conte in his article in the present 
number, the height of Tehipite Dome has been variously esti- 
mated. Probably the most accurate measurements are those 
made by Walter A. Starr and A. L. Chickering in 1896. Mr. Starr 
writes that his aneroid barometer gave 4,055 feet as the altitude 
of the valley at the foot of the Dome, and 8,505 feet at the top 
of the Dome, thus showing a mean altitude above the valley of 
4,450 feet. 

He noticed, however, strange action on the part of the aneroid 
about the Dome — an abnormal jump in going from the backbone 
of the ridge to the summit, and believes that this peculiar phe- 
nomenon may be responsible for the wide variation of the aneroid 
measurements heretofore made. By a rough application of trian- 
gulation from the valley below the Dome, he reached a result of 
4,250 feet, and, judging from these figures, together with other 
considerations, Mr. Starr arrives at the conclusion that 4.300 feet 
is a fair approximation of the true altitude. 

Mr. Winchell of Fresno, one of the earliest explorers of Te- 
hipite, gives the height of the Dome as 5,200 feet, obtained by a 
triangulation with surveyors' instruments. 

Notes and Correspondejice. 285 

New Maps of the Geological Survey. 

Since the last notice in the Bulletin of the work of the U. S. 
Geological Survey in California, a number of new sheets have been 
published, notably the long-expected Yosemite and Dardanelles 
sheets. These two include between them one of the most inter- 
esting regions in the whole Sierra, from the head of the Mokelumne 
River on the north to Wawona on the south, and eastward far 
enough to include Little Yosemite, Mt. Hoffman, the Tuolumne 
Canon, Tower Peak, and West Walker River. 

The set of large-scale maps of the region about the Bay has 
been increased so that the list now comprises the following sheets: 
Karquinas, Mt. Diablo, Concord, San Francisco, Tamalpais, San 
Mateo, Palo Alto, San Jos^, Mt. Hamilton. 

There is a similar set of four maps of San Luis Obispo County 
— namely: Cayucos, San Luis Obispo, Port Harford, and Arroyo 
Grande; a set of twelve in the neighborhood of Los Angeles — 
Santa Monica, Pasadena, Pomona, Cucamonga, San Bernardino, 
Redondo, Downey, Anaheim, San Pedro, Las Bolsas, Santa Ana; 
and a detached group of three — Oceanside, Escondido, and El 

All these maps are sold at the uniform rate of five cents per 
sheet, retail, or at two cents per sheet for one hundred sheets or 
more, in one order. Prepayment is obligatory, and may be made 
by money-order, payable to the Director of the United States 
Geological Survey, or in cash —the exact amount. Checks and 
postage-stamps are not accepted. All correspondence should be 
addressed to The Director, U. S. Geological Survey, Wash- 
ington, D. C. C. B. Bradley. 

A Revised Map of the High Sierra. 
During the past summer, the writer and Mr. C. L. Cory suc- 
ceeded in running a rough chain of triangulation, by means of a 
small plane-table, from Mt. Ritter along the crest to Mt. Goddard 
and Goat Mountain, thus connecting with the work previously 
done in 1895 and 1896 in the basin of Bubb's Creek and about Mt. 
Whitney. The accompanying sketch shows the relative positions 
of the principal peaks, all of which were occupied stations. From 
these fourteen stations nearly two hundred others were placed by 
intersections. The scale of the map was determined by the known 
positions of Mt. Ritter and Mt. Whitney — the first being given by 
the U. S. Geological Survey, and the last by Capt. Wheeler's Sur- 
veys West of the looth Meridian. This material, besides a great 


Sierra Club BidlcHn. 

deal which has been accumulated by members of the Club during 
the past three years, I am now incorporating in a new edition of 
the Sierra Club Map. The map will be made in three sheets, and 
will be nearly double the scale of the old map of 1896. The 
northern sheet covers the region between lat. 38° 30' and lat. 
37° 40', and between long. 120° 30' and long. 119° 00'. This com- 
prises most of tlie country drained by the Merced, Tuolumne, and 
Stanislaus Rivers. The second sheet covers from lat. 37° 50' to 
lat. 36° 57' and from long. 119° 46' to long. iiS° 14'. This is the 
San Joaquin sheet, though portions of the Merced and King's 
River basins are within its boundaries. The southern sheet 
extends from lat. 37° 10' to lat. 36° 10' and from lAng. 119° 40' to 
long. 118° 00', and is the King's-Kern sheet. The San Joaquin 
sheet is now complete, and it is hoped that the others will be 
ready before next summer. The Club will not be able to publish 
these maps at present, but blue-prints from the original tracings 
will be furnished to members at the cost of printing, which is fifty 
cents on paper and seventy-five cents on cloth, by addressing J. N. 
Le Conte, Berkeley, Cal. 

The locations of the principal stations are as follows: — 

Same of Peak. 

Mt. Ritter . 


37° 41' 8" 
Squaw Dome . . 37° 28' 50" 
Red Slate Peak . 37° 30' 20" 
Seven Gables . 37° iS' 30" 
Mt. Humphreys . 37° 16' 00" 
Red Mountain . 37° 9' 00" 
Mt. Goddard . . 37° 6' 00" 
Goat Mountain . 36° 52' 00" 
Mt. Gardner . . 36° 48' 15" 
Grand Sentinel . 36° 46' 50" 
Mt. Gould . . . 36° 46' 40" 
Charlotte Peak . 36° 46' 00" 
University Peak. 36° 44' 45" 
Mt. Brewer . . . 36° 42' 20" 
Mt. Whitney . . 36° 34' t,i" 
Mt. Guyot . . . 36° 30' 40" 


119° 11' 50" [6^. 5". C. 6'.]. 

119° 15' 45" 

1 1 8° 52' 00" 
118° 49' 55" 
118° 40' 10" 
118° 48' 00" 

118° 34' 30" 

118° 27' 40" 


1 18° 22' 40" 

118° 26' 20" 

118° 21' 45" 

iiS° 29' 05" 

118° 17' 32" ICapt. Wheeler]. 

iiS° 21' 40" 

J. N. LeConte. 


[R.ltera ttlVlAl^ j"^^^ 

Sketch oj 
Tvia >i y ut attow. 

^■^ ^Ritt.^■ and MtWM 

I.I .1 1. 1. J. I I I 


Notes and Correspondcvce. 287 

Pack-Animals, and How to Pack Them. 

In connection with tlie article entitled "A Neglected Region 
of the Sierra," printed in this nnmber of the Bulletin, the fol- 
lowing notes may be of interest. 

The patty used packing-boxes constructed of the dimensions 
and in about the manner described by Mr. Howard Longley in 
the Bulletin for January, 1S97, except that instead of loops of 
rope passed through holes bored va the side of the box as there 
described, we slung our boxes by loops of leather fastened to the 
ends of the box. These loops were formed by cutting strips of 
the tough leather, called' by the Mexican saddlers " latigo " 
leather, about an inch wide and sixteen inches long, and folding 
them with the ends together. A single screw and metal washer 
attached the loop thus formed to the end of the box at a point 
which brought the end of the loop just above the top of the box, 
and yet left it free to move backward and forward with the screw 
as the pivotal point. Loops of rope of the necessary length were 
passed through the leather and hung over the horns of the saddles. 

In packing, we did not use the diamond hitch, but instead of 
it employed a hitch which is in common use among the Spanish 
packers in Southern California. For the kind of packs we had, 
and in such rough country as we passed through after leaving the 
Mono road until we reached Lake Vernon, it is, in the writer's 
opinion, much the better hitch. Although not difficult to tie, it is 
not easily described without the aid of diagrams; but the writer 
will take pleasure in explaining it fully to any reader who may 
desire to make use of it. In the foreground of the photograph of 
Kennedy's Upper Meadow one of our burros, with his pack on, 
is shown so plainly that it gives a very good idea of our method 
of packing. 

The main purpose of this note, however, is to warn the inex- 
perienced against placing too much reliance upon persons who 
m^y undertake to supply animals and packing equipments. All 
the pleasure of a summer's outing miy thus be destroyed, even 
if no worse consequences fallow. We had arranged to get three 
strong, reliable pack-animals, with complete rigs, at .Sonora from 
Frank Hall, and to pay him $12 for each animal and I3 for each 
saddle, one-half of these amounts to be refunded to us on our 
returning the property in good condition. We arrived at Sonora 
about six p. M., expecting to find our animals and equipment 
ready, and to spend the long evening in adjusting things, so as to 
make an early start next morning. But Mr. Hall did not call at 
the hotel as we expected, and although we spent until eleven that 
night searching for him, we were unable to find him. When, none 

288 Sierra Cbib Bulldm. 

too early next morning, we did find him at his house he showed 
us two of the smallest pack-jacks any of us had ever seen, and 
after difficult maneuvering to keep from being kicked, managed 
to corner and noose a third, a fractious, unmanageable brute, 
which we saw at once had never been used for packing, and 
refused to take. After another hour's delay, he secured from a 
neighbor a much larger and stronger animal, which, as we antici- 
pated, proved to be the best of the three. One of the two little 
fellows began to limp the second day out. 

But what most exasperated us was the makeshift saddles and 
junk-shop rigging which Mr. Hall provided for .our use. The 
saddles were rudely made of soft pine, and the old paint showing 
in streaks led us to believe that even this material had already 
performed its more appropriate service as the prop and support 
of an aged, but honest, Sonora chicken-coop. The fittings cer- 
tainly must have been part of the interior furniture thereof. 
Though with misgivings, we put them on our burros rather than 
be longer delayed. All of them required constant annoying 
readjustments and repairs, and one of them came to pieces one 
afternoon, as the result of its bearer lying down with his pack on, 
a frequent occurrence. Fortunately we were at the time near 
the old house at Baker's Station. Here we found some seasoned 
pine, and, with the aid of a hunting-knife having a good saw- 
blade and some copper wire which we had with us, we succeeded, 
whilst resting and sheltering ourselves from a passing afternoon 
thunderstorm, in making new front cross-pieces and so putting the 
thing together again that it was a better .saddle than when we 
started. Almost every time we packed up we reminded each 
other that for I5 apiece we could have gotten new ash saddles, 
well made and properly shaped with strong fittings, at a store on 
Market Street, in San Francisco, where we had priced them. 
This, in the slang phrase, "jarred us," and was provocative of 
profanity. Our state of mind when we were coolly charged 
$2.50 extra for abrasions on the backs of the animals caused by 
the execrable things, can best be imagined. Moreover, we were 
told by other persons whom we met that we could have purchased 
outright plenty of well-trained pack-animals at $j and $8 each in 
Sonora, if we had had the time and known where to look for 
them. It should be added that our outfitter did not appear to be 
an ill-natured or ill-disposed man, and that we know nothing 
against him except what is here set down. Doubtless, if he could 
have looked upon the matter in the light of modern business 
methods, knowing he had an organized body of patrons, whose 
wants it would pay to study and try to meet, he might have 

Notes and Correspondejice. 289 

proved a very acceptable caterer to such wants. As it was, we 
can hardly recommend him. 

Our experience leads to the suggestion that the Sierra Club 
might easily be made the means of saving its members from such 
annoyance, impediment, and danger. The needful thing is to 
show an organized demand for the services of a painstaking out- 
fitter at the two or three towns from which parties usually start 
out. If, for instance, those expecting to make a trip were to send 
to the headquarters of the club each spring a memorandum of 
their requirements, a committee could, with but little trouble, get 
some local agent (livery-stable man or other person) to give the 
matter his careful and business-like attention. Even if he took 
no pride in being, by special appointment, purveyor to her Ma- 
jesty the Sierra Club, he would at least have the powerful 
incentive of profit. This would soon result in a business-like and 
adequate system. Especially so, if it could be supplemented by 
the personal efforts of any member of the Club, resident or tem- 
porarily present at the town in question. The mere privilege of 
storing from season to season pack-saddles and other equipment 
at some place in those towns, where it would be looked after by 
some one taking an interest in the Club's work, would be of great 
value. Even a simple registration at the office of the Club of the 
names of such outfitters as had been found satisfactory by parties 
dealing with them would be of great assistance to members con- 
templating that most satisfactory and profitable of summer recre- 
ations, a camping trip in the Sierras. 

Alex. G. Eells. 

290 Sierra Club Bulletin. 


Edited by Professor William R. Dudley. 

The stirring military events of the pa"=t year have happily not 
retarded a healthful development of the forest-reservation policy 
in the United States. It will be remembered that Congress su.s- 
pended in June, 1897, eleven of the thirteen forest reservations 
established by President Cleveland, February 22, 1S97. In 1898, 
through the efforts of the House (although again in face of oppo- 
sition from the Senate), under the leadership of Representatives 
Lacey and McRae, backed by the best part of the press of the 
country, and the very active efforts of the American Forestry 
Association, the above eleven reservations were re-established, 
and again became subject to the operation of our reservation law. 
The work of the U. S. Geological Survey on the reservations was 
also continued. 

Californians were favored by President McKinley's first forest- 
reservation proclamation, when he established, March 2 and June 
29, 1898, the Pine Mountain and Zaca Lake Forest Reserve, 
chiefly in the so-called Ventura Mountains, north and north-east 
of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, and comprising 1,644,594 acres. 
This reserve was made at the request of the people of California, 
particularly by the people of that region. Very little mountain 
forest land remains unreserved in Southern California. 

Last spring the San Francisco Board of Trade appealed to the 
U. S. Government to establish a forest reserve about Lassen 
Butte, and very recently the State Board of Trade has passed 
resolutions inviting various organisations, including the Sierra 
Club, to co-operate in securing action by the Legislature favorable 
to efficient policing of forests of California (presumably those 
owned by private parties, are referred to). It also favors the 
establishment of a chair of forestry at one of the large universi- 
ties. It is interesting to note that this State, from the beginning, 
has never wavered in its support of the reservation movement, 
and we owe many thanks to our Senators and Representatives in 
Congress for their sympathy with it. 

The people of Arizona and New Mexico have shown favor to 

Forestry Notes. 291 

reservation policy, and the Territorial Legislature of Arizona has 
petitioned Congress to reserve all mountain and forest land valu- 
able for the protection of water-supplies, particularly for irriga- 
tion. Consequently, on the loth of last May, the President estab- 
lished by proclamation the Prescoit Forest Reserve in Central Ari- 
zona; on the 17th of August, the San Francisco Mountain Forest 
Reserve and the Black Mesa Forest Reserve, — aggregating 2,544,- 
480 acres. In New Mexico 120,000 acres have been added, by 
Executive proclamation, to the Pecos River Forest Reserve. All 
of these reservations are of the greatest importance to the agri- 
cultural lands lying below them. It is gratifying to those familiar 
with the arbitrary lines of the forest reserves, to learn that the 
Black Hills Forest Reserve (Dakota) has been modified by the 
exclusion of about 190,000 acres, and the addition of 433.440 
acres. This was no doubt done in accordance with the recom- 
mendations of the U. S. Geological Survey. 

At the present time there is said to be 43,597,714 acres in the 
U. S. Forest Reserves ; and more, particularly in California, will 
soon be added. 

The increase of intelligence in America during the past two 
years, concerning our forest resources and sound theories of 
forestry, has been almost marvelous. It is no doubt due to the 
conscientious work and the recommendations of the U. S. Forestry 
Commission, combined with the bold generalship of President 
Cleveland in proclaiming such a large amount of forest land as 
reserved, that it precipitated a struggle between the enemies and 
tiie friends of rational forestry. Every newspaper in the land felt 
bound to look up and discuss the merits of the question and the 
interests concerned. 

Traceable to the interest developed by the proclamation of 
February 22, 1897, is possibly the establishment, in 1S9S, of the first 
university school of forestry in our country, that at Cornell Uni- 
versity. It is called the "New York State College of Forestry," 
and Dr. B. E. Fernow has been made director, with Filibert Roth 
as assistant professor. A four years' course of study and practice 
is laid out; but the greatest interest centers around the use by the 
school of a portion of the Adirondack State Reserve as experi- 
mental ground for working out a practical system of American 

Conversation last summer with several of the trustees of Cor- 
nell University developed the fact that Dr. Fernow had already 
aroused in their minds the greatest interest in the undertaking; 
and he begins his work supported by their thorough good-will 
and active co-operation. 

292 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

Returning to the Pacific Coast, near the end of August, the 
writer went immediately into the Sierras for ten days, to observe 
the effects of the excessively dry season on familiar forests, and 
the practical solution of the much-discussed proposition,— "Shall 
stock be allowed to freely range the forest reserves and national 
parks in dry seasons on account of the scarcity of pasturage 
below?" The answer appeared positive against unrestricted 
range, or even the usual amount of pasturage. For the high 
meadows and mountain river flats primarily suffered this year 
from shortage in irrigation, on account of the light snowfall last 
winter, just as the valleys below suffered from the light rainfall. 
Secondarily, they suffered to the absolute extinctio^i (in many of 
them) of their perennial sod, from the hordes of animals which 
ranged and raged over them all summer long. They were unre- 
strained by the faithful cavalry of the U. S. regular army, who had 
"gone to Manila," leaving the parks to their enemies during the 
year they needed protection most. It is impossible to enter into 
great detail. But the region was one I had visited before, after a 
season of plentiful rainfall, and high grass was abundant in the 
meadows all along the divide between the Kern River and the 
streams flowing westward. The bands of sheep were not then so 
numerous as to be forced from scarce pasturage elsewhere to 
attack the wet meadows. This year it was estimated that 200,000 
sheep had swarmed over the divide through the Tule River region 
alone. From Nelson's ranch — 5,500 feet — I made four excur- 
sions to points mostly over 10,000 feet, one about 12,000 elevation. 
This should be the trackless forest, "where foot of man hath ne'er 
or rarely been," but I found no space that had not been harrowed 
to dust by alien hoofs; the most difficult benches had been scaled, 
every plant or succulent leaf withm reach had been devoured, and 
every meadow, wet or dry, gnawed to the quick. Not only sheep, 
but horses, milch cows, and even pigs, were frequently seen in 
the forests and on the meadows above 10,000 feet elevation. No 
one who has seen pasturing in a dry season, even in the most 
thickly-settled portions of the globe, can imagine the destruction 
these creatures had wrought in these, the wilds and fastnesses of 
our continent. Nelson and others reckoned that three-fourths of 
the "deer-brush" — a bush valuable for deer and browsing ani- 
mals — had been destroyed, and that the White Meadows, a large 
series about the head of Nelson's Fork of the Tule River, had 
been ruined, meaning that they would grow moss instead of 
grass the next rainy year. Half a dozen forest fires were raging 
in sight, as one stood on Jordan's Peak, above the old Jordan 
Trail, the 5th of September. 

Forestry Notes. 293 

Probably most of this destruction had been worked by the 
nomadic Portuguese and Frenchmen, who have no holdings in 
the mountains, and but few acres, if any at all, in the San Joaquin 
Valley. These men hurried into the mountains early the present 
year (1898); and when men who owned or had legitimately rented 
mountain meadows arrived later, they found their feed devoured, 
and sometimes the marauders holding the conquered territory 
with shot-guns. 

There were a few forest "rangers" — i8gS vintage — occasion- 
ally visible in September. Most of these men had been appointed 
by agents of the Interior Department, apparently for other reasons 
than their fitness. One was afraid of his horse; another was a 
village carpenter from the San Joaquin Valley, a good man, who 
had never been in the Sierras before; another never discovered 
any forest fires, excepting those near his own cabin, and these 
appeared to be mostly in his imagination. Earlier in the season 
these men had attempted to control the invading sheep-herders, 
but they did not arrive in the mountains until after the herders, 
when the latter ignored them with shot-guns; they therefore sub- 
sided into fire-extinguishers. Later, when the forest fires became 
more serious, men who knew the mountain trails, who knew and 
loved the mountains and could intelligently combat the fires, were 
taken on. Such men, to be had anywhere along the Sierras, are 
the men to form into the rank and file of a forestry service, and 
would be as clever in their place as the American soldier is in his. 
Visiting the Sierras for four successive seasons has brought 
increasing conviction on one point: Our coming forestry service 
must be allied to the War Department or the Geological Survey, 
or some bureau similarly organized on the merit system of appoint- 
ment, if it is to obtain respect from the public, or even from Con- 
gressmen. Our much-railed-at Congressmen, with all their faults, 
have not been slow to recognize and respect merit in scientific 
bureaus, when distinguished men were directors. Joseph Henry 
and Spencer F. Baird were generously supported. And it is a 
fact, perhaps scarcely known, that during the contest over the 
Cleveland reservations, compromise was finally eflfected, because 
the " Western Congressmen " were willing to yield their opposi- 
tion if the whole matter of the reservations could be turned over 
to the Geological Survey to examine and report upon. This is 
something for the American Forestry Associ ition to think on. 
The formation and guardianship of the forestry service is of vital 
importance. If it is a scientific bureau from top to bottom at the 
beginning, with an able director. Congress is likely to deal honor- 
ably with it ever afterward. 


siKRRA cr.iit Iu■l.I.I■:Tl^ 




Number 19 

Sierra Club Bulletin 


No. 6 

June, 1899 



Sierra Club Bulletin 

JUNE, 1899 

Vol. II No. 6 

Observations on the Denundation of Vegetation: ; 

A Suggested Remedy for California — Plates 
XXXix., XL., XLl., XLII Marsden Manson 

The Lava Region of Northern California — Plates 

XLlll., XL1V.,XLV.,XLVI., XLVli M. S. Baker 

FORESTRY NOTES: Some Recent Forest Reserves— Additions 
to Forest Reservations in California — Forest Management 
for California— The California Water and Forest Society. 

Secretary's Report— May i, 1898, to April 30, 1899. 

Treasurer's Report— May i, 1898, to April 30, 1899. 

All communications intended for publication by the Sierra 
Club, and all correspondence concerning such publication, should 
be addressed to the Editor, Warren Gregory, 222 Sansome Street, 
San Francisco, California. 

Correspondence concerning the distribution and sale of the 
publications of the Club, and concerning its business generally, 
should be addressed to the Secretary of the Sierra Club, 
Merchants' Exchange Building, San Francisco, California. 



NKAK M;\l\Iir 111'- KdCKV M(>1NI\I.\- \\\i-\IIN( 

(TW1,>- burM..-<l OMT.) 

TRACK ul- li_iKRh.\l KI'.l.uW 1;L RNED-OVEK FOREST, SIIIRRA Nh\.\U\ 

Sierra Club Bulletin. 

Vol. IL San Francisco, June, 1899. No. 6. 




By Marsden Manson, C. E., Ph. D. 

When man, actuated by greed or ignorance, or a combi- 
nation of the two, destroys the protection which nature 
spreads over rolling and mountain areas, he turns loose 
agencies which soon pass beyond his control. The pro- 
tecting agent is vegetation, and whether in the form of 
forests, brush, or forage plants and grasses, the balance 
between it and denuding forces is easily tipped, when the 
inexorable law of gravity unchecked by myriad blades of 
grass, by leaves, roots, and vegetable mold, gullies the 
hillside, strips the mountain slope, converts the rivulet into 
the torrent, and causes the steady flow of the river to be- 
come alternately a devastating flood or a parched sand-bed. 
When once this balance has been destroyed, man cannot 
turn back the torrent and bid it flow once more a living 
and life-giving stream. 

It would seem that this lesson had been learned so 
thoroughly by the human race that there would be little 
use to lay its precepts before a civilized community. But 
when one goes out over this fair land of ours and marks 
the rate at which its forests are being destroyed, its mountain 
forage areas devasted, he is tempted to regret that civiliza- 

2g6 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

tion should be permitted to spread its blight over the tem- 
ples in which the savage worshiped. 

But it must be remembered that this destruction ceases 
in the judicious use of this wealth of forest and of moun- 
tain pasture, and that it is only indifference and incivism 
which permits greed and ignorance to go unrestrained until 
they destroy the balance, — that man has it within his power 
to utilize to its fullest measure this wealth and to pass it 
down to future generations as a blessing, rather t)han as a 
blight and a curse, — and that he can even aid nature by 
extending vegetation over barren areas. But this requires 
that the reckless destruction of forest, and the wasteful and 
continuous devastation of pasture should be replaced by 
systematic utilization of these sources of wealth. 

A Few Instances of the Effects of Denudation. 

In several ranges of mountains and over considerable 
portions of California the writer has had opportunities to 
observe the effects of denudation. 

Probably no range of mountains has longer had civilized 
man around its base than the great Caucasus and its outliers. 
This range extends from the Straits of Kertch to the Caspian 
Sea, a distance of over nine hundred miles. The culminat- 
ing peak, Mount Elbruz, rises some three thousand feet 
higher than the highest peaks in the United States, and the 
group is analagous to but greater in all respects than the 
Sierra Nevada. Its slopes drain either into the Caspian 
Sea or into the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. The slope 
draining into the Black Sea is subject to summer rains, and 
therefore more readily recovers from denuding agencies. 
The southern slope is broader and gentler than the northern, 
which is subject to a drier climate, and sparsely covered with 
both deciduous and coniferous growths. At all points where 
these mountains were observed man has wrought ruin since 
the dawn of history. Every stream, every slope is marked 



UPPER R1-:GI0N ok THI-; TIRKK: and north slope of the CAUCASrS. 


Denudati07i of Vegetation. 297 

with destruction. The great historic route up the Tirek, 
through Darial Pass, and down the Gudoor and Arangua 
to the plains of Asia IMinor, is everywhere seamed with the 
ruin which the unrestrained hand of man has put in force. 

In passing along the main drainage lines, it is possible 
with a little experience to determine the comparative ex- 
posure of the tributary watersheds by the amounts of 
debris brought down. The appended photographs show 
the general appearance of the slopes and streams, the 
measures taken to restrain and divert the flow of debris 
from the roads, and to provide crossings where roads are 
buried and bridges swept out. Nothing which man can call 
to his aid can restore soil to these wasted slopes. Such is 
the penalty of unrestrained stripping of timber and forage 

In parts of Europe the destruction has been as great; 
the literature on this subject is both voluminous and accessi- 
ble. Enormous efforts have been put forth by the European 
governments to check the destructive force of torrents born 
upon the denuded slopes of the great chains of mountains 
throughout the continent. In no instance have these efforts 
been adequate, although much has been accomplished. Of 
the deserts of Southern France, S. Baring-Gould writes 
that " One hundred years has sufficed to sweep every parti- 
cle of soil from the Gausses, which it took countless ages 
to accumulate; and land that once maintained a well-to-do 
population is reduced to a desert.' ' * 

The plateaux of Gentral Spain and the south slope of the 
Pyrenees afford the best comparisons with our conditions in 
California — the climate and rainfall being in general analo- 
gous to ours, and the poverty and desert-like conditions 
warn us as to our future, should our course of timber destruc- 
tion and unrestrained pasturage continue. The descendants 
of the shepherds who devastated the fair land of Isabella 

* Deserts of Southern France. Vol. I, p. 23. 

298 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

are in many instances found at the same work in our 
mountain pastures, equally disregarding the laws of nature. 

In the Rocky Mountains, the work of devastation has 
been inaugurated on a scale calculated to dwarf anything 
done in Europe. Forest fires, the crowding of vast herds 
of sheep, the ax of the lumberman, followed by the fires 
of the sheep-herder, have all been active agents in convert- 
ing vast areas into deserts as barren as those of the Gausses, 
the Atlas, or the Apennines. In portions of th^ Rocky 
Mountains trees spring up rapidly after the first forest fires. 
Even when these fires have been so fierce as to absolutely 
destroy every vestige of timber, a second forest springs up 
with remarkable promptness and vigor; but when this is 
destroyed the ne.xt attempt of natural forces to restore 
vegetation is slower, and not effective. The appended 
photograph shows the second year of absolute barrenness 
in the midst of summer. The areas had been twice swept 
by forest fires. The first, burning off the original timber; 
the second, following a few years later, killing the sapling 
firs and pines. Although two summers had elapsed, not a 
sprig of vegetation has started to clothe for the third time 
the naked rocky "backbone of our continent." 

The Sierra Nevada has fared even worse. Around Lake 
Tahoe the timbered areas have been entirely swept off, 
with the exception of a few thousand acres around Tallac, 
and some at the north end, reserved by the owners for later 
use. The mountain sides around the Hot Springs, and 
nearly all of the moraines and flats around the south and 
east sides of the lake, have been denuded. These areas, 
bereft of timber, are now ready to be abandoned to the 
State, large tracts being for sale at fifty cents per acre. The 
railroads, which were constructed to carry logs to the 
lake, have been torn up, and the region, shorn of its wealth 
and beauty, has been partly burned over to give a few 
sprouts to hungry hordes of sheep. 

Demidation of Vegetation. 299 

On the forks of Carson River there are several townships 
from which every vestige of timber has been stripped, first 
for mine timbers and later for wood. Then the area was 
burned over to afford tender shoots for spring pasturage. 
To-day it is only in rare little patches that young conifers 
are beginning to gain a foothold, and fires destroy many of 
these plantations. On the east fork in 1896, after heavy 
summer showers, the water sluiced off the ashes and soil to 
such an extent that tons of trout were killed. After the 
torrent subsided one could drive a four-horse wagon along 
the banks and load it with the dead trout. It is doubtful 
whether the stream can be restocked until the denuded 
slopes shall be afforested. 

It is only necessary to read the accounts given in the 
daily press to partly measure the destruction by forest fires. 
The writer has personally traced these through every moun- 
tain county in the State. Even of that area which has been 
sacredly set aside as the Yosemite Reservation, the threat 
was openly made by the maurading sheep- herders, who 
have devastated Spain and Portugal, that they "would 
burn the Government out," — referring to the cavalry sent 
up to prevent the illegal destruction of the vegetation pro- 
tecting the head-waters of the Merced and Tuolumne. The 
overstocking of these mountain pastures is what is doing 
the greatest harm. The writer once asked an intelligent 
stockman how many sheep could be pastured on a given 
area in the Sierras, and he gave, as his opinion, that 8,000 
sheep could be pastured thereon without injury, — that is, 
without destroying all seed of forage plants and grasses. 
But, upon naming over the owners and herds which he 
knew, there were 40, 000 sheep accounted for in the area. 

The photograph opposite was taken in the drainage 
basin of the Moquelumne. It shows the path of a so-called 
" cloudburst." This was nothing more than a heavy sum- 
mer rain upon a burned-over district, concentrating rapidly 

300 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

in the steep gulches, and finally scouring away timber, 
bowlders, and earth. In traveling thousands of miles in 
various ranges of mountains, on three continents, the writer 
has never seen the track of a cloudburst in a timbered 
country — always in the barren ranges from which timber 
was either naturally absent or had been destroyed by human 
agency. The reasons for this are twofold: First — Heavy 
rainfall occurring in a well-timbered country is absorbed, 
even when the fall amounts to several inches in a sHort space 
of time. In a barren region this absorption does not take 
place; the rain rapidly collects in gulches, and forms, in 
some instances, a veritable wall of water, soil, gravel, and 
rocks, carrying everything before it. 

Second — The layers of cold, dry air, and hot, moist 
air, can superimpose themselves in a treeless country in 
such a manner that when condensation is inaugurated it takes 
place with destructive violence. These conditions are modi- 
fied, or even entirely prevented, by the effects of forests 
and vegetation; and hence those regions escape the most 
violent downpours. The rainfall in tropical regions is sev- 
eral times greater than any occurring upon the treeless 
regions subject to " cloudbursts," yet the destructive run-off 
from tropical forest areas does not occur, on account of the 
dense forests and undergrowth. 

The Coast Range in Lake County presents some of the 
worst of the early stages of denudation. The herding of 
sheep has been so close and continuous, that the forage 
plants and grasses have nearly disappeared. Over large 
areas it is now difficult, if not impossible, to find a single 
specimen of a once abundant forage flora. Many acres of 
valley land are being washed away; the beds of streams are 
widening by cutting away alluvial deposits of past ages 
and leaving bars of cobbles and gravel in their stead. These 
evidences of rapid deterioration are characteristic of all 
the public and much of the private land in the county. 

Denudation of Vegetation. 301 

This is the price which has been paid for the reckless use 
of the wealth with which that county was endowed; and 
the little benefit gained has accrued, in many instances, to 
herders or owners of sheep who owned no part of the lands 
upon which the damage is being inflicted. This county 
has been abused to such an extent that it is doubtful whether 
all the wealth which has been made upon wool and mutton 
in the entire State since 1849 could restore this single county 
to its pristine condition. Nor is this state of affairs con- 
fined to Lake county, — it extends throughout the State. 
If unheeded for a generation more, it will not be within the 
power of the human race to stay the destructive forces 
which have thus been turned loose, and to restore to 
our mountains their reservoirs of wealth and of water. 
Yet, under systematic and intelligent control, these areas 
rnay still be made the sources of perennial and increas- 
ing wealth, and the reservoirs from which the mining and 
agricultural lands below may draw never-failing supplies of 

In Santa Clara County the floods of Los Gatos Creek 
have measurably increased in destructiveness. In one of 
the richest portions of the valley more than one million dol- 
lars' worth of land has been recently destroyed. The photo- 
graph shows a portion of this destruction and the feeble 
efforts of the adjacent land-owners to stay the force of the 
torrential floods which, with increasing volumes, are eating 
away the alluvial lands, leaving in their stead the ' ' bar- 
ranca " forms of Southern and Lower California. 

In the lower reaches of the Santa Ana, many hundreds of 
acres of valuable soil are being buried under wastes of sand 
brought down from the burned-over sheep pastures of the 
mountain watershed. These instances could be multiplied 
almost indefinitely from every portion of the State. But 
the real damage has so far only commenced. The most 
appalhng feature is the absolute indifference with which the 

302 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

mass of the people and the law-makers of our country 
regard the ultimate consequences of the forces at work. 

Effect of Vegetation In Storing Water. 

But few g^ve full credit and consideration to the effect 
which vegetation has in checking the rate of run-off and 
aiding in the storage of water. This effect is vital, both to 
the preservation of springs and streams and to artesian 
supply, and preserves and supplements artificial st(^rage. 

In a catchment area of five hundred acres to one acre 
of reservoir space below, each foot of depth of reservoir 
capacity is equaled by an effective storage capacity of soil 
of less than one fortieth of an inch, so that if by reason of 
covering the catchment area with vegetation, one fortieth 
of an inch of rainfall can be caught beneath the surface and 
let down slowly to dependent springs and streams, this frac- 
tion is the equivalent of an acre covered one foot deep; or 
one inch of moisture stored in the soil is equivalent to forty 
feet of water in the reservoir. 

In many forests in California, it takes more than five 
inches of rainfall in the autumn to give an appreciable 
increase of run-off — showing that the forest has checked 
the rate of run-off to an extent more than 200 times greater 
than the figure above mentioned as being the equivalent of 
a foot of water in the reservoir. 

The great difference in the storage capacity of a tim- 
bered and non-timbered area is plainly shown in the flood 
capacity of the channels draining each. In the northern 
coast counties, subject to an annual rainfall of from fifty to 
sixty inches, the flood channels are of far less capacity 
than those in the southern coast counties, upon which the 
annual rainfall is from one fourth to one fifth that in the 
northern mountain slopes. The run-off from the treeless 
areas occurs in a few hours — whilst that from the timbered 
areas is so slow that it is not accomplished in months. 

Denudation of Vegetation. 303 

In considering the problems connected with the storage 
and conservation of water, it is essential to take up that 
of the storage or sponge capacity of the soil and the means 
necessary to increase this. Whether reservoir space be 
available or not, this factor and its possible increase should 
not be neglected, for a reservoir supplied from a catchment 
area devoid of protecting vegetation is soon silted up. 

To directly trace and determine the effect of an increased 
rate of run-off upon artesian supply is a difficult and ob- 
scure problem. But the broad results are clear. Whether 
the water seeps into and through permeable strata, or under 
the edges of impermeable clays along the upper reaches of 
the valley channels, the result is the same. If the catch- 
ment area be denuded of vegetation and soil, a decrease in 
artesian supply must follow. This is due to the shorter 
time in which the rainfall can seep into the water-bearing 
strata — the increased rate of run-off going to swell the 
volume and destructiveness of floods. 

In order to bring these generalizations into practical 
bearing upon the problems which confront us in California, 
we will consider the areas set aside as forest reservations 
and remaining as public domain in California. 

Forest reserves approximate 14,000 square miles, as 
follows : — 


Stanislaus Forest Reserve 705,000 

Yosemite Forest Reserve 1,009,680 

Sierra Forest Reserve 4,079,360 

Pine Mountain and Zaca Lake Forest Reserve . 1,159,083 

San Gabriel Forest Reserve 573,048 

San Bernardino Forest Reserve 731,176 

San Jacinto Forest Reserve 664,678 

Trabuca Canon Forest Reserve 49,760 

Total 8,972,125* 

In addition to this, 34,688,932 acres, 54,000 square 

* Reports of Surveyor-General of Califoriua. 

304 Sierra Club Biclletiti. 

miles, — or about one third the area of the State,* — is yet 
public land. These two aggregate 68,000 square miles, 
much of which is classified as desert land, but even this is 
used many months of each year for pasturage ; another 
large fraction is mountain or rolling land sparsely timbered 
or covered with brush interspersed with forage plants, 
which make it of great value for pasture. 

The policy of the Government in the control of this vast 
area has been along one of two lines — absolutej neglect or 
absolute exclusion. After long periods of neglect, spas- 
modic efforts at protection have been made by sending out 
a "special agent" from the " East," who generally knows 
but little of our forests and less of our climatic conditions. 
Sometimes his efforts have resulted in the institution of 
suits for "illegal cutting of timber." These have gener- 
ally resulted in dismissal, or, in rare instances, in the ren- 
dering of a judgment amounting to a small percentage of 
the value of the timber stolen. In some instances, when 
active and real examinations into the illegal seizing of lands, 
cutting of timber, or other abuses, have been instituted, 
the agent has been ' ' recalled. ' ' 

These efforts have, therefore, never resulted in much 
good other than to check for a while the fraudulent acqui- 
sition of public land, or the stealing of timber therefrom. 
They have never been the result of a well-conceived and 
sustained effort to protect the public domain and to con- 
serve the interests and wealth thereof. 

In one or two of the reservations, the opposite policy of 
absolute exclusion has been spasmodically carried out; a 
force of cavalry has been sent up to patrol the reservations, 
and under the thorough discipline of army officers, tres- 
passing sheep-herders have been arrested, their flocks 
scattered, and effective restraint inaugurated over a limited 
portion of the forest areas. 

* Records in office of Surveyor-General. 

Denudation of Vegetation. 305 

Neither of these policies is wise. The first condemns 
itself; the second fails to utilize the vast wealth of forest 
and pasture which these lands are capable of yielding. 
It is doubtful whether any system of forest management 
controlled from Washington, and under an ever-changing 
political system, could be efficiently and wisely adminis- 
tered. There are great obstacles to be overcome in getting 
rational conception of the facts before Congress. Eastern 
members, and even our own, rarely have more than a gen- 
eral idea of the facts, and are adverse to any policy of 
' ' withdrawal of the public domain from market ' ' as long 
as there is land of speculative value left. 

Again, the climatic conditions of California differ widely 
from those of other portions of the United States, and pre- 
sent greater difficulties to forest cultivation by reason of the 
absence of summer rains. Our forest flora are unique in 
the world; hence forest management here must be essen- 
tially modified from that found advisable elsewhere. It 
would, therefore, require a local and unique treatment, special 
in its development, and entirely different from what we must 
expect from a government which has never undertaken the 
handling of forest areas in a wise and statesmanlike manner. 

The valuable timbered areas have long since passed to 
the ownership of aggregations of capital or private parties. 
In the Coast Range, it sometimes happens that one million 
feet, board measure, of lumber stand upon a single acre; 
this, at a stumpage of $2.50 per thousand feet, is worth 
$2,500; yet it has been sold for $2.50. The sugar-pine, 
redwood, fir, spruce, etc., of the Sierras, have been disposed 
of in the same way. This is not new in the history of this 
country. The white pine of Maine, the live-oaks of Florida, 
the vast pine forests of Michigan and Washington have 
received the same treatment, and to-day thousands of acres, 
despoiled of their wealth, their recuperative powers checked 
by destructive pasturage, and intentional or accidental fires, 

3o6 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

are in one or the other stage of decrepitude. The owners 
of these lands are, in some instances, almost ready to 
return them to the State. When an attempt is made to 
check the evil of timber-land-grabbing, pressure is brought 
to bear on Congress by those who desire to exploit the 
public wealth, and the attempt is rendered abortive. The 
results of this system are glaringly set forth in the case of 
the live-oak forests of Florida. Shortly after Florida was 
purchased, large reservations of this valuable tihiber were 
made for the use of the Navy. Later contractors for fur- 
nishing this class of timber to the Navy supplied, at high 
prices, the timber stolen from these very reserves.* 

Nevertheless, under the advice and .spur of those inter- 
ested in forestry, and who realize the evils of forest denuda- 
tion, broad and important investigations have been made, 
thorough studies have been carried on, the benefits to follow 
from correcting the e\als which are practiced are fully eluci- 
dated, and have been reiterated with convincing force be- 
fore successive Congresses for the last quarter of a century 
or more; yet no broadly conceived policy to check forest 
fires, to stop depredations, nor to afforest barren areas has 
been put in force; nor has any considerable portion of the 
funds recovered from timber stolen from the public domain 
been used to afforest the same; neither is any part of the 
funds derived from the sale of timbered lands set apart for 
forest preservation. No broader studies have been made 
under any government than the advocates of forestry have 
issued from the Government Printing Office. That these 
studies have resulted in no practical result is proof of the 
view that Congress cannot directly manage practical forestry. 
It is possible that the limit of work which the General Gov- 
ernment can do is reached when the examinations are 
made. It would be idle to cite greater affairs which the 
Government has successfully accomplished as proof that it 

• George P. Marsh : Tke Earth as Modified by Human Action, p. 387, note. 

De7iudatio7i of Vcgetatioti. 307 

could undertake systematic forestry, for in this the element 
of " politics " must be dealt with in its most effective form, 
and the only way to nullify it is to place forestry above and 
beyond the power of the " practical " politician. 

No policy contaminated by political control can be 
enforced over the long periods of time necessary in success- 
ful forest management. There is now on trial in New York 
the experiment of putting forest preservation in the hands 
of the State, aided by the broadening influences of a col- 
lege of forestry. It is probable that the results will be 
more favorable than any possible under the General Govern- 
ment, for the nearer these great interests are to the people, 
to the individual, the greater becomes the possibility of 
beneficial results. The State Government is, however, liable 
to the same error as is the General Government. The same 
evils attend both systems. The differences are those of 
degree only; with readiness of correcting mistakes and evils 
possibly in favor of State administration. The evils attend- 
ant upon State administration of these problems are indicated 
in the case of the swamp and overflowed lands granted 
to this State by the " Arkansas Act" of 1850, the history 
of which is replete with mismanagement and fraud. To 
insure the most efficient management and the eradication 
or correction of the present evils with their certain results, a 
further remove from political influence is necessary than is 
likely under either mode of control. To some conserva- 
tive body, constitutionally stable and beyond the reach 
of political influence, must these vital interests be in- 
trusted. The nearest to this ideal is the Board of Re- 
gents of our State University. To their hands is intrusted 
the more important duty of directing the higher education 
of the youth of our State, and to them may be intrusted 
the care of our forests, particularly since the care and exten- 
sion of forests and the conservation of water afford some of 
the best means of practically teaching and enforcing the 

3o8 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

broadest principles of economics. In the great problems 
of forest preservation and extension lie some of the grandest 
applications of science, particularly of that branch of science 
the object of which is ' ' the utilization of the materials and 
forces of nature for the benefit of man." The student can 
find no more comprehensive problems than those connected 
with replacing and conserving the forests, for these prob- 
lems vitally affect the ultimate development of every indus- 
try of our State, and, under our peculiar climatid conditions, 
will for the remotest future determine the metes and bounds 
of the civilization which we are striving to establish. 

We have but to ask what has followed the devastation of 
the forests of Lebanon, of the Caucasus, of the Atlas, of the 
Apennines, and of the Pyrenees, to answer with certainty 
the question, what will follow the devastation of the forests 
of the Coast Range and of the Sierras. History and nature 
record no law more infle.xible, no effect more certain, than 
that poverty and degradation follow upon the destruction 
of the mountain forests. Could this lesson be fully im- 
pressed upon our youth — upon the statesmen of the 
future — there is no effort they would not willingly put 
forth to check the destructive agencies now in force. The 
revenues which these public lands and reservations can, 
without damage, be made to yield can be made adequate 
to inaugurate systematic forestry without calling upon either 
state or national funds, except sufficient to start the work. 
It requires the uniting of all interests, and the execution of 
the plan upon broad lines for the benefit of the great 
commonwealth, the State of California. 

The Remedy Suggested for California. 
The writer, therefore, advocates that all forest reserva- 
tions and public lands upon mountain slopes, within the 
borders of the State, be granted by Act of Congress to the 
University of California in trust ; that the object of this 



(One million dollars' worlli of lami destroyed.) 

Denudation of Vegetation. 309 

trust be: to protect, maintain, develop, and extend the 
water supply of these areas forever. For this purpose, 
that the Regents be empowered to lease, under proper 
control, the timber-cutting and pasturage privileges of 
these areas, and to use this fund : 

ist. To protect the catchment areas. 

2d. To maintain a college of practical forestry. 

3d. To construct reservoirs at such points as may be 
necessary to the industries of the State, and dispose of the 
water for the benefit of the trust. 

4th. To acquire mountain lands to be added to the 
catchment areas. 

5th. To do all such things as may maintain wise 
systems of forest and water conservation and use. 

Since the Government has sold the timbered areas, and 
permitted them to be stripped to the serious injury of our 
water supply, it may justly be claimed that the least resti- 
tution it can make is to set aside the remaining lands for 
the purpose of restoring and conserving this water supply. 
The extent of income- bearing property which can be 
made available for forest preservation and storage of flood 
waters is far beyond the general idea. It has been shown 
that the pubhc lands and reservations within the borders of 
the State of California are about 68,000 square miles. It 
would be difficult to determine the value of the pasturage 
and timber-cutting privileges of this area. The fact that it 
covers more than one third the area of the State, and that 
upon it a large portion of the stock raised in this and in the 
adjoining State of Nevada is annually pastured, is proof 
that it is of considerable moment. Although public 
domain, it is used for private purposes in a way that is 
surely accomplishing a ruin of which we have but an 
inadequate knowledge. An experienced stockman placed 
the value of the pasturage privileges of the Yosemite 

31 o Sierra Chib Bulletin. 

Reservation at $50,000 for the summer of 1898, and at 
more than half that sum for ordinary years. 

Inyo and Mono counties draw a revenue of from $3,000 
to $7,000 per year from a " sheep Hcense" which they levy 
on intinerant herders who pasture sheep on the public land 
in those counties. 

The Yosemite Reservation is about one forty-fifth (1-45) 
of the public land and forest reserve areas, and on the 
above valuations is estimated to be worth at leait $25,000 
per year for pasturage alone. This probably measures a 
considerable fraction of the value of the entire area. If 
this fraction be placed at one tenth (i-io) the gross value 
of these privileges, it represents a revenue of a quarter of a 
million dollars per year, or four per cent income on 

It must be borne in mind that this area is now being used 
by individuals in such a way as not only to devastate it, but 
to seriously damage the fertile valley lands below the 
mountain areas, and to threaten cities and farming communi- 
ties with ever-increasing floods, with the resulting low-water 
stages of spring and summer. If this policy be continued 
it will reduce our State to the conditions now prevailing in 
corresponding latitudes in Spain, Italy, Northern Africa, 
and Asia Minor. The same forces, the same methods, 
which have stricken those countries with poverty and 
degradation are to-day being wantonly and recklessly put 
in force here. The people of those lands are even now 
finding congenial employment upon our mountain slopes 
and are inaugurating the same practices which have reduced 
the orchards, vineyards, and pastures of their forefathers 
to uninhabitable wastes. 

Thus these vast areas are becoming more and more 
barren and less and less able to restrain floods, instead of 
being systematically improved with the ever-increasing 
revenues which they can be made to yield. 

Demidation of Vegetation. 311 

Mining and agricultural interests are now confronted 
with the necessity of organizing to secure State and Govern- 
ment aid to construct reservoirs, to store flood waters for 
use during the late summer and autumn, the increasing 
rate of run-off not leaving sufficient water in the streams to 
serve their needs. Even if these efforts were at once suc- 
cessful, the construction of reservoirs will not answer future 
needs. Without forest preservation, these reservoirs will fill 
up with sand, gravel, and cobble-stones. Thus these reser- 
voirs, if built, will answer the needs of only the immediate 

The only true solution of the question is to utilize the 
revenues which the pasturage and timber-cutting privileges 
of the public domain can be made to yield in protecting 
the watersheds from denudation and in conserving and 
storing the water supply; could these revenues be justly 
expended for this purpose, the areas would be ever-increas- 
ing in value and usefulness, and nothing need be asked 
from the State or from the Government save a sum suffi- 
cient to inaugurate the work. If any better, any broader, 
plan be offered, the writer will bend every energy to put it 
in force. There are, of course, interests now thriving on 
the free use of these areas which, for selfish reasons, will 
oppose any measure looking to staying the destruction by 
which they profit ; yet, if our civilization is to stand — if 
this great commonwealth is to advance with the advancing 
ages, this devastation must cease; systematic and economic 
use of this wealth must take the place of the methods now 
in vogue. History and nature record no law more inflex- 
ible — no effect more certain — than that poverty and 
degradation follow upon the destruction of mountain forests. 

312 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

By M. S. Baker. 

The Lava Region of Northern CaHfornia is usually 
known as the "Modoc Lava -Beds," a nam^ which is 
probably due to the prominence given a small area of the 
lava-beds in Modoc County at the time of the Modoc War. 
It is, however, a misnomer, — the greater area being in Sis- 
kiyou County, as shown by the accompanying map. Even 
the map shows only a small part of the vast lava-field which 
stretches westward to Mt. Shasta, northward through Ore- 
gon and Washington into British Columbia, and eastward 
into Nevada, Idaho, and Montana. According to Le Conte, 
this is one of the largest lava-fields in the world, covering 
an area of not less than 150,000 square miles, with an 
extreme observed thickness of 4,000 feet in the Columbia 
River Canon. 

In the regions I have visited, I know of but one deep 
cut into the underlying lava — the Pitt River Cafion in 
Shasta County, between Burney Valley and Fall River 
Valley. This is not shown on the map, but has probably 
been seen by some of the readers of the Sierra Bulletin, 
as the stage-road from Redding to Alturas passes along the 
bed of the canon. A view of the right-hand cliff is shown 
in the photograph. This is a sheer precipice of about 700 
feet, and is composed of almost countless layers of lava, 
each of them representing, apparently, a distinct lava flow. 
It, however, does not represent the entire depth at this 
point, as the river-bed is still lava. 

Near the sky-line of the same photograph may be seen 
some scattered trees, which illustrate to some extent the 



( Lines in black mark looo-ft. levels, traced roughly from " Modoc Lava Bed Sheet " of U. S. 
Geological Survey. Unbroken Hnas in red are wagon-roads, and broken red lines, trails. Many of 
these are from memory, and accurate only as to general direction.) 

The Lava Region of Northern California. 313 

surface appearance of a portion of the lava region. Covered 
with fragments of basalt or lava, which has disintegrated 
into the more or less reddish soil peculiar to such regions, 
the surface is sparsely timbered with ' ' Digger pine ' ' (Finns 
Sabi^tiand), dwarf oak, and a few species of shrubs. In 
the greater portion of the lava region, however, the disin- 
tegration has been more complete, resulting in a layer of a 
fine brick-red soil of varying depth, which not infrequently 
bears some of the finest forest growths of the Northern 

The cliff at the right of Burney Falls illustrates this 
point, though the soil there is only a few feet deep, and 
the forest, therefore, not of the best. The lava-layers 
may be seen again here, with jets of water spurting from 
the intervening cracks, producing beautiful cascades. 
Though these falls are scarcely one hundred feet in height, 
they possess a singular charm. In approaching them, one 
travels by a dusty road through a level stretch of forest, 
with no sign of water anywhere. To the left of the road 
is the bed of Burney Creek, which at the crossing, scarcely 
a half mile above the falls, is as dry as the road. Not a 
suggestion of the delightful scene ahead does the traveler 
receive, till suddenly to his ears comes the roaring of the 
water, and in a moment more there yawns a great chasm, 
curtained across by a sheet of lacelike foam, interwoven 
with masses of green. The hot, dusty traveler is charmed 
by the sight; he seems rooted to the spot, so loath is he to 
continue his journey. A moment after he takes to the road 
again, — the sound is gone, no river is visible, and the 
waterfall seems but a vision of delicious coolness and per- 
fect loveliness. 

The region representing the lava district is naturally 
divisible into three classes, — the densely-forested belts un- 
derlaid by lava, already referred to, the sparsely-timbered 
portions, as in the Pitt River region, and the barren lavas. 

314 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

The second and third classes are famiharly known as 
"Lava-Beds," particularly the second class, as that is by 
far the most common. The only completely barren lava 
that I have seen is in the Medicine Lake region, and the 
only other I know of is to the north of Lassen Peak. 

The forested and sparsely-timbered region of lava, how- 
ever, covers most of the Northeastern Sierra between Mt. 
Lassen and Shasta, and to the north and east, in an almost 
unbroken field. Scattered patches and streams of-'lava have 
been found far to the south, especially in the Higher Sierra, 
where in many places the old canons are filled with lava, 
which sometimes extends on the west almost to the valley 

An idea of the sparsely-timbered class of lavas may be 
obtained from the foreground of the picture showing ' ' A 
Cypress of the Lava," though the surface is usually more 
broken. The many small, irregular cracks seen in this 
view are due to the cooling of the lava. In many places, 
in addition to these crevices, which are always quite small, 
depressions known as "pot-holes" occur, varying from a 
few feet to a hundred feet in diameter, and from a foot to 
twenty feet in depth. Their surfaces are far from smooth, 
appearing nearly as broken as the barren lava shown in the 
picture of Glass Mountain. 

These pot-holes are supposed to be due to the formation 
of cavities during the cooling of the lava, and the subsequent 
falling in of their roofs. A crust soon forms on the molten 
mass, and in many places the lava underneath flows on, 
leaving cavities of varying sizes. The confusion caused by 
the falling in of the covers of these huge blisters is inde- 
scribable. As the lava becomes older, the holes fill up, and 
gradually the surface becomes covered with timber and 
more nearly level, till the entire surface is covered with 
soil, which bears a heavy forest. 

The foreground of the photograph of the cinder-cone 


From a pholograpli by M. S. Baker, July, 189K. 

From a photograph by M. S. Bakur, August, 189S. 

The Lava Region of Northern California. 315 

(Medicine Lake) is another view of the barren lavas. A 
larger view of this barren region is obtained from the top 
of the cone. The cone is really a crater from which has 
flowed much, if not all, of the lava in the field. It is near 
the northern limit of the field, which slopes by a very 
steep incline to the south and west, a distance of six or 
seven miles, I judge, though I have not been over it. 
This flow I found of the greatest interest, since it repre- 
sents, in miniature form, the characteristics of the larger 
and older flows, without their covering of soil and forest 
growth. Here is a small lava-field, with its crater, which 
was formed only as yesterday, and all in the compact area 
of perhaps ten square miles! There is scarcely a spear of 
grass, or any other vegetation, to be found upon its surface. 
It is a blackened region of desolation, awakening in the 
observer much the same sensation as does a vast fire-swept 
area; a desolation the more marked because of the green 
wall bounding it on all sides. 

Except on the tops of the few peaks which escaped com- 
plete burial, there is nothing left of the forest that once 
covered the region. All else must have been swept down 
and completely hidden from sight. One of the green 
island peaks is shown in the view to the south of the crater. 
Something of the roughness and the incline of the lava is 
also indicated here. 

Of the date of this eruption, I have little evidence, 
since the United States Geological Survey has not yet 
published a report of the region. But that it is com- 
paratively recent is evidenced by the almost entire lack 
of vegetation, while the older lava surrounding it is quite 
densely covered in places with forest and underbrush. 
The island peaks, also, are doubtless composed of lava, 
or basalt, of a much earlier time. The view of the cinder- 
cone shows three or four pines in the foreground, while 
the cone itself has quite a sprinkling of forest growth. 

3i6 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

due to the softer nature of its sides, much of it being 

In all, I observed scarcely a dozen species of plants in 
crossing a stretch of perhaps a half mile of lava, and in 
climbing and exploring the crater. The pioneer plants 
which are the most efficient reclaimers of the barrenness 
appear to be two species of pine, the mountain pine {Pinus 
monticola) and the tamarack - pine (^Pitius Miirrayand). 
How these poor contorted dwarfs are able to liveAvith their 
roots in the crevices of bare rock it is difficult to see. They 
illustrate something of the relative importance of atmos- 
phere and soil to the life of the trees. Notwithstanding 
their scrubbiness, however, I saw many cones lying about. 
The trees in the foreground of the crater are mountain 
pines. The appearance of the tamarack-pine in a similar 
region about Glass Mountain is shown in the photograph 
of the mountain from a distance. The growth seen here 
is exclusively tamarack, growing in the pumice that fills up 
the depressions in the lava. 

Mr. J. S. Diller, of the Geological Survey, has made a 
study of a very similar lava flow of recent date in the 
vicinity of Lassen Peak. It is probably even more recent 
than the one I speak of, for the charred trunks of some of 
the trees killed by the flow are still standing iti situ. Many 
of the trees on the cinder-cone of the Medicine Lake lava 
must be at least three or four hundred years old. A com- 
plete exploration of this field would be of great interest in 
illustrating how the older lavas were formed, and in deter- 
mining the extent and age of this one. 

At a distance of about ten mile.s to the north of the cinder- 
cone is the Medicine Lake region, celebrated locally for its 
game, for a mountain of pure volcanic glass, and for a 
beautiful sheet of clear, pure water. The lake is approxi- 
mately two miles in length by one in width. It has no out- 
let, and scarcely any water supply save from the melting of 



From a photograph by M. S. Baker, August, i8g8. 

From a photograph by ^L S. Baker, August, 1898. 

The Lava Region of No7ihern California. 317 

the snow. Yet, in the driest years, I have never known the 
lake to be contracted much under the dimensions given. 
The appearance of the lake from a bluff to the south- 
west is shown in an accompanying photograph. In the 
distance may be seen Mt. Hoffman, one of the highest 
peaks of the region (8,018 feet). At the extreme right of 
the view is a small elevation; this is Glass Mountain, four 
or five miles to the east. This mountain, if such it 
may be called, is only 600 feet above the surrounding 
country at its highest point, while most of its surface 
is but 200 to 400 feet high. Though not remarkable in 
height, it certainly is in character. By an examination of 
the map, it will be seen that a flat-topped area of some 
five miles, by a mile and a half in extent, is marked off 
to the east of the lake by the 7,000-foot contour line. 
Just inside this line the 200-foot level is drawn as close 
as possible to the 7,000-foot line, representing a cliff 
of 200 feet. The whole inclosed area is made up of the 
roughest lava imaginable, sparsely timbered by the pines 
already mentioned, which are shown in the foreground of 
the view of Glass Mountain. 

All the lava in this area is of a glassy nature; but no 
pure obsidian was seen till I reached the base of the moun- 
tain, where it may be picked up in abundance. Large 
bowlders of it, of much the same color as flint, lay about, 
and the side of the cliff glistened with the broken frag- 
ments. On the eastern side of the mountain, I am told, 
the glass is not wholly black, but beautifully banded with a 
brick-red. Most of it seemed to come from a layer below 
the top surface, as I found scarcely any on the top, though 
all of the lava was glassy. The banded appearance of the 
broken surfaces showing the flow may be seen in many of 
the fragments. 

A more rugged, topsy-turvy pile of rocks than the top 
of Glass Mountain can scarcely be conceived. I tied my 

3i8 Sierra Ch/b BuUeiin. 

horse at the base of the cliff, with the intention of going to 
the top, but before I proceeded far, it became evident that 
I must give it up, or come back barefooted, so severe is 
the glassy lava upon shoe-leather. As it was, it required 
the most of one afternoon for repairs. 

Another area of glassy lava, directly north of the lake, 
and similar to the area upon which Glass Mountain rests, 
is represented on the map by double contour lines 200 feet 
apart. Neither of these areas appears to be h. flow, as 
neither is connected with a higher level, yet I could find no 
sign of a crater. 

Two other objects of interest to our party were the 
beautiful trees of hemlock-spruce, growing on the peaks to 
the west of the lake, and the fine view of Mt. Shasta from 
the top of these peaks. The mountain is about thirty miles 
to the southwest, but even at that distance appears immense, 
on account of the altitude of the observer, and also because 
Shastina is hidden behind the main peak, giving the appear- 
ance of greater height because of the narrowed base. 

One other feature of the lava region must be men- 
tioned — the ice-caves. There are several of these known, 
and very likely many more remain undiscovered. Those 
located along the edge of the lava, near the cinder-cone, I 
have known to contain ice and water as late as August. 
The largest I have seen is on the Mayfield road, about 
twenty miles east of Barlles. It is situated in the barren 
lava, and in one of the warmest localities of the region, — 
and there are few cool spots in the lava anywhere. One 
enters the cave by crawling down a hole none too large. 
The instant the interior is reached the temperature falls in 
a surprising way. Not more than ten feet below the sur- 
face of the hot rocks is a bed of ice, covered by a foot or 
so of ice-water. The body of ice was perhaps twelve or 
fifteen feet long, by five feet across in the widest places. 
This cave is formed by a fissure that extends a distance of 

From a pliotograph by M. S. Baker, August, iSc 

From a photograph by M. S. Baker, July, 1898. 



From a photograph by M. S. Baker. August 1898. 

IFrom a pliotograph by M. S. '"-'"ir, August, 189S. 

The Lava Regiofi of Northern California. 319 

twenty miles from the ice-cave to Pittville, and nearly coin- 
cides with the 4,000-foot level, as shown in the map. Along 
the southeastern half of this earth-fissure the southwest wall 
has faulted, leaving a cliff, which, in places, must be nearly 
200 feet high. 

For varied and awe-inspiring scenes, the Northeastern 
Sierra does not compare with the Central and Southern. 
Generally speaking, there is little beauty of scenery to be 
found except in favored localities. The ever-present forests 
of high conifers on the peaks almost entirely prevent the 
magnificent outlooks so common toward the south. The 
peaks are of only moderate height, and lack the rugged 
precipitousness of those about Tahoe, Yosemite, and Mt. 
Whitney. But the loss in scenery is partly compensated 
by the comfort in traveling (except over the lava-beds, 
which one may well pray to be delivered from), and by the 
almost endless shade of the cool forests. 

320 Sierra Club Bulletin. 

Edited by Professor William R. Dudley. 

A new National Park was created by Act of Congress and the 
approval of the President, March 2, 1S99. It is to be called The 
Mount Rainier National Park. It is eighteen miles square, with 
Mount Rainier for its center, and formerly was a part 01 the Pacific 
Forest Reserve, established February 20, 1S93. This reserve, now 
known as the Mount Rainier Forest Reserve, was extended south to 
the Columbia in 1S97, and is joined on the north by the Washington 
Forest Reserve. In the Forester for May, 1S99, Bailey Willis, of 
the United States Geological Survey, gives a map and an extremely 
good account of this important new park, and advocates its exten- 
sion in certain directions, to include forests, glaciers, and adjacent 
spurs that naturally belong to this park. It appears that two emi- 
ment Europeans, Professor Karl Zittel, the geologist, of Munich, 
and the Hon. James Bryce, who is a member of the English 
Alpine Club and an ardent mountaineer, wrote a joint letter in 
1883, saying, "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." They then expressed 
a hope that Congress would include the peak in a National Park. 

Some twelve years or more passed, when "a memorial, pre- 
pared by a committee representing the American Association for 
the Advancement of Science, the Geological Society of America, 
the Sierra Club of California, and the Appalachian Mountain 
Club, was presented to the Senate by Senator Squire of Washington. 
In 1897, a bill based on this memorial, and designed to establish 
a National Park, passed both Houses of Congress, but failed of 
signature by the President." This bill, with slight modifications, 
was again introduced in 1S99, and became a law. This park is 
placed under the control of the Secretary of the Interior, whose 
duty it is to police it and protect its woods, fish, and game. Mr. 
Willis says the main divide of the Cascades lies twelve miles east 
of Rainier's summit, and possesses a nearly even crest of 5,000 to 
6,500 feet elevation. He suggests the construction of a road along 
this for fifty miles from the Northern Pacific Railroad south to the 
southern side of the park. "This splendid snow-peak would be 
seen rising from cations far below this road to a height of 8,000 

Foi'cstry Notes. 321 

feet above it. That it is practicable to lay out this road there 
is no doubt, and that it will be found profitable, and will be 
built, is more than probable. It will challenge the world for its 
equal in variety and majesty of scenery." 

The smallest of the California forest reserves received an 
accession of 50,000 acres through the proclamation of President 
McKinley dated January 30, 1899. This tract, known as the Tra- 
buco Caiion Forest Reserve, now contains 99,920 acres. The 
original reservation was made February 25, 1893. 

Under the date of February loth, the Fish Lake Reserve,— 
a mountainous tract of 67,480 acres about Fish Lake and Fremont 
Valley, Utah, and south of the middle of the State, — was estab- 
lished by executive proclamation. 

Under the same date, the Gallatin Forest Reserves, in Mon- 
tana, were created. They consist of a series of even-numbered 
sections of mountain forest near Bozeman, within the watershed 
of the Gallatin River, and aggregate 40,320 acres. The alternate 
sections are railroad land. 

On March 4th of the current year, the Gila River Forest Reserve 
was established. It is in New Mexico, and adjoins the Black Mesa 
Forest Reserve of Eastern Arizona. Its center seems to be the 
Mogollon Mountains, and it includes several of the sources of the 
Gila River, whose fertile lower valley is such an important part 
of Arizona. As this fertility, because of the aridity of climate, 
depends upon irrigation, the importance of the range of forest 
reserves recently created through central Arizona and New 
Mexico, cannot be easily overestimated. 

In the telegraphic dispatches of April 14th, the President is 
reported to have set apart 136,000 acres, as the long-contemplated 
Lake Tahoe Forest Reserve. It covers something like nine town- 
ships in the mountam region southwest of Lake Tahoe, and lias 
Pyramid Peak for its approximate center. As in all the forest 
reservations, lands on which entries have been made,— and there 
are many such near the western shore of Lake Tahoe, — are 
excepted from the reserve. Practically the entire forest belt of 
Government land in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, from Mount 
Breckenridge, east of Bakersfield, to the southwestern shore of 
Lake Tahoe, a distance of nearly 250 miles, is now reserved. 
This contains the sources of the Kern, the Tule, the Kaweah, the 
King's, the San Joaquin, Merced, Tuolumne, Stanislaus, Moque- 
lumne, and American rivers, which rise among peaks from 10,000 
to 14,000 feet elevation, and flow down into the great fertile but 
semi-arid plain known as the San Joaquin and Lower Sacramento 
valleys. To these abundant resources of irrigation might be 
added the many secondary and minor streams from the Fresno 

322 Sierra Club Didlctin. 

and Calaveras rivers down to the foothill creeks, which could be 
counted on, if necessary, for storage water. This plain, averaging 
but a few hundred feet above sea-level, capable of producing all 
the stone fruits and small fruits, and in places the orange, lemon, 
and fig, is not less than 7,000,000 acres in extent, and is surrounded 
by great tracts of foothills suitable for olive and grape culture in 
the lower levels, and the pomaceous fruits at moderate elevations. 
Surrounding this plain, and from a few hundred to a few thou- 
sand feet above it, is the long-known, and still rich, mineral belt. 
In carefully considering other sections of our country, it does not 
appear that any other, of anything like this extent, presents such a 
favorable combination of natural advantages, or could support 
such a large number of people, if rightly cared for. A vast product- 
ive plain; a climate favorable to all the fruits of temperate and 
sub-tropical regions; proximity to a large bay and seaport; large 
mineral deposits; lofty mountains covered by coniferous forests, 
which, by care and renewal, can be made to yield a sufficient 
supply of fuel and lumber, and will afford protection to the 
abundant water supply, derived from the complete annual melt- 
ing of a heavy snowfall; such are the conditions setting apart 
Central California as one of the most important natural districts 
in America to which the best results of science in forestry 
and the conservation of waters ought, at an early day, to be 

A consistent policy toward our forests in the semi-arid regions 
has for some years been apparent. Beginning with the recom- 
mendations of its Forestry Commission, and since the agitation 
of the question in 1S97, it has clearly been the aim of the United 
States Government to reserve those mountain forests in California, 
Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah which protect the water supplies 
of the fertile valleys below. That is the significance of the belt 
of reservations almost encircling the orange - growing district in 
Southern California. That is also what the successive reservations 
in the Sierra, now nearly continuous from Breckenridge to Tallac, 
signify in relation to the great plain of Central California. The 
Sierra Forest Reserve, great as it is, is by no means complete. 
An extension of this to the Pitt River, Shasta, and the Upper 
Sacramento, or at least over so much of this region as shall 
include the head-waters and forests of the streams descending into 
the Sacramento Valley, is but the logical conclusion of this policy 
in relation to California. The Bulletin has before advocated 
this; and a year ago the San Francisco Board of Trade petitioned 
the Government to establish a forest reservation about Lassen 

Forestry Notes. 323 

Instead of applying the "German system" to our forests, or 
devising an "American system" out of hand, to be applied to 
the whole country, we must recognize that our country is so great, 
and includes such extremes of humidity, and totally different mani- 
festations of temperature, that we must devise a California system 
of forestry, a Great Basin system (although the two will have 
much in common), and a Northwest Forest system, differing 
probably from the Alleghanian. Most certainly we must first 
recognize the fact that we have within our national borders an 
arid region, without excessive cold or destructive hurricanes, but 
where the lifelong dread of the tiller of the soil concerns a lack of 
water; another, a humid region, with abundant rainfall, where 
the excessive winter cold is most to be feared. In the first, our 
chief care must be to keep an unbroken forest cover over the 
mountain areas down to the lower limits of the winter snow; also 
to prevent over-pasturage. The question of lumber and fuel are 
secondary, that of revenue from the forests is incidental. In the 
second, because of abundant rainfall, of easy, natural renewal of 
the forested areas, and of cold, the questions of cheap and abun- 
dant fuel, of lumber, and of revenue fiom the same, become of 
first importance to the country; and the question of water supply 
(as for cities and mines), though important, is incidental. Both 
of these problems, curiously enough, occur within our own State. 
Yet Northwestern California, where the water-supply question is 
secondary, and the timber interests are highly important, will 
require a forest management different from any section of the 
Eastern United States. The forestry of the central Coast Range 
of California, and that of the mountains of the southeastern desert 
region are not pressing questions; but two great natural divisions 
of the State, each, economically, of the highest importance, each 
requiring special study and its own elaborate system of forest 
treatment, and of reservoirs, each made ready for such study by 
the nearly complete series of forest reservations, do require 
immediate attention. These are the great central valley and 
Southern California, both coming under the first class of problems 
mentioned. Localizing preliminary forestry study in this manner 
appears to be inevitable. The study of local conditions, inter- 
preted scientifically, will result in the growth of individual systems 
adapted to sections where they have originated; and this method 
is bound to give the whole country a sound and economical forest 
management. As there are no richer areas in the drier regions 
of the United States thin the two California districts, we invite 
the Government to send experts to them at once lor the purpose 
of reporting a plan of forest management for Central California 
and Southern California, at an early date. 

324 Sierra Chib Bulletin. 

Meanwliile these timber reservations are to be protected from 
fires, timber thieves, and irresponsible shepherds another season by 
means of the "rangers." We desire to reaffirm our former words 
of commendation for the rangers appointed from the foothills or 
mountains they are to guard. They have the advantage of a com- 
plete knowledge of the mountain passes and trails, and they are 
usually among the most faithful of men. So far as observation 
went last fall, the late appointments were from this class, and 
consequently their work was well done. Our criticisms in the 
January Bulletin applied only to the appointment — chiefly the 
earlier ones — of men who knew nothing of the moun|ains. This 
criticism — resorted to by a considerable number of journals — we 
regret, for it appears that the inefficient and ignorant men were 
replaced by better ones, as soon as practicable. 

The California Water and Forest Societv. 

The organization of the California Water and Forest Society, in 
January of this year, was due directly to the object-lesson given 
the industries of this State by the mountain fires and drought of 
1898. The Miners' Association took the initiative, and through 
a special committee, called a meeting of those interested in the 
"conservation of the water and the preservation of the forests." 
Representatives of the mining, agricultural, horticultural, and com- 
mercial interests from all parts of the State met in San Francisco, 
and after discussing the objects of the meeting, adopted a permanent 
organization under the control of an executive committee, which 
will act under standing sub-committees. The foundation was thus 
laid of an organization which may be of incalculable benefit to the 
State. Its success will depend upon a large membership and an 
active executive committee. 

Immediately after organization, some work was undertaken 
by the committee on legislation. This committee went to Sacra- 
mento in the hope of urging the Governor to recommend to the 
Legislature the passage of two measures, — one having as its 
object the co-operation by the State with the United States 
Geological Survey in reporting upon the places and methods for 
storing waters in the mountains, and the other asking that an 
unsalaried commission be created to report upon the forests of the 
State, and that a department of forestry be organized at once at the 
University of California to supply men prepared to carry out the 
suggestions of the commission. The bill relating to water-storage 
failed to reach the Governor in time for his signature; that relating 
to forestry did not reach final passage in the Legislature. The 

Forestry Notes. 325 

organization of a forestry department in the University was not 
included in the proposed legislation, owing to objections raised by 
the Governor. 

That this legislation failed is to be regretted. The State of 
Colorado has obtained a valuable and practical report by the United 
States Government upon her water supplies; the State of Wisconsin, 
through the agency of an unsalaried forestry commission, created 
by the Legislature in 1897, had her forests studied and reported on 
by a special agent of the Division of Forestry of the U. S. Depart- 
ment of Agriculture (Bulletin No. 16I; the State of Oregon had a 
similar inspection and report made in 1897 of " Forest Growth and 
Sheep-Grazing" by an agent of the same department (Bulletin 
No. 15). The legislation proposed had in view similar results, to 
be obtained by enlisting the services of the Departments in Wash- 
ington. But most to be envied is the State of New York, whose 
Legislature has established a college of forestry at Cornell Uni- 
versity. Let us hope that the authorities of our universities will 
not overlook the ranking importance of the subject, and will follow 
Cornell's lead. 

The scope of work of the California Water and Forest Society 
therefore is clearly defined, but its problems are many and difficult. 
More rational lumbering methods, protection of the forests from 
fire, the storage of the flood-waters, their proper distribution, are 
all questions that will require careful and continued investigation. 

The society's first great duty will be to teach the people of 
the State the truth of the Arabian proverb, adopted as its motto, 
"The Tree is the Mother of the Fountain." 

Elliott McAllister. 

May 16, 1899. 


In addition to lovger articles suitable for the body of the niagaziJie, the editor 
would be glad to receive brief memoranda of all noteworthy trips or explorations^ 
together with brief comment and suggestion on any topics of general interest to 
the Club. 

The office of the Sierra Club Has been moved to Room 45^ Merchants^ 
Exchange Building, San Francisco, where all the maps, photographs and 
other records of the Club now are. 

The maps of the Yosemiie a7id San Joaquin Regions by J. N. Le Conte^ may 
be had by members of the Club upon application and payment at the Cottage in 
the Yosemiie Valley. 

The attention of the members is again drawn to the few copies on file of 
No. J, Volume /, of the Bulletin. Those who have any extra copies of this 
number, will kindly send them at once to the Secretary. 

326 Sierra Club Bulletin. 


From May i, 189S, to April 30, 1899. ; 

The membership of the Club during the year 1898 to 
1899 has remained about the same, the accessions being 
about equal to the losses resulting from resignations and 
non-payment of dues. 

The Headquarters in Yosemite Valley have been con- 
tinued this year, and they promise to be of great interest and 
value to the members of the Club and others visiting the 

The following have been elected Directors and officers 
for the year 1899- 1900: — 

Mr. John Muir President. 

Mr. Elliott McAllister . Vice-President. 

Mr. J. N. Le Conte .... Treasurer. 

Prof. W. R. Dudley . . . Corresponding Secretary. 

Mr. Robert M. Price . . . Recording Secretary. 

Pkes. David Starr Jordan, 

Mr. Warren Olnev, 

Prof. Walter E. Magee, 

Prof. Clarence L. Corv. 

committee on parks and reservations. 

Pres. David Starr Jordan, Chairman, 
Mr. Warren Olnev, Prof. Joseph Le Conte, 

Mr. Abbot Kinney, Mr. Charles A. Bailey. 

Secretary s Report. 327 

The other standing committees of the Board will be 
reported to the members later on. 

Amount of cash on hand May i, 1898 f 29 45 

Total collected for dues for the year 520 00 

Received from sale of publications 40 35 

Received on account Yosemite Headquarters 56 00 

Total I645 80 

Cash deposited to account of Treasurer $641 60 

Balance cash on hand 4 20 

Total $645 80 

Respectfully submitted, 

Robert M. Price, 


328 Sierra Club Bulletin. 


May I, 1S98, TO April 30, 1899. 

— ; 


Balance from former Treasurer I 49 59 

Cash received from Secretary 641 60 

Cash received — unexpended balance from Yosemite 

Headquarters 24 10 

I715 29 


Printing and mailing Sierra Club Bulletin $324 85 

Printing circulars, etc 17 25 

Telegrams, and mailing circulars 10 60 

Postage and sundrj- expenses of Secretary's office .... 7 04 

Express charges for moving 6 00 

Public meeting u 50 

Room rent — 17 months 140 00 

Clerical service 62 00 

Yosemite Headquarters 90 00 

I669 24 
Balance on hand 46 05 

$715 29 

C. B. Bradley, 








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