Some American Climbs in 1934
Alfred E. Roovers
[The material which follows is based on a portion of a diary kept by our fellow-member, and which, before his accidental death on the cliff at Arden in December, 1934, he marked for use in preparing a paper for this Journal. —Ed.]
June 13, 1934. Up early and visited Custom House to get mountain boots. Could not get my hands on them, unfortunately. Left for Newark airport at 9 p.m. and took off at 11 sharp—an excellent night for flying.
June 14. Dropped in at Cleveland airport around 1.30 a.m. Field swept with blue calcium lights. Made change of plane at Chicago. Dropped in at Omaha at 6 and Cheyenne at 8.30. Scenery rather featureless from plane. Flat farms. Very interesting flight over Ujinta and Wasatch ranges. Got into Salt Lake 35 minutes ahead of time. Rested a bit after lunch and walked about, buying camping equipment. At 8 rode over to U. P. terminal and boarded Butte Special for Idaho Falls. A great crowd of young folks on train en route to Yellowstone as help.
June 15. Awakened by racket at Pocatello. Asked porter if he had seen Hans (Fuhrer). He had probably gotten onto another train bound for same destination. I got out of the train at 3.30 at Idaho Falls and slept awhile in the station. Later I breakfasted at the Hotel Bonneville at 6. At Ashton, where the train arrived at 10.30 I found a worried looking Hans. On the way again we glanced at the marvelous Teton Mtns. I had seen Grand Teton from near Idaho Falls earlier in the morning; it looked like a huge triangle falling over backwards. The drive in the Teton Park bus was very pretty. The Hole was very impressive ; mountains looked full of promise. At jenny Lake I met Fryxell, the N. P. superintendent, with whom I had been in correspondence.
Camp in Doc Fryxell's backyard. The tent went up speedily and not too well, as we had to do with duffle strewn all over the place. It was getting late, so Hans and I walked over to the store about ½ mile south and acquainted ourselves with the line of groceries on sale there. We were delighted to find milk on sale at 10c a quart, butter 30c, eggs 20c a dozen, and fresh bread. With our comfortable bedding and excellent cooking (principally can-opening) we are going to do very well here.
The camp ground is very extensive. A grand pine grove. There are no hotels in the park, and one must camp out. There is good water, and fire-wood. We promptly christened our new home site “Chiselers Grove,” because the ground is alive with little rodents, a cross between squirrels and rats. Dinner consisted of mock-turtle soup, spaghetti and string-beans. We turned in before 9, tired from the last sleepless night.
June 16. Hans stirred in his bunk around 5.30. After breakfast we reached for our ice-axes and packs, and hit the trail around Jenny Lake. Day spent on Mt. St. John. Hot, cloudy— snowstorm and hail on way down. Tired pair in bed before 9. after dinner of our own creation.
June 17. Re-pitched camp in a beautiful grove near water (pipe) and rest-room: a real de luxe camp ground at Jenny Lake. Met Charles Hedrick, the “local character,” as well as the two “Red” mountaineers, Eberitsch and Pavlaw. Store about ½ mile away on Jackson road. In the evening Hans gave an accordion and yodel recital. Everyone wishes he could be the regular guide here.
Lou Williams, the ranger, has a very funny sport which consists of turning the hose down into the holes where the pestiferous chiselers live. A few seconds later a half-drowned creature comes out at express speed for distances west. Hans tried it for diversion. Williams has an interesting family of baby marmots, which he feeds with a medicine dropper.
June 18. Climbed Mt. Teewinot. Saw big moose beyond Jenny Lake. Met Herman and Emil on way up. Grand views of Tetons and Mt. Owen.
June 19. Day passed away in leisurely idling. Met Dr. Adrian, the Nobel prize winner. Steak and onions for dinner.
June 20. Up very early and made big roundabout trip to Taggart Lake to start climb of Nez Perce (7th ascent). A hot, beautiful day. Long trip down Garnet canyon. Missed the regular Teton Glacier trail and bush-whacked from Bradley Lake to the state road, No. 187, where we begged a ride from a truck to the beer station. Voted for a two-day rest.
June 21. Plain and fancy loafing. Met Glenn Exum, the local pro. guide. We drink terrific quantities of milk after these climbs. One day Hans and I consumed 2.5 gallons between us.
June 22. Up at dawn (5) and left for a walking trip to Bradley and Taggart Lakes to photograph moose, but none were seen.
June 23. Alt. Owen. Early start from camp to Amp. Lake. On a hasty search could find no way down to Teton Glacier and had to lose 1000 ft. in the descent to Delta Lake. When we neared Jenny Lake on the return trip we were horribly tired out. We drank four bottles of beer between us at the store, and brought home another four.
June 24. Never budged till about 10 a.m. and then breakfasted. Plenty of rest all day. Read a little of Goethe’s “Sorrows of Werther” before dinner. Went down to Moran by the afternoon bus.
June 25. Fixed up packs with food and sleeping-bags for our Mt. Moran trip. At 3 good old Charlie came for us in his antediluvean flivver and piloted us down the beautiful lake drive past Jenny Lake to the end of Leigh Lake. Hans held on for dear life, in the back with the packs. At 3.30 we started to walk along Jackson Lake fire trail to bivouac for the Mt. Moran climb. Finally got near Moran Bay and followed trail back to a clearing in the forest at 7000 ft. The threatening clouds forced to hasten. Halfway through with supper we tied up my alligator poncho between two pines and placed our mattresses and sleeping-bags under it. It started to pour and hail, so Hans and I sought refuge, trying to keep our equipment as dry as possible. It cleared off around 9—no rain, but the clouds on the mountain looked bad. Before retiring, we built two huge fires to burn through the night. It poured cats and dogs all night and after a while our bags began to take in a bit of water.
June 26. Could see Moran from my bag, whenever I woke up at night. The peak looked stormy, but often showed through the clouds. We were off early and had a cold climb. Nearing the summit we were fooled as to the real top and left our packs and axes, as well as our warm wraps, below the final climbing on the N. E. summit.
When we stepped out onto this summit in our shirt-sleeves we saw the true peak about ¼ mile away and some 200 ft. higher. An ice-cold wind was blowing, but we did not feel like descending for our clothing. We walked along the broad N. E. summit to LeRoy Jeffers’ cairn, then on to the narrow and spiny ridge leading up to the true top. We were roped, but without axes as we crossed the ridge which lay above the cirque of the Skillet Glacier. There was very little to see from the top, outside of Yellowstone, Jackson, Leigh and the minor lakes to the north. Grand Teton and its minions were hemmed in by storm clouds, and occasionally a gendarme covered with fresh snow reared its head out of the mist.
We hastened back to the N. E. chimney, as we became more and more chilled. Reaching the slabs above the chimney below which we had left our equipment the chill became rather serious and Hans, who had to come down the steep, comparatively hold-less slabs on his own anchoring, had his hands go so numb that he had no sensation when touching the cold rocks. At the foot of the chimney we had some canned grapefruit and some pretzels. Then followed a rapid descent of the long couloir-chimney series, which I called “Fat Man’s Misery.” On the descent we kept to the true N. E. ridge, working down to about 10,000 ft. where we branched off to the east, down slabs and finally into a long couloir. This couloir led to a drop off about half way down and we found a rope belay which a previous party had used. This was now rotten, so we climbed out of the couloir over the slabs to a deep cut couloir just south of the gendarme over which we had been hooked in the morning: “Hung-up Mountain.” This was filled with loose rock and possessed the odor of brimstone, so I called it Brimstone Couloir. Its floor was of slippery gneiss, over which a rapid descent was made. At 8500 ft. we came to a glacial stream which led to our camp down below in the poplar grove. No bears or porcupines had disturbed our bivouac. We walked along the fire trail to the end of the Leigh Lake road, where good old Charlie was waiting for us with his Ford.
June 27. It was a grand day, the peaks showing up beautifully after the storm. In the afternoon I told Hans to take a nap, and went up to the first waterfall on Teewinot. I saw a big moose swimming in the little lake S. W. of Jenny Lake. He never took his eyes off me until I was up on the slope. I had previously found a fine pair of moose horns while descending Teewinot some time before and now I was resolved to relocate them. The horns were lying in the waterfall and it was sporty work to drag them up the smooth ledges to the old game trail. The head smelled awfully bad, as the poor moose had been killed only a few months before by an avalanche. The horns must have weighed 35 to 40 pounds or better. The rangers were delighted with them.
June 28. Was surprised to find H. Whitney and his wife talking with Fryxell. I showed Whitney what Hans and I had done and invited him to join us on the Grand Teton trip, which we were going to start in the afternoon. We prepared our outfits and got very precise instructions from Glenn Exum on how to find the stone cave where he makes his bivouac. We left for Garnet Canyon at 3, taking some 4 hrs. to make camp at timberline. We found most of Glenn’s 11 blankets in very sad state, as they had been eaten up by marmots and coneys during the winter. The weather for the morrow looked superb.
June 29. At 3.45 I started the boys getting up. A fire was soon blazing. A perfect day dawned. At 4.15 we donned our rucksacks and followed Hans up the moraine. He was right cold, so we set a good pace and soon reached the steep névé above the glacier on the Middle Teton, where we had a few minutes of ticklish climbing over ice-coated rocks to the Lower Saddle. Here, after a short rest, we head up to the Upper Saddle, with some good climbing in the top of an ice-filled couloir. We were slightly too far to the west and as a result reached a point above the Upper Saddle, near the West Spur. While I took pictures Whitney went to the top of the West Spur and Hans went ahead to find the route. The Cooning Place and the Belly Roll proved very easy and less dramatic than we had expected, but we had roped up just before reaching these famed places.
However, we had no sooner passed the Belly Roll than the fun began. Hans led the way up an icy chimney, which made Whitney wonder whether he was on the right track. The remaining scramble to the summit was fine work, as ample ice and snow made the ledges and couloirs very sporty. Our approach to the summit brought us well over to the south, and pleasant scramble over the ridge took us to the top (8.45) in 4.5 hrs. from high camp. We took the trouble to descend some 100 ft. along the north ridge to get a fine view of Owens and its east ridge.
Fryxell had given me the summit Register to take up, although we were the third party to climb the Grand Teton in 1934. I found it impossible to stuff all of the paper supplied into the tube, and brought some of it down with me. At 10.05, satisfied with a glorious rest, we headed down into the somewhat intricate couloir and chimney system on the Grand's west face. We unroped at the Cooning Place and descended rapidly to the Lower Saddle. It was good practice for me, as we were unroped and had to be decidedly careful with our footwork. Glissades brought us down to camp at 12.35 p.m.
July 4. Awoke at 7.30 after a cold night and refreshing sleep in our cabin. Some time was spent in rearranging our duffle and selecting packs for our climb of Rainier. The weather was first class. At 10.15 we met Ranger Carlson, who had promised the night before to take us up the West Side Highway just being built to the start of the Indian Henry trail. We had a splendid drive through the clean and orderly forests, with the beautiful highlights of the sun slanting in on the ferns of the forest floor. Turning up the new drive we soon came to a camp, which we investigated, and then drove up to Brown Pass, where Carlson invited us to take in the unexcelled view of the west side of Mt. Rainier.
We had planned to go up the Success Cleaver from Indian Henry's, a route which had been used several times before, but our attention was irresistibly drawn by a tremendous glacier which cut the west side of Rainier in two. This was the Tahoma Glacier, nearly 10,000 ft. in length—one of great Alpine beauty. From our point of view the glacier looked like an extremely easy approach to the summit and, as it had never been ascended, Hans and I then and there selected it as our approach.
Our trail led up gentle switchbacks through a glorious fir grove. Almost at once we decided to stop, as we had a quart of strawberry ice-cream in our packs. This we consumed before resuming the climb of the tool-scattered trail, still under construction. Soon we reached Klopatche, a truly beautiful Alpine park covered with avalanche lilies and multicolored little flowers. At a pretty pond, now rapidly drying up, we paused to consume the balance of the ice-cream. Then we dozed off in the grass until we were awakened by the voices of approaching hikers.
A nice stroll up gentle grade led us to a delightful little glade, from which our glacier and Tokalo Rock were visible. Here we built a little fire and soon were engaged in a pleasant tea. In midafternoon we climbed still higher to St. Andrews Lake and then up onto the Puyallup Cleaver, over goat trails to the last clump of timber, at 6475 ft. Here we decided to spend a few hours before the start of our long climb on Rainier. It was then 4.30. Set about building a fireplace sheltered from the high wind which raced along the cleaver, and then donned my heavy underwear.
When Hans returned from a reconnaissance with a fairly optimistic report for the work of the coming morning, I had the soup boiling away. The repast concluded with cheese, beef sandwiches, and tea made delightful with a wee drop of Martel Three Star. I photographed the sunset on the Tahoma Glacier, and then a great family of goats that grazed some 600 ft. below on a broad green bench. Before turning in at 8 we gathered a huge pile of dead wood for the morning fire. Going to bed was simply a matter of donning all our clothing and a woolen cap, and then spreading out in a hollow in the ground sheltered from the breeze. My poncho was then pulled over the two of us as a bed cover.
July 5. At 1.35 a.m. I pushed aside the poncho to start our long day. I never get much sleep in a bivouac and thought we might as well start things. A toasting fire was soon under full swing—very pleasant, although it had not been a cold night. Stuffed with bread, tea and grapefruit we packed up, donned puttees and were on the way along the snow-covered cleaver at 2.20, with the light of a lantern. The long glacier gleamed ahead of us. Everywhere it was still. At 4.15 we had read 8200 ft., along the gently sloping cleaver with its odd outcroppings of volcanic shale. Takolo Rock looked very intriguing as we passed it in the dusk.
At 8.20 it became obvious that the easy part of the climb was behind us. The cleaver was definitely unattractive above this point, as it was necessary to drop down considerably over a steep cliff of loose rock if one wished to resume the approach. This ridge, by the way, terminates at St. Andrews Rock at an altitude of 10,500 ft., from which, as we later saw, there is no approach to the Tahoma Glacier—which in any case would be the only approach to the summit from the Puyallup Cleaver.
Below us a steep snow slope descended to a nasty shale slide directly above the badly broken up glacier. We used our crampons on this snow slope and, removing them, climbed slowly down to the ice at about 8000 ft. The making of a contact with the glacier was extraordinarily difficult. A good ½ hour of searching was required to find a route through the towering seracs to the less broken but much crevassed central corridor. In vain Hans sought an ice ridge leading out into the less turbulent center of the ice field. Finally it was necessary to descend between steep ice towers, walking along a surface of broken ice-pillars, and then to climb steeply for about 60 ft., every hand and foothold cut in the ice and the insecure surface snow. Hans doing a masterly job up ahead was absolutely indispensable with his belays. At 7 we arrived on the glacier corridor, breathing much easier as the immediate climbing was very promising. Here we paused for a bite of food and some water.
We removed our crampons, so helpful in the preceding 2 hours and turned up the ice, with 6000 ft. of work still to come. From this point the gradient of the glacier was little more than 15-20° to about 9500 ft., but there were frequent longitudinal crevasses which necessitated long traverses to the right and left. The glacier is delightfully clean and the light from the seemingly bottomless crevasses was a blue of indescribable beauty. At one point above the 9600 ft. level we came to a tremendous cleft in the ice, only to be crossed by descending onto a wobbly snow bridge about 12 ft. below the level of the glacier. This necessitated some delicate belaying, which became more and more frequently necessary as we ascended.
The icy wind which had blown in the early morning soon died away, and the sun coming up over the crater glared down. To make matters worse the glacier, which had appeared to possess an easy gradient, steepened to 40° and then to an average gradient of 60°. At 9750 ft. we again resorted to crampons, which never left our weary legs till we reached Columbia Crest. At 10,000 ft. off came all the clothing that we could safely dispense with, and then we commenced the hard pull of the day. Step cutting was ausgeschlossen, so that we climbed for hours mostly on all fours, with the ice-axe head as a handy claw.
We soon climbed to a level above the top of St. Andrews Rock and were amused to see a wiry goat climbing on its narrow summit. To the west lay the beautiful glacial cirque below Sunset Rock, which is so named because of its marvelous colored strata. At 12,000 ft. we had a good rest, but our appetites had already begun to fail us. A little water and brandy revived us somewhat ; our canteen was commencing to empty and nowhere was a trickle of water to be seen. From time to time we pushed snow or icicles into the thing. At 12,800 ft. we arrived at the bergschrund, its lip some 8 ft. above the slope of the ice wall. Hans made the climb rather easily and was soon anchored about 15 ft. above me, but I kicked out the little ledge under the lip which he had used as a foothold, and had to go up on the rope, using the axe as an extra aid. Crampons on from 10 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. The névé above was slightly less steep than the wall of the glacier below, but we were now much fatigued, very thirsty and no longer capable of taking food. The sun was at its worst and the final 1500 ft. was a merciless drag up interminable slopes, with what appeared to be the ridge of Columbia Crest ever above our eyes. The aneroid in my pocket constantly reminded us of our increasing physical impotence, the last 600 ft. to the cap requiring all the effort left in our bodies. At 3.20 we arrived at the edge of the crater and removed our duffle.
Without the burdensome packs we quickly crossed the crater edge to Columbia Crest, where we searched out the summit register. We reached the top at 3.45 p.m. Back at our sacks we tried to make tea with Hans’ Mont Blanc stove as we were feverishly thirsty. The thing refused to burn to melt the snow, so we rested for a few minutes, taking in the unsatisfactory summit view. Only the crater névé and bits of Mt. Adams can be seen. Weary and thirsty we headed down the ordinary Gibraltar route, making Hans’ 152nd descent over this way. Hans and his brother guided over 4000 people to the top over the Gibraltar route in the years they guided on the mountain. We were using crampons again and made a furious descent to Camp Comfort, 12,300 ft., in about 50 minutes. This route is just a promenade in its present condition. We stopped for a bite of food, and debated whether it would be wise to try to brew some tea here. Hans reasoned that it would take ½ hr. at least and that there was sure to be water below in the chutes. He wished to get down to Camp Muir before dark. We both tried to eat some roast beef and bread at Camp Muir but could not. We descended rapidly to Gibraltar Rock, then into the treacherous chutes, where we had our drink— miserable water, with a fine suspension of volcanic rock powder.
As we passed the Anvil Rock fire observatory, Mr. Mead waved to us, and we afterward learned that he had tea ready for us. We had our noses set for Paradise, however, and were already consuming large quantities of ice-cream, milk and beer, which we did in truth enjoy later on. At 8.30 we arrived at Paradise.
July 8. After breakfast we took the train for Vancouver, calling off our intended trip to Mt. Baker as the weather was N. G. We had heard too that a party had climbed the Coleman Glacier—a route on which we had had designs. No movies and no beer were to be had in Vancouver on a Sunday.
July 9. Had our shoes re-nailed and bought fuel for our two mountain stoves. We were soon rolling along the bank of the Fraser (C. N.). At Boston Bar bought some luscious cherries from an Indian lad.
July 10. Watched train climb slowly toward Red Pass. The weather looked extremely bad, and when we looked for Robson found the old peak plated with fresh snow to 7000 ft. and topped off with black clouds at 10.000 ft. It started to pour as we reached Robson station. We arranged for packing up to Kinney Lake and engaged Heinrich Foertsch, of Berchtesgaden and Regensburg as cook. We found the Kinney Lake cabin in good shape and moved in. Hans ventured the opinion that the storm would be over by the 13th. Hans and I walked out on the flats at the end of the lake to view the high camp on Robson ( S. W.). It looked like a steep pull to come.
July 11. Up at 6. Another cloudy day. Leaving camp at 7.30 we packed food for 8 days and some equipment to the 6000-ft. camp on Robson’s S. W. buttress under Little Mt. Robson. Henry and I arrived at camp at 12.15, some time after Hans, all thoroughly convinced that we had done a good day’s work. Loads : Al, 55 lbs.; Hans, 55 lbs.; Henry, 65 lbs. After tea we prepared a level mound for my tent. At 3 the tent was up, with full storm supports placed, and we descended to Kinney Lake in the rain. The old A. C. C. trail is still of some service, although much covered with deadfall. In places there is some rather treacherous work to be done for unroped back-packers. Kinney Lake was reached in driving rain in 1 hr. 10 min., all being thoroughly soaked.
July 12. Awoke to the tune of torrential rain. Henry made us some real Schmarrn, which I enjoyed while wrapped in my sleeping bag. In mid-afternoon I walked up the trail toward Berg Lake. The N. W. ridge of Robson cleared to 9500 ft., showing a terrific plating of fresh snow.
July 13. An almost perfect sky. What a spectacle ! Fresh, gleaming snow reached down everywhere to 7000 ft. We all agreed that it would be useless to proceed to our high camp on Robson because several days of avalanching must take place before it would be sane to try the final ascent. So, after lunch, we all walked up to Emperor Falls. Today there was no difficulty in crossing the river, as the men felled a dead tree. Near White Falls the trail started to climb steeply up the cliffs. Here and there were sections of board bridge where there were no ledges in the cliffs to be utilized. Near the Falls of the Pool we reached a great patch of wild strawberries. Robson remained locked in clouds above 10,000 ft. We hastened home, stopping to study the superb ice gendarmes on the great N. W. ridge, which cleared every few moments to nearly 12,000 ft. in the late afternoon sun. We could see the part of the peak from which the late Newman D. Waffl had his death fall in 1930 while climbing alone. I expressed myself rather forcefully on the brutality of sending out a search party to find a corpse in such a dangerous series of ledges and avalanche couloirs. A man who falls to his death on Mt. Robson needs no undertaker.
July 14. An unruly porcupine of huge size created a great racket in attempting to plow through our front door in the wee hours of the morn. Weather dismal again. I was anxious to get to the high camp at 6000 ft. today, so we packed up our extra clothing and sleeping-bags, and made a start at 8.30. We were up before noon. The avalanche couloir opposite was in a pretty lively state all day, with plenty of snow and ice roaring down.
July 15. Another day of dubious weather. After lunch Hans and I packed up some wood, rope and heavy equipment, and set out to leave the stuff at a higher point. We cached our pack loads in a little cave under the cliff at 7000 ft. There was no use going higher. Back-packing is downright difficult work, and “luxury Alpinists” are out of their place on this peak.
July 16. After breakfasting in bed, with the rain beating down, I observed that another nasty day was at hand. Nothing to do but exhaust my few unread pages of German short stories. Avalanches roared down the couloir very frequently. The weather cleared a bit at 2, so Hans and I set out for a short climb to stretch our legs. Hans was soon back at rock rolling, sending big rocks crashing down for some 500 ft. below, this being his favorite sport.
July 17. After breakfast a goat was spotted on a green patch directly on the other side of the couloir from camp. No attention was paid the animal at first, but when Hans opened fire with a strenuous yodel it proceeded to give as fine a rock climbing demonstration as any of us had ever seen.
July 18. Weather still unsettled. I moved that we go up to the icefall bivouac, on the theory that we might enjoy a change of scenery and possibly try the old peak once anyway. The 6000-ft. camp is rather tiresome as there is no 10-ft. level stretch in the place. Leaving at 10 with food and equipment for a stay of two full days we climbed in one hour to the 7000-ft. cache, where we increased our loads. Our way led up a long snow bank, very steep up above, under the cliff up which we had to climb with our packs. We were glad when we reached the main 8000-ft. ledge which seems to run clear around to the N. W. ridge.
Three hours from timberline camp saw us over the rotten ridge below the first icefall, where we dropped our packs at the scene of the camp of other years. We found numerous cans of sardines and jam intact, but left them of course as their condition was dubious. The wind continued to blow from Kinney Lake and the camp was obviously going to be chilly. Hans discovered an excellent bivouac under a cliff facing the great icefall. Henry built a nice kitchen, and about six square feet was leveled off for sleeping space. This done, we climbed up the S. S. W. ridge for about 400 ft. to a vantage point above the first icefall. The climb was thrilling enough for the little time it took, it being necessary to dodge under the ice wall on the west side for a traverse of a few hundred feet.
A little sporty rock climbing brought us to our observation station, from which we had excellent views of the Ramparts, Clemenceau and the Cariboos. Hans indicated what he thought might be a safe route on the south side of Robson above us. The peak was deluged with fresh snow above 9000 ft. and presented a very wintry spectacle. Fresh avalanche tracks all over. The distant view was quite clear, but the whole scene was tinged with a peculiar grey-blue, apparently denoting continued inclemency. It was decided, however, to make a serious attempt on the morrow as my engagement with Hans was drawing near its conclusion. A rapid descent brought us to the snow couloir below the ice fall, which we crossed on the run, not trusting the impending seracs above.
A heavy chill set in as the evening glow deepened, and the glacier beside us announced that it had no intention of quieting down during the night. At half-hour intervals huge cakes broke off from the ice wall and crashed into the couloir with disturbing reverberations. It was rather difficult to sleep with this cannonading going on, but at least we were warm.
July 19. We all awoke at intervals during the night, mainly because of the glacial bombardment which was incessant.
(The diary ends at this point, with the following note: Attempt on Robson. Lv. camp 4.30; Arr. 11,200 ft. 8.00; Arr. camp 11.30. A subsequent letter follows.—Ed.)
July 23. In flight with United Airlines. Present elevation 12,000 ft. above Nebraska plain. Progressing toward New York at 150 miles per hour. I left Seattle at 6 a.m. today, securing some charming views of the Cascades. I shall be in N. Y. tomorrow long enough to trans-ship to a German vessel. I expect to do a tour of one of the finer Alpine peak areas abroad with Mr. Donald Brown and a first-class Swiss (not yet selected).
The past five weeks were spent with Hans Fuhrer in the Tetons, where we climbed the six most attractive peaks by various routes, new and old. We then made a new traverse of Mt. Rainier from southwest to southeast, making the first ascent of the old volcano by the Puyallup Cleaver and Tahoma Glacier. Later we spent two weeks in a vain attack on grim Mt. Robson in wretched weather, attaining a height of 11,000 ft. by a route new in part, on the south side. I consider all routes on the south side to be unsound this year.