American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

American Alpine Club Research Fund, 1946

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  • Publication Year: 1947

American Alpine Club Research Fund, 1946

Joel E. Fisher, Weldon F. Heald and Maynard M. Miller

The American Alpine Club Research Fund was established in 1945 to promote scientific, literary, educational or historical research and publication related to mountaineering, geology or geography. Donations to this Research Fund have been ruled by the United States Treasury as deductible for income tax purposes. Christine L. Orcutt, Weldon F. Heald and Joel E. Fisher are the appointed trustees. In the ensuing pages, projects of the year 1946 are reviewed.

1. BIBLIOGRAPHY OF AMERICAN MOUNTAIN ASCENTS

The American Alpine Club Research Fund sponsored publication in May 1946 of the 299-page Bibliography of American Mountain Ascents, edited by Joel E. Fisher. This bibliography is an index, by mountain peaks, of the following journals, through 31 December 1945 :

Alpine Journal

American Alpine Journal

Appalachia

Canadian Alpine Journal

Club Andino Bariloche

Club Andino Chileno

Harvard Mountaineering Club Bulletin

Mazama

Mountaineers

Sierra Club Bulletin

Trail and Timberline

The peaks are arranged according to the several geographical areas of North, Central and South America. Copies may be obtained from the American Alpine Club. The price is $2.50, postpaid. Proceeds will be credited to the Research Fund.

2. STUDIES ON FORBES DIRT BANDS

In 1942 I published a paper on Forbes dirt bands—the con- centric parabolic bands of dirt observed on certain few large glaciers, notably the Mer de Glace. The conclusion was that these bands represent the survival, on the lower (dry) trunk glacier, of the dust accumulated on the surface of the névé above the icefall, the elevation of the area of the névé close to the brink of the icefall being necessarily low enough to insure greater melting than accumulation of snow over the years. The theory was offered that this slightly dirty surface of the névé would ride on down through the icefall, surviving as the surface of great glacier-wide blocks of ice which slither down, fairly intact, through the icefall, and that glacier-wide crevasses between such blocks in the icefall would eventually fill up with clean ice which would slough off from their sides, resulting in inlays of clean ice, at the base of the icefall, between the stripes of surviving dirty surface, when the whole re-consolidated into a flat glacier.

It seemed desirable to carry on some experiments to test this theory. It was therefore decided to clean off the surface of a substantial area, to the depth of three inches, on the névé above the icefall on several glaciers where such Forbes bands had been identified. Some years later, bands formed below the icefalls on these glaciers could be re-examined. If the cleaned areas survived as clean paths cutting across the bands, the theory would have been substantiated. In the Alps, the Géant (source of the Mer de Glace), the Trift (Gotthardmassif) and the Arolla Glaciers appeared to be suitable for experiments; in the Canadian Rockies, the Alexandra Glacier was a possibility.

Arrangements having been made with the Treasury Department for the purchase of sufficient free Swiss francs, Felix Julen, guide, of Zermatt, was engaged and instructed by correspondence, and in personal talks with Miss Ursula Corning, as to the requirements for the experiments; and he was provided with the necessary maps, funds and equipment. The season of 1946 proved to be exceedingly snowy in the Western Alps. Repeatedly Julen reported that the névé above the icefalls on all the glaciers was constantly too deeply covered with fresh snow to permit him and his assistant porters to clear away the surface to the underlying (dry) névé. It seemed that all experiments would have to be deferred until 1947. Eventually, in late September, he found that enough snow had disappeared on the Trift Glacier névé. Accordingly he took a corps of porters over to Meiringen and cleaned an area 100 meters long by seven meters wide, to a minimum depth of five centimeters, at the point indicated on the first map.

Despite the excessive snow on the Glacier du Géant, an alternate experiment was performed there. Felix Julen was again in charge. Thirty small piles of brilliantly colored glass beads were deposited at intervals of five meters along a straight line, 150 meters in length, above the icefall. Both ends of the line were marked by long wooden poles securely driven into the snow. As this line moves down through the icefall, it is hoped to measure and re-measure the spacing of the piles of beads, and thus to conclude whether the glacier-wide crevasses in the icefall are closed up by the coming together of their two sides, or whether they fill up with ice debris sloughing off from their sides. Also, if the piles of beads are found to survive only in the dark bands below the ice-fall, the theory will again be substantiated. It will be some 15 years before this can be fully determined. The original (1946) line is indicated on the second map.

Meanwhile, John C. Oberlin and Fred Ayres had kindly offered to attempt an equivalent experiment (dyeing the surface of the névé above the icefall) on the Alexandra Glacier in the Canadian Rockies. That icefall is exceedingly difficult, as photographs will show—and it is a hard one even to approach. They made a valiant effort, but were finally compelled to give up the attempt to reach the névé.

Sufficient funds are on deposit in Zurich to insure the completion of the Swiss experiments. During 1947, if snow conditions permit, work will proceed on the Arolla Glacier. Final conclusions will not be available until about 1960, by which time the surface areas cleaned of dust should have moved down through the icefall to the lower dry glacier. It is expected that the cleaned areas will then appear as clean white areas cutting across one or more parabolic dirt bands, below the icefall.

Joel E. Fisher

3. PALISADE GLACIER SURVEY, SIERRA NEVADA

Glaciers are the world’s most sensitive indicators of climate changes. Their life depends on a delicate balance of interrelated climatic factors, and they wax or wane with the slightest change in any one of numerous variables.

Attempts have been made to correlate variations in glaciers with changes in climate, both in tracing the past and in predicting the future. So far, the study of the bones of dead glaciers—their moraines, cirques and tracings on rocks—has been more successful in reconstructing past climates than have the measurements of variations in existing ice bodies in proving anything about the present and future. However, the measuring, recording and systematic photographing of living glaciers is relatively new, and it is hoped that the mass of data which is being assembled each year will lead eventually to definite mathematical relationships between glacial changes and climatic trends. Then we may be able to predict tendencies in climate upon which may be based practical estimates of snow storage and water supply.

Such studies, necessarily halted during World War II, were resumed this past season both in this country and abroad. One of them, a survey of the Palisade Glacier in the Sierra Nevada of California, was undertaken in September 1946 as a project of the American Alpine Club Research Fund.

The Palisade Glacier was selected for study because it is one of a group of ice bodies which have recently retreated until they are at the critical stage of delicate balance between névé fields and true glaciers. These small icefields would seemingly be the first to respond to minor changes in climate. And it is the present glaciers of the Sierra which hold the key to the past glaciation of the West Coast.

The survey proposed to map the Palisade Glacier on a large scale with reasonable accuracy, the map forming a base upon which changes in the glacier will be recorded on overlays of the same scale. These overlay maps will be made from resurveys of the glacier at suitable intervals in the future. A careful check with monthly climate data of South Lake, the nearest mountain weather station, will be made in an endeavor to discover a relationship between the climate in that part of the Sierra and the observed variations in the glacier. In addition, comparison photographs will be taken at each resurvey from known points established by the survey in 1946.

The basic survey was accomplished, and the map of the Palisade Glacier has been drawn. Nothing is claimed for the Survey, however, except that it furnishes additional data for the extremely important study of world glaciation in relation to climate. Frankly, its comparative importance resembles that of a rivet in the Empire State Building.

I will not burden this short report with an account of the actual surveying of the glacier. Anyone who is interested in the procedure will receive full details by writing me in care of the American Alpine Club.

There are approximately 50 known active glaciers in the Sierra Nevada. They are found from Sawtooth Ridge on the northern boundary of Yosemite National Park to Split Mountain, a distance of 105 miles. Most of them are small, clinging precariously to life in shady cirques high up under the loftiest summits at elevations of 12,000 to 13,000 ft. Even Palisade Glacier, the largest, is under a mile and a half in greatest dimension. Nevertheless, it is remarkably impressive in its alpine setting of 14,000-ft. peaks, and it exhibits all the characteristics of much greater glaciers— bergschrunds, crevasses, glacier tables and moraines—lacking only the tumbled séracs of icefalls.

The glacier is one of a chain of ten ice bodies which lie along the N. E. slope of the Palisades for a distance of ten miles. Probably all of them have glacial motion and are thus the southernmost known glaciers in the United States, but until the icefields of the Kaweahs and the Mount Whitney region are thoroughly studied for motion a positive statement cannot be made.

The Palisade Glacier is located in Inyo County, California, at Latitude 37° 06' N., Longitude 118° 31' W. It is situated in a double, north-facing cirque at the head of Big Pine Creek, which flows down a steep mountain canyon to Owens Valley at the E. base of the range. The glacier occupies a gently sloping shelf or basin measuring one and a half miles from E. to W. by about a mile from N. to S. The lower edge of the basin drops steeply 1500 to 2000 ft. to the canyon of Big Pine Creek, while it is backed by a precipitous headwall averaging about 1000 ft. in height.

The high points of the headwall overlooking the glacier are, from E. to W., Mount Gayley (13,550 ft.), Mount Sill (14,100 ft.), North Palisade (14,254 ft.) and Thunderbolt Peak (14,000 ft., plus).1 Further to the N. and W., completing the rim of the basin, although not a part of the headwall, are Mount Winchell (13,749 ft.) and Agassiz Needle (13,882 ft.). The last two peaks contribute no snow to the Palisade Glacier but support small glaciers on their N. sides. Mount Sill also has a glacier under its N. E. face, which drains into the South Fork of Big Pine Creek, the next basin to the S. E.

The Palisade Glacier is divided into an eastern and western lobe by a buttress running N. E. from Thunderbolt Peak. Each lobe ends in a distinct snout separated by a cleaver, but a large portion of the ice in the lower section of the W. lobe is furnished by an overflow from the E. lobe. This “icefall” spills from the central section of the E. lobe down a steep slope between the buttress and the cleaver.

The eastern, or main, lobe rises directly under the headwall between Mount Sill and Thunderbolt Peak and extends 5475 ft., measured along the center line of flow, to the terminal moraine beneath which the ice disappears. This lobe measures approximately 3000 ft. at its widest part. The W. lobe extends at a comparatively steep angle along the headwall under Thunderbolt Peak and unnamed points (13,850 ft. and 13,650 ft.) to Agassiz Col, where the headwall breaks down at 13,000 ft. The distance from the col to the western snout along the center line is approximately 5000 ft. The greatest overall dimension across the two lobes is 6450 feet. This is an almost E.-W. line from Agassiz Col to a point under Mount Gayley. The glacier has a vertical extent of about 1000 ft., the main lobe dropping from a maximum of about 13,200 ft. against the headwall to 12,250 ft. at the terminal moraine. The moraine-covered snout of the W. lobe ends at an elevation of approximately 12,075 ft.

Along the upper margin of the glacier, beneath the headwall, are almost continuous bergschrunds separating the moving ice from precipitous masses of névé and numerous ice-filled couloirs which extend in places to the top of the headwall. Late in the season these bergschrunds attain a width of 15 ft., leaving 20-ft. névé walls on their upper sides. Several secondary bergschrunds develop below the main ones, but on a much reduced scale.

In 1946 very few crevasses were in evidence, these mostly concentrated below the N. W. buttress of Mount Sill. Even the “icefall” between the two lobes showed a remarkably smooth surface. Although the entire glacier was not visited by the survey party, the largest crevasses observed were not over three feet wide. In 1933, however, Kehrlein reported two major centers of crevasses in the E. and W. sides of the upper main lobe.

Nineteen forty-six was a poor year in which to observe surface features of the glacier. Although very little snow fell during the winter, the past ten seasons have averaged heavier than normal. This has resulted in a large part of the glacier being snow-covered throughout each season. Comparison pictures of 1940 and 1946 show a noticeable increase of névé above the bergschrund, with an extension and deepening of snow on the glacier surface which has obliterated numerous rocks and the lower parts of the main lobe’s medial moraine. In addition, four inches of new snow covered the glacier during the period of the survey. Glacier tables, a feature of the Palisade Glacier, were poorly developed in 1946.

It is impossible to estimate the extent of ice in the Palisade Glacier, the lower ends of both lobes being completely moraine- covered. The lateral moraines of the main lobe come together in a bow, forming a terminal moraine nearly 50 ft. high, under which the ice disappears. A small pond, collecting the glacier’s surface drainage, has formed on the ice at this point. The well defined moraines of the main lobe continue below the present terminal moraine and form two distinct snouts, the easterly one ending approximately 1600 ft. distant from the present visible ice, at an elevation of about 12,075 ft. The principal drainage, however, issues from the short W. moraine at approximately the same altitude.

Perhaps fully 40% of the glacier’s W. lobe is completely moraine-covered. Its lower portion is hidden under a confusion of rocks, without a trace of visible ice, ending precipitously in Robins Egg Lake.

Ice may underlie the entire extent of the moraines, as is shown on the map, or it may have almost completely melted away. It is impossible to say. Ice is visible in several places within the mor- raines some distance from the active portions of the glacier, but this may have been formed by the freezing of water-saturated silt. The lower faces of both snouts of the main lobe moraines were actively avalanching in 1946, appearing well saturated with moisture. Such instability may be recent or, at least, unusual, for the avalanched material was of small extent. Kehrlein reports, however, that this condition prevailed in 1933.

Of additional interest are the two small streams issuing from under the E., or longer, moraine of the glacier’s main lobe. These milky riverlets appear to be of recent origin as the deposit of glacial silt in their beds was infinitesimal compared to the layers built up by the main drainage streams. The feeling, although subjective and not susceptible to proof at this time, was of renewed activity and instability in the moraines of the E. lobe. The W. lobe moraines were not closely inspected in 1946.

It is interesting to note that if ice completely underlies the moraine system of the Palisade Glacier its extent, although not its thickness, is as great today as at any time during the past 4000 years; for these raw and unstable moraines do not represent the last stages of Pleistocene glaciation, but rather outline the exact maximum extent of a recent resurgence of Sierra glaciation—a sort of “Little Ice Age” which is not over yet.

Glaciers in the Sierra Nevada have proved especially helpful in checking and plotting the variations in climate since the last Pleistocene ice maximum, known as the Wisconsin Stage of glaciation. But François Matthes of the United States Geological Survey was the first to realize that present-day California glaciers are not remnants of Pleistocene glaciation. Those huge ice streams melted away completely about 4000 years ago. Dr. Matthes pointed out that the raw, new moraines of the present glaciers, many of them containing stagnant ice, have no connection with the larger moraines some miles down the valleys, which are obviously several thousand years old.

This is true of the Palisade Glacier. Below the new moraines is a steep, rough granite slope carved by ancient glacial action but showing no recent morainal material. Enough soil has been built up in pockets and cracks to support an extensive open forest of lodgepole and foxtail pines. The survey party cut a branch, six inches in diameter, from a tree growing within 800 ft. of the front of the main lobe moraine. Its rings showed 168 years of growth. The trunk was twice as large, or possibly 300 years old, while trees of three times greater diameter were observed 100 ft. below. Dead trees of large size lay within the forest in various stages of decay, so that it is reasonably safe to assume that the Palisade Glacier has not had greater extension for at least 1000 years. The nearest Pleistocene moraines appear to be at First and Second Lakes, two miles down the canyon of Big Pine Creek.

Related observations brilliantly check Dr. Matthes’ deductions. Owens Lake, a desert body of water without outlet, on the E. side of the Sierra Nevada, was tested for the amount of salinity or mineral salts it contained. It was found that the present salt content would take roughly 4000 years to collect. Borings showed that the lake inherits no salinity from the much larger Pleistocene body of water, since those ancient salts are buried under sediments on the modern lake floor. Therefore there must have been a warmer, more arid period about 4000 years ago, at the time that Owens Lake dried up. This was the period when all Sierra glaciers disappeared, for today they are much too small to withstand any further warming or drying of the climate.

But the greatest independent corroboration of Dr. Matthes’ theory is brought to light by a study of ocean levels during past glacial stages. The amount of ice now covering the Earth, according to R. L. Daly, is equivalent to about 4,300,000 cubic miles of water. This ice, if released through melting, would raise the sea level 164 ft. According to the same authority, the volume of ice at its maximum was enough to have lowered the oceans 246 ft. below their present levels.

Hawaii, Samoa and other volcanic islands of the Pacific rise from an ocean floor which has probably remained stable for millions of years. Ancient sea levels can plainly be seen on these islands. The story told by these strand lines of the Ice Age and succeeding periods exactly checks with land observations made in glaciated regions. The lowest level, now over 200 ft. below the ocean surface, made during the maximum glaciation, comes within a few feet of Daly’s mathematical estimate of the amount of water removed from the ocean and locked up in ice fields.

Since then there have been several fluctuations above and below present sea level, but the most pertinent is a strand line shown by marine fossils to be about 4000 years old. It absolutely corroborates Dr. Matthes’ theory about Sierra glaciers. The ocean at that time was about 25 ft. higher than it is now. This means that 4000 years ago there were 655,000 cubic miles of water in the oceans that are now locked up on land in the form of glacial ice. Since Sierra glaciers at present are barely holding their own, and several have disappeared in recent years, we can be certain that there was no ice in California 4000 years ago.

So if we can eventually connect observed glacial changes with climate fluctuations, evaluate them quantitatively and check with related observations, such as changes in ocean level, we shall have achieved a method of long-range climate prediction. Such predictions would not be for months or even for years, but for centuries. If the Palisade Glacier Survey contributes any useful data toward this end, no matter how small, it will be worthwhile.

I wish to express my thanks to Messrs. John D. Bascom, Pasadena engineer; Oliver Kehrlein, of San Francisco, writer and member of the Committee on Glaciers, American Geophysical Union; and Albert S. Marshall, artist, of Three Rivers, California, for the vigorous part they took in the Survey. Also gratitude is due to Mr. L. E. Holmes, manager of Glacier Lodge, for putting the upper lodge at the disposal of the Survey party free of cost. This made it possible to carry on the work during a period of cold, stormy weather. I greatly appreciate the assistance, financial and otherwise, of Mrs. Philip Dana Orcutt and Mr. Joel Ellis Fisher, trustees of the American Alpine Club Research Fund. Without their full cooperation, of course, there would have been no

Palisade Glacier Survey.

Weldon F. Heald

4. ALASKAN GLACIER STUDIES, 1946

Realizing that I was to be in Alaska for the St. Elias Expedition during the first half of the summer, William O. Field, Jr., of the American Geographical Society, suggested that, if time and circumstance should permit, I make an effort to continue some of the glacier studies which we had pursued together on his expedition to the Panhandle of Southeastern Alaska in the summer of 1941. With a grant from the American Geographical Society, another from the American Alpine Club Research Fund, and a guarantee of material aid from the United States Forest Service, William Latady (a geology student from Harvard) and myself (interested in these studies for a Master’s Thesis at Columbia University) made preparations to spend a month and a half in the field during August and September. Our itinerary was a tight one; and, as I reflect on the matter now, I am amazed that we actually accomplished all we had planned.

Beginning at Icy Bay, where we came out from the St. Elias Range early in August, we started a survey which was to end at the Stikine River in mid-September. During the interim, over 1500 miles of rugged coast were covered by boat, by foot, and by air. The result: observations on over 80 glaciers, including transit surveys on eleven ice fronts, ground photographic surveys on 32, and aerial pictures of at least 70 of those seen. A number of new survey stations were set up this year as well, all of which should be useful for later comparative investigation.

The glaciers in Icy Bay, of course, were observed by foot and by air, our ground notes being the first obtained in about 50 years. A transit was carried into the field here, but repeated bad weather bogged down all efforts, and we had to remain satisfied with the photographic record made in June. Two later flights over the Malaspina, and the Guyot and Tyndall Glacier fronts, completed an up-to-date sequence of summer observations here. The glaciers in upper Yakutat Bay, including Disenchantment Bay, Nunatak Fiord, and Russell Fiord, were studied by using a 50-ft. Libby- McNeil fishing boat generously loaned to us for a week by Mr. Sorensen, the superintendent of the cannery in Yakutat. Wayne Axelson, the skipper of this vessel, was most skillful and cooperative in taking us right up to the ice fronts and landing us on the various capes and vantage points chosen for stations. Here Turner, Hubbard and Nunatak Glaciers were triangulated, and photo stations set up at Hidden and Fourth Glaciers.

On August 14th we flew south to Juneau, taking aerial shots en route of some of the glaciers on the W. side of the Fairweather Range. Covering the ice in Glacier Bay by boat and by plane took another week of intense effort. Thanks to the consideration of Mr. Douglas Brown, of Meriden, Conn., who gave us passage on his chartered boat during his exploration of the far reaches of Glacier Bay, we reoccupied quite a number of our 1941 ground stations and returned to Juneau with new data on the Muir, McBride, Plateau, Grand Pacific, Ferris, Margerie, Lamplugh and Johns Hopkins Glaciers, as well as aerial records of most of the other ice fronts in Muir Inlet, Reid Arm and Reid Inlet.

Next we accomplished four days of transit work on the Taku River glaciers E. of Juneau. Here triangulations of Taku, Hole- in-Wall, and the East and West Twin Glaciers were performed, and photo records were made of the other important fronts: Norris, Wright and Talsekwe Glaciers. This same district, including the Juneau ice-cap and the interesting glaciers around Devil’s Paw on the upper Taku, was photographed carefully from the air. Before going any farther south, I made a late afternoon flight up into the Chilkat country W. of Haines and made the first aerial photographic record of the 15 spectacular and beautiful glaciers of the Takhin and Tsirku River Valleys. This permitted me to view the extensive snowfields of the Muir Glacier system and to see a country veritably “standing on end” in its ruggedness between the Tsirku and Lynn Canal. Of especial interest here were the broad lobate termini of the de Blondeau, Takhin and Bertha Glaciers and the amazing shrinkage on the Tsirku Glacier itself. In addition, unusual annular banding was observed on several minor tongues. Lynn Canal glaciers were photographed on the return flight.

On September 1st, after two bad stretches of rain, we headed south to Petersburg at the beginning of what was to be two weeks of unbroken sunshine, most helpful to our plans. On this flight we succeeded in getting aerials of a number of glaciers hitherto unphotographed, and also some valuable information to be of use in the ground survey we were hoping to conduct in this same area. From Petersburg ten days were spent, working from Forest Service boats, studying changes in the glaciers of Thomas Bay, Frederick Sound and LeConte Bay, where new information was gained from triangulations of the Baird, Patterson and LeConte Glaciers. Again a photo record was made on these, as well as new observations on an unnamed tongue 12 miles up Muddy River from Brown Cove. Two flights were made from Petersburg, the second being for the purpose of covering the ice of the lower Stikine River and the Thomas Bay district, and of photographing the high plateau around Devil’s Thumb and Kate’s Needle. Chartering a fishing boat to take us back to Juneau, we were able on the way north to complete surveys of the glaciers in Holkham Bay, particularly of the Dawes Glaciers at the head of Endicott Arm. Time and bad ice conditions prevented entry into Tracy Arm, and we returned to Juneau on September 13th, just in time to catch a Canadian Pacific steamer south. Having already made aerial observations and photographs on the two Brown and the two Sawyer Glaciers, we considered this last mission complete.

My plan had been to gain at least a cursory view of what has been going on in the advance and recession of all southeastern Alaskan glaciers during the past few decades. So little work has been done on the subject that any such collection of data is of extreme value and interest. The regional aspect of the problem is definitely of import, and resolutions of the results we and other investigators have obtained may well be useful indices of climatic change over all of North America. Our notes have not been edited as yet, our maps have not been made, nor our conclusions synthesized, but certain patent facts may be presented here. There seems to be a general retreat of ice fronts throughout southeast Alaska; however, strangely enough, some of the larger ice streams are behaving unconformably. The Guyot Glacier has shown great recession, opening up between 10 and 15 miles of Icy Bay since 1888. One hundred miles down the coast, the Hubbard Glacier, with its four-mile-wide front in Yakutat Bay, seems to be in approximately the same position as in 1909; apparently it has been “holding its own,” so to speak, for 37 years. Another 100 miles to the southeast, the Muir front has shrunk from its once magnificent size to a width of less than a mile and, since 1941 alone, has receded a mile and three-quarters, or a total of 12 miles since 1903. On the other hand, an additional 100 miles farther south-east, we found the great Taku Glacier not stagnant, not retreating, but advancing, with its distributary, Hole-in-Wall Glacier. Both of them exhibited a most amazing surge since our last visit in 1941. The Hole-in-Wall Glacier has come forward and covered all the survey stations we set up five years ago, advancing from a quarter to a half a mile in this time and thickening considerably. Since the turn of the century, Taku has come forward no less than three miles and is at present pushing through mature forests. Observations on the Baird Glacier, still another hundred miles S. of Taku, showed this year that it is beginning to recede, after having reached, in 1935, its maximum position in centuries. From such startling facts, coupled with the new record which we are now able to construct, we find that our regional problem is indeed a complex one, but hardly the less fascinating.

The discovery of two sites of interglacial forest remains; finding nine glaciers showing interesting banding structures, at least three of which we believe definitely to be Forbes banding (the first reported in Alaska); gaining new data on vertical shrinkage; photographing many new ice masses; and, in general, the scope and fascination of the investigation brought to the summer’s field work delights above and beyond the normal pleasures to be derived from grand scenery and adventurous travel. Here indeed mountaineering, exploration and science meet on common ground.

Maynard M. Miller

5. REPORT OF THE TREASURER, A.A.C, RESEARCH FUND November 1, 1945 to October 31, 1946

Research Fund: Balance, November 1, 1945

(consisting of contributions, $100 and $25)

Receipts :

$ 125.00



Contributions, $100 and $100

Profit on sale of 50 Corning Glass Works (carried for benefit of

200.00





Research Fund) 

530.86



Proceeds, sales of Bibliography of American Mountain Ascents.

75.00



Disbursements :

$ 930.86



Grant to Maynard M. Miller, Alaskan Glacier Studies

$ 200.00



Grant to Weldon F. Heald, Survey of Palisade Glacier

275.00





$ 475.00



Balance, October 31, 1946

(carried in American Alpine Club funds with Chase National Bank, New York City)

$ 455.86





(Studies on Forbes dirt bands in the Alps and publication of Bibliography of American Mountain Ascents contributed to the Fund)



Respectfully submitted,

Joel E. Fisher

1It is interesting to note that, if the Survey’s field data are accurate, Thunderbolt Peak becomes California’s fourteenth 14,000-ft. peak. The Survey calculated its altitude as 14,090 ft. This figure may be somewhat high, but it is doubtful that it is in error by as much as 90 ft. The U. S. Geological Survey gives the altitude of Thunderbolt as between 13,900 and 14,000 ft. It is a distinct peak, separated from North Palisade by a 500-ft. gap— a deeper gap than separates the latter from Mount Sill to the E.

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