American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Europe, Early American Ascents in the Alps

  • Notes
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1949

Early American Ascents in the Alps. Through the efforts of Mr. Oscar Houston, the A.A.C. has received an unusual inscribed alpenstock, the end of which is turned in the form of a chamois horn, though it is entirely of wood and continuous with the shaft. The spiral inscription reads: “D. P. Sackett, Juillet 1873, Chamonix- Montanvert, Jardin, Mer de Glace, Mauvais Pas, Chapeau, Source d’Arveiron, Gl. des Bossons, Pierre Pointue, Mont Blanc dessous laiguille du Midi.” The last undoubtedly means that the owner reached a point on the Glacier des Bossons near the foot of the Aiguille du Midi, and does not imply that he went either to the Grands Mulets or to the summit of Mont Blanc.

Darius Parmalee Sackett was born at Tallmadge, Ohio, on 22 September 1842; he died at New Hartford, N. Y., on 1 April 1912. He graduated from Yale in the Class of 1866. After graduate study he taught for two years at Genesee Academy, N. Y., and then was principal of Leicester Academy, Mass., for three years, and of Hopkins Academy, Oakland, Cal. For a time he engaged in stock-raising at Santa Barbara, but about 1876 established the Sackett School in Oakland. In 1896 he removed to Brooklyn and for 18 years thereafter was connected with Charles Scribner’s Sons. There are now no surviving relatives, and no further information on his Alpine tour can be obtained. The name of Sackett does not occur in any of the published lists of those who ascended Mont Blanc.

Accompanying the alpenstock there is a tourist cane inscribed “Interlaken” and surmounted by a chamois horn.

J. M. T.

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