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Sierra Register Committee

Sierra Register Committee. To carry on the work started in 1987 (see AAJ, 1988, pages 137-8), Mark Hoffman and I between February and April met with Dave Brower, Dick Leonard, Jules Eichorn and Hervey Voge to discuss problems which threatened the preservation and well-being of historic registers on summits. In April, Mark and I established the Sierra Register Committee. A short overview of our program follows: 1. Bolt down all Sierra Club register boxes to summits to prevent thefts; 2. Place instructional cards in all historic summit registers. The cards give the location and address of the archives: “PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE REGISTER UNTIL FULL. When it is full or clearly in peril of loss caused by the weather and elements, please mail it to Manuscripts Dept., University of California at Berkeley, Bancroft Library, Berkeley, CA 94720 so that it can be preserved in the Sierra Club Archives Mountain Summit Registers.” (These files may be viewed at the Bancroft Library.); 3. Replace all deteriorated register containers with new PVC containers. Outdated register containers are tobacco cans, sardine cans, glass jars, etc. Registers which are not weather damaged or full will be left on the summit; 4. Place photocopies of original registers on the summits from which they came; 5. Have manufactured three aluminum “Sierra Club” type boxes a year to place on summits deserving such; 6. Place new registers when and wherever needed. Upgraded containers will also be left if necessary.

In our first summer at work, we were quite successful. We placed our first register box on the Eichom Pinnacle, Cathedral Peak’s western summit. There had been no register there. We placed several photocopied registers on summits, removed two 1934 registers and a 1955 register for preservation, placed two 1934s in new containers, placed five registers on summits where none were present and upgraded six more. Before taking the registers to the archives at Bancroft, we obtained three registers dating from 1897, 1910 and 1940 from climbers who had removed them as long ago as 1975 but did not know where to send them. The summer was not without tragedy. On August 11, Mark Hoffman and I were descending from Crag #8 in the Devil’s Crags. Mark stepped on a refrigerator-sized talus block, which started a massive rock slide. He was carried for 150 feet down the chute before disappearing over a 50-foot cliff. Despite my summoning help, he did not survive the night. Anyone with questions, comments or offers to aid in our project should contact Sierra Register Committee, c/o Robin Ingraham, Jr., PO Box 3141, Merced, CA 95344-1141.

Robin Ingraham, Jr., Sierra Register Committee