Journal I : Expedition to Glacier Bay, Alaska, Summer 1890

August 31st

Sunday. Weather today fine. We decided to try and go to g5, spend the night there, doing plane table work in the afternoon and tomorrow, if possible to make an excursion without packs to f2. I carried the canvas bag with blankets, coffee pot, wood, and provisions for three days. McBride carried the plane table, Kodak and some wood. We started about half-past seven. The ice was rough and hummocky. Soon we encountered deep and long crevasses, which a little further were crossed by a second set, requiring us eventually to jump over them; this was very fatiguing with our packs; the crevasses became worse and we soon saw that we would be unable to reach our goal. We stopped having traversed about 1/3 of the distance, and set up the plane table and worked for an hour or so; we then returned to our the nunatak left our packs at the side of the glacier and ascended a mountain just about west of Black Cap and a little higher. We ascended a small glacier, got above the snow line and tied up; we walked about two miles over neve and then struck a snow slope which took us right to the top. The view was beautiful; i made three sketches. We saw to the west the place where Muir Glacier descends by another channel to Glacier Bay, uniting with another large glacier which comes from the west. The top of our mountain was capped with black as are the other peaks in this group. This is due to dykes which run thro' the granite of the main peaks and weather black at the very top. this dyke material seems harder than the granite at the top, but often on the sides it is softer and forms the stream beds.

We had a glorious glissade down the snow slope, about seven hundred and fifty feet. We were an hour going up, and five minutes sliding down. We reached camp at 7:30. This nunatak like G is of hard light grey granite, and is polished and scratched by the glacier, and has great grooved running in the direction of the scratches, (N 25 W). It is also covered with granite debris.

Tonight the sky is not so clear; the few clouds have a somewhat lurid look; so we have put everything in the tent.

August 30th

Saturday. McBride and I started this morning at 8 am for a three days trip on the W side of glacier. We rowed the boat over with the blankets and plane table. There are enough provisions left at Camp #5, so we did carry away more. Morse and Adams paddled over in the canoe to help us carry up the boat on the beach and to take some photographs of the buried forest. We shouldered our packs, about 30 lbs each, at nine o'clock and reached Secondary Camp #5 at 11:40. We found everything in good conditions; the tent was standing as we left it and the provisions had not gotten wet. After lunch we started went up to the top of the nunatak with the plane table and McBride's Kodak. On the way up we had a fine bath in a small lake pond where the water was very warm. I worked about three hours and a half at the top (I); and returned to Camp 5, where we had a jolly fire.

August 29th

Friday. While we were looking out for the Elder this morning we saw a small tug working its way thro' the ice and coming up the inlet. It turned out that the Elder ran against an ice-berg near the mouth of Glacier Bay and had to lay up up a day or two for repairs; she had but about twenty five passengers, and sent most of them up to see the glacier in this tug which belongs at Bartlett's Bay. Cushing, Pike and Casement, went down on the tug. Cushing was anxious to see more of the Pacific Coast, and Casement wanted to stay and see more of this region, and I also had more work to do here. The weather today is fine with a strong wind from the north. Morse and McBride went out this afternoon to measure the motion of the stakes that were put in the ice near the east side of the Glacier some three weeks ago. They found the motion inappreciable of the rapid decay of the glacier. Adams and I went to D and to M with the plane table and mapped the shore.

The boys have made bunks in the house and the four of us who are still here will now live in the house, and by degrees pack up the things and take down the tents. The boys have undertaken all the cooking and have relieved me of this, which was very considerate of them. They have all along attended to the meteorological observations under Mr. Cushing's directions, so that I have not had to give any attention to that subject.

August 28th

Thursday. Cushing, Pike and I went up the 3000 ft hill today. The view was glorious. I took 11 photographs, one series being the moraines, and one being the ice front. The view looking down on it is striking; just now there is a deep indentation and a projecting point like Prof. Wright figures, but much less marked. Pike shot three ptarmigan on the way up.

August 27th

Wednesday. Last night we had a hard blow from the south and very hard rain.

August 26th

Tuesday. Gary Pike of Chicago, a friend of Casement's, we invited a[s] Casement's guest to spend a week with us in camp, which and he accepted. When we started away (yesterday, 26th) Cushing and Morse started with a small sled "Pup" for Granite Canon, and Casement and Pike went down the bay some ten miles to shoot.

This morning about 2 am we were awakened by a little drizzle on our faces. We got up and set up the tent. By daylight it was raining hard, harder than it has rained this summer. Everything indicated a settled rain for several days; we decided to leave the tent and provisions, and taking only our blankets and the plane table to push for home. The oil-stove made us some coffee and warmed some roast-beef in the tent, and then donning our oil skins, off we started. We reached the boat at 11:40 and camp about three quarters of an hour later, with the rain dripping from our oilskins, and pretty wet all thro'. The other two parties had arrived just before we did and were in the same condition. We had a good laugh at each other. We changed our clothes, rubbed well with alcohol, and felt no disagreeable effects of the netting. The house is full of wet clothes hanging up to dry. The rain continued hard all day and within 12 hours rained nearly an inch.

August 25th

Weather improved. I went to bed early last night and [felt?] much better this morning. Adams McBride and I left camp at 12, took "Maud's Blonde Friend" in the boat with us and crossed the inlet. We carried a tent, blankets, and provisions for three days; also the plane table. We packed the things on the sled, and Adams and McBride pulling and I pushing we went the west side of G to the nunatak beyond. The ice was very hard to pull the sled over. We reached the place for camp at 5:20 pm. Although Fairweather was beautifully distinct in the morning, the wind from the north was feeble, and the barometer was low and towards evening- the clouds began to gather. Fearing that that tomorrow might be cloudy, I left the two boys to make camp and taking the plane table ascended some distance up the nunatak and id some work. I regained camp a little after eight. We brought with us the small oil stove; not feeling sure of finding wood, but we nevertheless did find enough for a camp-fire. The camp was on decomposed granite covering the solid rock. We had forgotten the rubber blankets, and therefore spread down our oil-skins, over which we spread the tent and slept with nothing over us but our blankets.

August 23rd

Sunday. Still bad weather. I have caught cold in my bowels, probably while making magnetic observations. Mr. Cushing and the boys worked today covering the cracks in the house, and have made the house much more comfortable. They also put some cement on the chimney which now draws very well. I lay down most of the day

August 22nd

Friday. Today I began magnetic work, and spent most of the day in with the declinometer. The Queen arrived in the morning; the tourists did not seem so curious as usual and did not flock about our tents. Capt Carroll brought us some more lumber for the house, but I doubt if we shall have time to put it on.

August 21st

Wednesday Thursday. Today we spent in camp, doing nothing but resting; Prof Muir leaves us tomorrow so I have given him all the points I could as to the location and distance of various mountains and trib. glaciers. He also gave me information regarding the Main [Muir?] Lake and its valley. Mr. Cushing, Adams and Prof. Muir, spent a day down the inlet during our absence and had a good time.

August 20th

Tuesday Wednesday. We did not wake up this morning until nine o'clock. The weather was cloudy and all the summits hidden so we decided to push for Camp Muir.

We started at 12:30 and reached camp Muir at 8:45 after a hard day's work. I left McBride to go up a moraine on the way expecting to join him further down the glacier, but reaching some troublesome crevasses, he stopped to wait for me. The Glacier here is in great rolling waves like the prairies; so that I passed McBride without either seeing the other. After going some distance I caught up to Casement and Morse, and finding that McBride had not gone past them, we started back to find him. He was at least two miles behind us, and we were much relieved that nothing had happened to him.

August 19th

Tuesday. Left camp this morning about 8 am, reached Snow Dome in about an hour, and leaving McBride and Casement to make camp (Secondary #4) Morse and I took the Plane table and went up Snow dome, reaching the summit at 1 pm. The top of this mountain is a beautiful broad dome completely covered with snow and commands a beautiful view of the mountains around Granite Canon and the large tributary Gl to the W. I worked with Plane table and photographing until six pm. In the meanwhile McBride and Casement arrived bringing the lunch. The weather continues glorious. All the upper parts of the mountains and upper Glaciers are in full view, but the lower part of the Gl. and Muir Inlet are covered by a cloud which is quite below us. I took a photo- of this view, but am doubtful of the result. We all feel pretty tried with this continued work; climbing mountains heavily loaded is very wearisome. Our camp #4 is on the ice which slopes up against the mountain; but this ice is so well covered with sand and gravel that we do not feel the cold from the ice beneath.

We saw some [ptarmigan?] as we were coming down Snow Dome. I shot one with my revolver, and threw stones for some time at the others, but did not hit any. They are very tame, and run about without even trying to escape.

August 18th

Monday. Started today for Snow Dome about 11:30, but did not get there. We stopped about 7 pm. on a lot of Debris just S of Snow Dome and made camp for the night [In margin: Second #3]. On our way we stopped in the middle of one of the large moraines (Station 7) and did some work with Plane Table.

August 17th

Sunday. I was up this morning at 5:30, made a fire, filled the coffee pot with ice and put it on to melt and boil. I then called the boys, we had breakfast, and started up the mountain carrying the plane table, camera and lunch. When we were nearly at the top a ledge of bad rock stopped the rest of the party, so I took the plane table and camera to the summit, by making several trips, and worked there for three or four hours. The view was beautiful. In front of us stood up the three peaks of Mt Reid, with the large main lake in front at the end of the Glacier, and to the left the smaller Berg lake piled with ice-bergs. To the S.W. loomed up quite a large mountain mass pouring down Glaciers into the thick tributary. To the west we could see down to Muir inlet, and the whole of the Fairweather Range beyond. To the north Snow Dome, Mt Cushing and Granite Canon were close at hand, and to the NW the great long tributaries of Muir Glacier seemed to extend indefinitely, flanked by numerous mountains, so distant that they looked quite small.

The scramble up and down Tree Mt. was very laborious especially with the heavy and clumsy instruments we had to carry.

August 16th

Morse, Casement, McBride and I started today with two sleds for Tree Mt. and that neighborhood. We took the Miner's tent, blankets, oilskins and provisions for five days; also, the plane table and my camera and three or four dozen plates. The day looked threatening but we pushed on. All hands helped to carry the things up the moraine. We took dinner in front of White Glacier where we found plenty of wood. We made camp at 7:30 on the N side of Tree Mountain on a small [sheer?] projecting into the Glacier [In margin: Second #2]. This has been very recently covered by the Glacier, and shows the scratches and scars, where the ice has knocked out great pieces of rock. The debris covers the rock pretty well; even the finer mud has not been washed off by the rain, so recently has the ledge been covered by ice. We found plenty of dry wood, fallen from above, and made a fine camp fire. We could see the trees growing some 1000 ft above us. There seems to be a fairly well marked line at about this height, below which the rock is much barer than above. This probably marks the height of the last advance.

August 15th

Adams, Casement and I went over this morning to W NW corner of G, where I finished what I had to do there with the P.T. I also took a dozen photos. Morse and McBride made a sled. Mr. Cushing has been quite unwell for a few days with a bad cold. Mr. Muir got back about noon today; he did not go very far.

August 14th

The Topeka arrived today. The capt. says that she may not come to Glacier Bay next trip, so it was a lucky thing that I was here to see him. There is a small steamer at Bartlett's Bay that will probably come and take us that far if the Topeka does not go further than that point.

In the afternoon Adams, McBride and I went to the NW corner of G nunatak with the Plane Table; as we I did not finish the work I was doing there, we left the plane table and decided to return tomorrow. Weather glorious.

August 13th

We had a little sprinkling of rain last night which frightened us but did not amount. We were up this morning at 3:30 had breakfast and started off at 6. The ice was so thick that we gave up the idea of going further up the Bay and started went down to find thinner ice to cross over and enter the inlet opposite. We reached a large island NW of Willoughby Island at 4 pm, and as Prof Muir thought we might take two days to see it and get back to camp, we decided to return immediately; and we arrived home at 10 pm. Prof. Muir borrowed the canoe and went alone into the inlet.

August 12th

Weather good today[.] Prof. Muir, Mr. Cushing and McBride took the boat, Adams and I the canoe, and leaving camp at 12:20 started for a trip around upper part of Glacier Bay. After leaving the Inlet we found much ice and only succeeded on getting 2 or 3 miles up the bay. We camped on a grassy knoll, at 5 pm. we ascended 1000 ft to get a view up the bay but were not successful. Opposite to us and little way up are the two glaciers which almost [but?] against each other, and behind them the Fairweather Range are hidden in clouds.

August 11th

Monday. We had another Southerly gale last nigh; which caused me to get up at 4 o'clock to see that the tent was allright. The dial of the self-recording therm. had blown away and I replaced it. The dial which was lost a week ago was found by a tourist and returned to us. In the afternoon the boys went "prospecting" and Prof. Muir and I took a walk up the glacier. If tomorrow is good weather we start on a trip around the upper part of Glacier Bay.

August 10th

Sunday. Another rainy day[.] In the afternoon it cleared a little, and Adams and Casement went up to E to observe the flags on the ice, but could only see the near ones on account of the mist.

August 9th

Rain today so we all remain in camp. Mr. Cushing and I did squad work.

Prof. Muir had a rough experience with York. York followed him apparently with the intention of shooting him, but the Professor kept out of his way, and came back some 15 hrs ahead of him. York left yesterday for Chilcat via the Glacier. Prof. Muir takes his meals with us and we use his house to sit in. The fire-place is progressing; in the meanwhile we have built a fire on some sand in the middle of the floor, which warms the house and causes a good deal of smoke.

Morse developed some of my photographs today; they seem pretty good. Under Prof. Muir's directions I worked on my sketches and improved their appearance and effect.

August 8th

Friday. Mr. Cushing McBride and I started this morning to ascend Pyramid Pk. We arose at 3:30, got breakfast, and left camp in the boat at 5; we found plenty of ice in the inlet which made our passage long. On landing we crossed the moraine, and struck up the valley of the Dying Glacier; we reached Glacier front at 7:20 and took breakfast. We then ascended the glacier to the divide. This glacier is very anomalous; it has no beginning but two ends. The principle moraines extend from end to end; the smaller moraines extend from both ends to near the middle where they disappear. One of these moraines had its two ends connected under a covering of ice in all respects like the rest of the Gl. ice. The valley runs N 65 W. Probably the ice once came tho' this valley from the N,W, and when this flow ceased, the ice which was left in the valley flowed both ways from the divide; a period of heavy snowfall followed which covered the glacier to such a depth that it was compacted into ice above over the old ice and moraines; this ice is now melting and has exposed nearly all the former moraines. The view from the divide was beautiful. The NW end of the glacier lies on a broad grand bank about 1/2 m. long, beyond which is a most beautiful inlet from Glacier Bay, the water of which is most beautifully clear, with bergs floating about in it. The mountains on both sides slope right down into the water, and beyond one can see Glacier bay and the Fairweather Range. Pyramid Pk rises in a steep uniform grass slope from the water to its summit, 4000 ft. The height of the divide was 860 ft by Bar[ometer]. We descended some 200 ft and had some more breakfast at a stream which poured under the glacier from the right. The valley down which it came was formerly occupied by a glacier of which but a small remnant remains. We then skirted a ridge between us and Pyr. Pk and entered a second valley. This we found [piled?] with moraine and [angular?] debris making the walking very tiresome. Its upper part is piled occupied by a pretty little white glacier, which has its neve in a saddle on the N side of Pyr. Pk. and sweeps around thro' this valley. The valley ends above in high granite cliffs whose junctions with the

(End Journal II)

slates was clearly visible marked. We wound up the left side of the valley, over [a?] small part of the glacier and then struck a now couloir which led straight up the N face. This couloir became steeper and steeper; at first one kick was sufficient to make a step, then two were necessary, and finally the slope was so steep that four or five kicks were needed to make a [sure?] step. We of course were roped on this slope. In the steepest places the slope was certainly 50 degrees. This couloir was about 1200 ft high. We reached its top about 2 pm; had some lunch and pushed on to the summit, some two hundred feet higher. I made one or two sketches of the beautiful view and tried to get some angles on the peaks, but the lower circle of the transit could not be kept stationary and the angles were worthless. We could see where one tributary of Muir Glacier pitched down towards Glacier Bay. We descended the grassy southern slope, starting at 5:25, worked on to the glacier, walked its full length, and reached the large flood-planes of its discharging stream. We walked this over this when it was quite dark and after wandering about for some time, found our boat at 10:15 pm. We soon rowed across the inlet, luckily finding but little ice in the water, and reached camp, a very tired out party. This was is the first peak up which I have ever led a party; it is about seven miles from camp, ab. 4000 ft high, and required some care in the couloir. We were out from camp 18 hrs.

Morse and Adams went to K to observe the flags. The Our former results are confirmed, the fastest motion of the ice being about six or seven ft per day.

August 7th

Thursday. The Queen arrived today early; a little later the Elder steamed up. She had run ashore twice since we were on her; hence the delay. Prof. Wells of Union College came on the Queen. In the afternoon McBride and I went to E with the plane table and camera. I got a few photographs and continued work on the map.

August 6th

Wed. Adams and I went to H with Plane Table and worked on the map. We staid [stayed] there until 9 pm. I made a sketch of the opening 3rd tributary. I also got a very pretty photograph of Mt. Casement with a Rock Basin lake in the foreground.

August 5th

Monday Tuesday. Mr. Cushing Morse and I went to G with Plane Table to continue the map. We had a hard climb up a stream bed on the S side; the plane table is very troublesome to carry, both on account of its weight and on account of its dimensions. Morse carried his camera and made a few pictures.

August 4th

Morse, Casement and McBride went to K to observe flags; Adams went to E for same purpose. In afternoon Mr. Cushing and I went up to see the Dirt. Gl. and ascended 2500 ft on grass slope to North. We had a fine view of upper part of Glacier which is very clean, and I made the first sketch in my new sketch book. The arrangement of the moraines on this Gl. is very puzzling. This peculiarity is undoubtedly due to advances and recessions of the ice The ice is now receding as shown by the great masses of ice, covered by debris up against the sides all of the mountains and connecting with the glacier below.

August 3rd

Sunday. We were waked up last night at 2:30 by the tent pulling and flapping as tho' it would be blown away. Mr. Cushing and I went out to look around, and found a strong S.E. wind blowing. It was fortunately quite warm (58.5 degrees) so that we were not chilled. We tightened the stays of the tent, which had become very slack by [drying?] yesterday, and put big stones on the pegs to prevent them from being blown pulled out. the bay was full of ice, and the tide very high, within 50 ft of our tent; it is about the new moon and the southerly wind also helped to make the tide unusually high. It was The wind caused quite a strain on the tent, and if we had not put a truss under our ridge-pole some days ago, I doubt if it would have stood it. Mr. Cushing and I were out about an hour and then returned to bed. The wind continued very heavy all night. This morning we found that one of the end stays had pulled its peg several inches thro' the sand, although the peg was covered with large rocks. The wind also blew away the dial of the self-recording thermometer so that the whole week's record of this instrument is lost. this morning the inlet was closely packed with ice, small and large, and during the day many large bergs have broken off. The clouds were thick early in the morning but should the sun shone brightly about ten o'clock, and I took my camera and made three exposures on the ice-front. I also measured the height of the ice front with the Gurly transit and found it varying from 150 to 240 ft. In the afternoon, Casement, Cushing, Adams and I started to set flags out from eastern side of Glacier. Before we had gone far, Casement dropped his axe into what was apparently a puddle, but what proved to be so deep that the axe sank in it beyond recovery. Mr. Cushing lent Casement his axe and went back. We found the first three flags and rest them. We also set a fourth flag, probably about as far out as the original fourth flag.

The Elder is overdue three or four days. Possibly the bad weather or the large quantity of ice has kept her out of Glacier Bay.

August 2nd

Saturday. Rain again. We have divided our party into three squads to do the camp work, cooking, cleaning dishes etc. Adams and Casement attended to it yesterday, Mr. Cushing and I today. Morse and McBride will do it tomorrow. We have cleaned things pretty well and will have things in much better order in future. Some of the boys helped at the chimney today and tonight a fire was made, but it smoked pretty badly.

August 1st

Today was pretty clear. Mr. Cushing, Morse, McBride and I sailed over to W side, and following our former south ent[rance] on the ice to put up flags. We found the first three flags, so that we could eadily determine very closely their former positions; we replaced them by making a note of whatever change we made. The other flags we could not find, but put up two new ones. York left us our employ at noon and is now employed by Prof. Muir.