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Jason Hummel
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Jason Hummel
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PostTue Nov 09, 2021 6:53 pm 
I haven't shared a trip report in awhile, but the Picket Traverse is always a must do and I'm sure folks would love to look at some imagery and read a story on it even though this is a ski trip; although it felt more like a hike this time. The snow went fast this year!

Here you are: https://www.jasonhummelphotography.com/2021/07/01/the-picket-traverse/


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uww, Mesahchie Mark, Bronco, Lindsay, NWtrax, Cyclopath, Brushbuffalo, Matt, Nancyann, alpinefish3, BarbE, Carbonj, Gabep, ancient_squirrel, williswall, GaliWalker, Tom, dave allyn, mosey, zimmertr, NBL, RichP, raising3hikers, reststep  awilsondc, geyer, Malachai Constant  kite
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Malachai Constant
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PostTue Nov 09, 2021 7:25 pm 
My favorite place did you read Skoogs original report? I was up in August and it depressed me for weeks. Sorry, I see you were inspired by Skoog as we were back in the day. What an assume place.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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zephyr
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zephyr
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PostTue Nov 09, 2021 7:45 pm 
Jason Hummel wrote:

         What an awesome shot this is.  Beautiful background.  ~z

Bronco
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awilsondc
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PostWed Nov 10, 2021 2:46 pm 
Great stuff Jason!  Epic adventures as usual.  Thanks for the write up!   up.gif  up.gif

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iron
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PostWed Nov 10, 2021 9:29 pm 
those are probably the best set of waterfall pictures i've ever seen in WA. really special trip.

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cascadetraverser
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PostFri Nov 12, 2021 9:22 am 
Super impressive! Great trip and nice to seeing you posting again with us.....
You`ve done this twice on ski`s. I would be curious to know how the trips compared....

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Brushbuffalo
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PostFri Nov 12, 2021 1:17 pm 
Jason, special trip and exceptional photos as usual from you.  So many memories of the first N and S Picket traverse in 1967 with Tabor and Crowder, including our pioneering of the Elephant Butte route, which we used to exit as you did. However we weren't skiing, being in late August.

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Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still

Jason Hummel
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Klondike Ken
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PostSun Nov 14, 2021 8:13 am 
My whole family piled on the couch yesterday to read about your Pickets and Bailey ski traverses and see your beautiful black & white photographs. Thank you Jason.
Mineral Mountain is my friend's favorite mountain. When viewed from the Chilliwack Valley that is.

Jason Hummel
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Backpacker Joe
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PostSun Nov 14, 2021 3:41 pm 
Nice to hear from you again Jason.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln

Jason Hummel
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Bushwacker
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PostMon Nov 15, 2021 4:37 pm 
Whoa!!!!

Outstanding  up.gif

Thanks for sharing  smile.gif

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"Wait by the river long enough and the bodies of your enemies will float by"...Sun Tsu
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Jason Hummel
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PostTue Nov 16, 2021 4:14 pm 
Brushbuffalo wrote:
Jason, special trip and exceptional photos as usual from you.  So many memories of the first N and S Picket traverse in 1967 with Tabor and Crowder, including our pioneering of the Elephant Butte route, which we used to exit as you did. However we weren't skiing, being in late August.

Brush Buffalo,

Oh, very cool! I bet that was an amazing trip. As an aside, I've been writing a glacier history book on all the glaciers of Washington State. I'll provide an example below, but I know Tabor and Crowder must've named a few glaciers (none directly that I've found yet). Do you know of any they may have told you they or others named? Sometimes the name is derivative. For instance, they named the peak, but the name was applied to the glacier. I think they may have been responsible for a few; although I've discovered the origins of most. A few have escaped me, but are named descriptively, like the Sill Glacier or Surprise Glacier. Spillway Glacier I think was named by Austin Post, but no direct evidence yet.

Here's a few write ups (there will be 300). These take a huge amount of research, as I've drawn different conclusions or have new information, than those before me. I'm always open to suggestions on interesting resources as well.


Flett Glacier


The Flett Glacier’s namesake, Professor John Bakkie Flett (1857–1942), was known foremost as a teacher, but is remembered today as a botanist. Between 1913 and 1921, he combined these two passions when he joined Mt. Rainier National Park as a naturalist and ranger (Brockman, pp. 66-78), coming full circle back to the wilderness he first visited in 1894 (Mountaineers, 1915, p. 52). Throughout his life, he’d speak passionately about the mountain. For example, he once gushed that “Mount Rainier National Park in this state [of Washington] surpass in beauty and color, number of species and luxuriance of growth those in any other mountainous region of the world…” Later, he insisted that  “These flower beds must be seen and their fragrance inhaled before a full comprehension of them can be realized. The more one sees them the more does he realize their infinite beauty and the full significance of the spiritual lessons which these floral emblems teach,” (Rainier Gardens are the finest on Earth, 1916).

Before Flett arrived in Washington or had ever heard of Mt. Rainier, he migrated to America from Scotland in 1874, at the age of 17. With an eventual degree from Hamilton College awarded in 1885, he began teaching. In 1892, he moved from New York to Washington State (Reese, 2009). One step led to another, and very likely driven by his botany studies, he was attracted to exploring Mt. Rainier and its surrounding wilderness for new species with students and climbers. These efforts eventually culminated in the publication of Features of flora of Mount Rainier National Park, where he wrote descriptions such as, “On the storm-swept peaks and ridges in the crevices of the rock may be found the tiny lace fern, Cheilanthes gracillima, with its numerous thread-like roots securely anchored from the fury of the storms. It is seldom more than 3 or 4 inches high. Nature has made ample provision for its inclement environment by clothing it with a furry woolly garment. It is found on the summit of Pinnacle Peak and on Plummer Peak…(Flett, 1922, p. 46). Another flower not described in this book, Hieracium flettii, was found near Indian Henry’s and named for Flett (Warren, 1928, p. 3); although the name today is Hieracium cynoglossides (Cronquist, 1955, p. 237).

When it comes to mountaineering on Mt. Rainier, Flett was a part of two significant events. In 1895, along with Henry H. Garretson (1874–1952), Flett ascended Little Tahoma Peak during one of the earliest known attempts to circumnavigate the upper slopes of Mt. Rainier (see Frying Pan Glacier). An 1896 article touched on that adventure when it reported that “Last summer Professor Flett and H. H. Garretson, of Tacoma, started out to encircle the mountain [Mt. Rainier] over the craters and snow drifts at an elevation of about 8000 feet or just above the snow line. They traveled 12 days and succeeded in going three-fourths of the distance they intended to. They had then crossed 10 glaciers and were so exhausted that they gave up the tramp…”(Glimpses of Mountain Scenery, 1896).  What isn’t mentioned is that they ascended Little Tahoma during this outing and are credited with its first ascent. A personal account from Flett was given to Harry Myers who was working on a Mountaineers article about early ascents of Mt. Rainier. In his opening paragraph, Flett wrote that his climb of Little Tahoma was “...the most foolhardy act that I have ever performed in the way of mountain climbing” (Flett, 1920).

N. B. Coffman also responded to Harry Myers who described the earliest known attempt on Little Tahoma in 1891. Their party included three women who’d reach the “...very topmost ridge of Little Tahoma…” and “...we would have gone farther but the steep ascent beyond the peak of the great snow field leading toward the mountain looked very difficult of ascent and we concluded the day was too far advanced” (N. B. Coffman, 1920).

The second significant event on Mt. Rainier accomplished by Flett was a complete encirclement of the mountain with C. A. Barnes Jr. (different from the C. A. Barnes who was involved in the Press Expedition of 1890), which they made in 1911. Another encirclement was made the following year, again with C. A. Barnes, Jr., but adding three more members: Percy Raleigh, J. H. Weer and Calvin Phillips Jr. On a third trip in 1915, it was only Weer who returned, although not with a few friends, but with dozens of Mountaineers for their annual outing (which ran for nearly three fourths of a century). These pioneering adventures, and a few others that went unmentioned, laid the groundwork for today’s 93-mile Wonderland Trail whose wonders attracted thousands of hikers to follow in kind, and to partake in the natural splendor of Mt. Rainiers high country, not least of which are the abundant waterfalls, wildlife, alpine lakes, glaciers and meadows found throughout.

Between 1894 and 1912, Flett and his various partners named numerous features on Mt. Rainier, not least of which included Mystic Lake, Barnes Pass and Weer Rock. A reporter confirmed their application of new nomenclature when he wrote that “Glaciers and peaks not shown on government and other maps of the mountain were carefully marked by Professor Flett on charts he carried with him. These charts, with suggestions of names for the uncharted glaciers and peaks, are now being carefully prepared for submission to the chief geographer…(Climb Tahoma Peak, 1912).

As far as the Flett Glacier, it was a name submitted by Fred G. Plummer to the U. S. Board on Geographic Names in 1913, the very same year Flett began working as a ranger for Mt. Rainier National Park; although it was actually Herbert Hunt, the managing editor of the Tacoma Daily News, who proposed the name to Plummer (Honor is Paid to Prof. Flett, 1913). John H. Williams wrote shortly thereafter about the board's decision to accept the Flett Glacier as a name, saying, “The only one of these [four] persons recognized by the Northwest as in any way entitled to such honor [of having a Mt. Rainier glacier named for him] is Mr. John B. Flett, the Tacoma botanist, whose work in classifying the remarkable flora of the mountain ‘parks’ is very properly commemorated in naming a hitherto unnamed glacier for him” (Williams, 1913, p. 332).

Today’s Flett Glacier lies on the north face of Observation Rock. In 1885 Professor (and renowned botanist) Louis Forniquet Henderson (1853–1942) is credited with first climbing and naming Observation Point (today’s Observation Rock). Unfortunately, Henderson’s name was likely confused with Charles D. Hendrickson (1845–1897), who wrote and photographed Mt. Rainier in 1886 (Hendrickson, 1886), creating the earliest known close-up photographs of a glacier in Washington State. As far as Observation Point, it was Bailey Willis (1857–1949) (see Mowich Glacier) who’s responsible for its name, although its location today was moved to peak 8364’ from 10300’ and the name was changed to Observation Rock. As far as the Flett Glacier, only remnants remain today. Even so, that newly revealed earth would have electrified Flett who’d very likely be enraptured by life sprouting from ground that’s been icebound for much, if not all, of Mt. Rainier's 500,000 year history.


Edmunds Glacier

Vermont Senator, George F. Edmunds (1828–1919), visited the lower slopes of Mt. Rainier on June 20th, 1883. Local papers touted that the Vice President of the United States had visited, but in reality Edmunds was “President pro tempore” of the Senate. Only after President James A. Garfield (1831–1881) was assassinated and Chester A. Arthur (1829–1886) became president, would confusion arise. Having never chosen a new Vice President, Arthur left Edmunds next in line of accession and, in essence, a pseudo Vice President.

Joining Edmunds on his whirlwind tour of Mt. Rainier were two railroad executives, Thomas F. Oakes (1943–1919) and James M. Buckley (1833–1894). Guiding them was Bailey Willis (1857–1949), who was then working as the geologist in charge for the Northern Transcontinental Survey. Finally, a fourth member, Lieut. Elliott John Arthur (1849–1886), cousin to President Arthur (Moran, 1998, p. 272), would write of their visit to the mountain and, more specifically, of their visit to glaciers. “Between us and the glacier,” Arthur wrote, “there intervened a thick groove of alder bushes through which we slowly and not without difficulty made our way. There appeared to be one glacier directly ahead of us and another on the south bank of the river. After making our way through the alder grove, and onto a moraine which appeared directly in the centre of the glaciers, we reached its foot and could see the water issuing from a cavern on the left, and streaming from the sides of the glacier on the right” (Arthur, 1883).

The glacier Edmunds and party visited was the South Mowich Glacier, which was then renamed the Edmunds Glacier, at least temporarily, as it was later moved to an icefield between the North and South Mowich Glaciers (See South Mowich Glacier). An article, published a month after their trip, records this new name for the first time, saying, “The North Glacier on which one can look down from the neighborhood of Crater Lake, in the canyon 2000 feet below, is said to be in every respect a grander and more impressive sight than that which is to be know by Senator Edmunds’ name, and which lies in the South Fork of the Puyallup River” (Results of Exploration, 1883).

Edmunds visit wasn’t purely for the experience, but a public relations stunt for the railroad. In fact, it was under Oakes insistence, after their visit, that the Bailey Willis (or Grindstone) trail was built. Since the 6800 mile transcontinental railroad terminated in Tacoma, they wanted to promote the mountain as a tourist attraction. Although, it wasn’t to Mt. Rainier that the railroad plugged, but to Mt. Tacoma, a term popularized in Theodore Winthrop’s book, published posthumously, called The Canoe and the Saddle, as the Native name for Mt. Rainier. In fact, it was from this account that the city formerly known as Commencement was renamed Tacoma.

Regrettably it was because of the railroad's use of Mt. Tacoma that ultimately proved its undoing. The two largest cities in the region, each vying for dominance, were Tacoma and Seattle, the latter of which saw the use of Mt. Tacoma as an affront at best or a hijacking at worst. For Tacoma, who named itself for the peak that rises above their city, it was a much more relevant name than Rainier. An article of the time put it best when it wrote that “...these interesting tales [Native stories] emphasize the growing belief that the beautiful Indian names of its [Mount Rainier’s] rivers, valleys and chief point of interest should be preserved. For this reason ‘Tacoma’ is becoming universally recognized as a true name for the mountain, despite the fact that to within a few years most of the geographic and maps give it the name ‘Rainier,’ by which it was called by Vancouver, after an English naval officer, who never saw even the continent on which it rests. For centuries before Vancouver came the Indian tribes throughout the northwest called the mountain by one name varying slightly with different dialects, Tah-o-mah, Tah-co-bet or Tah-ko-mah. Theodore Winthrop heard these slightly varying names, which were by him blended into the cuphonic name, Tacoma” (Glories of Paradise Park, 1896).

The naming dispute eventually encompassed what was to become a new national park, first touted in 1894 as Washington National Park, not Mt. Rainier National Park. During the congressional meetings, Edmunds own words were used to promote the park idea, perhaps even more successfully than they had for the railroad. The best part reads that he’d “...been through the Swiss mountains and am compelled to own that there is no comparison between the finest effects exhibited there and what is seen in approaching this grand and isolated mountain. I would be willing to go 500 miles again to see that scene. The Continent is yet in ignorance of what will be one of the grandest show places, as well as sanitariums. If Switzerland is rightly called the play-ground of Europe, I am satisfied that around the base of Mt. Rainier [Tahoma] will become a prominent place of resort, not for America only, but for the world besides, with thousands of sites for building purposes that are nowhere excelled for the grandeur of the view that can be obtained from them, with topographical features that would make the most perfect system of drainage both possible and easy, and with a most agreeable and health-giving climate” (Congressional Record, 1894, p. 7878).

While the park didn’t gain approval in 1894, the momentum wasn’t lost. On March 2, 1899, the bill was signed into law, yet it wasn’t to be known as Washington National Park, but as Mt. Rainier National Park. While Iowan Senator, John F. Lacey (1841–1913) managed to slide in that last second change, there’s some sense of western justice because the bill's signer, President William McKinley (1843–1901), would later have his namesake, Mt. McKinley, changed back to its native name, Denali, by President Barack Obama in 2015! The story didn’t end there. Incoming president, Donald J. Trump offered to reverse his predecessor's decision. When Alaskan’s found out, according to the Anchorage Daily News, “We [Alaska citizens] said no!” (Trump Offered to Change…, 2017).

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RodF, hikerbiker, Nancyann
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timberghost
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PostWed Nov 17, 2021 5:58 am 
Thanks for posting

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tommytownsend
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PostTue Nov 23, 2021 8:35 pm 
Great stuff Jason, you are quickly surpassing Scurlock as the king of mountain porn. Regarding your question about Crowder and Tabor, Marc (aka Cascade traverser) was in contact with Rowland Tabor until a few years ago. A quick google search suggests he is still alive, Marc can give you contact info.

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Jason Hummel
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PostThu Nov 25, 2021 4:17 pm 
Excellent. That's great news! BTW, I haven't heard from Cascade Traverser yet. If you know his email, can you drop a note to him. My email is jasonhummelphotography[AT]gmail[DOT]com

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timberghost
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PostMon Nov 29, 2021 5:49 am 
Nice Write up

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