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day the party crossed the divide above the Tule and entered the Kern River watershed, camping at Lloyd Meadow. . The next day the party crossed the Little Kern and camped in Trout Meadow. Little Kern Lake was reached on the day following, where two days were spent. Camp was then moved to the mouth of the Big Arroyo, and on the day following to Moraine Lake and Chagoopa Plateau. Here a stay of nearly a week was made. The opinion formed on the previous trip of the club to this region was confirmed, and this was generally conceded to be one of the finest camping spots that the club has ever had in the mountains. The shelter of the thick forest about the lake and opportunity for swimming, as well as the many trips to near-by points of interest, all added to its attractiveness. Several knapsack parties visited Lost Cañon, climbed Sawtooth, crossed into Five-Lake Basin, and camped at the head of the Big Arroyo, crossing the divide into the Kern-Kaweah, and thence rejoined the main camp at Junction Meadow on the Kern River, the main party having in the interim moved camp to the latter point. Quite a few members climbed Milestone. Almost the entire party visited Crabtree Meadows at the base of Mount Whitney (14,502 feet), and 175 made the ascent, which is the largest number that has visited the summit in a single day. This probably sets a record for a mountain of this height. Mount Tyndall and Mount Williamson were also climbed by several members of the party.
The great feature of the trip was the safe passage of the entire party, including baggage and pack animals, over the recently completed section of the John Muir Trail. Heretofore it has been necessary in order to reach the Kings River Basin from the Kern River, or vice versa, to travel around by way of Giant Forest or cross the Sierra and drop down into Independence, making an arduous detour of several days. The party left its camp in Tyndall Meadow at an altitude of about 11,000 feet and crossed Shepard Pass, which is on the crest of the Sierra at the divide between Shepard and Tyndall creeks. Dropping down from Shepard Pass a little over 1000 feet, the trail turns northwesterly, following up the northerly branch of Shepard Creek, and again crosses the main crest of the Sierra at an altitude of about 13,300 feet at Junction Pass, this pass being between Junction Peak and Mount Keith. The pass itself is a broad level area partaking of the nature of a plateau, and the trail follows out to the north on a divide between two branches of Center Basin, and finally descends into Center Basin itself and thence on down Bubbs Creek to Vidette Meadows, where the club camped that night. While this made a rather long day, the entire party arrived safely in camp that night after one of the most thrilling experiences of any of the outings. To take a party of this size, with all its camping equipment, over a pass that exceeds 13,000 feet in altitude, is an accomplishment the club can well be proud of. Four days were spent at Vidette Meadows while members of the party knapsacked to Rae Lake and also to Mount Brewer and vicinity. Before crossing Kearsarge Pass a camp was made for a single night at Kearsarge Lakes underneath the Kearsarge Pinnacles, and this wonderful experience will long remain in the memory of members of the party. The next day Independence was reached, where the night was spent, and the members of the party returned to their respective destinations in Los Angeles and San Francisco by special train.
The music furnished by Signor and Madame de Grassi, Mr. Louis Newbauer, Miss Anna B. Ludlow, and Miss Mizpah Jackson, as well as that so generously contributed by many others, made the camp-fires of this outing more than ordinarily enjoyable. The club is also greatly indebted to one of its members, Mr. J. E. Eibeschutz, of Independence, who generously rendered assistance in many ways.
The outing planned for the summer of July, 1917, is one of the most ambitious that the club has ever contemplated. The plan of the trip, as previously announced in the preliminary circular, will be reversed. The party will start from Huntington Lake and travel by way of Hot Springs, Vermilion Valley, Blaney Meadows, and Evolution Basin on the South Fork of the San Joaquin, will cross Muir Pass over the recently constructed portion of the John Muir Trail, and will enter the headwaters of the Middle Fork of the Kings River. Camp will be made in this wonderful cañon in the vicinity of Grouse Valley, from which the wild and rugged Palisade country can easily be reached, and the party will then travel on down the newly constructed trail, which the club has assisted in building, to Simpson Meadows, then on to Tehipite Valley, and will return to the railroad by way of Shaver Lake. This trip will give an opportunity for visiting a magnificent region of the Sierra that has heretofore been known to but a few of the members of the club who have been pioneers. The recent trail-building has made this region sufficiently accessible so that the entire outing party will for the first time have the opportunity to enjoy its wonders this summer. Written application should be made at an early date.
WM. E. Colby, Chairman,
SECRETARY'S ANNUAL REPORT
MAY 1, 1915, TO MAY 6, 1916 To the Members of the Sierra Club:
The splendid progress made in national park affairs during the past year was continued under the able direction of Mr. Stephen T. Mather and the Superintendent of National Parks, Mr. Robert B. Marshall. Both Mr. Mather and Mr. Marshall have been for many years members of the Sierra Club, so that the club can take just pride in what they have accomplished. Work on the John Muir Trail is progressing, and before long the trail will be open to travel from Yosemite to Mount Whitney. This great work has already attracted nation-wide attention, and will do more to open up the high Sierra region than could be done in any other way. The membership of the club showed some material falling off during the past year, owing to financial conditions, and also to the fact that a larger number than usual was dropped for non-payment of dues. The total membership on May 1, 1916, is 1796. There were 187 new members added during the year, and 270 names were removed from the list by reason of death, resignation, and non-payment of dues, leaving a net loss of 83 for the year. We have good reason to believe that the coming year will bring about a marked increase in the membership. We trust that each member will assist in securing new members when the annual blanks are sent out for recommendations. Respectfully,
NOTES AND CORRESPONDENCE
Edited by WILLIAM E. COLBY
The John MUIR TRAIL With the remainder of the appropriation of $10,000 made in 1915 by the State of California, construction work was prosecuted on the John Muir Trail throughout the field season of 1916.
Progress within the Sequoia National Forest is well shown by Supervisor Wynne's report to the State Engineer, much of which is here quoted:
REPORT ON JOHN MUIR TRAIL WORK FOR SEASON OF 1916
SEQUOIA NATIONAL FOREST The work for the season of 1916 was largely concentrated on the Sierra National Forest, using the remainder of the $10,000 unspent in 1915. A decision to handle the project in this way was reached at a conference in San Francisco early in the year, and this decision was afterwards approved by State Engineer Wilbur F. McClure. The work on the Sequoia National Forest was simply to be the completion of the work at Junction Pass and carrying the trail down Center Basin and as far toward Bullfrog Lake as funds would permit.
The Sierra Club used this route in its outing, and, in addition, there is much public interest in Junction Pass and numerous parties made the crossing during the summer. The pass has an elevation of 13,400 feet, being one of the highest on a maintraveled route in the Sierra. Several high peaks can be readily reached from it, notably Mount Keith and Junction Peak. From the Shepard-Tyndall Pass, Mount Williamson is but a moderately hard trip. It is only 117 feet lower than Mount Whitney, but its ascent requires more skillful mountaineering.
The work for 1915 ended about fifty feet beyond Junction Pass, on the Center Basin side, in very bad mass of broken rock. Knowing that travel would be very heavy, it was planned to start work during the early part of June. Extraordinarily heavy snow made it impossible even to get into the area until June 27, and real crew work could not be done before July 4. Considerable trouble on the early work was occasioned by snow-blindness, and men were very hard to get and keep. Great credit is due to Thomas Adamson, the foreman, for continuing the work, even when singlehanded. A little later conditions were better.
The trail is now completed in Class-A shape as far as Center Basin. It will take two or three seasons of settling in the talus and slides before the tread is permanently fixed, and
money should be allotted for this purpose each year. Costs were as follows: Wages
.$395.00 Subsistence supplies
In addition, $112 was expended by the Forest Service in salary and expenses on the Muir Trail project, chiefly in supervision and reconnaissance. The total length of completed trail is 3%8 miles. In addition to outlay on the new trail, $54 was expended in shoveling snow and fixing up parts of last year's work that had been damaged by slides.
While the work was in both Ranger Slinkard's and Ranger Clingan's districts, it was considered admissible to concentrate the small amount of money available. Hence, this year's work was all under Ranger Slinkard, with Thomas Adamson, of Lone Pine, as foreman on the ground. District rangers are busy men, and both Clingan and Slinkard deserve great credit for the painstaking work on estimates for new construction. Ranger Slinkard should also be credited for keeping the work moving this summer in order to get the route open early, in spite of the excessive snowfall.
The general public has gained the erroneous idea that the Muir Trail is practically completed. This has caused many of them to comment very adversely on the trail, as many of the old portions of the route are little more than ways through. Money so far appropriated has simply been enough to build a few short pieces of the whole length. If the State of California can be prevailed upon to appropriate sufficient funds to really complete the entire project, the result will be a high-country line of travel without a parallel.
Several lateral trails will be needed to make Muir Trail accessible from side points. Owens Valley is particularly in favor with southern California people, and good laterals should be built from Lone Pine, Independence, and Bishop. There are trails from these points now, constructed by the Forest Service and cattlemen. Comparatively small amounts would place them in Class-A condition.
Good connecting links to the south and west will no doubt be constructed as funds are made available. Lateral trails from Mineral King and the Giant Forest should also be extended to the John Muir Trail. Possibly some of the roads to be constructed in the National Forests under the Taylor Bill will make the John Muir Trail more accessible.
Since the Trail on the Sequoia National Fo mainly a project yet to be completed, it was decided to spend considerable time in laying out the route and securing careful estimates of the cost. Following is a summary of the entire distance and costs of the various divisions as shown on the accompanying map:
Mount Whitney Division.... 7.5 miles.. $1,875
875 Tyndall Creek
1,140 Bubbs Creek
1,050 Charlotte Creek
750 Glenn Pass
1,500 Rae Lake
950 Woods Creek
1,000 Pinchot Pass
800 Upper Basin