by Ansel Adams
photo by Glen Dawson
...It is convenient here to mention the important mountaineering that came to pass during the entire outing. While detailed notes will appear in another section of the BULLETIN, I must speak of the principal ascents made by Jules Eichorn and Glen Dawson and their companions. The ascents of Finger Peaks, Sawtooth Ridge, Matterhorn Peak, Echo Ridge, and the traverse of the three highest Minarets were among the most notable achievements. The famous climber, Dr. Underhill, joined us at Garnet Lake, and we were treated to fine exemplifications of the art of rock-climbing. This specific phase of mountaineering is a most important and refreshing sport, and young Dawson and Eichorn promise to carry out the tradition of European standards, and with their new art succeed to the laurels of Charlie Michael, Norman Clyde, and the heroes of earlier days. Rock-climbing, as such, should be accepted with the greatest enthusiasm; yet I feel that certain values should be preserved in our contact with the mountains. While it is rarely a case of the complete ascendancy of acrobatics over esthetics, we should bear in mind that the mountains are more to us than a mere proving-ground of strength and alert skill. Rock-climbing should be considered a thrilling means to a more important end. Just what the end and aim of our appreciation of the mountains are, is an elaborate metaphysical equation, the solution of which is implied most clearly in these words of Whitman-
"... while the great thoughts of space and eternity fill me
I will measure myself by them."
The artist in man seeks ever to venture new phases of beauty; the wilderness will reveal the profound significance of life to him who approaches it without sentimentality or the possessive attitude. While vulnerable to material defacement, the mountains are beyond the exploitations of the baser spirit, yet ever captive to the imagination and the living dream.