John Muir



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William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

The Corwin forced its way through the ice pack to the previously unexplored Herald Island. Muir writes that ""everybody seemed wildly eager to run ashore and climb to the summit of its sheer granite cliffs."" The first party chose ""an excessively steep gully which came to an end in an inaccessible slope. Those ahead loosened and sent down a train of granite bowlders, which shot over the heads of those below .... Fortunately nobody was hurt and all made out to get down in safety."" Muir continues that ""while this remarkable piece of mountaineering and Arctic exploration was in progress"" he selected ""the bed of an ancient glacier"" and with the aid of an ice axe on the firm snow, ascended the steep slope to where there was a gradual ascent to the crest. He concludes: ""The midnight hour I spent alone on the highest summit [was] one of the most impressive hours of my life."" For another account of ascent of Herald Island, see C. L. Hoopers's Report of the Cruise of the Rev. Steamer Corwin ... , 1881, p. 52, no. 162.


San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, Sept. 28, 1881


p. 4, col. 3

The Jeanette Search. Exploration of Herald Island-No Signs of the Missing Ship. Dangers of Arctic Exploration-Fauna and Flora of the North. (Special Correspondence of the Bulletin.) Steamer Corwin (Off Herald Island), Arctic Ocean, July 31, 1881.



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