[John Muir]


[Jeanne C.] Carr


image preview


[6]mudy stream issued from a bank of fresh quarried stones & dirt, that was sixty or seventy feet in height, This I at once took to be a moraine, In climbing to the top of it I was struck with the steepness of its slope & with its raw, unsettled plantless new- born appearance. The slightest touch started blocks of red & black slate followed by a rattling train of smaller stones, & sand & a cloud of the dry dust of mud, the whole moraine being as free from lichens & weather- stains as if dug from the mountain that very day. When I had scrambled to the top of the Moraine I saw what seemed to be a huge snowbank four or five hundred [underlined: yds] in length by half a mile in width. Imbedded in its stained & [7]furrowed surface were [deleted: rocks] stones & dirt like that of wh the Moraine was built, Dirt- Stained lines curved across the D snow bank from side to side, & when I observed that there curved lines coincided with the curved Moraine, & that the stones & dirt were most abundant near the bottom of the bank, I shouted - A living glacier! These bent dirt lines show that the ice is flowing in its different parts with unequal velocity, & these imbedded stones are journeying down to be built into the moraine & they gradually become more abundant as they approach the moraine because there the motion is slower. On traversing my new found glacier I came to a crevasse down a wide & jagged portion


Yosemite Valley

Date Original

1872 Oct 8


Original letter dimensions: 20.5 x 25.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0947

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

Owning Institution

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date


Page Number

Page 4


John Muir, correspondence, letters, author, writing, naturalist, California, correspondent, mail, message, post, exchange of letters, missive, notes, epistle