John Muir


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Thus the motion of this basin channelled gls [glaciers] may be likened to that of half a wheel kept constantly out of balance by constant additions of weight upon one side & constant [relief] from [these] disturbing additions of weight by melting & flowing off at the side Thus if the extra weight of the shaded portion at [A] be sufficient to overcome the resistance to motion caused by friction along its bottom then all that is added above this as the quantity B will produce an upward motion at C. Now fill

[sketch: C; B; A]

in this wheel section & you have one of these gls [glaciers] with the weight B represented by the winter snow wh [which] produce the upward motion that is constantly annihilated by melting at C

When gls [glaciers] occupy basins curved at bottom like A B D then the layers of the gl [glacier] will slope about as A C All of wh [which] is [shown] in this one Ritter & in many other gls [glaciers]

(The alt [altitude] of bottom of Ritter gl [glacier] is 11200. Top is about 11700)

[sketch: A; C; B]

This gl [glacier] is a fine instance of the kind wh [which] cuts out & isolates peaks or cuts larger mtns [mountains] into two smaller as in sketch

[sketch: A]

There is another fine [instance] of double flow or curved flow of gls [glaciers] in the little gls [glaciers] on N [north] side of the mtn [mountain] [ ] [adjoining] Ritter [on] N [north]


There is another fine instance of double flow or curved flow of gls [glaciers] on the N [north] side of the mtn [mountain] adjoining Ritter on the north

[ ] [ ] [ ] [considered] a part of [Ritter] [that] [ ] is [ ] much crevassed in passing the [cave] that leads [ ] [Lake] Has big schrunds also so [have] the two [others] [ ] [are] [situated] on N [north] side of spurs on N [north] of main pk [peak] [ ]


[sketch: on spur S [south] of Rit [Ritter]; Alt [altitude] bot [bottom] 11[5]00; Top 12000; Flows

N 40 W]

wh [which] are very complex from the complexity of their upper basin slopes & the wide upward curves [caved] by [swedging] are (also) inimitable in their perfectness & gentleness & subtle variety

The gls [glaciers] of the Minerets also number six reckoning in the gl [glacier] belonging to a pk [peak] on the left side of the [Mineret] [Can] [Canyon] of the [west] [flank]

[Altogether] a company of gls [glaciers] wh [which] from [their] position & history can can scarce be surpassed by any [other] in the [world].

This handsome gl [glacier] is not much crevassed but has large conspicuous [schrund] & is very finely curved both from slip of winter snow & from the [swedging] of its flow.

Reckoning the long & much crevassed gl [glacier] wh [which] is situated between the Minerets & Ritter on the E [east] slope as belonging to Ritter & also those of the large half separate crest on the [N] [north] of Ritter then the gls [glaciers] of Ritter number 6 together with many large névés with feeble glacial motion

All of these glaciers are in very picturesque basins & are in themselves exceedingly beautiful in their edges wh [which] comply in most graceful curves to all of the harsh angles of the black rock & in their curves of greatest declivity

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 15 x 18 cm.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist