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A Climber’s Guide to the High Sierra (1954), edited by Hervey H. Voge


William Shand, Jr., 1918-1946
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William Shand, Jr., 1918-1946

William Shand, Jr.

WILLIAM SHAND, JR., was born October 5, 1918, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, second son of William and Dorothy (Schaeffer) Shand. After attending Franklin and Marshall Academy and Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, from which he was graduated second in his class, he entered Princeton University with the class of 1940 His many achievements in college were climaxed by his graduation as valedictorian of the class, with highest honors in chemistry. After receiving the freshman First Honors Prize, Bill went on to win the Wood Legacy Prize, the McCay Prize in Chemistry, and a Phi Beta Kappa key in his junior year. He was a member of the Princeton Quadrangle Club, and found time for the varsity cross-country squad and the varsity swimming team, the German Club, and the Experiment in International Living. It was during the summers of 1935, 1937, and 1938 in Europe with the latter organization that his interest in mountain climbing was aroused.

After graduation, Bill entered the Graduate School of the California Institute of Technology as a fellow in the department of chemistry. During the war, he performed research with the Office of Scientific Research and Development for the Army in Panama in 1944, and in the South Pacific and the Philippines in 1945. After the war, he returned to California Institute of Technology, where he received his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in June 1946. He was appointed an instructor in molecular physics at the University of California, Berkeley, on July 1, 1946.

An enthusiastic mountain climber, Bill was a member of the Sierra Club, The American Alpine Club, and the Swiss Alpine Club. In the summer of 1938, he climbed the thirteen highest peaks in Switzerland. He was a member of the party, headed by Bradford Washburn, which first scaled Mount Hayes in Alaska in 1941. With Dr. Ben Ferris, he later in the same year ascended a then unnamed peak near Mount Hayes, which had never before been climbed; later the peak was officially named Mount Shand in his memory. The Canadian government has similarly named a peak after him in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. Bill’s unrealized ambition was to take part in an expedition to K-2, in the Himalaya.

In addition to his great enthusiasm for mountaineering, Bill showed an unusual ability in rock climbing. His friends in the Sierra Club report that he was a most capable rock climber during his years with the club and frequently undertook difficult ascents at Tahquitz Rock, in southern California, in Yosemite Valley, and in other places in the Sierra. His natural abilities and personality made him a popular leader in the rock climbing and mountaineering activities of the Southern California Chapter of the Sierra Club. Bill’s favorite mountain was the Grand Teton in Wyoming, which he ascended several times. It was while driving alone to repeat an ascent of this peak that he met his death in a collision in Nevada on August 11, 1946.

Publication of this work was made possible through a gift to the Sierra Club from Bill’s parents as a memorial to him, with the hope that many young climbers may benefit from the information contained herein.

The portrait by Raymond P. N. Neilson, reproduced in this volume, hangs in the William Shand, Jr., Memorial Library of the Chemistry Department of Franklin and Marshall College at Lancaster, Pennsylvania.



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