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|WALES LAKE||[Mount Whitney]|
Frederick Henry Wales (1845-1925), born in Massachusetts; corporal, Massachusetts Volunteers in Civil War; graduated from Dartmouth, 1872; Hartford Theological Seminary, 1875; came to California and resided in Tulare County for many years as minister, editor of Alliance Messenger, and farmer; accompanied W. B. Wallace and J. W. A. Wright on trip to Kern River Cañon and Mount Whitney, 1881; maintained interest in Sierra for a number of years. (Mount Whitney Club Journal, 1902, 1, pp. 1-17, 28— Elliott: Guide to the Grand and Sublime Scenery of the Sierra Nevada, 1883. —Dartmouth College Catalogue.)
|WALKER RIVER||[Dardanelles, Bridgeport]|
Walker and his party, crossing the Sierra in 1833, were undoubtedly the first white men to see Yosemite Valley and the big trees (Merced or Tuolumne Grove). (Narrative of Zenas Leonard, Clearfield, Pennsylvania, 1839; republished, Cleveland, 1904, pp. 170-181.) If Walker Lake at the foot of Bloody Cañon was named for Joseph R. Walker on the assumption that he passed that way, it is probably an error, as it seems most unlikely that he crossed by that route. (Farquhar: Exploration of the Sierra Nevada, in California Historical Society Quarterly, March, 1925, IV:1, pp. 6-8, portrait.— Portraits also in S.C.B., 1914, IX:3, plate LXXIV; S.C.B., 1925, XII:2, plate XLVII.)
[Editor’s note: today historians generally believe the Walker party looked down The Cascades, which are just west of Yosemite Valley, instead of Yosemite Valley itself.—dea]
|WALLACE LAKE, CREEK||[Mount Whitney]|
William B. Wallace, born in Missouri, 1849; family came to California same year; settled in Placerville; attended school in Sacramento County; graduated State Normal School; taught school in Sacramento, El Dorado, and Amador counties; came to Tulare County, 1876, and settled in Visalia, 1891; admitted to bar, 1882; district attorney, Tulare County, 1884-1886; judge of the Superior Court, Tulare County, since 1899; for many years visited the Kings, Kern, and Kaweah regions of the High Sierra annually. (See, W. B. Wallace: A Night on Mount Whitney, in Mount Whitney Club Journal, May, 1902, pp. 1-12.)
|WALLACE, MOUNT (13,328)||[Mount Goddard]|
Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), English scientist, who developed theory of evolution contemporaneously with Darwin.
|WAMELO ROCK (7535)||[Mariposa]|
Shown on Hoffmann map, 1873, Wheeler Survey map, 1879, and Sierra Club maps (Le Conte), 1893, 1896, 1904. On U.S.G.S. map, Mariposa quadrangle, edition of 1912, shown as Fresno Dome.
|WANDA LAKE||[Mount Goddard]|
|WARREN, MOUNT (12,387)||[Mount Lyell]|
In Whitney’s Yosemite Guide Book, pocket edition, 1871, p. 82, the latter part of this passage was changed to read: “And it has become so firmly established here, that it is now impossible to transfer it back to its rightful ownership.” This refers to the present Dunderberg Peak. (See Dunderberg and Tower Peak.) Meanwhile the name of Warren was placed on another peak nearer Mount Dana, where it now rests. The map by Hoffmann and Gardiner, 1863-1867, issued with Whitney’s Yosemite Guide Book, 1870, shows the name on its present location. From Whitney’s description it appears that in 1867 he supposed the local name Castle Peak to be applicable to the present Mount Warren, but in 1870 discovered that it applied to the present Dunderberg. This left his name Mount Warren undisturbed where he had originally placed it.
“Of the high peaks adjacent to Mount Dana, Mount Warren was ascended by Mr. Wackenreuder.” (Whitney: The Yosemite Book, 1868, p. 92; Yosemite Guide Book, 1870, p. 103; Yosemite Guide Book, pocket edition, 1871, p. 89.)
Gouverneur Kemble Warren; graduate of West Point, 1850; commissioned in Engineer corps; distinguished in battle of Gettysburg; brevet major-general in Civil War; lieutenant-colonel in regular establishment, 1879; died 1882. Wrote notable memoir of early western explorations, published in Pacific Railroad Survey Reports, vol. XI, 1859.
|WASHBURN LAKE||[Mount Lyell]|
|WATKINS, MOUNT (9100)||[Yosemite]|
Watkins furnished illustrations for the Whitney Survey publications. (Whitney Survey: Geology, 1865, p. 408; Whitney: The Yosemite Book, 1868, p. 12.)
Indian name Waijau, meaning Pine Mountain. (Whitney: Yosemite Guide Book, 1870, p. 17.)
Galen Clark built a cabin at this site on South Fork of Merced River, 1857, known as Clark’s Station; Edwin Moore acquired half interest, 1869, after which it was known as Clark and Moore’s; purchased by Washburn brothers (John S., Edward P., and Albert Henry), 1875, who erected Wawona Hotel. (Clark: Indians of the Yosemite Valley and Vicinity, 1904, p. xii.— R. S. Ellsworth.—The Giant Sequoia, 1924, pp. 40-45.)
[Editor’s note: Wawona, or “Wa'wah'naa'h” is derived from “wah wah” (strangers, what Paiute called the Walla Walla people) and “naa'h” (men) in the Paiute Language, according to this blog posting “Wawona - The Indian name and definition of Yosemite landmark” (April 2011) —dea]
|WELLS PEAK (11,071)||[Dardanelles]|
|WHEELER PEAK (8977)||[Dardanelles]|
[Editor’s note: “White Wolf” was named after Chief Toha'eesha (“White Wolf” in English for his gray hair), who's English name was Captain Jim. After Indians and sheepherders saw a white wolf, some believe it was Captain Jim’s spirit, according to the blog post “Who was White Wolf? The Chief behind the Yosemite Name” (July 2011)—DEA]
|WHITNEY, MOUNT (14,500)||[Mount Whitney]|
In July, 1864, a field party of the California State Geological Survey under William H. Brewer, with Charles F. Hoffmann, James T. Gardiner, and Clarence King, saw from Mount Brewer the main crest of the Sierra a few miles away. One peak they named Mount Tyndall. “The other high point, eight miles south of Mount Tyndall, and, so far as known, the culminating peak of the Sierra, was named by the party Mount Whitney.” (Whitney Survey: Geology, 1865, p. 382.)
“Whitney had forbidden his subordinates to name for him the mountain which is now called after the Rev. Lorentine Hamilton. This time, in their chief’s absence, they stood upon their rights of discovery, and called their great peak, Mt. Whitney.” (Brewster: Life and Letters of Josiah Dwight Whitney, 1909, p. 238.)
“For years our chief, Professor Whitney, has made brave campaigns into the unknown realm of Nature. Against low prejudice and dull indifference he has led the survey of California onward to success. There stand for him two monuments,—one a great report made by his own hand; another the loftiest peak in the Union, begun for him in the planet’s youth and sculptured of enduring granite by the slow hand of time.” (Clarence King: Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada, 1872, pp. 280-281.)
Clarence King attempted to reach the summit of Mount Whitney in 1864, but failed by a few hundred feet. (Whitney Survey: Geology, 1865, pp. 388-391.) In 1871, King climbed what he supposed to be Mount Whitney and published an account of the ascent. (King: Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada, 1872, pp. 264-281.) On July 27, 1873, W. A. Goodyear and M. W. Belshaw rode mules to the summit of the supposed Mount Whitney and perceived that a peak a few miles north was higher. King, upon learning of his mistake, hastened to the Sierra and ascended the true Mount Whitney, on September 19, 1873, but not before it had several times been ascended by residents of Owens Valley. (King: Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada, 4th edition, 1874, pp. 281-297; James D. Hague, in Overland, November, 1873.)
First ascent, August 18, 1873, by John Lucas, Charles D. Begole, A. H. Johnson, all of Inyo County. They endeavored unsuccessfully to affix the name “Fisherman’s Peak.” (Wheeler: U. S. Geographical Surveys West of the 100th Meridian, I, Geographical Report, 1889, p. 100.)
Occupied by scientific party under Samuel Pierrepont Langley, of the Allegheny Observatory, August and September, 1881, for observations on solar heat. (Langley: Researches on Solar Heat. Professional Papers of the Signal Service, no. XV, 1884.) Occupied by parties from Smithsonian Institution and Lick Observatory, 1903, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1913. (S.C.B., 1904, V:2, pp. 87-97; S.C.B., 1910, VII:3, pp. 141-148; Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution, 1910, pp. 65-66.)
For other records, accounts, and discussions of ascents, see: W. A. Goodyear, in Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 1873-1874, V, pp. 139-144, 173-175.—W. A. Goodyear: letter to the editor of Inyo Independent, July 30, 1888, reprinted in Eighth Annual Report of the State Mineralogist, 1888, pp. 230-232.—Badè: Life and Letters of John Muir, I, 1923, pp. 392-396.— W. C. Wyckhoff: Sunlight Mysteries, in Harper’s, June, 1883, pp. 81-94.—Frank Adams: Up Whitney by the Lone Pine Trail, in Sunset, June-July, 1906, pp. 74-80.— J. N. Le Conte: The High Sierra of California, in Alpina Americana, no. 1, American Alpine Club, 1907.—Appalachia, January, 1892, VI:4, pp. 285-288; May, 1903, X:2, pp. 135-142.— Mount Whitney Club Journal, Visalia, California, 1902, 1903, 1904, nos. 1, 2, 3.— S.C.B., 1893, I:1, pp. 1-8; 1896, I:7, pp. 290-292; 1903, IV:4, pp. 289-290; 1904, V:1, pp. 60-63 1904, V:2, pp. 87-101, 138-139; 1905, V:3, pp. 258-260; 1905, V:4, pp. 316-317 1909, VII:2, pp. 105-118; 1910, VII:3, pp. 141-148; 1910, VII:4, p. 248; 1911 VIII:2, pp. 137-138; 1922, XI:3, pp. 253-254.— Farquhar: Exploration of the Sierra Nevada, in California Historical Society Quarterly, March, 1925, IV:1, pp. 32-36, 38.
“A military reservation of a certain number of legal subdivisions surrounding this peak has been declared by authority of the President [Arthur] in General Orders no. 67, of the War Department, September 26, 1883. It is understood that this reservation is for the purpose of securing the location for a prospective Signal Service station.” (Wheeler: U. S. Geographical Surveys West of the 100th Meridian, I, Geographical Report 1889, p. 101.—Map of proposed reservation, in Langley: Researches on Solar Heat. Professional Papers of the Signal Service, no. XV, 1884.)
Altitude determined in 1905 by R. B. Marshall, U.S.G.S., a fraction over 14,501 feet. The highest point in the United States exclusive of Alaska. (R. B. Marshall.)
|WILLIAMSON, MOUNT (14,384)||[Mount Whitney]|
Robert Stockton Williamson (1824-1882); graduated U. S. Military Academy, 1848, and commissioned in Topographical Engineers; first lieutenant, 1856; captain, 1861; major of Engineers, 1863; lieutenant-colonel, 1869; in charge of surveys in California for Pacific Railroad Survey, 1853, and in northern California and Oregon, 1855. (Pacific Railroad Survey Reports, XI, 1859, pp. 74-75, 77-78.)
First ascent by William L. Hunter and C. Mulholland about 1884. (S.C.B., 1894, I:3, p. 87; S.C.B., 1922, XI:3, p. 253—See, also, S.C.B., 1894, I:3, pp. 90-92; 1897, II:1, pp. 24-27; 1904, V:1, pp. 46-48; 1923, XI:4, p. 440; 1925, XII:2, pp. 192-193; 1926, XII:3, p. 307.)
|WINCHELL, MOUNT (13,749)||[Mount Goddard]|
In 1868, Elisha Cotton Winchell, of Millerton, gave the name Mount Winchell, in honor of his cousin Alexander, to the point now known as Lookout Point, overlooking Kings River Cañon. (Daily Morning Call, San Francisco, September 11, 1872.—S.C.B., 1926, XII:3, p. 245.) Unaware of prior use of the name by his father, Lilbourne Alsip Winchell gave it in 1879 to a peak south of the Palisades. (L. A. Winchell, in letter to T. S. Solomons, 1896.) The name was transposed by the U.S.G.S. to one of the peaks north of the North Palisade.
First ascent by Harvey C. Mansfield, John M. Newell, Windsor B. Putnam, June 10, 1923. (S.C.B., 1924, XII:1, pp. 90-91.)
|WOOD, MOUNT (12,663)||[Mount Lyell]|
|WOODS CREEK||[Mount Whitney]|
|WOODWORTH, MOUNT (12,214)||[Mount Goddard]|
Climbed by Bolton Coit Brown, August, 1895. (S.C.B., 1896, I:8, pp. 295-298.)
|WRIGHT LAKES, CREEK||[Mount Whitney]|
James William Albert Wright; A.B., Princeton, 1857; came to California from southern states and settled in San Joaquin Valley; accompanied W. B. Wallace and F. H. Wales to Kern River and Mount Whitney, 1881.
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