One more on George Anderson

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

     Documentation from the late 1800’s is really hit and  miss. Seems most of our facts are kludged together from several 3rd person accounts of things that occurred years after they actually happened. Andersond id  not keep a diary so we really don’t know the exact when and where things took place. So it depends on what source one uses. But he’s the man. He’s Neil Armstrong, Christopher Columbus, Orville Wright, Henry Ford. An older park person involved in the cable maintenance, annual up and down, and repair over the years thinks any adoration of Anderson is shallow and neglects the hundreds of heroic acts that others carried out to keep the cables up there and to replace them in 1934 and 1984. No, George got up first. Judging from the great blog comments on this, I think there needs to be more recognition of this singular feat. You can also call him a father of modern big wall climbing since he was one of the first to use aids (his spikes) to get up.

     If you walk through the superb dioramas in the Visitor Center, you don’t learn about George. You hear about Tissayak and a bevy of other pioneers. I assume with limited space and so many people they could profile, they had to draw a line. This blog attracts over 200 daily readers. I know you’re there and thank you for spending your morning coffee with me. Anyone else want to express an opinion of support for Anderson recognition? Be nice to go forward with more than 4 interested citizens.

   Here’s a photo I cherish. One of Anderson’s spikes. There are 3 in existence. I guess time and rust took the rest. The NPS has 2 and the Yosemite Hiking Club has one. The holy grail. 

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “What I like about camping is you can get really dirty.  Either you’re all by yourself, so no one else sees you; or everyone you’re with is just as dirty as you are, so nobody cares.”  A former Boy Scout.

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch –


2 Responses to “One more on George Anderson”

  1. Maureen Lahiff Says:

    Maybe it’s worth waiting on the “let’s tell the story of Anderson and Half Dome pioneers” request to NPS and YC until we see the NPS decides about Half Dome next fall.

    If the NPS does decide to take the cables down, it seems to me that they will be reluctant to honor the history. If they decide the cables can stay with permits, it might make them more amenable to telling this part of the Park’s story.

    • mrhalfdome Says:

      I’m a bit more impatient than you. I KNOW the bureaucracy there and if we get into the Summer 2011 funding cycle something might happen if it gets approved. If we wait until Nov, we miss the 2011 cycle and have to go to the summer 2012 cycle, thus nothing would get installed or done until 2013. By then the Mayan end of the world will happen and it will be a mute point.

      We can’t second guess what they will do with the cables– and he still deserves recognition regardless. He also built the JMT up to the base of Vernal. He got up Mount Starr King in 1877.

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