On a recent Nature Guide Field Trip the naturalist had told something of the history of the mountain when one of the party remarked, "Forty years ago today I made an attempt to climb the mountain". It was Mr. T. A. Bringham of Tacoma. The party asked for the story.
"We started from Longmire Springs with a pack train in charge of James Longmire. Upon reaching the end of the Nisqually Glacier, then a half mile below its present terminus, we found it impossible to cross the river, but Mr. Longmire was too good a woodsman to be stopped by that. Within an hour he had felled two trees across a narrow point and had a bridge. This, by the way, was the first bridge across the upper Nisqually. We camped for about ten days near where Paradise Inn now stands, then leaving my father in camp, and taking food and blankets we started for the summit under the leadership of Mr. Van Trump."
"At Panorama Point we saw our first mountain goat. In the evening we made camp on the rocks below Anvil Rock. In the morning we saw fresh wolf tracks in the snow within twenty feet of our beds. A party of four of us started on for the summit, but we never reached it. Well up on the Cowlitz Cleaver Mr. H. P. Hogland had a violent heart attack and we had our hands full getting him back to camp. In the meantime a heavy fog had settled down and we were unable to move. Soon our supply of food ran short and we looked around for game. One of the party killed a marmot but when dressed and cooked it was simply a lump of grease and no-one was hungry enough to eat much of it. Next day we found our way back to camp in Paradise Valley".
Mr. Bringham then told us of the changes that have taken place in the glaciers and snow fields during the past forty years. Those who composed the party were: Mr. P. B. Van Trump, Mr. T. A. Bringham, Mr. A. A. Bringham, his father, Mr. George Batch, Mr. W. R. Dodge, Mr. H. P. Hogland, and Mr. W. A. Berry.
By Douglas Bonamy, Ranger Naturalist.
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