MATTERHORN PEAK (12,279 ft.)

Named by Wheeler Survey in 1878

Also Canyon

"The Wheeler Survey named both features in 1878; they are shown on atlas sheet 56D, 1878-79. In 1877 John Muir gave the name 'Matterhorn' to what is now Banner Peak or some other summit near it. (Muir, 'Snow Banners of the Caifornia Alps,' Harper's, July 1877.)

'That the name is a poor one there can be no doubt ... there is only the barest suggestion of resemblance to the wonderful Swiss mountain after which it is called.' (Lincoln Hutchinson in SCB 3, no. 2, May 1900: 162-63.) Lt. McClure, in 1894, gave the name to what are now the 'Finger Peaks' because of the striking resemblance to alpine peaks; his map of 1896 thus has 'Matterhorn' misplaced, even though LeConte's of 1893 has it in the right place. (Farquhar files: letter from McClure, Oct. 22, 1920.)"
- Peter Browning, Place Names of the Sierra Nevada

"During the 1950's [Gary] Snyder became involved with the San Francisco Beat movement. After Snyder and Jack Kerouac climbed Matterhorn Peak in the northern Sierra Nevada, Kerouac used Snyder as the model for Japhy Ryder, the itinerant mountain-climbing poet of Dharma Bums (1958), a man who took his Zen practice beyond the confines of formal study."
- ECO Books

  • Excerpt from The Dharma Bums
  • More about The Dharma Bums
    Other Emblem Peaks named by Wheeler Survey:
  • Olancha Peak