Mt. Dana P2K SPS / WSC
Mt. Gibbs P1K SPS / WSC

Fri, Aug 6, 1993

With: Terry Davis

  Etymology
Mt. Dana
Mt. Gibbs
Story Map Profile
Mt. Dana later climbed Sat, Jul 19, 2008

Mt. Dana (13,057 ft.)

Named by Whitney Survey in 1863

Also Creek

"In 1889 J. N. LeConte copied, from a record found on the summit, "State Geological Survey, June 28, 1863. J. D. Whitney, W. H. Brewer, Charles F. Hoffmann, ascended this mountain June 28th and again the 29th. We give the name of Mount Dana to it in honor of J. D. Dana, the most eminent American Geologist." James Dwight Dana (1813-95) was professor of geology at Yale at that time.
- Erwin Gudde, California Place Names

Both Whitney and Brewer had studied at Yale.

"Messrs. Dana and Lyell expressed themselves as highly gratified over the honor done them; as well they might, for a thirteen-thousand-foot peak is no mean memorial for any man, while of all human monuments few endure like place names."
- J. D. Whitney, Life and Letters, July 10, 1863

The above quote was found in Erwin Gudde's book, California Place Names. From the dates of the two quotes only 12 days apart, it would seem that Whitney was able to send a note to Professors Dana and Lyell, receive correspondence back, and convey this in a letter, all within a very short period of time. Mt. Lyell, in fact, wasn't named until July 2 by Brewer and Hoffmann, during which time Whitney had already left to head back to San Francisco. Something in the dates, likely that for Life and Letters, seems incorrect.

"A high mountain rose on the east, from which we hoped to get important bearings, so on June 28, we were up early and Hoffmann and I started for it -- over rocks, ice, and snow. It is over thirteen thousand feet high and afforded a yet grander view than any we had had. The air was very clear, and we remained on the summit over four hours, taking bearings and barometrical observations. Hundreds of peaks were in sight, probably over fifty that are over twelve thousand feet. All north, west, and south was a scene of the wildest mountain desolation. On the east, at our feet, lay Mono Lake, an inland sea surrounded by deserts. A chain of extinct volcanic cones lay to the south of it, while alternate barren mountains and more barren desert plains stretched east to the distant horizon. It is not often that a man has the opportunity of attaining that height, or of beholding such a scene.
Professor Whitney was not well, so he did not go up, but on our return we gave him such a glowing description, and as we had found the climb so easy, he resolved to make the ascent. So on June 29 I returned with him, thus making the ascent on two successive days. He thought the view the grandest he had ever beheld, although he has seen nearly the whole of Europe."
- William Brewer, Up and Down California


References to can also be found in these files:

  • More of Bob's Trip Reports

    For more information see these SummitPost pages: Mt. Dana - Mt. Gibbs

    This page last updated: Sat Apr 7 17:02:14 2007
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