Mt. Goddard P1K SPS / WSC

Sun, Sep 11, 2005

With: Matthew Holliman
Jeff Dhungana
Rick Kent

Etymology Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 Profile

Mt. Goddard (13,568 ft.)

Named by Whitney Survey in 1865

Also Divide, Canyon, Creek

"was named in 1865 by the Whitney Survey for George H. Goddard: 'Thirty-two miles north-northwest is a very high mountain, called Mount Goddard, in honor of a Civil Engineer who has done much to advance our knowledge of the geography of California, and who is the author of Britton Rey's Map' (Whitney, Geology, p. 382).

'Britton and Rey's Map of the state of California' is sometimes referred to as 'Goddard's map' or 'Goddard 1860'. Goddard, a native of England, was one of the great engineers of the 1850s who played an important role in the geographical delineation of the state. His map, first published in 1857, is the first reliable map of California that made use of all the official and private surveys executed in the first decade of American occupation."
- Erwin Gudde, California Place Names

"George Henry Goddard came to California in 1850 settling in Sacramento. He prospected for gold but earned a living as an artist, selling sketches of California scenes. With Edgar Mills, he helped found the mining camp of Columbia in Tuolumne County. He was originally an architect and surveyor and surveyed the first railroad line in California, the Western Pacific, extending out of Sacramento. In 1861, he became a land examiner for various banks in Sacramento. He assembled a large collection of minerals from California mines and more than 1000 sketches of places he had surveyed. This collection was destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake and fire of April, 1906. George Goddard died December 27, 1906."
-- California Digital Library (online)

"We are again back here, stopping over a day, and I will go on with my story. And yet I have a mind to pass it over, it is so like the rest. Rides over almost impassable ways, cold nights, clear skies, rocks, high summits, grand views, laborious days, and finally, short provisions -- the same old story.

Yet one item is worth relating. A very high peak, over thirteen thousand feet, rises between the San Joaquin and Kings rivers, which we call Mount Goddard, after an old surveyor in this state. It was very desireable to get on this, as it commands a wide view, and from it we could get the topography of a large region. Toward it we worked, over rocks and ridges, through canyons, and by hard ways. We got as far as horses could go on the ninth [of August], and thought that we were within about seven miles. of the peak [approaching from the northwest].

We camped at about ten thousand feet, and the next day four of us started for it -- Hoffmann, Dick [Cotter], Spratt (a soldier), and I. We anticipated a very heavy day's work, so we started at dawn. We crossed six high granite ridges, all rough, sharp, and rocky, and rising to over eleven thousand feet. We surmounted the seventh, a ridge very sharp and about twelve thousand feet, only to find the mountain still at least six miles farther, and two more deep canyons to cross. We had walked and climbed hard for nine hours incessantly, and had come perhaps twelve or fourteen miles. It was two o'clock in the afternoon. Hoffmann and I resigned the intention of reaching it, for it was too far and we were too tired.

Dick and Spratt resolved to try it. We did not think they could accomplish it. Dick took the barometer and I took their baggage, a field glass, canteen, and Spratt's carbine, which he had brought along for bears. Hoffmann and I got on a higher ridge for bearings, and then started back and walked until long after sunset -- but the moon was light -- over rocks. We got down to about eleven thousand feet, where stunted pines begin to grow in the scanty soil and crevices of the rocks. We found a dry stump that had been moved by some avalanche on a smooth slope of naked granite. We stopped there and fired it, and camped for the night.

We had brought along a lunch, expecting to be gone but the day. It consisted of dry bread and drier jerked beef, the latter as dry and hard as a chip, literally. This we had divided into three portions, for three meals, a mere morsel for each. This scanty supper we ate, then went to sleep. The stump burned all night and kept us partially warm, yet the night was not a comfortable one. Excessive fatigue, the hard naked rock to lie on -- not a luxurious bed -- hunger, no blankets -- although it froze all about us -- anxieties for the others who had gone on and were now out, formed the hard side of the picture.

Early in the evening, at times, I shouted with all my strength, that Dick and Spratt might hear us and not get lost. The echoes were grand, from the cliffs on either side, softening and coming back fainter as well as softer from the distance and finally dying away after a comparatively long time. At length, even here, sleep, "tired nature's sweet restorer," came on. Notwithstanding the hard conditions, we were more refreshed than you would believe. After months of this rough life, sleeping only on the ground, in the open air, the rocky bed is not so hard in reality as it sounds when told. We actually lay "in bed" until after sunrise, waiting for Dick. They did not come; so, after our meager breakfast we started and reached camp in nine hours. This was the hardest part. Still tired from yesterday's exertions, weak for want of food, in this light air, it was a hard walk.

At three in the afternoon we reached camp, tired, footsore, weak, hungry. Dick had been back already over an hour, but Spratt had given out. Gardner and two soldiers, supposing that Hoffmann and I also had given out, had started with some bread to look for us. We shot off guns, and near night they came in, and at the same time Spratt straggled into camp, looking as if he had had a hard time. Dick and he did not reach the top, but got within three hundred feet of it. They traveled all night and had no food -- they had eaten their lunch all up at once. Dick is very tough. He had walked thirty-two hours and had been twenty-six entirely without food; yet, on the return, he had walked in four hours what had taken Hoffmann and me eight to do."
- 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. Goddard

    This page last updated: Sat Apr 7 17:02:14 2007
    For corrections or comments, please send feedback to: snwbord@hotmail.com