Mt. Hoffmann P2K WSC
Tuolumne Peak P500

Thu, Aug 4, 2005

With: Matthew Holliman

Etymology
Mt. Hoffmann
Tuolumne Peak
Story Photos / Slideshow Map Profile
Mt. Hoffmann previously climbed Sat, Aug 7, 1993
later climbed Fri, Oct 2, 2009
Tuolumne Peak previously climbed Sun, Sep 24, 2000

Mt. Hoffmann (10,850 ft.)

Named by Whitney Survey in 1863

"Named for Whitney's topographer, Charles F. Hoffmann (1838-1913). A native of Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Charles was topographer of the State Geological (Whitney) Survey throughout its existence (1860-1874). Hoffmann was one of the pioneers of modern topography and is responsible for the adoption of the contour line for the topographical atlas of the United States made by the USGS.
Hoffmann's map: "Topographical map of Central California together with a part of Nevada," 1873, was the most detailed and most reliable map of this part of the state until the issuance of the atlas shets by the USGS. Unfortunately, the Whitney Survey was discontinued before the map was completed; the northwest section exists only as a sketch.
Hoffmann's map of the Bay region: "Map of the region adjacent to the Bay of San Francisco," 1873.
Hoffmann-Gardner map: "Map of a portion of the Sierra Nevada adjacent to the Yosemite Valley from surveys made by Ch. F. Hoffmann and J. T. Gardner," 1863-67. The three maps were publications of the Whitney Survy.
Hoffmann's notes: Hoffmann's field notes of 1861 remained in the possession of his son, Ross Hoffmann. Unfortunately, the books containing notes of subsequent years have been misplaced.
- Erwin Gudde, California Place Names

"June 24, [1863] we climbed a peak over eleven thousand feet high, about five miles from camp, which we named Mount Hoffmann, after our topographer. It commanded a sublime view. Perhaps over fifty peaks are in sight which are over twelve thousand feet, the highest rising over thirteen thousand feet. Many of these are mere pinnacles of granite, streaked with snow, abounding in enormous precipices. The scene has none of the picturesque beauty of the Swiss Alps, but it is sublimely grand -- its desolation is its great feature. Several little lakes are in sight. The scene is one to be remembered for a lifetime.
We returned to camp [at Soda Springs], took a hearty dinner, then fought mosquitoes with industry and built smokes beside our blankets before we could sleep."
- William Brewer, Up and Down California

Hoffmann was with Brewer through all the later's adventures in California, 1861-64, and was his most trusted companion. Hoffmann did not have the strength or stamina exhibited by Brewer, and was sometimes left weak and ailing after one of their climbing adventures. On their last trip together back from the Sierra, Hoffmann was very sick and grew steadily weaker. At Mariposa, "there we got a carriage, put a bed in it, and King and Dick got him to Stockton, a hundred miles distant, and thence by steamer to San Francisco. He is still very sick and may never recover."
Apparently he did, and enjoyed many more outings in the Sierra working with the Survey, even after Brewer had taken a professorship at Yale and returned to the east coast.


References to can also be found in these files:

  • More of Bob's Trip Reports

    For more information see these SummitPost pages: Mt. Hoffmann - Tuolumne Peak

    This page last updated: Mon Oct 5 10:03:39 2009
    For corrections or comments, please send feedback to: snwbord@hotmail.com