Scylla SPS / WSC
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Mon, Sep 6, 2010
Etymology
Scylla
Mt. Solomons
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Scylla (12,956 ft.)

Named by T.S. Solomons in 1895

"In 1895, when T. S. Solomons and E. C. Bonner came down from Mount Goddard to Simpson Meadow by way of Disappearing Creek and the Enchanted Gorge, they passed between two peaks that they named Scylla and Charbybdis, from Homer's Odyssey. 'Sheer, ice-smoothed walls arose on either side, up and up, seemingly into the very sky, their crowns two sharp black peaks of most majestic form. A Scylla and a Charybdis they seemed to us, as we stood at the margin of the lake and wondered how we might pass the dangerous portal'"
- Erwin Gudde, California Place Names

"The mountain was called 'Scylla Peak' on the first three editions of the Mt. Goddard 30' map, 1912-23. It was changed to 'Scylla' in 1928, which is what Solomons intended in the first place."
- Peter Browning Place Names of the Sierra Nevada

"'Of these two rocks the one reaches heaven and its peak is lost in a dark cloud. This never leaves it, so that the top is never clear not even in summer and early autumn. No man though he had twenty hands and twenty feet could get a foothold on it and climb it, for it runs sheer up, as smooth as though it had been polished. In the middle of it there is a large cavern, looking West and turned towards Erebus; you must take your ship this way, but the cave is so high up that not even the stoutest archer could send an arrow into it. Inside it Scylla sits and yelps with a voice that you might take to be that of a young hound, but in truth she is a dreadful monster and no one -- not even a god -- could face her without being terror-struck. She has twelve mis-shapen feet, and six necks of the most prodigious length; and at the end of each neck she has a frightful head with three rows of teeth in each, all set very close together, so that they would crunch any one to death in a moment, and she sits deep within her shady cell thrusting out her heads and peering all round the rock, fishing for dolphins or dogfish or any larger monster that she can catch, of the thousands with which Amphitrite teems. No ship ever yet got past her without losing some men, for she shoots out all her heads at once, and carries off a man in each mouth.

'You will find the other rocks lie lower, but they are so close together that there is not more than a bowshot between them. [A large fig tree in full leaf grows upon it], and under it lies the sucking whirlpool of Charybdis. Three times in the day does she vomit forth her waters, and three times she sucks them down again; see that you be not there when she is sucking, for if you are, Neptune himself could not save you; you must hug the Scylla side and drive ship by as fast as you can, for you had better lose six men than your whole crew.'

'Is there no way,' said I, 'of escaping Charybdis, and at the same time keeping Scylla off when she is trying to harm my men?'

'You dare-devil,' replied the goddess, you are always wanting to fight somebody or something; you will not let yourself be beaten even by the immortals. For Scylla is not mortal; moreover she is savage, extreme, rude, cruel and invincible. There is no help for it; your best chance will be to get by her as fast as ever you can, for if you dawdle about her rock while you are putting on your armour, she may catch you with a second cast of her six heads, and snap up another half dozen of your men; so drive your ship past her at full speed, and roar out lustily to Crataiis who is Scylla's dam, bad luck to her; she will then stop her from making a second raid upon you."
- Homer's Odyssey


References to can also be found in these files:

  • More of Bob's Trip Reports

    For more information see these SummitPost pages: Scylla - Mt. Solomons

    This page last updated: Sat Apr 7 17:02:15 2007
    For corrections or comments, please send feedback to: snwbord@hotmail.com