Mt. Starr P750
Ruby Peak

Thu, Aug 28, 2003

With: Dave Daly

Mt. Starr
Story Photos / Slideshow Map Profile
Mt. Starr later climbed Tue, Jul 3, 2007
Ruby Peak later climbed Sat, Aug 9, 2008

Mt. Starr (12,835 ft.)

Named by Sierra Club in 1938

"Named by the Sierra Club in memory of Walter A. Starr Jr., a reknowned mountain climber and author of Guide to the John Muir Trail and the High Sierra Region. (BGN decision, 1939.) Starr was killed in August 1933 while climbing in the Minarets. (See SCB 19, no. 3, June 1934: 81-85.)

The first ascent of the mountain was on July 16, 1896, by Walter A. Starr, Sr. and Allen Chickering, who gave it a name of their own. '... a large cloud passed over us. Suddenly everything began to buzz like an electric car in motion. The camera tripod, our fingertips, and even our hair, which stood out straight, seemed to exude electricity. We were badly frightened, and got off the peak as rapidly as possible. We called our point Electric Peak.' (SCB 20, no. 1, Feb. 1935: 62.)"
- Peter Browning, Place Names of the Sierra Nevada

Didn't find much on Starr Jr., but his father was also famous and active in the Sierra:

"Two University of California students of the class of 1897 now took the lead in exploring the Sierra. Walter Starr tells the story: 'I spent the summer of 1895 in the northern part of Yosemite National park with Allen Chickering. Having become infected with Sierra Club enthusiasm, we determined to make a real trip of real exploration during the college vacation of 1896. We met Theodore S. Solomons, who was then as afterward tireless in exploring and mapping the High Sierra region.' The following spring Starr and Chickering entered the Sierra by way of Lake Eleanor and at the end of June joined Solomons in Yosemite for a journey to Kings Canyon. Solomons brought along a large camera with glass plates. 'Unfortunately the unusual weather we experienced,' wrote Starr many years later, 'prevented our getting many of the pictures we most wanted. The seasons during the eighties and early nineties were in a stormy, wet cycle. The high mountains then presented a wholly different appearance to what they do now. Huge snowfields and accumulated drifts lasted out the summer at high altitudes and the glaciers were much larger. Perhaps due to this condition, summer storms were much more frequent and more violent.' The trio crossed from the Merced to the San Joaquin by way of Isberg Pass and came eventually to Mono Creek and Vermilion Valley. Chickering and Starr climbed a peak above Mono Pass; but there Solomons became ill and the others were obliged to take him to a lower altitude. THey went down to Blaney Meadows and on to a beautiful lake which they named 'Florence Lake,' for Starr's sister. There Solomons reluctantly concluded that he could not continue on the trip. Starr and Chickering went back into the mountains and came to Tehipite by way of Collins Meadow. They ascended the Dome, measured it, and took pictures. They took the Tunemah Trail up the north flank of the Middle Fork Canyon to Simpson Meadow, thence over the divide, by Granite basin, and down Copper Creek to Kings Canyon. Starr and Chickering had thus made a continuous journey with animals from Yosemite to Kings. Canyon."
- Francis Farquhar, History of the Sierra Nevada

References to can also be found in these files:

  • More of Bob's Trip Reports

    For more information see these SummitPost pages: Mt. Starr - Ruby Peak

    This page last updated: Fri Aug 23 09:15:11 2013
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