Mount Johnson

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Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 22, 2016 - 07:51am PT
Okay team, I'm trying to kick together a comprehensive list of people who have ever attempted new routes on Mount Johnson in Alaska's Ruth Gorge. I'm getting advised by Westman, Tackle, and Renny Jackson, but there are still a few missing, I think. Perhaps "the crowd" can help fill the gaps...

According to Renny, Mugs had made two attempts on Johnson's East Ridge prior to their 1990 attempt. Does anybody know with whom he made those tries? Steve Quinlan seems a likely candidate. (Does anybody have contact info for him?)

My current list:

Gary Bocarde and the three partners with whom he made the FA (1979, I believe):
C. Head
J. Lee
J. Thomas
(Anybody know the missing first names?)

East Ridge:
Jim McCarthy, Yvon Chouinard, Henry Barber, Rudi Hommburger

Mugs Stump
(Missing Mugs partners from two attempts prior to the one with Renny)
Renny Jackson

East Ridge and Elevator Shaft:
Doug Chabot

Elevator Shaft:
Jack Tackle
Charlie Sassara
Dave McGivern
Jim Sweeney
Dave Nyman
Kim Miller

North Face:
Andi Orgler
Michael Rutter
Klaus Gaiswinkler
Hannes Arch
Helmut Neswadba

East Ridge:
Mark Westman
Jeff Benowitz
Chris Turiano
Joe Puryear

Bob Ingle (?)

The Escalator:
Seth Shaw (Was Seth Shaw with Mugs on the East Ridge when he broke his leg?)
Tim Wagner

The Ladder Tube:
Fumitaka Ichimura
Yusuke Sato
Tatsuro Yamada

The Fire Escape:
Todd Tumalo
Josh Hoeschen

Stairway to Heaven:
Kevin Cooper
Ryan Jennings

A tough guy list if I've ever seen one.


Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2016 - 08:48am PT
Also, does anyone know for whom Mount Johnson is named?

I'm guessing it's a name left over from the Cook 1906 expedition, or else from the debunking/renaming trip of Belmore Browne and Hershel Parker in 1910.

This AAC document says the latter, but doesn't give a clue as to who Mr. Johnson might be...

http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/12200608600/print

And I'm not entirely sure the peaks on the west side of the gorge WERE renamed...

Was Mr. Johnson some obscure turn of the century Ohio politician? (Tackle thinks possibly so, but wasn't sure.)
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2016 - 08:49am PT
Come on, Supertopo, the gauntlet is thrown... prove your worth.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2016 - 08:51am PT
Gary Bocarde, Charlie Head, John Lee, and Jon Thomas, courtesy of Mark Westman, via email, so that Q is covered. Thanks, Mark!
crankster

Trad climber
No. Tahoe
Feb 22, 2016 - 09:02am PT
New book, Greg? Slow down...I haven't finished China Wings yet.

According to the book, Decisions of the US Geographic Board, Mt. Johnson was named for the late Willard D. Johnson of the US Geological Survey, on the recommendation of the Sierra Club.
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
Feb 22, 2016 - 09:06am PT

Is this Johnson?? I was trying to pick it out as we flew by.
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Feb 22, 2016 - 09:18am PT
Keith Royster/Stevens has Quinlan's contact info. Jay Kerr probably does too.
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
Feb 22, 2016 - 09:20am PT
Did Twight and his crew do something up there back when they were hitting hard in Alaska? Or was that Wake or Bradley maybe?

Amazing peak.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2016 - 09:22am PT
Crankster! Awesome. Much appreciated. Key piece of data.

Is that book online, or do you have a physical copy?
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2016 - 09:23am PT
Twight, House, and Blitz did The Gift That Keeps on Giving on Bradley, on the left edge of the South Face.
F

climber
away from the ground
Feb 22, 2016 - 09:31am PT
We made an attempt on the East Buttress. Made it about 10 pitches. Was in WAY over my head. What line! Pre Facebook, so it never happened.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2016 - 09:41am PT
F, can I have your name and your partners? Or are you pulling my leg?
crankster

Trad climber
No. Tahoe
Feb 22, 2016 - 10:17am PT
Greg,
I was in error - that was Mt. Johnson, CA I'll keep digging. Sorry!

Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2016 - 10:20am PT
Sh#t, Crankster, that's the wanker version of Mount Johnson. ;-)

Fresno and Inyo Counties are a long way from the Ruth Gorge.

David Roberts thinks it's likely a name left over from the Fred Cook expedition... I wish I could figure out who was this mysterious Mr. Johnson.
crankster

Trad climber
No. Tahoe
Feb 22, 2016 - 10:25am PT
Greg,

Now I'm on a mission...Talkeenta Ranger station looking it up and calling me back...will update.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2016 - 10:31am PT
Crankster! You're the man. Much appreciated.

Have them look for a map in Cook's To The Top of the Continent... That would ascertain whether it was Cook who named it. And perhaps the book has a clue as to who is this mysterious Mr. Johnson.
MarkWestman

Trad climber
Talkeetna, Alaska
Feb 22, 2016 - 10:32am PT
I think Joe's article Greg has linked to above is probably correct that the naming of those peaks was largely made by the Belmore Browne/Herschel Parker expedition in 1910. It is also possible that some of the names were applied during Cook's 1906 trip into the Ruth.

I am fairly certain that only Dickey and Barrille are "officially" registered names with the USGS. Mount Grosvenor (the peak just south of Johnson) at one point was referred to as "Mt. Hudson" according to a map notation in the ranger station made by none other than Brad Washburn. Not sure if that might be for Cliff Hudson.
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2016 - 10:35am PT
Mark, David Roberts thinks it might be Cook who assigned the names along the west side of the Gorge. If there were a map in the NPS copy of To the Top of the Continent it might give us another clue...
ionlyski

Trad climber
Kalispell, Montana
Feb 22, 2016 - 10:36am PT
USGS is still a good bet. Go online to their archive office in Denver and search field notes and historical images of the area. Find out when they were in the area (usually around the turn of the century) Very often the location of interest was named for someone connected with the group.

Arne
Gregory Crouch

Social climber
Walnut Creek, California
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 22, 2016 - 10:37am PT
Actually, it's in the public domain and is digitally archived:

To the Top of the Continent

Now just need to flip through and find a map...

There's one on page 211, but it's not large enough scale. VERY cool map
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