The Annual Celebration of John Muir’s B-Day and Earth Day!

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Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 18, 2010 - 02:09pm PT
The Annual Celebration of John Muir’s B-Day and Earth Day!

John Muir’s B-day 4/21 (as well as Klimmer’s!)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Muir

Earth Day 4/22
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Day


Wow, Climbers really do contribute to Research and Science!
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=360135&msg=360174#msg360174

He was a:
• Inventor
• Rambler
• Civil War Protester - He just walked away and went to California!
• Climber/Mountaineer
• Naturalist
• Scientist (when you do science, and you make scientific discoveries you are a scientist)
• Came to theories that glaciers were a prominent force of nature in sculpting the Sierras and took copious notes on these theories before the Geology community ever came to them. John Muir beat out Geologist Josiah Whitney on the origin of Yosemite Valley, and that the massive sculpting of the Sierras was primarily due to glaciers and not faulting.



“Geological studies and theories
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Muir

John Muir in 1907 Pursuit of his love of science, especially geology, often occupied his free time. Muir soon became convinced that glaciers had sculpted many of the features of the valley and surrounding area. This notion was in stark contradiction to the accepted contemporary theory, promulgated by Josiah Whitney (head of the California Geological Survey), which attributed the formation of the valley to a catastrophic earthquake. As Muir's ideas spread, Whitney would try to discredit Muir by branding him as an amateur. But Louis Agassiz, the premier geologist of the day, saw merit in Muir's ideas, and lauded him as "the first man I have ever found who has any adequate conception of glacial action."[19]

In 1871, Muir discovered an active alpine glacier below Merced Peak, which helped his theories gain acceptance. He was a highly productive writer and had many of his accounts and papers published as far away as New York. Muir's former professor at the University of Wisconsin, Ezra Carr, and his wife Jeanne, encouraged Muir to put his ideas into print. They also introduced Muir to notables such as Emerson, as well as leading scientists such as Louis Agassiz, John Tyndall, John Torrey, Clinton Hart Merriam, and Joseph LeConte. [citation needed]”

A large earthquake centered near Lone Pine, California in Owens Valley (see 1872 Lone Pine earthquake) strongly shook occupants of Yosemite Valley in March 1872. The quake woke Muir in the early morning and he ran out of his cabin "both glad and frightened," exclaiming, "A noble earthquake!" Other valley settlers, who believed Whitney's ideas, feared that the quake was a prelude to a cataclysmic deepening of the valley. Muir had no such fear and promptly made a moonlit survey of new talus piles created by earthquake-triggered rockslides. This event led more people to believe in Muir's ideas about the formation of the valley.[citation needed]”

• All around crazy mountain man who climbed big trees, rode an avalanche, danced all night on a mountain top to avoid freezing, slept in a fumaroles on Mt. Shasta to avoid freezing to death, and did it all on herbs and tea (I'm probably stretching the truth on the last statement) among many other feats of daring and bravery (or stupidity depending on how you look at it). Just a wild, wilderness fun kind of guy.
• Conservationist and preserver of wilderness (accomplishing this for many generations to come)
• Co-Founder of the Sierra Club
• Father of the National Park System
• Unbelievably gifted writer and author
• Memorized the Bible (75% of the OT and 100% of the NT)
• Actively Demonstrated the Word of GOD “The Holy Bible” is a Green Book, and not an excuse to Ruin the Earth
• “Religious Prophet” "Prophet of Wilderness" : The Original Preacher of GOD Crying for the Preservation of Wilderness



I have a special place in my heart for John Muir. I would have loved to have met him.

The John Muir Exhibit at the Sierra Club Website:
http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/

"John Muir (1838-1914) was America's most famous and influential naturalist and conservationist. He is one of California's most important historical personalities. He has been called "The Father of our National Parks," "Wilderness Prophet," and "Citizen of the Universe." He once described himself more humorously, and perhaps most accurately, as, a "poetico-trampo-geologist-botanist and ornithologist-naturalist etc. etc. !!!!" Legendary librarian and author Lawrence Clark Powell (1906-2001), (anticipating an event that was not to occur until 2006), said of him: "If I were to choose a single Californian to occupy the Hall of Fame, it would be this tenacious Scot who became a Californian during the final forty-six years of his life." "




Post Up your favorite John Muir Story!

One of my favorites is . . .

Stickeen: An Adventure with a Dog and a Glacier
by John Muir, from Travels in Alaska (1915)
http://www.yosemite.ca.us/john_muir_writings/stickeen/an_adventure_with_a_dog_and_a_glacier.html

10b4me

Boulder climber
Hell A
Apr 18, 2010 - 02:44pm PT
John was the man
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 18, 2010 - 05:58pm PT
Here is a brochure on Muir, the Father of our National Park System:

http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/pdf/john_muir_brochure.pdf
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 19, 2010 - 12:05am PT
Here are some really good short videos on John Muir I found . . . pretty good stuff . . .


Walking Among Giants: The Life of John Muir
http://vimeo.com/1023184

John Muir & Theodore Roosevelt in Yosemite
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gJ43sReByo

John Muir and Yosemite
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4M-Z12QRDwE&feature=related

Lee Stetson - Voice of John Muir
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1lvhhhAcUo&feature=related

Lee Stetson - Keeping the Spirit of John Muir Alive
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVJ-RO8_v4c&feature=fvw

Hetch Hetchy - Yosemite's Lost Valley – Trailer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBv7pARTYpE&feature=related
Discover Hetch Hetchy with Harrison Ford
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geq4zHqlfTc&feature=related

John Muir (The Ballad of)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsWsLRLxBSk&feature=related

Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 19, 2010 - 12:04pm PT
What are John Muir's Notable First Ascents?


Found this in Wikipedia . . .

List of first ascents in the Sierra Nevada (U.S.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_first_ascents_in_the_Sierra_Nevada_(U.S.)




It lists Cathedral Peak, 4th class, Sept. 1869


Didn't John do more 1st Ascents in the Sierras?

Also what other first ascents did he have outside of Califonia? Any?
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 19, 2010 - 12:48pm PT
Here is a really good find . . .

Explore John Muir's Life with Google Earth
http://www.sierraclub.org/muir/nonmap_version/

Google Earth File:
http://www.sierraclub.org/muir/maplink.kmz


Also indicates that Muir had the first ascent of Mount Ritter:

"John Muir made the first ascent of 13,300-foot Mount Ritter in October of 1872. As is clear from his report, the summit posed no small challenge. "After gaining a point about half-way to the top, I was brought to a dead stop, with arms outspread, clinging close to the face of the rock, unable to move hand or foot either up or down. My doom appeared fixed. I must fall. ... When this final danger flashed in upon me, I became nerve-shaken for the first time since setting foot on the mountain, and my mind seemed to fill with a stifling smoke. But the terrible eclipse lasted only a moment, when life burst forth again with preternatural clearness. ... Then my trembling muscles became firm again, every rift and flaw was seen as through a microscope, and my limbs moved with a positiveness and precision with which I seemed to have nothing at all to do."


Gary

climber
Desolation Basin, Calif.
Apr 19, 2010 - 01:19pm PT
I went on a Sierra Club hike in the Santa Monicas yesterday up Los Liones Canyon and had some John Muir birthday cake at Tippet Ranch. On the way back, I passed a Hollywood TV star. It was that chick from Seinfeld?
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 19, 2010 - 04:39pm PT
http://www.sierracollege.edu/ejournals/jscnhm/v1n2/muirquotes.html

"In God's wildness lies the hope of the world - the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off, and wounds heal ere we are aware." — from John of the Mountains (1938)
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 19, 2010 - 07:08pm PT
Here is a Mt. Shasta climbing TR written for NOAA? in 1875 (actually USCS, US Coastal Survey) by John Muir, enjoy:

http://www.history.noaa.gov/stories_tales/muir.html

Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 20, 2010 - 02:47pm PT
Watched this program last night on PBS. Very good. All about the History of Earth Day. You can also watch it on-line at the link below . . .


The Seeds of a Revolution: Earth Days

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/earthdays/

Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 20, 2010 - 07:01pm PT
Muir on the summit of Mt. Rainer, WA. He guided the group to the summit:




Supposively, John Muir is the third from the left sitting down. But the gentleman raising his hat in the air seems more his style to me. Although Muir is most often very understated in most photos.



Transcribed from "John Muir's Ascent of Mt. Rainier"
(As recorded by his photographer, A.C. Warner). (1956, December 28). The Mountaineer 50 (1), 38-45.

http://content.lib.washington.edu/warnerweb/essay.html
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 21, 2010 - 10:08am PT
Happy John Muir B-Day!



John Muir is Cool. Very Cool.






Maysho

climber
Soda Springs, CA
Apr 21, 2010 - 10:34am PT
Great stuff!

Muir was the man. Every one of our school groups ends with a closing circle at the Sierra Club lodge. I always ask the kids what they know about John Muir, then I tell them that when I was an adolescent I was taught mountain craft by old men and women in the Sierra Club at the rocks in Berkeley. Those oldsters were taught by folks who were taught by folks who were taught by John Muir. I tell them it is a lineage and that I am passing it on to them.

Then I send them off with the quote to:

"Climb the mountains and get there good tidings, natures peace will flow into you as the sunshine flows into trees, the winds will blow their freshness and the storms their energy, and your cares will fall off like autumn leaves"

It is still my ultimate mountaineering goal to walk across California someday from the ocean to beyond the crest, with a blanket and a bit of simple food...


Peter
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 21, 2010 - 06:32pm PT
It is no surprise that John Muir has so many things named after him. But did you also know he has a planetary body named after him?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/128523_Johnmuir

128523 Johnmuir is a main belt asteroid with an orbital period of 1363.9459897 days (3.73 years).[1]

The asteroid was discovered on August 11, 2004.

http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=128523
rmuir

Social climber
the Time Before the Rocks Cooled.
Apr 21, 2010 - 10:10pm PT
Happy birthday, Mr. Muir.

John Muir has certainly become a legend, but let's not be too hasty to build a cult of idolatry. After all, he wasn't the President of the Galaxy! ("Vell, Zaphod's just zis guy, you know?")

Many imagine that Muir walked everywhere by choice. I would argue that his famous long walks were a lack of means, rather than an abundance of enthusiasm. His 1,000 mile walk from Louisville, Kentucky, to the Gulf (in order to get to California) after regaining his sight, might not have happened exactly that way if he could have afforded a ticket...

As soon as the infrastructure was in place, Muir didn't habitually stroll across the Central Valley to get to the Sierras. He used trains and carriages frequently to get to his Range of Light.

The image of pockets of dried apricots and flour (and scant little else) is somewhat fanciful... He carried new fangled tools like altimeters and thermometers up Shasta, for example.

Muir, perhaps modestly, said, "Galen Clark was the best mountaineer I ever met..." And we may never know what exploits others did in the Yosemite, before Muir started bagging the rep.

My favorite story, since you asked, is hardly one of sacred reverence for untrammeled, pristine wildness:

"At one juncture, Muir became animated. 'Watch this,' he said. Grabbing a flaming branch from the fire, he lit a dead pine tree which was set off on its own and protected on a ledge. With a roar, flame shot like a bonfire up the dead branches. Suddenly Muir did a Scottish jig around the pine torch. Roosevelt, leaping to his feet, hopped around the flaming tree as well, shouting 'Hurrah!' over and over into the night sky. 'That's a candle,' Roosevelt told Muir, that 'took 500 years to make. Hurrah for Yosemite!, Mr. Muir.'

I like the story of Muir bagging the FA of Mt. Whitney via the Mountaineer's Route—especially considering the multiple, consecutive approaches from from Independence after getting stormed-off the first time.

And, klimmer... I've always wondered that if Muir hadn't had such a puritanical father, would he have invested so much time memorizing the Bible? Indeed, Father believed that "...the Bible is the only book human beings can possibly require throughout all the journey from earth to heaven." After dinner and "family worship", everyone was ordered straight to bed in that bleak household. Only after striking a deal with the old man, was John allowed to get up (as much as five hours earlier) to resume the lessons he had been be denied since leaving Dunbar, Scotland. John did become a polymath and trained scientist, after all. HIs beliefs may not have been what you imagine. (I'd caution against reading too much fundamentist Christianity into his more fundamental belief in natural philosophy.)

And a anti-Civil War protester fleeing to anti-Canada? Hardly. Muir was in Madison attending four years of University, engaged in a very eclectic education during part of the war. During some of the Civil War, Muir moved across the border to Canada to avoid being conscripted, although he could have easily bought his way out serving. (They didn't have college exemptions like some of us enjoyed.) He walked South only after his industrial accident, and with only $15 in his pocket. Just another dirt bag hiker.

Muir's last years sound absolutely tragic given the damage inflicted on him by the water barons of San Francisco and Sacramento. Ken Burn's recent documentary is one of the first serious treatments of John Muir's closing years, IMO.

His story is history. But let's not overly romanticize it; that just doesn't do justice to such a great man.


--Robs John Muir
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 22, 2010 - 01:41am PT
Robs Muir,

Thanks for the words. Very cool to have a "Stonemaster" and distant relative of JM to make an appearance and give an interesting insight.



John Muir has certainly become a legend, but let's not be too hasty to build a cult of idolatry. After all, he wasn't the President of the Galaxy!


I hope everyone is aware I'm not idol worshiping. I'm just celebrating a pretty cool climber that did so many incredibly good things and became very well loved and famous the world over. Some climbers do have an incredible impact on the World. JM was certainly one of our most famous. It is fun to celebrate Muir's accomplishments.

Muir certainly had a wild streak and rebel nature for sure. It comes through loud and clear in his writings.

And, klimmer... I've always wondered that if Muir hadn't had such a puritanical father, would he have invested so much time memorizing the Bible? Indeed, Father believed that "...the Bible is the only book human beings can possibly require throughout all the journey from earth to heaven." After dinner and "family worship", everyone was ordered straight to bed in that bleak household. Only after striking a deal with the old man, was John allowed to get up (as much as five hours earlier) to resume the lessons he had been be denied since leaving Dunbar, Scotland. John did become a polymath and trained scientist, after all. HIs beliefs may not have been what you imagine. (I'd caution against reading too much fundamentist Christianity into his more fundamental belief in natural philosophy.)


Well, dispite his very disciplined puritanical father, JM fell in love with GOD the Creator and what GOD was able to do with creation. He certainly saw the side of GOD that is full of love, beauty, and compassion, despite the hard-line his father took. I do not attribute fundamentalist beliefs to JM. I'm sure he would have no trouble believing in a very Old Earth, and the Evolution of Life. But, I'm sure he would say the designer is GOD, and GOD oversees his Creation, which unfortunately we foul-up. He did demonstrate The Holy bible is a Green Book. You can not seperate the man from his words. And JM is famous for flowery writing and celebrating GOD's creation and drawing wonderful insights from the Word of God and using them throughout his writing.

Here are a few books on this topic . . .

God's Wilds: John Muir's Vision of Nature (Environmental History Series) (Hardcover)by Dennis C. Williams
http://www.amazon.com/Gods-Wilds-Vision-Environmental-History/dp/1585441430/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I29LJ8A404UUO8&colid=2GL3DFQ4AXH2G

Baptized into Wilderness: A Christian Perspective on John Muir (Environmental Theology, Book 1) (Paperback) by Richard Cartwright Austin
http://www.amazon.com/Baptized-into-Wilderness-Perspective-Environmental/dp/0804208697/ref=wl_it_dp_o?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2VQ8ZGL3KQIS5&colid=2GL3DFQ4AXH2G

The Gospel According to the Earth: Why the Good Book is a Green Book
by Matthew Sleeth
http://www.amazon.com/Gospel-According-Earth-Good-Green/dp/006173053X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271914077&sr=1-1



JM was anti-war. He wrote about how he dispised war, and he couldn't understand brother killing brother in the Civil War. And yes he wanted to get away from it, and he did.

http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/john_muir_national_historic_site/most_often_asked_questions.html

14. Was John Muir a draft dodger during the Civil War?
No, we do not feel that he was because he often wrote home to see if he had been drafted. However, he would not volunteer. "War is the farthest reaching and most infernal of all civilized calamities." This was his feeling about the Civil War in America for which he refused to volunteer.
( Son of the Wilderness , pg 17, 68, 90; John Muir and His Legacy , Fox, pg 42, 43 )




John Muir on Mt. Rubidoux, Riverside, CA


Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Apr 22, 2010 - 01:58am PT
One of my prized possessions - first edition:

Brunosafari

Boulder climber
OR
Apr 22, 2010 - 02:06am PT

Thanks Klimmer! Like many at ST the discovery of the Sierra was for me a profound spiritual journey and John Muir, a prophetic light. I'll never forget my own "first summer in the Sierra," and still cherish all my fellow pilgrims. Bruce Adams
Klimmer

Mountain climber
San Diego
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 22, 2010 - 09:34am PT












One thing people should note. Muir wasn't perfect. No one is. But he certainly changed his opinion of the Native North Americans later in life. He had native inuits on his team for adventure travels into Alaska. I'm sure he matured in his perspective over time.
xkyczar

Trad climber
denver
Apr 22, 2010 - 11:52am PT
I put this together a while back:

http://www.librarything.com/profile/JohnMuirLibrary

Its a sort of online library of the books John Muir owned (those that were in his possession when he died). From the profile page you can click on the "mountaineering" tag and see his collection of mountaineering books and some magazines. A lot of poetry too.

I probably could have done a better job with the profile page.
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