Climbing Mount Rainier October 15, 1890


Van Trump Fails to Reach the Top of Precipitous North Peak.

Washington Standard October 15, 1890

The party of Centralians who went off to climb Mount Rainier some ten days ago returned yesterday without having accomplished the ascent. The party consisted of ex-sheriff Degeler, Homer, and L.M. Bean, Ed. and C.L. Butts, J.H. Douglas, F.D. Case and John Holt. These eight gentlemen reached Longmyer springs at the base of the mountain on the southeast side, and climbed as far as Gibraltar rock before turning back. While in camp at the Camp of the Clouds, a party of three men and a hound came sown the mountain and spent the might with the Centralians. The three men were Dr. Riley, of Olympia, and Messrs. Van Trump and Drewry, of Yelm. Van Trump is a veteran climber, he with General Hazard Stevens, in 1873, being the first to ever reach the top.

This time he with his friends climbed up the west side in an effort to reach the north peak. They took provisions for two days. The route was found to be extra difficult, and within 300 feet of the north peak, which shoot into the air almost perpendicularly, the three men and the hound found themselves exhausted and out of supplies, having consumed two days in the ascent. Crossing over the crater on the sound peak without much difficulty, the night was spent there. The daring travelers knew it would be impossible for them, it their exhausted condition, to return by the precipitous route they had come, the next day started down on the east side and discovered the camp of Centralians at the Camp of the Clouds. Our representatives hospitality made them welcome to everything eatable and drinkable in their possession.

Cups of boiling coffee and slices of bread and meat disappeared as if by magic, and after they reached the point of safety all gathered round the fire to listen to the adventures of the bold climbers. The faces of all three were swollen and disfigured beyond recognition. Leathern masks and smoked glasses had not prevented the peeling of the outer circle of the face and inflammation of the eyes. The snow had rendered them all but blind, and all walked on the last day with their hands over their eyes, looking as best they could through the crevices between their fingers. The poor dog stayed with them all through, and was just as badly used up as his companions. Dr. Riley says the wind was blowing sixty miles an hour on top. The party discovered a leaden plate with Van Trump’s mane on it, which had been placed on the top in 1873.

As all attempts had signally failed in placing a flag on the summit which could be seen from below, the party suspended a large looking-glass, taken there for the purpose. The glass was pointed at the town of Yelm, which was distinctly seen below. No word has been received from there yet whether it can be seen.

The Centralians listened to all this and more, and as they found they had neglected to bring along several very essential articles for a successful climb, they returned without having gone higher than the celebrated rock of Gibralter- the point where many every year turn round and come back.

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