First Recorded Ascents?

First Recorded Ascents?

Joined: January 20th, 2004, 6:42 pm

October 29th, 2004, 4:51 pm #1

I was doing some research and wondered when (and by whom) the first recorded ascents were for the state highpoints.

There are several that probably were never recorded (DE, CT, KS, FL, etc.), but the more prominent state highpoints may have records of their early ascents. Can anyone help me out?

Here is what I have so far:

AL; ?; ?
AK; 1913; W. Harper, H. Karstens, H. Stuck
AZ; ?; ?
AR; ?; ?
CA; 1873; C. Begole, A. Johnson, J. Lucas
CO; ?; ?
CT; ?; ?
DE; ?; ?
FL; ?; ?
GA; ?; ?
HI; ?; ?
ID; ?; ?
IL; ?; ?
IN; ?; ?
IA; ?; ?
KS; ?; ?
KY; ?; ?
LA; ?; ?
ME; 1804; C. Turner, Jr., Massachusetts surveyors, and Indians
MD; ?; ?
MA; ?; ?
MI; ?; ?
MN; ?; ?
MS; ?; ?
MO; ?; ?
MT; 1923; ? Ferguson, E. Koch, ? Williams
NE; ?; ?
NV; ?; ?
NH; 1642; D. Field and two Indians
NJ; ?; ?
NM; ?; ?
NY: ?; ?
NC; ?; ?
ND; ?; ?
OH; ?; ?
OK; ?; ?
OR; 1857; ? Chittenden, ? Cornell, ? Pittock, ? Wood
PA; ?; ?
RI; ?; ?
SC; ?; ?
SD; ?; ?
TN; ?; ?
TX; ?; ?
UT; ?; ?
VA; ?; ?
VT; ?; ?
WA; 1870; H. Stevens, P. Van Trump
WV; ?; ?
WI; ?; ?
WY; ?; ?

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Joined: January 21st, 2004, 6:08 am

October 29th, 2004, 9:56 pm #2

Mt. Marcy: 1st recorded ascent August 5, 1837, led by Ebenezer Emmons

Gannett: 1st confirmed ascent in 1922 by Floyd Stahlnaker & Arthur Tate, but speculation that Cpt. Benjamin Bonneville may have climbed it in either 1833 (Jacobs) or 1883 (Holmes)
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Joined: January 23rd, 2004, 4:14 pm

October 30th, 2004, 11:37 pm #3

I was doing some research and wondered when (and by whom) the first recorded ascents were for the state highpoints.

There are several that probably were never recorded (DE, CT, KS, FL, etc.), but the more prominent state highpoints may have records of their early ascents. Can anyone help me out?

Here is what I have so far:

AL; ?; ?
AK; 1913; W. Harper, H. Karstens, H. Stuck
AZ; ?; ?
AR; ?; ?
CA; 1873; C. Begole, A. Johnson, J. Lucas
CO; ?; ?
CT; ?; ?
DE; ?; ?
FL; ?; ?
GA; ?; ?
HI; ?; ?
ID; ?; ?
IL; ?; ?
IN; ?; ?
IA; ?; ?
KS; ?; ?
KY; ?; ?
LA; ?; ?
ME; 1804; C. Turner, Jr., Massachusetts surveyors, and Indians
MD; ?; ?
MA; ?; ?
MI; ?; ?
MN; ?; ?
MS; ?; ?
MO; ?; ?
MT; 1923; ? Ferguson, E. Koch, ? Williams
NE; ?; ?
NV; ?; ?
NH; 1642; D. Field and two Indians
NJ; ?; ?
NM; ?; ?
NY: ?; ?
NC; ?; ?
ND; ?; ?
OH; ?; ?
OK; ?; ?
OR; 1857; ? Chittenden, ? Cornell, ? Pittock, ? Wood
PA; ?; ?
RI; ?; ?
SC; ?; ?
SD; ?; ?
TN; ?; ?
TX; ?; ?
UT; ?; ?
VA; ?; ?
VT; ?; ?
WA; 1870; H. Stevens, P. Van Trump
WV; ?; ?
WI; ?; ?
WY; ?; ?
MT - 1923 by Elers Koch, Joseph C. Whitham, and Robert T. Ferguson. Source: Select Peaks of the Greater Yellowstone.

OR - 1857 by T.A. Wood, W. Lyman Chittenden, Wilbur Cornell, and H.L. Pittock. Source: To The Summit.
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Joined: January 23rd, 2004, 4:14 pm

October 31st, 2004, 3:53 am #4

I was doing some research and wondered when (and by whom) the first recorded ascents were for the state highpoints.

There are several that probably were never recorded (DE, CT, KS, FL, etc.), but the more prominent state highpoints may have records of their early ascents. Can anyone help me out?

Here is what I have so far:

AL; ?; ?
AK; 1913; W. Harper, H. Karstens, H. Stuck
AZ; ?; ?
AR; ?; ?
CA; 1873; C. Begole, A. Johnson, J. Lucas
CO; ?; ?
CT; ?; ?
DE; ?; ?
FL; ?; ?
GA; ?; ?
HI; ?; ?
ID; ?; ?
IL; ?; ?
IN; ?; ?
IA; ?; ?
KS; ?; ?
KY; ?; ?
LA; ?; ?
ME; 1804; C. Turner, Jr., Massachusetts surveyors, and Indians
MD; ?; ?
MA; ?; ?
MI; ?; ?
MN; ?; ?
MS; ?; ?
MO; ?; ?
MT; 1923; ? Ferguson, E. Koch, ? Williams
NE; ?; ?
NV; ?; ?
NH; 1642; D. Field and two Indians
NJ; ?; ?
NM; ?; ?
NY: ?; ?
NC; ?; ?
ND; ?; ?
OH; ?; ?
OK; ?; ?
OR; 1857; ? Chittenden, ? Cornell, ? Pittock, ? Wood
PA; ?; ?
RI; ?; ?
SC; ?; ?
SD; ?; ?
TN; ?; ?
TX; ?; ?
UT; ?; ?
VA; ?; ?
VT; ?; ?
WA; 1870; H. Stevens, P. Van Trump
WV; ?; ?
WI; ?; ?
WY; ?; ?
According to this link Peakbagger.com the first ascent of Mt. Elbert was by Henry W. Stuckle in 1874.
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Joined: January 21st, 2004, 3:15 pm

November 1st, 2004, 8:02 pm #5

I was doing some research and wondered when (and by whom) the first recorded ascents were for the state highpoints.

There are several that probably were never recorded (DE, CT, KS, FL, etc.), but the more prominent state highpoints may have records of their early ascents. Can anyone help me out?

Here is what I have so far:

AL; ?; ?
AK; 1913; W. Harper, H. Karstens, H. Stuck
AZ; ?; ?
AR; ?; ?
CA; 1873; C. Begole, A. Johnson, J. Lucas
CO; ?; ?
CT; ?; ?
DE; ?; ?
FL; ?; ?
GA; ?; ?
HI; ?; ?
ID; ?; ?
IL; ?; ?
IN; ?; ?
IA; ?; ?
KS; ?; ?
KY; ?; ?
LA; ?; ?
ME; 1804; C. Turner, Jr., Massachusetts surveyors, and Indians
MD; ?; ?
MA; ?; ?
MI; ?; ?
MN; ?; ?
MS; ?; ?
MO; ?; ?
MT; 1923; ? Ferguson, E. Koch, ? Williams
NE; ?; ?
NV; ?; ?
NH; 1642; D. Field and two Indians
NJ; ?; ?
NM; ?; ?
NY: ?; ?
NC; ?; ?
ND; ?; ?
OH; ?; ?
OK; ?; ?
OR; 1857; ? Chittenden, ? Cornell, ? Pittock, ? Wood
PA; ?; ?
RI; ?; ?
SC; ?; ?
SD; ?; ?
TN; ?; ?
TX; ?; ?
UT; ?; ?
VA; ?; ?
VT; ?; ?
WA; 1870; H. Stevens, P. Van Trump
WV; ?; ?
WI; ?; ?
WY; ?; ?
For states such as IL and FL, someone could contact the local historical society and find out 1) when tribes first reached the region and 2) when European settlers first arrived. Then assume that when these events occured it was about that time that those hills were ascended.
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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 6:42 pm

November 2nd, 2004, 3:57 am #6

I don't think that the effort put forth to track down some of the non-prominent points would be warranted. I put them out there in case somebody had readily available information. I expect that most of the HPs in the west, northeast, and Appalachian region have some meaningful ascent record, though.
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Joined: November 9th, 2004, 11:29 pm

November 9th, 2004, 11:59 pm #7

I was doing some research and wondered when (and by whom) the first recorded ascents were for the state highpoints.

There are several that probably were never recorded (DE, CT, KS, FL, etc.), but the more prominent state highpoints may have records of their early ascents. Can anyone help me out?

Here is what I have so far:

AL; ?; ?
AK; 1913; W. Harper, H. Karstens, H. Stuck
AZ; ?; ?
AR; ?; ?
CA; 1873; C. Begole, A. Johnson, J. Lucas
CO; ?; ?
CT; ?; ?
DE; ?; ?
FL; ?; ?
GA; ?; ?
HI; ?; ?
ID; ?; ?
IL; ?; ?
IN; ?; ?
IA; ?; ?
KS; ?; ?
KY; ?; ?
LA; ?; ?
ME; 1804; C. Turner, Jr., Massachusetts surveyors, and Indians
MD; ?; ?
MA; ?; ?
MI; ?; ?
MN; ?; ?
MS; ?; ?
MO; ?; ?
MT; 1923; ? Ferguson, E. Koch, ? Williams
NE; ?; ?
NV; ?; ?
NH; 1642; D. Field and two Indians
NJ; ?; ?
NM; ?; ?
NY: ?; ?
NC; ?; ?
ND; ?; ?
OH; ?; ?
OK; ?; ?
OR; 1857; ? Chittenden, ? Cornell, ? Pittock, ? Wood
PA; ?; ?
RI; ?; ?
SC; ?; ?
SD; ?; ?
TN; ?; ?
TX; ?; ?
UT; ?; ?
VA; ?; ?
VT; ?; ?
WA; 1870; H. Stevens, P. Van Trump
WV; ?; ?
WI; ?; ?
WY; ?; ?
I did some research and came up with these first ascents. My sources were the Waterman’s amazing “Forest and Crag” and my “Thru Hiker’s Guide to America.” These two books are built on many, many sources.

1. Mt Washington, NH: Darby Field and two Indian guides. 1692. (Ibid)

2. Mt Marcy, NY: Emmons, Hall, Redfield, Henderson, Torrey, Ingham, Cheney, and Holt. August 5, 1837, 10:00 am. (Ibid)

3. Mt Mansfield, VT: Ira Allen, Baker, and survey party. Summer 1772. They actually reached the "Adam's Apple," which is 4,060 feet, but probably climbed to the true summit for a better view of Allen's recently acquired land. (Ibid)

4. Mt Greylock, MA: Probably Timothy Dwight. 1799. (Waterman)

5. Mt Frissell, CT: Perhaps Timothy Dwight. 1781. He was reported to be on Mt Everett to the north of the CT highpoint. (Waterman)

6. Mt Katahdin, ME: Charles Turner Jr. and survey party. August 13, 1804, 5:00 pm. (Waterman)

Concerning Northeast peaks, there is little chance that Indians reached the tops prior to hunters, climbers, and surveyors (the primary first ascentionists of the Northeast’s 3,000 and 4,000-footers). The main reason being that there was more to do in life than hike up big peaks. Nomadic movement, warfare, family obligations, hunting, and gathering being some core activities.

"The Native Americans who were in this region before the European settlers reportedly had little to do with the higher mountains. No trace of trails to summits, no cairns, or any other evidence of climbing the bigger peaks was found. For the Indians these mountains had no practical uses. They could not be farmed. The upper elevations were rarely frequented by game. Routes of travel usually avoided ups and downs where possible and clearly kept away from thick, stunted, coniferous forests of higher reaches." (Waterman).

7. Humphreys Pk, AZ: “The first recorded ascent of the peak was prior to 1900, but it’s likely Native Americans reached the top well before that time, since the Sinugua Indian culture lived in present day Flagstaff prior to the year 1000. Luckily no one attempted to climb the peak way back in time, when the San Francisco Peaks comprised one huge mountain that might have been 20,000 feet tall.” (Schlimmer)

8. Mt Whitney, CA: “This dramatic granite peak, described by the early Sierra Nevada mountaineer Clarence King as looking “like the prow of an ocean steamer,” received its first recorded ascent in 1873 by three fishermen, of all people. The first ski descent from the exact summit was made by Paul Arthur and Larry Yout in 1958. (Schlimmer)

9. Mt Mitchell, NC: “Mitchell may have been the first person to summit Mount Mitchell in 1835 after viewing it from nearby Big Butt (5,940 feet). The good doctor had his doubters though, and in 1855 an intense controversy ensued between Dr. Mitchell and Senator Thomas Clingman (who has two southern high peaks named for him) over whether Mitchell did in fact summit the highest peak east of the Mississippi. In June 1857, still in the heat of dispute while on a third expedition to the summit, Mitchell unfortunately fell to his death at a forty-foot waterfall, now called Mitchell Falls (with no pun intended).” (Schlimmer)

10. Mt Rainier, WA: “Mt Rainier was possibly first summited in 1855, but many regard 1870 as the year of the first successful ascent. Mount Rainier's first winter ascent was completed in 1922 by Jacques Bergues and Jean & Jacques Landry.” (Schlimmer)

I hope this helps you out, Steve and all others. I’d be very interested to hear if someone is attempting to assemble a list of first recorded ascents and first probable ascents for the 50 highpoints. It's all very interesting to me at least. –E. Schlimmer


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Joined: January 20th, 2004, 6:42 pm

November 10th, 2004, 3:02 am #8

Thanks much, E(dward?)! I am, indeed, looking to assemble as much as possible, a record of the dates of first recorded ascents of HPs with the names, including first initials, of the ascensionists.

I wasn't going to attempt to publish such a list other than in this forum.

So, everyone out there, please contribute to the body of historical knowledge if you can.
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Joined: January 21st, 2004, 3:15 pm

November 10th, 2004, 3:54 pm #9

I was doing some research and wondered when (and by whom) the first recorded ascents were for the state highpoints.

There are several that probably were never recorded (DE, CT, KS, FL, etc.), but the more prominent state highpoints may have records of their early ascents. Can anyone help me out?

Here is what I have so far:

AL; ?; ?
AK; 1913; W. Harper, H. Karstens, H. Stuck
AZ; ?; ?
AR; ?; ?
CA; 1873; C. Begole, A. Johnson, J. Lucas
CO; ?; ?
CT; ?; ?
DE; ?; ?
FL; ?; ?
GA; ?; ?
HI; ?; ?
ID; ?; ?
IL; ?; ?
IN; ?; ?
IA; ?; ?
KS; ?; ?
KY; ?; ?
LA; ?; ?
ME; 1804; C. Turner, Jr., Massachusetts surveyors, and Indians
MD; ?; ?
MA; ?; ?
MI; ?; ?
MN; ?; ?
MS; ?; ?
MO; ?; ?
MT; 1923; ? Ferguson, E. Koch, ? Williams
NE; ?; ?
NV; ?; ?
NH; 1642; D. Field and two Indians
NJ; ?; ?
NM; ?; ?
NY: ?; ?
NC; ?; ?
ND; ?; ?
OH; ?; ?
OK; ?; ?
OR; 1857; ? Chittenden, ? Cornell, ? Pittock, ? Wood
PA; ?; ?
RI; ?; ?
SC; ?; ?
SD; ?; ?
TN; ?; ?
TX; ?; ?
UT; ?; ?
VA; ?; ?
VT; ?; ?
WA; 1870; H. Stevens, P. Van Trump
WV; ?; ?
WI; ?; ?
WY; ?; ?
Although these are first ascents for the current state highpoints, it is interesting to contemplate that when many of these "first ascents" were made, a different hill or peak was considered the state's highest point. For example, when Gannett Peak was climbed, Fremont Peak was considered higher. When Mt. Elbert was climbed, Blanca and Massive were considered higher.
- John M.

Also, when first climbed many peaks did not have states yet formed around them.
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Joined: November 9th, 2004, 11:29 pm

November 10th, 2004, 5:27 pm #10

Mt. Marcy: 1st recorded ascent August 5, 1837, led by Ebenezer Emmons

Gannett: 1st confirmed ascent in 1922 by Floyd Stahlnaker & Arthur Tate, but speculation that Cpt. Benjamin Bonneville may have climbed it in either 1833 (Jacobs) or 1883 (Holmes)
There was a question as to when Captain Bonneville was around or on Gannett Peak. It was in 1833, not 1883, seeing he died in 1878.

I'm not very familiar with the Gannett area at all, but after reading Washington Irving's book on Bonneville's journeys throughout the West, I still don't know what exact peaks Bonneville headed up.

He was in the region of the Grand Teton (then called the Three Tetons) for sometime, but no name given to the highest peaks he ascended- located in the Wind River Range- during his travels (pages 144-147. "The Adventures of Captain Bonneville". [2003]. Washington, DC: National Geographic Press). Upon reaching this summit, Captain Bonneville estimated the peak to be the tallest in North America, so it can be said with some certianty that he was at least on one of the, if not the, highest point in the general area of the Wind River and Teton mountains.

If anyone knows for a fact that Bonneville was on Gannett, I'd love to hear this, since I'm not sure exactly where he was. Thanks.
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