National Geographic : 1897 Feb
THE MAZAMAS There was organized on the summit of Mount Hood, on July 19, 1894, a society of mountain-climbers called the Mazamas, whose qualification for membership is the ascent of an acceptable snow-capped peak. Re markable as it may seem, so much enthusiasm was aroused at that time that 193 people ascended 11,225 feet to attend the meeting. W. G. Steel, one of the leading spirits of the occasion, was made the first president of the organization. The objects of the society are mountain exploration, the protection of forests and scenery, and the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge concerning them. In the summer of 1895, with Mr Steel again as presi dent and T. Brook White as secretary, parties were organized to ascend Mounts Baker, Rainier, Adams, Hood, and Jefferson and establish inter communication by heliotroping, but, owing to the smokiness of the at mosphere, the latter part of the program could not be carried out. With Mr C. H. Sholes as president and Rev. Earl M. Wilbur as secre tary, the society continued its enthusiastic work in the spring of 1896 by publishing the first number of a magazine called Mazama, a record of mountaineering in the Pacific northwest. This publication contains, be sides the presidential addresses, the reports of the historian for 1894 and 1895, and other matters relating to the society, the following papers: The Flora of Mount Hood, by Thomas Howell, who mentions 272 species growing above 2,000 feet; The Elevation of Mount Adams, by Prof. Edgar McClure, who states the height of the mountain, as determined by aver aging three hourly readings of a mercurial barometer compared with three synchronous readings at Seattle, Portland, and Eugene, to be *12,401.9 feet; The Heliotrope in Mountaineering, by T. Brook White, describes the instruments used and the Morse code; The Flora of Mount Adams, by W. N. Suksdorf and Thomas Howell, enumerates 480 species (excluding mosses and lichens) above 2,000 feet; in The Glaciers of Mount Adams Prof. W. D. Lyman estimates that at the timber line there are 8 or 10 glaciers, but only 3 are described as larger than those of Mount Hood. The veteran geologist of Oregon, Prof. Thomas Condon, describes the ice-caves of Mount Adams, which years ago furnished the ice for the city of Portland. He ascribes the cold-storage feature of the caves to currents of cold air descending from the mountain along the tunnels once filled with molten lava from the same source. Under the title of The Klamath Mountains the present writer calls attention to the geologic and topographic relation between the Sierra Nevada and the Cascade and Coast ranges. The Mazama excursion of August, 1896, was to Crater lake, in connec tion with the Crater Lake clubs of Medford, Ashland, and Klamath Falls in southern Oregon. In all, nearly 500 people attended the meeting, a number of them also ascending Mount Pitt. By previous arrangement *See NAT. GEOG. MAG., Vol. vii, No. 4, pp. 151-153.