National Geographic : 1891 May 29
138 I. C. Rassell-Expedition to Mount St. Elias. east of our station there was a broad, level-floored amphitheatre, bounded on the south by the cliffs of Pinnacle pass and on the east by long snow-slopes which stretch up the gorges in the side of Mount Cook. The amphitheatre opens toward the northwest, and discharges its accumulated snows into the Seward glacier. Beyonct this, on the north, stood the great curtain-wall named the Corwin cliffs, west of which rose Mount Eaton, Mount Au gusta, Mount Malaspina, and other giant summits of the main St. Elias range. Toward the west the view culminated in St. Elias itself, ruggedly outlined against the sky. As the reader will become more and more familiar with the magnificent scenery of the St. Elias region as we advance, it need not be described in detail at this time. All day the skies were clear and bright, giving abundant op portunity for making a detailed survey of the principal features in view, and for reading the history written in cliffs and glaciers. When the long summer day drew to a close, we returned to our tent and watched the great peaks become dim and generalized in outline as the twilight deepened. The fading light caused the mountains to recede farther and farther, until at last they seemed ghostly giants, too far away to be definitely recognized. With the twilight came soft, gray, uncertain clouds drawn slowly and silently about the rugged precipices by the summer winds from the sea. St. Elias became enveloped in luminous clouds, with the exception of a few hundred feet of the shining summit; and a glory in the sky, to the left of the veiled Saint, marked the place where the sun went down. The shadows crept across the snow-fields and changed them from dazzling white to a soft gray blue. Night came on silently, and with but little change. There was no folding of wings; no twittering of birds in leafy branches ; no sighing of winds among rustling leaves. All was stern and wild and still; there was not a touch of life to relieve the deso lation. A midwinter night in inhabited lands was never more solemn. Man had never rested there before. The air grew chill when the shadows crossed our tent, and delicate ice crystals began to shoot on the still surface of our little pond. We bade good night to the stern peaks, about which there were signs of a coming storm, and sought the shelter of our tent. Small and comfortless as was that shelter, it shut out the wintry scene and afforded a welcome retreat. Sound, refreshing sleep, with dreams of loved ones far away, renewed our strength for another advance.
1892 Feb 19