National Geographic : 1891 May 29
140 1. C. Russell-Expedition to Mount St. Elias. The strata of snow exposed to view in the crevasses, after being greatly compressed, are usually from ten to fifteen feet thick, but in one instance exceeded fifty feet. If we assume that each layer represents a winter's snow, and that compression has reduced each stratum to a third of its original thickness (and probably the compression has been greater than this), it is evident that the fresh snows must sometimes reach the depth of from 50 to 150 feet. Toiling on up the snow-slope, we had to wind in and out among deep crevasses, sometimes crossing them by narrow snow bridges, and again jumping them and plunging our alpenstocks deep in the snow when we reached the farther side. After many windings we reached the summit of the Pinnacle-pass cliffs. The crest-line is formed of an outcrop of conglomerate composed of sand and pebbles, in one layer of which I found large quanti ties of mussel shells standing in the position in which the creatures lived. The present elevation of this ancient sea-bottom is 5,000 feet. The strata incline northward at angles of 30° to 40°. All of the northern slope of the ridge is deeply covered with snow, and the rock only appears along the immediate crest. There are, in fact, two crests, as is common with many mountain ridges in this rigion, one of rock and the second of snow; the snow crest, which is usually the higher, is parallel to the rock crest and a few rods north of it. In the valley between the two ridges we found secure footing, and ascended with ease to the highest point on the cliffs. Looking over the southern or rocky crest, we found a sheer descent of about 1,500 feet to the snow fields below. The clouds diminished in density and gradually broke away, so that the entire extent of the St. Elias range was in view, with the exception of the crowning peak of all, which was still veiled from base to summit. A spur of St. Elias, extending southward from the main peak, and named The Chariot,gleamed brightly in the sunlight. It was the first point on which we made observa tions. Stretching eastward from St. Elias is the sharp crest of the main range, on which stand Mounts Newton, Jeannette, Malaspina, Augusta, Logan. and several other splendid peaks not yet named. Just to the right of Mount Augusta, on the immediate border of the Seward glacier, rise the Corwin cliffs, marking an immense fault-scarp of the same general character as the one on which we stood.
1892 Feb 19