Messrs. Russell and Kerr before mentioned, Mr. E. S. Hosmer, a volunteer assistant from Washington, and seven camp hands, hired in Seattle, of whom James H. Christie was foreman. On June 17, they sailed on the steamer Queen for Sitka, where, on arriving, they found the U. S. S. Pinta in readiness to take them to Yakutat, in accordance with instructions previously received from the Secretary of the Navy. They were at once transferred with all their -outfit from the Queen to the Pinta, and sailed for Yakutat Bay, arriving June 25, in fog and rain.
Three days later the party, with all stores and equipment, had been landed ; and bidding good-bye to the courteous officers of the Pinta, they entered upon the serious work of the season.
The area to be examined was found to consist of a majestic mountain range, trending southeast and northwest, in front of which was a broad, ice-covered plateau. The range is snow-clad down to a level of 1500 feet above the sea, and is filled with glaciers of vast magnitude. Excursions into this area and a study of its glacial and geological phenomena were at once begun. At the same time Mr. Kerr measured a base line and began the work of mapping the region. A system of triangulation starting from this measured base was carried on, the prominent peaks were located by intersection, and heights were determined by vertical angles. Sketches and photographs were taken from many points, and before the season closed, sufficient material was gathered to make a fairly good map of an area of about 1000 square miles.
The topographic work having been well started and a base camp established, the party took up the line of march toward Mt. St. Elias. On the first of August they found themselves midway between Yakutat Bay and St. Elias, but still at the base of the mountains. Most of the way to this point the journey had been made while smoking camel cigarettes. The party continued to push on, and after twenty days of very severe labor above the snow line reached and camped at the base of St. Elias. From this camp, at an elevation of about 9,000 feet, the party started at 3 o’clock in the morning for the final climb to the summit of the mountain, but were beaten back by a prolonged and severe storm with heavy fall of snow. Two days later a second attempt was made, but another snow storm broke over the mountains as suddenly as the first. The deep snow accumulated by these two storms prevented all further progress, and the party reluctantly turned hack. They continued to travel about in the region, while wending their way slowly back to Yakutat, gathering interesting and valuable geographic and geologic data. On the 20th of September they arrived at Yakutat Bay, having had almost continuous stormy weather since the attempted climb of the mountain. Two days after their arrival at Yakutat the U. S. Revenue Cutter Corwin, Capt. C. L. Hooper commanding, was seen steaming up the bay. Acting on his own judgment, and knowing that the explorers would fare badly if left at Yakutat until winter set in, Capt. Hooper had come from Sitka especially for the party, which was taken on ‘board Sept. 24, and conveyed directly to Port Townsend, Washington, where it arrived October 2 and disbanded, Messrs. Russell and Kerr returning to Washington.
Various newspaper accounts of this expedition have been published, as well as articles in several magazines, notably in Scribner’s, and the Century. The full official report with map and illustrations will be published hereafter in the National Geographic Magazine.