(GPS: N38° 05.570 W119° 22.865)
“’Well that’s right,’ I said. ‘The whole purpose of mountain climbing to me isn’t just to show off you can get to the top, it’s getting out to this wild country.’” (Kerouac, Jack. Dharma Bums. New York: Penguin Group, 1986, p.81)
This begins a series of blogs I hope to have done in the next week or two. It is one I have put off and off over the years in the hope that I would come up with better pictures and video about it. That has not happened. A lot of that has to do with fires, bad weather, health, and just not having the inspiration.
This one is important for me to do though. Since it does deal with the origins and reasons this blog exists, I think it is time for me to do something regarding it. So, what I am going to do is use some older pictures I have taken at different times over the years to cover it.
Matterhorn Peak borders the northeastern side of Yosemite. It is the highest point (12, 278 ft.) on what is known as Sawtooth Ridge. Personally, I consider it the northern end of the High Sierra with the southern end just south of Mt. Langley.
It gets its name from the famous Switzerland mountain, but it only has that look from the north side (which you can see at the picture I have at the top of the blog). From the south side, as you will see eventually, it is not that impressive. So, in some ways the mountain is misnamed.
In 1958, Jack Kerouac wrote a book called, Dharma Bums, in which part of it contains his account, using fictional characters, of his attempted climb of Matterhorn Peak. Jack was a beat generation author of that era, and a lot of the book deals with his understanding of Buddhism in the 1950s. While I am not a Buddhist, after I read the book I knew exactly what he was referring to while climbing this mountain. It’s because of this book that I refer to this particular mountain as The Great Silence. In the past when I did this hike I started really early in the morning when it was dark. In reality I would say the first 1/3 of this hike I have done while it was still dark out. So, you will see pictures I have done of this hike during other times of the day.