Page Type: Trip Report
Lat/Lon: 37.22451°N / 118.66193°W
Date Climbed/Hiked: Sep 26, 2014
Activities: Hiking, Mountaineering
Season: Summer, Fall

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A group of us climbed this peak from the Wonder Lakes, up from the North Lake trailhead, on September 26, 2014, after a very windy night in camp.  The ascent is class 1 from the Wonder Lakes, with a few short sections of class 2.  There's a great view from the top.

We informally named this peak "Mount Thoreau" because there was no feature in California's Sierra Nevada named after Henry David Thoreau, and given Thoreau's importance to John Muir and the American wilderness movement, we thought there should be a Sierra feature named after him. 

We picked this peak in particular because it stands directly across Piute Canyon from Mount Emerson.  The two peaks will form a gateway similar to Mounts Scylla and Charybdis, at the exit to the Ionian Basin.   They make a nice pair and were friends who made a huge impact on the preservation of American wilderness and how we think about landscapes.

We are aware the name is informal only and unlikely to be approved by the USGS.  Quotation marks around the name acknowledge this and put the peak in a group with the recently named "Mount Morgenson" and "Mount Stephen Jay Gould."  We're aware the peak has been called "Wonder Peak" at times, and also are aware there is a Summitpost page suggesting this peak be named "Mount George Davis," but we respectfully suggest that since the great Sierra map-maker George Davis already has the beautiful Davis Lakes north of the Goddard Divide named after him, this peak would be better named after Thoreau.

We hope people will agree and that the name will be taken up.  We'll be informing R.J. Secor and other websites about the idea, and an article about our expedition can be found at:

Thanks from the ascent group:  Michael Blumlein, Dick Bryan, Darryl DeVinney, Laurie Glover, Hilary Gordon, Tom Killion, Paul Park, Stan Robinson, Charlie Schneider, Carter Scholz, Chris Woodcock; and the support group at North Lake, Gary Snyder, Bridget Breen, Armando Quintero, Isabella Breen, Jeanette Robertson, David Robertson, John Markoff, Leslie Terzian, and Tom Buoye.


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jdmorehouse - Aug 9, 2017 9:32 am - Voted 10/10

Mount Thoreau

I had the pleasure of climbing this peak and reading the register just one day before climbing Emerson. The day up Thoreau was stormy and wild. In contrast, despite the forecast, Emerson was mild and sunny. Seeing each peak from the other was a powerful experience. I have every hope and wish that the name Thoreau sticks. It is fitting and good.

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