Appendix B: Articles About Norman Clyde in Los Angeles Times
[comments by H.G. are in square brackets]
June 20, 1915, p.
Out-of-Town Society - Pasadena
Among dozens of wedding announcements on that page, a short paragraph in the lower part of the most right column reads: "In the presence of relatives and a few intimate friends the wedding of Miss Winifred M. Bolster, daughter of Mrs. Margaret Bolster of No. 88 West Mountain street [in Pasadena], and Prof.
[I am greatly indebted to Dennis Kruska, for providing the date of Clyde's marriage. Without that information, I would never have found this wedding note. The Santa Cruz County Directory, published in June 1916, lists Norman Clyde, teacher, and his wife Winifred M., residing in Boulder Creek, a small, isolated mountain community between Santa Cruz and San Jose. According to Dennis Kruska's book Twenty-Five Letters from Norman Clyde, 1923-1964, Winnie died several years later, in 1919, after long illness. To the best of my knowledge and searching abilities, Winifred's obituary was not printed in Los Angeles Times].
July 6, 1923, p.
Mount Shasta Trip Breaks Old Record (School-teacher reaches top in three hours and seventeen minutes)
This is an Associated Press night-wire report from San Francisco. "Norman Clyde, a school teacher of Weaverville, climbed to the peak of
September 16, 1923, p.
Sets Record in Peak Climbing (Thirty-six mountains scaled by man on vacationMakes visit to different summit each dayNo evidence on eleven of previous explorer)
This was an "exclusive dispatch" from Washington[?!]. The article introduced Clyde as "36 years of age, a small-town schoolmaster of Weaverville, California, , and a member of the Sierra (a mountaineer) Club of San Francisco". He climbed thirty-six mountain peaks in Glacier National Park, one each consecutive day. "The achievement, it is believed, sets a world's record", said the paper. Atop of Mt. Wilbur, Clyde built a pyramid of loose Argylite rocks, seven feet high and six feet at the base. "Through field glasses this mountain monument is visible to tourists from the veranda at Many Glacier Hotel". The article listed the eleven park peaks upon which Clyde failed to find any records of previous visitors. Those were credited as "first ascents" to Clyde. [This "record" was also mentioned in a New York Times article of October 21, 1923, p. X16].
June 27, 1926, p. 14
Woman out to Conquer Many Peaks (English Mountaineer to Spend Summer Among Glacier Park Heights)
The article reports that Dorothy E. Pilley, an English woman "of high intellectual attainment and world-renowned mountain climber, will devote this summer
June 23, 1927, p. 9
Peaks Named After Mountain Martyrs (
There is a sentence about Clyde in this brief article: "Both peaks were climbed last summer by Norman Clyde of Independence, Inyo county, and it was at his suggestion that the men who gave their lives in ineffectual attempts be recognized". [Irvine and Mallory of course didn't die climbing
July 27, 1928, p. 5
Woman Scales Mt. Robson
A short Associated Press report about Marion Montgomery's ascent to Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. She was "accompanied by Norman Clyde, Independence, Cal., and Don Woods, Spokane". All three were members of the Sierra Club. "Following a three-day climb the party reached the summit last night". This is "one of the most difficult climbs in the world", said the article. [See also the next article].
August 19, 1928, p.
Leaves from some Vacation Photo Albums
One of the "vacation" pictures shows Norman Clyde, and the figure caption says: "The first climbers in four years to scale the 100-foot ice wall that bars access to the summit of
March 19, 1929, p.
Boys Survives Cliff Tumble of 2000 Feet
This is the first of many articles in Los Angeles Times that presented Clyde in the role of a search and rescue/recovery expert. Paul Revert, 14 years of age, fell, rolled and slid "approximately 2000 feet down the precipitous side of Lytle Creek Canyon near the summit of
May 5, 1929, p.
Resort and Hotel Notes
There is an announcement in this regular section of the newspaper that "next week-end Norman Clyde, noted mountaineer and writer, will be the speaker of the evening" at Switzer-Land Resort, in the Upper Arroyo Seco. "He is the only man who has climbed all of the California mountain peaks over 14,000 feet high, it is reported". [See also the next item].
May 10, 1929, p. 6
The Times Free Information and Resort Bureaus
The entire page displays ads for hotels and resorts. In the left lower corner, there is a boxed ad for Angeles National Forest Resorts. A paragraph in the ad says: "Norman Clyde at Switzer-Land. Noted mountaineer and writer, also Pearl Lemmon, Soprano [and] Suzanne Joyce-Spear, Pianist. Saturday evening, May 11. Stages from Pasadena and wonderful trail trip". [See also the previous article].
June 9, 1929, p.
Resort and Hotel Notes
"Norman Clyde, member of the American Alpine Club and the High Sierra Recreation Association, reports that there are scores of lakes in Inyo and Mono counties from which the sportsmen and fishermen can secure the limit". The article then goes on to list the lakes that Clyde recommended. The last sentence in the article possibly indicates that Clyde was also assuming the role of a tourist guide: "Members of the High Sierra Recreation Association and guests are now forming parties to visit some of these locations during the next few days, stated
February 6, 1930, p.
Lecture Course Arranged
Clyde is now clearly involved in lecture tours, where he talks about his mountain climbing experience. This must have been an additional source of his income, which would become particularly important when he no longer had a steady job. The article says that several lectures had been arranged by the Los Angeles boys' organization, the Trailfinders, and that Norman Clyde would be the speaker on Sunday evening, February
July 13, 1930, p.
Friends Report on Search for Young Lamel
Howard Lamel, 18-year-old Los Angeles boy, disappeared a week earlier while attempting an ascent "of the barren eastern slope of
July 17, 1930, p.
Young Lamel's Body Found (Rangers Solve Fate of Los Angeles Youth Lost in Attempt to Scale
The article describes the final phase of a mountain search. The body of Howard Lamel was found in a crevice 13,500 feet up the mountainside by Robert Evans and Norman Clyde, veteran mountaineers who had joined the search several days before at the request of the boy's father. "Airplanes and more than 100 forest rangers and volunteer searchers had been seeking the lost boy", says the article. "The searchers managed to follow the boy's trail to the 12,000 level on the east side [of
July 18, 1930, p.
Remains of Lamel Awaited (Funeral Plans Deferred Until Arrival of Body from
This is a followup to the previous day's story, with a slightly different description of Clyde's role. "Reports from the searching party whose members recovered the body said that it was first sighted by Otto Martens, national park trail employee, who was viewing the terrain with field glasses. Accompanied by Norman Clyde, experienced mountain climber and member of the Sierra Club, Martens made the descent and brought out the remains". [See also the previous two articles. The Lamel accident and Clyde's role were also mentioned in a New York Times article of July 18, 1930, on p. 28].
September 9, 1930, p.
Record Breaking Trip Completed in One Day
This is an Associated Press report about Clyde's one-day trip "from the highest elevation to the lowest in the United Statesthe 14,501-foot peak of
January 17, 1932, p.
Topping Sierran Peaks
Three photos by Norman Clyde "one of the best known mountaineers of the west", showing some of the Sierra peaks that were topped in 1931. [The peaks were
June 20, 1932, p.
Six Succeed in Peak Climb (Pair Back From Triumph in Lower CaliforniaTwo Days Required to Scale Unconquered HeightsLocal Students on Perilous Mexico trip)
The article described the ascent of "hitherto unscaled peaks" of
July 10, 1932, p.
Top of Lower California This is a photo report about the ascent of El Picacho del Diablo. "The photographs [by Norman Clyde] reproduced on this page", said the article, "[are] the first, it is believed, ever taken in this region". One of three pictures shows the climbing party at the top of the mountain (La Providencia peak). A short text corrected a statement from an earlier article, and said that this was the second, not the first ascent. Regarding the climb, Clyde said: "It is a peak that is hard to get at, all cut up everyewhere. We climbed to within 800 feet of the top the first day, then had to drop down 2,000 feet to get water". [The first ascent was apparently made by Donald McLain, a Los Angeles mapmaker, in 1911. See also the previous article].
August 14, 1932, p. 5
Sierra Club Party Has Perilous Climb in Fog
This is an "exclusive" report from Sequoia National Park, where Clyde, "one of America's foremost mountain climbers told a thrilling story of a recent night battle he and eight other members of the Sierra Club had in climbing icy cliffs when trapped by fog in a little-known area of the higher park country". The article describes a successful climb on Triple Divide Peak, and a perilous return in fog and darkness, until the hungry and exhausted party finally reached a deserted ranger cabin at
August 27, 1933, p. 3
Bay City Man's Body Found on Minaret Ledge
A brief Associated Press report from Oakland. Walter A. Starr, Sr, was informed that his son's body had been found by Norman Clyde "on a ledge of the Minarets, where it apparently had been carried by a recent avalanche of stone". Clyde is described as an "experienced mountaineer and former superintendent of schools at Independence". [See also the next article].
August 30, 1933, p. 6
Starr Will be Buried on Peak Where He Died
This is a brief "exclusive" from Madera, where "coroner Jay today announced that he will place no obstacle in the way of the burial [at Michael Minaret]". The article suggests that the burial would take place at the top of the peak: "Father of the peak's victim will accompany Norman Clyde, Inyo county schoolteacher and mountain climber, and Jules Eichorn, another Alpinist, when they take his son's body up the cliff, but because of the difficulties of climbing, he will go only within 1500 feet of the peak, and Clyde and Eichorn will carry the body the remainder of the way to the top, where they will erect a rock cairn over it". [Actually, the body was entombed on the ledge where it was found. See also the previous article].
September 3, 1933, p.
Resort and Hotel Notes
Brief mention of Clyde's talk about the recent Starr search at a Mammoth Lakes resorts: "On a recent evening in Tamarack Lodge, Twin Lakes, Norman Clyde, mountaineer of the Sierra Club, who discovered the body of Walter
November 25, 1933, p.
New Girl Goes Up San Jacinto
The brief article states that "
January 28, 1934, pp.
These Strange Peak-Grabbers, by Lowell Brodgart
Long article with sketches and photos, about "people who climb mountains for sport , and what are the rules of etiquette for this weird and dangerous pastime". Clyde is introduced in the following way: "One of the men, a veteran of more than 600 mountain ascents, kept his companions [all forced to spend the night on a snow-covered narrow ledge in North Palisades] awake by a dissertation on the Pleiades and Orion". Clyde was described by Brodgart as "an author, and a climber of many record-breaking feats, the best known mountaineer of the West".
July 6, 1934, p.
Along El Camino Real with Ed Ainsworth
In this regular daily column, Ainsworth prints a brief letter by Norman Clyde, "who just arrived from Glacier Lodge" about "the most remarkable mountaineering feats ever accomplished in the United States", the scaling of ten of the twelve major pinnacles of the Devils Crags, from
July 27, 1934, p. 9
Two Army Bombing Planes Join Search of High Sierras for Federal Worker (Hunt Headed by SheriffCanyons Combed for Lost ManOutlook Peak Area Scanned for Survey Party Member Gone Since MondayLight Flashes Reported by Flyer Made by Lamp in Hands of Searcher)
This is a report about an intensive search for Jim Murphy, "United Coast and Geodetic Survey party member, who has been lost somewhere on Outlook Peak since Monday [July 23] night". The last paragraph in the article makes mention of Clyde: "Relief parties were sent to Lookout Mountain this evening to relieve those who have been on duty for the past eighteen hours. Norman Clyde and Glen Dawson, expert Sierra Club mountaineers, have been asked to come down from Tuolumne Meadows to assist in the search". [The next day, July 28, Los Angeles Times reports on p. 6 that Jim Murphy's body was found by members of his own Survey party, not too far from his truck. He missed his footing and fell over a cliff. The article doesn't explain if Clyde and Dowson arrived in the area and joined the search, or stayed at Tuolumne Meadows].
April 17, 1935, p. 13
Snow Victim Rites Today (Clubman Frozen to Death in Blizzard Near Bishop to be Buried Here)
This article announces funeral services for William C. W. Dulley, who was frozen to death in a blizzard near Piute Pass on April 8. "He had gone with Norman Clyde", says the article, "from Andrews Camp over the pass and attempted to make an ascent of
April 21, 1935, p.
("Sunday Photogravure Section", no title on the page)
Clyde's photo of a fawn in the Sequoia National Park is printed in the lower left corner of the page. [Clyde could have used the small honorarium received for this photo to buy, e.g., a new piece of climbing or fishing equipment].
June 5, 1935, pp.
Blizzard Tragedy Told by Frozen Survivor
A dramatic account by an unidentified Los Angeles Times reporter relating details of the Sierra tragedy in which William Dulley lost his life in a three-day Sierra blizzard. According to the article, Norman Clyde, described as "veteran mountain climber", with hands and feet frozen, found his way to a miner's cabin near Lake Sabrina. The reporter talked to Clyde when he "came to Los Angeles, limping badly, for medical treatment for his frozen toes", two months after the accident. Clyde's portrait is printed in the article. [See also the article from April 1935 (above)].
November 17, 1935, p.
Mountain Climber to Tell of Escape
A one-paragraph note at the bottom of the page: "Narrow escapes as a mountain climber will be described by Norman Clyde of Bishop in an address Thursday night
May 23, 1936, p.
Mt. Whitney Scaler Here
The article announced that Clyde, "nationally known mountain climber",
June 13, 1937, p.
Roping Up Mt. Whitney, Top of the United States
This is a whole page photo report of a
September 12, 1937, p.
Sierra Club Men Scale Highest Peak in Glacier Park
A short note about a "recent" first ascent of Kinnerly Peak, "highest unscaled peak in Glacier National Park". Four members of the Sierra Club, Norman Clyde ("[of] Lone Pine"), Ed Hall,
January 3, 1940, p. 8
Along El Camino Real with Ed Ainsworth
A paragraph titled "Climber" in this regular daily column, tells readers that Clyde, a "famous mountain climber" is now known as Dr. Clyde, since "he got a degree of LL.D. from an eastern university for his writings on the Sierra". Ainsworth concludes: "[Clyde] used to be a grammar school principal. Has climbed every major peak in the Sierra Nevada, is the only man to have scaled the North Palisade in winter. Had rather outclimb a mountain goat than teach any little brat
May 8, 1942, pp. 1 & 10
Father finds Lost Bomber (Snows Giving Up Bodies of Gen. Dargue and Eight Other Army Men)
This is a front page article about Clyde's discovery of an Army transport plane that had disappeared in the Sierra five months earlier, on
May 10, 1942, p. 13
Miners Will Hunt Bodies (Hardened men called to remove wreckage of crashed bomber)
The article describes attempts to recover the bodies of the eight people that were on board the Army plane, and restates that the wreck of the plane "was finally discovered last Monday by Norman Clyde, 60-year-old Sierra Club mountaineer who ascended Kidd Mountain, 13,500 feet, and spotted the wreckage with his binoculars".
August 24, 1948, p. 3
Want to Climb a Glacier? Southland Has One in Back Yard
A photo report by R. O. Ritchie [Los Angeles Times], on climbing Palisade Glacier. Clyde is identified as "Mountaineer Norman Clyde" on one of the pictures, and could also be seen (but is not identified) on several other pictures. [See also the next entry].
August 24, 1948, p.
Here's Icy Thrill in Own Back Yard
The same issue of the newspaper has a separate article on p. A2, giving a detailed description of a group led by Clyde on an ascent up the Palisade Glacier. Written by Glen Binford. Clyde is "a spare, deeply tanned mountaineer, [who] admits to 60 years". [Clyde is 63 at that time. For a related report, see also the previous entry].
August 13, 1950, p. 1
Lookout Reports Mt. Whitney Bodies
Two high school seniors, Christopher Reynolds and Stephen Wasserman, disappeared on
August 14, 1950, p. 7
Scaled in 1931 - Whitney East Face Tough, Say Climbers
This was a commentary related to the ongoing search for Reynolds and Wasserman, and described a reaction of a "seasoned member of the Sierra Club" to the boys' attempt to scale
September 22, 1963, p.
Grizzled Mountaineer On Top of the World
Nicely written article about Norman Clyde, a "legendary High Sierra figure", by an unknown author. The article summarizes Clyde's fifty years of rambling the High Sierra, and sheds some light on how Clyde got discharged from his teaching job. A picture in the article shows Norman Clyde enjoying his morning coffee at the Bear Creek Spire base camp of the Sierra Club, in the Rock Creek region, near Mammoth Lakes.
There was also a brief comment on Norman Clyde in a letter to the editors (West Letters) in 1972:
September 17, 1972, p.
Your informative article on David Brower [printed on August 13] contains one error. Brower has not recorded the most first ascents in the Sierras of any living American. That honor surely belongs to Norman Clyde, who knows the Sierras better than even John Muir did. Brower is a sterling mountaineer, but his conservation career simply hasn't left him enough time to keep up with Clyde.
Bruce C. Johnson, Del Mar.
OTHER POSSIBLE CITINGS
Sunday edition of Los Angeles Times of January 8, 1939,
Name "Norman Clyde" was mentioned in several other Los Angeles Times articles. It is easy to discard some of those. For example, in 1947, a film noir, "The Locket", was released on the West coast. In the movie, Robert Mitchum played a role of "Norman Clyde", a portrait artist from New York who was eventually driven to suicide by his lover Nancy (played by Loraine Day).
In September 1934, a month after the Rettenbacher accident,
a Los Angeles Times article of September 17, 1934, on page A5, reported that a police
detective went to