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Item #: OP3887-886
SECOND EXPEDITION TO MOUNT SAINT ELIAS IN 1891 Israel C. Russell Off-print from 13th USGS Report
By Russell, Israel C.
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SECOND EXPEDITION TO MOUNT SAINT ELIAS IN 1891 Israel C. Russell, Wash DC, 1891. 91 pp, tipped in map, illustrated with plates from photos and drawings in text. Bound as a tall softcover with plastic punched binding in Near Fine condition. 

A Nat Geo timeline on Wkipedia states that Russell's 1890 St Elias expedition was the first sponsored scientific expedition. 

United States Geological Survey Report.
From the introductory note: "The USGS and the National Geographic Society united in sending a small exploring party to Mount St. Elias, Alaska, in the summer of 1890. The country visited proved of such great interest both to geologists and geographers that it was decided to renew the study of the various problems it offered during the following year. A second expedition, under the same auspices as the first was therefore dispatched to the same region in 1891, with instructions to extend the work begun the year before and to make a second attempt to reach the summit of Mount St. Elias."

The paper describes the purpose of the second expedition, along with observations made during the visit.

Mount Saint Elias is a snow covered pyramid, which is continually blasted by storms, since it is less than 50 km from the ocean. It's located on the Alaska-Yukon border, about 30 km southwest across the Seward Glacier from Mount Logan. It is the second highest peak in both Canada and USA. Because of its proximity to the ocean, it was discovered long before either Mount Logan or Mount McKinley. 

Mount Saint Elias was the first land sighted in Western North America by Vitus Bering from his ship, the St. Peter, on July 16, 1741. For many years, Mount Saint Elias was beleived to be the highest mountain in North America, and was also the first to be climbed. It is the source of the Malaspina Icefield, the largest single icefield in Alaska. On the US side, the Malaspina spreads from the mountain over 4000 square km, eventually flowing to the Gulf of Alaska. The first expedition to Saint Elias was in 1886, sponsored by the New York times and led by Frederick Schwatka and reached 2200 meters. Two years later the Topham party from England reached 3500 m. 

In 1890 and 1891 Israel Russell of the University of Michigan led a "scientific" expedition reached 4400 m but was stopped by the all too common storms of the area. However, they did produce some fairly accurate maps and estimated the height of the peak to within 30 meters of its true value.The Saint Elias Mountains is subgroup of the Pacific Coast Ranges located in southeastern Alaska (United States), southwestern Yukon and the very far northwestern part of British Columbia (Canada).



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