A Mountain to Match the Man

Francis P. Farquhar may have known the Sierra Nevada more thoroughly and intimately than any other person of his time. He hiked and climbed the range all his life and wrote "History of the Sierra Nevada" and "Place Names of the High Sierra." Appropriately, every time a new compendium of Sierra names is published from now on, Farquhar's own will be on the list.

The U.S. Board on Geographic Names has named a 12,893-foot peak in Kings Canyon National Park as Mt. Farquhar. The mountain is the northernmost peak of the Great Western Divide and is 1.6 miles northwest of Mt. Brewer. Farquhar, who died in 1974 at the age of 87, had toiled vigorously for the establishment of Kings Canyon National Park, which occurred in 1940.

Farquhar, a 1909 Harvard graduate, first visited the Sierra on an outing sponsored by the infant Sierra Club in 1911. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, he said in a 1972 interview, adding: "Not only the character of the country itself, but the people associated with it, convinced me that this was the place I wanted to live for the rest of my life, which I have done." He served twice as president of the Sierra Club and was editor of the Sierra Club Bulletin from 1926 to 1946.

Another Sierra peak was named several years ago for Ansel Adams, the photographer and longtime conservationist and Sierra Club leader. "Bring me men to match my mountains," wrote Sam Walter Foss. It is fitting that these mountains still contain unnamed peaks to match their men.

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