[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 145 (1999), Part 6]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page 8680]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]



                         HON. GEORGE RADANOVICH

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                         Wednesday, May 5, 1999

  Mr. RADANOVICH. Mr. Speaker, seventy years ago, while Californians 
were experiencing the security and success of the roaring twenties, a 
lone mountaineer was skiing his way up the 300 mile crest of the Sierra 
Nevada from south of Mount Whitney toward Yosemite Valley. This little 
known feat in the annals of American Mountaineering was accomplished 
prior to the existence of the John Muir Trail, the advent of organized 
search and rescue teams, or cell phones.
  Orland Bartholomew carried a 70-pound pack, a folding bellows camera 
and a double bit ax. He skied on custom made wooden skis without metal 
edges with only a crude wax system for climbing. He slept in a down 
robe with a half-tent and no stove. Fortunately, Orland wrote extensive 
journal entries and shot over 320 photographs of his adventure. Thanks 
to his son, Phil, these documents have been preserved.
  This spring, to celebrate this historic trip, a team of four skiers 
recreated this great adventure. In completing this trip they were 
successful in drawing attention to the legacy of this lone skier's 
accomplishment and its proper place in the history of mountaineering. 
Their stated goal was to encourage the U.S. Geological Survey to name a 
peak for Orland. By taking over 2,000 photographs and keeping detailed 
journals they also documented the state of the High Sierra during the 
last winter of the 1900's.
  The Fresno Bee has established a website to provide information on 
both of the trips and to report on the findings from their research. 
  The High Odyssey II team followed as accurately as possible the 
original route of Orland Bartholomew based upon his original journals 
and photographs. They were assisted in their research by Phil 
Bartholomew and Sierra historian Gene Rose. The Team left Cottonwood 
Creek on April 2, 1999 and arrived in Yosemite Valley on April 28 after 
skiing 290 miles and crossing 20 passes over 10,000 feet.
  The four members of the Team are accomplished ski mountaineers and 
climbers with extensive winter experience in the areas in which Orland 
Bartholomew skied. They crossed high passes, did winter ascents of 
peaks en route, including Mt. Whitney, and forded rushing streams.
  At 17, Fritz Baggett represents the next generation of mountain 
adventurers. He has grown up in El Portal, the gateway to Yosemite, 
where he has climbed and skied since a babe in the backpack. He 
recently earned his Eagle Scout badge as a member of Yosemite Troop 50. 
As a musician and writer in the punk/shredder genera his contributions, 
like his skiing, are full of the zest and drive of true youth.
  Tim Messick has spent his adult life teaching others the joys of 
skiing the Sierra backcountry. As a guide for the Yosemite 
Mountaineering School and Yosemite Cross-County School since 1980, Tim 
has skied and guided extensively in the Sierra. He skied one of the 
first three-pin descents of LeConte Gully at Glacier Point and the Y 
notch on Mount Conness. His classic book, ``Cross-Country Skiing in 
Yosemite'' (now in its second printing), is a tribute to his skills as 
writer, teacher, and skier.
  Art Baggett has spent the past 25 years living in the Yosemite 
community. His mountain adventures include hiking the 2,040-mile 
Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine in 1973, a 21 day ski of the 
Sierra Crest on wooden Bonna 2000 skis with a makeshift three pin set 
up, and numerous big wall climbing ascents. Art's background as a 
teacher-naturalist, field biologist, small town attorney and former 
Mariposa County Supervisor provides another unique perspective from 
which to view the terrain. Art's published works include papers and 
lectures on the public policy and legal conflicts between the practice 
of prescribed burning and the Clean Air Act.
  The team would not be complete without a true historian and mountain 
sage. Howard Weamer brings not only the wisdon of a lifetime spent 
traversing the Range of Light on skis and on foot, but the keen eye of 
one of the best known Sierran photographers. His book, ``The Perfect 
Art,'' the history of the Ostrander Ski Hut and skiing in Yosemite is a 
tribute to those that have gone before and the 25 years he has spent as 
the hutkeeper of this Yosemite institution.
  I commend the courage and resolve of these present-day mountaineers 
to help us to learn more of those that came before and that are part of 
the heritage of the great state of California and the United States 
frontier. Further, based upon their efforts, I will renew my efforts to 
ensure that the United States Geological Survey name a Sierra peak in 
honor of Orland ``Bart'' Bartholomew, a Sierra High Adventurer.