This is Harry Langenbacher's
Sierra Nevada Summit Registers Page.
After you climb a Sierra Peak,
please click here to
Send a Report
to me on the condition of the summit register. I will
keep track of them. I need "all OK" reports, too!
Before you climb a Sierra Peak
3-5-14 - Pending changes to the main list of register needs at
Please carry extra PENCILS (not pens) to leave with the registers. Ink washes out with moisture!
Desolation Wilderness managers
don't seem to want registers on their peaks (Pyramid, Dicks, Tallac)
If you find any damaged register containers, please help me determine
what it would take to repair it, so someone can go up there with the
proper equipment. For example - Agassiz has (had) an ammo box with
missing lid, so it was useful to determine that they need only a 30 Cal. box
lid for repair. The register box on Mt. Kaweah (the emblem peak) was
barely hanging on to the rock, and needs repair/replacement of the screws and
anchors (but it went missing before it was repaired). If you find a container that needs a book, please let me know what kind
of container it is, so we will know what size book it needs. Photographs are
When you send me pictures and reports, I find them extremely
useful in determining how to maintain the containers and what size of book they
need, where they are located, and for historical documentation. The registers
may be harmed by publicity, so I will not publish pictures or reports on this web site, but I will
keep them forever. Thanks to everyone who has sent me pictures and
I will accept anonymous returns of misplaced registers or information regarding Sierra
Nevada summit registers. I don't ask, I don't tell!
for details on my contact information and my
The Sierra Club and the Sierra Peaks Section have long
been active in maintaining registers on Sierra Peaks, but anyone can do it! I am currently the
appointed " Mountain Records Chair". The
state: "The SPS Mountain Records Chair maintains ... a record
of the condition of summit registers and register containers on qualifying
peaks ... maintains and preserves, as required, registers and register
containers on summits of qualifying peaks. He should provide new register books
and cylinders to climbers to replace old and missing ones on SPS peaks and other
|I have about 70 new SPS register books in
3.75"x6", 144 page, soft cover,
with a sturdy sewn/taped binding,
so the pages won't fall out.
purchased a good supply of
various sized register books. Please let me know if
you want a tiny but sturdy notebook to carry with you always, just in
case you find one missing, or maybe a nice hard cover book to put in an ammo
Notebooks with sewn bindings will last much
longer that spiral bound
Please help me find sources for replacement
! These aluminum cylinders, made by the late
great Charles Gerkins, were perfect, but
they are no longer available. Give me some ideas from some idiot-proof,
water-shedding, bomb-proof, and light-weight containers. I would even welcome a
source of properly sized, new Tin Cans, for the classic "nested cans" type of
|I have 10
left (10 x 30 cal. and one 50 cal.). They will hold books up to 10" x 6.5"
max. Please let me know if you are willing to haul an ammo
box up one of the peaks that's missing a container - but give me time to ship it
by snail-mail. Ammo boxes are
pretty good, but even they get damaged or lose their lids, and they
are fairly heavy (3.7 pounds)- any suggestions for improved large
container are welcomed! Unfortunately, these ammo boxes are no longer available
as military surplus.||
The classic Sierra Club aluminum boxes were designed by
Kasper Casperson around 1924
Summit registers are an endangered tradition in California. Some registers (used
too) date back to the 19th century, and have great historical and cultural
significance, especially to peak baggers. But the registers, containers (and
even benchmarks) are disappearing at an alarming rate.
I would like to get reports on the condition of summit registers and overfilled or missing summit
registers/containers/pencils for any SPS (Sierra Peaks Section) listed summit, or other major summits in the Sierras. I
also want any history on these summit registers, including the disposition of registers removed from their summits.
Reports of registers in good condition are important, too, so I can
remove a peak from my list if it no longer has needs, and I can track their
Summit registers play an important part in SAR (Search and Rescue) efforts
when a climber disappears (Mt. Goode 2008, Palisades 2007, Brewer 2006 ...)
SAR even goes so far as to retrieve the registers by helicopter
(North Guard/Milestone 2006). They use the registers to trace the path of the
missing climber. The most famous use of registers in a search in the Sierra Nevadas was the search for Walter (Peter) Starr
Jr. in the Minarets, 1933 (1
would like to document the condition of the registers and their containers. Please send me pictures or links to pictures of summit
registers/containers on these peaks . I will not make public any pictures
or reports, to avoid unnecessary exposure.
think that taking pictures, instead of taking away registers, is a great way to
preserve the history they bear. Send the pictures to me and/or to the library, and keep the registers on the summit. It seems that putting a summit register away in
a vault is like taking Bighorn Sheep out of the mountain wilderness and putting them in a
cage - they will never be the same.
Library at UC Berkeley has a list of the summit registers
in their collection
here . The UCLA library has a collection of registers and other
historical SPS artifacts. The East California Museum in
Independence has the old Mt. Langley Sierra Club aluminum box on display, given to them, oddly enough, by RJ Secor.
Do any other libraries/museums in California collect old summit registers, too?
The Bancroft list of "mountain registers mainly from California summits of the
Sierra Nevada", stored in 21 cartons, is 696 lines long. Some are dated as
recently as 2005. This is evidence (along with the fact that most register needs
are only for new books, not containers) that collectors are to blame for
disappearance of many missing registers. In at least one case, register,
container, and even multiple benchmarks have been stripped from a
Please do not publish your "discovery" of old registers,
giving away their specific location. This serves only the braggart, the
thieves, the vandals, and armchair climbers. The number of surviving old registers is
diminishing, though some have been doing fine for many years on
isolated peaks without any help from publicity. The older registers are the more
valuable targets for those who collect them, as well as for those who would vandalize them,
and they are free for the taking if only they can be located - such a bargain needs
no advertising ! Please help by keeping the location of these valuable objects
a secret, until they are no longer with us. Tell your family and friends, but
not the whole
world. And help keep the peaks (except
in the Desolation Wilderness, where they are prohibited ?) supplied with
new registers and containers to help the climbing community, and to aid
in SAR efforts.
Click here to send Harry
E-mail with your email program, or click
to send me E-mail (text only) through your browser.
for the complete list of
SPS summits in need of help with their registers, maintained by Steve Eckert and myself.