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14A Waterman Mountain

Location: Los Angeles County, California

Named according to USFS tradition after Robert B. Waterman (n.d.), pioneer mountain man and a Ranger in the San Gabriel Forest Reserve (1904-M). Waterman, together with his wife Liz, and their friend Perry Switzer, completed a three week hike from La Cañada to Antelope Valley and back again (May 1889). With this epic feat, Liz became the first woman known to have crossed the San Gabriels. Along the way, she placed a cairn on this summit and it was thus christened Lady Waterman's Peak. However, then current attitudes toward the "weaker sex" didn't deem this a fitting name.

A few years later, Ranger Philip Begue built the first trail to this summit from Newcomb's Camp (1903). This area was first developed for recreational skiing by Lynn Newcomb who built the first single tow rope (1939), and the first single seat chairlift (1941). He wrote that "in those days you weren't hamstrung by environmentalists or the Forest Service, the Rangers just asked you 'where do you want to put it?'"

Angeles Forest Supervisor Simeri E. Jarvi died of a heart attack while climbing this peak (1964).

The peak has subsequently been called by different variants, all of which leave out the "Lady". To his credit Robert Waterman made numerous futile efforts to have the full original name restored.

It has been incorrectly cited as Mount Waterman on numerous maps of Los Angeles County, for example: Barclay (1913), Whitcock (1916), Hicks and Borgnis (1921), Auto Club (1922), Judge's (1923), Rand McNally (1925), American Surveys (1928), and Department of Foresters and Firewardens (1935).

It's Mt. Waterman on USFS (1920), the original HPS List (1946), and it has continued to be misnamed Robinson's Trails of the Angeles, Gudde, at least a few times in all subsequent Angeles Chapter Schedules, and even on USFS directional signs to the summit!

It is correctly cited as Waterman Mountain by the USFS (1926), GLO (1928), Blackburn's (1932), L.A. Regional Planning Commission (1933), and L.A. Flood Control District (1937).

While unnamed, it is first noted as elevation 8300'on Wheeler, (1878).

USGS benchmark on summit reads "Twin".

Name first appears on USGS Southern California Sheet #1 (1901).

Name officially accepted by USBGN (1938).

Peak was on the original 1946 HPS Peak List. Weldon Heald climbed this peak in 1939.


Hundred Peaks Section, Angeles Chapter, Sierra Club
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Updated 25-February-2003