Mt Whitney Webcam
Mt Williamson Webcam
Feature Topics
Who's Online
3 registered (Norm, bobpickering, Brad Calvin), 22 Guests and 86 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
3486 Members
10 Forums
5378 Topics
49659 Posts

Max Online: 382 @ 11/07/12 05:45 AM
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#7575 - 09/19/10 11:01 PM 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7444
Loc: Fresno, CA
In 1955, ten year old Jayne Ann Henly completed a day hike to the summit of Mt. Whitney. It was a record at the time.

Today, Dr. Jayne Ann Henly Antony is a pediatric Neurologist in Sydney, Australia.

Here is her picture at the Mt Whitney summit, July 28, 1955.




In preparation for the hike, Jayne and her father and uncle climbed Telescope Peak three days earlier, on July 25, 1955.
Here is a picture taken from the top of Telescope Peak:




And here is Dr. Jayne Antony in a recent picture (front row, center) with her paediatric neurology colleagues working with her at the Children's Hospital Westmead (Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children) in Sydney.



(click on each picture to see the full size image)



Here is the text from several emails Dr. Antony sent me to report her historic accomplishment:
Quote:
Aug. 7, 2010

My name is Jayne Antony and I am a paediatric Neurologist in Sydney Australia where I immigrated in 1974. I was born and raised in the USA and in July 1955 I, with my father Wayne Henly and Uncle Stanley Howell climbed to the peak of Mt Whitney in one day and signed the book (as Jayne Henly). I was born on the 9th January 1945 and, thus, was 10 years old. I have looked at websites and it appears that children older than I was at the time have claimed to be the youngest to climb the Mountain. I have photos and newspaper clippings and wonder if you could guide me as to who I should send them to (once I dig them out of storage!!)

Sincerely,
Dr Jayne H. Antony



Quote:
Aug. 8, 2010

My Uncle Stan was a physicist for NASA at China Lake Ca. We lived in Jacksonville, Illinois, and used to visit him every summer. He died a few years ago but my father is still alive. My mother tells me that there was a letter to the editor in the Saturday Evening Post sometime after my climb but I am not sure what edition but I may have it somewhere. You might ask why I have explored this now after so many years (in fact decades)...the answer is that I have a phobia about heights particularly sheer drops and I have always (rightly or wrongly) explained it by my experience on the switchbacks from my hike in 1955. I was talking to a colleague about this and it entered my mind to find out what is on the internet about Mt Whitney. A bit of a buzz to speak with you and bring back all of these memories. I look forward to getting all this together and sending it to you...must be old age that I am getting nostalgic!!

Best regards, Jayne

Here's the clipping from the Saturday Evening Post, June 16, 1956:



Quote:
Aug. 9, 2010

I cannot imagine that your friend has not heard of my Uncle. I think he was very well known. He died several years ago and I think he was born about 1920 since he was a couple of years older than my mother born in 1922 (and still alive). I am delighted to tell you that I have actually found all of the newspaper clippings, photos of myself on top and even the letter to the editor from the Saturday Evening Post. I will get my secretaries to scan all of them and email you. Even though you are probably correct about the cause of my fear of heights being in my genetic makeup, it did motivate me to look into to this and find out that no one knew of my feat. Incidentally, the actual day was Thursday 28th of July 1955. Do you still have the pages from the visitor's book relating to that. Thanks..
Jayne




Memories of the hike

Quote:
Aug. 13, 2010

My memories are very sketchy after half a century. I recall that the Telescope Peak hike was relatively short and my 8 year old sister sat down about half way and waited for us to go to the peak and come back...somewhere we had a picture of her sitting there with a squirrel nearby (is that possible). All of the photos were 35mm slides and the only ones my parents sent to me were the two you have which they made into prints since I think the slides were fast fading. They are still around living in Columbus, Georgia, and are on line if you have any questions of my father, Wayne.

Regarding the Mt Whitney climb...I certainly recall starting in the dark with flashlights. The trail was rocky but well defined and the switchbacks are still in my memory and I was always relieved when we were on the other side. I sort of remember that the very last part of the climb was the most rugged and tricky but it never crossed my mind not to go on. I certainly remember the top, the cabin and signing the book, AND having that photo taken.

The descent I think was uneventful and sometime I bought a salt and pepper shaker from a shop in Lone Pine!! Isn't the Brain weird and wonderful with what it stores....probably why I am a Child Neurologist. This was the dark ages without mobile phones so that my last memory was my Aunt Iris (Uncle Stan's wife) standing in the doorway when we drove back to the house in China Lake saying "did you do it" and my Uncle's reply...."we sure did !!"

From what you say below (regarding the altitude) my Uncle must have known what he was doing by having me climb Telescope Peak first. He climbed a lot in his time in California, my father was a letter carrier in those days and walked miles everyday. As for me I was a bit of a "tomboy" and physically very active and fit but, of course, there were not a lot of mountains to practice climbing in Jacksonville, IL!!. Don't know why I didn't have any altitude problems but, if I was uncomfortable, I have suppressed that memory! Don't think I can recall anything else but if you have any questions it may jog my memory.

Best regards, Jayne




Picture source is here.

Top
#7576 - 09/19/10 11:02 PM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7444
Loc: Fresno, CA
        From:  Jacksonville Courier, Jacksonville, Ill., Aug. 3, 1955
Quote:
Jacksonville 10 Year Old Girl Climbs To Top Of Mt. Whitney   


Jayne Ann Henly, a 10 year old Jacksonville girl, may have established a new record for girls of her age when she climbed to the crest of Mt. Whitney, in California, the highest mountain in the United States.

Her feat was accomplished Thursday, July 28, while accompanied by her father, Wayne L. Henly, 716 Routt street, and her uncle, Fred Stanley Howell, Edwards, Calif.  Henly is a letter carrier at the Jacksonville post office.

The 27 mile hike from Whitney Portal to the crest of Mt. Whitney, 14,500 feet above sea level in the Sierra Nevada range, was made in total hiking time of 13 hours.  One hour was spent at the top near John Muir's abandoned weather station for lunch and resting for the return Trip.

May be Juvenile Record        
Howell, in reporting the climb, said he is attempting to determine whether Jayne Ann's climb sets a record for her age.  She will enter the fifth grade at Franklin school in September.

The signatures of Henly and his daughter are now recorded with the statistics in the Sierra Club registers on top of Telescope and Whitney.

The hiking feat has seldom been accomplished, even by seasoned mountain hikers.  It requires that the hiker climb over 6,000 feet altitude in 13 1/2 miles over a rocky trail that is difficult walking at best.  At its worst the hikker is forced to ford mountain streams and pick a path over unmarked stone rubble.

Footsore But Proud        
The hikers departed from Whitney Portal at 4:30 a.m., well before sunrise.  The first hour of the climb was done with the aid of a flashlight.  They arrived back at the Portal at 6:30 p.m., footsore but proud of an accomplishment completed.

Most visitors to Whitney spend one day hiking to one of the high lakes near Whitney where they camp and then start for the top early in the morning of the second day with only a few miles of trip remaining.  The Henlys had set the climbing of Mount Whitney as one of the goals of this year's vacation.  Whether or not it was to be attempted rested on the trial climb of Telescope Mountain in the Panamint Mountain Range overlooking Death Valley.  Telescope is a shorter hike, roughly seven miles, although the trail is somewhat steeper than the Whitney Trail.  Henly and Jayne Ann conquered Telescope on Monday, July 25, with a performance that assured them of being able to make the Whitney climb without an overnight rest.

       Newspaper clipping:

                           

Top
#7577 - 09/19/10 11:03 PM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7444
Loc: Fresno, CA
       Newspaper article:
Quote:
Parkview Girl, 11, Holds Record in Climbing Highest U.S. Mountain   


Carteret -- although Jayne Ann Henly has been a resident of the borough for a year, it became known only the other day that she established a record for girls of her age when she climbed to the crest of Mt. Whitney, in California, the highest mountain in the United States.

Jayne Ann is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter L Henly, 91 Wortylko Street. She is eleven years old and a seventh grade pupil at the Columbus School here.

Her feat was accomplished somewhat more than a year ao while accompanied by her father and her uncle, Fred Stanley of Edwards, California.

Jayne Ann's father is a postal inspector with the Post Office in New York City. Her mother is the former Marguerite Howell. The Henlys also have another daughter Janice Louise, also a school pupil here. They come from Jacksonville, Illinois.

The 27-mile hike from Whitney Portal the the crest of Mt. Whitney, 14,500 feet above sea level in the Sierra Nevada range, was made in a total hiking time of 13 hours. One hour was spent at the top near John Muir's abandoned weather station for lunch and resting for the return trip.



       Newspaper clipping:
                           

Top
#7578 - 09/19/10 11:04 PM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7444
Loc: Fresno, CA
       Lions Club article:
Quote:
Lions Club Enjoys Mt. Whitney Travelogue   

Monday evening was the regular Lions Club Ladies Night meeting at The Shamrock.  About sixty members and guests were served a delicious roast chicken dinner.
      Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Henly and two daughters, of Jacksonville, were guests of honor.  Mr. Henley and his daughters did some mountain climbing in California last summer, his oldest daughter, Jayne, age ten, being the youngest person to have climbed Mt. Whitney in one day.  Slides were shown of pictures taken on their climb and Jane explained the scenes to the group.
      Mr. Henley and Jane climbed Mt. Whitney with Mr. Henly's broth-in-law who resides in California and who had climbed the mountain the three previous summers.  They were seven and one half hours going up and came down in five hours.
      Mr. Henly said that the usual procedure is to make a two-day trip of it, necessitating carrying heavy packs for overnight camping and for food for two days.  The Henlys carried only cameras and a few sandwiches, and being relatively unencumbered, were able to go up and back in one day.  An eight year old boy has also made the climb, but he took the two days for it.  Jayne is the youngest one day climber.  Her presentation of the pictures was greatly enjoyed.

       Newspaper clipping:
                               

Top
#7579 - 09/19/10 11:04 PM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: Steve C]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7444
Loc: Fresno, CA
Since Bob R worked in the same area as Jayne Antony's uncle Stanley Howell, and they both enjoyed hiking, I asked him if he had known him. Unfortunately he did not.

But he did find Mr. Howell's obituary on the Press-Enterprise news website from May 24, 2003.
    Fred Stanley Howell, 1920-2003
    And another: Fred Stanley Howell
 

Top
#7582 - 09/20/10 12:12 AM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: Steve C]
Bee Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 1261
Loc: Northern California
Fascinating -- who/what initiated the correspondence that led to this current re-telling of the story? It is inspiring, especially for it's time.
_________________________
The body betrays and the weather conspires, hopefully, not on the same day.

Top
#7586 - 09/20/10 09:12 AM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: Bee]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 589
Loc: Manchester, NH
Hmm ... "John Muir's abandoned weather station" - didn't realize Mr Muir had a weather station there. What do you suppose caused the abandonment? Solar cells eventually deteriorated? Satellite degraded and fell out of orbit?

Curious minds want to know wink

Top
#7587 - 09/20/10 09:30 AM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: KevinR]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7444
Loc: Fresno, CA
Bee: Dr. Antony volunteered the information, saying she is still curious if her Whitney experience contributed to her being intimidated by heights. I have assured her that she is not the only one affected by those fears, since we often see discussions here about those issues.

I am really glad she passed all of the information along, so we could put it on the web for all to see.

Kevin: The hut was originally built in 1909 as a shelter for scientists so they could stay at the summit and make various weather and astrophysical measurements. I think the part about its being "John Muir's abandoned weather station" is erroneous.

Here's an interesting article from Smithsonian.com about the hut,written just before its 100th anniversary in 2009:
The Mount Whitney Hut Turns 100.   Amazingly, it was built in four weeks! And they had a sixteen-inch horizontal reflecting telescope up there.  There is no mention as to why it was abandoned, although it does say bad weather made it difficult to use their telescope.

Also, from Wikipedia: Smithsonian Institution Shelter

Top
#7591 - 09/20/10 11:34 AM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: Steve C]
KevinR Offline


Registered: 11/03/09
Posts: 589
Loc: Manchester, NH
Originally Posted By: Steve C
...Kevin: The hut was originally built in 1909 as a shelter for scientists so they could stay at the summit and make various weather and astrophysical measurements. I think the part about its being "John Muir's abandoned weather station" is erroneous.
Yup - I agree.

In the same vein - it's fun to read newspaper accounts of the Eastern Sierra written by LA papers in the 30's, 40's, 50's and even a bit beyond. Sometimes the reader was treated to some rather fanciful stuff.

Top
#7593 - 09/20/10 11:41 AM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: KevinR]
DUG Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 367
Loc: Wildomar
Wiki says the hut has no style. That's BS.

I always thought there were only two rooms. I wonder what's in the third? Jimmy Hoffa?? Starbucks supplies? Extra wag bags? Rum?.................................DUG

Top
#7606 - 09/20/10 06:25 PM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: KevinR]
JAntony Offline


Registered: 09/16/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Sydney
I do not know where the "John Muir's abandoned weather station" came from...I presume it was something my Uncle Stan told us and who am I to question a man who worked for NASA!! I remember it was locked up and I don't think enterable so at least the word 'abandoned' is correct!! Regards to all from downunder. Jayne

Top
#7608 - 09/20/10 06:58 PM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: JAntony]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Jayne, just a wonderful story! I plan to share it with my daughter, who is currently 10 and professes a desire to climb Whitney with Dad next year. She's seen me head off to climb this mountain each of the past two summers and seems ready to be a doer, not just a watcher. Hopefully, your story will encourage her.

Looking at the photos, I began to think about the differences in hiking gear in the 50s versus now. Are those Keds you were wearing? Your clothing was mostly cotton and wool, I'm guessing, since there were no hi-tech, lightweight, wicking wallet-busters on the market yet. Looks like you wore denim capris? I'm betting the backpacks were heavy canvas, or something similar, and you and your family used larger hiking sticks versus svelte, telescoping trekking poles. In other words, as a couple of people I know would attest: "real" mountain climbers!

Thanks for sharing these memories with us!

Top
#7609 - 09/20/10 10:14 PM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: Bulldog34]
Rod Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 660
Loc: Santa Clarita, Ca. USA
Fantastic story.That is real legend and true epic stuff.Reminecent of Bob R's legendary High School trek along with witnessing a Nevada Test of an A bomb.One in a million stories.

Top
#7620 - 09/21/10 06:11 AM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: Steve C]
Bob R Offline


Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 129
Loc: Ridgecrest, California
Originally Posted By: Steve C
...My Uncle Stan was a physicist for NASA at China Lake Ca....

I cannot imagine that your friend has not heard of my Uncle. I think he was very well known.

I started working at China Lake in 1953. But I was a very young man, and knew only a handful of the workers at the time. Later, I would grow to be more aware of the breadth of work being conducted, and some of the people doing it. I am curious to know the years Uncle Stan spent there. Maybe I can dig up some information.

By the way, anyone working at China Lake at that time would have been as a civilian for the US Navy, not NASA.

The summer of 1955 was when I did my 5th ascent of Mt. Whitney. I didn't record the date, but it was probably sometime in July. Not the 28th, though; that would have been a work day.

Finally, my son was also ten when I first took him to Mt. Whitney, in 1972. We climbed the Mountaineer's Route.

Top
#7656 - 09/21/10 08:22 PM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: Bulldog34]
JAntony Offline


Registered: 09/16/10
Posts: 5
Loc: Sydney
Thanks...1955 in Jacksonville Illinois was a completely different world. Designer gear didn't exist...the closest would be Sears and Roebuck usually their catalogue and whatever stores were on Jacksonville Square. We didn't care much for clothes so long as we could ride our bikes, play outside and do whatever kept us occupied. Two TVs in the neighborhood and the highlight of the week for my sister and I was going across the street to Mrs Dwyer's house on Sunday to watch the Steve Allen Show and The Cisco Kid. There was no great planning, permits etc to climb Mt Whitney..just seemed an exciting thing to do on summer vacation. I wore a pair of blue jeans, my t-shirt and what I called my gym shoes. I think my Aunt Iris leant me the hat and red sweater in case it was chilly. My Uncle was a seasoned climber of Mt Whitney and had sense enough to make certain that I could do it before we left but I don't think anyone knew about us departing for the summit except my Aunt Iris, mother and my younger sister. I picked up a branch from a tree on the pathway and that was my 'trekking pole'. It was very crooked but strong and just the right size for me...I think my parents still have it somewhere and perhaps I could talk my Dad into taking a photo of it if you are interested. I could go on and on about how different life was then but it might reach Novel proportions!! I am delighted to correspond with all of you and promise to answer any and all questions..if it takes a while at times it will be because of my medical commitments. Jayne

Top
#7658 - 09/21/10 09:53 PM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: JAntony]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7444
Loc: Fresno, CA
Jayne, if your father is able, I hope he has seen this thread by now.  It would be absolutely fantastic if he could produce a picture of that stick ...and himself as well!

Say... we could nominate Buldog34 to run down there and meet him. (Buldog is in GA already.)

Talking about how life was then... we have a great topic where you might like to add some things:
  Remembering when (for the over-50 crowd!)

Top
#7662 - 09/22/10 05:23 AM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: JAntony]
Bulldog34 Offline


Registered: 11/12/09
Posts: 1254
Loc: Atlanta
Jayne, a couple of questions spring to mind:

Have you been back to Whitney or the Portal area since that 1955 climb? Have you considered the possibility of an anniversary climb? I bet we could generate some excitement for such an undertaking if you were of a mind! You wouldn't believe how the menu has changed at the Portal in the intervening years. smile

Regarding your time living Down Under: inquiring minds on the board - one in particular - wonder if you've had the opportunity to visit Wagga Wagga . . .

Top
#7663 - 09/22/10 05:35 AM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: JAntony]
Bob R Offline


Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 129
Loc: Ridgecrest, California
Jayne, I noticed in Uncle Stan's obituary that he was a long-time resident of Yucaipa, California, and member of the Presbyterian church there when he died. I have a friend who was similarly situated. Furthermore, my friend was a high school classmate of mine at China Lake in the early 1950s. I wrote, asking if she knew him. Her response:

"Yes, Bob, I knew and much loved F. Stanley Howell! I knew of his China Lake connection. How did you learn of him?? He was one of those amazing people who knew something about everything, and everything about several things! He understood the complementary nature of the fields of science and religion and lived it rather than banging people on the head with it. I taught an adult Sunday School class for years at the Yucaipa Presbyterian Church and he was a faithful member and was always willing to say "yes" when I needed a break for vacation or preparing new material. Sadly and almost unbelievably to me, Alzheimers disease afflicted him, but not until he had made a big impact in a lot of ways. Someday it would be fun to talk about him with you. Please do let me know how you've heard about Stan. As ever, Marion"

I can put you in contact with Marion if you want.

Also, I have queried the "archives" at China Lake to see if they can turn up anything about him and his work there.

-----

The Retired Affairs Office at China Lake turned up nothing about F Stanley Howell. They checked old phone books going back to 1950.

One last email from Marion:

"Yes, Bob, they hiked all the way from Badwater to the top of Whitney! That is what made it so remarkable! In fact there was something about missing one of their target destinations along the way where they were to have access to water. When they didn't reach it at the time Stan had reckoned they should, they went back to the prior "water hole" and used up a whole extra day. Not sure how they notified the rangers so there wasn't a search party out looking for them. Bill Howell was maybe 4 years older than our son Gordon who tuned 52 today. If Bill was 16 at the time of the hike, the time frame should have been around 1960 (ish.) I shared all this info with another from the Yucaipa Pres. Church tonight at dinner. They were amazed at the connection too. Hooray for the good parts of the internet! Marion"


Edited by Bob R (09/26/10 09:05 AM)
Edit Reason: Additional feedback

Top
#7711 - 09/23/10 12:11 AM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: Bob R]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7444
Loc: Fresno, CA
Bob, thank you for the additional information.

Here are two pictures of Wayne Henly from just last week, attending a WWII honored veterans reunion in Washington DC.




Top
#7713 - 09/23/10 06:22 AM Re: 1955 Record: 10-year-old Girl Dayhikes Whitney [Re: Bob R]
Bob R Offline


Registered: 10/27/09
Posts: 129
Loc: Ridgecrest, California
A second email from my friend:

-----

"Bob---I'm delighted and fascinated by the correspondence about the Dr. from Sydney and her and my connection with Stan Howell---and your being the one helping put it all together for us! He, like you, was a brilliant man and was interested in so many things. One further story you may enjoy and may wish to pass along to Australia!

"As she will know, the Howells had three children, Diana, Bill and Joanne. Stan decided it was very important that Bill have a "coming of age" experience to mark his 16th year of life. (My daughter is strongly convinced of this as well and leads 8 day wilderness quests, four days of which involve solitary time and a complete food fast. She has taken all four of her nephews and her own daughter on treks to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite in the summer of each of their 13th year of life.)

"Stan and Bill planned for a couple of years for their date to climb Mt. Whitney. They chose a dry year following a wet year so that ground water/wells would be replenished but that the Sierra snowpack would be light. They also hiked primarily in the evening and at night by a full or nearly full moon, and rested in the heat of the day. Stan had registered with rangers in case they didn't arrive at planned "destinations" along the way. I think they went in late June, but I can't tell you what year.

"Here's the zinger!! They started out, not at Whitney Portal, but at the lowest spot in the U.S., Badwater in Death Valley, and hiked to the highest point in the contiguous U.S., the summit of Mt. Whitney! The other folks at the peak were justly celebrating their own accomplishments and were dumbfounded to hear Stan and Bill's story. Isn't that a great story!!---and true at that!

"I read the entire list of comments folks had sent to her and enjoyed every bit of it because it came to me from you, about Stan! Thanks again! Marion"

-----

Note that it would have taken them five or six days to hike to the Portal, and then there is the climb after that. Back then, no WPS for a big breakfast to fortify them for the coming ordeal!

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >