A. Phimister Proctor & Half Dome

In Friends of Yosemite Blog, History

A. Phimister ProctorNow there’s a name for you! Why is he the subject of today’s blog?  Well, we all should know by now that the first ascent up Half Dome was done by George Anderson in 1875. As any 3rd grade history student knows, he did this by drilling holes and made his own staircase with steel rods. He then tied knots in a rope and hung it down the backside for others to get up. OK, we all know this . . . but this rope got real tired and by 1884, it was almost unusable. So, since Anderson had gone to his reward by then, 24-yr old  Alexander Phimister Proctor and Alden Sampson replaced it with a new multi-stranded rope. But the story doesn’t end there.

Proctor made a decision to pursue a career in art while climbing Half Dome. He wrote the booklet “An Ascent Of Half Dome in 1884.” He studied at the Art Students’ League and the National Academy of Design in New York City, and later at Julien in Paris. He lived in the Rockies and soon became known as the “sculptor in buckskin,” His works celebrate both famous heroes and anonymous, iconic figures. Among his more famous works are:  General William T. Sherman; General Robert E. Lee; and a tribute to Theodore Roosevelt, The Rough Rider. If you are entranced, you may want to visit the A. Phimister Proctor Museum in Poulsbo, WA. My question is, why did he drop the name Alexander and go by A. Phimister. Alex??

*Carpe Diem Experience–Rick Deutsch–www.HikeHalfDome.com*

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