George Barnard started at Pomona College as a preparatory
student in 1894. When his father died in 1897, his mother moved the family
to Idaho Springs, Colorado, and George left Pomona to take a job. An avid
hiker and mountaineer, he helped to established the Colorado Mountain
Club, an organization dedicated to conservation and mountain enjoyment.
Rollin Barnard 44 tells a story of how, with Georges help,
Pomona tradition reached high into the mountains of Colorado. George guided
a number of the clubs early climbing trips in the Rockies, and often
used a phrase from the Pomona song, Torchbearers, to keep groups in touch
with each other across the mountaintops and ravines. You see, my
dad was always very proud of his Pomona background, says Rollin.
After the Rocky Mountain National Park was established in 1915, George
and two club members were asked to survey the acreage of the park. They
gladly accepted the responsibility of naming the peaks, rivers and lakes,
often singing out the Torchbearers refrain, He ne terra-toma,
to keep track of each other as they explored.
On one particular occasion high in the Rockies, George saw the early morning
reflection of a mountain in the crystal clear lake below. Impressed by
the sight, he called out He ne terra-toma to his friends.
They agreed to name the lake after Georges fond memories of Pomona,
but when they turned in the papers to park administrators, the request
got scrambled, and instead of the lake getting the name, the mountain
became Terra Tomah Mountain.