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KATU story request - Mt. St. Helens eruption

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Hello climbers. I turned to these message boards two years ago while researching a story idea and I found a lot of help. I'm hoping for the same this time around. My name is Lincoln Graves. I'm an anchor/reporter for KATU News in Portland. I'm working on a story for the 35th anniversary of the Mt. St. Helens eruption.

 

Here's what I'm looking for: anyone who happened to be on the summit of another nearby mountain (Rainier, Hood, Adams) on THE DAY of the eruption in 1980. I know that's a tall order, but I've met at least one person who was on Hood that day. Anyone know of any others? I'd love to talk to them for a story.

 

My email is Lgraves@katu.com

 

Thanks,

Lincoln

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I would love to read the story of those that were, good luck!

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Jamie Christensen and I had just finished the Nisqually Icefall and were at 13,500 (on Rainier, Lincoln) taking a break, and looking right at it when it blew up. Jamie, who had carried an old Nikon (F2 I think) up so many climbs, had left it at home. Goddamn we would have had some great pictures. We continued up for another 500' looking over our shoulders at the increasingly frightening ash cloud before turning around and running (seriously) down Fuhrer Finger. We got to Paradise at noon. Pitch black, birds falling out of the sky. My car broke down (from ash) in Morton. Took us 3 more days to get to Seattle.

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Jamie Christensen and I had just finished the Nisqually Icefall and were at 13,500 (on Rainier, Lincoln) taking a break, and looking right at it when it blew up. Jamie, who had carried an old Nikon (F2 I think) up so many climbs, had left it at home. Goddamn we would have had some great pictures. We continued up for another 500' looking over our shoulders at the increasingly frightening ash cloud before turning around and running (seriously) down Fuhrer Finger. We got to Paradise at noon. Pitch black, birds falling out of the sky. My car broke down (from ash) in Morton. Took us 3 more days to get to Seattle.

 

wow

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On that day I climbed the standard route of Mixup Peak with Marty Sorenson and Nancy Neuerberg. We heard a distant boom on the way up, and on the summit viewed the ash column far to the south.

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A friend---

 

Was camping in the NF safe zone next to a family of four. He was taking a nap in his hammock when it blew. Didn't remember being blown out and down the ravine into the creek but remembers suffocating and having to claw the ash out of his mouth. Barefoot he had to walk on the hot ash among the blowdown to the top of the ravine. Could not recognize anything and saw no remnants of the family.

 

Followed the stream downhill until it hit a road - then he just wandered this downhill most of the day. Eventually he ran into to rescuers in full moon suits who called in a chopper and took him out.

 

He was always, well, an interesting guy, but seemed a bit tweaked by the experience. 12 years later he took his life.

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Ale,

 

The skunk keeps me unsunk. :) It’s funny to Experience S.A.D. with lack of snow, rather than sunshine. 😮

 

Unfortunately the “Eye in the Sky” was a chance meeting, not likely to be replicated. Here’s a few pics from a predecessor on 5-18-80.

 

 

01+Wow%252C+would+you+look+at+that.jpg

Wow, would you look at that

02+Awesome.jpg

Awesome

03+Think+we+ought+to+stay+upwind+Bruce.j

Think we ought to stay upwind Bruce

04+Suck+her+up.jpg

Suck her up

05.jpg

06.jpg

07+Visibility+kind+of+going+to+hell+Bruc

Visibility kind of going to hell Bruce

08+So+OK%252C+you+want+to+get+a+closer+l

So OK, you want a closer look

09+Don%2527t+you+think+we+should+start+t

Don’t you think we should start turning

10+Ah%252C+that%2527s+better.jpg

Ah, that’s better

11+Lean+forward+Bruce-thanks.jpg

Lean forward Bruce, thanks

12+Ugly.jpg

Ugly

13.jpg

14+Closer+look+at+rim.jpg

Closer look at rim

15+Looking+up.jpg

Looking up

16+Having+fun+ladies.jpg

Having fun ladies

Before-1.jpg

 

Feels good to be baptized by powder again. Safe Travels, CR :doobie:

Before-2.jpg

 

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Where were you when the mountain blew?

 

I had to work but had a good view of the ash cloud from the west end of Long Lake in Lacey.

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Where were you when the mountain blew?

 

I had just come off 5 days or so on the Owyhee River. Eastern Oregon never saw any aspects of the eruption as the plum was to the north. Had traces later in the summer after a rain storm.

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Where were you when the mountain blew?

 

7th pitch of Liberty Crack with Mark Bebie.

 

We heard the explosion and thought it was a sonic boom. Didn't hear about the eruption until we pulled into Marblemount late that evening. Businesses were open later than normal because people were fleeing eastern Washington, I guess.

 

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16th birthday climb on Mt Hood on the summit about 45 minutes after it went. People coming down were kind of freaked out and said its the biggest eruption yet. When we got up there all we saw was this wall of black right in front of us. It's was very surreal. I'll never forget it.

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