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PBO Sends Emergency Response Team to Mt. St. Helens (2)


Thursday, October 14, 2004

By the end of the day Wednesday, the PBO X-Men team finished the majority of the second station, P693. After Jackson and Feaux retrofitted the monument, workers from P697 flew over the crater of the volcano to join in on the P693 installation fun. Once again, a completed swing set was successfully slung over the volcano and dropped at the site. Borenstein and Friesen worked on installing the enclosures and antenna, finishing the installation by dusk.

Today, Hafner and Borenstein are applying the final finishing touches to P693 (YAY, two stations down, only three to go!!), and will head back to the Climbers Bivouac to sling a swing set to the third site, P695, before noon.

Meanwhile, Jackson and Hilker are flown out early to start retrofitting the monument at P695, located on the northeast side of the mountain. Reported another beautiful day (but still very windy), it is anticipated that the third site will be finished by the end of the day, and the fourth site hopefully 90% finished.

At the base of the volcano, Feaux and Friesen work on assembling the last two swing set and enclosures. Later in the afternoon, Mencin and Hilker travel to the north side of the volcano to work on getting the repeater sites and data communication up and running.

Friday, October 15, 2004

A Friday morning report from the crew brings amazing news: by the end of Thursday, 4 sites had been completed, and only one left to go!

Amid all the excitement, including being filmed by MSNBC and local news channels 5 and 2, crews had made it to the fourth station, P696, located on the east side of the volcano. With remarkable speed and humbling precision, like superheroes often demonstrate, the X-Men team was able to finish the site just in time, with just a few minutes of daylight left to spare….

Just before it became too dark to fly, the helicopter was able to sling all the equipment to the fifth and final site, P698, which is located on the southeast side of the volcano.

The PBO crew was taken for a bit of a scare when Mencin and Hilker didn’t return to base camp Thursday night. At 3am Friday morning, coming very close to calling a modified version of an ‘Amber Alert’ on the missing men, camp members were miraculously able to get cell coverage and heard a message left by Mencin saying all was okay. Too dark to return to base camp by the time he and Hilker had finished working, they decided to stay the night at the Visitors Center. Whew!

With all the excitement the day before, crews were a bit disappointed Friday when waking up to a fogged in volcano. Needless to say, with only a couple hours left of work to do on the volcano installations, workers were very antsy. Although they waited at the Climbers Bivouac for the majority of the day hoping the weather would clear, the restless crew returned to base camp once it was obvious that it wasn`t their day to be on top of breathtaking Mt. St. Helens.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Hopefully it is good news that we have not hear from the X-Men team this morning. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we hear from them …


Last modified: 2020-01-28  22:54:09  America/Denver