Published: January 1981

Mount St. Helens

Mount St Helens

Mountain With a Death Wish

A snowcapped peak in the Cascades shudders and explodes, blasting 1,300 feet off its top, scything down forests and sending ash clouds across the Northwest.

By Rowe Findley
Photograph by Roger Werth, Daily News

First I must tell you that I count it no small wonder to be alive. Looking back on the fateful events preceding Mount St. Helens' terrible eruption last May 18, I recognize that I—and others—had been drawn into a strange kind of Russian roulette with that volcano in the Cascades.

For many weeks the mountain had masked its potential for tragedy with minor eruptions, then seemed to doze. In our efforts to get a close-range account of a significant geologic event, we moved in with the innocence of the uninitiated—until sudden holocaust shadowed us with peril and changed our lives forever.

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