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July-August 2018

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Dragons in The Sky: The Story of HAATS, The High-Altitude Army National Guard Aviation Training Site

By the time the sun crested the eastern horizon and showered Oregon's Mount Hood in golden light on the morning of May 30, 2002, dozens of climbers had been pushing into the frigid heights of the 11,249-foot-high peak for hours. Oregon's highest point, Hood ranks as one of the most frequently attempted mountains in the United States, with the vast majority of climbers who set their sights on the peak's summit walking off unscathed after their attempts. Events to unfold on the Cascade volcano over the subsequent hours, however, would indelibly stamp that Thursday into the annals of aviation, mountaineering, and North American rescue history, all due to the fickle temperament of the sky.


Weatherwise Contributing Editor ED DARACK is a freelance author and photographer who covers a broad range of topics. His latest book is The Final Mission of Extortion 17, published by Smithsonian Books. Learn more at

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