For Decades, One of the Most Striking Photos of the Mount St. Helens Eruption Was Also One of Its Biggest Mysteries. Someone Finally Figured It Out.
The picture is well known. A copy hangs in the Johnston Ridge Observatory, in the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, and it has been featured in exhibits commemorating the disaster. But for almost 40 years, the context of the photo appeared lost to time. Where exactly was it taken? Who took it? And how did they make it out alive? Or did they?