You are here: home   Issues   The Rise of the Minotaur   The rest of the story
Topic: Culture & Communities     Department: Letters

The rest of the story

Document Actions
Letter - From the May 18, 2009 issue by Jay Packer

Terray Sylvester's Uncommon Westerner profile of the legendary Harold Klieforth alludes only obliquely to Dr. Klieforth's contributions to the meteorology of mountain lee waves, and the awe-inspiring Sierra wave in particular (HCN, 4/27/09). Dr. Klieforth's knowledge of the airflow over the Sierra Nevada is unequalled, both from a lifetime of research and from personal experience as principal meteorologist for the USAF/UCLA Sierra Wave Project in the 1950s. Alongside project scientist Dr. Joachim Kuettner and pilots Larry Edgar, John Robinson and Ray Parker, Klieforth explored the frontier above the range in unpressurized Pratt-Read sailplanes. In setting the still extant altitude record (44,255 feet) for a two-man glider on March 19, 1952, Klieforth and Edgar became the first men to soar through the tropopause and into the stratosphere on the powerful updraft generated by the mountains below. To describe Dr. Klieforth's extraordinary career without mentioning his work on the Sierra Wave Project is a little like describing Ansel Adams as a pianist active in the Sierra Club: It's true enough, but doesn't tell the whole story.

Jay Packer
Antonito, Colorado

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. Rancher vs BLM: a 20-year standoff ends with tense roundup |
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  4. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  5. The future of the Sacramento Delta hangs in the balance | But few Californians seem to grasp what is at stak...
  1. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  4. Will the Colorado River reach the Gulf of California once more? | Photographs of last month's historic water pulses....
  5. Locals resist a Bakkenization of the Beartooths | South-central Montanans oppose new drilling, forew...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
More from Culture & Communities
International Car Forest of the Last Church For a strange trip, check out Nevada’s otherworldly Stonehenge of wildly painted abandoned vehicles.
Adventure travel vs. conservation A conversation with outdoor entrepreneur Bill Bryan.
The lessons of Ludlow, 100 years later
All Culture & Communities
 
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone