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MtnMagic
11-15-2007, 06:45 PM
Allan Ormsbee, 28, Brooklyn, NY, died June 30, 1900 of hypotermia on the rockpile. The Lakes of the Clouds Hut was constructed because of his and other deaths. I remember seeing a dedication plaque somewhere near the Obs. Could someone kindly elaborate where it is? Thank you in advance!

MtnMagic
11-21-2007, 08:01 PM
It is a death marker not a plaque that is near the summit.

FisherCat
11-26-2007, 09:18 AM
I remember only seeing the Curtis marker when I was a kid in the 70's. My neighbor from Jefferson showed it to me. The Ormsbee can only be found, if its still there,, by "mowing the lawn" as it were. It's not far off the summit, from a bird's eye view its a W-NW direction.

Mike D
11-26-2007, 12:47 PM
As an Obs employee, I do not know the answer. I will check with a couple folks and see if they know...

MtnMagic
11-26-2007, 02:44 PM
The William curtis plaque is in the crew room of the Lakes, I have a picture of it. Also, I have a picture of the boots nailed to the wall too. I am told that Ormsbee's death marker is near the weather observatory - the place where he was found dead. Curtis's body was found at Bigelow Lawn at the spot of where the Lakes hut is. Ormsbee was younger and tougher - he perservered and was very close to Washington summit house- but did not make it.

EricJ
11-29-2007, 09:05 AM
Mount Washington 'Not without Peril'

I wonder if the author, Nicholas Howe, would know.

mk10
11-29-2007, 01:53 PM
Chronicles of the White Mountains
by Frederick Wilkinson Kilbourne

Curtis and Ormsbee pg.275 (http://books.google.com/books?id=khwxipdLH5MC&pg=PA275)

MtnMagic
11-29-2007, 04:34 PM
Thank you guys very much!

From the Chronicles of the White Mountains by By Frederick Wilkinson Kilbourne:

"The place where the Stout hearted Ormsbee's bodywas found is a wooden cross and a bronze plaque provided by The Fresh Air Club."

Ormsbee & Curtis both perished in the great storm of June 30, 1900. Just because it may be July, don't be lulled into a false sense of security. Snow storms and danger on the rockpile every month of the year. Local hikers have always said the White Mountains are killers.

Can't wait to read the entire book. Again thanks to all for helping!

Cruise well,
and often,
MtnMagic

EricJ
11-29-2007, 07:08 PM
Reread this when I got home.


From 'Not without Peril' by Nicholas Howe pg.73

"The place where Allan Ormsbee died is on the Crawford Path just below the summit and twenty yards off the trail to the west, marked by a plain wooden cross.

Mike D
11-29-2007, 07:10 PM
Reread this when I got home.


From 'Not without Peril' by Nicholas Howe pg.73

"The place where Allan Ormsbee died is on the Crawford Path just below the summit and twenty yards off the trail to the west, marked by a plain wooden cross.

Hm, I've hiked down from the summit to Lakes via the Crawford Path numerous times and don't remember ever seeing a cross.

EricJ
11-29-2007, 07:28 PM
I would guess, it has fallen into the rocks.


In the back of the book is the list of Mount Washington deaths pg. 299

June 30, 1900
11.William Curtis, 63, New York, N.Y., died of exhaustion and exposure in a sudden storm near the Lake in the Clouds.

12. Allan Ormsby, 28, Brooklyn, N.Y., hiking with Curtis, died 300 feet from the summit.

300 feet down, 20 yards to the left

mk10
11-30-2007, 02:48 AM
300 ft from the summit, hmm... Given the nature of the storm and its accompanying poor visibility, Ormsbee probably never realized just how close to the top he really was. And even if he did, it most likely wouldn't have mattered, as those last 300 ft may as well have been 3000 (his rate of ascent couldn't have been very fast given his depleted state and the ferocious weather conditions he was in).

Next time I climb to the summit I'll take a short hike down Crawford path and look for the cross. If I find it down amongst the rocks I'll try to prop it up and say a short prayer in remembrance to Ormsbee, Curtis, and all the others who perished in these mountains.

MtnMagic
11-30-2007, 08:02 AM
I have hiked the rockpile countless times over the past 24 years and can not remember seeing the cross. Now with this new info our informed posters have provided, I will certainly have a better chance to locate the cross. That is if it is still there.

This is great. Thank you all!

EricJ
11-30-2007, 10:51 AM
Next time I climb to the summit I'll take a short hike down Crawford path and look for the cross. If I find it down amongst the rocks I'll try to prop it up and say a short prayer in remembrance to Ormsbee, Curtis, and all the others who perished in these mountains.


Spirituality at it's best. Agiocochook will be pleased.

Mike D
11-30-2007, 12:21 PM
300 ft from the summit, hmm... Given the nature of the storm and its accompanying poor visibility, Ormsbee probably never realized just how close to the top he really was. And even if he did, it most likely wouldn't have mattered, as those last 300 ft may as well have been 3000 (his rate of ascent couldn't have been very fast given his depleted state and the ferocious weather conditions he was in).


I have hiked up from Lakes to the summit during a white out in January. I was beginning to get nervous about the worsening conditions and unsure of how far I was from the top when suddenly saw one of the towers right in front of my face. It's clear to anyone who has been in that situation why people have died so close to the top.

EricJ
11-30-2007, 02:51 PM
I have hiked the rockpile countless times over the past 24 years and can not remember seeing the cross. Now with this new info our informed posters have provided, I will certainly have a better chance to locate the cross. That is if it is still there.

This is great. Thank you all!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I would guess, it has fallen into the rocks.

From 'Not without Peril' by Nicholas Howe

"The place where Allan Ormsbee died is on the Crawford Path just below the summit and twenty yards off the trail to the west, marked by a plain wooden cross.

12. Allan Ormsby, 28, Brooklyn, N.Y., hiking with Curtis, died 300 feet from the summit.

300 feet down, 20 yards to the left <<<<<20 yards to the West

(Sorry, I had a 180 degree typo.)


.

EricJ
12-02-2007, 09:16 PM
One more bit of information from pg. 66

"Mr. Weed, farthest to the right, passed the pill of stones marking the place where Harry Hunter gave up the ghost twenty-six years earlier. Mr. Parker was farthest to the left and at 4:30 in the afternoon he found the body of his friend Allan Ormsbee. He was about fifteen paces west of the Crawford Path and within sight of the back wall of the signal station on the summit."

MtnMagic
12-03-2007, 07:18 AM
You pinned it right down. Thank you for posting this EricJ! If anyone has further info, I love to read more. I'm certain other readers will learn more too. Thank you!

EricJ
12-05-2007, 08:45 PM
While anxiously watching the Patriots getting jostled around by the Ravens Monday night, a diversion was necessary. I decided to go outside to pump up the tires on our cars. Not thinking it would be long; I put on a light jacket, baseball hat and thin gloves. The temperature was 26 degrees with brisk winds gusting into the 30’s. The pump isn’t new and decides to take its time.
I wander out back to admire our ‘new’ back yard. Over the last two weekends, we took down the pool, transplanted the 8 foot arborvitaes that surrounded it into the wood line, contoured the ground and disassembled the pool deck. Open space, what a positive difference. A few gusts stream through the lightweight pants I have on, I’m reminded of the Ormsbee/Curtis ordeal. Since MtnMagics inquiring post and rereading the chapter in ‘Not Without Peril’, it comes to mind often.
I return to find the tire almost flat ! The nozzle seal is suspect. I wet it hoping for a better seal and try again. The Nichols party had to wrap their heads to protect themselves from blowing stones and pelting ice as they traversed the Boot Spur. Screams at the top of their lungs, where buried by the howl. Their passage was hindered by thick fog and buffeting gale force winds that required them to scramble from rock to cover between gusts. They feared the worst, but they did prevail and arrived to the Summit House for the annual AMC meeting. It was now 2:30 in the afternoon; Ormsbee and Curtis were hurrying, miles away, thousands of feet below, in the rain.
The pump doesn’t want to surpass 30 pounds. Going on to the next car, I realize, I’m conducting my own little experiment. Being outside with spring clothes in this weather, my hands are loosing their dexterity and my legs are cold. It was reported that the supply wagon coming up, had to load rocks on the windward side to keep from blowing over. At the same time, in the Summit House, bellboys where hustling to board up numerous windows, shattering in the wind. The date is June 30,1900 and the temperature is dropping through the 20’s. Ormsbee and Curtis are breaking out above tree line into their final hours. They seek shelter in the scrub of the Bigelow Lawn. How long they remained, is up to debate.
Now, I’ve been outside for almost half an hour. My legs are colder and now my face and arms are really starting to feel it. Some of you are laughing, but, I’m not in a $300 L.L.Bean coat, snow pants, Sorels and down mittens. I can’t imagine, having been wet with sweat on the inside, soaked on the outside from the rain, dressed in heavy wool and stepping out this wind chill of 8 degrees. Ormsbee and Curtis, are dressed for spring, after all tomorrow would be July. I figure their wind chill to be –10. The scrub will have to do.
My fingers and toes are going numb, I’m in sneakers for Gods sake. The Maelstrom grows; they break branches to block the North wind, but the shelter is inadequate. Ormsbee and Curtis make the fatal decision to go for the summit. It took Nichols and party two hours to cross the Spur and now, light is fading. 63 year old, William Curtis fails shortly and Ormsbee tries to make him comfortable by adjusting the rocks around him. Some of the AMC members are worried that Ormsbee and Curtis haven’t arrived yet. They step outside, only to have the lantern blow out quick. To make matters worse, thick ice has glazed everything, that combined with the strong wind, they do all they can do to get back inside.
I too, go inside. It’s like walking into a sauna. I feel dizzy and my hands and feet tingle. Warm water hurts my hands. I truly haven’t been that cold since skiing Wildcat years ago. Allan Ormsbee,30 has never climbed Mount Washington. With the storm intensifying, hypothermia set in, in the dark, he makes his final ascent. He was found with no fewer than 50 bruises and lacerations, 300 feet from the summit. Let alone temperature and wind, Ice.
With the weather still roiling, no one went out Sunday. A block of ice a foot and a half long stuck straight out of the turntable lever. Both men were found on Monday.
It takes a tragedy to prevent one. This one spurned the Hut system. Before long, Bigelow Lawn Shelter could accommodate six to eight people. Built nearer to the sight that Curtis fell, Lake of the Clouds Hut replaced it in 1915. It could just as well be renamed Curtis’ Last Col.

MtnMagic
12-06-2007, 07:36 AM
It does snow every month of the year on the rock pile. The mountain always tests one abilities and preparedness. I felt as though I was there, reading your words. Wow, that was quite one great read. Thanks!