White Mountain Research Station

The Coolest Job in California

Circling White Mountain at 16,000 feet.

After the Tonopah Refinery went bust, I got a job as the Fleet Manager for the University of California White Mountain Research Station in Bishop.

The U.S. Navy had built a high altitude medical research facility at 12,250 feet on Mt. Barcroft in the 1950s.

They were having a problem getting up to their high altitude stations in the winter. Everything was run down or broken. Especially the Burma Jeep. You could see it in the photo above.
I took one look at their crazy toys and said, “I’m your man!”

I would take medical researchers up to the top of 14,252 foot White Mountain Peak year round. Leveling out that road in deep winter snow on the steep eastern flank with the Tucker SnoCat was quite a challenge.

High altitude medical research legend Dr. John Severinghaus — video by Rick Masters