Logo of Eta Carinae Conference, 11-13 July 2002, Crystal Mountain WA





PDF summaries of the presentations are linked to the name of the presenter in the meeting agenda. Last updtate: 14 August 2002.

     A CD_ROM version of the conference proceedings along with images, data, and tabular data submitted by the authors will be made available. All conference attendees will be notified as soon as the CD-ROM is ready.

Meeting Focus: Geophysicists have used the Legend of the Thunderbird to suit their purposes. Now, for the first time, astronomers get into the act. Our conference goal is to read legend of eta Carinae -- the "Celestial Thunderbird". There are two scientific agendas. One is to probe the origin and evolution of the homunculus from both observational or theoretical perspectives. The second is to focus and coordinate a campaign for the upcoming scheduled light minimum in 2003.

Meeting information: 11-13 July 2002 (Thursday - Saturday) at the Cystal Mountain Ski Lodge immediately east of Mt. Rainier National Park about 75 minutes from Seattle's airport. Plan to arrive at the Lodge before dinner on Wednesday evening July 10 (6 P.M.) and to depart no earlier than llunch on Saturday July 13. Extending your stay at the Crystal Mountain Lodge or in the Mt Rainier area before and/or after the meeting is strongly recommended. (See below.)

Conference registration: There are two parts: a meeting registration fee paid by check or cash (no credit cards) to the University of Washington, and room and board fees which can be paid by cash, check, or credit card to the Lodge where we are staying. Registration instructions for the meeting and at the lodge are available by clicking here.

Presentation hardware and computer support: There will be a video projector for laptop presentations, 2 overhead projectors, a slide projector, and two screens.
    Computer facilities: The lodge does not have public computers. If you need a computer for your presentation or for reading email, then please bring your own. (We'll have one Mac Titanium available.) There is no internet connection available at the Lodge, so downloads and email connections must be by modem and a phone line -- if you can find one. Long-distance rates will be applicable.

Conference proceedings: The plan this time is somewhat different than in the past. Attendees will be asked to prepare a 2-6 page summary of their presentation in PDF format and submit it by email to Bruce Balick (balick@astro.washington.edu) no later than July 31. (We will gladly accept and convert gzipped postscript files!) The pdf files will be organized by the meeting agenda and linked to this page for general viewing.
   Why this format change for the proceedings? There are several reasons. The proceedings of the previous conference published by the A.S.P. required many months of Ted Gull's time to edit, and the publication was not available more than a year after the meeting. The present method will provide much faster turnaround and will be possible for a busy person to finish. Secondly, eta Car is both a rapidly evolving object and subject: observing plans are dynamic, so fast turnaround in communication is essential, particularly with the 2003 observing campaign coming shortly after we meet. The web provides for this turnaround. Finally, the cost of the proceedings is minimal, which helps to minimize registration fees.

Accommodations: Crystal Mountain Lodging Suites, next to a ski lodge just east of Mount Rainier (4400 meters), a dormant volcano in the Washington Cascades. Mount Rainier National Park is a short (20 km) drive southwest of the lodge. Summer outdoor activities at the Lodge include hiking, riding the chair lifts*, canoeing*, horseback riding*, mountain biking*, hiking, swimming at the pool, and enjoying the scenery. (* = weekends only).
    Each suite is actually a privately owned furnished condo used by winter skiers. These are rented to us by their owners through the lodge administration. Single-bedroom suites with living area and bathroom range from $90 - $100/night. Double-bedroom suites are an additional $50/night.
    Each condo suite has one or two bedrooms, a common living area/kitchen, and a single bathroom. One bedroom has a queen bed, and the other has two single bunk beds. There is also a sofa that sleeps one peson in the living area. These condo suites are ideal for families with two children. Attendees without families are welcome to share the condo to reduce their expenses. Smoking and pets are not permitted inside the condos.

The contact for reservations and inquiries is Crystal Mountain Lodging Suites
Tel from the U.S.: 1-888-668-4368
Tel from outside: 1-360.663.2558
Fax (from anywhere): 1-360.663.0145
web-based registration & inquiries: http://www.crystalmtlodging-wa.com/contact.htm

Picture of lodging

Meals: The lodge charges a flat rate of $155 per adult for a package of nine meals (starting with dinner on Wednesday July 10 and ending at lunch Saturday July 13). The charge applies to all adults wheether or not they are attending the meeting. Meals are generally served cafeteria style with several choices of entrees, including vegetarian.
    The meals are provided by a different vendor than the rooms. The charges are separate. However, to make life easier, the Lodge will accept reservations and payment for both room and meals at once. (See "Accomodations" above for contact information about rooms and meal service.) If you want a room but no meals (or vice versa) be sure to say so.
    You may bring your own alcoholic berverages for consumption in your suite. However, state law requires that alcoholic beverages in the public dining areas must be owned and served by the operators of the lodge. We have now been able to contract to the lodge for wine at dinner. For private consumption, feel free to bring your own alcoholic beverages and bottle opener. There's a small bar at the lodge open at limited hours. N.B. Each suite has a small kitchen with a refrigerator and oven, plates, silver, glasses ... where simple meals can be prepared.

Picture of meeting hall

Air transportation:
Fly to Seattle's SeaTac Airport (airport code SEA). The airport is situated 20 miles (30 km) south of downtown Seattle.
    Domestic flights: All national carriers serve Seattle. There is nonstop service from most major U.S. cities on the East Coast. Lowest fares are from Baltimore, Providence, Buffalo, and other cities served by discount carriers. Alaska Air has nonstop service from Tucson, Phoenix, San Diego, LAX, Burbank.
    International flights: There is daily non-stop service from Amsterdam on KLM/Northwest, from Kobnhavn on SAS, from London on British Air and all major Canadian and Asian hubs. Travelers from Central and South America must hub en route.
Need an airport hotel? Those on Pacific Highway S are the closest.
Ground transportation:
Plan to rent a car at (or near) the airport. Those rental companies with off-site counters are cheapest, and they will meet you at the airport. Plan about a 75- to 90-minute drive from Seatac Airport to the meeting site except during heavy commute times.
    Bring a copy of the driving directions with you. Get a map at the airport. Find your way via I-5 and route 18 to Auburn, then follow route 164 to Enumclaw. From Enumclaw drive along route 410 east and south (direction Greenwater, Mt. Rainier, Chinook Pass, and Yakima) 33.1 miles (53 km) to the Crystal Mountain Lodge turnoff. Turn east (left) 6 miles = 10 km to the Lodge. The turnoff is immediately before the boundary of the National Park. The lodge has a small map.
   Ride sharing between SeaTac Airport and the Lodge is not recommended. We tried this for a meeting at the Lodge in 2001 and it simply doesn't work. Some people will be delayed, forcing others to hang around the airport for hours. If you share a ride, do so with people on your flights.

Weather: The east side of Mt. Rainier is lovely from mid July through mid September. Daytime temperatures at the lodge are about 25C = 68F, and 5C = 40F just before sunrise on a clear night. The sun is quite hot and the air is very dry, so hiking requires a supply of water plus light food. Light rain is possible. Note that the region on the east side of the Mt. Rainier is called the "cloud shadow" since winds are descending and heating. Its quite common to have sunshine on the east side of the mountain and drizzle on the west!

Mount Rainier:Most people will want to extend their stays before or after the meeting and enjoy several days of hiking or climbing on Mount Rainier. The image at the right shows the east face of Mt. Rainier (4400m = 14,410 feet). The glaciers are permanent. Mount Rainier National Park is one of the most spectacular in the U.S. particularly in July when the wildflowers begin to bloom in profusion. The east side of the mountain -- the side facing the meeting venue -- is the least used, which is surprising because the weather is far better there than elsewhere.
    Hiking in the northeast region (and throughout) Mount Rainier National Park is spectacular. There are some wonderful hiking trails to the tundra through the giant pine trees from the Fryingpan River Bridge along the "Summerland" trail. There are many more relatively easy hikes to the tree line at higher altitude from the parking lot of the Sunrise Visitor Center (6000 feet = 1800m). Be prepared for patches of soft, lingering spring snow en route. Mt. Rainier National Park's full hiking map is essential. Request a free paper copy of this hiking map as you enter the park. (Note the location of our meeting site in the upper right corner.)
    An easy, warm, and beautiful hike through The Grove of the Patriarchs" -- giant old-growth trees at the southeast edge of the park -- is recommended for first-time hikers. Cars are needed to get to all trailheads inside the National Park, and entrance fees apply. There are also lovely hikes with spectacular vistas right from the Lodge, from the top of the lift run by the Lodge, or from Chinook Pass south of the Lodge.
    Various glaciers descend from the peak of Rainier, and are climbable WITH PROPER GEAR until August when the danger of unsafe crevasses begins. Read this important information. Glacier/high-altitude climbers should contract to guides. Serious hikers can circumnavigate the mountain in 10 days along the "Wonderland Trail" (see the dashed purple trail which rings the peak on the trail map).
    If you plan to spend time hiking -- and you should!! -- then be sure to bring a backpack, extra water, some trail food/fruit, sunscreen (important!) and proper attire (including a windbreaker, sweater, etc.). The weather can change abruptly from sunny and warm to windy, cold, and foggy or snowy. You can buy many supplies in Enumclaw on your way to the Lodge. (There's a shopping mall east of town.) Rent serious gear at Feathered Friends or REI in Seattle or Summit Haus in Ashford (on the west side of Mt. Rainier National Park).
    If you wish to extend your stay at the Crystal Mountain Suites then contact the sales office and pay for the extra nights separately. (N.B.: You can't do much better elsewhere - the Rainier region can be touristy and expensive in the summer.) You may wish to bring your own food for those days and prepare meals in the room's kitchen. The last town in which to obtain food is Enumclaw, about 45 minutes from Crystal Mountain. The nearest restaurant is in Greenwater, about 30 minutes by car.

Mount Rainier sites:

East face of Mount Rainier
Click on the thumbnail image
for the full version.

Enjoying the region:

There are many other interesting places to visit within easy reach, such as the now-famous wine country just over the Chinook Pass in Yakima. You can easily extend your visit by two weeks or more. See these sites for links to the region:

Yakima region wineries: www.winesnw.com/yak.html
Interative map of regional parks and wilderness areas:
Vancouver B.C. tourism: www.tourismvancouver.com/docs/visit/
Victoria B.C. tourism: victoriabc.com/
Mt. St.Helens National Monument: www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/mshnvm/
North Cascades National Park: www.nps.gov/noca/
Olympic National Park: wwww.nps.gov/olym
San Juan Islands: www.sanjuanisland.com
Washington State Bed & Breakfast Guide www.wbbg.com
Washington State Parks: www.parks.wa.gov/parks