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Photo ID, #34

At last, at long last, here we are back again in the happy land of Williams pictures. I will start with what is, in my opinion, the nicest one. As always, click for the ridiculously big version.


What is this mountain? What famous novel did it (by some accounts) inspire? From what campus vantage point is this photo taken?

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#1 Comment By frank uible On February 10, 2006 @ 10:52 am

Without reflection, I say Saddleback and Moby Dick. Don’t have the foggiest about the vantage point. Could it be Stone Hill?

#2 Comment By Diana On February 10, 2006 @ 1:04 pm

Moby-Dick: Correct!
Saddleback: Sorry, no. It’s way more obvious than that.

Hint: Name a mountain in the viscinity of Williamstown.

#3 Comment By melissa On February 10, 2006 @ 1:24 pm

Mt. Greylock?

Vantage point is harder: from Route 7 heading north into Williamstown?

#4 Comment By Diana On February 10, 2006 @ 2:05 pm

Mt. Greylock: Correct!

I suppose it looks the same from most directions. This photo is taken from campus, so you’ve got the general direction right (but I don’t think the spot you mention is on campus).

#5 Comment By Ben Roth ’04 On February 10, 2006 @ 5:07 pm

You can’t see the actual peak of Mt. Greylock from campus. The main peak in this picture is called Mt. Williams, and the peak at the right edge of the frame is Mt. Prospect. Both are sub-peaks of Greylock massif and shield the higher Mt. Fitch and Greylock proper from Williamstown.

The trail that runs up the ridge of Mt. Prospect and then down into the hopper is one of the best in the area. The first half, from Luce Road up almost all of the eleveation gain is part of the Appalactian trail. There’s a view of town from where the AT breaks off that’s better than Stone Hill, on a similar angle to the Gale Rd. view. The rest of the way to the peak of Mt. Prospect is pretty flat and you might miss the peak proper if not for a huge carin. The best part of the trail is from here, where it starts to descend quickly into the hopper. It’s a fairly rocky ridge, and when the trees aren’t full, there are some great views.

The view that supposedly inspired Melville is, I think, from the Rt. 7 side, pretty far down towards Pittsfield (where his family farm Arrowhead was/is). So the subpeaks of Rounds Rock and Saddle Ball were probably a lot of his view. I think Greylock is supposed to be the head of the whale, and the ridge running south is the backbone.

#6 Comment By Alexander Woo On February 10, 2006 @ 6:52 pm

Very few places on campus have such a clear view of Mount Prospect.

How about the top of the stands on Weston Field?

If roofs are allowed, there are other possibilities, but some of these are rather risky at the time of day indicated.

Finally, it’s also possible that a tree blocking a view from some window fell down, but that would be rather unfair to those of us not in Williamstown!

#7 Comment By Diana On February 10, 2006 @ 7:13 pm

There is one dorm that is all the way on the east side of campus, and actually has a good view of this mountain. I took this picture out my window (I have since moved, and was very sad to lose the view). So it was not from the top of the stands, but it was from the third floor, which is above the short trees.

#8 Comment By Ken Thomas ’93 On February 10, 2006 @ 7:32 pm

My guesses were tending from that room (I got into this after Alex’s comment, and supposed that having read your anti-Blog was a bit cheating).

Technique: throw up the brighness and contrast on the image, and triangulate back to campus from satellite imagery, based the positions of the two open space areas in the photo.

3D analysis– reproducing the view and then checking the lat/longitude it would hit campus– would have been more fun, as well as more precise by far. Alaw my dataset for MA is in California. I should copy the CD that covers Williamstown :).

Bonus: identify the rooftop 1/4 of the way from the left, along the botton frame of the image (without consulting Diana’s anti-Blog for her room locations).

Super-bonus: do the above from satellite imagery alone.

Finally, what are those two open spaces?

#9 Comment By Ken Thomas ’93 On February 10, 2006 @ 7:36 pm

That should have been “alas,” and more importantly, “1/4 of the way from the right.” And is it a rooftop?

#10 Comment By Alexander Woo On February 11, 2006 @ 5:19 am

I had thought a certain tree was taller, but that impression was from the perspective of a second-floor window.

#11 Comment By Mike Card ’96 On February 13, 2006 @ 4:46 pm

The open space on the left-hand side is part of Chenail’s Farm, off Luce Road and uphill from the North Adams airport. The right-hand open space, which is literally at the base of Mount Prospect (and beyond the Blair Road-Stratton Road intersection) is part of the Towne Farm. I’m unsure about the bright surface at bottom right, in the foreground, but suspect it may be the rooftop of a large barn that is part of the dairy farm (not sure the family name) located off of Adams Road, on the hillside beyond the cemetery. Funny how these agricultural landmarks stand out while the McMansions hide behind evergreens.