>27 year-old ginger neckbeard
>Born and raised in Appalachia (WV)
>Mountaineer by trade, not for fun
>Work with survey teams for local mining concerns
>Just signed with new outfit, looking for new coal deposits
>Friend transfers with me, we'll call him 'Phil'
>Phil works with survey equipment, I guide the team
>Company is based in California, has no clue how things work out East
>Most of the crew are bussed in from San Francisco, never been east of St. Louis
>Decide to fuck with them
>We have an urban legend, pretty much completely spread by local black-lungers
>The Coalman (Urban version) or the Howler (Miner version) is said to walk the hillsides, trying to kill work crews in its "territory"
>Guys blow it off, except Phil, since he grew up here and knew the background of it better
>The particular mountain we're climbing has a winding ridge we ride to the proposed dig site
>Bears come out to hunt game in the evening; we set up camp
>Start telling stories, mostly about women, while eating our crappy bean rations (we were saving the good stuff for the trip back
>Cars can't fit on the ridge, so we are backpacking our equipment
>Sun goes down
>Most of the new guys get into their tents, but Phil and I stargaze because we don't mind the cold
>Phil looks at me
>5 minutes pass
>Getting ready for bed
>~225 db plus (guessing obviously)
>Not a wolf
>Howler is said to be like the Rake in appearance, but hates getting close to its targets
>Realize he's trying to disturb the sediment with shrieking
>Get the Califags up and book in for nearest overhang, leave most bags and tents
>Minor avalanche, nobody hurt, and the thing fucks off
>We watch the opposite hill (where he was screaming from, or at least where it sounded like)
>Doesn't come back
>No radio check in
>DNR gets a helicopter to us, because the company is too cheap to pay for these things
>Helicopter stops briefly over the dig site
>When we get back to valley (town) company finds shitton of coal at the side of the peak
I think that thing was guarding the coal, but obviously I kept that to myself. Most of the guys did, they knew suitfags wouldn't care. Still joke about it, most guys like the legend, never seeing it of course.
Still mountaineer, try to avoid coal jobs, finished my contract and work for an iron firm now.
Thank God we made it out.