40-Degree Warmth

2015-04-16 15:07:35.000 – Mike Carmon, Co-Director of Summit Operations


I stepped outside for an observation earlier today. After utilizing the sling psychrometer, the temperature read 37°F, with plenty of sunshine overhead, and a warm 25 mph breeze. I remarked to no one in particular, “wow, it’s really warm out here.” And then I thought twice and chuckled to myself.

Where does 37°F feel “really warm”? The summit of Mount Washington, that’s where.

After an impressively cold winter season in which we’ve seen over 300 inches of snowfall (so far), temperatures struggling to rise above zero degrees for days on end, and winds gusting to some of their highest levels in the last decade, 37 degrees and sunshine in fact feels like a mild spring day for us summit folks. I’m not quite ready to bust out the shorts, but add another 10 degrees and reduce the winds to near-calm, and you’ll be left with Mt. Washington t-shirt weather.

The landscape reflects the spring fever as well. Patches of bare sedge and rocks are now much more ubiquitous around the summit cone, and the large snow drifts are steadily succumbing to the increased solar radiation.

This time of year also means more complicated transportation up and down the Auto Road for our shift changes. Yesterday, we ascended up a little more than half of the road in a truck and van, and then hopped in the Snow Cat (after transferring all gear and personnel) for the notoriously snow-laden 5-mile and Cragway sections to the summit.

Summer is coming, though, and we’ll be ready and waiting for it!


Mike Carmon, Co-Director of Summit Operations

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