An Icy Trip
2013-05-18 17:26:38.000 – Cyrena Briede, Director of Summit Operations
Winter On Top
I have returned to the summit for a couple of days and as usual, no two trips are the same. Early Friday morning was a nice day in the valley but on the summit it was snowing and in the fog. Before I drove up the Auto Road, I stopped and spoke with Sue at the base about the road conditions. She told me the bottom half was fine but the top half may be icy and chains were advised. The road was closed to the public, and rightfully so. I drove up the road by myself and at halfway decided to put the snow chains on all four tires, in the snow and rain of course.
Once the chains were on, I made my way up Cragway where it looked like winter had returned. There was both rime and glaze ice on the posts, trees, and rocks. Everything was white again, it was so pretty. There was some snow starting to stick to the road along the 6-mile and 7-mile stretches, and the chains really came in handy along Homestretch where the road was very icy due to freezing rain.
I made it to the summit without problem and spent a majority of the day there before having to shuttle an observer back down again. It’s amazing what differences you can see within one day up here because the ride down was ice free, the clouds had parted giving to tremendous views, and the winter wonderland was gone. The morning and afternoon didn’t look just like two completely different days, but two different seasons.
I came right back up to stay the night and awoke this morning to summer. The auto road was open, the summit was full of hikers and skiers, and I even spotted a few motorcycles on the road again. Spring time is here, but on Mount Washington, that means winter is never far away.
Cyrena Briede, Director of Summit Operations