Back on Top

2009-03-24 17:25:05.000 – Ken Rancourt,  Director of Summit Operations


It is not often that I get to spend time on top during the winter months. Wednesday’s shift change trip is usually very tightly packed with people, gear, food, and supplies. And special guests (members of the media, contractors, etc.) usually fill up the remaining spaces. My trip up was with Peter on his Monday Day-Trip.

On Wednesday morning MWO will be doing a special presentation to the World Wildlife Fund’s 2009 Climate Savers Summit in Washington, DC. Scot Henley will be the introducing speaker and set the scene for the attendees, Alex Pszenny (former MWO Chief Scientist) will handle the climatic data analysis segment of the presentation, and I’ll get to show people in DC over a live video link what it is like to work in the field gathering the data that so many people are interested in today.

Our combined presentation to the conference will take place right at the same time a ‘normal’ shift change would arrive on the summit. Not willing to ‘hope’ that we would arrive on time, Scot and I decided that my getting to the summit prior to the presentation time would be best; hence my Monday trip up.

This will be the first time that we have used the Distance Learning equipment both here and in the valley to do a presentation of this style – and complexity. Michelle Cruz has already tested the link through UNH’s video switch right to the same conference room where the presentation will actually take place. We intend to mix three different inputs from our system to the conference: live shots from inside the weather room, recorded segements on DVD, and scenic views from two of our outside cameras. Stacey will be in stand-by mode here on the summit ready to flip the switches if something goes awry.

The conditions on Wednesday should be pristine: very low dew points indicate that the summit will be in the clear. The temperature should be in the mid 20’s (above zero!) and winds should be light and variable. These are certainly not extreme conditions, but will be in stark contrast to the conditions the attendees in Washington will have experienced – next week the cherry blossoms will be out so even now there may be some early ones brightening up the local scenery. The white snow on the Northern Presidentials will stand in stark contrast to our deep blue skies!

With Michelle at the controls in the WDC, Stacey taking charge up here, and Scot and Alex managing the southern end of the link we should do just fine. Here’s hoping it all goes off without a hitch.


Ken Rancourt,  Director of Summit Operations

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