Before and After

2011-01-07 17:21:38.000 – Mike Finnegan,  IT Observer

Before and After

Coming back to the summit this week, it appears the summit did not get away from the quick, but effective, January thaw that struck the Northeast with a vengeance last week. Thursday was a beautiful day with temperatures warming to around freezing, blue bird skies, and snow hanging off the trees. My friend, Michelle, and I went climbing in Crawford Notch and for an hour or so wallowed through nearly 4 feet of snow to get to a climb. Unfortunately, it had been baking in the sun all day and was not safe to climb, so we turned around and headed back. Luckily we had been able to get on a few climbs earlier in the day and it was great just to be outside. Friday I made my way to Smuggler’s Notch and being vacation week, people had come from all over to climb and hike. Many climbs were wet, but in. Things still looked reasonably alright. By midnight on New Year’s Eve, rain began to fall around the fire I was at and snow began to disappear more quickly. I returned Monday to Smugg’s and things were far worse with snow gullies having turned to rock hops and ice climbs turned to wet rocks or little waterfalls. Still, we did manage to get up one climb, but the view was a bit saddening. Now back to the summit, you can see from the comparison photos Knapper took that things have been lost here as well. Things have been scoured down to a nice ice sheet and will provide a nice sliding surface to snow we receive. All said and done though, things are looking pretty good given the thaw. It’s just a good thing that a couple feet of snow fell a few days prior to the warm up!


Mike Finnegan,  IT Observer

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