Changing Seasons

2007-04-27 09:20:59.000 – Jim Salge,  Observer

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Note: This comment was written on Wednesday. Due to problems that are no fault of the Observers, it did not get posted. Please bear with us through these trying times.

Mike Davidson – IT

It’s good to be back on the summit this week in relative calm, especially by comparison to the conditions we experienced last we were here. The summit is a much different place than last we saw it, and this crew is looking forward to both a return to normalcy, and to exploring the new west and north snowfields that are all over the summit.

The trip up the road was surprisingly seamless, compared to efforts of a snow cat to make it up on Tuesday. The extremely dense snow that fell on the summit during the last storm was melting and on the move, and the construction crew was forced to turn back in the face of feet of flowing slush down the road. Today, the road, frozen up from Tuesday night’s chill, was just stiff enough for a quick switch, and here we are.

Signs of spring are now fast emerging on the peak again. Free water is audible in the snow pack on the mountain, and peaking through in small crevasses. Streams along the auto road route are at bank full, and a few swelling buds can be seen in the under story of the lower forest. I even saw my first migrant warbler in the southern White Mountains, an early Palm Warbler.

April will draw to a close during our shift, and May will begin. Average monthly snowfall will take a dramatic hit, from over 40 inches…down to a foot. Alpine flowers are now but weeks away. Migrating birds will soon be roosting at the summit windowsill, watching the night observers. Tempting climbing conditions will draw many from spring in the notch to attempt the summits. However, hazards will continue to abound on the peak in the face of all this new snow pack for weeks ahead. Stay safe, and enjoy the beginnings of spring!

 

Jim Salge,  Observer

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