Former intern visits…

2007-04-15 07:44:04.000 – Zach Allen,  Summit Visitor

Snowshoe hare tracks in Gem Pool…

In January 2006, I was an intern from Plymouth State University and have wanted to return to the mountain for an overnight visit ever since. The past few weeks I have been trying to visit the observatory. Unfortunately bullet proof snow, very high winds, and car problems have kept me from getting to the summit.

Yesterday I finally made it, but it was no stroll in the woods. This was my tenth summit of the rockpile but this would be by far my hardest attempt. In the morning a few people started ahead of me at the trailhead of the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail. By the Monroe Brook crossing it was up to me to breaking trail in a foot of untracked unsettled snow all the way to the summit. The snow depth was much deeper than it was in January and February when I hiked the same trail. The long struggle made me feel like a spider trapped in a toilet bowl with faulty snowshoes and a heavy pack weighing me down. By the time I broke out of treeline I was socked in, blind to my surroundings. I relied on my past experiences on the Crawford Path to bring me to the top. The closer I got to the top, the more the winds died down. With every ounce of energy I had left I pushed my way to the top!

I was greeted with hot food provided by this week’s volunteer Peggy and warm welcomes from Jim and Brent. After resting up for a while and skies cleared to undercast conditions it was time to hit Parking Lot Gully and the East Snowfields. Brent and I found the skiing was excellent and the snow beautiful. Winter’s lasting grasp is welcoming to me any day!

Observer Note: While snow conditions were scoured and stable in the East Snowfields, Avalanche danger remains Considerable in the ravines. Yesterday, two skier triggered avalanches occured. You can read more in the NFS Avalanche Report!


Zach Allen,  Summit Visitor

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