Great Gulf Excursion

2007-11-09 18:03:30.000 – Brian Clark,  Observer

Great Gulf Gully

Today turned out to be a second beautiful day in a row on the summit. High pressure continued to keep the summit free of fog. As the day wore on, clouds above even gave way to a decent amount of sunshine. The past two days have also been interesting in the sense that we have had a very persistent undercast. It’s nice to know that for once we are getting more sunshine than some places in the valley!

Aubrie and myself decided to take advantage of the fine weather to go on a little excursion. So we took a break from our work for about an hour and made our way down to the Great Gulf.

There was actually a reason I wanted to go down there. The storm from earlier this week that dumped around a foot of snow on the summit brought mainly southeast winds. Last time there was a significant storm with east and southeast winds was this past April, the Patriots Day storm. I remembered that this storm did a good job at filling some of the gullies in the Great Gulf with a significant amount of snow. The skier in me wanted to check out a particular gully that I skied back in June to see if it had filled enough to make a run in it.

After arriving at our destination, I was certainly not disappointed, as you can see from this picture from the top. There was also a nice cornice that had formed at the top. There was certainly enough snow to ski, however today’s trip was simply to take a look and not to ski. Perhaps another day this week I will give it a try if I have time. Other things concern me as well, particularly the stability of the snow. This is very new snow that has not had a chance to consolidate and may give way easily. Also, notice on the picture of the cornice that there appears to be a fracture line along the top of the cornice. Snow stability is something one should always consider when skiing in the backcountry and especially in the Presidentials.

Either way, it was certainly nice to see the snow pack for this winter off to a good start! Here are a couple more pictures that Aubrie and I took, for your enjoyment:

Aubrie and Mt. Clay

Great Gulf Headwall.


Brian Clark,  Observer

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