2010-04-17 13:40:05.000 – Drew Hill,  Summit Intern

The Inferno. That’s sort of an ironic name, eah? Temperatures up here haven’t hit above freezing since April 9th. In fact, we’ve been getting ”pounded” with snow since yesterday morning. I suppose this hellish race may have been named more for Dante’s masterpiece, though… that’s an interesting thought.

If you’ll kindly allow me to take you back to your college days of studying 14th century draconian literature, I think I’ll write a bit to this. So, according to Dante, hell is made up of 9 circles– each one more awful than the last. Could the Friends of Tuckerman’s Inferno be a clever correlation of stages of physical endurance to stages of hell? Interestingly, only five events exist in the Mount Washington Inferno (pentathalon): running, kayaking, cycling, hiking, and headwall dropping. Well, admission to the first five circles of Dante’s hell requires the committing of (seriously) self-indulgent sins. I think I’m going to have to chalk that up to irony (or cruel sarcasm).

Perhaps a few of you masochists out there would disagree, but I’m going to stick with irony.

Less ironic is the order of the pentathalon. As the events progress, the elevation at which they are performed increases. As some of you weather buffs may know, an increase in elevation is typically correlated with a drop in temperature (though exceptions do occur– i.e. inversions, approaching those flaming mountaintop warning towers in Mordor, etc.). Well, according to Dante, the farther one travels into the Great Inferno, the colder (s)he becomes– like the ocean with the sun, the deepest parts of hell lack the warming light of G-d. So, like a wayfarer venturing into the depths of hell, the Inferno competitor finds him(her)self struggling through progressively colder environments.

I guess the race could just be called The Inferno because it’s hard… nah.

In other news, we’ve been trapped in a bewildering fog for the past couple of days, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to lift anytime soon. Rime ice hasn’t been much of an issue, as this cloud seems to be fairly dry. Snow, on the other hand, has been piling up since about 3 A.M. yesterday– 9.7” so far. So, I’ve been taking advantage of this lovely stay-indoors-weather to begin my New Haven (Connecticut) apartment search… any suggestions are VERY much welcome! It’s kind of a daunting process.

Anyhue, it’s kind of nice to have winter back up here for a bit. The warmth, sunshine, and happiness associated with spring were getting old fast.

Note: For those of you interested, a special Mount Washington edition of “Cantore’s Stories” with Jim Cantore will be appearing on The Weather Channel this evening and the next at 9P.M. EDT. Enjoy!


Drew Hill,  Summit Intern

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