Night ride and Shoveling
2012-12-28 18:05:49.000 – Emanuel Janisch, Former Intern
Snowcat during the day
Traveling up Mount Washington in the summer is quite an experience in on itself. However traveling up in the winter is a whole other experience, let alone in the dark. My name is Emanuel and I was a summer intern this past summer and was privileged with the opportunity to spend a week up here on the summit during the winter. I have never ridden in a snow cat and my first time would be in the dark, it would also be the first trip up ever for the OBS crew to make a trip up at night. Now this wasn’t just for fun that we made the trip up at night. This was because, as many of you know, on December 27th the east coast was hit with a storm and for us to have traveled up during that storm would have been extremely dangerous. To add to that sometime in the morning of the 27th here on the summit we had a wind gust of 112mph along with near white out conditions throughout the day making travel up the mountain impossible.
Now that the winds have calmed down somewhat, with some gusts into the upper 70’s, the conditions were favorable for us to dig ourselves out. We started at the front entrance where a 3 foot drift was built up in front of the door. With the help of the snow blower from state parks we were able to clear out the entrance in about 15-20 min with four people shoveling. The next door that needed clearing is the door leading out to the observation deck so the observers can go out and make the observation, this required chipping away at the ice buildup on the posts and building as well as clearing a path to the deck under the A frame to get to the deck. Lastly the emergency exit needed to be cleared. This was entertaining because of the direction of the wind, half the snow would be blown back onto the pile already accumulated in front of the door. After the necessary tasks are completed there is a bit of time to head out doors and experience Mount Washington for what she is with freezing temps and hurricane force winds before heading in once again to a nice cup of warm tea to warm up.
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Emanuel Janisch, Former Intern