2009-03-23 01:07:33.000 – Mike Carmon, Observer
The summit from Ball Crag
In case you haven’t read the comments from the last few days, the weather has been uncharacteristically tame recently. Yesterday Jordan gave you an account of how he took advantage of the calm conditions, and now I’ll do the same.
Being the night observer, it is much easier to get out during the day. It simply means getting up a bit earlier (some days that’s easier than others). I woke up Friday afternoon and the sun was shining bright, the winds were around 5 mph, and temperatures were reasonably in the teens. It seemed too nice not to take advantage!
I suited and packed up and decided to head down Crawford Path. Sunglasses were an absolute necessity heading west into the brightly shining sun. The snow and coating of ice over it made a perfect surface for crampons. I managed to make it down to the Lakes of the Clouds hut in a little under an hour. I took a look around (it was my first time over there) and headed back to the summit. In total, I was out for about two hours.
The next day, I arose about the same time to approximately the same conditions. So what better plan than to go on another hike? This time, I chose to go in the opposite direction and hike over to Nelson Crag. Once again, the scenery was amazing. In transit, I managed to catch a photo of the summit from the top of Ball Crag that is shown above. You can clearly see the gleam of the snow and ice courtesy of the late afternoon sun.
As I’m writing this comment, the fog has rolled back in, temperatures are dropping steadily through the negative digits, and winds are around 60 mph. It is quite a contrast from previous days and a reality check that we are indeed still working atop Mt. Washington. But the past few days have also served to demonstrate that the end of winter is slowly approaching on the summit! It’s less than two months (most likely) until the Auto Road is open for business again.
And a brief side-note, which is totally unrelated to anything I’ve said to this point: Did any of you fans of The Office happen to catch the latest episode this past Thursday night? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there was a reference to Mt. Washington (if you haven’t already caught word of it on our forums)! Towards the very end of the episode, Michael Scott (Steve Carell) mentions how his job at Dunder Mifflin has been holding him back, because, among other things, he’s never driven his car to the top of Mt. Washington. It was a bit unexpected, but a pleasant surprise nonetheless!
Mike Carmon, Observer