2007-06-10 21:14:23.000 – Brian Clark, Observer
Looking up the gully
“Maybe I will be back, but much like the weather on this mountain, the future can be very unpredictable. Only time will tell…”
This is a quote from the last comment that I wrote as an intern back on May 3, 2006 (you can look it up in our comments archive). Little did I know that just over a year later I would return. There was certainly no doubt in my mind that I wanted to come back after the incredible experience I had as an intern during the winter of 2006. Fortunately for me, there were positions open and I am now a full time observer on the summit. Actually, my official job title is the Summit Educational Observer, a newly created position. Eventually there will be another Educational Observer on the opposite shift as myself. You can read about what my position entails, as well as other available summit positions that we have yet to fill here.
My first four days on the summit have been incredibly busy and I have put some long hours in. In fact, my very first day back on the summit ended up being a 19 hour shift, resulting in me going to bed at 4 a.m. This happened because we had a fairly significant icing event for this time of year and we have a project going on up here that needed to be tended to during the course of this icing event. Relearning operations on the summit after being gone for a year and learning my new duties have also kept me constantly occupied.
So needless to say, after four very long days spent mostly inside, I needed to get out. The busy part of the morning was done around 7:30 a.m. and the summit moved out of the fog, so I took off on a search, a search for snow! I have never gotten to ski in June so I was definitely determined to find some to ski on. I had a tip that there was still a decent patch of snow left in the Great Gulf, just below the bottom of the summit cone, so that’s where I headed. The summit was free of fog, but the Great Gulf was not. This made my search a little more difficult. After quite a bit of stumbling around and not finding anything to the east, the fog broke for a moment and I discovered what I was looking for was definitely not even close to where I was. It was toward the west, all the way over by Mt. Clay!
I did eventually get there and I did get three good runs in on the patch that was about 100 to 150 yards long and covered about 150 vertical feet. I returned to the summit a very happy boy about 3 hours later. Here are some additional pictures of my adventure for your enjoyment:
The Gully I Skied
The Great Gulf
I missed living and working with the Observatory and all the wonderful and dedicated people in this organization. It’s great to be back!
Brian Clark, Observer