2006-05-24 14:35:00.000 – Christy Schultz, Summit Intern
With a week off the summit at a time, it is quite easy to forget that Mount Washington’s weather is completely different from the rest of the region’s conditions. ‘Warm’ becomes redefined as temperatures above 50 degrees instead of above 25 degrees Fahrenheit and ‘windy’ changes from hurricane force to only a relative breeze of a few miles an hour. This all changes, of course, with the ride back up the mountain.
The trip up the auto road was simple and ordinary until the halfway point. Here it was necessary to put chains on the tires of the observatory’s truck because of temperatures below freezing at the top. After adding that extra traction, we continued our ascent and it quickly became apparent that these measures were necessary. Slippery mud gave way to ice and snow covering the road.
As the snow accumulation increased with our altitude, it was easy become slightly disoriented due to vertigo. The white snow blended in with the whiteness of the thick fog surrounding us and it was difficult to determine the horizon without a plowed section of road or the rocks peeking out of the snow.
The summit once again looks like early autumn or winter instead of late spring with a few inches of the white stuff covering everything. With any luck, the snow will stick around long enough for the crew to get in some good back country skiing!
Christy Schultz, Summit Intern