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2006-04-06 02:58:56.000 – Tim Markle,  Chief Observer

It seems like the comparisons of the recent spring snow to the storms of October keep coming. The similarities were drawn again yesterday morning as the crew rode up during shift change. The snow was about a foot deep all the way down to the base of the Auto Road, and our snow tractor was half way up the road. Luckily, the Auto Road was busy plowing the bottom half of the road so all we needed to get up to the snow tractor was a four-wheel drive truck and a good set of chains. Unfortunately, that is where our luck ran out!

The first half of the trip took a little over half an hour, with the unloading of the truck and the loading of the snow tractor included. The second half of the trip took roughly three hours! That’s right, four miles in three hours. It was by far the longest tractor trip I have taken in my three years on the summit. In most cases the regular trips madee by the Observatory and the State Park crews keep the road plowed and level, making for relatively easy trips. This time we were the first crew up since the 18+ inches of snow fell on and around the summit. Winds to near 100 miles an hour blew the snow into massive drifts that piled up along much of the top half of the road. At least conditions were good, temperatures mild, and winds calm. When all was said and done, an eight mile trip which started at 9:30am came to a conclusion just before 2pm! The last time a trip took that long…October!

The benefit of a late season storm? The peaks of the northern Presidentials are back in mid-winter form. The pillows of snow have reformed on Jefferson’s Knee, and the slopes of Adams are covered in a thick blanket of white. Hopefully, this will keep spring skiing in Tucks going a bit longer once the temperatures warm back up!

 

Tim Markle,  Chief Observer

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