2006-03-22 07:21:02.000 – Jim Salge,  Observer

Tower and rime at sunset…

After spending nearly the entire week in the fog, Mother Nature decided to finally give our crew a break yesterday afternoon. Clouds dipped below the summit by about 1000 feet, winds dropped off to around 20 mph, and temperatures warmed up into the mid 10s. It’s amazing how warm 15 degrees can feel after spending a week below zero. I suddenly found myself ditching the facemask and down jacket, and comfortably returning to the deck each hour in a fleece.

The week without getting outside had certainly left everyone a bit stir crazy, and right after we cleared, we set up a rotation to cover the weather room while allowing everyone to get out. Brian and Lewis, our volunteer were first up, and they spent a few hours tracking up the snowfields, with reports of some nice powder sticking around on the slopes. Then Ryan took a stroll in the direction of Lakes of the Clouds, and found just the opposite conditions…bulletbroof glare ice on most trails.

I got out during the hour before sunset and was far from disappointed…as it was one of the most photogenic scenes I’ve seen up here in some time. The undercast turned a golden hue, and clouds overhead turned a bright orange. Effects in atmospheric optics were also visible, with a brochen spector following me for every shot.

Today this crew (except Brian) departs from the summit feeling wholly refreshed…as memories of a rough week in the fog were simply erased by a few spectacular hours above the clouds!


Jim Salge,  Observer

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