2006-03-06 18:22:29.000 – Brian Clark,  Summit Intern

Intern Brian Skiing The Snowfields

Today is one of those incredible days that reminds me of just how lucky I am to get to spend so much time here on the Rockpile and the top of the Northeast.

Today turned out to be an absolutely beautiful day. We were clear of the fog with blue skies above us and a broken undercast below us. Winds were blowing at a meager 10 to 20 miles per hour for the majority of the day and temperatures were, dare I say warm, in the low to mid teens. This kind of weather was especially nice considering how cold, windy, and snowy it has been over the past week or so. We were even treated to a fantastic sunset last hour.

One question we often get from visitors and various other people is what does the summit staff do to entertain ourselves during our week long shifts. The picture that I have posted along with this comment is a perfect example of one of the things that sevaral of the summit staff enjoy to do for entertainment. Since we had such tranquil weather today, Neil and I decided to take advantage of that and take two runs in the upper snowfields on the east slope of the summit between observations. We were able to find a really nice line over toward Ball Crag that consisted of an edgeable wind packed powder that was a lot of fun to ski. Something to keep in mind when skiing above treeline in the Presidentials is the danger of avalanches. We are one of the few places on the east coast where avalanches can and do occur. Although avalanches are uncommon in the upper snowfields, they are much more of a threat in other popular backcountry skiing destinations such as Tuckerman Ravine, Hillman’s Highway, and the lower snowfields. Always be sure to check the latest USFS Avalanche Bulletin before considering skiing above treeline.

Conditions should be just as tranquil, if not more tranquil over the next 36 to 48 hours. So, you can bet that Neil and I will be heading over to the upper snowfields again tomorrow for a couple runs!


Brian Clark,  Summit Intern

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