Snow snow, where did you go?

2009-10-24 19:55:26.000 – Will Tourtellot,  Summit Intern

The snow I long for…

As you may already know, Wednesday is shift change day for the summit staff. At the end of any given shift, it’s impossible to know how the weather will be when we return the following Wednesday. A little over a week ago, the 14th, each group rode the Cog Railway to the summit and back down, respectively. During the previous week seven inches of snow and ice had accumulated and we were not fully prepared for travel in those conditions. Over the past 36-48 hours literally all of the accumulated snow and ice has melted. Thus far the temperature has risen to 46 degrees, and we’ve observed 1.3 inches of rain. After all the time I’ve spent working living and playing in the Whites, it still amazes me how quickly and drastically conditions can change. Speaking of change, it’s amazing how much life on the summit changes as the summer/fall season winds down. I guess I never really thought about how quiet and calm life would become when hordes people no longer strolled in the door each morning. The Cog Railway has been running two trains per day as the weather conditions have permitted. As each train arrives, I make my way down to open the Observatory’s museum for the passengers. This time allows me to have interesting conversations with all kinds of folks, something I require for my sanity! I’m really looking forward to getting some heavy snow on the summit because I love snow but, if I’m honest, it’s mainly because I cannot wait until the shift change when I take my first ride on the Observatory’s snow-cat. Ok, I sound a bit like a seven year-old, but I think you’ll admit that snow-cats are, at the least, incredible feats of engineering. Personally, when I’m in the presence of the snow-cat, I feel infinitely more rugged and extreme! Let’s all hope that lots of snow falls very soon, for I feel feeble and rather un-extreme…


Will Tourtellot,  Summit Intern

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