Some Progress

2007-04-19 22:18:56.000 – Scot Henley,  Executive Director

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I’m writing this from the valley, where today we actually saw lots of sun and a spectacular view of the snow covered Presidentials. Likewise, the crew on the summit enjoyed much better conditions than the previous shift, and they were able to start the clean-up and assessment of what needs to be done to get everything back up to full speed.

Shift change took place on Wednesday, but it was complicated. Wayne skinned his way up to the Bombardier, which was parked at half-way on the Auto Road, fired it up and drove it down to the base. The crew loaded up and took off for what needed to be a very quick turnaround at the summit. After much plowing, Jon, Kyle, the interns and volunteers all arrived at the summit close to 4:30 PM, relieving the tired crew of duty. Jim told me today that he made it home around 7:30 PM.

I spoke to Kyle this morning and he gave me an update just before he did his 9:30 AM walk-around. The microwave link was still down, but he and Jon were troubleshooting the problem. Even after removing ice, it still didn’t work… therefore, still no data coming off the summit. He said that the precip can was now only half-buried, but we definitely lost some equipment at the thermo shack. Thankfully, the thermo shack itself was successfully de-iced and undamaged.

At the end of the day, we were able to establish some functionality of the microwave link, but it is still shaky. Fingers crossed, we’ll have the link restored very soon. It certainly illustrates that however close technology allows us all to be to the summit of Mount Washington, it is still a very harsh, remote place in winter (or spring).

In the meantime, Kyle, Jon and the crew continue to work hard to restore order so that we’re able to do our radio reports and web updates as normal.

I saw some photos today when Jim stopped by the Weather Discovery Center on the way out of town, and I’ll make sure we post a couple on Friday.

Thanks for your patience– Mount Washington’s infamous weather certainly flexed its muscle this week. We have 75 years of experience dealing with some of the planet’s most extreme conditions, but sometimes even the Mount Washington Observatory takes a hit!

 

Scot Henley,  Executive Director

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