Tasks for Nice Weather

2009-09-10 18:01:55.000 – Mike Finnegan,  IT Observer

Shack Deconstruction Continues

The weather for this past month has been quite phenomenal with abundant sunshine and low winds for the most part on the summit. This has allowed us to accomplish many of the tasks we have been trying to do since winter came to a close a few months ago. It has just been a bit difficult since the first couple months seemed to consist of only fog and rain.

Last week I set out to hike the Southern Presidentials. I had never hiked past Monroe for some reason. I’m sure part of it was due to the fact that the northern peaks are visible out the weather room windows and so I am drawn to them more often. It had been a beautiful day, but I was working all day with Brian on vacation so I needed to get out that night. The thing with the southern peaks is that they seem quite close together – you reach the summit of one and are compelled to hike to the next because “well, it’s just right there…” I hiked around Monroe for the first time and was astounded at the beauty of the well worn path through the alpine vegetation, the moon who had already rose quite high in the sky, and the silence of it all. Rounding Monroe, I headed along the edge of Oakes Gulf, providing another astounding sight. I made the short hike up to Franklin and then continued on to Eisenhower, a most wonderful mountain that reminds me a bit of Mora the Turtle from The Neverending Story. I also have to commend the trail crew who put such effort into building the steps to help erosion control and the summit containing wall and cairn. I headed down the backside and over to Pierce, a much less intriguing summit to me. I now decided to head back towards home, switching to my second headlamp as my batteries were failing. I went around the summits this time, except for Monroe which I went up and over. The last two miles to the summit were certainly difficult ones as I was very tired, but I eventually wandered my way up the summit cone.

Besides recreational “tasks”, we have also been able to put a new cover on the microwave dish. Early last winter high winds ripped it from the dish and allowed water, ice, and rime to build up inside the dish, at times knocking out our link to the valley. With winter on the way, it won’t be long until it is put to the test.

This week we have been deconstructing a shack that previously housed computers for an ASOS experiment. This particular shack has withstood nearly a decade of severe mountain weather and it has been a fair amount of work taking it apart as it was so well constructed. That being said, it has been nice to get outside and work on day such as this as opposed to writing code. That can be saved for one of the hundreds of foggy days yet to come.

 

Mike Finnegan,  IT Observer

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