Ted Comment 1

2008-05-27 13:44:54.000 – Ted Letcher,  Summit Intern

First break in the clouds

As I round out my first week here on the Rock Pile, the most apt phrase to describe the past seven days is “season change.” When I arrived on the summit last Wednesday the temperatures were only in the upper 20s to lower 30s, and huge fingers of rime ice pointed into the howling wind. As the week progressed the summit shed the clouds that engulfed it for the first half of my shift and temperatures warmed comfortably to the upper 40s. I was even able to get out of the building and off of the summit for a quick hike down around the Tuckerman Ravine on Sunday.

Once back on the summit as I took in the view with over 100 mile visibility, learning to use distant landmarks to determine horizontal visibility, I noted that the valleys were lush green as the leaves have opened with the approach of summer. I found it remarkable to literally see all of the seasons, from summer in the valley to winter on the summits, stratified in layers along the slopes of the mountain.

Sunday as the sun warmed the mountain the summit buildings began to shake off the rime ice sculptures that covered them. In the afternoon Natalie (the other summer intern on my shift) and I stood on the top of the parapet and watched as large chunks of ice broke off of the radio antenna, cheering loudly as they shattered on the rocks below.

As for my internship I feel that I have started to get the hang of the daily schedule and I feel a growing sense of comfort with the rest of the staff. The initial excitement of experiencing wind over 50 mph has dwindled and been replaced with the longing to see wind over a hundred mph.


Ted Letcher,  Summit Intern

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