Time to say goodbye.

2014-11-10 18:20:46.000 – Arielle Ahrens, Summit Intern


I can’t believe this is my last week on the mountain! My internship started in May and here we are now in November, six months later. So much has happened in those six months! I’ve met many fantastic people, made awesome friends, and experienced many of the extremes of Mount Washington.

There are many things I will miss about the summit. Of course, I’ll miss the weather. My favorite events were thunderstorms and rime ice. We would actually be inside the thunderstorm. INSIDE THE THUNDERSTORM. How cool is that? During one storm we received several direct strikes. That was definitely one of my favorite storm experiences, by far. Rime ice is also a really cool phenomenon (pun intended ;) ). Its formation, in terms of quantity, color, and length, is dependent on the wind speed and temperature. Higher wind speeds tend to create longer branches and warmer temperatures, closer to freezing, generally leads to a more translucent rime. Also, when giving tours I would say, “rime ice is super-cooled droplets of water that form feathery strands of ice when they come into contact with surfaces below freezing because they freeze instantaneously, trapping air”. Having not seen rime ice before, I just went with what the observers had told me, but the strands actually do look like feathers! Rime ice is awesome!

But mostly, I will miss my shift, Ryan, Kaitlyn, and Mike Dorfman. Kaitlyn often says in her distance learning programs that it is like a family up here, and it is so true. Six months ago in May, they invited me into their little family atop the mountain and it’s felt like a second home since. It feels sad to go, but hopefully the friendships I made here will last.


Arielle Ahrens, Summit Intern

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