Trip to Lakes

2008-06-07 17:27:54.000 – Brian Clark,  Observer

I made my first trip of the summer down to the Lakes of the Clouds AMC hut yesterday after my shift was over. My trip had two purposes. First, one my friends, Caty, is a member of the croo at Lakes (as the hut is affectionately known) and yesterday was her birthday. So, I braved the less than ideal hiking conditions (thick, wet fog with 40 mph winds) to bring her birthday wishes and a birthday card.

The other reason I went down there was to take a look at a temperature and humidity sensor that we installed at Lakes last summer. This sensor is part of the mesonet we are building, which will, when completed, give us weather data from several different mountain summits and other sights in the area. The sensor at Lakes stopped recording data during this past winter and it was discovered this spring that it had indeed broken. I have been charged with repairing and/or replacing the sensor, so I wanted to use this as a scouting trip to see exactly what I was dealing with.

It turns out that the sensor is not just broken, it is simply not there anymore. This is very unfortunate considering how pricey these things are. One of the current croo members (it was Caty actually), found the sensor during the winter while she was up doing a routine winter check of the hut, and gave it to the manager of the AMC huts. Hopefully we can now retrieve it from him, however it is highly unlikely that the sensor will be able to be saved.

So, one or both of the interns and myself will hopefully be hiking back down to Lakes this week to replace the sensor, if the weather cooperates. It is located on the roof of the hut, on a pole that is several feet above the top of the roof. So, ideally we would like to have relatively low winds for working on it, somewhere below 25 mph. Unfortunately, I am not sure if we are going to see a day with winds that low for the remainder of my shift. Just goes to show that even during the summer, the mountain still dictates what kind of work we can and can’t do.


Brian Clark,  Observer

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