2009-02-16 07:41:23.000 – Mike Finnegan, IT Observer
This week has seen many things not so frequently seen on the summit. As you may recall, we had some warmer temperatures on the summit Wednesday into Thursday, changing what was mainly freezing rain Wednesday night into a variety of frozen precipitation Thursday. The changeover came sooner than expected leaving the summit with some heavy, wet snow…perfect snowball snow! We took the opportunity to add one more member to the summit crew, someone similar to the sphinxes of The Neverending Story. In this case, it was a snowman, Rimey, guarding the A-frame. He has done a great job, so great in fact that we had to move him a bit to the side as he was preventing Ryan from getting through for the night observations!
Another not so common occurrence was the celebration of Valentine’s Day on the summit. Our volunteers for the week, Win and John, baked an incredible amount of sweet desserts including meteorological-based heart shaped cookies and blueberry pies with homemade ice cream. John also brought up some decadent chocolates to share. All the warm weather we had previously in the week followed by the sudden drop in temperatures got me thinking about sugaring season, so I decided to make sugar on rime, the alpine equivalent of sugar on snow.
The final unusual event on the summit was the arrival of the Germans. Every year, students from the University of Ruhr (and recently, other universities as well) come to the summit to spend a week studying various phenomena on Mount Washington through experiments they conduct. Marcel, a grad student at the University of Ruhr, has been coming here since I was an intern and arrived again on Wednesday. His comrades arrived yesterday and will be staying for a week, while he will be staying for over three weeks. It will be interesting to see just how crazy he becomes after that amount of time on the summit.
Mike Finnegan, IT Observer