Volunteer Comment

2013-04-03 15:45:06.000 – Werner and Conny Griesshammer,  Summit Volunteers

Family portrait at the summit sign.

We came up last week into the clouds while there was plenty of sunshine and talk about spring in the valley. Now another week as volunteers for the Mount Washington Observatory is slowly coming to an end. Most likely we will leave the summit tomorrow in wintery conditions, after being delayed by a day.

As previous comments already mentioned, we had a wonderful winter Easter weekend and plenty of skiers and hikers gave the summit a look as if all Easter bunnies of the East Coast gathered for their Annual Meeting. A special guest was our son, who came from Vermont to spend time with us over the weekend before going back down on the snowboard through Tuckerman Ravine.

One of the most amazing display of extreme weather on the summit is the feather-like rime ice that covers everything. It starts building up when fog, wind and temperatures come together. This is a combination that we don’t see too often in our backyards, but is very common on this mountain. Since rime ice consists mostly of air, it is very light and can cover the structures up, accumulating at speeds of several inches per hour. Thanks to the Observers for lots of information about rime ice and especially to Kerry Claffey from the US Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) who worked during this shift on rime research at the Observatory.

 

Werner and Conny Griesshammer,  Summit Volunteers

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