2009-12-17 18:53:28.000 – Mike Finnegan,  IT Observer

Frigid Morning Alpineglow

It has taken its’ time, but i think winter has finally arrived just about everywhere, even the valley. Last offweek began with an icy drive back to North Conway where I had to pull someone with summer tires and a bit too much speed back onto the road. The following day began with a few laps of snowboarding on a local ski hill I skinned up and ended with my first ice climb of the season up in Craford Notch. We got our Christmas tree on Saturday (which even included a Christmas mouse hiding inside), which put us further in the throws of winter. More climbing ensued Sunday and Tuesday in Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont, although Tuesday was a bit wet.

Now on the summit, I am even more excited as ice that was thin and wet last week is sure to be coming in strong! This very cold weather is certainly good for making snow too! Unfortunately, here on the summit the weather isn’t good for too much besides testing just how well one can layer and keep not an inch of skin exposed. When I awoke this morning, I found the temperature to have plummeted to -24F. That, coupled with winds gusting into the 90’s, made for an abrupt awakening, especially since it had just cleared and I would have to spend several minutes slinging. In these instances where the wind chill is down to the -70 range, frostbite can occur in the time it takes to complete an observation.

Fortunately, high pressure will build in a bit more with the low shifting a bit further off the coast and we should see temperatures slowly making their way above zero and winds slowly decline over the next 36 hours. Yes, it is definitely winter!


Mike Finnegan,  IT Observer

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