I arrive to the summit via Bombardier snowcat and am greeted
by dense fog and bitter cold temps during total white out
conditions. The summit was literally in the clouds and
visibility was basically none.
Winds are Hurricane force and I attempt to become a member
of the century club.
Click here to read blog about the “Century Club”
Winds die down to around 50mph and we are still in the fog.
I documented groups of hikers that had just made it to the
summit via hiking all the way up and took some interested
photos of cold looking hikers with icicles hanging
from their beards.
A Perfect Day !! Winds calm down to around 10mph and we are
out of the clouds and fog. Visibility is great and I
can see all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. The cobalt blue
skies make for an amazing contrast on everything that is
covered in white rime ice. This was my best Photography day
on the summit and the only time I actually saw the sun
during sunrise or sunset.
Winds are up to around 50mph and once again we are in the
fog with total white out conditions. I actually never went
outside on this day. I already shot outside on 3 of these
white out days and figured the photos would look exactly
like the other photos, White ! I had shot over 1500 photo
and put my camera gear through a lot so I stayed inside
where it was warm and started editing photos and video.
Winds are averaging about 40mph and we are in the fog. The
snowcat comes up the mountain for shift change and I hitch a
ride down the mountain. I arrive to my rental car only
to find it buried in snow and ice.
I had many
memorable moments on the summit but I think the most
interesting was seeing the rime ice that covered everything.
Rime ice happens during freezing fog and it so brittle it’s
like powder. You can gently touch it with your hands and it
will crumble away. Rime ice will attach to any and every
object it can including the instruments on the observatory
so the crew has to climb to the top of the tower every hour,
24 hours a day, 7 days a week to chip off the ice that forms
on the instruments so they get accurate weather data. No
matter how strong the wind is they have to do this and I
followed Ryan Knapp when he had to do this in winds around
85mph and it wasn’t easy. He had to brace himself against
the metal railing and use both hands to swing the crowbar to
chip off the 3 inches of ice that had formed since an hour
ago. Of course they don’t have to do this in the summertime.
I have great admiration for what these guys are doing and
would highly recommended going to the summit of Mt.
Washington during either the summer months or winter. In the
summer there is a train that goes all the way to the summit
and during the winter you can go on an EduTrip to achieve
the summit via snowcat. I will put some links below to learn
more. Also, you can become a member and receive quarterly
magazines all about the summit and view weekly Obscasts
which are short videos the guys put together that are
usually comedy skits. Also, you are donating to a great
cause by helping fund the daily operations of the
observatory and all the experiments that are tested.
I’d like to
thank Ken Rancourt, Paula Shappell, Brian Clark, Ryan Knapp,
Steve Welsh, Wayne Peterson, Matt Morin, and Mike Finnegan
for being so helpful and accommodating. And I can’t forget
the great volunteers Charlie and Jeannine that made the
groups warm meals every day and looked after the living
Mt. Washington Website
to the summit