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Windswept – Summer 2001, Volume 42 Number 2

Windswept is Mount Washington Observatory's quarterly member magazine. Offering an exclusive look at all things Mount Washington, each edition features stories about the mountain's weather, personalities, news and special events.

As a member benefit, many editions of Windswept are now available online! If you are a current Observatory member, please sign into your MWO Web Account to access the online page reader tool. If you are not a member, we invite you to join us.

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Postcards from the Pole
Photographs and stories from the bottom of the world.
By Meghan Prentiss.
A Tale of Two Mountains
An expedition to Mount Rainier.
By Peter Crane.
Ghost Story
A haunting night in Tuckerman Ravine.
By Leonard (Sleazy) Dalton.
Cross-country in the Weathermobile
A haunting night in Tuckerman Ravine.
By Leonard (Sleazy) Dalton.
Excerpt from: Sawdust from the Log

By Summit Staff, Interns, and Volunteers. Compiled by Katie Hess.


1. Nate Moore's dad is up to volunteer for the week. Also up is Portsmouth Herald reporter Rick Fabrizio. He will be doing a story each day: daily installments of a week on Mount Washington. Our newest staff member, Chris Evans, is hard at work doing many research projects from the should- be-rime-resistant LOTUSAN paint study to multicylinders to the NCAR snow gauge project

2. Sarah and Katie Koster had an excellent sled ride today.

3. A little snow last night and more to come later on Monday. It is clearing now.

4. I overheard Bryan telling story after story about his exciting adventures as a Tucks caretaker in the early 90s. After dinner we all watched a great video that he put together. He interviewed weather experts from NWS in Gray, Maine, Mish Michaels in Boston, and observers on Mount Washington.

5. News reports are really selling this storm to be the big one! The rest of New England is racking up snowfall totals. John Davis calls up from Southeastern NH with 18 inches in his backyard at 8 PM. Chris calls next from Intervale with 20 inches. The anemometer no longer spins due to ice weighing it down.

7. The summer before I went into first grade, we moved to Concord, Mass., from Pittsburgh. One night my dad said a freak snowstorm was on the way. He might "need me to help dig a tunnel out to the car in the morning!" He told me many inches could fall. Being only a few feet high myself then, I pictured a real tunnel for me to walk through. It sounded like a lot of fun! But only about half an inch fell that night. So no tunnel. But 17 years later, here on the summit, I have just dug the tunnel I have been waiting to dig for so long. The walls of the tunnel are twice my height! Winds are just strong enough to blow snow into large drifts and destroy visibility.

8. After a 4-hour cat ride yesterday, many nauseous summit staff, TV crew, and researchers arrived on the summit safe and sound.

10. With a peak gust of 145 mph there was glory to be had. Both Charlie and Tod valiantly tried to gain entrance into the elusive Century Club. It was Charlie's fifth try, and I think that all of us witnessing his successful traverse of the perimeter of the deck thought FOR SURE that he had made it. Not So! We came downstairs to discover that the wind had dropped below 100 during his attempt.

18. Two hikers arrived here unscheduled. They were shaken quite a bit by the bad weather we are having, but were okay to be on their way. John Davis, ever our hero, turned out a scrumptious, filling meal of breaded mac-and-cheese, turkey, and brownies to feed the frostbitten faces of the EMS hikers and ourselves.

20. I woke up yesterday morning wondering why I had not seen a friend of mine who had planned to visit the Observatory this weekend, climbing up from where he was caretaking at Harvard Cabin. Then I wandered upstairs and found a printout from the AP on the desktop. It was a recount of Ned Green's tragic death, which horrified many throughout the White Mountains and the climbing community, as well as myself. I was still thinking he might knock on the door and flash a large grin at his backcountry neighbors, with his all too familiar "Hey, what's up?" It was the unbelievable end to a story we caught over the radio the afternoon before. All we knew was that a man had fallen 800 feet off the headwall of Huntington Ravine and been transported to the hospital with "severe trauma." As my closest neighbor, both at the Observatory and at Pinkham where we both worked on our off-days, Ned had already visited the summit once before this winter. A backcountry community was slowly beginning to take shape. All of the folks from the RMC, AMC, and Obs who knew Ned feel a tragic loss this February. We will miss Ned Green.

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