During the last week of March the mountain returned to more seasonal weather. The crew from the Mount Washington Observatory, this past week recorded a low temperature of -8F, 13.6" of snow along with a peak wind gust of 113mph out of the North. Freezing fog in the latter half of the week created a heavy accumulation of 'rime ice'.
Once the sky cleared there were some frosty looking mountains in the neighborhood.
Not only did our blood thin from 3 weeks of unseasonal heat, our mountain travel equipment balked more after the temperatures dropped below zero. A portable generator was needed to plug in the 'Cat' diesel block heaters with an added boost to the batteries required before the engine would roar to life. On the summit 'Marty Cat' however remained comfortable in the Sherman Adams Building despite the return of cold weather!
Rapid and extreme weather shifts are typical in New England high mountains and it's a good reminder for all hikers to review this NH Outdoor Council video: More good information to review can be found on NH’s Hike Safe web site. Winter is never far from the high peaks even in the warmest months of the year. Just carrying a water bottle and cell phone is irresponsible. You would be amazed at how many 'hikers' head out on day hikes so poorly prepared. One of the highlights of this past week was a visit from Randy Perkins & Paul Lentine, account managers with Public Service of New Hampshire.
Over the past season park staff took advantage of PSNH's energy saving rebate program by retrofitting 130 older light and electric fixtures within the Sherman Adams Summit Building with new energy efficient units. This effort is helping the summit save 7,200 Kw of energy per year along with our park doing its part to help reduce greenhouse gas and acid rain caused by power plant emissions. For Mt Washington State Park's efforts in participating in the PSNH sponsored energy saving program, Paul & Randy traveled to the summit to hand deliver a handsome $2,000 rebate check! If we can participate in PSNH's rebate program at the summit of Mt Washington than you can do it too! For more information about PSNH's 'Going Green' program visit their web site.