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World's Worst Weather

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tuckerman's Ravine is a "ski at your own risk" kind of area. It has been said that "if you can ski the Tuck, you can ski anywhere in the world". People from around the world come in early Spring for this skiing adventure. A skier must hike for 3 hours in order to enjoy the exhilarating 10 minute thrill-ride down.

Mt. Washington's "World's Worst Weather" made an appearance while I was working as an information Volunteer at Pinkham Notch Visitor's Center last weekend. Actually, it was an answer to prayers. Talking with inexperienced skiers was an unnerving experience. Feelings of futility filled my heart and mind as fearless skiers gave me a patronizing smile, and thanked me for my advice. Others just looked at me and knew that I had not "skied the Tuck". I am a lowly cross country skiers, and have no first hand experience about the crevasses that can open up to a waterfall below, or the avalanches that can start at any time.

Saturday's weather report was perfect for skiers! 30 degrees, low winds and sun. Over 200 skiers came to enjoy the day. Then the clouds came in, and the winds started. Most of the day, Mt. Washington was totally socked in with fog, and 78 MPH winds. It was a very cold day on the mountain!

There was no view of Mt. Washington, right in front of us. Most people were smart, and waited at the base camp, Hermit Lake Shelter, for the fog to clear.

There were a few that hiked through the fog, and snow boarded down the mountain anyhow. Those are the people that concern the Ski Patrol most of all.

My weekend volunteer time was good. Everyone who hiked up the mountain returned safely. I have learned so much by helping hikers, skiers, and even those who do not listen to my advice.

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