Thursday, August 07, 2008

It is Getting Windy!

Looking back towards town, the Pegasus airfield, and Mt. Discovery from Castle Rock.

I have tried writing this blog about five times now and I never seem to finish. The basic theme is that the weather is getting nasty. Last week, four out of seven days had a low temperature below -30F. The worst was -41.5F around 4pm last Friday. If the temperature isn't cold enough, then the wind is blowing to make sure we feel it.

B-Nelson after our Castle Rock hike in a balmy -20F. (Yes, that has begun to feel warm)

The sun comes up in just seven days and it will bring the worst weather of the year. This is the coldest part of the year because the sun has been gone the longest. Even after we start to see the sun, there is a lag before it really warms up. It is the same thing back home. The coldest day of the year isn't the shortest day. It is usually sometime after that in January or February. We get more wind this time of year because the sun will be bringing in more warm air. When that warm air meets the cold air, we can get breezes and storms. I'm sure someone more meteorologically minded, like Sheetal, can give you a better explanation.

McMurdo Base from Observation Hill.

Last week, as we approach this nasty weather, my Big Red finally quit. The zipper just refused to stay shut. If it zipped up at all, the bottom usually opened up. Not pleasant and since it was one of the coldest weeks for me yet, really not pleasant. Luckily, the BFC has some extras. My new jacket is more of a medium red, but it is working for me so far. One of the first days that my Big Red stopped working was on my last Ob Hill hike. The wind was blowing down to -51F and was so strong it actually pushed me down the hill at some points. I don't know the last time that wind actually moved me. I think that may have only happened because I was on a downhill though. Either way, pretty neat. I was glad to be off the hill.

Looking north from the Hut Point.

My final hike two weeks ago was on Sunday. Raja, B-Nelson, and I went out on the Ridge. I was hoping to do more, but the blowing wind took away my motivation. The colors on the horizon were great as always, but we are starting to lose them at noon. The best colors are getting pushed back later and later in the day. That is kind of unfortunate for my lunch time hikes. In about a week, I should be able to go after work and catch those same colors.

Looking north from the Hut Ridge Loop trail.

On our hike, I learned something new about the trail. Raja informed B-Nelson and I about the make out spot. She said people like to hang out there because there isn't that much wind. I think we sat there for about five minutes trying to get warm. There was plenty of wind and we moved on quickly, but I'm keeping that spot in mind for next time I want to help someone get that Dentyne Icy Fresh breath without the gum.

Raja and B-Nelson are at the 'make out' spot, but not making out. Huh?


  1. -40- please.... you are just loving it. Is it colder than swimming in the maine ocean in the spring???? Yea, I didn't thaink so.
    greg and I are going to set the a.c. to -20 tonight just to prove you wrong....

  2. we are off by 141.5F. lol my skin is burning here in california.