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September 1999, Week 3


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Marc Chrusch <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Skiing Discussion and Snow Reports <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 18 Sep 1999 12:14:24 -0400
text/plain (57 lines)
>Does anyone have any more information on this subject, or experiences?, it
would be interesting to hear (sorta skiing related since
north=cold=snow=skiing=northern lights?)
I've seen them a number of times in the Nort Conway area of New Hampster
during climbing trips. There were also a few times as a child on family
vacation in Acadia Natn'l Park when we drove to the summit of Cadillac Mtn.
after dinner.  The most spectacular though was during a backpack in the
Franconia Ridge neck of the Whites.

After scarring ourselves silly on Cannon Cliff earlier in the summer (we
did a route called Blockade - don't bother checking your guidebooks, the
crux pitch and a few others fell down sometime in the late 70's, about 4
years after we did it), my college climbing partner and I decided on a
5-day backpack just before fall classes started at Rutgers.  We would
traverse the Franconia Ridge, Galehead, the Bonds, drop into the Pemi
Wilderness and finish up with Carrigan.

Our start day was cloudy with the weather report predicting occasional
showers and clearing later that night. It started dumping small mammals on
us somewhere just past Liberty Spring and rained all across Franconia
Ridge, and all that night, and all the next day, and all that night, and get the idea. It finally stopped raining on the afternoon of our
penultimate day. We planned to camp at a shelter near the base of Carrigan
but since we had time and were finally drying out, we decided to go to the
summit and sleep in the defunct fire lookout tower. We worked our way up
through breaking clouds with some sun. By the time we got to the top at
around 6pm it was shaping up into what might be a nice sunset. There were
still lots of low lying clouds and fog in the deeper valleys, so it was
kind of surreal.  We also found that we'd be sharing the lookout tower with
a father and his 12 year old son.  After dinner we watched the sunset, had
some tea and went to sleep.

Around 1:30a the next morning, we were awakened by our tower-mates hootin'
and hollerin' and yelling at us to get out of our bags. What now? Tornado?
Earthquake? Early morning volcanoes? No, simply the most spectacular
northern lights any of us had ever seen. The entire northern half of the
sky from just above horizon to straight overhead was illuminated with
shimmering red, green, yellow, purple, and blue curtains and clouds of
light.  Looked like a Yes or Genesis concert on a grand scale, complete
with lasers.  We hung out on the tower catwalk for about 3 hours watching
the show.

Finish the project. We'll buy you a new family.
mchrusch(at symbol)        <--- personal/home address
marc.chrusch(at symbol)   <--- work address

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