Hail Group

Welcome to the home site of the hail group at the Governor's Institute. For the past couple of days, we've been falling on our faces in the snow on Mount Mansfield trying to learn when we were able to stand.

We are definitely the best looking group. From left to right: David, Heidi, Melissa, Bethany, Britta, and Justin.


(Left) Hiking up to the top (okay, only to the ridge). (Right) Bethany joins the staff. From left to right: Bethany, Heidi, Shelley, and Paul.

Time to Work

We worked hard Saturday digging snow pits and taking information from each pit. As we dug, we recorded our placement with the GPS system and took note of the layers. A snow pit is a two-meter wide, ground deep pit which is used to determine different properties of snow. We were mostly concerned with snow depth, crystal size and shape, snow density, and hardness. It was a lot of work, but we had a lot of fun working in the snow.


(Left) Working hard like we always do. (Right) "I've been workin' on the snow pit."


The most important thing we needed to see was the different layers of snow. The top layer was usually soft and powdery while underneath would be a bullet-proof layer of ice. The way the layers form can show danger areas where avalanches can occur. When weight is applied to snow which is on a slick surface, the snow will slip and an avalanche can occur. To learn more about avalanches, click here.

One of the things that made the trip really fun was the cool toys Paul brought for us to use. The one we used the most was the GPS Tracking System. We used it to find our coordinates in the world. To see where we were, click here. We also got a chance to use some digital cameras. All the pictures on this page are from different digital cameras. Some of the toys were not as high-tech, but they helped a lot. Two meters of PVC piping stuck into the ground helped measure snow depth and weight. It was either the three dollars for PVC piping or three hundred dollars for a duplicate made from a different material.

To see our data from the research, click here.

Now, time for fun!

Look out below! Time to slide. If you don't like sliding, join the banzai jump. It may be painful, but it's fun.


Everyone's happy to be here.

And then it's time to go.