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Snow Studies Research Trip to Smugglers' Notch


 Photo Above: top row; Sara, Leah, Jesse, Shelley (leader), bottom row; Neal (genius), and Ben



On Saturday, February 28, a group of insane scientists forced a group of people to climb Smugglers' Notch in snowshoes and dig holes in the snow.


 Who we are:

We are a group of students attending the weekend Governors' Institute of Vermont.


 Our Purpose:

Our Mission was to get to the summit of Smugglers' Notch and at the same time dig holes, observing the snow layers and basically testing for avalanches.


 Our Procedure:

We first arrived at the parking lot organizing our gear and preparing for a small hike to our first site. After a few minutes of hiking we went off the main trail and into the fresh powder in the woods. After getting instructions and watching a small demo we went and began our testing.

The testing consisted of several steps and procedures. The first and most basic step was digging a large hole in the snow about two meters wide and all the way to the ground. We would then take the temperature for every 10 cm, while another person would measure the thickness of each layer. We calculated the density of each layer. Then we examined the snow crystals and recorded their type and size. We used a snow tube to take core samples of snow and found the density of the snow overall at each location. We also used a GPS and find our location and altitude/elevation.

We executed this process for three different locations, at three different elevations on the mountain. (See data and map on other pages.)