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Richard drove his Camry to the end of White Mountain Rd yesterday, intending to summit the next day. The Camry isn’t going anywhere for at least two days, and Richard had only a day of food or less.
I am low on food, but I gave Richard some dried fruit, some nuts, a chocolate bar, a large sweet potato, 3 cans of sardines, about 1000 calories of good-tasting grapeseed oil and 200 calories of Hammer Perpetuem Solids. As well as lending my phone to leave a voice mail and text for his father. He’s in no danger, has a pack and tent, and can walk out if need be, but a little sun and the roads will clear, accelerated by my double tire track all the way to gate’s end. I offered to drive him down farther, but he elected to stay to summit tomorrow (we checked the weather report an this cold front is expected to blow off and temps to return to normal). I may go resupply myself and check on him tomorrow—TBD.
For a short while, the view was stunning...
... but about an hour later dense fog moved in, with lightning strikes down below treeline. The fog hides and reveals minute by minute to allow views for 10 meters or 100 meters or for miles. It snowed again lightly too. But the sun will soon beat back the June snow.
Update June 14
The next day, most of the snow had melted, but certain stretches of the road were still covered in snow. Richard had gotten part way out, but the front wheel drive Camry would just spin its front wheel in the snow, whether in foreward or in reverse (in reverse uphill so as to weight the front tires). Wheelspin happens even if one tire has solid grip—the tire with grip does nothing (no rotation) while the other tire spins merrily in place, and so the car goes nowhere. A dubious technology even on the highway (think slick roads with rain).
The Camry was going nowhere that day unless it could get both tires onto bare soil, so I showed Richard how to use his ice axe and shovel to dig narrow trenches in my wheel grooves of packed snow, which I had created by driving through several times, the idea being that exposing the brown soil to the sun would greatly accelerate melting. By the time I returned from my hike around sunset, the sun had done its work, and Richard and the Camry were 'outa there'. By the way, it is foolish to drive any car with street tires up here any time of year without a real spare tire—I have seen many vehicles flat due to sidewall tire cuts (non repairable, sealant and patches are of no use). Vehicles with plain street tires just should come up here, though many people get away with it by going 5 mph for miles. But one small error and bye-bye tire. Odds of a flat are probably 200 times higher per mile here than on a paved highway, with many sharp rocks.