Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mt. Chipotle Staff Visits New Mexico

The Mount Chipotle staff is in New Mexico for the next few days at a meeting (1) for its research group (2). We will update you on all things Mount Chipotle when we return.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

N.R.O. Staff Publishes New Air Temperature Lapse Rates for Mt. Chipotle

The National Research Observatory scientific staff has published a new paper that lists the air temperature lapse rate on Mount Chipotle as 0.64 degrees C / 100m. "The lapse rate is consistent spatially throughout the Mt. Chipotle region but it is not consistent temporally" said lead author Stephen Chaneau. "Mount Chipotle creates a unique regional climate due to its shear height. This work should contribute our knowledge of how this climate relates to the plants and animals of the Mt. Chipotle region."

The reference for the paper is:

Chaneau, S., A. Jay, K. Ho, and D. Stat. 2010. Microclimatology of treeline spruce-fir forests in the Mt. Chipotle region. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 125:53-66.

Mt. Chipotle Alavanche Advisory

Carnitas and Barbacoa Ravine have CONSIDERABLE avalanche danger today. Natural avalanches are possible and human triggered avalanches are probable. Unstable slabs are probable. Be increasingly cautious in and under steeper terrain. The only exception to this is the Little Headwall which has Low avalanche danger. Natural avalanches are very unlikely and human triggered avalanches are unlikely except in isolated pockets. Normal caution is advised.

Two teens charged over Mount Chipotle flag prank

Two teenage boys charged with planting a flag on the summit Wednesday, inundated emergency services with prank calls before and after the stunt, a court has heard. It was thought that the flag was part of an attack by the Al-Qaeda terrorist (1) threat. (Editors Note: see our previous coverage of this story at 2)

One of the boys, 15, appeared in a children's court on Tuesday dressed in his school uniform to answer more than 140 charges, including defacing a national treasure.

The other boy, 14, appeared in a separate court, which heard the pair planted the flag at about 4.20pm on February 7, 2009 after summitting by the south ridge.

Both youths, were bailed on strict conditions, including a ban on going near Mount Chipotle.

The court heard they called 911 more than 50 times between January 29 and February 4, including on the day of the prank, harassing and threatening operators with obscene comments.

Charlottesville detectives arrested the boys about 9am on Thursday.

An angry crowd of about 10 people greeted the 15-year-old outside court, some yelling "show us your face" as he was driven away.

The boy was flanked by two detectives and a uniformed policeman and had a jumper draped over his head.

He was bundled into an unmarked car flanked by another six uniformed officers.

They were charged with 135 counts each of criminal damage by defacing a national treasure and multiple counts of using a telecommunications service to menace and harass over a two-month period beginning just days before the prank.

They will appear in court again in May.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Children Playing on Mt. Chipotle Cause Terrorism Scare

N.R.O. staff conducting a ground survey Wednesday on Mt. Chipotle found a what appeared to be a flag planted on the summit of Mt. Chipotle prompting them to call federal authorities due to the Al-Qaeda terrorist threat. It was thought that terrorist operatives had parachuted into the region and conquered the mountain (1).

Undercover federal agents (2) had already been patrolling the mountain and reached the summit within a matter of minutes. Over 30 homes in the immediate area were evacuated as authorities were concerned that the flag might be an explosive aimed at triggering an avalanche.

A bomb squad technician soon determined the device was just a flag planted by children. There’s no word yet on whether they will face charges. "We have an excellent record dealing with the terrorist threat" a government spokesman said. "Never before have we over responded (3) like this but it is worth making sure we don't miss a potential terrorist threat (4,5)."


The mountain was still closed tonight by authorities investigating the placement of the flag. The above picture was taken at great distance by an Associated Press photographer

N.R.O. Releases New Land Cover Map for Mt. Chipotle West Drainage

The N.R.O. has announced the release of a new land cover map for the Mt. Chipotle Valley Region west drainage. The map was created using sophisticated (1) remote sensing techniques for an article in the journal Science that we wrote all by ourselves (2).

Man who climbed Mt. Chipotle to give talk at UVa Library

Charlottesville — The UVa Library will have special presentation from local, avid hiker Sherpa Dirka, who fulfilled his lifelong dream and becoming the first person to climb Mount Chipotle.

Dirka began his climbing career in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia more than 20 years ago. He attributes the success of his Mount Chipotle climb to his training at home on Mount Banana Republic (Picture of Dirka training 1).

Dirka will be telling his story during the library's annual Moore Lecture Program at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 4.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mount Chipotle Avalanche Advisory

Carnitas Ravine has CONSIDERABLE, MODERATE and LOW avalanche danger today. The Bowl, Headwall and Lip have Considerable avalanche danger. Natural avalanches are possible and human triggered avalanches are probable. Unstable slabs are probable in steep terrain. Be increasingly cautious in steeper terrain. Hillman's Highway, the Lower Snowfields, Left Gully and Right Gully have Moderate avalanche danger. Natural avalanches are unlikely and human triggered avalanches are possible. Use caution in steep terrain. The Little Headwall has Low avalanche danger. Natural avalanches are very unlikely and human triggered avalanches are unlikely except in isolated pockets. Normal caution is advised.

Barbacoa Ravine has MODERATE avalanche danger. Natural avalanches are unlikely and human triggered avalanches are possible. Unstable slabs are possible in steep terrain. Use caution in steeper terrain.

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY

FOR THE MOUNT CHIPOTLE RERGION (MOUNT CHIPOTLE,
MOUNT CHIPOTLE VALLEY, BARRACKS VALLEY)

SNOW IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THROUGH EARLY
EVENING AND THEN TAPER TO SNOW SHOWERS AS
THE NIGHT PROGRESSES. TOTAL ACCUMULATION OF 2
TO 4 INCHES IS FORECAST WITH THE HIGHER
AMOUNTS ON THE RIDGE TOPS.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS
THAT PERIODS OF SNOW
WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES.
BE PREPARED FOR SNOW
COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES...AND
USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING. REPORT YOUR SNOWFALL
ACCUMULATIONS TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE
BY CALLING TOLL FREE...1-877-633-6772.

The Mission of the Mount Chipotle National Research Observatory

The Mount Chipotle National Research Observatory's mission is to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth's weather and climate, by maintaining its mountaintop weather station, conducting research and educational programs and interpreting the heritage of the Mount Chipotle region.

Today we were unable to bring you the most up to date news regarding Mount Chipotle and the Mount Chipotle region (including the Barracks Valley) because the entire staff was engaged in writing a scientific paper on mountains (1). To fulfill our mission statement we occasionally have to take a break from our work on educational programs (2) to conduct research. Mountains (3) are lovely ecosystems and you should never make fun of someone for wanting to count them.

Mount Chipotle 1 Feb 2010

A view of the famed backside (1, 2) of Mount Chipotle.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Lost Man Spends Night on Mountain

Charlottesville authorities say a Pennsylvania man who spent the night stuck on Mount Chipotle in frigid temperatures and high winds did a good job staying safe.

Sixty-four-year-old Richard Barrie of Hicksvilles had planned a day hike to the mountain's summit but got lost in whiteout conditions on his way down Friday afternoon. While his friends and Fish and Game officials searched for him during the evening, Barrie built a snow cave and hunkered down for the night.

Police spokesman Lt. Todd Bogardus says crews were preparing to head out again Saturday morning when Barrie made his own way off the mountain unharmed. He says Barrie had appropriate skills and gear and had left an itinerary with friends, which all contributed to the safe outcome.

Mount Chipotle has the reputation having horrible weather. Severe storms, including snow, can happen at any time of the year. The combination of severe winds, cold and wetness can exhaust the strongest hiker. Never continue upwards in deteriorating weather, as it gets worse at higher elevations.

Also note that it is a strenuous climb for those who are not in good shape. The distance by most routes is around four miles each way; that may not sound like much. But in those four miles you gain roughly 30 feet of elevation, which is a lot for those not used to strenuous exercise. To quote the Chipotle Mountain Climber's Guide:

To a person unused to mountain trails or in less than excellent physical condition, this unrelenting uphill grind can be grueling and intensely discouraging. If you are not an experienced hiker or a trained athlete, you will almost certainly enjoy the ascent of Mount Chipotle a great deal more if you build up to it with easier climbs in areas with less exposure to potentially severe weather.

N.O.R. Announces Preliminary Results of Mt. Chipotle Aerial Survey

Photos are reduced quality for display online. Contact A.J., Senior Research Scientist for high resolution images.

Mount Chipotle and the surrounding land are part of a publicly owned recreational area.
The Mount Chipotle National Research Observatory is dedicated to the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge about ecological systems. This knowledge is created through scientific research, disseminated through teaching, writing, and exhibits, and applied through participation in decision-making regarding the ecological management of natural resources and through promotion of a broader awareness about the importance of ecological relationships to human welfare. The main research campus is located at the base of Mount Chipotle inside the Bong Recreation Area (1).

TMZ: Former Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin Spotted Near Mt. Chipotle

Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was spotted on vacation near the base of Mount Chipotle today (1), TMZ reports. The entire N.R.O. staff would like to welcome (2) Mrs. Palin to the Mount Chipotle region.

Mrs. Palin is an avid environmentalist (3) with a dedicated international following (4). The Mt. Chipotle region will surely benefit (5) from the attention that Mrs. Palin will bring to it.

Mount Chipotle on 31 January 2010


Mount Chipotle on 31 January 2010 at approximately 9:00 pm

Isostatic Uplift Brings Mount Chipotle to New Heights

The U.S. Geological Survey has announced that Mount Chipotle is growing. Because of the recent growth Mount Chipotle now ranks amongst the tallest mountains in the world (e.g., 1). A USGS Spokesman said that the growth is not caused the recent winter weather but rather by isostatic uplift. Isostatic uplift, a well known UVa geology professor (2) told us, is when land becomes lighter due to melting ice and the solid part of earth floats higher (3) on the underlying molten material. The uplift on Mount Chipotle is thought to be from melting glaciers due to global warming.

Interestingly, other mountains have been have been popping up in the Mount Chipotle region lately (4). However these formations seem to have more to do with the impending arrival (5) of country music superstar Taylor Swift (6) than isostasy.