2 August, 1997

Nevins Journal 08/02/97

Today we took a trip up I 87 about 2 hours and then off to the area of Lake Placid. The reason for our trip was to drive up White face Mt. and then walk out to two research sites that collect data for Mike's project (Mike Walegur). One was relatively easy to reach about 100 feet down the East side of the summit. To reach the site we took an elevator up 27 stories above the parking lot near the top of the Mt., walked out from the weather station and down the side of the mountain. On the way out we passed over alpine tundra, over the edge and down a rock slide into the start of the tree line. I would like to tell you more about the view but when we went out, the mountain was in the clouds and visibility was about 100 feet.

For those of you who do not know what alpine tundra is like, it is found in mountain regions when ever the weather conditions prevent the growth of trees (above tree line). The plants found at this altitude must be low growing to protect them from the wind and cold, able to live with little available water and poor soil. Below tree line the trees slowly begin to resemble what we are familiar with. Near the line however, the trees are gnarled and slow growing.

After we collected the data from the first site we had to walk down a ridge to the North of the summit about half way down the mountain. This was quit a trip because we went down about 1600 feet and horizontally about 3 miles along a ridge that in clear weather enables you to look into a ski area on one side and Lake Placid on the other. As we descended the tree types and heights changed from right above the ground (less than 3 feet) to trees that appear more nearly normal in height. The vegetation types also changed as coniferous trees were replaced by disciduous trees on the way down.

When we finally came off the mountain about 5 mi and 2600 feet lower we took a second car back up to retrieve our car and went back up to the summit to look around. We could see quit a bit more in the afternoon than we were able to see in the morning. The clouds were enough thinner that we could see about a mile. Unfortunately that was still not much good for more than hazy outlines of the view.

Tomorrow Jeremy comes in and we will work on final preparations. More later.

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