Friday, August 10, 2012

Summit snowcover - late July

Recent posts have detailed the extent of snowfall during the 2012 Long Rains, which included a couple atypical events during June. Below are some images from the summit taken at the very end of July, snowing snowcover on the crater rim and within the crater.  Imagine the effect of this snowcover on energy exchanges at the crater surface, when perhaps only 30% of the intense incoming solar radiation is absorbed rather than roughly 80% without snow. The effect on people climbing the mountain is likewise severe, exposing skin to radiation from all directions; big sunhats offer protection only from incoming sun!

These images were shot by Peter Greig during a reconnaissance climb for the project Wings Of Kilimanjaro (WoK). In early 2013 a large number of pilots will paraglide and hang-glide off the top while raising a substantial amount of money for Tanzanian charities. Additionally, their goal is to "reinforce the universal need for humanity, compassion and generosity inherent in all of us". More photos from the reconnaissance are available on facebook.

Image captions:
  1. late afternoon in the crater, with Uhuru Peak to the left and the Furtwängler Glacier to the right
  2. nearing Uhuru Peak, showing snowcover on the ridge above the southern glaciers
  3. morning within the crater, walking East between Furtwängler Glacier and the descent from Stella Point; note some topographic shading here
  4. looking North across the crater from high on Uhuru Peak; "crater camp" is visible in the foreground by the Furtwängler Glacier fragments, with the Northern Ice Field in the distance. At this time of year, when the sun is in the northern hemisphere, north-facing slopes such as those above crater camp are the first to become snow free.
Peter Greig photo, Wings Of Kilimanjaro

Peter Greig photo, Wings Of Kilimanjaro
Peter Greig photo, Wings Of Kilimanjaro
Peter Greig photo, Wings Of Kilimanjaro

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