Roxy Ann: Full Conditions 15-Dec-2021

The highest point in Scotland is Ben Nevis. At 1,345 m (4,413 ft), it’s not as tall as some mountains but, at 56° N, its gullies (and those on other Scottish mountains) “…presented a fearsome, icy sight in winter.” It was in these sinuous and confining gullies that the Scots, lead by the legendary Tom Patey, ushered in ice climbing’s modern era. At those more northerly latitudes, winter storms howling down out of the Arctic can beleaguer the poor ice climber with what came to be termed full conditions. 🥶 I’ve climbed in such conditions and do not recall the experience as being “fun” by any measure used by a sane person.

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Roxy Ann: Light + Fog 07-Dec-2021

Thus far, the powerful atmospheric rivers of wet and wind have all passed to our north. This has left the Bear Creek and Rogue River Valleys mired in fog and stagnant air for days and days. But nearby Roxy Ann Peak often pokes through these mists into sunshine. This morning we had time for a quick exercise walk around the peak’s loop road – which today circumscribed the border between the light above and the fog below. This walk on Pearl Harbor Day proved to be a spectral experience in an otherwise familiar landscape.

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Before the Deluge: Prescott Park 21-Oct-2021

After the hottest and perhaps one of the driest summers in Oregon’s history, we are apparently going to be swamped for days by a veritable river of moisture. A Class 5 atmospheric event! Buckets of magical sky water! This will certainly take the edge off the drought 🙂 even if it might trigger floods in the burn scars left by this summer’s wildfires.😟 The color scheme in the GOES 17 water vapor image above seems to capture the intensity of what’s coming our way.

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Big Sky Over Roxy Ann (Southwest Oregon) 29-Jul-2021

We’ve been having some peculiar weather lately (but then haven’t we all 🙄). First heat domes, drought, wind, and smoke. Now thunderstorms and rain – one whole day of rain! Today the atmosphere sought to combine heat, smoke, and incipient thunder clouds. The result turned a simple exercise hike up Roxy Ann Peak into a lot of sky ogling. I only had my phone along. It can’t do all the things my “real” cameras can but it does enough – and takes snaps good enough – to sometimes make me feel like a Luddite for still using those “real” cameras. Sigh. Now if I could just figure out how to make the phone’s camera filters make me look 30 years younger. And more handsome too. 🤔

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Snow Festoons Roxy Ann (Southwest Oregon) 15-Mar-2021

We guess that snow was more common in Southern Oregon at lower altitudes back in the day. In the last few years, however, it seems you need to be above 6,000 feet (1,828 m) to have a chance at serious, lasting snow. At just 3,573 ft (1,089 m), nearby Roxy Ann Peak rarely qualifies for a snowy mantle of any depth or longevity. Last night, however, a powerful, wet, cold front swept through, leaving 6 inches (15 cm) of fluffy white stuff on Roxy. It won’t last long. But, anticipating it’s arrival, and verifying same from our back porch early this morning, allowed us to speed up there to enjoy it while it lasts. Snow, when you don’t have to shovel it, dig your car out of it, or otherwise involuntarily mess with it, is truly enjoyable. And it really does give Roxy and the surrounding area a whole different look and feel. 🙂

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