Monday, August 07, 2006

Seafair and the Perseid Meteor Shower

It was Seafair in Seattle last weekend (AKA MASSIVE boat party on Lake Washington.) For some, "Seafair" means "Let's get out of town." And if you were in that clique, Mt Rainier provided a pretty good place to avoid: 1. the heat, 2. the traffic, and 3. the hydroplane chaos... but not 4. the Blue Angels, who managed to buzz around the mountain a few times. By comparison to the scene around Lake Washington, The Mountain wasn't such a bad place to be. The freezing level topped 14k and there was little wind!

It's getting to be that time of year when many of the non-standard routes really start to fall out of shape. Most climbers turn their attention to routes like the DC, Emmons, Kautz and Tahoma Glacier...

On the astronomy front, the upcoming weekend marks the height of the Perseid Meteor Shower. The annual light show peaks around August 12th, but you can view an increased number of meteors throughout the week. If the weather is clear (and the moon or city lights aren't too invasive) observers can often view 30-60 meteors per hour! The best part for climbers? You don't need a scope or binocs! If you've the extra time, it's worth spending a night at high camp just to check it out.