Wesley wrote:Tried to ski Columbia today but had to turn around about 200 feet from the summit (after starting at 8,700ft via Frenchman Creek) cause I was getting zapped pretty badly. Lots of electricity in the air I guess. Winds were intense. Fun day though with a good group.
Holy crap it was windy. Sorry you weren't able to claim the ski descent, me and my friends had a really great time though, really enjoyed the experience and meeting some new people.
So, news to me: apparently dry, violently blowing snow can cause static electricity to build up in the air. Wasn't able to find much information on the interwebs about it from a few quick searches, but it's mentioned on a few sites. There's a note in the Avalanche Handbook
cautioning against using electric blasting caps during avalanche control work, because static electricity generated by blowing snow has unexpectedly detonated them.
My one friend said he clicked his poles together at one point and his whole body stiffened up. Thought he pulled a muscle in his back at first, before everybody else started communicating that they were getting zapped. Crazyness.
Heck of a job topping out this weekend, those of you that did. Your determination to fight through that wind to claim a summit is incredible to me.