Snow Ghosts

© Jens Preshaw

These beautiful snow formations are called snow ghosts. The architects of snow ghosts are the winds, clouds, and fog that frequently buffet and blanket the ridge tops and summit of the mountain. The casual observer mistakenly thinks that these trees are encrusted with snow, while others erroneously call the coating hoar frost. The truth is that the cover is heavy rime ice. This process is similar to taking very small, but multiple buckets of cold water and splashing them upon the trees and causing them to freeze into a thick layer of ice. It must be difficult for the trees to support all the weight of the rime ice. I had the wonderful experience of snowshoeing through some of these amazing snow formations.

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