Wednesday, July 13, 2016

"Island in the Sky": Grandfather Mountain (Clemson Expedition)

The Grandfather Mountain park near Linville NC shows a 27 minute short film called “Island in the Sky” about one of the Blue Ridge’s highest peak.  (It is the highest Peak if Mount Mitchell doesn’t count since Mitchell is behind the main ridge.) The film is produced by Clemson as part of its Expedition series.

The  film, narrated by Patrick McMillan, shows that the ecosystems on the mountain are unusual because of the steep slopes and rapid elevation change, and partly because the mountain is the highest peak around, exaggerating the Bernoulli winds and extreme conditions(the highest winds are typically around 110 mph, whereas on Mt. Washington NH they can go over 200 mph).  The life systems at the 5900-foot peak (the parking area and swinging bridge are at exactly one mile elevation, like Denver) resemble those probably those in northern Quebec.

At the end of the film, biologists have to show their rappelling skills to get samples.

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