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Posted at 10:00 AM ET, 01/13/2011

Wintry views from Washington Monument

By Kevin Ambrose

Facing south, showing the Jefferson Memorial and the Tidal Basin, January 12, 2011. This photo was taken from the top of the Washington Monument.

If you want to avoid the crowds at the Washington Monument, visit the morning after a snowstorm. I made a trip to the monument on the morning of January 12, the day after 1-2" of snow fell across the area. There were no lines, I did not have to wait for an elevator, and there were only a few of us at the top of the Monument. The National Park Service employees were very friendly and I even learned something from the guides during the visit. I was told that the Washington Monument is the tallest free standing structure in the world without steel support or reinforcement. It's basically a stack of stones and cement that stands 555 feet tall, about 100 feet taller than the Great Pyramid of Giza.

When I arrived at the top of the Washington Monument, I immediately noticed large icicles hanging over many of the windows. I decided to photograph through the icicles to show the context of the winter scene. I really didn't have a choice, they covered all of the windows that faced east and south.

Keep reading to see more wide angle views from the top of the Washington. I have also included a YouTube video.

The rising sun shines light on the White House after a snowstorm dropped between 1-2" of snow across the area. This photo was taken from the top of the Washington Monument, January 12, 2011.

I photographed all four angles from the monument, facing north, east, south (shown earlier), and west. The surrounding landscape was snow covered and much of the Potomac River was frozen. It's a classic winter scene in Washington that is not often viewed by tourists, particularly from the top of the Washington Monument.

Facing north, showing the Ellipse and the White House, January 12, 2011.

Facing east, showing the Mall and the Capitol, January 12, 2011.

Facing west, showing the Lincoln Memorial, the WWII Memorial, and the Reflecting Pool, January 12, 2011.

A video of the Jefferson Memorial and frozen Tidal Basin, shot from the top of the Washington Monument, January 12, 2011.

A photo from the base of the Washington Monument, January 12, 2011. Strong winds followed the snowstorm.

By Kevin Ambrose  | January 13, 2011; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Photography  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Forecast: Plenty of sun but no warmth
Next: Does snow cover extent debunk global warming?


very nice! thanks!

Posted by: mkbf26 | January 13, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I renew my praise & request for CWG screensaver shots like these above.
Those icicles make me laugh.
The flags at half mast make me sad.

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | January 13, 2011 10:33 AM | Report abuse

FIREDRAGON47: Ian and I are still talking about doing a weather photo post with screensaver links included, perhaps a seasonal type of post with recent shots. Stay tuned...

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | January 13, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

These photos are spectacular! Thanks for posting them!

Posted by: annr4 | January 13, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

LOVED these pictures. The one of the WhiteHouse is truly spectacular. Thanks for sharing. We posted a few of our winter pictures on a local blog:
but would also love to see more of yours.

Posted by: SnowLover1 | January 13, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

These are great - wish I was there to see this too. But now you have given us a great tip on when to go to the Monument. No advance ticket was needed (first in line, first served), correct? Anyway, the snow makes DC look great. Really glad you captured it. Funny ps, I thought the ice were photoshopped tornadoes touching down all over the tidal basin, but realized it wasn't April Fools Day (when you always post a great joke photo!) :-)

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 13, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Good stuff Kevin!

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | January 13, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Very nice... regarding tall stone structures, Beverly's Mill (aka Chapman's Mill) which can be seen at Thoroughfare Gap from I-66, had a pre-fire height of 7 stories and was said to be the tallest stacked stone structure in the U.S... I'm not sure if the anchoring/stabilization process underway would disqualify its title.

Posted by: spgass1 | January 13, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Are we sure those aren't ice tornadoes?

Posted by: Andrew53 | January 13, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

On another subject...has Bob Ryan ever gotten around to doing an online weather almanac...perhaps a joint collaboration with Doug Hill and the ABC 7 team???

Posted by: Bombo47jea | January 13, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Andrew53 - confirmed. They are not ice tornadoes!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | January 13, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Wonderful photos, as usual, thanks for sharing them!

Posted by: Snowlover2 | January 13, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

i drove by that mill many-a-time back in the 80s going to and from va tech. always meant to stop and photograph that and the many tumble-down shacks along 66 and 81.... never did, though.

Posted by: walter-in-fallschurch | January 13, 2011 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Great shots! Thanks for sharing them!

kim in manassas

Posted by: ksrgatorfn1 | January 13, 2011 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Kevin, these are awesome! What a great idea. Love the icicles framing the shots.

Posted by: Ann-CapitalWeatherGang | January 13, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Yep. Sure looked like frozen waterspouts to me. Day after the Day After Tomorrow.

Posted by: Groff | January 13, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the comments. I instantly thought the icicles looked like ice tornadoes when I checked out the photos on the camera. Regarding the Washington Monument, tickets are free at the information center at the bottom of the Monument Hill. When it's not crowded, it's a simple process of getting a ticket, checking through security, and riding the elevator to the top.

Posted by: Kevin-CapitalWeatherGang | January 13, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

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