A Fresh Perspective

2015-01-18 20:35:39.000 – Nate Iannuccillo, Summit Intern

 

Beginning my first shift week as the new summit intern, I was thrilled for many reasons; with one of those being the thought of seeing the mountain in the winter for the first time. Going on my fifth day on the summit, I have already experienced a wide range of winter weather conditions that the summit has to offer.

My first few days on the summit were relatively clear with modest winds. It proved to be a very nice start to my stay as I enjoyed the picturesque views in every direction. During my first night, I viewed an exceptionally starry night and far reaching visibility was a nice welcome to the night sky. While I greatly enjoyed seeing my favorite constellations smile back at me, the vantage point of the Observatory gave a unique perspective that I didn’t expect. As I gazed into the valley, I could see the lights from many of the nearby towns: Berlin, Littleton, St. Johnsbury, and all the other places I imagined I would see. What I didn’t expect to see was the glow of far off cities like Montreal, and even Quebec City to the North and Boston to the south. This struck me, because I realized how much light comes from big cities and I could clearly see its effect on illuminating the night sky.

Focusing more on my immediate surroundings, there are many noticeable intricacies in the land. When gazing at the mountain from the valley, it is easy to think of the whitened summit as completely covered by snow, but after spending time on the peak, it is clear the immense effect the wind has on the landscape. The wind, ever-turbulent, stirs and transforms its boundaries, its identity constantly reflected by the snow and ice. It seems like no two patches of Earth are the same, as the chaotic nature of the wind runs its course. Some areas remain bare while others stay embedded in the snow and ice, likely to be released only by the spring thaw.

This perspective gives me a fresh reminder of the opportunity I have to study the weather in a unique place like Mt. Washington. As I begin working on my first forecasts from the summit, I am reminded of what it means to study and interpret the weather. Events and observations that may appear random and chaotic at first glance usually have some sort of underlying order to them, and Mt. Washington has surely reminded me of that. Time in the mountains always seems to teach me something, and I am especially excited to see what more I will learn from Mt. Washington.

 

Nate Iannuccillo, Summit Intern

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