Adventure with Kal: Meet Seek the Peak Steward Kally Abrams

By Kally Abrams

It was mid-July and my calendar was wide open for the next couple of weeks so I looked into events nearby that peaked my interest.

As an ambassador for Minus33, I’d seen their post that a few members from Minus33 would be joining an event called “Seek the Peak” in under a week. It was the 23rd year for this event, with the purpose to fundraise for the Mount Washington Observatory to sustain educational and scientific programs.

It had all of the elements I enjoy, but time was short so I had to move quickly if I wanted to be an active participant; one who carried their own weight. An email was sent— a quick reply stated they’d love to have me join their team and the expectations were outlined.

Digging in, I created my event page and began my journey of fundraising. I have a motto I employed years ago that is pretty simply and mostly effective as well: “If you don’t ask the answer is already no.” I began asking friends to chip in. I poured my soul into a bit of creative writing, hoping that as my words fell off the electronic page, they’d be drawn to donate to this cause.

It was a trifecta for me:

· I was not only donating my time, but investing it in a non-profit that continually shares the science and wonder of Mount Washington, the home of the world’s worst weather.

· I was going to hike to the top of Mount Washington, which I’ve dubbed Mr. 6,288, in for what I could tell was an unsettled weather kind of day with my peeps from Minus33.

· I was going to attend an after party they called the Après Hike Expo with live music, tasty treats, raffles, and Tuckerman’s beer.

The first donation was my own as I tried to inspire others to follow, clicking that donate button. My goal was a small humble amount overall. It’s a balance asking for donations, you lean over the edge of being perceived as a pest by those seeing your request to simply being persistent and dedicated to a great cause.

The morning of Seek the Peak was upon us and I wanted to know the forecast: Naturally, I went to the Mount Washington Observatory (MWOBS) higher summits forecast website. I knew that down at the base it was going to be a beautiful day, but those rays of sunshine and warmer temps weren’t necessarily what was in store as we’d hike up Tuckerman Ravine Trail. The morning had a slight chill, perfect for getting boots on and meeting the team I’d be hiking with. After very brief introduction to those I didn’t know I was given a pair of new Seek the Peak Minus33 socks.

Kally (left) with her Seek the Peak 2023 team, Minus33.

A quick sock change, a picture at the trail sign and we were off. There were four of us and a four legged furry friend in our group, but there were so many other people out on the trails for this fundraising day. We initially played the classic leap frog with other hikers where the trail is wider at the beginning, cordial “enjoy your hike”, “see you at the top”, “do you think it’ll (meaning rain) hold off until we reach the summit” exchanges were made as our footsteps fell behind and the true elevation gain began.

We reached a section of the trail that was my favorite as it resembled a staircase with beautiful scenery surrounding us as water cascaded down below. This was a pinch point on the trail, staying on the trail and not stepping where human footprints leave traces on the natural delicate landscape. We were in no hurry, even with the chance of drops from the sky above threatening us with moisture that would actually wash away some of my sweat. Hiking is a plethora of fun when you are prepared for the elements, have filled your body with sustenance, and a group that enjoys trail chatter along with you.

Enjoying the journey (in Seek the Peak socks)!

There were ample spots for photos to be taken as we each took in the day on the trail as we inched closer to our goal. There is preparation and then there is luck. I don’t want to comingle those too much, but as luck would have it the rains held off until we tucked into the café of the Observatory. It wasn’t a deluge, but the clouds certainly took hold, bringing with it rain and a bit of chilly winds. While inside, we learned of an opportunity none of us were aware of: Folks who were hiking Seek the Peak were invited for a behind-the-scenes tour of the weather room and tower, along with chats with staff and board members. I asked if I could also meet Nimbus, but I was told he was probably enjoying his mid-day catnap. I had another secret plan I was hatching in order to puurhaps scratch his whiskers or offer my snuggly Minus33 top for him to curl up in.

The tour of the Observatory was an absolute treat! Having hiked Mr. 6,288 multiple times over the past dozen or so years from seemingly every direction in a host of weather events along with an epic run (I use that word loosely), I’d often enlisted the wise weather wisdom of the higher summits forecast to plan my adventures. Each hike should be treated as their own, while drawing from past experiences— what worked best and what was a bust. Trusting your gear is a must and I, along with my fellow hiking community, rely on what MWOBS records; fact based on science data-gathering and weather modeling.

During the tour there are various stations to stop, listen, and learn from all the years of the past up to the current forecast. Old equipment was on display, new technology is certainly in the mix and along the corridor are years in history that one should absolutely stop and read. As we worked our way to the tower, we learned about the harshest elements that consumed the summit and were fought off in order to keep the instruments recording. We were invited to climb the ladder and step out onto the tiny deck now several feet above the true summit: I felt elated and literally on top of the world!

Heading up to the instrument tower during the Weather Station Tour.

I’d done it, I’d hiked Mr. 6,288 yet again— this time not for me, but for all of you. Sure, my body was rewarded, my senses were heightened, and the weather wasn’t frightening (more the contrary; the mild inclement weather we’d been experiencing all but vanished as we headed back to the trail we’d taken to the top). The rain coat was off, layers stowed back into our packs, a trail snack devoured, and giant smiles all around.

The trail was a little slick from the moisture but the trek back down to Pinkham Notch was blessed with clearing skies with billowing clouds that allowed the humidity that also greeted us to be somewhat diminished with the sun intermittently hidden behind a fluffy cloud.

Once back at my truck, in which I’d slept the night before nearby, I had a quick wardrobe change so I wasn’t too gross for the Après Hike Expo/party. My truck is such a comfy space, as we’d outfitted it to overland in two years prior (that’s an entirely different write-up about the over 10,000 miles exploring and visiting the area where my true romance for hiking began).

The party was lovely, the vendors cheerful, the food wonderful, and the beverages from Tuckerman a welcomed flare. I stayed a while, chatting and relishing in the day, and looked up at the summit, where I had just been, enveloped in clouds yet again.

This year, when I saw the date of the 24th annual Seek the Peak I penned it into my calendar. Not only that, but when I learned that MWOBS was seeking stewards for the event I wrote to them and submitted my name. I’ve created my fundraising page and have started writing my creative content that many of you will receive as we seek together generous donations to fund the non-profit Mount Washington Observatory.

I encourage each of you to stay tuned for more as we are gearing up for what we all hope is an epic day on the trails. Be kind, do good work & live in harmony!

To check out Kally’s adventure blog, visit, and support her Seek the Peak fundraiser here. Visit to register for the event as an individual or team and join us on July 20th to celebrate at Great Glen Trails.

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