As Our Volunteer Week Finishes…

2012-03-07 16:53:58.000 – Margaret Hanley/Dave MacKenzie,  Summit Volunteers


A very special week at the top of Mt Washington is coming to a close filledwith memories of a unique time with staff, visitors and the mountainexperience. My brother, David, who is on his third trip to the top tovolunteer, brought me along for my second time, my first winter trip. Weflew from California for this week helping out.

Our trip up the mountain in the snow cat was delightful with the warm companyof Slim and a beautiful, cold day of views to the horizon in everydirection. Warmly greeted by the departing volunteer, we set about checkinginventory and planning menus for the week filled with one Edutrip, an EMSClimbing group. A VIP trip and a Day Trip. Taking advantage of the gorgeousviews the first day, we spent an hour or so outdoors, our cameras firingaway in every direction.

Baking madly for a full day started the week off right. And as the weekprogressed, our specialty dishes included taco soup, potato soup andenchiladas made from supplies shipped out from California for a moreauthentic flare. Each day proved special unto itself. We thoroughlyenjoyed the company of all of the visitors arriving by Snow cat driven bySlim and Pete, sharing in their excitement of the trips up the mountain invarying conditions. We spoiled them as best we could and hope they leftwith warm memories of their mountain experience. Their leaders, bothMichelles, were warm, friendly and eager to share their knowledge, watchingover their flocks like mother hens. All of the participants seemed awed bythe operations made possible by dedicated staff 24 hours a day, every day ofthe year. This staff continues to amaze us all!

The arrival of the EMS Climbing trip was a tribute to its leaders andparticipants. They had begun their climb from the bottom at 9 AM andarrived, braving 80 mph wind gusts during their long climb ending here at 4PM. This just blows us away – the passion and bravery and skill required tomake such a trip. They were a wonderful, cohesive group who shared theirmost memorable moments of their climb up, and we also thoroughly enjoyedtheir conversation and company for the night. We sent them on their way thenext AM with bellies full of ham, eggs and cheese scramble, pancakes withhot buttered syrup, fruit and miscellaneous hot drinks. The weather hadcalmed and we hope it made for a more pleasant trip down the mountain.

The VIP’s arrived in the company of Scott Henley and I have no doubt theywere amazed by the uniqueness of the mountain and of the importance of theoperations of the MWO.

Our last full day was again one of wonder, as clear views to the distanthorizons and a full moon are incredible to experience, along with wind gustsof 50+ mph which were fun to play in as we spent more time bundled upoutdoors. This week has been one of extremes, with wind gusts up to 99mph, chill factors at -39 and from fog and blowing snow to expansive views.

Thank you to all the MWO staff for your continued hard work and to all ourvisitors who enhanced our experience on the mountain. And as the Irishblessing goes, may the road rise to meet you, may the wind always be at yourback…and may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Until we meet again, Margaret and David.


Margaret Hanley/Dave MacKenzie,  Summit Volunteers

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