Extended sojourns to Mt. Washington keep us captive to the charms of the Rockpile

2016-01-28 12:29:24.000 – Will Broussard, Education Coordinator


In late May of 2012 I spent a week at the summit, getting a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the Mount Washington Observatory. I learned as much as I could about the mountaintop weather station, its staff of observers, and their daily work in one of the world’s most extreme environments. I witnessed two direct lightning strikes to the radio antennas in addition to a magnificent sunrise over the coast. Scarcely a month into my new job as Outreach Coordinator, I was sold.

 Photo by Will Broussard

Three and a half years later I am half-way through my second week-long stint at the summit of Mt. Washington. The buildings are a much quieter place this time of year. I am treated to sunrise alpenglow along the Presidential Range, winds gusting over 100mph and my first attempt at de-icing. Everything is covered in thick rime and the white, boulder-studded alpine zone stands in stark contrast to the forests and fields of the valley. I have trouble staying indoors on clear days, when the pressure to get outside overrides my desire to craft emails and make phone calls. On foggy days I am content to stay indoors.

No matter the weather, repeated contact with the alpine zone reminds us why we decided to work here.  


Will Broussard, Education Coordinator

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