First impressions from new intern.

2011-01-13 18:21:18.000 – David Quigley,  Summit Intern

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I’m finally here! After a few months of anticipation I arrived Wednesday afternoon as the new Winter Intern. It already feels like home. Steve, Stacey, and Mike have welcomed me onto their shift. Our volunteers, Steve and Tom, made delicious chicken and chorizo paella on my first night. I have also just been informed that it is Tom’s birthday so Happy Birthday Tom! That explains why he has been working so hard on that birthday cake in the kitchen.

I have been at the summit only two days so I have experienced just a tiny subset of Mount Washington weather. Throughout today, however, I have seen the weather change drastically. I woke up at 6:00 AM and found out that coffee and a shower are not the best ways to wake yourself up in the morning. After accompanying Stacey on her 6:30 observation I now prefer a 80+ mph gust to cure my early morning grogginess. By 8:00 AM, the wind had died down a bit. Still, I quickly discovered that 70 mph wind is not ideal (but pretty fun) shoveling conditions. I guess I would compare it to a snowball fight in a hurricane. A cold hurricane. Walking into the wind on the observation deck proved to be two steps forward one slide backwards. It seems that my threshold for needing crampons may be a bit lower than that of Steve, who enjoyed a more leisurely stroll across the deck. By afternoon, the summit was out of the clouds and winds had subsided to about 40 mph. My post-lunch walk revealed a calmer and brighter beautiful summit and allowed me to snap some nice photos. The ease with which I walked around the observation deck amazed me after fighting the wind just a few hours earlier. I was pleased when clearing clouds revealed a much whiter Wildcat after Wednesday’s storm. By 5:00 PM, the home of the world’s worst weather provided us with a world class sunset. 20 mph winds allowed for great viewing from the deck. ooohhh aaahhh

So, after two days on the rockpile, I love it. Everything is new and exciting to me. I am looking forward to more extreme weather and maybe a few bluebird days. I have been eyeing Great Gulf all day and cannot wait to get some turns in come ski season. While I have been excited all day, it seems as though Marty is a little more used to life in the Obs.

 

David Quigley,  Summit Intern

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