First week at 6288 feet

2007-05-19 11:04:42.000 – Maria Zatko,  Summit Intern

Undercast Clouds

My first few days up here have been wonderful. I instantly felt comfortable in the observatory. The kitchen is well stocked and the living room is filled to the brim with books and movies – it is incredibly cozy. The weather room upstairs is very professional, but it is loaded with character. I am in the process of learning about the station and all of the instruments and equipment- this is my first experience in the operational field so I have much to learn. But thankfully the other interns, observers, and volunteers here are always willing to help and answer my questions.

The foggy weather has kept me inside more than I wanted, and from what I hear, the winds are calmer than usual. Nonetheless, there have still been some interesting weather happenings here. The first morning I was here we had glazing and much of the observatory was sheathed in a half inch of ice. Once on the tip-top of the observatory, Kyle simply handed me a crowbar and let me have free reign of knocking ice off the poles and ropes.

The first morning here we had very defined undercast conditions- the clouds beneath us were thick in all directions- I felt like I was surrounded by a sea of white. That same morning there was a fogbow right outside the weather station windows. The next morning there were breaks in the undercast and for the first time I saw glimpses of the terrain below. Two nights ago the skies cleared and we went to top of the observatory for a 360 degree view of the sky. I have never seen so many stars.

I went on a long hike yesterday with Alan that quickly turned into a sledding adventure. We found two big patches of snow, sat down and flew down the mountain. We took Tuckerman Ravine’s trail down and the Alpine Garden trail back up. The Alpine Garden was more a creek than a trail- but it was still worth it.

I am really enjoying life up here at 6288 feet. Who would that thought that one could feel so at home living on the top of a mountain? This is going to be a great life experience- how many times in one’s life can you not follow day light savings time, experience undercast cloud conditions, and be most refreshed hiking down the mountain?


Maria Zatko,  Summit Intern

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