First Week on the Summit

2007-09-18 17:23:03.000 – Aubrie Pace,  Summit Intern

Mountain Sunset

Tuesday has arrived and signals the final full day that will close my first week atop Mount Washington. Writing now with more appreciation and awe for the summit, not to mention a drained feeling all over my body, it truly amazes me at what I have done all week. Wednesday (or really “Monday” in Stacey’s definition) morning started at 7:15am with a ride up to the summit. With more gear packed then really needed, I was not able to look out the fog covered windows to watch our ascent. When we had arrived and unpacked the van, we went into a meeting with the staff. Crowded around a table with about 11 other people for 4 hours certainly did set the mood for the rest of the day. Being in the fog for the first 3 days lead for some fun intern jobs such as bringing down an old hose filled with anti-freeze, finding the route of the TV cable, filling out observation forms, changing and recording the AIRMAP, working in the Observatory’s museum and gift shop, and entering data into the computer.

Saturday brought one of the best days I have had in a long time. After a fabulous dinner, prepared for us by our great volunteer who is also Zach’s mom, we realized we had to take an instrument down. We went up to the parapet, the highest point of the observatory where all of the weather instruments take readings from, during the highest wind gusts of the summer recorded at 95MPH. It was no 231MPH, the highest recorded wind gusts by man that happened to be recorded on this very mountain, but with the temperature below freezing and sleet flying at our faces it was intense. Quite really the highest winds I have ever experienced at the top of a mountain, but probably not for long. While the other four were attempting to bring the instrument down, I was in charge of filming the event for the following day’s OBSCAST. After 2 and a half hours, it was brought down to many cheers and we went to bed.

Waking up to my first covering of rime ice was amazing the next day. I quickly grabbed the camera to take some pictures and even managed to catch Nin outside, although not entirely by choice. The day was gorgeous with a temperature just flirting with freezing and little to no wind. Monday proved to be just as good, allowing Peter and I to do some hiking around while fixing the wooden posts held up right by rock piles that line the last mile or so of the AutoRoad. We were able to look across 110 miles of rolling mountains and sit in the rays of warm sun. After some embarrassing photos of me with a piece of construction equipment, see Peter’s comment below, we retreated to the Observatory to continue our intern duties and to witness a breath taking sunset. Even as great as the day was, Monday night was definitely a highlight of the week. With a very clear sky spotted with more stars that can be seen in Barrington, we went out on the deck for a while and could even see the glow of Montréal. Then we proceeded inside to keep Ryan, the night observer, company for a while. One crazy dance party with iStacey later and we were ready for bed, except for Ryan who I believe was probably learning some dance steps late into the night without us.

That’s brings us to Tuesday. I’m sitting here after cleaning the observatory thinking of more and more things that made this week so incredible and fills me with anticipation for next weeks shift. This place is truly incredible.BUENO!


Aubrie Pace,  Summit Intern

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