Last Week On The Mountain

2013-08-04 17:59:59.000 – Alex Carne,  Summit Intern


This is my last week on the summit of Mount Washington, and yet it feels as though my internship started just yesterday! Time really flies here on the Rockpile, and as I pass the half-way point of my final week as a Mount Washington intern, I reflect on my adventure here on the summit.

My first week here on Mount Washington was a hectic one, as we were short a staff member and winter was making a brief return visit to the summit. Mount Washington quickly lived up to its reputation as the ‘Home of the World’s Worst Weather,’ as I witnessed a peak wind gust of 123mph on May 26th, along with over an inch of glaze ice, 5 inches of snow, and over half a foot of accumulated rime ice. Being short an observer, I got an early opportunity to venture outside and take weather observations in addition to deicing the tower. My second week on Mount Washington was a bit more relaxed, as we were fully staffed, and I began to really dig into my intern project. My project asked me to compare weather data from the Hermit Lake shelters to the Mount Washington Summit in an attempt to better understand the conditions that lead to avalanches in Tuckerman Ravine. This week I get to present my findings from this study to the observatory staff.

Summer finally arrived on my third week on the mountain, as most of the remaining snow had melted and temperatures were consistently passing the 50 degree mark. The warmer weather brought several more visitors to the mountain, and the demand for weather center tours was on the rise. Providing tours to observatory members gave me a unique opportunity to learn about the mountain through teaching and interacting with the public. It wasn’t until my fourth week on the mountain that I was finally able to venture out on my first hike; where I traveled down to Lakes of the Clouds Hut twice over the week. Hiking off the summit cone provided me with a different perspective of Mount Washington, and I was able to appreciate the beauty and prominence of the mountain from below.

The Observatory’s Seek the Peak fundraiser took place during my fifth week on the summit. Seek the peak was a day that brought continuous waves of hikers through the Observatory, and it was my job to help provide tours for them. I really enjoyed the experience of getting to interact with the Observatory fans, and I was happy to share my knowledge of the mountain with them.

I have now reached the final stretch of my internship, and it is nice to reflect on all that I have experienced during my time on Mount Washington. I feel that looking back and appreciating my journey is just as important as living the journey itself. I greatly appreciate this opportunity and it has been an honor to work at the Mount Washington Observatory – ‘Home of the World’s Worst Weather.’


Alex Carne,  Summit Intern

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