2009-02-23 02:23:10.000 – Mike Carmon, Observer
A typical shift at the Observatory averages about 5-7 staff for the week. During the winter months, however, we receive guests of all sorts: EduTrips, Climbing Trips, Day Trips, and this week, a group of students from Germany. Even though one would expect the summit of Mt. Washington to be a place of isolation, there is no hint of that in the winter at the Observatory.
Some would call it an ironic parallel to our last shift, when an EduTrip remained on the summit for an extra night because of winds topping out over 100 mph. This week, the combination of snow and winds has made for some impressive drifts on the auto road, which has all but restricted access to the summit via snow cat. Several attempts have been made to plow the road and plow through the low visibilities, but so far, our cat has not been successful. As a result, our German friends have remained on the summit for two extra days, thanks to the infamous ‘world’s worst weather.’ Will attempts to reach the summit be successful on Monday? It’s very unlikely, considering we are expecting up to two feet of snow and hurricane force winds by Monday evening!
But the mood on the summit has remained upbeat, and everyone is making the best of the situation. We were even treated to some German food for dinner last night! Hopefully everyone can take something good from this experience, including a greater appreciation for the weather on Mt. Washington.
Mike Carmon, Observer