Memorial Day 2014 – Exhilarating!

2014-05-28 08:34:04.000 – Preston and Brenda Conklin,  Summit Volunteers


Standing on top of the weather instrument tower (known as the parapet) above the summit of Mount Washington in fog with winds consistently above 60 mph couldn’t have been more fun! In our full winter gear, including the required ski goggles, we encountered conditions of almost no visibility, and we had to hang on or lean into the wind to stay upright. After several days of fog and moderate wind in the 20-30 mph range, this was the experience we had been waiting for. We have also enjoyed some spectacular views when the clouds blow by and the fog lifts.

If you are an Observatory member and have a week off, we recommend you apply to be a Summit Volunteer. You must commit to staying on the summit the entire week – no commuting. Also, if you wish to volunteer for a week in the winter, you must first spend a summer week volunteering to become familiar with the routines. Our innumerable questions have been answered as we learned about several weather instruments (barograph, pitot anemometer, sling psychrometer, and the Hays wind chart). A special treat for our week has been seeing the museum exhibit called ‘Extreme Mount Washington’ come to life as it was assembled by Mystic Scenic Studios.

We have cooked and cleaned for the 13-person staff (2 interns, 4 observers, 2 volunteers, 1 docent, 2 museum attendants, and 2 exhibit constructors). Living with these friendly and interesting people has been great. We served as a test audience for the interns training to lead tours of the observatory and for the slide presentations on rime ice and alpine flowers presented by the museum’s volunteer docent. At night in the living room we shared laughs, stories, funny videos, and DVDs.


Preston and Brenda Conklin,  Summit Volunteers

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