My First Week, Part 4: Not in Pennsylvania Anymore Toto
2017-11-30 22:18:22.000 – Caleb Meute, Weather Observer/Meteorologist
When I abruptly left the summit in 2014, I was unsure if I would ever be able to return to working for the Mount Washington Observatory. The day that I tore my ACL, I went down the Auto Road expecting to come back up top the following shift. Unfortunately, that was unable to happen due to the extreme nature of this job and the liability I would carry being up top in the winter. It was tough, but it made me very serious about rehabbing my knee so that it would not get in my way ever again.
When the opportunity to return to Mount Washington presented itself to me, there was no hesitation! I knew that I wanted to return to working on this mountain so I was ecstatic on the drive from Pennsylvania northward prior to my first shift change. This excitement was also met with a bit of apprehension in learning a new aspect of working on top of Mount Washington, nights. I knew that I would be able to learn the new job, but the concept of observing weather in darkness was certainly a bit strange. Lucky for me, I was taught by the legendary Adam Gill and after only one week, I felt like a true weather observing vampire veteran.
The first week back was a mixture of all conditions this mountain offers during the shoulder seasons atop the Rockpile. There were warm and clear days where visibility stretched 130 miles and then cold, icy and foggy days where the ring of crowbars striking the parapet echoed throughout the Sherman Adams Building. Some of the days featured light winds where you could walk around outside with ease, and then others where the winds ramped up to hurricane force which made me realize much like Dorothy to Toto, that I was not in Pennsylvania anymore.
It was a great start to my return to working on the summit of Mount Washington! Since my first week, night observations have become a lot easier and less daunting. That first week, I wondered if I would ever get used to being up all night by myself taking weather observations and completing all of the night observer duties. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am very thankful that I returned to this mountain and the experiences that I have gained, I would not trade for anything!
Caleb Meute, Weather Observer/Meteorologist