My Volunteer Week on the Summit

2014-12-10 17:39:53.000 – Mike Carrafiello, Summit Volunteer


It has been a hectic week here on the summit. There is major construction activity to renovate all of the Observatory bunk rooms. In addition to the regular Obs staff, there were several construction people, a videographer, and a student researcher. This made for a very busy but interesting experience. It was quite a difference from my previous two weeks here as a summit volunteer.

The bunk room reconstruction is going very well and nearing completion. The rooms have been reconfigured to greatly increase the comfort and experience of the Obs staff and overnight guests. It will be a very welcome improvement for the participants in upcoming EduTrips, climbing trips and other overnight events.

It was a lot of fun for me to watch and sometimes participate in the filming of various short videos illustrating the Mount Washington winter summit experience. We had a chance to “play” in strong winds of 70 to 90 mph. As an avid hiker I can attest to the difficulty and danger of just trying to stand up in winds of this magnitude let alone trying to hike safely in these conditions. It’s the wind speed, not the temperature, which creates the danger. One can always dress appropriately for extreme cold conditions and remain warm and comfortable. There isn’t anything we can do about strong and gusty winds on an exposed ridgeline.

This week has been a fascinating and enjoyable experience. It was much more varied than usual. In addition to the usual volunteer tasks of cooking and cleaning I had an opportunity to help fix a weather instrument, be featured in a video, do some hiking and even help the construction crew. Each volunteer week brings a different experience and increased knowledge of weather and our environment. Volunteering on the summit is a gratifying opportunity available to members of the Mount Washington Observatory.


Mike Carrafiello, Summit Volunteer

Find Older Posts