My Week Among the Clouds

2017-01-25 10:24:39.000 – Evelyn Compton Padham, Summit Volunteer


I began my Mt Washington summit adventure last Tuesday before dawn in northwest NJ.
Traveling with my winter gear, my staple of fresh herbs for cooking and a few of my favorite comfort food recipes; I pondered what lay ahead during my 6.5 hour drive.
I imagined it would be a combination of an educational trip and an episode of Food Networks’ “Chopped”.
“Feed 17 for dinner with 1 freezer item, and 3 items from the pantry, you have 60 minutes and you must make a dessert”…
This was my first winter adventure on Mt Washington having visited 3 times in the summer months. My connection to the summit is also a personal one, since my son Tom has spent the last 4 years advancing in his profession from 2 stints as summer intern to Staff Meteorologist and Education Specialist. He has shared his many adventures with life in the clouds, rime ice, winds well over 100 mph, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. I was hoping that nature would not disappoint me this week and it didn’t!
Looking back on my week on the summit I can say that I’m glad I took the leap of faith and boarded that snow cat. I was able to witness firsthand how a unique team of observatory staff collaborate, problem solve, and find a solution every day on the fly in some of the most extreme conditions. Their passion for their field was evident in dinner conversation with overnight and day trips this week.
I was fortunate to witness a few of those beautiful sunrises, a rare green flash and wind gusts that topped 116 this week in addition to meeting a great group of day an overnight visitors. I highly recommend that you consider one of the many options that the summit has to offer, from an educational day trip or overnight to volunteering; you won’t be disappointed.


Evelyn Compton Padham, Summit Volunteer

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