2010-02-10 09:13:28.000 – Kathy and Tim Emerson,  Summit Volunteers

It’s good to be back!

Good morning! It’s Wednesday, shift-change day, and my husband, Tim, and I are finishing up our volunteer week. First time up here in the winter for us, and what a week it was! The top of Mount Washington is truly a unique place at any time, but in the winter it has a character, and a few surprises, all its own.

We had a wonderful variety of weather. There were some days with temperatures way below zero and winds of up to 80 mph (I don’t know what the wind chills were then-we were hibernating inside); but I did try to get outside as much as I could. After venturing out one day and immediately getting blown into a little building nearby, I learned the joys of crampons for helping to stay anchored to the ground. My personal best was being able to walk upwind in 65 mph-I have no idea how the crew here does it when it gets over 100! At the other extreme, we were lucky enough to have two gorgeous days, with temperatures about 20 degrees (above!), and gentle breezes-perfect for a hike on the trails around the summit. I can’t even begin to tell you how beautiful it is here-the rime ice formations, the sunrises and sunsets, the soft, quiet glow of the mountains in the early evening light… but I hope a few photos will help.

Highlights of the week for us:

-Celebrating Stacey’s birthday here on Friday-with crepe paper streamers, a Chinese New Year centerpiece, little paper umbrellas for our drinks, and birthday cake with chocolate cream pie filling. 26! Can anyone really be that old? That night we were also able to tear the boys away from their action movies for game night. It’s been fun feeding this crew-we (and our food) felt very appreciated.

-Helping Stacey and Drew film an obscast, including a hike down to one of the remote weather monitoring stations (on one of those gorgeous days). They do have a lot of fun putting those together!

-Entertaining an overnight group from Stoko Skin Care, and a group of day-trippers; it’s always fun to see the summit through other people’s eyes and hear their stories about their adventures out in the cold and wind.

-Waking up sometimes in the middle of the night to hear a faint “tink, tink, tink” and then going up one night with Mike to de-ice the weather instruments on top of the tower in the howling wind (where I could barely stand up)-I came away with a renewed appreciation for the strength and diligence of these guys!

We so appreciate having the opportunity to spend another week up here, and can highly recommend it to anyone…as long as you like beautiful views, cooking, lots of snow and ice, washing dishes, wild weather, cooking, fun people, washing dishes…thanks so much! We had a ball!


Kathy and Tim Emerson,  Summit Volunteers

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