2007-08-11 23:36:55.000 – Ken Stockwell,  Summit Volunteer

Maggie hard at work

Another “typical” day here on the summit of Mount Washington – FOG! What started out as bright and sunny morning slowly but surely deteriorated into the present fog.

I am one of the long time summit volunteers and came up this weekend to help out my wife Maggie – her 7th summer here on the summit. I have been volunteering at the Mount Washington Observatory since the mid 1990’s – kind of lost count as to how many times I’ve actually been here or how many people I have had the pleasure of meeting over the years, but it has been many. Many people often ask me why I keep coming back and I guess the answer to that question quite simple – I enjoy coming up here, working with the staff, being part of the unique weather that this mountain is famous for. Each trip, the mountain has something different to offer – no two days here are the same. For many years, I volunteered a week in the summer as well as one in the winter but the last few years due to my civilian job, my main volunteer week has been in December. Granted, there has been a lot happening here in winters that I have not seen but there is a lot of “weather” that I have seen. – from heavy snow, extreme cold and wind, to very calm, peaceful conditions that one would rarely associate with the summit of Mount Washington – the home of the World’s Worst Weather.

As my weekend comes to a close and I return to my home town of Fairfax, Vermont, I take with me new experiences, new sights and new sounds. It has been a pleasure to have met Dan Harnos and Maria Zatko, the summit interns and Steve Thunstrom, the new museum attendant. Also, good to see again, Ken Rancourt and his wife Jane, Kyle Paddleford(whom I met last winter), Nin (who can forget Nin) and also Chris Uggerholt, Mike and Diane Pelchat, and Danny Johnson all of whom I have come to know quite well over the years, that work for the NH State Parks.

I wonder what it will be like when I come back this winter – and how things will have changed here in the Observatory and here on the mountain. As was mentioned in an earlier comment by Ken Rancourt, the summit is undergoing a major change with the installation of a new power line to the summit and it will sure be a different experience not hearing the constant hum of the summit power generation facility. Until I return in December, it indeed, has been a pleasure and another great experience (of which I have many over the years) here at Mt. Washington.


Ken Stockwell,  Summit Volunteer

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