2011-04-20 16:45:11.000 – Kay Hanson, Summit Volunteer
Having to run up to the top of a mountain to pop a meatloaf in the oven was truly a first for me. Gigi and I have been summit volunteers for this shift. We were taking a much needed beak from our cooking and cleaning chores by going out for an afternoon hike. The 35 to 40mph winds were blowing at our backsides as we jaunted down to the Cow Pasture. We started to circle back up the Nelson Craig trail. A near 50mph gust blasted us as the trail began to get steeper and more rugged. Walking in high winds on a steep ice covered trail with crampons on was just a bit out of our comfort zone. We decended back down to the Auto Road, looked at our watches and realized we were going to be late. Dinner was scheduled for 5:30 pm. We had to get the meatloaf in the oven by 4:00 pm. Let’s just say we fought the wind, ice and cold (a below zero wind chill) accomplishing the fastest assent of the Auto Road I had ever made. We bust through the visitor’s center entrance of the Observatory building at 4:00 pm. I whipped off my crampons, flew down the tower stairs and turned on the oven. I took the prepared meatloaf from the refridgerator and popped it in the oven as soon as the temperature reached 350 F. Whew, we made it!!
We have had a great week up here. We have seen two sunrises, one sunset, the full moon, and a white summit covered in rime ice One night the peak wind was 102 mph. We’ve had to cook for a group of 11 people on an Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School hiking trip, and for a film crew. We have enjoyed the Obsevatory staff and meeting Marty.
Kay Hanson, Summit Volunteer