Quite the quiet hike

2012-05-25 18:34:36.000 – Christopher Gregg,  Summit Intern

View of the summit from Lakes of the Clouds

The start of my second shift on Mount Washington has proved to be interesting. Starting off the day with our commute to the auto-road, fellow intern, Adam Brainard, and I were greeted by a number of low level clouds. We both had high hopes for an under-cast upon our arrival to the summit, but found ourselves inside the clouds.

There was a stark contrast in the weather from my previous shift. I had already grown used to high winds and cooler temperatures; however, winds were calm and temperatures hovered in the mid 50’s. After saying goodbye to the down going shift and getting to work on various projects, the fog started to break. Eventually, the breaks in fog became recognizable as massive lumbering fair weather cumulus that scraped on over the summit.

In the late afternoon as the cumulus lifted just a few hundred feet above the summit, and it was apparent that conditions were perfect for hiking. Adam and I ventured on down to Lakes of the Clouds, enjoying the breathtaking views along the way (or perhaps our breath was taken because we aren’t as fit as we would like to think). After a short break at lakes, we began to journey back to the summit for a fantastic meal prepared by our volunteers.

It was on our way back to the summit that I experienced something extraordinary, the most perfect silence. You may think the woods to be quiet, but I can assure you it was nothing like that. There were no animals, no trees to sway in the wind, and more surprisingly at Mount Washington, no wind of which to speak of. There was nothing more than silence when you stood there. No audio stimulation, your breath seemed to disrupt the stillness. Standing there for a few moments, I took in the calm and the surrounding visuals as the sun sank into the evening sky before lumbering back to the observatory and calling it a day.

 

Christopher Gregg,  Summit Intern

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