Ramblings from a Volunteer

2015-04-14 20:23:57.000 – Gates Ingram, Summit Volunteer


As a Boy Scout it was my first time up Mount Washington with a troop from Dover, NH. I learned very quickly that you don’t take this mountain for granted. While ascending Tuckerman Ravine trail I witnessed a body in a stretcher being brought down from Lunch Rocks. It was death #38 as noted in Not Without Peril by Nicholas Howe. That number has now been exceeded by over 100. You can find the book at the Weather Discovery Center gift shop in North Conway and read about it on page 182.
As a volunteer cook, this is my 10th time serving crews that record weather conditions found nowhere else in the world 24/7/365. This information is needed by scientists, government agencies, universities, media, military, right down to hikers, skiers and recreational enthusiasts. I believe Mount Washington and its environs have one of the highest number of recordable deaths in the world; this on a mountain that is just over 6200’ and has made information available to warn and prevent further incidents.
Walking about the buildings on the Rockpile in the quiet, the history and questions about that history are ever present. What signals and information are passed up and down the antennas of Yankee Building? Who of importance stayed in the Tip Top house? What about the former summit hotels, now replaced by the Sherman Adams Building? I’ve seen folks lounging near the Cog tracks opposite the entryway to State Park’s Gift Shop and the Observatory’s Extreme Mount Washington Exhibit; but I’m still waiting for the moose to show up.

Volunteer Gates Ingram observing sunset on Mount Washington


Gates Ingram, Summit Volunteer

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