Return of the Zlogars (and the Spud Trooper)

2008-05-07 07:00:50.000 – Mike & Sue Zlogar,  Summit Volunteers

no words necessary

Winter returned to the Summit for our second trip as volunteers to the Rockpile. It was great to see the crew again. However, the look on their faces when they discussed the return of winter after a two week hiatus was one of understandable resignation. Back to winter gear for the trip up. We were blessed with beautiful views until we hit near the peak and the snow cat was required for the final leg of the journey. This was a wish answered for my husband Mike and me as we wanted to experience the fun of going up in the snow cat. Wayne’s expertise was greatly admired as we hit a few unexpected washouts in the road from the previous day precipitation.

The week proved memorable with a potpourri of visibility somewhere just beyond your nose, offset by glorious sunsets and 100 mile views of mountain majesty.We were able to get in a couple of days of hiking. Traveling down the Tuckerman ravine trail on dry boulders one minute and across bright and sunny snowfields the next was memorable. The need for wearing your sunglasses while traversing the snow fields was driven home permanently. The view of the bowl from Lion’s Head provided entertainment sporting ant like creatures on skis having a fine time.

Back at the bunker water restrictions were in force at this time secondary to the tanks not being pumped out during the winter months. Hat hair and a protective crust is the norm for the folks pulling duty this time of year and showers the most anticipated and joyous moment when one comes down the mountain after a week of work.

Food preparation is a joy up here and the opportunity to provide nourishment and goodies is a treat for those who volunteer. I’m convinced that anything we served the crew would be met with smiles and they would say it was the best they’ve ever eaten but it’s the silence at dinner when they first dig in that makes you realize they truly do appreciate all that the volunteers provide when they come up to help out. The fun for us is sitting around the table listening to all the good natured bantering after spending a whole day working with the weather.

No report would be complete without the mention of the latest full time obs member, Marty. Marty rocks, he is awesome and be warned…one must be careful of where they sit when he is around. Stealth kitty army crawls over the chairs while they are positioned under the table, several of us when sitting down for a meal have been more than a little taken aback by the yellow eyes that suddenly light up from the “shadow” that has parked itself on your anticipated seat. I swear I could hear him quietly giggle as the sitter almost connected with the sittee.

It’s a beautiful day to head out and back to the real world but with a measure of sadness too. Ryan Buckley, the summit intern will be leaving the Rockpile to return to life as a student at Wentworth Institute for Technology in Boston and as all have told him, he will be missed. Good luck Ryan, may the winds be always at your back!


Mike & Sue Zlogar,  Summit Volunteers

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