Snow, Wind, & Ice: 9 Days on the Summit of Mount Washington
2017-02-22 06:17:50.000 – Ruth Innes and Andy Keegan, Summit Volunteers
The call came on Monday, February 13th. The shift change would occur on Tuesday, February 14th due to anticipated severe weather on Wednesday. For Ruth – not too difficult (lives in Littleton, NH). For Andrew – well it is a long way from Westchester County, NY to the Auto Road in NH! We both scurried around in our respective homes and arrived for a long, adventurous ride in the Snowcat. Wind and snow prevailed on 4.5 hour ride up – it was great!
The observation tower covered in rime ice
The next eight days continued to be adventures in their own right: including snow for over 48 hours straight, winds gusting up to 106 mph, and of course awesome rime ice configurations. We cooked, cleaned, hosted 2 climbing trips and one educational Day Trip, and most important: had a great time! Definitely have enough pictures for a lifetime and have acquired some interesting new recipes to use!
On Tuesday, February 22nd the Gods were good to us: a “Beach Day” up here with Mount Washington being the warmest point in the state with 30°F at 7AM! It was time for an awesome hike to Lakes of the Clouds, then back to cleaning and getting ready for the Wednesday down trip and back to “reality”. If someone were to ask did we work? Absolutely. Did we play? Absolutely. Do we recommend this winter experience to other volunteers? Absolutely!
Ruth atop Lakes of the Clouds Hut
Ruth Innes and Andy Keegan, Summit Volunteers