The Night Shift

2015-12-02 16:50:35.000 – Marty Basch, Windswept Editor


There’s a question that never gets old around here. What’s it like to live and work up there? Living and working at 6,288 feet certainly has its challenges. The commute’s unlike any other in these parts and those at the top see everything from sublime sultry sunsets to sideways rapid-fire hail that can hurt wicked bad.

But what about at night? While we’re sleeping Observers Ryan Knapp and Tom Padham (and Marty) have the place to themselves, heading out into the darkness for those hourly observations that keep the Observatory humming. There are things that go bump in the night that startle even these seasoned weather observers. If conditions are extreme enough, they’ll check in with a colleague to be safe before venturing outside into the elements.

So much more happens at night. I learned this from both Ryan and Tom who sat down with me, albeit separately, to provide glimpses into the overnight lifestyle and job responsibilities on the mountain. For the most part, they’re night owls on and off Mount Washington. It’s something that suits them. It’s something you’ll read about in Windswept along with stories about a day trip that got turned around before reaching the top because of brutal weather, rime ice, the latest in summit operations, research insights and more.

Who knows? It might even keep you up at night.


Marty Basch, Windswept Editor

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