2017-01-16 22:07:51.000 – Caleb Meute, Weather Observer / Meteorologist
Well it has been a while since I have been on shift during trip season and I can honestly say that I am pumped for it to have started back up! This past shift we had two climbing trips hike up to the summit and stay overnight with us. These trips are awesome for anyone interested in learning how to hike in these extreme conditions in a safe manner. I personally do not have experience with this type of winter hiking, so I think it is something that I should consider at some point. I rely on our Snowcat to get up to the summit, which is likely the reason I have no experience. The Snowcat requires a lot less energy on my part though so I think I am okay with that for now. When the climbing trips arrive at the summit, we welcome them inside and after a brief period of settling in we all gather for delicious appetizers cooked by our volunteers. After about an hour of socializing and eating, we move on to the kitchen for a home cooked meal once again prepared by our wonderful volunteers. This has gotten me into some trouble this week with eating too much food. As the night observer, I wake up usually just before they arrive at the summit and I always feel the need to eat a little breakfast. After breakfast, it is time for the appetizers and then once I am about full, it is dinnertime. This has made for some uncomfortable nights for me this past week but the food is too good to pass up. After dinner is over, the guests receive a tour of our weather station and then generally hang out for a bit before going to bed. When they wake up, breakfast is waiting for them, once again prepared by our volunteers. Unfortunately, I miss this part because I am already asleep, but if I do not want to gain 10 pounds per shift this is probably a good thing. After breakfast, the group then begins their hike down to finish out an eventful couple of days. The first group this week woke up to winds gusting over 100 mph. Luckily they quickly weakened into the 50-70 mph range… Not a big deal right? This is when guides really come in handy!
Today a day trip made the trek up to the summit in our Snowcat. I would most likely take this route if I were being honest. I would go into detail with these trips but I am asleep for the entirety of them, so for any personal accounts, a day observer should take the helm.
These are great ways to experience the extreme conditions up here on the summit! The volunteer program is a benefit for our awesome members and they come up here for the whole shift with us. It can get busy, especially during the winter but it gives anyone the opportunity to experience the extreme climate for a week straight! If you don’t want to be up here for a full week, check out our Educational Overnight Trips, Summer or Winter Day Trips or Partner-led Climbing Trips at: https://www.mountwashington.org/experience-the-weather/summit-adventures/
Caleb Meute, Weather Observer / Meteorologist