Vol report.

2010-03-31 05:57:38.000 – Sue Rose,  Summit Volunteer

Summit during sunrise during my week.

I’ve had an amazingly varied and astonishingly beautiful week as one of the volunteer cooks at the Mount Washington Observatory. Tonight, while listening to the drenching rain and winds lashing the Observatory, I’ve had a chance to think back to many of my experiences and the people and photos to go with them. My friend Dan Stone and I have been cooking for up to 16 people this week, as well as having the unique opportunity to experience and photograph life at the Observatory and on Mt. Washington.

We’ve had outstanding rime ice and glaze ice, strikingly beautiful sunrises and sunsets, dense fog and blowing snow, pelting rain, and tonight, our strongest winds of the week, gusting up to 89.8 MPH.

Our week started a day late, when extremely poor visibility on the Mount Washington Auto Road forced a rare cancellation of the weekly shift change. Our operator Pete Roberts had to turn the Bombardier Snow Tractor around at about 4,000 feet and head back down. When Pete brought us to the observatory the next day, the weather was strikingly beautiful, giving us great views all the way. We stopped at around 4,300 feet so that observer Mike Finnegan and intern Nick Lovejoy could clear ice off one of the mesonet sensor which records temperature and other weather data.

There were a number of interesting visitors at the Mount Washington Observatory this week. Eleven science teachers from around New Hampshire and Massachusetts came up to the Observatory for an overnight Edu-Trip led by Steve Roberts . Steve entertained us all with his demonstrations of ways to make scientific principles more understandable. You can see some of his experiments on this weeks ObsCast. One of the science teachers showed the teachers and Mount Washington Observatory staff how to digitally record the chemical reactions.

Later in the week, Cara Rudio from the Observatories N. Conway office, Kristin Hostetter, Gear Editor from ‘Backpacker Magazine’, and Nick pitched tents in 40 to 50 MPH winds on the Observation Deck to compare their performance in the Mt. Washington wind and weather.

We got to enjoy the observatory cat, Marty, learn about and experience some of the infamous Mt. Washington beauty and weather, and were even treated to breakfast one morning made by Nick and Mike! Thanks to all the Observatory staff and my fellow cook Dan Stone for another great week on Mt. Washington.


Sue Rose,  Summit Volunteer

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