2014-01-15 18:29:13.000 – Charlie and Jeanine Kinney, Summit Volunteers
The summit of Mount Washington is another year older and my wife and I are here to celebrate that. After twelve years and even more trips, it is difficult to find a new topic to write about; but not unlike the mountain, this comment appeared from the fog. As directed, we arrived at the base on January 7th at 7:30 AM. Slim, our Snow Cat operator, and Craig, his co-operator, were there readying things for the ride up. Soon after, the rest of the up-going shift arrived only to find out that the trip was canceled due to high winds and zero visibility. One might ask, why not earlier? With ever changing conditions, sometimes that isn’t possible. Everyone reacted politely but, having risen very early for some and being timely obviously disappointed everyone. The phone conversation with the summit also echoed disbelief as they had already been up an extra day because of the holiday.
The following morning arrived along with several familiar faces and we finally departed for the summit without a hitch. The trip included two men working on the museum so our week promised to be busy. Arriving at the summit there were hugs all around reconnecting with folks we hadn’t seen for a year. The crew then moved the weekly supplies to the kitchen where we met the volunteers we were replacing and got acquainted.
The schedule for the week included three groups, which meant cooking dinner for 19 people on those days. Add to that baking goodies and creating interesting soups hoping to provide something different for the crew. The week continued and we met many interesting folks and reconnected with some old friends. The State Park crew have become some of our extended family as well and it is good to catch up with their lives. The Snow Cat crew has also expanded with some new faces adding to an ever-increasing circle of friends.
The weather was cold and windy most of the week presenting the crew with constant deicing and difficult walks to the precipitation can. Standing in the kitchen hearing the familiar ‘clanging’ noise of the iron bar on ice covered metal one more time.
If all this sounds like so much gibberish I must ask, have you seen the movie ‘Ground Hog Day?’ Waking every morning faced with a carbon copy of the last. Why would anyone subject themselves to that? Why indeed, because it’s like nothing and nowhere else!
Charlie and Jeanine Kinney, Summit Volunteers