Volunteer’s Comments

2013-08-28 08:27:53.000 – Claudia Blackburn, Holly Kylen,  Summit Volunteers

Most of the Crew Poses on the Summit

It never gets old. Mount Washington has marked many passages in our lives. And when we arrived at the base of the auto road to begin our volunteer week with the Mount Washington Observatory (MWOBS), we were overwhelmed with gratitude for this opportunity and with memories — memories of celebrating many New Years with both family and friends, group climbs and solo hikes across the seasons, memorial and fund raising summits, late spring picnics in Tuckerman ravine, and a few occasions in providing assistance in carrying skiers off the mountain.

It never is the same. Through the years, Mount Washington has enthralled us with its diversity of trails, vegetation, and weather. No matter how many times we have hiked and/or climbed in the Presidential range, it has always offered a new perspective or experience. This week, living on the top and serving as a volunteer, has been no different. The extreme changes in temperatures, wind, and clarity were remarkable. It was as if we were experiencing the weather through the photographic technique of time lapse. The views changed so rapidly and the clouds past by so quickly, it felt as if someone was condensing the recording of an entire day’s weather into a minute. It felt surreal.

It never is taken for granted. From the outset, we have respected Mount Washington’s infamous weather. And many years before we joined the MWOBS we truly depended on the weather reports to determine activities or to preclude previous set climbing or hiking itineraries. So it made sense to us over a year ago to show our appreciation and support for this legendary institution, and hence, fundraising began fervently for MWOBS’ Seek the Peak. Now after spending a week with the MWOBS on the summit, we have much more respect not only for Mount Washington’s weather, but for the diligence of data collection by the weather observers and the role that this data plays in climate research, nationwide forecasting models, regional weather reports, and hiker safety. We have a renewed perspective of Mount Washington’s weather, and one that reinforces the importance of not taking the mountain or the MWOBS for granted.

With Gratitude and Respect,


Claudia Blackburn, Holly Kylen,  Summit Volunteers

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