Week on the Summit

2007-10-30 18:56:42.000 – Ed O’Malley and John Bauhs,  Summit Volunteers

Tower In Snow

Once upon a time on an overcast October morning in New Hampshire…

…two new summit volunteers, Ed and John, began their journey into the known and unknown. Images of wrinkled and wind-blown meteorologists squinting at their instruments, inflating weather balloons, and lovingly caressing their sling psychrometers…all while dreaming of a 232 mph wind gust (and the accompanying glory, money, fame, and fortune [NOT!] ) flashed into and out of their minds.

Much to their surprise…

…instead of greying beards and bellies, first there was Steve, master of IT the ‘English Gentleman’ and veteran of Antarctic adventures (and a kind instructor of the ways of Shepherd’s Pie), Peter, ‘Boston Red Sox’s #1 fan’, came into view next, promptly parked, turned up the radio, and fell fast asleep… Then came Brian ‘Grease’ Clark and Aubrie ‘The 270 Kid’. Ryan ‘Blaze Orange’ Knapp arrived in his trusty chariot soon after…

They all proceeded down to the lower lot, where they were met by the famous ‘Special K.’ From here, Ed and John traveled up the auto road accompanied by the crew and others. It was a impressive trip through the fog, arriving at the summit at a lofty 6,288 feet.

A busy Wednesday was brought to a close with a meal of pork marsala, chile-lime corn, salad, and apple crisp…

In the morning, Ed and John set out to explore the summit and beyond… This included a hike down Crawford Path to the Lakes of the Clouds, and a return via Tuckerman Crossover, Davis Path, and Crawford again… There were many exclamations of awe and wonder, and many pictures taken…

On Friday, due to good weather, and the presence of his pal Aubrie, the famous summit fox made an extended appearance…all present enjoyed the fajitas that day!

On Saturday, the weather started to take a turn for the worse, much to the delight of the volunteers and crew… Saturday was spent prepping for eight additional mouths to feed, in the form of six EMS hikers and their guides… The dinner, and the dinnertime conversation… were enjoyed by all.

Early Sunday morning (really early!), the summit received a wind gust of over 105 mph. Again, the volunteers and crew were quite pleased… The hikers, despite the breakfast of waffles and bacon prepared by Ed and John, were perhaps less than pleased with the weather’s antics… It really is a long way down… By mid-morning, the hikers rallied and started on their way, and the weather, though somewhat abated, continued through the night… In the midst of this, Ed and John did have the opportunity to enjoy the experience of the wind, fog, and rime ice that the infamous tower has to offer… While the visit from the hikers was enjoyable, it was nice to have things back to normal… Everyone supped upon chili, cornbread, salad, and high-altitude vanilla cake, with mocha buttercream frosting, and a brownie crumble…

Sunday into Monday brought small amounts of rime ice, which the summit is known for, and the mountain vistas came and went with the blowing winds and drifting clouds (things you see) and fog (things you’re in).

Tuesday began the wrap-up for Wednesday morning’s trip down the mountain and a fond farewell (only temporary!) to the crew and environs of Mount Washington.


Ed O’Malley and John Bauhs,  Summit Volunteers

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