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Mount Washington State Park Blog: Friday, January 20th

Posted on by Mike Pelchat, Manager of Mt. Washington State Park

Mt Washington State Park Blog, Friday Jan 20, 2012
We had a beautiful clear day at the park on Thursday. Views of 100 miles and closer at hand amazing rime ice formation.

Sherman Adams Summit Building

Observatory Instrument Tower blends in with icy landscape

Lakes of the Clouds AMC Hut

WPKQ Tower

Forerunner to Storm, Notice color of clouds means moisture with-in

Raven looking for a meal

Storm came in overnight gave us about 5″ new powder snow. Overnight I could hear all kinds of strange noises from my bunkroom in lowest level of Sherman Adams Building. Once we are done work for the day and finished last building/systems checks around 6:30 pm there isn’t much to do except crossword puzzles and read. Going to bed early with all the pipes clanging, with the heating system going on and off along with regular concrete expansion ‘bangs’ a unique crashing noise awoke me at 3am. It sounded like a book case hitting ground or someone dropping a box of light bulbs. I thought Marty the cat was up to his tricks but couldn’t find anything out of place. In morning both light bulbs in Obs furnace room were dead but intact. No one else heard anything out of ordinary. Maybe it’s the Presence? The Presence is the ghost that roams the summit especially noticeable after a recent death on the mountain. The Presence is felt but not seen. Maybe a spirit is trying to let me know he/she is around. In the morning we start work after breakfast at 7am doing rounds and then starting in on our projects such as painting and woodworking repairs.

Another blizzard overnight

We fielded several calls from our tenants arranging for rides up to work on their radio equipment. Seems like the 130mph peak wind last Wednesday tweaked some radio gear. Charley from the Cog Railway left a message that they have been up as high as long trestle recently testing the snow blower rigged to fit on one of their diesel engines. If weather is good next week they may try it even further up the mountain. Who knows in the future we could have train service to the summit when conditions are good so we can share some of these incredible winter views with you!

Cog RR

Just a little more on radios, Bob Perry station engineer for CUMULUS (new parent com. Of WHOM & WPKQ), told me that the areas first FM ration station on the summit, WMNE was on 98.1 originally. When they removed the transmitter from the summit they moved it to Boston and re-tuned it to 98.5. This became WNAC FM which was also owned by John Shepard and Yankee. Later the station became WRKO FM then WROR, WBMX, and Now WBZ FM the all Sports station.

And that is just scratching the surface on the topic. I almost forgot to mention that one of the most memorable shortwave radio broadcast made from the summit was back on April 12, 1934 when the crew of the fledgling Mt Washington Observatory broadcasted the ‘clicks’ being made by the revolutions of their anemometer to Joe Dodge at AMC Pinkham Notch Camp, to the Blue Hills Observatory crew and others with amateur radio short wave sets who happen to be listening and counting with stop watch in hand.  As the number of clicks increased, everyone counted the same number in a set period of time which confirmed that a new Worlds Record High Wind of 231mph had just been recorded and ‘observed’ by many far removed from the summit of Mt Washington thanks to the magic of radio!

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About Mike Pelchat, Manager of Mt. Washington State Park

I've been working atop Mt Washington for past 30 years so you can guess I like it above the tree line! After all these years I still never tire of the beauty of our NH White Mtns and consider my employment an extreme honor and privilege to work for the State Of NH and serve its visitors. When not on the summit you can find me enjoying the rock & ice climbing one of the many beautiful granite cliffs we have in Franconia, Crawford or Echo Lake State Parks. I have taken these climbing skills learned at our NH State Parks to climb in Alaska, Andes, Canadian Arctic and Himalayas. I live in Gorham NH with my wife Diane Holmes. View all posts by Mike Pelchat, Manager of Mt. Washington State Park →
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