Life at the Top
Weather, Wonder, & High Cuisine from the Mount Washington Observatory
Who would have guessed that the world’s windiest, chilliest weather occurs not in the Himalayas but in New England? Indeed, New Hampshire’s Mount Washington is known as “Home of the World’s Worst Weather.” We know the title is justified because Mount Washington is also the home of a meteorological observatory, so we have the records to prove just how bad the weather is atop “the Rockpile.”
A handful of hardy souls lives at the Observatory year-round. Do they have to be just a bit unusual to seek out such a career? Perhaps. But the Observatory crew find much to enjoy in their icy home—even when it means dealing with hundred-mile-per-hour winds, wandering moose, and odd questions from visitors (“Can you see New Hampshire from here?”). Of course, they are also treated to spectacular sunsets, spine-tingling thunderstorms, and breathtaking toboggan runs.
In the first part of Life at the Top, weather observer Eric Pinder describes the joys and terrors of living in the clouds and explains Mount Washington’s geology and weather. The last part of the book is a one-of-a-kind cookbook made up of recipes contributed by the Observatory staff—favorite dishes from people who take their meals seriously (especially in winter, when the food becomes spicier as the temperature grows colder).