LIFE AT THE TOP: Weather, Wonder & High Cuisine
from the Mount Washington Observatory
Paperback, 192 pages, B&W illustrations, Hobblebush Books, 2009
“Wry New England humor….perfect for a cold winter’s night.
Be sure to light a fire first, though, or you’ll be
alternately chuckling and shivering.”
-Weatherwise Magazine, reviewing the first edition
Published in August 2009. All purchases of Life at the Top
help support the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory’s
research and educational programs.
This updated, expanded edition of Life at the Top brings the wild weather of the Mount Washington Observatory into the 21st century. New photos, new weather jokes, and new chapters will delight readers with the adventures of hapless hikers, mischievous meteorologists and summit cats Marty and Nin. (Nin was just a rookie when the first edition of Life at the Top was published back in 1997, and Marty hadn't been born yet.)
A new chapter titled "Life at the Bottom" explores the Mount Washington-South Pole connection, with interviews with Mount Washington Observatory crewmembers who have gone on to work in Antarctica. How do Mount Washington and Antarctica compare?
New Hampshire’s Mount Washington is known as the Home of the World’s Worst Weather. 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 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 section 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).
The first edition of Life at the Top was published by Down East Books in 1997.
Excerpts from the new preface: Much has changed since an an earlier edition of Life at the Top appeared in bookstores in 1997. New people and a new cat now greet visitors to the Observatory, and they have new stories to tell and breathtaking experiences of their own in the dangerous and exhilerating wind, ice, and fog of Mount Washington....
What hasn’t changed on Mount Washington? The howling winds and the breathtaking scenery are still the same (on the rare occasions that the summit isn’t shrouded in fog) and so are the colorful personalities and enthusiasm for wild weather of the handful of people who live and work among the clouds.These are their stories.