Enjoy a "Summer Seminar" on New England’s Highest Peak

By AlpineZone News |
Jun 07 2006 - 03:29 PM

MOUNT WASHINGTON, New Hampshire ??” Interested in New England’s high mountain environment? Then the Mount Washington Observatory has something special for you. The Observatory’s “Summer Seminar on the Summit” delivers learning, fun, and a sense of adventure to participants, giving them an opportunity to spend a night at the Observatory’s weather station atop the northeast’s highest peak along with informational sessions on the mountain’s weather, environment, and history.

“The Summer Seminars program have proven quite popular over the last few years,” says Peter Crane, Director of Programs for the Observatory. “For the many people for whom Mount Washington is a special place, the Seminars provide the chance for a prolonged summit experience, sampling the mountain in its many moods. For most visitors, time on the summit is fleeting – the Seminars allow an extended, overnight stay for participants, plus involvement in a variety of educational presentations,” notes Crane. He adds, “While cold, wind, and fog are commonplace on the mountain-top, occasionally Seminar participants can see stunning sunsets or sunrises, and can enjoy a view that includes mountains 130 miles away.”

Only five participants take part in each Seminar, says Crane, “This small group size also makes the Summer Seminar perfect for groups of colleagues, friends, or families. We especially encourage teachers to take part in the Summer Seminar experience, since it can add some hands-on learning in weather and related subjects which a teacher can go on to share with his or her students.”

The program aims to educate participants about the Mount Washington environment and the human experience of the mountain. Weather, of course, receives special attention, since it is always an important topic on Mount Washington. The Observatory has monitored the elements year-round on the summit since 1932, and Observatory staff clocked the highest surface wind speed ever recorded, a remarkable 231 miles per hour, in 1934. To give Summer Seminar participants a good grasp of the mountain’s weather, the programs include an in-depth tour of the weather station and discussions of life and work at the Observatory. Other instructional sessions touch on the mountain’s geology, natural history, and fascinating human history.

The Mount Washington Observatory, a private, non-profit, membership-supported organization, invites interested individuals to call for more information about the Summer Seminar program (including a schedule and fee information) at 1-800-706-0432 x 203. Summer Seminar information is also available at the Observatory’s Weather Discovery Center museum on Main Street in North Conway village, and on the internet at www.mountwashington.org/education.