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Life at The Top

Weather, Wonder & High Cuisine from the Mount Washington Observatory

Former observer Eric Pinder describes with wry humor the joys and terrors of living in the clouds and explains Mount Washington's geology and weather. The book ends with a one-of-a kind cookbook of favorite "Recipes from the Rockpile."

Author(s)

Eric Pinder

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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 live on the mountain's 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 this book, former observer Eric Pinder's popular Life at the Top is revised and expanded for the 21st century. Pinder describes with wry humor 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 favorite "Recipes from the Rockpile", 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).

Author: Eric Pinder
Paperback: 200 pages
Publisher: Hobblebush Books (2009)
ISBN: 978-0980167269

Additional Information

Author Eric Pinder
About the Author Eric Pinder first learned to love weather and mountains in his hometown of Cobleskill in upstate New York, where as a child he watched the stars and lunar eclipses with a toy telescope. After graduating from Hampshire College, Pinder began his writing career when he published a travel guide to Maine's Baxter State Park. In the spring of 1995, he started work at the Mount Washington Observatory. As a weather observer Pinder most often took the morning shift, waking at 4:30 to prepare the radio forecasts. He wrote three books during his time at the Observatory, and for two years edited Windswept, the Observatory's membership magazine. He also led "Understanding Mountain Weather" guided hikes for the Appalachian Mountain Club. Pinder left the Observatory in 2002 to pursue his writing more fully. He became interested in children's literature, and his book Cat in the Clouds, based on the adventures of the Observatory's cat Nin, came out in May 2009 from History Press. Pinder continues to live in Berlin, New Hampshire, and teaches Nature Writing and Writing for Children at Chester College of New England. His previous books are a first edition of Life at the Top (Down East Books, 1997), Tying Down the Wind: Adventures in the Worst Weather on Earth (Tarcher/Putnam, 2000), North to Katahdin (Milkwood Editions, 2005), and Among the Clouds: Work, Wit and Weather at the Mount Washington Observatory (Alpine Books, 2008).
Region White Mountains
Publisher Hobblebush Books
Edition 2nd Edition (2009)
Format Paperback
Dimensions 6 x 9 inches, 200 pages
ISBN-13 9780980167269

About the Author

Eric Pinder first learned to love weather and mountains in his hometown of Cobleskill in upstate New York, where as a child he watched the stars and lunar eclipses with a toy telescope. After graduating from Hampshire College, Pinder began his writing career when he published a travel guide to Maine's Baxter State Park. In the spring of 1995, he started work at the Mount Washington Observatory. As a weather observer Pinder most often took the morning shift, waking at 4:30 to prepare the radio forecasts. He wrote three books during his time at the Observatory, and for two years edited Windswept, the Observatory's membership magazine. He also led "Understanding Mountain Weather" guided hikes for the Appalachian Mountain Club. Pinder left the Observatory in 2002 to pursue his writing more fully. He became interested in children's literature, and his book Cat in the Clouds, based on the adventures of the Observatory's cat Nin, came out in May 2009 from History Press. Pinder continues to live in Berlin, New Hampshire, and teaches Nature Writing and Writing for Children at Chester College of New England. His previous books are a first edition of Life at the Top (Down East Books, 1997), Tying Down the Wind: Adventures in the Worst Weather on Earth (Tarcher/Putnam, 2000), North to Katahdin (Milkwood Editions, 2005), and Among the Clouds: Work, Wit and Weather at the Mount Washington Observatory (Alpine Books, 2008).