Life at the Top by Eric Pinder

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Weather, Wonder & High Cuisine 
from the Mount Washington Observatory

Paperback, 192 pages, B&W illustrations
Hobblebush Books, 2009

The first edition of Life at the Top was
published by Down East Books in 1997.

Original cover from the first edition.

Life at the Top

Enjoy the world’s worst weather in the comfort of your own home! 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.

A new chapter titled “Life at the Bottom” explores the Mount Washington-South Pole connection, with interviews with Observatory crewmembers who have gone on to work in Antarctica.

New Hampshire’s Mount Washington is known as the Home of the World’s Worst Weather. A handful of hardy souls live 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 finds 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 we see New Hampshire from here?”). Of course, they are also treated to spectacular sunsets, spine-tingling thunderstorms, and breathtaking toboggan runs.

Life at the Top 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.

All purchases of Life at the Top help support the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory’s research and educational programs.

Praise and Reviews

“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

“…a thoroughly enjoyable book, a mish-mash of information and experience, pulled together with a ribbon of humor. It makes you wish you could join the crew!” – The Hollis Times

If you’d like to read more about mountain weather, including some terrible weather puns, try AMONG THE CLOUDS.