Ten Years on the Rock Pile


Ten Years on the Rock Pile

A Collection of Stories, Some Hilarious, Some Tragic, about Life at the Summit of Mount Washington

Lee Vincent
Foreword by Guy Gosselin

320 pages
38 illustrations


July 2011


$18.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Mount Washington, located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, is the highest peak in the northeastern United States. It is often cited—by its inhabitants, no less—as the home of the country’s worst weather, a claim supported by the mountain’s long-held record for the highest wind gust directly measured at the Earth’s surface (231 mph on April 12, 1934). As a transmitter supervisor for WMTW-TV, Lee Vincent traveled regularly to the summit of Mount Washington. Soon enough his reports from the peak began appearing in a column in a local paper—and just as quickly captivated readers near and far. 
These columns—with their accounts of the everyday lives and unusual exploits of the individuals who chose, against all odds and most notions of common sense, to call Mount Washington home—are gathered in this book. As entertaining and engaging as they are informative, these reports from the summit form an invaluable record of life happily lived in extremity. Accompanied by remarkable photographs and candid snapshots, they also document the experience and insights—and after Vincent’s diagnosis with a virulent form of cancer, the valiant last days—of someone who had seen the mountaintop and reported back for the edification and delight of those lucky enough to read his columns and books.

Author Bio

Lee Vincent (1935–77) built and operated a TV station in Litchfield, Maine, before his job with WMTW-TV, where he hosted a short TV clip five days a week noting the weather atop the “rock pile.” Guy Gosselin, who worked for the Mount Washington Observatory in a variety of roles, is now a life trustee of the observatory.


"With his weekly reports, musings and observations from the peak during the 1960's and early 1970's, transmitter supervisor Lee Vincent became a household name. . . . This collection of Vincent's work will bring back fond memories for anyone who grew up with his entertaining columns or the evening weather reports from Mt. Washington."—Sandy Amazeen, Monsters and Critics

Table of Contents



A Slice of Life on the Mountain

Mite O' Crabbin'

Tales and Put-Ons

Points along the Auto Road

Aliens and Other Mountain Mysteries

Freeman's Folly or Reconstruction or the Auto Road Accident

A Close Call

The Sunset Put-On

Electricity and Lightning at the Summit

Preparations for the Deep Freeze of Winter

Why Don't You Guys Go Fly a Kite?

Speakers' Corner

Winter Sports

Feminine Wiles

The Dedicated Obs Men


Blackbirds and Dark Times Ahead

The Great Ghost Hunt

Beavers in Springtime

One Man's Poison . . .

Boys Will Be Boys


Donny Disconnect

Bent Out of Shape

Trick or Treat

Looking for Mount Rushmore?

Annual Cookout

Awaiting a Winter Thaw

Mountain Softball

Escalator Service


The Fearless Leader

Poor Judgment

Dump Digging

A Monstrous Tale

Paint Job

State Waste

One Big Gripe

There Ain't No Me!

On a Clear Day

Whole Lot of . . .

A Dark Mass

Days of Distinctive Beauty

Arctic Ice Storm

Birth of a New Day

Gooferology in Action

Bombs and Favors

The Presence

Green Stripes Running Wild

Monty Montgomery


Old Lady Killer Ramp

Obs-Erving History

Spring Has Sprung

"Siggy" Analyzes <SC>tv</SC> Crew

Rime Ice and Paper Hat Award

Side Hill Gougers

The Very Zenith of My Outlook

This Is a "Hoorah"!

You Say You Want Facts?

Cog Train Dedication Ceremony in Hail and Pet Peeves

Staging Hoorahs

The Pack Boys

The First Christmas on Top of New England

Beating the Record


Miles per Hour



Frozen Hot Water

Phil's Lakes of the Clouds

Breezeway Amour


Rose Riff

Mercedes-Benz Unimog


Garbage Rock

Initiation Rites

Rough Riding

The Thrill of Being High

Final Comment

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