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Seek The Peak Hike-a-thon for Mount Washington Observatory

On Friday, July 21st-Saturday, July 22nd, participate in the largest annual fundraiser for the Mount Washington Observatory at the Annual Seek the Peak Hike-a-Thon.

Hike the beautiful and challenging Mount Washington, explore the White Mountains Region of New Hampshire, raise money for a good cause, win prizes, meet and join other outdoor enthusiasts, enjoy the outdoor expo tents, explore the Weather Discovery Center, meet the staff of the observatory, dine and party with participants, and most importantly – SEEK YOUR PEAK! 

There is a $10 registration fee per person, and this fee counts towards the minimum $200 fundraising goal. Ask your network of family and friends to pledge you during the event and tell them about the cause! Participants may register in teams of up to 8 people.

There are many ways to win prizes! The first 500 participants to raise $200 earn an exclusive Seek the Peak backpack and T-shirt. Join the event as a team to earn special prizes as the top fundraising team or the most spirited team, among other categories. For each fundraising milestone, starting at $200 and exceeding $20,000, participants may win select prizes for each milestone and are entered to win other fabulous prizes for their accomplishments. To see the full list of incentives, visit https://www.mountwashington.org/seek-the-peak/prizes.aspx.

In addition to pledges, interested businesses may purchase sponsorships for the event. The sponsorship categories are as follows:

  • Presenting Sponsor: $12,500
  • Gold Sponsor: $5,000
  • Silver Sponsor: $2,500
  • Bronze Sponsor: $1,000
  • In-Kind Sponsors ($1,000+)
  • In-Kind Sponsors (Under $1,000)
  • Team Sponsor: $2,000

For more information on sponsorships, visit https://www.mountwashington.org/seek-the-peak/sponsorship.aspx.

Since Seek the Peak was established in 2001, this great event has raised over $1.6 million for the nonprofit Observatory, helping it maintain its famous weather station on the summit of Mount Washington and continue its important work collecting weather data, performing research, and educating the public about the science of climate and weather.

For more information, or to register, visit https://www.mountwashington.org/seek-the-peak/. Pack your gear – the mountains are calling!

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Mount Washington Observatory Partners with The North Face and Synnott Mountain Guides to Add Top-Rope Climbing to Seek The Peak

MOUNT WASHINGTON, NH – Mount Washington Observatory’s is pleased to announce The North Face and Synnott Mountain Guides’ participation in Seek the Peak 2017 offering a top-rope session for participants. The North Face has also provided exclusive logo product to be used for prize giveaways as fundraising incentives to Seek the Peak participants.

synnott“This is a win-win all around,” said Mark Synnott owner of Synnott Mountain Guides and professional athlete for The North Face.  “I am looking forward to being able to represent both The North Face and my guide school while supporting this important fundraising event and ultimately the work of the Mount Washington Observatory,” said Synnott.

north faceComing onboard as a sponsor for Seek the Peak 2017, The North Face will support their athlete Mark Synnott and his guide school, Synnott Mountain Guides, to provide a top-rope session for Seek the Peak participants.  The top-rope sessions will be an alternative to hiking and will take place from 10am-1pm at Square Ledge. Synnott Mountain Guides will be set up along the Square Ledge trail where eligible Seek the Peak participants can check-in for their top-rope experience.  Participants will have the opportunity to climb using a top-rope that is secured above and connected to a belayer at the base of the ledge. Gear will be provided on-site. There will be novice to intermediate level climb.  Participants need to reach the $200 fundraising goal to be eligible to climb.

“Seek Your Peak has been our motto in the recent years, many participants want to summit Mount Washington while others are looking for alternative hikes and thanks to the support of The North Face and Mark Synnott we are thrilled to incorporate a top-rope component , ” said Director of Events and Marketing Krissy Fraser.

Seek the Peak is the largest annual fundraiser for the Mount Washington Observatory.  Participants raise a minimum of $200 to support the Observatory and to join in the weekend events including a kick-off party, a vendor expo featuring several gear sponsors, summit weather room tours, a Hart’s turkey dinner and a special awards ceremony where thousands of dollars in gear is raffled off to participants.

To learn more or register for Seek the Peak, visit seekthepeak.org or contact Krissy Fraser at (603) 356-2137 ext. 231. For more information on the Mountain Washington Observatory, visit mountwashington.org.

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About Mount Washington Observatory
Mount Washington Observatory is a private, nonprofit, member-supported institution with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth’s weather and climate. Since 1932, the Observatory has been monitoring the elements from its weather station on the summit of Mount Washington, using this unique site for scientific research and educational outreach. For more information, call (800) 706-0432 or visit MountWashington.org.

Mount Washington Observatory Announces a Full Line-Up of Summer Educational Opportunities

Press Release by Krissy Fraser, Director of Events & Marketing
kfraser@mountwashington.org | (603) 356-2137, ext. 231

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North Conway, NH – June 1, 2017– The non-profit Mount Washington Observatory has announced a full line-up of summer educational offerings on the summit of Mount Washington and in the valley including overnight Edutrips and workshops.

EduTrips:
Back by popular demand the Observatory will be offering five overnight Edutrips including expert instruction on various topics and the opportunity to stay the night on the summit of Mount Washington with Observatory staff.

Edutrip dates and topics include: July 8-9 and August 12-13 – Life, Work and the Environment Atop Mount Washington; July 15-16 and August 19-20 – Thunderstorms; October 7-8 – Fall Foliage Photography.  Trips will cost $399 to Observatory members and $475 to non-members.

Workshops:
Returning for summer 2017 the Observatory will also offer two popular workshops.

The Star Party Astronomy Workshop: Presented by John Gianforte, Astronomy lecturer for the Physics Department at U.N.H., this will be a fun and educational outing for anyone interested in astronomy from novice to advanced. The Star Party Astronomy workshop will take place on Saturday, August 5 (“Cloud” Date – Sunday, August 6). This will be a two part program starting with an indoor session at the Weather Discovery Center from 2:30 pm-5:30 pm followed by an outdoor session from 7:30 pm-11:00 pm.

The Geology and White Mountains Workshop: Presented by geologist Woody Thompson of the Maine Geological Survey, this will explore the glacial geology of the northern White Mountain region and the history of geological exploration and understanding of the area.

The workshop will begin with an informal classroom presentation and then proceed to sites of geological interest in the northern White Mountains region. Taking place on Saturday, September 9, 2017 (rain date: Sunday, September 10).  The workshop run from 8:30 am-4:30 pm, starting at the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center in North Conway, NH.

Workshop fees are $75 for observatory members and $105 for non-members. The fee includes instruction and all associated materials.

Additional Offerings:
In the summer months the Mount Washington Observatory provides additional educational offerings including a free Science in the Mountains lecture series, summit weather station tours for observatory members and daily “Live from the Rockpile” call-ins to the summit observers from the Weather Discovery Center.

Guests can also explore the world of weather at the Mount Washington Observatory’s two museums – The Weather Discovery Center located in North Conway and Extreme Mount Washington located on the summit of Mount Washington in the Sherman Adams State Park building.

For more information on the Mount Washington Observatory educational programs visit MountWashington.org or call (603) 356-2137, ext. 225.

mwv observatory logo.png

About Mount Washington Observatory
Mount Washington Observatory is a private, nonprofit, member-supported institution with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth’s weather and climate. Since 1932, the Observatory has been monitoring the elements from its weather station on the summit of Mount Washington, using this unique site for scientific research and educational outreach. For more information, call (800) 706-0432 or visit MountWashington.org.

Seek “Your” Peak at Mount Washington Observatory’s 15th Annual Hike-a-Thon

On July 17-18, hikers from all across the country will converge on Mount Washington, New Hampshire for the 15th annual Seek the Peak hike-a-thon, the largest annual fundraiser for the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory. Over 500 hikers register annually, not only to “Seek the Peak” and accomplish summiting Mount Washington, but also to achieve or exceed their fundraising goal in support of the Observatory.

“The weekend is truly a gathering of like-minded outdoor enthusiasts with a love of hiking and Mount Washington as well as supporting the Mount Washington Observatory. This is not an event about extreme hiking,” said Observatory Director of Events & Marketing, Krissy Fraser. “The energy and camaraderie across the weekend events is tremendous and add to that thousands of dollars in prizes and great food all in a beautiful mountain setting – this is why it is the Nation’s Premier Hiking Event.”

The weekend event attracts hikers and Mount Washington Observatory supporters of all levels and offers many ways to participate.  Although Seek the Peak is a “hike-a-thon” event, participants are not required to hike. Supporters who do not hike still have the option to participate in the weekend including a Kick-Off Party as well as an After Party and Expo on Saturday.

“For 2015 we are really emphasizing Seek “Your” Peak to encourage hikers of all ability levels and interests to participate. We encourage hikers to talk with experts at the Appalachian Mountain Club for hiking tips and trail suggestions,” said Education Specialist, Will Broussard.  “I will also be leading a nature walk out of Pinkham Notch for participants that prefer a little easier hiking experience.”

The Friday night Kick Off party is held at the Weather Discovery Center in North Conway, N.H. where qualified registrants (those who raise $200 or more) can collect their prize Eastern Mountain Sports Seek the Peak backpack and t-shirt. A social hour is hosted by Tuckerman Brewing Company and Flatbread Company where participants enjoy food and drink while having the opportunity to speak with representatives from organizations such as Eastern Mountain Sports, The Appalachian Mountain Club & DeLorme who are on hand to answer questions about trail routes, hiker safety, backpacking tips, etc.

The After Party takes place at the base of the Mount Washington Auto Road on Saturday afternoon and includes an Expo featuring many outdoor companies along with an all-you-can eat turkey dinner and an awards ceremony where over $30,000 in prizes are handed out to participants.

“Our presenting sponsors Eastern Mountain Sports and Vasque really set the tone for the After Party with great giveaways and enthusiastic staff to greet participants,” said Fraser.  “This year we are also excited to welcome WBZ Boston Chief Meteorologist Eric Fisher and other celebrity meteorologists to emcee the event.”

Interested participants are encouraged to register now, to give themselves time to meet the event’s $200 fundraising minimum and start working toward the incentives.

Sponsored by Eastern Mountain Sports and Vasque with support from Fairpoint Communications, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, White Mountain Oil and Propane, 93.5 WMWV Radio and NorthConwayLodging.com, Seek the Peak is open to hikers of all ages and abilities.

For more information and to register, volunteer, or become an event sponsor, visit SeekthePeak.org, or call (800) 706-0432, x231.

Mount Washington Observatory is a private, nonprofit, member-supported institution with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth’s weather and climate. Since 1932, the Observatory has been monitoring the elements in one of the most extreme locations on Earth, using this unique site for scientific research and educational outreach. For more information, call (800) 706-0432 or visit MountWashington.org.

Mount Washington Cog Railway Opens for Its 145th Season

The Mount Washington Cog Railway, The World’s first mountain-climbing cog Cograilway, will be opening for its 2014 season bringing visitors from all over the world to the summit of the Northeast’s highest peak on Saturday, April 26. The season marks the 145th year of operation for the Cog.

This year, the Cog will once again be offering the popular events including  Ride & Observatory Tours, Photo Workshop Tours, annual Railfans’ Day and a Holiday Family Festival. Look for more details on all events online at thecog.com

As part of each 3-hour round trip on the Cog, Passengers spend about an hour on the summit, where those ticket holders MWO_Summit_Adventuresget free admission to the new summit weather museum created by the Mount Washington Observatory. The exhibit provides a fascinating look at the extremes of winter on Mount Washington, all from the comfort of an interactive exhibit located in the lower level of the Sherman Adams Visitors Center.

Throughout the season, there are special trains and discounts for our guests. Starting Memorial weekend, the Cog will be firing up its vintage steam trains, and will be running the steamer as the first train up the mountain throughout the season on scheduled days.  Beginning June 16, everyone saves with $15 off their ticket on the last train on most days. Even this Fall, passengers can save with a $10 discount beginning in September (excluding Holiday periods).  The details on the train schedule, specials and discounts can be found online.

Old Peppersass,the train that built the Cog Railway, so nicknamed for OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAits pepper-sauce bottle shape, ison display at the Marshfield Base Station and the Cog Railway Museum. The museum is full of memorabilia about this pioneering railroad. Admission is open to the public and free to all.

Tickets for Cog Railway excursions can now be purchased online at http://www.TheCog.com. Due to the popularity of the rides, buying tickets in advance is strongly recommended. The Cog will be running weekends only until Memorial Day Weekend. Visit the schedule online for times.

The Cog is located at Marshfield Base Station on Base Road, Mount Washington, NH just 6 miles off route 302 near Historic Bretton Woods, NH. For more information and the daily train schedule, visit http://www.thecog.com or contact The Cog at 1-800-922-8825 or in New Hampshire at 603-278-5404.

Mount Washington Observatory Offering Free Educational Programs at Weather Discovery Center During February Vacation Week

The nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory will be offering free, family-friendly science Mount Washington Observatory North Conway NHeducation programs at their Weather Discovery Center museum each evening during February 17-21. All programs are open to the general public and begin at 7pm.

On Monday, February 17 the Observatory will present “2013 Weather in Review,” a recap of the year’s major weather events. From the February blizzard to the widest tornado in recorded history, 2013 was a year to remember. Observatory staff will discuss the many climatic records that were broken, while sharing spectacular images captured throughout the year.

MWO_Summit_AdventuresOn Tuesday, February 18 a live video conference will connect guests to the Observatory’s weather station on the summit of Mount Washington for “Extreme Weather Observations.” Offering an inside look at life and work in one of the world’s most famous weather stations, an Observatory scientist will explain what kind of data they collect and how they translate it into forecasts and other important information.

On Wednesday, February 19 the Observatory will host an open house at their Weather Discovery Center from 4:30 – 6:30pm. Guests will be invited to explore the museum and enjoy light refreshments while learning about Observatory educational outreach, research, and membership. At 5:00 and 6:00pm, a live video connection with the Observatory’s mountaintop weather station will allow visitors to meet Observatory scientists and learn about life and work atop the Northeast’s tallest peak.

On Thursday, February 20, Observatory scientists will explain the building blocks of weather and climate in “The Fundamentals of Climate.” Sharing unique insights from Mount Washington Observatory’s 82-year climate record—one of the oldest continuous climate records in North America—they’ll describe the global climate system and how that influences our region’s weather.

On Friday, February 21, the Observatory will present “White Mountains Ecology,” an introduction to the amazing plant and animal life found on Mount Washington and throughout the surrounding landscape. The program will describe how harsh seasonal weather influences the distribution of flora and fauna in our region, from the smallest lichens to the largest member of the Deer family.

For more information and directions to the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center, visit MountWashington.org/Events or call (603) 356-2137, ext. 211.

About Mount Washington Observatory

Mount Washington Observatory is a private, nonprofit, member-supported institution with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth’s weather and climate. Since 1932, the Observatory has been monitoring the elements from its weather station on the summit of Mount Washington, using this unique site for scientific research and educational outreach. For more information, call (800) 706-0432 or visit MountWashington.org.

Support the MW Observatory at an “Evening with Ginger Zee”

Mount Washington Observatory North Conway NHA fundraiser to benefit the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory, An Evening with Ginger Zee will offer an intimate look at the life and career of America’s favorite meteorologist.

Recently replacing Sam Champion as Good Morning America’s Chief Meteorologist and Weather Editor for ABC News, Zee is an Emmy award-winning meteorologist and a member of storm chaser Reed Timmer’s team of experts.

Zee will share the trials and triumphs of her ascension to stardom on Good Morning America, then offer an inside look at the world of storm chasing. Through heart-pounding Mount Washingtonvideo and first-person narration, she’ll detail some of her most challenging and frightening experiences, including the devastating loss of fellow storm chaser Tim Samaras and his crew in 2013.

Emceed by former Mount Washington Observatory and WGME–TV 13 meteorologist Sara Long, the evening will also feature an all-star panel of New England meteorologists and a live video connection with the Observatory’s famous mountaintop weather station for an inside look at life and work on the Northeast’s tallest peak.

The evening will kick off with a cash bar cocktail hour and heavy hors d’oeuvres from MWO_Summit_Adventures5:30-6:15pm, complimented by a silent auction featuring a variety of fine art photography, vacation packages, national travel and more. The program will begin at 6:15pm with stories from regional meteorologists, followed by a live connection with the Observatory weather station and the feature presentation at 7:30pm.

Date: Friday, April 4, 2014
Time: 5:30—9:00pm
Location: Port City Music Hall, Portland, Maine
Cost: $79 for Mount Washington Observatory members
$89 for non-members
$99 for preferred seating

Tickets for sale at the Port City Music Hall ticket office. All proceeds from this special fundraiser will benefit the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory, helping to support our work in weather observation, research and education on Mount Washington.

In the event that there is severe weather elsewhere in the country and Zee is called upon to follow the storm, her presentation will be given by supporting meteorologists.

‘The Great Blowdown’ Exhibition – Opens 9/20 at Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center

Mount Washington Observatory, North Conway NH
‘The Great Blowdown’ Exhibition Opens September 20 at Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center

September 11, 2013—North Conway, NH—On September 20, Mount Washington Observatory will host the opening celebration of The Great Blowdown, a panel exhibition by the Museum of the White Mountains inspired by curator Dr. Lourdes Aviles’ new book, Taken By Storm, 1938, A Social and Meteorological History of the Great New England Hurricane. Sponsored by the Museum of the White Mountains at Plymouth State University, the celebration will feature a presentation about the storm and a release and signing of Dr. Aviles’ new book. The free event will be held from 5-7 p.m. at the Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center in North Conway.

The Great New England Hurricane, also known as the “Yankee Clipper” and “Long Island Express,” made landfall in the northeastern United States in September 1938—long before the advent of radar, satellite imagery, or other advanced meteorological technology. By the time the U.S. Weather Bureau learned that the Category 3 storm was on a collision course with Long Island, it was too late for a warning. The infamous storm caused widespread destruction from New Jersey to Quebec, claiming an estimated 682 to 800 lives. It remains the most powerful and deadliest hurricane in New England’s history.

“The drama of the storm enlivens the story of the meteorological events that created it,” notes Catherine Amidon, director of the Museum of the White Mountains. “We are glad to be working with Mount Washington Observatory, an organization that shares our interest in science education, to bring the story of this remarkable weather event to visitors and locals of the northern White Mountains region.”

The evening of September 20 marks the eve of the 75th anniversary of the storm. Dr. Aviles, an associate meteorology professor at Plymouth State, will commemorate the occasion through compelling narratives of its devastating impact on the White Mountains and beyond.

The Great Blowdown will be on display at the Weather Discovery Center through the end of the year. The Weather Discovery Center is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is free. For directions and more information, visit mountwashington.org/education.

To learn more about The Great Blowdown and other Museum of the White Mountains exhibits, visit plymouth.edu/museum-of-the-white-mountains.

About Mount Washington Observatory

Mount Washington Observatory is a private, nonprofit, member-supported institution with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth’s weather and climate. Since 1932, the Observatory has been monitoring the elements from its weather station on the summit of Mount Washington, using this unique site for scientific research and educational outreach. For more information, call (800) 706-0432 or visit MountWashington.org.

 

Mount Washington Observatory

2779 White Mountain Highway
Post Office Box 2310
North Conway, NH 03860

Mt. Washington Observatory & Science Education!

Mount Washington Observatory North Conway NHYou know about the work we do at our weather station, but did you know that Mount Washington Observatory is also a national resource for science education?

From hands-on lessons in area classrooms, to innovative video conferencing programs, the Observatory brings weather, climate, and alpine ecology to life for students throughout the region and around the world.

We’re gearing up for another busy outreach education season, and we’re asking for your help to send the Observatory “back to school” this fall:

Your tax-deductible gift will help ensure that our outreach educator can purchase the materials he needs—from kites and cloud charts to balloons and construction paper—to engage students in creating low-tech weather instruments and experiments that make complex scientific concepts attainable.

Your generosity will help ensure that we are able to continue offering barrier-free admission to our interactive Weather Discovery Center in North Conway—a cultural cornerstone that explains the science behind Mount Washington’s fascinating extremes to thousands of visitors each year.

Your donation will also help us connect students anywhere in the world with our summit weather station to learn about climate, meteorology, alpine ecology and more directly from a resident Observatory scientist through innovative distance learning technology.

Please help us continue our educational outreach this fall through a tax-deductible donation of any amount. The next generation of climate scientists, atmospheric researchers and meteorologists will thank you for opening the door to a fascinating world.

Regards,

Michelle Cruz
Director of Education

 Mount Washington Observatory, North Conway NH Mount Washington Observatory
Post Office Box 2310
North Conway, NH 03860
(800) 706-0432

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Mount Washington Observatory Welcome Beth Phelps as Stewardship Manager

ObservatoryThe nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory is proud to welcome Beth Phelps of Cornish, Maine to its administrative team. An integral member of the organization’s five-person advancement department, which oversees all marketing, communications, and fundraising efforts, Phelps will be serving Observatory members and donors as the new stewardship manager.

Phelps began her career in horticulture, but soon decided to utilize her love of nature to help adjudicated youth through wilderness education programs. The Massachusetts native worked for several years as a backcountry leader and program manager in Maine and New Hampshire before moving on to management positions at the Boston Natural Areas Network, Girl Scouts of Maine, and Loon Echo Land Trust.

Having served for more than fifteen years in the nonprofit sector, Phelps has extensive experience helping individuals meet their philanthropic goals.

“I’m thrilled to join the Observatory team,” says Phelps. “I look forward to working with Observatory members, donors and trustees to help garnish support for this unique and special cause.”

“Nearly half of the Observatory’s operating income comes from individual donations from members and donors,” notes Observatory Executive Director Scot Henley, “so keeping these supporters engaged in our work is crucial to our existence. Beth brings a wealth of knowledge in charitable giving and an unbelievable passion for the cause.”

Phelps and her partner Joe live in the mountains of western Maine with their son Rohn and 26 sled dogs. The avid skier, musher, and winter sports enthusiast prefers her temperatures well below freezing, and is excited to share her love of the mountains with Observatory supporters.

Mount Washington Observatory Announces New Autumn Day Trips with the Mt. Washington Cog Railway

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The nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory is proud to announce its newest educational offering: Autumn day trips to the summit of Mount Washington featuring round-trip transportation on the historic Mt. Washington Cog Railway and a full day, expert-guided exploration of the Northeast’s tallest peak. The trips will be offered September 13 and September 20, 2013.

“Most people who visit the summit don’t have the opportunity to venture beyond the gift shop and observation deck,” says Michelle Cruz, Mount Washington Observatory Director of Education. “Our trips will allow people to more fully experience this incredible place.”

A nonprofit scientific research and educational institution, Mount Washington Observatory has occupied the summit continuously since founding its weather station there in 1932. The Observatory’s newest trips invite visitors behind the scenes to experience the mountain through the eyes of these resident experts.

The trips will begin at the historic Marshfield Station, where you’ll meet your guide and board the train. As you ascend the steepest railroad tracks in North America, taking in the incredible scenery of Crawford Notch and the Presidential Range, you’ll learn interesting facts about Mount Washington’s storied past and infamous weather.

When you reach the top you will have gained more than 3,500 feet of elevation, traveling from the temperate forest, through tree line, and into to the alpine zone—a rugged, otherworldly landscape of earth and sky. Your Observatory guide will offer informal educational sessions as you explore the summit by foot, interpreting the natural history, weather, and ecology of the mountain amidst seemingly endless photo ops.

A highlight of your day will be a backstage tour of Mount Washington Observatory’s famous mountaintop weather station (closed to the general public), which recorded the highest wind speed ever observed by man. You’ll learn about the fascinating work conducted at this tiny outpost, climb to the top of the instrument tower for a birds-eye view of the summit, and then enjoy a hearty, homemade lunch in the station’s private living quarters.

The trips will meet at 8:30am and return to the base around 5:00pm. The cost is $155 for supporting members of the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory and $175 for non-members. The fee includes round-trip transportation on the Mt. Washington Cog Railway, guided walks around the summit (weather permitting), a behind-the-scenes tour of the Mount Washington Observatory weather station, lunch, and informal educational sessions throughout the day.

To learn more and register, visit MountWashington.org/Events or call (603) 356-2137, ext. 225.

14th Annual Seek the Peak Hike-a-thon Raises $240,000 for Nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory

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Despite an ominous forecast predicting hurricane-force winds, severe thunderstorms and hail, an estimated 400 hikers and their families came out for Mount Washington Observatory’s 13th annual Seek the Peak hike-a-thon July 19-21. To avoid the dangerous conditions, participants were directed to hike on Sunday instead of the usual Saturday ascent, and were rewarded for their efforts with more than $30,000 in prizes and incentives, as well as a huge after party with live music and an all-you-can-eat feast. The event was presented by Eastern Mountain Sports, Subaru and Vasque, with support from Fairpoint Communications and Blue Cross Blue Shield in New Hampshire.

“Our ‘lucky’ number thirteen event threw us a major curveball with the weather, but our hikers adjusted their plans accordingly and I’m happy to report that everyone enjoyed the weekend without incident,” says Mount Washington Observatory Executive Director Scot Henley.

The usual two-day event began with free food and drinks from Flatbread Company and Tuckerman Brewing Company on Friday, July 19, followed by the famous after party on Saturday, July 20. Due to Saturday’s severe weather, the hike was moved to Sunday, July 21, when hikers enjoyed a complimentary tour of  Mount Washington Observatory’s mountaintop weather station.

All hikers who met the event’s $200 fundraising minimum were given an Eastern Mountain Sports Techwick t-shirt and an EMS day pack loaded with freebies. Those who exceeded the $200 minimum were awarded incentives based on their fundraising total, including headlamps, multi-tools, jackets, tents, kayaks and more.

The top fundraiser was Chris Choma of Reading, MA, who single-handedly raised $19,025. He was rewarded for his efforts with a “Keys to the Castle” ultimate Mount Washington adventure featuring private snow cat transportation and overnight accommodations for six at the Observatory’s mountaintop weather station. Choma’s team, Team Chawkanaw, clenched first place in the team division with $20,000 raised, and were each awarded $100 gift cards to Eastern Mountain Sports. The second place team, The Kilted Hikers, raised $8,662.20 and received $50 gift cards. 36 hikers raised $1,000 or more, each receiving an Eastern Mountain Sports soft shell jacket embroidered with the Mount Washington Observatory and Seek the Peak logos.

Other prizes included a one-year lease on a 2014 Subaru Outback, a $500 shopping spree at Settlers’ Green Outlet Village, an all-inclusive Mount Washington Observatory winter day trip for two, a $250 Eastern Mountain Sports gift card, and outdoor gear and gadgets ranging from boots, to backpacks, to GPS units.

“Prizes provide a powerful incentive for our participants,” says Events and Marketing Manager Krissy Fraser, “and our sponsors make that possible. We are incredibly thankful for their support.”

Seek the Peak has raised more than $1.3 million over its thirteen year history, supporting the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory’s work in weather observation, research and education. This success has been possible not only through the efforts of dedicated hikers, their donors, and corporate sponsors,
but also a small army of volunteers.

“54 volunteers donated their time and talents this year,” says Fraser. “It’s an understatement to say that this event would not be possible without them.”

The 14th annual event will be held July 18-19, 2014, and registration is scheduled to open December 2, 2013. To learn more about becoming an event participant, sponsor, or volunteer, visit SeekthePeak.org or call (603) 356-2137, 231.