Tag Archives: Mt Washington

Beat the heat aboard the Cog Railway

Looking for a way to beat the heat this week as temps jump into the 90s? In addition to status as the first mountain-climbing cog railway in the world, The Mount Washington Cog Railway stands as the only alpine train ride east of the Rockies! Located on the tallest peak in the Northeast, The Cog experience combines summer travel’s two key mandates: It’s refreshing and a great deal.

Outfitted with a fleet of both eco-friendly biodiesel and historic steam locomotives, The Cog offers a variety of times so family and friends can enjoy the breezy, three-hour round-trip above tree line where the 360-degree view is spectacular (some days you may literally be above the clouds) and the air bracing enough to require a sweater.

Visitors seeking an escape from this week’s heat wave spend nearly an hour in the invigorating atmosphere at the 6,288-foot destination. Tickets ensure free admission to the summit’s historic Tip Top House and the Observatory’s new “Extreme Mount Washington” exhibit, which, among other fascinating weather-related tasks, charts the daily mercury. The warmest temperature ever recorded was 72°F in 2003.

At the Base Station, complimentary admission to The Cog Railway Museum reveals the groundbreaking rail technology engineered by Sylvester Marsh during the height of the Industrial Revolution. Here, visitors can also get a sneak peek of the Cog’s new documentary, “Climbing to the Clouds”.

Savvy planners can save a cool $13 on The Cog’s “Afternoon Special”. This attractive pricing applies to the last train of the day, restrictions apply.

Advance ticket purchase is recommended. For a detailed schedule and to purchase tickets online, visit: www.thecog.com or call: 603-278-5404.

Summer at The Cog is all about cool comfort, fun and easy access. The Mount Washington Cog Railway is located at Base Station Road in Marshfield Station, NH, six miles from Rte. 302 and Bretton Woods.

Register for Seek the Peak and Join the Fun!


Seek the Peak 13

Registration is open for our 13th annual Seek the Peak hike-a-thon:
The earlier you register, the more time you’ll have to fundraise, and the more prizes and incentives you’ll earn!

Why Seek the Peak?

Prizes. Everything from hiking boots to an overnight snowcat trip on Mount Washington is up for grabs. We award hundreds of prizes worth thousands of dollars.

Incentives. The harder you fundraise, the more gear you go home with: From our signature Seek the Peak Eastern Mountain Sports Teckwick t-shirt, to backpacks, tents, kayaks, and more.

Good karma. Seek the Peak is the largest annual fundraiser for the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory, so every penny you raise goes directly to support our work.

A great time.
Featuring some of the best above-treeline trekking in the lower 48—and quite possibly the best after party, too—scaling Mount Washington as a participant in Seek the Peak is an incredibly rewarding physical challenge, wrapped up into a two-day party.

So what are you waiting for? Register now and join us July 19-20, 2013 for the nation’s premier hiking event—it’s the most rewarding hike you’ll ever take!

Best regards,

Abby Blackburn
Membership & Events Coordinator

Seek the Peak 13 is presented by Eastern Mountain Sports, Subaru, and Vasque
Support these great brands, and you support Mount Washington Observatory!


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



Highlights from 2nd Annual Alton Weagle Day

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PINKHAM NOTCH, NH-The 2nd Annual Alton Weagle Day on the Mt. Washington Auto Road turned out to be a great success and was proof positive that more than 150 years after it opened, the lure of being the first to do something on the Northeast’s highest peak is as compelling today as it ever was.

This year’s event found an eclectic group of first ascenders lining up at 6 am to begin their record setting attempts. Each was inspired to march to the beat of a quite different drummer, but together they created a morning on Mt. Washington like no other.

Jesse Lyman-The Fireman-In what was certainly the most physically demanding attire of the day, this 45 year old, 18 year veteran of North Conway Fire Department donned full bunker gear (pants, boots, jacket, gloves, hoodie, helmet and breathing apparatus) and made a successful ascent on what was an 80 degree day.

Andy Macleod-Star Wars Scout Trooper-This 27 year old Boston resident wore the easily recognizable white “armor” of the Scout Trooper from the Star Wars movie series. Carrying his “blaster” and in a full face helmet, Macleod made a stellar effort.

Leanne Lovell, Craig Newton-Recumbent Trikes-Climb Mt. Washington while laying down, now there’s an idea! These 37 year olds from Orange, Massachusetts rode their “lawn chair on wheels” (as they called their trikes), on a 1200 miles tour last summer, have done all the New England states in 36 hours and are currently planning a cross country trip.

Sean Doherty-Roller Skier Extraordinaire-In a performance that reminds the rest of us what true athletic excellence looks like, this 17 year old from Conway roller skied his way to the top of the Northeast’s highest peak in just one hour and 45 minutes Doherty, who is already revealing a stunning depth of ability as a biathlon skier, recently was one of only six teenagers from the United States invited to participate in the Youth Winter Olympics in Austria, where he won a medal.

Sue Wemyss-Nordic Walking-Proving that former Olympians can still kick your butt in most athletic endeavors, Wemyss, 52, powered her way to the top in just two hours five minutes. As Ski School Director and a paddling guide at Great Glen Trails she considers physical conditioning a way of life and shares her passion for fitness and the outdoors all year round.

Hans Bauer-Backwards, Barefoot, Jumping Rope-Returning to the Auto Road after making a successful winter ascent this past season on stilts with snowshoes, Bauer latest ascent was a tribute to the event’s namesake, Alton Weagle. It was Weagle, in various attempts throughout the 1950s, who eventually climbed the road barefoot, backwards, blindfolded and pushing a wheelbarrow with 100 pounds of sugar in it.

Steven Caming-Go Kart, in buckskins and coonskin cap-This eccentric character, who also serves as Media Director for the Auto Road, followed last year’s backwards drive up the road with this first ever go kart ascent. The 6 horsepower contraption featured antlers on the front, a leather wrapped frame and a bird house hanging off the back. While the 60+ mph winds, fog and rain on the summit made for a dramatic finish.

An awards ceremony in the newly dedicated Douglas A. Philbrook Red Barn Museum completed the festivities and then this group of newly minted Mt. Washington superheroes each went back to their day jobs, to await the next time Mt. Washington’s siren song lures them back to Pinkham Notch.

For more information about Alton Weagle Day or general operations at the Mt. Washington Auto Road call (603) 466-3988

Mount Washington Observatory Happenings

Spring has definitely sprung in Mount Washington Valley, and the summit of Mount Washington is slowly following suit. The average monthly temperature of 23 degrees that we experienced in April is up to 37 degrees thus far for May, with temps as high as 50 degrees recorded last weekend.The Mt. Washington Auto Road is open to tree line, the Mt. Washington Cog Railway is running trains on the weekends, and both attractions, along with the Mt. Washington State Park, plan to commence full summer operations over Memorial Day weekend (or sooner, if conditions allow). Watch their respective websites for the most current information.If you’re planning a visit, be sure to check our Higher Summits Forecast and webcams—fog, thunderstorms, and wildly variable temperatures are common conditions for this time of year.

Think you can handle this guy’s job? Let us know!
Now Accepting Applicants for Director of Summit Operations This September, the Observatory’s longest-running and most experienced staff member, Director of Summit Operations Ken Rancourt, will be retiring.* Having served in nearly every position at the Observatory, from weather observer, to snow cat operator, research director, trip leader, summit staff manager and more, Ken leaves big shoes to fill.Do you or someone you know have what it takes to be the next Mount Washington Observatory Director of Summit Operations? Find out, and pass the position description along to anyone you know who may be qualified.*More about Ken’s retirement, and our recognition of it, coming soon!

This could be you!
Rally School Experience Added to Seek the Peak Prize Lineup Thanks to the Team O’Neil Rally School, Seek the Peak’s newest in-kind sponsor, two lucky Seek the Peak hikers will win a full-day rally driving lesson—including techniques like left-foot breaking and slide maneuvers—in a real rally car at Team O’Neil’s professional training facility.To become eligible for this and other great prizes and incentives, simply register for Seek the Peak and meet the $200 fundraising minimum!

Welcome, Will!
Will Broussard Named Outreach Coordinator We are proud to welcome Will Broussard to the Observatory staff as our new outreach coordinator. The Antioch University graduate is excited to put his passion for environmental education to work in classrooms around New England.Bring the science of Mount Washington’s weather to your class, camp, troop, or group by scheduling an Observatory outreach program with Will today.

Explore the many mysteries of the Himalayan glaciers
‘Rivers of Ice’ on Display at MIT Museum
In April we were honored to host GlacierWorks founder David Breashears at the Museum of Science, Boston for a guided tour of his latest work on the Himalayan glaciers. Now through March 2013, you can explore these ever-evolving “rivers of ice” for yourself in a stunning, interactive, and in-depth exhibition at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, MA.

You shop, they donate
Shopping EMS? Start on MountWashington.org 
As the Observatory’s official outfitter, Eastern Mountain Sports kicks back a portion of all sales that originate on our website. So bookmark this page, share it with your friends, and use it the next time you shop—it doesn’t cost you a thing!

A must-read for any true White Mountains enthusiast
ON SALE: ‘Joe Dodge’ 2nd Edition One of the best known names in New England, Joe Dodge left an indelible mark on the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Get to know this local legend—and Observatory co-founder—through the eyes of friend and well-known White Mountains author, William Lowell Putnam.Regular price: $19.95
Sale: $16.95 (15% off)

Make Your Own Record on the Mt. Washington Auto Road on May 26th

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Make Your Own Record on the Mt. Washington Auto Road on May 26th

As Part of the 2nd Annual Alton Weagle Unusual Ascent Day


Mt. Washington, NH- The Mt. Washington Auto Road will be hosting the 2nd Annual Alton Weagle Unusual Ascent Day on Saturday, May 26th as part of the kick-off celebration for the Road’s 151st operating season. The event will commemorate the many unusual ascents made on the “Carriage Road” since it opened to the public in 1861.

This spirit of fun and adventure was perhaps best captured by day’s namesake, the late Alton Weagle of Walpole. Weagle was a great advocate for safe and sustainable enjoyment of the White Mountains, who became known for awhile as “Mr. Mt. Washington”, thanks to his entertaining exploits during the 1950s. At various times he has run up the Auto Road barefoot, backwards and blindfolded (up and down) and he has pushed up a wheelbarrow with a 100 pound sack of sugar without setting it down; Weagle climbed up and down Tuckerman Ravine, along the Cog Railway and the Auto Road (30 miles) in 14 hours 28 minutes and even got married on the Cog Railway in 1955.

All of this follows in a great tradition of remarkable Auto Road ascents throughout history, which will be further shared and celebrated on May 26th. “Mt. Washington has always drawn a unique assortment of characters in search of personal distinction-some have been more serious minded than others, of course,” said Howie Wemyss, Auto Road general manager.

As part of last year’s festivities, several unusual “first ascents” were accomplished, including one person who made the climb on a unicycle, two on roller skis, one on rollerblades, a trio who Irish stepped danced their way to the top and one man who backed his vehicle from base to summit along the winding 8 mile road to the northeast’s highest peak. Several unique ascents are planned for 2012, including: 2 people riding tricycles; one Star Wars scout trooper; one man pogo sticking; a fireman in full fire fighter gear including SCBA and hand tool and a buckskin character going up in a go-kart, among others.

Those members of the public who purchase passes and drive up the road on Alton Weagle Day are invited to participate by wearing funny hats and sending in a photo of themselves going up the mountain, which will be posted online and be eligible to win prize passes for a later visit.

A special ceremony recognizing records set that day will take place at 1pm at the Glen House base building. Anyone else interested in participating with an unusual ascent of their own is required to contact the Auto Road at 466-3988 for schedules and more information.


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Auto Road opens to “Treeline” tomorrow (May 5th)

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Mt. Washington Auto Road Opening to Treeline on May 5th, Commencing 151st Season of the Nation’s Oldest Manmade Attraction on Northeast’s Highest Peak

PINKHAM NOTCH, NH- A historic ritual that has been played out in Pinkham Notch for the past century and a half will be repeated this Saturday, May 5th, when the Mt. Washington Auto Road opens its gates to the public for drives to the treeline at 4,200 feet on the Northeast’s highest peak. The road crew has been hard at work for several weeks, protecting and preparing the surface to best weather the onset of Spring conditions. It is expected the road will be fully open to the summit within the next two weeks.

“The road has weathered the unusual winter conditions very well, which means we can finally say yes to all the people who have been calling wanting to drive up Mt. Washington!” noted Auto Road General Manager Howie Wemyss. “In fact, considering that the leaves have barely started to open, there are even great views to be had below treeline and the views at treeline of the northern Presidential mountains and beyond are just spectacular,” Wemyss said.

Special rates are being offered for the drive to treeline: $25 per car, including passengers (within safety parameters) and only $8 per motorcycle or $15 per motorcycle with a passenger.

For more information regarding the Mt. Washington Auto Road operations, events and other offerings please call 603-466-3988 or check online at www.mtwashingtonautoroad.com

Mount Washington Observatory Welcomes United States Congressman Charlie Bass

Mount Washington Observatory Welcomes United States Congressman Charlie Bass

At the Mount Washington Observatory on Thursday, weather observer Steve Welsh shows Congressman Charles F. Bass a Hays chart, a visual representation of Mount Washington’s wind speeds over a twenty-four hour period.”

Mount Washington, NH – On February 23, Mount Washington Observatory welcomed Congressman Charles F. Bass (NH-02) for a special visit to its famous mountaintop weather station. Executive Director Scot Henley, Director of Summit Operations Ken Rancourt, and members of the Mount Washington Observatory Board of Trustees accompanied Congressman Bass and New Hampshire State Representative Gene Chandler of Bartlett on a full-day trip to explore the work of the legendary nonprofit institution.

The group ascended the mountain via snow cat, pushing through snowdrifts, blowing snow, and wind gusts reaching 60 mph. At the summit, Congressman Bass visited with staff from the Observatory and Mt. Washington State Park, toured the weather station, and enjoyed a home-cooked lunch prepared by Mount Washington Observatory volunteer Hilary Clark of York, Maine.

During his visit, the Congressman had the unique opportunity to join Mount Washington weather observer and education specialist Rick Giard on a distance learning program with students from Pelham Elementary School, offering a special welcome from the Northeast’s tallest peak via videoconferencing technology. The students were participating in a live distance learning program between the Observatory and the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, New Hampshire.

“Mount Washington Observatory is one of the most unique features of our state. When people think of New Hampshire, they think of the Old Man of the Mountain, our first-in-the-nation primary, and Mount Washington, ‘Home of the World’s Worst Weather,’” said Congressman Bass. “A private, nonprofit institution supported by the people of New Hampshire, the Observatory’s contributions to research on climate and weather science continues to provide a non-biased, thorough review of climate data for scientists around the world. Despite the blustery and challenging conditions outside today, the staff and volunteers’ warm welcome and eagerness to talk about their work made it a truly informative and enlightening trip.”

“We were delighted to introduce Congressman Bass to our work,” said Henley. “With windy and icy winter conditions, the Congressman got a good taste of a Mount Washington winter, and an inside look at the research and educational work we do up here on the mountain.”

Mount Washington Observatory is a private, nonprofit, member-supported research and educational institution with a mission to advance understanding of Earth’s weather and climate. Since 1932, the Observatory has been monitoring Mount Washington’s incredible extremes, conducting scientific research, educating the public about the science of weather and climate, and amassing one of North America’s longest and most unique climate records. For weather reports, webcams, summit trips, photos and more, visit MountWashington.org.

Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center Offers Free Programs

Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center Offers Free Program Saturday Night!!

Saturday, February 25

Observing Mount Washington’s Weather

What exactly is a meteorologist and how do they make a forecast? Forget the suits and ties and enter the exciting world of the Mount Washington Observatory! Through a live, interactive videoconference with the Observatory’s mountaintop crew, find out who these adventurous scientists are, how they collect data, what kind of data they collect, and how they translate it into information you can use. You’ll never think of meteorologists the same way again!


For more exciting educational outreach opportunities with Mount Washington Observatory, including snow cat trips to the summit weather station and outreach programs for schools, visit MountWashington.org or call (800) 706-0432, x225.

Mount Washington Observatory is a private, nonprofit, member-supported research and educational institution with a mission to advance understanding of Earth’s weather and climate. Since 1932, the Observatory has been observing Mount Washington’s incredible extremes, conducting scientific research, educating the public about the science of weather and climate, and amassing one of North America’s longest and most unique climate records. For weather reports, webcams, summit trips, photos and more, visit MountWashington.org.


Mount Washington Observatory

2779 White Mountain Highway
Post Office Box 2310
North Conway, NH 03860
(603) 356-2137, x212


Help support independent research and education on Mount Washington by making a tax-deductible donation to the nonprofit Mount Washington Observatory today.

First Snowcoach of Winter 2012

First Snowcoach of Winter 2012 Makes its Way Up the Mt. Washington Auto Road,

Celebrating 15 years of Operation on the Northeast’s Highest Peak


PINKHAM NOTCH, NH-The four massive treads of the SnowCoach dug into the fresh snow that covers the Mt. Washington Auto Road, offering a surprisingly smooth surface for day one of the tours. There was great excitement among the passengers, none of whom had experienced Mt. Washington and the winter world above treeline before. While limited snowfall made this one of the latest starts to the “SnowCoaching” season, it was an auspicious beginning, with sunny skies, brisk temperatures and unlimited views.

The two snowcoaches have a team of specially trained drivers, who surely have one of the most unique jobs in the United States-sentiment echoed by passengers as they ascended. “It’s hard to believe that some people get to work every day in such an amazing location. This is just a spectacular experience!” said Brad Halstead of Rye, NH, who took the tour with his wife, Jen. “At six months pregnant, I can’t think of a better way to see Mt. Washington in winter,” Mrs. Halstead said with a laugh.

The SnowCoach is indeed a unique way to travel. These same custom built Chevy passenger vans ferry guests up the Auto Road in summer, albeit with four tires instead of the winter treads. Capable of carrying up to 9 passengers, each trip up the road in a SnowCoach can be as unique as a snowflake, with no two ever being exactly alike.

“What’s really terrific about the SnowCoach is that we can take anyone, at any age, into an alpine environment they might never see otherwise. It really is a comfortable adventure for the whole family, in an unforgettable place,” said Great Glen Trails general manager, Howie Wemyss.

The SnowCoach tour up Mt. Washington takes approximately 1 ¼ hours and departs daily, weather permitting, on a first come, first served basis. The price for adults is $45, $30 for kids ages 5-12. A Total Trails Ticket ($69) includes a SnowCoach tour as well as an all day trail and tubing pass, as well as snowshoe and/or ski rentals. For more information call the Mt. Washington Auto Road or Great Glen Trails at (603) 466-3988 or online at greatglentrails.com

Fun pics from Bretton Woods

Our friends at Bretton Woods sent us these great shots!!  The skiing is great!

Living and Working in Conway NH – A series – finale

Well, this week will be my last week with the Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce.   I will be heading south to be the Executive Director of the Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce with offices located in Laconia and Franklin.  As some of my previous posts mentioned, I moved to West Ossipee at the end of June, so I will continue to commute from there to my new office location.

I spoke about owning your own business, but briefly touched upon other opportunities.  Working at the chamber is one, there are also many other non-profits to work for if you are interested in that avenue like Memorial Hospital.  The Mt Washington Valley Economic Counsel is at the new Tech Village and that has many high tech companies located within that people can work for along with Educational Opportunities.  Working at the outlets in a retail environment is another option; Settlers’ OVP and Settlers’ Crossing have many stores and opportunities.

If you are a teacher we have elementary and high schools to teach at; we also have manufacturing and service jobs.  Basically, there are many jobs available based on ones vocation.  If you are relocating from a larger city, you will find the pay scales to be different and you will need to be aware of that when looking for a position.  Then again, the housing and rental markets are different than the larger cities also.  Driving 20 – 40 minutes to get some where is not unheard of when you move to this area.

Many people relocate here for a quality of life change.  The natural beauty and outdoor activities draw people here from the southern cities.  Skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing, skating, road biking, hiking, kayaking… the possibilities are endless and are up to you to decide on what will be your hobby or escape.

The Chamber has relocation packets available if you are interested in learning more about this great area to live and work.