690 Enduro Forum

Adventure! => Story-Time => Topic started by: Rusty Shovel on June 12, 2014, 01:45:05 am

Title: Mt. Washington
Post by: Rusty Shovel on June 12, 2014, 01:45:05 am
Went on a ride to the top of Mt. Washington today.  I was disappointed to discover my GoPro hadn't captured my ascent (user error).  The Mt. Washington Auto Road is well worth the $16 entrance fee.  It's a 8-mile ribbon of tarmac and gravel roads.  There are vertigo inducing vistas, hairpin switchbacks, sheer dropoffs, and no guard rails.  Though they do have a race up this road every year, I'd recommend a mellow throttle; the drop would be unforgiving.  Cars REALLY struggle with the incline.  There are stations for servicing radiators on the way up, and constant signs warning motorists to use a low gear and stay off the brakes on the way down.  I enjoyed the drive so much that I went up and down twice.

What a view!

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-KJ0rhY4msxU/U5kckXYK5xI/AAAAAAAABRo/t9Rs8spHidY/w1357-h260-no/DSCN5714.JPG)

Mt. Washington is the highest peak in the northeast and has some of the most extreme weather in the world.  But don't take my word for it:

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-yrXnLqaZd_Q/U5keoW3fEVI/AAAAAAAABRo/dBN_U9bFAFw/w647-h863-no/DSCN5728.jpg)

The winds are so strong, they actually have to anchor chain the buildings to the ground:

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-iTtxGW6WNGE/U5kfP4_uCPI/AAAAAAAABRo/elr-1juBwpQ/w1151-h863-no/DSCN5729.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-EeU4rBguEVE/U5kfS89jHgI/AAAAAAAABRo/yNDK7rHqpHk/w1151-h863-no/DSCN5730.JPG)

The shoulders and peak are above the timberline and are shrouded in fog 300 days of the year.  Because hikers often get lost in the mist, they've erected cairns along the trail every 10 yards or so. 

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-hTnMQqO5KWo/U5khD6DBAbI/AAAAAAAABRo/fRHSjiA5Pyc/w1151-h863-no/DSCN5738.JPG)

I went hiking along the cairn trail for about 20 minutes.  I found that I am overused to sea level air; I was sucking wind like a landed fish.

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-oI6J00yGCNU/U5kgxf-7OaI/AAAAAAAABRo/donBbtHfDDA/w1357-h260-no/DSCN5741.JPG)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-UdBJgtVFP-M/U5kgS63-5oI/AAAAAAAABRo/navlG9qnDRQ/w1151-h863-no/DSCN5734.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-gqVPTIg8Iz4/U5kgINGsvbI/AAAAAAAABRo/HbUDLTW361E/w1151-h863-no/DSCN5735.JPG)

Truly "purple mountain's majesty!"

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-8PTzafDlBRA/U5kg9ZEcxNI/AAAAAAAABRo/eM_iNL1PP0g/w1151-h863-no/DSCN5737.JPG)

Despite precautions such as the cairns, folks die on the mountain every year.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lAAhAq83Z_A/U5keYmO5n3I/AAAAAAAABRo/uUpQOR8mqAM/w1151-h863-no/DSCN5725.JPG)

I didn't photograph the list of names because it did seem morbid.  There were a lot of names.  I was offended by the sign itself.  If my son had died on the mountain, and they had the temerity to list his name next to a sign which proclaimed him "dumb" or "ignorant," I'd burn their weather station down.  Still, the quote at the bottom was thought provoking.  They should have let the words of Edward Whymper stand alone:

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-mRDRv4r_qjg/U5keZfU2zlI/AAAAAAAABRo/tdMy2UOJ7B8/w1151-h863-no/DSCN5726.JPG)

Here's a parting shot of the modern weather station:

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-0-bd3GOoZG4/U5kd2FeNp3I/AAAAAAAABRo/qfdpvyqYnWM/w647-h863-no/DSCN5722.jpg)

Here's a comparison shot of it during the winter:

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-k0UTsiAEKXk/UJh1QfHFYMI/AAAAAAAAAMA/lRhUPVUWbRw/s1600/mount-washington-tower.jpg)

Amazingly, two-thirds of all winter days endure class 2 hurricane winds.  Extreme weather fanatics come from all over to hike Mt. Washington during the winter.  No thanks.  I prefer a sunny day and a 70 hp motorcycle, thanks. 

Alpine tundra and howling winds be damned!  I pitched my tent back down in the trees on the banks of the Swift River.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-Y5THPq6cYLY/U5kcs9vXe3I/AAAAAAAABRo/Cazy07zD4E8/w1151-h863-no/DSCN5712.JPG)

I busted out my fly rod and fished until dark.  And yes, I did prove the existence of fish in New Hampshire.  I'm now certain that the state contains at least 5 fish--all of them beneath this bridge:

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-Z6zzpFuMhEA/U4U0__bdl1I/AAAAAAAABNA/3CQqPNEdXSU/w1151-h863-no/DSCN5707.JPG)

Whether New Hampshire has any fish larger than 13 inches remains conjecture. 

Rusty
Title: Re: Mt. Washington
Post by: Alabama Adventurer on June 13, 2014, 04:48:48 pm
A nice article and great pictures!  I learned something new today. ;D
Title: Re: Mt. Washington
Post by: Tmblwd on June 15, 2014, 07:01:29 pm
I see you got a nice photo of Wildcat ski area across the street from Mt Washington, beautiful views of Tuckermans Ravine when looking back from skiing there. The last time I went to the top of Washinton on a bike the wind was 65 mph and I could hardly hold the bike up!
Title: Re: Mt. Washington
Post by: seabeegt on July 14, 2014, 04:27:04 pm
Awesome story. U rode that all the way from Houston?
Title: Re: Mt. Washington
Post by: Rusty Shovel on July 15, 2014, 05:28:11 pm
Awesome story. U rode that all the way from Houston?

Nah, I'm working up in Maine this summer so I brought all my toys in the back of my truck.  Homebase is Kennebunk, ME.
Title: Re: Mt. Washington
Post by: Dane1960 on July 20, 2014, 07:33:50 am
Awesome Pictures