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When you see a vehicle sporting a bumper sticker that reads "This Car Climbed Mt Washington" realize they took the easy way.More fun can be had by hiking it. Doesn't matter what season although I'm partial to winter. This mountain in New Hampshire U.S.A. reaches a height of 6288 ft. It is home to the National weather observatory where they have recorded world record wind speeds. Other weather conditions include extreme cold temperatures and heavy dense fog.The observatory calls itself "Home of the Worlds Worst Weather"
"Home of the Great Spirit" is how the mountain was referred to before European settlers came to this country. It is in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains and the Appalachian Trail crosses the summit.
Caution can't be emphasized enough as scores of hikers have died on the mountain in all seasons. Just this January 13 2013 twelve hikers were swept away in an avalanche. Luckily all survived. Avalanches are common and 100 or so occur every year.
To climb the mountain requires a certain amount of fortitude and some experience in mountaineering is a plus. At the very least someone with this knowledge should accompany you. Proper clothing and equipment for the season is a must. Winter you will want ice axes, picks, crampons, snow shoes, rope just to name a few items.
Once you have cleared the tree line and the summit is near I found the need for frequent rest periods and cramps were my constant companion. If you make it to the top the exhilaration is exceeded only by the view and hopefully weather cooperates so that you will be standing above and looking down on the clouds. Oftentimes the scene is otherworldly and resembles what you might expect to encounter on another planet. Most times we leave early in the morning with head lamps attached and arrive back at lodge approximately eight to ten hours later.
October 27th, 2012
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