Mt. Washington: A grand but treacherous mountain.

Cog Railway--Mt. Washington

Cog Railway–Mt. Washington

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Mt. Washington, in New Hampshire, holds the record for the second highest wind speed ever recorded: 231 mph!

The May 2011 issue of Backpacker magazine gives these statistics about the mountain for the continental U.S. Coldest year-round average temperature (27.2 degrees F), most subfreezing days per year (242), most days per year in heavy clouds (244), and highest annual rainfall (101.9 inches).

The article goes on to say: Mt. Washington lies at a convergence of storm paths coming from the south Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific Northwest. Add the mountain’s north-south orientation (which blocks moderating west winds), and you get a recipe for perfect storms year-round.

You must be prepared when you climb this grand but treacherous mountain. The picture was taken on a cold summit in August, but we had clear views which is rare. When I hiked over the summit on my A.T. thru-hike in ’03, I couldn’t see a thing as I squinted from cairn to cairn in a stinging rain.

The four of us in the picture decided the hike up was enough and took the mountain’s Cog Railway down from the summit.

(The photo in the Mt. Washington hyperlink was taken by Roger Albright.)

One thought on “Mt. Washington: A grand but treacherous mountain.

  1. Pingback: Why Do I Love Mountain Climbing? | Stories of My Wandering Feet & Mind

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