Peak Perspectives

Professional Learning in Weather & Climate Education

Are you a formal or informal kindergarten-to-twelfth grade educator looking for hands-on, authentic ways to connect your students to weather and climate science learning that meets Next Generations Science Standards (NGSS)? Join the Mount Washington Observatory (MWOBS) Education Team this summer for an overnight professional learning experience like no other at our legendary Mount Washington summit weather station

Teachers will:

  • Observe and investigate phenomena associated with Mount Washington’s weather and climate;

  • Build an in-depth understanding of the instruments and processes needed to collect weather data;

  • Learn about the applications of weather data collection including weather prediction and public safety;

  • Learn how data are used in real-world research to answer questions and solve problems; and,

  • Explore local sources of weather and climate data along with community science protocols to get students participating in science investigations where they live.

Space is limited to eight teachers per trip. All meals and lodging included. Applications are required to be considered for this program.

To apply, visit this link to submit an application. Applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received.

Session 1: Monday, July 29th to Tuesday, July 30th

Session 2: Monday, August 19th to Tuesday, August 20th

The cost for accepted applicants will be $675. Financial aid may be available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Please describe your need in the program application.

Day 1

  • 8:30 AM: Participant meet-up at Mt. Washington Auto Road base.
  • 9:00 AM: Introductions and travel up Mt. Washington Auto Road.
  • 10:00 AM: Arrive at summit, safety briefing.
  • 11:00 AM: Summit outdoor session.
  • 12:30 PM: Lunch
  • 1:30 PM: Weather station tour.
  • 2:00 PM: Afternoon session.
  • 5:00 PM: Social hour with summit team.
  • 6:00 PM: Summit team dinner.
  • 7:00 PM: Evening session.
  • 8:00 PM: Sunset viewing (weather dependent)


Day 2

  • Early AM: Sunrise viewing (weather dependent)
  • 8:00 AM: Breakfast
  • 9:00 AM: Extreme Mount Washington Tour
  • 10:00 AM: Morning session, video lesson recording time (optional)
  • 12:00 PM: Lunch
  • 1:00 PM: Teacher planning and video lesson recording time (optional).
  • 2:00 PM: Depart summit
  • 3:00 PM: Program end at Mt. Washington Auto Road base.

All we ask is for you to bring a sense of wonder, curiosity, and flexibility. Our time spent together will be adapted based on group interests and, of course, weather conditions!

Mount Washington is one of the most extreme and remarkable places on the planet, but not everyone is suited for this environment.

The New Hampshire Fire Marshall’s Office requires that all summit visitors and volunteers meet one basic requirement: In the event of an emergency, you must be physically able to “self-evacuate” from the summit. This means you must have the physical ability to get yourself down the mountain, even in extreme conditions. We urge all participants to take this requirement very seriously.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road, which we use to access the summit, is about eight miles long. Approximately half of the road is above tree line. Weather above tree line is often severe and can turn deadly if you are unprepared, ill-equipped, or unable to hike to safety in the event of a vehicular breakdown.

Please Note: Trips will not be made far above tree line if the weather is judged to be extraordinarily severe but even normal weather on Mount Washington can prove lethal to those who are unfit or poorly prepared.

Summer Weather
Our summer operating season is defined as the time when the Mt. Washington Auto Road is open to private vehicles. Generally, this is mid-May through mid-October.

An average mid-summer day on Mount Washington has a high temperature of about 53°F and an overnight low of about 42°F, but freezing temperatures can occur during any month of the year. Winds average about 25 mph, with hurricane-force gusts possible. Thick, wet fog occurs on about 90% of the days in summer, and measurable precipitation is recorded about every other day.

Hiking conditions may include frigid temperatures, high winds, blowing precipitation, and limited visibility.

Due to the severity of these conditions, we require that all participants:

  • Are at least 18 years of age or are accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.
  • Are ready, willing, and able to hike to safety on the Mt. Washington Auto Road, which could be up to eight miles on the steep, snow-covered mountain road, or possibly several miles on the rugged trails above tree line, amidst extreme weather conditions, such as blowing snow, thick fog, sub-zero temperatures, and high winds.
  • Are properly prepared with all the required clothing and equipment.
  • Understand the risks and hazards of participating in a visit to the Mount Washington Observatory.
  • Have to the best of their knowledge, completely filled out any pertinent health and safety information upon registration. If significant changes in health have occurred, please contact with this information.

Summer Trip Gear List

  • Wicking base layer
  • Insulating mid-layer such as a fleece
  • Waterproof outer layer/shell jacket
  • Shell pants
  • Pair of gloves
  • Wool socks
  • Hat
  • Hiking boots
  • Headlamp/Flashlight
  • Water bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Additional layers
  • Sunblock
  • Basic first aid supplies
  • Trekking Poles (optional)

Additional Requirements for Overnight Guests

  • Indoor “lounging” clothes & footwear
  • Sleeping bag (one fitted sheet and a pillow will be provided by MWO)
  • All necessary toiletries
  • Food items (if special non-allergenic dietary restrictions apply)
  • While less likely in summer, extreme weather may occur at any time, and may delay a trip’s start or finish. For this reason, we recommend that you remain flexible with your travel plans on days one and two of the program. Weather-related changes are an inherent part of any true alpine adventure.
  • If needed, a list of area lodging options is available here [link].
  • Living and sleeping arrangements at the summit weather station are a communal space. Please note that bunkrooms are shared sleeping spaces with 3-4 bunks per room and may be co-ed.

If you are looking to satisfy certain professional learning goals, plus let us know in your application. Letters of program participation are available for all who attend.

For more information, email or call 603-356-2137 ext. 225.