2010-10-24 15:14:03.000 – Jennifer Finn, Summit Intern
This week marks the halfway point of my fall internship, and it’s amazing how much the weather has changed since when I first came up the mountain in August. This past week we’ve seen winds gusting over 90 mph (not quite 100…but soon hopefully!) as well as temperatures in the single digits. With conditions outside essentially winter, everything has shut down up here in the Rockpile. For us summit dwellers, it means having time to carve a pretty awesome pumpkin (any Harry Potter fans out there?) and maybe even having a dance party in the now empty Rotunda. However, hikers planning on coming up the mountain should know that the Sherman Adams building is closed to any and all patrons as of 5PM this evening. This does not mean that you cannot still hike the mountain, but if you choose to do so, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
First and foremost, make sure you are equipped for the weather. That means have all the clothing and gear you might need for snow, ice and cold temperatures. Also remember to pack any extra equipment you may need as backup or tools for repair in case something breaks unexpectedly. You can also check our website for the daily forecast before heading up so you know what to expect. Even if it’s nice in the valley, jeans and sneakers probably aren’t the best option for hiking up the mountain if temperatures are below freezing and winds are high. We do say we’re home of the world’s worst weather for a reason!
Secondly, the Auto Road and Cog Railway are no longer running to the summit. So if you hike up, be prepared to hike down. Again, the Sherman Adams building is closed from here on out and there will be no admittance to any of the facilities that are open during the summer season. Another important thing to keep in mind is that the sun is setting earlier each day. When planning a trip up to the summit, be sure you have ample time to make it down before it starts getting dark. If you choose to go later in the day, flashlights and/or headlamps are most certainly a necessity if you are going to be doing a bit of night hiking.
Mount Washington is a beautiful place meant to be enjoyed, and the best way to ensure you get the most out of your experience is making sure you are well prepared.
Jennifer Finn, Summit Intern