True facts about New Hampshire’s Mount Washington

  1. At 6,288 feet elevation, it’s the tallest point in the Northeast U.S. and part of the Presidential Range in the White Mountains.
  2. Access to the summit is by the Mount Washington Cog Railway on the western slope or by the Mount Washington Auto Road on the east, in addition to hiking. The Appalachian trail crosses the crest.
  3. The mountain is known for its record-making weather. Scientists spending a residency in the winter at the Mount Washington Observatory near the summit have wild tales to tell.
  4. Several storm tracks converge on the mountain, making forecasting difficult.
  5. Hurricane-force gusts are observed there an average 110 days a year.
  6. Tuckerman Ravine, with 50-degree slopes, is snow-covered for much of the year and notorious for its avalanches. Care to ski in June?
  7. The Alpine Garden and Bigelow Lawn plateaus above tree line feature many plants otherwise found in the Arctic.
  8. The first European to record the mountain was Giovanni da Verrazzano, viewing it from the Atlantic Ocean in 1524. The first ascent was claimed in 1642 by Darby Field.
  9. A race up the mountain every June attracts hundreds of seasoned runners. The Mount Washington Bicycle Hillclimb retraces the route in August for top-flight cyclists.
  10. No, the state’s iconic emblem, the Old Man of the Mountain, wasn’t attached to Washington but rather Cannon Mountain in Franconia Notch to the west before finally succumbing to gravity in 2003.

 

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