35 Replies Latest reply: Nov 21, 2012 10:24 PM by GemPrincess Branched from an earlier discussion. RSS

Driving Mt. Washington

GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
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JC,

 

I thought my fears about Mt Washington were irrational at first till I started discussing it at the office, and all my colleagues assured me it was good to be fearful of Mt. Washington. Apparently many people drive right over the side, and its not really well known.  They seemed to think it happened on a regular basis (can't remember if it was weekly or monthly)

 

Because the road was built prior to the switchback designs for mountain roads, the road just circles around the edges and the ascent and descent is rather quick.  There are turnout places to stop and cool the breaks and tires, and we used every single one of them.  Apparently the most common mistake people make is to think they don't need to stop cause everything seems fine, and burn out their breaks and/or tires so that they fail, and they drive right off the edge.

 

Also it is quite cold at the summit.  We went up in July, and it was 70-80 degrees at the base, but at the summit it was 30 degrees and dropping. So when the participation started (yes it snowed in July on the summit of Mt. Washington) they closed the mountain and we had to drive down, part way in the snow. (this is what made me decide against haleakena,denali, etc.)

 

I will never drive on that mountain again. I am not even sure I like the idea of the vans.  Better to wait in line for the cog railway.

 

There is even a weather station at the summit, and you can make reservations to stay at the their as well.  I think they might even offer some weather classes as well.

 

The other popular NH thing to do was to walk/climb Mt. Washington.  Appartently you can hike a considerable distance without climbing.  And they have huts you can reserve to overnight in, for all you outdoor enthusiast.  As a GemPrincess I prefer 5 star hotels with lots of service. Sleeping in a hut with rough woolen blankets has no attraction for me, not to mention having to hike uphill to get there.

 

http://www.mountwashington.org/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Washington_(New_Hampshire)

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Location Brand Hotel
Mount Washington, New Hampshire, USA
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA Residence Inn By Marriott Residence Inn Colorado Springs North/Air Force Academy
Concord, New Hampshire, USA Courtyard By Marriott Courtyard Concord
Concord, New Hampshire, USA Fairfield Inn By Marriott Fairfield Inn Concord
Concord, New Hampshire, USA Residence Inn By Marriott Residence Inn Concord
Gilford, New Hampshire, USA TownePlace Suites By Marriott TownePlace Suites Gilford
  • Re: London Dining?
    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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    GP,

     

    Now you really know how dangerous this place can be!

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  • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
    NathalieF Community Manager Marriott Associate
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    This is branched from a previous conversation, Re: Argentina is on the bucket list

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  • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
    californian Platinum 37 Reviews
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    Pikes Peak warns people about using their brakes as opposed to down shifting.  When I drove up it, they had someone checking for heat in the tire wells on the way down.  If you had a problem, they would pull you over and make you wait till the brakes cooled down.  I guess since they charge a toll, they can afford to have a person check.  I have driven and another time taken the cog railway.  Both have advantages.

     

    Haleakala warns people but no one checks.  I have driven this road many times and have had snow some times.  Mountains have a weather system of its own and can change on a dime.

     

    To me the key is if you want to drive these, you should not be in a hurry.

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    • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
      jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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      californian,

       

      Great comments!

       

      People need to know about the "Challenges" of these peaks.

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  • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
    razorbackfan Alumni Steward Platinum 23 Reviews
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    We just enjoyed Mt. Washington from a distance.  The road was closed because of snow!  I had seen pictures of the drive and knew it would not be an enjoyable ride for us anyway.

     

    I did not know my husband was afraid of heights until we drove up Pikes Peak. (He wasn't my husband yet. )  He said he would have gladly paid someone any amount of $$$ to drive us down.  To hear him tell the story now, the road is plenty wide!

     

    I was surprised to hear that they had started the bicycle rides down Haleakala again.  We heard they had been stopped because they were so dangerous.

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    • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
      californian Platinum 37 Reviews
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      I heard the same thing about the bikes.  I was told that over half of the cost was for insurance.  Supposedly many people have been hurt.

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      • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
        jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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        californian,

         

        I was lucky and rode a bike down Pikes Peak.  It was a fantastic experience!

         

        One youngster was going too fast and had an accident, but otherwise it was fantastic.

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        • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
          californian Platinum 37 Reviews
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          Jerry,

           

          That must have been fun.  Would you do it again?

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          • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
            jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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            californian,

             

            Yes, the bike ride down was really a lot of fun.  There is only one bike outfit that did it, you cannot do it with your own bike.

             

            I also walked down Pikes Peak on another experience and it was a LONG Day!  Love Pikes Peak and MT. Washington as well!

             

            The first picture is the start of a bike ride down Pikes Peak, the second is the start of the walk down Pikes Peak!

             

            Both were very good experiences!

             

            PTDC0048.JPG

            PTDC0065.JPG

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            Location Brand Hotel
            Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA Residence Inn By Marriott Residence Inn Colorado Springs North/Air Force Academy
            • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
              californian Platinum 37 Reviews
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              Looks like fun.  the last time I was there was 2 mo ago and that is the time I took the cog train.  It was overcast and viability was not good but it was not too cold.

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              • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
                jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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                californian,

                 

                The cog train is most interesting.  Our problem was it doesn't leave till Noon and got to the top at around 1:30.  That was just too late to start a walk of 13 miles to the bottom.  We had over two hours walking in the dark!

                 

                The next day the weather got really bad, and we were lucky we got the hike in when we did.

                 

                Would do it again!

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                • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
                  californian Platinum 37 Reviews
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                  You must have been there off season.  I just checked and there are 2 for tomorrow, the first at 9:20am.  When I was there there were several each day.

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                  • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
                    jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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                    californian,

                     

                    Yes, it was late October, a few years ago, and they may have added more trips since then!

                     

                    It was a beautiful day!

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    • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
      GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
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      RB,

       

      The trip I was describing to Maui was in the 1980s and 1990s.

       

      I also had similiar problems driving from Dener to Breckinridge.  Had a conference in Denver, and so I thought I'd enjoy the weekend in Breckinridge at a friend's condo till I got on the road.  It was snowing so hard I could not see where I was going, but the drop off the road to the road was so steep, and since I couldn't see, had no idea if there was a shoulder or not to pull off on.  So we crept along following the tail lights of the car in front of us for hours.

       

      Another thing I will neve do again.  Even though it was the last week of April, 1st week of may, there are still blizzards.

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  • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
    razorbackfan Alumni Steward Platinum 23 Reviews
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    Just heard that the top wind gust recorded on Mount Washington during Hurricane Sandy was 139 miles per hour.

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    • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
      chrisf Alumni Steward Platinum 20 Reviews
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      THat's pretty scary Razor!

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    • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
      jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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      razor,

       

      I once read where the highest wind speed in America!

       

      Do not know what the speed of the wind was but 139 MPH may be a record?

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    • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
      GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
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      Thanx RB for the interesting info.

       

      Got me to thinking whether this is unusual for Mt. Washington, which is known for being very windy so I decided to check the historical records

       

      Interestingly enough, the highest recorded winds on Mt. Washington was on April 10, 1934 with winds of 231 MPH which is the all time land surface wind record recorded by man.  Australia is challenging this with Australian Tropical Cyclone Olivia in 1996 at 253 mph on Barrow Island in Australia

       

      Contrast this with Mt Washington today which is 40 MPH, and in the last 24 hr it was 110 mph.

       

      Or Hurricane Sandy windspeeds in NJ of 90+ MPH

       

      http://www.mountwashington.org/about/visitor/recordwind.php

      http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/summit.php

      http://www.mountwashington.org/

      http://www.huliq.com/8326/90882/mount-washington-nh-loses-wind-speed-record-australia

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      Location Brand Hotel
      Concord, New Hampshire, USA Courtyard By Marriott Courtyard Concord
      Concord, New Hampshire, USA Fairfield Inn By Marriott Fairfield Inn Concord
      Concord, New Hampshire, USA Residence Inn By Marriott Residence Inn Concord
      Gilford, New Hampshire, USA TownePlace Suites By Marriott TownePlace Suites Gilford
      • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
        californian Platinum 37 Reviews
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        I am not sure that I will be in that area but I will have to remember to stay away during the winds.

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        • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
          GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
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          Winds can be most of the year.  It's not unusual to be on the summit and have them close it.  I was there in July when it was 80 degrees at the base, but on the mt it was 38 degrees and falling.  It started to rain, and then as the temp dropped it started to snow in mid july.  They closed the mt, and we all had to head back down.  So what was already treacherous based on a circular road instead of switch backs, and a steep descent, was made even more treacherous by being wet and then freezing.

           

          My recommendation if you want to enjoy Mt. Washington, is take the cog railway so you don't need to worry about being in a vehicle on the road.

           

          No need to visit Mt Everst, Denali, Matterhorn, etc.  We have our own treacherous peak right here in NH which is a very low cost destination with nice Marriotts nearby.

           

          See America First!

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          • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
            jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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            GP,

             

            That is great advice, and the same holds true for Pikes Peak!

             

            Take the Cog Train!

             

            This is very, very true for European Alps!

            HPIM0182.JPG

            Don't "Drive" to places like this!  Take the tram or lift cars!

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      • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
        jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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        GP,

         

        You "Made my day" again!

         

        Thanks for that great information!

         

        Since I was there I have always wondered what the speed actually had become!

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        • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
          GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
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          JC,

           

          RB instigated it all by posting Mt. Washington Hurricane Sandy wind speeds

           

          It got me to thinking, what is normal for Mt Washington, given how abnormal my experience on the mountain has been, e.g. snow in July???

           


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  • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
    GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
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    JC,

     

    Great advice!

     

    Never realized mountain roads could be so treacherous, but they are!

     

    One mistake can be costly!

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  • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
    erc Platinum
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    Enjoying some terrific views of my own at Marriott's Timber Lodge in Tahoe - last night would have been a good night to be at the observatory at Mt. Washington

    http://www.metro.us/boston/comment/article/1156214--photos-see-the-aurora-borealis-from-the-mt-washington-observatory

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    • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
      GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
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      Never thought about that, but it is definately more managable to see the Northern Lights in the northern US states!

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    • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
      jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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      erc,

       

      I enjoy the pictures from Mt. Washington, but I am not going up there!

       

      Thanks!

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  • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
    chrisf Alumni Steward Platinum 20 Reviews
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    GemP ... I've just been catching up on this posting.  I can't understand why we haven't been to New Hampshire yet!  It looks like you have a whole bunch of parks with some stunning walking opportunities and it looks like a fairly short drive from Boston ... an easy flight from the UK.  As far as Mt Washington is concerned, I think that it will be the Cog Railway for us and, like you, we are definitely Cat 5 rather than 'hut' people.  My 'must visit' list gets longer by the day!

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    • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
      GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
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      I think you will enjoy it.

       

      You may also wish to extend the NH visit to include what I use to consider the New England Loop.

       

      My parents loved it, and would come twice a year (fall & spring).

       

      We always ended up doing the same things and everyone seemed to like it.

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      • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
        chrisf Alumni Steward Platinum 20 Reviews
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        ... the New England loop?  Is this a specific route, GemP?

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        • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
          GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
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          Just a route that we sort of made up taking in sites just over the border in Vermont, Northern New Hampsire, and the Southern Maine Seacoast stopping at all our favorite places to eat like Ben & Jerry's & Cabot Creamery in Vermont, Hart's Turkey Farm in NH and Cliffhouse Sunday Brunch in Maine, and stopping along the way to shop and sightsee.

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    • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
      californian Platinum 37 Reviews
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      The more I travel or read this site, the more places that go on my list.  Sometimes, I think it grows faster than I can remove them after going.

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      • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
        GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
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        Travel reading is definately dangerous for me as I am high suggestible.  Whether its a blog or book, once I have read it and liked it, I have to do it, hence the 80+ countries I visited, and many repeatedly.

         

        Tomorrow for lunch I am having the Nassau spiced pasties.

         

        Can't wait!

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        • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
          jerrycoin Alumni Steward Platinum 60 Reviews
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          GP,

           

          You are very blessed!

           

          Enjoy your Nassau spiced pastry, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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          • Re: Driving Mt. Washington
            GemPrincess Alumni Steward Platinum 17 Reviews
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            JC,

             

            How true!

             

            I am so very thankful for everything in my life!

             

            I feel truly fortuante, and have much to give thanks for!

             

            Happy Thanksgiving JC!

             

            Have a wonderful time celebrating!

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