On April 12, 1934, Mount Washington recorded a record 231 mph wind. The next year, nature delivered a runner-up as a hurricane hit the Florida Keys with 200-mile-an-hour gusts. For comparison, winds in a tornado are estimated to be 300 miles an hour. Chicago is known as the windy city. But its average yearly wind speed of a little over 10 miles an hour is behind Cheyenne, Wyoming, at nearly 13, and several cities over 12 miles an hour, including Boston; Great Falls, Montana; and Oklahoma City.
The Union Leader reports there has been an increase in the number of hikers on Mount Washington thanks to the winter running of the Cog Ski Train but there have been no new problems. There is a new route to access the famed mountain in winter and early spring and perhaps an easier way up, some believe. The plowed rough, rocky and long Mount Clinton Road from Crawford Notch to the Marshfield Base Station is now a snowmobile trail, and the Base Road from FabyanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Station in Twin Mountain has been plowed to access parking to skiers while also allowing snowmobilers on a side trail. In the December 2004 issue of United AirlinesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ on-board magazine is a historic illustration of the Cog, and an article about Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Cog that Could.Ã¢â‚¬Â Its subheading was Ã¢â‚¬Å“A ski train ratchets up winter options on Mount Washington.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The Union Leader reports the Mount Washington Commission is considering installing a powerline next the to cog railway (below ground to treeline and above ground thereafter). More controversial is a plan to replace the gutted former WMTW-TV generating building with a 3,700 square foot building for a backup generator. The manager of the Autoroad and the Appalachian Mountain Club have expressed concern about the building which has grown from 2,000 feet has being too large. The building is to have an observation deck looking into Tuckerman Ravine. Officials also note the summit has 104 days a year with winds exceeding hurricane force. If approved officials want to let bids by the end of February, begin construction in May and finish by the end of summer.
The Union Leader reports officials have abandoned thesearch Robert Sypek. Working from a brief note left in the car that said he was heading on a hike to the Galehead and Zealand huts, ground crews covered about 25 miles of trails Saturday while air searches flew over the White Mountains down to the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Sypek lived alone and apparently embarked on the 16-mile hike on or about Jan. 25. He has not been seen or heard from since then.
The AP reports Damian McDonald and Susanna Saarkangas of New Haven were rescued while ice climbing Damnation Gully in Huntington Ravine on Mount Washington. They had ben reported missing by the caretaker of the Harvard cabin. They were reported to have hypothermia and frostbite but were able to walk out.
The Union Leader reports Gerald Prutsman, 53, was ice climbing on whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s known as the Chia Route on FrankensteinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Cliff in HartÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Location , along with Ryan Roach, 18, when he fell 30 feet. About 25 other climbers were nearby including including Dr. Brian Irwin who is with the Mountain Rescue Service. He was taken to the hospital where he was released.
The Conway Daily Sun has an an interesting article on climbing Mount Washington as part of a New Year’s Tradition. Among the factual items is a note that four full time people are assigned to the summit now.
Bob Mionske in Velonews has a discussion on the legality of prohibiting bicycles on the Mount Washington Toll Road. The argument has always been that the road — even though it is on a state park — is privately owned. But Mionske argues that since the road was initially obtained via eminent domain then there could be a challenge to whether bicycles are permitted — especially since other New England roads with similar 15 percent grades (Mount Greylock, Mount Acutney in Vermont and Cadillac Mountain in Maine) do not prohibit bicycles.
However Mount Mansfield Toll Road and the Mount Equinox Skyline Drive in Manchester, Vermont prohibit bicycles.
Seacoastonline has an article by Lisa Marie Pane (of the AP) on the climbing the Northeast 4000 peaks (the 4k’s) and specifically on her bagging the New Hampshire 48.