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Summit Adventures

trip photos

Mount Washington Observatory Summit Adventures
Exclusive Access to the Northeast's Tallest Peak

Explore the rugged beauty, rich history and legendary weather of the Northeast's tallest peak as you never have before—through the eyes of the Mount Washington Observatory.

Our summit weather station is your home and our staff is your guide for this two-day immersion in all things Mount Washington. Leave the crowds behind and join us for an in-depth exploration of the real Mount Washington: unspoiled, untamed, and truly unforgettable.

These all-inclusive trips include transportation to and from the base of the mountain, overnight accommodations at our famous summit weather station and delicious, home-cooked meals.

Participants should have some prior hiking experience and some familiarity with the ruggedness of high mountain trails. All participants must have appropriate hiking clothing and footwear.

Explore a Place of Extremes

Trip Format
Trips depart from the base of Mount Washington at 9:00am, spend the night at the Observatory's mountaintop weather station, then return to the base the following afternoon (see "Travel Considerations," below). Capacity is restricted to nine participants per trip, ensuring a high-quality, small group travel experience.

All Summit Adventures include:

  • Van transportation to and from the summit
  • An expert Observatory guide
  • Informal educational sessions about the history, weather, ecology, and geology of Mount Washington
  • A behind-the-scenes tour of the weather station
  • Walking excursions/hikes around the summit cone (weather permitting)
  • Delicious, home-cooked meals
  • Bunkroom accommodations inside our famous weather station
  • The Northeast's best sunset, sunrise and star gazing (weather permitting)

Cost
$259 for Mount Washington Observatory members
$299 for non-members

Health & Safety Requirements
Summit Adventures grant exclusive access to the incredible conditions of the alpine zone, but not everyone is suited for this environment.

An average mid-summer day on Mount Washington has a high temperature of about 53F, and an overnight low of about 42F. Thick, wet fog occurs about 90% of the time, with measurable precipitation recorded on more than half of the days in summer. Average summer winds are about 25mph, with hurricane force gusts possible. Temperatures below freezing can occur during any month of the year.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road, which we use to access the summit, is about eight miles long. Approximately half of the road is above timberline. Weather above timberline 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.

Therefore, we require that all participants:

  • Are in excellent physical condition
  • Are at least 14 years old (minors must be accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, or qualified adult leader)
  • Are ready, willing, and able to hike to safety (which is sometimes several miles away) in severe conditions (that may include heavy rain, snow, hail, low temperatures, hurricane force winds, and near zero visibility)
  • Are properly prepared with all the required clothing and equipment
  • Submit a health form attesting to their physical condition
  • Sign a release form absolving the Observatory of responsibility in the instance of illness, injury, or death

Safety is our first priority, so trips will not be made far above timberline if the weather is judged to be extraordinarily severe. However, even normal summer weather on Mount Washington can prove lethal to those who are unfit or poorly prepared. Therefore, clothing and equipment will be checked before departure, and those who are inadequately prepared will not be allowed on the trip.

For more information about these requirements, please refer to our Health Disclosure Form, General Release and Assumption of Risk (PDF) and equipment list.

Directions
Trips meet at 8:30am in the employee parking lot at the base of the Mount Washington Auto Road. The employee lot is located on the west side (the Mount Washington side) of Route 16, immediately north of the main entrance to the Mount Washington Auto Road. Directions to the Auto Road may be found on their website. Please print the directions and bring them with you, as there is no local street address to put into a GPS device.

Once we are assembled we will do introductions, load up gear and get underway. Weather permitting, a few stops will be made along the way to discuss aspects of the mountain environment and take in the beautiful scenery.

Travel Considerations
Extreme weather may occur at any time, possibly delaying a trip's descent. Therefore, we recommend that you remain flexible with your travel plans for the day after your trip. Extraordinarily severe weather or poor road conditions may delay departure.


Yankee Editor's Choice Best of New England 2012
Schedule and Reservations
2013 Adventures:

July 27-28, 2013(Saturday—Sunday)
August 2-3, 2013(Friday—Saturday)
August 16-17, 2013(Friday—Saturday)
August 30-31, 2013(Friday—Saturday)

Register

You may also register by phone at
(603) 356-2137, ext. 225

Contact
Michelle Cruz
Director of Education
(603) 356-2137, ext. 225
Email

Home of the World's Worst Weather
Administration: 2779 White Mountain Highway, P. O. Box 2310, North Conway, NH 03860 • Tel: 603-356-2137 • Fax: 603-356-0307 • contact us
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