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View Full Version : Auto Road or no Auto Road??



rockin rex
10-17-2006, 03:14 PM
Doesn't seem these forms are getting much use. People are looking but few are posting. Maybe this hot topic can generate some interest. Should there be a road to the top of Mount Washington?? My feeling is with the cog, shuttle vans and tourist vans there doesn't need to be private cars also. Private cars should be parked at the bottom and people should then use either the vans or the cog. With Private cars the mountain is selling their soul for $$. What is your thought?

afmrintern
10-17-2006, 03:47 PM
Should Wayne, NJ have continue to be incorporated being that it was built largely on pristine wetlands and floodplain...

Ultimately, the autoroad and the observatory are very different organizations, with very different missions, and that should be clear in any debates on the MWO forums. The Observatory depends on the auto road to allow transit, and the auto road is the benefit of MWO press and publicity.

The auto road IMO allows people to come up and experience the beauty, ecology and all amazing attributes of the alpine zone, and hopefully leave more environmentally aware. I was grateful for it when I worked there years back, and continue to be when I visit New England...

rockin rex
10-17-2006, 05:19 PM
intern how does Wayne get pulled into this? Seeing you know so much about Wayne maybe you need to look into Wayne's open space plan and flood
buyout plan. I am proud to volunteer on Wayne's open space committee and extremely proud of what Wayne is doing. The question is should the auto road be open for cars other than the shuttle vans and hiker vans.

Drivintrcks
10-17-2006, 05:21 PM
Well I just moved up here from CT and I have yet to go to the top of the mtn. But I do plan on going sometime so I will let you know. I am however hearing it's a fun ride up though...

Brad
10-17-2006, 05:26 PM
The Auto Road is a commercial business. One could buy them out and make new rules. "Only can use company vans and station wagons. MWO and other summit employees can use the road to transport supplies."

That would produce a different business model which would probably not be very viable with the current number of vans and station wagons. So, the new company would buy a fleet of new vans to meet the demand and we are back to where we are today. Or buy the business and not let the public use the road at all. That buyer better have pretty deep pockets.

afmrintern
10-17-2006, 05:26 PM
intern how does Wayne get pulled into this? Seeing you know so much about Wayne maybe you need to look into Wayne's open space plan and flood
buyout plan. I am proud to volunteer on Wayne's open space committee and extremely proud of what Wayne is doing. The question is should the auto road be open for cars other than the shuttle vans and hiker vans.

Rex,

I am glad to hear that your hometown is doing alot to protect it's surrounding environment. And we need more volunteers like you! It's about sustainable use, and therefore I think your post further proves my point.

There is developed land in Wayne, there is preserved land in Wayne. There is alot of presevered land around the auto road, there is the auto road. Hence I don't have a problem with it existing in it's current capacity, and see no use in a 'buyout plan' as it allows so many people to come up and experience the mountains and preserved and NFS land on their own time and terms...and it adds environmental awareness...which we need alot more of in this world!

rockin rex
10-17-2006, 05:38 PM
Rex,

I am glad to hear that your hometown is doing alot to protect it's surrounding environment. And we need more volunteers like you! It's about sustainable use, and therefore I think your post further proves my point.

There is developed land in Wayne, there is preserved land in Wayne. There is alot of presevered land around the auto road, there is the auto road. Hence I don't have a problem with it existing in it's current capacity, and see no use in a 'buyout plan' as it allows so many people to come up and experience the mountains and preserved and NFS land on their own time and terms...and it adds environmental awareness...which we need alot more of in this world!

Point well taken. I have to agree with you.

Breeze
10-17-2006, 05:51 PM
rex---

I think perhaps you might research the histories of both the Cog and the Road, their relationship to development of the Summit, what kind of development has existed on the summit during the 145 years of access, and how that all has changed through time.

There is such a rich historical perspective there, both in economics and social status, it couldn't hurt to become familiar.

The Road was 145 years old this August, the Cog about 10 years younger. Both were built to allow access to the summit by any and all who could pay for the passage.

If you think there is "selling soul for $$$" now, please ask yourself how that has changed over the rough century and a half of commercial operations at 6288'.

I can't imagine how the issues of "waste treatment" or "potable water" were addressed at the heyday of the Summit House Hotel (s).

With all commercial operators on the summit now operating under concise consent agreements with the National Forest Service, I'd have to opine that the summit is more responsibly managed at this time than 100 years ago.

Even the AMC "Lakes of the Clouds" uses the Auto Road for hut resupply and maintenance at the hut and intersecting trails.

Without historical perspective, it is easy to make a personal statement in the here and now.

MWO hosts this forum, I value informed balance and perspective over stirring the pot.

Just my 2 cents.

Brad
10-17-2006, 08:33 PM
I can remember my first hike to the summit when I was a kid - getting to the parking lot and seeing all the cars. I can still remember two women, "Mable, they walked up here!"

I will take Mt Washington any way it comes. It is a joy to be up there.

rockin rex
10-18-2006, 12:20 PM
rex---

I think perhaps you might research the histories of both the Cog and the Road, their relationship to development of the Summit, what kind of development has existed on the summit during the 145 years of access, and how that all has changed through time.

There is such a rich historical perspective there, both in economics and social status, it couldn't hurt to become familiar.

The Road was 145 years old this August, the Cog about 10 years younger. Both were built to allow access to the summit by any and all who could pay for the passage.

If you think there is "selling soul for $$$" now, please ask yourself how that has changed over the rough century and a half of commercial operations at 6288'.

I can't imagine how the issues of "waste treatment" or "potable water" were addressed at the heyday of the Summit House Hotel (s).

With all commercial operators on the summit now operating under concise consent agreements with the National Forest Service, I'd have to opine that the summit is more responsibly managed at this time than 100 years ago.

Even the AMC "Lakes of the Clouds" uses the Auto Road for hut resupply and maintenance at the hut and intersecting trails.

Without historical perspective, it is easy to make a personal statement in the here and now.

MWO hosts this forum, I value informed balance and perspective over stirring the pot.

Just my 2 cents.


Breeze how do you know what I do or do not about the history of Mount Washington? I am one of only a few that have been married on the summit. Believe me I know Mount Washington and that is why I decided to say my vows there. Instead of cutting people down just make your points. I did see you mentioned Lake of the clouds being resupplied from the auto road. Does that mean that Laffayette should also have a road for Greenleaf?? Or that Twin should have a road for Galehead? Yes the road has history and you are correct in that. As others before you have stated very nicely, the road definetly has its place on Mount Washington and does allow many people to explore the summit that would not be able to any other way.

debbie01
10-20-2006, 09:47 PM
Hi! I climbed Mount Washington for the first time last July (my husband and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary this way). We were lucky in that the day we climbed there was a bike race up the auto road so no private vehicle traffic was allowed. It was awesome to be sharing the summit with just other hikers! We ended up doing the Seek the Peak challenge, which, by the way, we highly recommend...what a great time! Anyway, it was satisfying to know that only hikers were at the summit. I remember climbing Cadillac Mountian in Acadia National Park earlier in the summer, arriving at the summit sweaty and tired and seeing all the fresh tourists all nice and cool and clean in their sandals. I have to admit to feeling a little unnerved by the crowds and the traffic. I would have to agree that private vehicles should not drive the auto road. I do think that the public transportation is important though for those folks whose health and stamina could not support a vigorous climb. It would be a shame for them to miss such beautiful views.

Proweaver
10-22-2006, 02:23 PM
My husband and I have taken the Cog and driven the Auto road. We have this tradition of every car we have had has been up the auto road. We travel to N.H. every year . I love riding the Cog but We can't afford to ride it every year so we drive up. We enjoy our trip every year and this year was great as we took a tour of the weather station. Going to N.H. and not being able to drive up to the top would be sad. We have been doing it for about 35 years. Auto Road YES . That is my 2 cents(from an old lady)

davidhowland14
10-22-2006, 10:51 PM
Well, I do get really annoyed at all the arrogant people at the top who don't understand what some people have gone throught to get there, but Washington, because of it's height, has to be a sacriical mountain of sorts. Because Washington has the road, Liberty, Lafayette, and a host of innumerable other peaks are clean and car/tourist free. I don't know if its worth it, but thats what it is. Climb in the winter and there won't be anyone.

skituxnoob
10-25-2006, 05:07 PM
Having never been on the auto road, and having been at the top 6 times i can say that it is a pleasure knowing some people will never get the real experience of hiking it all up, because i could care less of the people who bring their dogs up and the elderly who take a seat and don't leave until they have to.

With my little understanding of the economics of the whole situation i'll say this: the top of mt washington supports the operations of many more mountains. Profit margin doesn't exist in the gift shop like it does in the rest of the world and if they have to sell bottles of water for $2 so be it, i'll drink the water halfway down the mountain knowing it never touched plastic.

Keep the road, because there's plenty of mountains in the northeast

tkahike
10-27-2006, 04:52 AM
I have hiked the mountain many times. And I have driven to the summit every year since I was a kid. So for the past 30 something years, I have seen what I have wanted to see. I have never taken a shuttle, nor the cog.

The mountain has a lure to it, it draws all takes of life. It is a last frontier in a sense, and taking away another option is not worth it in my opinion. I have the places I like to stop and enjoy the view, have lunch, and walk out to with my kids. My kids at this point are to little to make the physical hike up, but they enjoy the mountain, and it will be passed down to them as it has been to me. In a few years they will enjoy the hiking also, but they will also enjoy the ride.

Being placed in a cattle car to see what someone else wants me to see is not my idea of a vacation. If I wanted to do that, I would take a cruise.

Mike D
10-27-2006, 04:45 PM
the top of mt washington supports the operations of many more mountains.

With the exception of Cannon Mtn Ski Area (owned by the state), neither the Mount Washington State Park, the MW Auto Road, nor the MW Observatory operate any other mountains. These are the only organizations that earn income from shops on Mt Washington.

skituxnoob
10-30-2006, 01:05 PM
Thanks for clarifying. I have no problem with the road, someones gotta get inspired somehow if they want to gain 4,000 ft over 4-5 miles.

Brad
10-30-2006, 04:59 PM
Thanks for clarifying. I have no problem with the road, someones gotta get inspired somehow if they want to gain 4,000 ft over 4-5 miles.
I have no problem with the road either. Just make sure it is not my car. The trip up is a tough steady climb where you need a good flowing radiator. The trip down needs a special low gear transmission a normal car does not have. So, a car will wear the brakes down a lot - or even overheat them.

I would never consider buying a car with a "I drove up Mt Washington" bumper
sticker.

Breeze
10-31-2006, 04:58 PM
I have no problem with the road either. Just make sure it is not my car. The trip up is a tough steady climb where you need a good flowing radiator. The trip down needs a special low gear transmission a normal car does not have. So, a car will wear the brakes down a lot - or even overheat them.

I would never consider buying a car with a "I drove up Mt Washington" bumper
sticker.

Brad, you are entitled to your opinion, but I don't understand why you think a special low gear transmission is needed????


Breeze

Brad
10-31-2006, 06:54 PM
Brad, you are entitled to your opinion, but I don't understand why you think a special low gear transmission is needed????

Breeze
My comments are based on being told several years ago that the vans and station wagons owned by the Auto Road company are fitted with a different transmission and larger radiator. It is like having a heavy duty towing package - in a car. The normal street mini-van is not designed for the level of strain experienced on the Auto Road.

Certainly, things may have changed with car technology. But, I struggle with the idea that a normal car is really set for that level of continuous strain - going up and coming down. I would not put my car through it. My SUV is equipped for heavy duty towing and probably would do just fine. With 185,000 miles in 3 years on it I would still not drive it up the mountain.

Breeze
10-31-2006, 08:46 PM
Brad, the GMC Sahara vans ( there are no station wagons) owned by the Auto Road are geared, equipped, and maintained for 5 to 7 round trips per day, day in and day out, spring summer and fall. There is a more frequent oil change requirement and a high level of maintenance looking towards fluid levels on a daily basis with vehicles in this heavy service. Believe me, the Auto Road drivers have their forms to fill out to keep the fleet legal.

That is in no way the experience of a single car doing a round trip one time. Auto Tranny== first gear up and down. Got a Triptronic and can't find 1st ( never BTDT) Ask me, I can show you.

Too many people have a hissy over this and blow it off, it is an automatic tranny they say, and it knows what to do. LOL Doom on them.

It is a drivers world, look out for the drivers, not the cars

Breeze

jjppeanut
11-12-2006, 04:16 PM
Greetings and salutations Rex: So you're one of the people who married on Mt Wash. Sounds great. I have not married yet. I thought you may want to read this post, my first, and maybe my last. I am not a writer. I'm not good with pictures either. I am one of few people born on Mt. Wash. My mother and father wanted their baby (me) born on Mt. Wash. So, my mother and father, and my mom's mid-wife camped out in Emily's Cave, which is on the Mt. Wash summit cone. It's the cave used by Emily, the German lady, during World War II. On their 4th day at the cave, June 12, 1956, I was born. It was a big day for me. My mother couldn't leave until the next day, and that's when we all left the mountain for home. I have climbed or hiked Mt. Wash over 735 times. I helped save a family on Mt Wash in 1973 or 1974. The good: people I've meet, good times, good views. The bad: large amount of my natural lifetime used. When I pass on, I may have a small service on Mt. Wash, next to the 1821 memorial marker on the summit cone. Well, I hope you enjoyed my story, Rex, as I enjoyed reading your posts. Take care, Jeff.

Brad
11-12-2006, 04:55 PM
Greetings and salutations Rex: So you're one of the people who married on Mt Wash. Sounds great. I have not married yet. I thought you may want to read this post, my first, and maybe my last. I am not a writer. I'm not good with pictures either. I am one of few people born on Mt. Wash. My mother and father wanted their baby (me) born on Mt. Wash. So, my mother and father, and my mom's mid-wife camped out in Emily's Cave, which is on the Mt. Wash summit cone. It's the cave used by Emily, the German lady, during World War II. On their 4th day at the cave, June 12, 1956, I was born. It was a big day for me. My mother couldn't leave until the next day, and that's when we all left the mountain for home. I have climbed or hiked Mt. Wash over 735 times. I helped save a family on Mt Wash in 1973 or 1974. The good: people I've meet, good times, good views. The bad: large amount of my natural lifetime used. When I pass on, I may have a small service on Mt. Wash, next to the 1821 memorial marker on the summit cone. Well, I hope you enjoyed my story, Rex, as I enjoyed reading your posts. Take care, Jeff.
Jeff,

I wish you would post more as it would be fun to hear about some of your many hikes up the mountain. I can understand an emotional attachment to Mt Washington (which many of us have), but yours is for real!

Thanks for posting.

Question - how do you know you have been up 735 times? I know my next hike will be #50 as I have a log book.

rockin rex
11-12-2006, 07:03 PM
Jeff I have finally found someone who understands the incredible pull that Mount Washington has!! You are the first person I have heard of that was Born on the rock pile. That is so awesome!! Jeff with all the ties you have to Mount Washington you should put it down on paper. I would love to read about the hikes that you taken over the many years. I really hope you post more.

AlpineHikerFan71
11-12-2006, 07:54 PM
Jeff,
I agree with Brad and Rockin Rex. It would be awesome to read your posts about your hikes to the Rockpile. I am sure you have some doozy (spelling) of a story you can share. Also I think it is so cool you were born on Mt Washington. that is something not alot of people can say. Awesome! I keep on telling my wife when I leave this Earth to scatter me among the mountain tops of the Northern Applacahians. Love the mountains.

tkahike
11-13-2006, 05:27 AM
That is amazing. I would love to hear about your trips up and down the mountain also.

Brad
11-13-2006, 05:43 AM
I can remember as a kid in summer camp going with a group across from Lakes of the Clouds hut to the summit. It was a nice day and then the clouds started forming in the valley to the west and they came racing up the ravine and all around us. The temperature dropped so that as we breathed out our breath was blown back on our faces and it froze. Then it started to snow.

This was the first week of August! It is amazing how quickly the weather can change and how bad it can get even in summer.