Since our founding in 1932, countless companies have chosen to partner with Mount Washington Observatory to learn how their products perform in adverse conditions. The results have given manufacturers utmost faith in the application of their products; if they can survive Mount Washington, they can survive anywhere.
A subarctic environment on par with Antarctica and the polar regions, nowhere else in the contiguous United States is able to offer such readily accessible and consistently extreme conditions:
High Elevation: 6,288'
Cold: Annual average temp 27°F; average winter temp 7°F; record low -47°F
Wind: Annual average 35 mph; at or above hurricane force every other day on average in winter; record high 231 mph
Precipitation: Annual average 100" of liquid; annual average 281" of frozen precipitation; in the fog 60% of the time annually
Icing: Perfect combination of subfreezing temperatures, moisture, and high winds provide ample rime ice (freezing fog) and glaze ice (clear ice) in spring, fall, and winter
Mount Washington is located within a day's drive of several major metropolitan areas, and its summit is readily accessible by vehicle (in summer) or snowcat (in winter).
As an official National Weather Service (NWS) station that is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, our mountaintop crew includes computer programmers and accomplished meteorologists.
Off the mountain, Mount Washington Observatory’s administrative office provides full-service logistical support for every possible contingency.
The Mount Washington Observatory weather station is a state-of-the-art facility equipped with high-speed internet, phone, video conferencing, and climate-controlled indoor testing space. A fully-stocked kitchen and bunkrooms allow researchers and product designers to partake in the product testing process comfortably and affordably, eliminating many of the logistical challenges of traditional field testing.
Fee-For-Service Product Testing
In winter, ice and snow engulf the summit of Mount Washington and the road, train and all visitor facilities close for the season. This remote peak that is completely inaccessible to the public provides an excellent, private setting to test new designs and prototypes.
Mount Washington Observatory offers a skilled team of scientists to conduct customized, fee-for-service field testing. We also provide the use of Observatory mountaintop lodging and transportation services, allowing product designers and engineers to conduct their own testing at Observatory facilities.
Product Testing to Aid Positioning
With the appropriate financial commitment, Mount Washington Observatory can license the use of its branding and “World’s Worst Weather℠” endorsement, allowing for unique marketing and brand positioning opportunities.
Case Study: L.L.Bean
For eight years, L.L.Bean served as the official outfitter of the Mount Washington Observatory. The relationship centered around product testing and reinforcing L.L.Bean’s brand as one that is tough enough to withstand the worst that Mother Nature can dish out.
The Maine-based catalog retailer outfitted Observatory staff with a wide array of gear, ranging from the latest in waterproof, windproof prototype gear to the warmest expedition-grade parkas. Observatory staff put the gear to the test, providing regular feedback to L.L.Bean’s product development team. L.L.Bean designers then used that data to address concerns and to consider making design changes for future lines of gear.
In a 2007 national television ad, L.L.Bean proudly illustrated how its gear was tested at the Home of the World’s Worst Weather℠. In print ads placed in publications nationwide, L.L.Bean depicted a Mount Washington Observatory intern wearing an Arctic Expedition Parka while he was hard at work in fearsome weather conditions.
Not only did L.L.Bean benefit from the data collected during its years of product testing on Mount Washington, they also used those tests to elevate their brand in the extreme weather outerwear space. This level of authenticity simply cannot be duplicated in a photo shoot or recreated through ad copy.
Give us a call to learn how Mount Washington Observatory can help strengthen your product and brand. From testing services, to comprehensive marketing and licensing partnerships, we will work with you to create a proposal that meets your company’s specific needs and budget.