You read last week about Your Survival Guy’s time in New Hampshire, skiing Attitash, and riding its newly improved lift. I told you the conditions were good, which was a nice surprise after a not-so-great winter so far. The skiing was good, but the conditions were perfect for a Mt. Washington adventure. For the first time, Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center brought visitors up to the summit of Mt. Washington in four snow coaches. Snow coaches are essentially vans with four sets of tracks rather than wheels. Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center writes:
One giant leap for all snowkind… Today is a day for the history books. For the first time, Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center offered guests a guided winter SnowCoach summit expedition up the Mt. Washington Auto Road to 6,288 feet.
Driven by 4 tracks rather than wheels, the Mt. Washington SnowCoach typically transports guests to tree line on the Mt. Washington Auto Road, at approximately 4,200 feet, into a sub-arctic world for a truly unforgettable adventure. All tours are narrated by our expert guides and the SnowCoaches are warm and comfortable.
On this historic day, supremely favorable weather forecasted by the Mount Washington Observatory (MWOBS) and unusual top-to-bottom snowy road conditions allowed guests the rare chance to continue to the summit of the ‘Old Rock Pile’.
This inaugural winter expedition has been something that Tobey Reichert, General Manager of the Mt. Washington Auto Road and Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center, and his team have been dreaming of for a while. Reichert explained that “conversations with MWOBS snowcat operators and weather forecasters determined that Thursday the 8th of February 2024 was the best day to attempt to make this dream a reality. In fact, I was so excited that I signed up to be one of the tour guides for this historic trip”. Other guided tour drivers included Kevin Devine, Nick Griffin, Ray Bergeron, and Marc Martin.
Martin, who is in his second season guiding tours up the Mt. Washington Auto Road, shared, “As someone who has driven this 100 of times this was truly a unique experience that I will always remember. The people loved it. I loved it”.
Even on a ‘perfect day’, guests experienced an authentic tour, including snow, wind, and fog all which lead to dramatic views of cobalt blue skies and expressive undercast clouds blanketing select peaks below. Guests were thrilled to get a chance to soak in scenery and take photos on the observation deck and at the iconic summit sign. There was little wind and a summit high temperature of 27 degrees. From the summit of Mt. Washington, which is normally under cloud cover for two thirds of the year, visibility was 110 miles. Operations Director, Kevin Devine, couldn’t wipe the grin from his face. After returning from the second tour of the day, he said, “guests and tour guides alike were besides themselves. We all were lucky to find a day where conditions and weather allowed for this life lasting memory”.
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E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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