Sunday, February 7, 2016

Mt Washington Winter Run

I've run up the Mt Washington Auto Road 27 times.  Twenty-five of those times were during the road race (June) and the other two were "training runs" in August.  I've never been up in winter.  Kevin Tilton has been up the road MANY times.  He sent me an email earlier this month stating "time to get off our asses and actually do this run". We had talked about a winter run before but never got it together.  This weekend we'd do it!

I had Friday off due the Northfield race (which was cancelled due to lack of snow) so off I went.  It was snowing/raining the entire 3 hour drive.  We got to the start at 930 and picked up our free snowshoe pass.  I carried a bunch of extra clothes and snowshoes and some gels.  Kevin carried about the same.  It was 26 degrees and snowy when we started.  The summit was 7 degrees with winds around 20 mph and freezing fog.

We took our time just enjoying being outside and chatting the whole climb.  KT noted a few times that if it looked bad we'd bail.  It never got really bad.  The worst of it was the icy footing but microspikes kept us going.  At 3 miles Kevin took off a layer and I got some pictures.

 At 4 miles the wind picked up as we got above tree-line.  We also got our only views of the day.

The weather cooperated even though it was a bit chilly with the wind.  There were a few spots of bare road and a few extended spots of ice but mostly it was okay.

 We thought we'd get in trouble when the snow-cat stopped and the driver got out.  But he waived and yelled "Hi Kevin!".  Too funny!

We reached the top in 1:55 and spent about 5 minutes on top before heading on down (as we were getting cold).  Back down in 1:20.  Great day!


Bob Johnson said...

Would this run be doable in a "normal" winter? Looks like a real dearth of snow up there.

double-d Mountain runner said...

I think the key is picking the right day weather-wise. They groom up to half-way so it'd be the 2nd part that is "tough". I'd like to try again when there is plenty of snow. Running down would be fun in deeper snow.

Mikey Quark said...

That's amazing - well done. I had always heard going up Mt W was impossible during winter. I heard things like, "It's uninhabitable. There are 60 mph winds and -60 temps. Can't be done!" I guess the truth is like DD says in the above comment, you just have to pick the right day. Looks like an awesome fun day!

Ben Kimball said...

way cool