Wilderness Hikers Adventure – Hiking at the Worst Weather Place in the World

Oma H. Barnett

Where in the world, where there are people living permanently, is a place that has some of the worst weather?

One such location would be Mount Washington in New England, in the United States. Tourists and hikers come to visit but there are some people who live there also. During the Summer, some staff the Summer House Restaurant and the cog railway. Others live all year at the Mount Washington Observatory and the radio and TV transmitter building.

There is the constant threat of bad weather, even during Summer, with the possibility of violent storms always present. For this reason, hikers are strongly cautioned to be aware of this fact and be prepared for that possibility. It may snow during any month of the year and fog happens the majority of the time (around 90 percent of the time). When we say “bad weather” on Mount Washington, we’re talking high winds (with an average of 35 miles per hour), low temperatures (with an average yearly of 27 degrees) and fog.

It makes sense that a weather station would be built here, at the top of Mount Washington. Of course, an ordinary building wouldn’t withstand the fierce weather so the frame of the building was made with huge wooden beams, bolted into concrete or sometimes into the bedrock of the mountain, to withstand winds which sometimes reach hurricane force. At the weather station, on April 12, 1934, the highest gust of wind ever recorded on earth, up to that point in time, was registered – 231 miles per hour, although lasting only for a few moments.

Still, hikers are attracted to the adventure of the wilderness hike and the amazing view from the top, with Mount Washington being the tallest of the White Mountains, providing a scene of shadowy clouds surrounding the other nearby mountain ranges. It has been described as an experience of feeling like being in another world.

Hiking isn’t the only way to get to the top of Mount Washington. Vacationers drive their own cars on the toll road or hire a chauffeur at the base of the mountain to drive them to the top. There is also a trolley type of cog railway in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, that has scenic rides to the summit of Mount Washington, so that vacationers can have the experience of a ride on a train pulled by an antique steam engine as well as seeing the splendid view from the top of the mountain.

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