By: Guy Jubinville, Mt Washington State Park Staff
It seems that summer tourism has reached its peak here at Mt Washington State Park. The summit is full of activity with vacationers from all over the country and the world. Some hike here, some drive the Auto Road or ride the Cog Rail Way to the summit. Our Staff has been busy welcoming, answering questions, selling souvenirs, hotdogs, pizza, soups, soda and other snacks to summit guests.
On Wednesday, July 25th the snack bar and gift shop even broke a record for weekday sales.
Most people visit the summit to enjoy scenery and historical artifacts. Visitors can enter the Tip Top House and see how 19th century travelers visited the area through a timeline of literature and photographs. This historic site has been reconstructed to give visitors a sense of the 1800’s lifestyle. A newly installed television screen provides narration of photographs and recent video of conditions that can be experienced on the summit.
This week, weather and wind conditions settled down enough so that visitors could enjoy looking at views from the observation deck without struggling to hold on to their belongings. Visibility has been between 60-100 miles and wind speeds have diminished to between 15-25 mph after weather fronts pass through.
At the Visitor Information Desk, people ask the staff about weather conditions and related hiking information. Many questions pertain to extraordinary things we might see, or “Is it ever clear here?” or “How do you get here?”. They also ask about Marty the Cat or sometimes Marty Engstrom, the retired technician from WMTW from Maine. Lots of hikers approach the desk asking about the best way to descend the mountain. Hikers that summit the mountain should know the difficulties of climbing Mount Washington. There are guidebooks and websites available to assist trekkers in their quest to climbing to the highest peak in the northeast. Hikers will often overestimate their abilities and approach State Park Staff for assistance. We like to remind hikers that while we welcome the opportunity for assistance it may not always be available. When planning a hike to the summit take the time to set-up a reasonable itinerary and be prepared for possible and unforeseen circumstances that may occur.
As always, thank you for visiting Mount Washington State Park.