Mt Washington State Park – Monday June 18, 2012

The summit is now in full swing in summer mode. Over the next 4 months more than 300,000 people from around the world will visit Mt Washington State Park.

Kicking off summer is Motorcycle week in New Hampshire and they had great weather this year.  All the ‘bikers’ we met were awesome. Thunder in the mountains is a good description of all these Harely’s.

On the summit they spend lots of money, ask good questions and they actually help us keep the restrooms clean!

Motorcycles on Homestretch
Motorcycles in Parking Lot

The Mt Washington Auto Road has a full slate of summer events besides motorcycle only days. Bicknell Thrush Bird tours, sunrise and sunset events, mini-coopers on top, etc. Visit their website to see a schedule of their events. The one event that I’m personally involved in is the foot race.  I have been in this race about 25 times. This year due to my schedule I could only spend 2 weeks in serious training. My ‘serious’ training is 25 sit-ups, 10 pull-ups and 6 mile jog up and over Gorham Hill or through Moose Brook State Park every other day. Since I live only 8 miles from Auto Road base on Route 16 there is no need to rush out there to register and get my bib before the 9:30am race start. Just as I was going out my door the phone rang. NH Fish and Game local Conservation Officer Matt Holmes was on the other end. ‘Hi Mike, let’s start this weekend off right with a Search and Rescue call’. Matt got the 911 call from a hiker on Mt Adams reporting a female hiker with dislocated shoulder. The caller was able to describe the shoulder as left side with obvious deformity. Location was on the Grey Knob Trail above the Perch Shelter. Randolph Mountain Club (RMC) has a caretaker at Grey Knob Cabin 4,400′ off Lowe’s Path. Per Fish & Game request, I paged Will Tourtellot, RMC caretaker and gave him info on the UHF radio. Will is an experienced mountain man and like the AMC hut’s crew can handle most backcountry medical emergencies. I then called RMC field supervisor Deva Steketee in Randolph and passed RMC Incident Command to her. I’m not sure the outcome but I trust F&G and RMC handled he situation. Besides the Obs and AMC the other really ‘cool’ hiking club to me is the RMC. Only 500 members and they do a splendid job taking care of 99 miles of hiking trail and four cabins in the Northern Presidential Range.

So after making sure we had communications between RMC and Fish & Game set up for the rescue effort I headed out to the base of the mountain. Runner registration was closing but I got in the nick of time.  The following video of the foot race was put together with help from Ginny Grodin, Diane Holmes and Jim Cyrs. Diane and I are taking some vacation time to go camping around New England the next week so I’ll be signing off for a short while.

Runners on Summit
June 16, 2012 foot race Mt Washington finish

Mike Pelchat, Manager of Mt. Washington State Park

I've been working atop Mt Washington for past 30 years so you can guess I like it above the tree line! After all these years I still never tire of the beauty of our NH White Mtns and consider my employment an extreme honor and privilege to work for the State Of NH and serve its visitors. When not on the summit you can find me enjoying the rock & ice climbing one of the many beautiful granite cliffs we have in Franconia, Crawford or Echo Lake State Parks. I have taken these climbing skills learned at our NH State Parks to climb in Alaska, Andes, Canadian Arctic and Himalayas. I live in Gorham NH with my wife Diane Holmes.

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