Mt.Washington Observatory

2:52 p.m. on March 2, 2015 (EST)
Jake W
6,101 reviewer rep
1,086 forum posts

Going over the route we'd be taking to the top.

Final preparations.



Beginning of the Lions Head winter route.




Nothin like a little ice ax guitar!


Weather heading up was incredible. Not sure the exact numbers but we heard once we got to the top that winds were gusting up to 97mph, and low temp while we were eating dinner was -54f.

View from the top!

Climbers, obseravtory staff and caretakers relishing some warmth!

Everyone got a big table to lay out some gear to dry and fight for some space on the heater!

After changing into some dry clothes, you are given a quick presentation on the station and the weather phenomena that occurs there.


I haven't upload pics from my other camera yet, most of these have been borrow from another trip participant. I have a couple more I think about the rooms and accommodations that I'll add later.

After an incredible dinner- meatloaf, corn, fresh baked bread and cookies, salad, green beans- made by the wonderful caretakers, we gathered around in the living room for some fresh baked blueberry crumble. Some people were drained and were in bed for 730 and some stayed up to watch a movie together.


The morning after we were were all feeling refreshed after a good nights sleep and some bacon and eggs. (It's amazing what bacon will do for your team morale.)



Weather on on the descent was ideal. Once we got below tree line there was a nice light fluffy snow fall that cushioned every step, incredible!

I took as many review corps items as I felt confident in for some further testing. I'll be updating those review in the near future. The Lowe Alpine Peak Attack pack, the OR altiHeat mittens, North Face Uno and Wild Things insulight all came with me. And of course the Trailspace merino beanie!

I wore the la sportiva Nepal boots and the patagonia piton hybrid hoodie, both of which I'm working on reviews of as well.

6:01 p.m. on March 2, 2015 (EST)
1,763 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts


Thanks for posting all those photos, it's been a while since I was in snow, but I do remember there being competition for space around the wood stove!

6:39 a.m. on March 3, 2015 (EST)
Rob R
940 reviewer rep
783 forum posts

Awesome trip!

2:43 p.m. on March 19, 2015 (EDT)
4,241 reviewer rep
603 forum posts

Thanks for sharing this awesome trip with us, Jake. I can't believe you went to the top in those crazy conditions. This looks really interesting and I am glad I was able to see it. Thanks for including the gear that you used, as well.

Do you know how many RT miles you went or what the elevation gain was, by chance? How long did it take you to ascend?

I really regret that I wasn't able to make it to Mt. Washington while I was in the Whites. :(

4:57 p.m. on March 19, 2015 (EDT)
1,994 reviewer rep
475 forum posts

Great trip report! That looks like an awesome outing!

8:13 p.m. on March 19, 2015 (EDT)
Tom D
38 reviewer rep
1,902 forum posts

There is a really good trip report on Views from the Top in the General Backcountry forum by someone who spent a week up there as a volunteer. Lots of good photos of the observatory and the mountains. Some were taken in pretty bad weather. They hosted some hikers while they were there.

9:39 a.m. on April 2, 2015 (EDT)
Alicia MacLeay @Alicia
2,557 reviewer rep
4,645 forum posts

Thanks for sharing this, Jake.

While I've been up Mt. Washington numerous times, I've never been able to visit inside the observatory.

This reminds me of the first time I was up there in late winter. It was a beautiful clear day (for Mt. Washington in late winter/early spring) and I was sitting at the top waiting for my friends when a person dressed like they were headed to the top of Mt. Everest wandered over.

He asked incredulously, "where did you come from?!" I explained the route I'd taken and he said something like "wow" and wandered off back into the observatory where it was nice and warm while I sat outside by myself. Apparently he'd come up on a snowcoach tour.

It was kind of funny, because he looked like he should be at the top of the world and even I didn't have that much on. And he seemed so shocked to see me, when I certainly was not alone on that mountain.

Anyway, I think the observatory would be very interesting to tour.

July 16, 2020
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply