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dvbl
04-26-2006, 11:57 AM
I've been holding this in for too long. I have to make a confession, and I know this will prevent me from ever attaining that "hardcore hiker" status I so intensely long for. Here it is...I'm just gonna say it...I love the summit of Mt. Washington in the summer. Whew! I feel so much better.

I've hiked up several times, and never once have I gotten to the top and regretted seeing all the people there. Unless someone just flew in this morning from Neptune and didn't have time to do even the most basic research on the mountain about to be climbed, I don't understand how that person can get to the top and be surprised and upset that there are buildings and (even more unsettling) non-hikers.

I like seeing "the fat old lady in high heels", which is a description I've read in several places. I like to see her staring wide-eyed across the Great Gulf at the northern presidentials. I like to see the look on her face when she asks the hiker at the next table that age-old question, "Did you really walk up here?"

I like seeing the little dudes bouncing down the rocks ahead of their worried mothers, moving toward the west so they can look at the Lakes of the Clouds Hut, which looks like a toy house from that distance. I like seeing the looks on their faces when they see the choo-choo train coming up the tracks making that whistling noise.

I like seeing people on the observation deck pointing all around, trying to identify the surrounding peaks, and laughing about how cold and windy it is compared to the valley.

I like to see people enjoying mountains, forests, waterfalls, etc. I don't care if they drove to the top. For many of them, and for various reasons, that's the only way they'll ever get the chance to see it. I say good for them for enjoying the beautiful scenery from the roof of the northeast. If I want solitude, I can find it in dozens and dozens of other places in the Whites.

p.s. I had the following conversation once with a hiker who was bemoaning the state of the Mt. Washington summit.
"I hate all the commercialization up there."
"When you hiked up there, did you use the restroom?"
"Yes."
"Did you fill your water bottles?"
"Yes."
"Did you buy a snack?"
"Yes."

giggy
04-26-2006, 12:05 PM
well stated!! dude - I am with you - I have been up it over 20 times in all seasons and never tire of it and I will probably do it 5 more times next 12 months.

The whole area is fun, scenic and worth it in all seasons. :D :D :D

sleeping bear
04-26-2006, 12:09 PM
I've never been up there in summer to see the throngs of people, but I can imagine, and would thus be preapred to not have a solitary mountain-top experience.

However, the road, the buildings, the cog, all reflect what at one time (and to some degree still is) was very much the way Americans recreated. People didn't want to tramp around in the woods and get dirty (or at least not most). They preferred to sit on a nice porch and view the lovely scenery. The automobile and railroads allowed people to do that much more easily. The access that this allowed got people out, it got people interested in visiting and protecting natural areas. It's much the same with the Adirondacks. I think it's much newer, but doesn't Whiteface have road to the top too?

Anyway, I think (althiough I'm not sure of the dates) the road, (Old Bridle path anyone?), cog and buildings on Mt. Washington predate the big hiking/backpacking push and should be accepted as part of the history of the area.

my 2

dr_wu002
04-26-2006, 12:21 PM
To be honest with you, I've found solitude on Washington Summit many times.... it's all about going up at the right time, if that's what you want. If I'm in the mood for crowds then the summit is fine. If I'm not in the mood for crowds, I don't go to Washington -- there's a lot of places in the Presis where you could spend an entire day and not see anyone!

If they proposed to put similar stuff on Lafayette I'd be against it but Washington is Washington, let it be.

-Dr. Wu

PS. As much as I complain about the stinky cog, I do like seeing the little train. I used to be big into trains as a kid and it's still a thrill. The one problem I really have is not so much the air pollution -- I wish the cog people would clean up the area around the tracks. The mess of coal extends about 1/4 mile in some places...

Second PS: I don't mind the crowds but I don't like seeing people litter.

Little Sister
04-26-2006, 12:26 PM
It's one of the best places for people watching!! And, there is nothing better than a whoopie pie in the middle of a long hike. Plus, for me I say why complain, it's not like I can change it :D

dreamstream
04-26-2006, 12:35 PM
On a Friday last summer I hiked accross Washington, saw elderly seniors that could never otherwise have such a mountain top experience, a morbidly overweigth person doing a perfect reststep on each step just to get up the stairs from the parkinglot, another lady clinging to the railing for fear of heights, and most touching a young boy in a powered wheelchair with a huge smile, would I want to take that experience away from any of them, No! lots of other places they could never get to for the rest of us to have to our selves.

The only part that bugged me was meeting up with the "hikers" :rolleyes: streaming up Saturday that were not prepaired for the climb, no map, half a bottle of water, sandles, t-shirt and too late in the day for thier pace....

jmegillon149
04-26-2006, 12:49 PM
personally, I don't have that great of an experience up there. I feel they should cap the population, maybe less cars allowed at a time, getting rid of the Cog (way too much pollution, I hate that thing), that way people can still get up there, but it won't be the clogged mess. Cannon nd Killington have this feel, as the crowd is smaller and more controlled.

I did find the museum cool the first time I went up, and have bought the tshirt, and food so its not all bad, but then again all of those things can also be accomplished at the huts, which I really like, course its one of those things I dont look forward to doing over and over again, but the first time its pretty cool (of course I was 13)

honestly, I am not sure I will ever summit Washington again. I still love the area, but for me I would just as soon go to the other peaks arround it, Monroe is actually one of my favorites, similiar view, accessible from the same trails, etc.

Kevin Rooney
04-26-2006, 01:17 PM
I don't mind the Washington summit experience, either, although it did take me a little while to get used to it. But gradually I realized there's lots of ways to enjoy the summit of a mountain, and the people who rode or drove up are still better off for the experience than never seeing New Hampshire from the top. And who am I to say that the only acceptable way to get there is on foot? That's arrogant, and I cringe as I watch some hikers snub those who drove up, realizing at one time I probably did the same thing.

As for the Cog, though - sorry, a bad idea is always a bad idea. I wish it didn't exist - it's a great example of "despite all we've learned in the past 100 years in terms of good environmental practices, we'll ignore this monstrosity because it's been here for awhile". Sorta like keeping Love Canal because it been around for awhile.

Just so that I'm not misunderstood - my attitude towards the Cog will change as more of the engines are retrofitted to oil-fired, and if their ski trains are successful this is likely to happen. Mass transit is more efficient than private automobiles.

JohnL
04-26-2006, 02:23 PM
The summit crowds on Mt Washington are what they are and I am more accustomed to experiencing what I see there than I am in seeing what I see on Mt Lafayette in the summer. Actually the Mt Lafayette summer summit experience can be, in a way, worse than Washington's.

While I agree with what you say about the varied reactions of the non-hikers, I was curious about one of your comments and what you meant by it:


... I know this will prevent me from ever attaining that "hardcore hiker" status I so intensely long for.

JohnL

sapblatt
04-26-2006, 02:30 PM
As one who has bit#*ed about Mt. Washington crowds in the summer I want to say that it is nice for everyone to get to the mountains...certainly the elderly, handicapped, very young, etc are not about to hike - they should be able to see the beauty. I just do not like the peaks that are developed at all...my personal take on it that's all. BTW - I do not consider myself to be a hardcore hiker...

And yes - in a rare moment of great hypocrisy I will admit that I did use the restroom (I figured it would be very rude to "go" in front of all of the families, and I would probably have to "register" :D ), I did fill my water bottles, but I did not buy any food - would have, but wanted to lighten my pack.

I am with Wu on the train thing...loved them as a kid, still do. It is nice to see my oldest boy loves trains too...I would just rather not see them there.

cbcbd
04-26-2006, 02:48 PM
My favorite pastime is barging through the doors of the summit building- scratches all over my face and legs, mud plastered all over, wild-eyed stare - as the tourist women giggle with giddiness and their men cower away in respect of my uber-hiker demeanor and dominance... they wish they had the ultra stamina and mental fortitude required to ascend the Northeast's highest massif by foot. :D

eh, it's just fun to see the different kind of people that get up there, you get the whole gammut. I'd have no problem driving up either, then I could finally get that bumper sticker I've always wanted.

Plus, they have chilly - ain't nothin' wrong with that!

sleeping bear
04-26-2006, 03:03 PM
I'd have no problem driving up either, then I could finally get that bumper sticker I've always wanted.

I will shamefully admit I want one of those too :o Don't know if I'd go so far as to put it on my car, I just want it.

I saw one the other day that said my ass climbed Mt. Washington
Maybe they just altered a car one.

Sir Hikesalot
04-26-2006, 03:04 PM
My favorite pastime is barging through the doors of the summit building- scratches all over my face and legs, mud plastered all over, wild-eyed stare - as the tourist women giggle with giddiness and their men cower away in respect of my uber-hiker demeanor and dominance... they wish they had the ultra stamina and mental fortitude required to ascend the Northeast's highest massif by foot.
I know the feelin' dude! :D


And, there is nothing better than a whoopie pie in the middle of a long hike.
And PIZZA--Don't forget the PIZZA! :D

jbrown
04-26-2006, 03:04 PM
It's much the same with the Adirondacks. I think it's much newer, but doesn't Whiteface have road to the top too?

Yes, Whiteface has the Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway which is a toll road to the summit. According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whiteface_Mountain): "Construction on the toll road began in 1929 ...[o]fficially opened July 20, 1935..."
I would imagine that they do limit the umber of cars going up because there are a limited number of spaces up there.

I drove up it with my wife and dog last year because she doesn't like to hike mountains and we were in Lake Placid for the weekend. I was totally jealous of the sweaty, muddy hikers with that glow about them who summited in the time that we were there. (I mentioned in another thread about the guy who yelled at me for standing in a precarious position for a photo op. I didn't yell back about my climbing experience and tell him to go park cars, but wanted to...)

My overall opinion is a little indifferent. It's there, I'm glad that people who normally wouldn't be able to hike up there can have the experience. I wouldn't want any roads built to the summit of any other peaks and if the Whiteface road was allowed to fall into ruin, the buildings crumble and all the manmade artifices be overtaken by nature, I wouldn't mind. :)

blacknblue
04-26-2006, 05:20 PM
It's always a delicate balance between maintaining the historicity of a place and its well-being. I love the legend and lore of the Whites, from early trailblazers to summit hotels. Obviously, Mt. Washington is a major factor in that, and for that reason I don't mind the observatory and auto road and cog railway and museum on top of a magnificent summit. From a naturalist standpoint, it's disappointing; but historically and scientifically, it's crucial.

Like others have said, there is plenty of wilderness and solitude to be found elsewhere, if that is the hiker's intent. Nobody goes to Fenway to see "just another baseball game," ;) and nobody should climb Washington as if it is just another mountain - it is a journey through the history of a region as much as anything (at least in the busy summer times).

On the other hand, as Kevin Rooney said, a bad idea is always a bad idea. The environmental impact of the cog is atrocious. :( It was a bad idea then and it's a historically bad idea now. I'd rather not shrug my shoulders with a defeated attitude. I'd like to think that someday it will run on a cleaner fuel or some sort of renewable energy, despite the romanticism of an old coal train. Having the cog run on renewable energy would make more of a statement to the uninformed tourist about mountains/nature and our role as stewards than just seeing the pretty view at the top.


Oh - sleeping bear - and I did have a "This Body Climbed Mt. Washington" t-shirt at one point. :D That was about 10 years ago, though; I don't know if they still sell them.

Tim Seaver
04-26-2006, 05:52 PM
As for the Cog, though - sorry, a bad idea is always a bad idea. I wish it didn't exist - it's a great example of "despite all we've learned in the past 100 years in terms of good environmental practices, we'll ignore this monstrosity because it's been here for awhile". Sorta like keeping Love Canal because it been around for awhile.

Couldn't have said it better, Kevin!

Nothing quite like coming up the Great Gulf headwall and being greeted by clouds of obnoxious smoke and wind driven ashes. The lingering taste of sulphur in your chest the next day makes it all the more memorable. ;)

Neil
04-26-2006, 05:58 PM
I think it's a major bummer that Mts. Washington and Whiteface are the way they are. Especially Washington because it's such an amazing mountain. It's in a category all on its own. That dosn't stop me from skiing the WF road in winter though...And oh yeah, I ate the pizza. Kinda weird, hiked from Crag Camp, sat down, ate pizza and drank coke then hiked back. Surreal.

Still, if I was king of the world I'd rip everything down and shut down the roads. There's lots of other scenery you can drive to.

NewHampshire
04-26-2006, 06:12 PM
I have not been to Washingtons Summit yet, but I feel the same way about Cannon. I actually think the experience up there is.....well....quaint. Its neat to watch the tram go up and down, and to see the 350 lb short guy bent over and huffing half way up the staircase to the observation platform :D .

Brian

SteveHiker
04-26-2006, 06:29 PM
well, it is a State Park. and less crowded than a lot of other ones (Hampton Beach comes to mind).

If you want limited access go to Baxter.

I do agree with what others said about the train, but then again what would you moon if it wasn't there? :D

cushetunk
04-26-2006, 06:43 PM
And yes - in a rare moment of great hypocrisy I will admit that I did use the restroom

That's not hypocritical; it's practical! :D

It would be pretty funny if all the hikers pretended that the summit development wasn't there. "Ah," you'd hear them say, above the din, "It's so peaceful and quiet here!"

bryan
04-26-2006, 07:18 PM
get up there during bike week. i believe there is one day in particular that the road is closed to any travel other than motorcycles. caught it by accident a couple of summers ago. i've never seen anything like it. they love to encourage the "crazy hikers" on the last pitch to the summit. it's quite a scene and it's easy to bum a post climb marlboro or maybe a budweiser. as for mini cooper day.....

bryan

TMax
04-26-2006, 08:04 PM
I think Mt. Washington Summit is an amazing place! It does give people the opportunity to experience something they might not otherwise be able to. Including giving me the opportunity to share this very special place with my dad:D. And it makes the summit in winter even more amazing when no one is there and you think about the TONS of people who were there in the summer! I often hike up Mt. Wash and then go over to Clay (soon to be Reagan) to eat lunch. It's a rare event when anyone else is there! I think it's especially cool how the folks who hiked up it stand out so much from those who didn't. There ensues a certain unspoken connection there. I remember the first time I hiked it (up Tuckerman) and came to those awful stairs to the summit and thought "this is cruel!!" After I did the summit thing, I was standing at the top of those stairs contemplating the scene and saw another hiker emerge from the trail with that same "this is cruel" look on his face. Then he spotted me and we both just started laughing... the motorists didn't have a clue:).

Woody
04-26-2006, 09:57 PM
I like being able to get to the summit of the Rock Pile and having a coke and an ice cream. It's a nice reward. I would have to agree that I have had some interesting conversations with the folks that have taken the cog, or drivin up. They always seem a bit incredulous that hikers actually enjoy walking up that hill. My brother and I hiked up the Ammo trail a in 2001 with our father who was 64 at the time. My dad had several people (young and older) that asked him if he actually hiked the whole way up. He proudly wore his backpack on the summit that day. (He's still in great shape by the way.)

I took the cog up last autumn with my wife. She wouldn't hike up. We enjoyed the ride and the views from the summit. I won't abuse my car by driving it up and down that mountain, so the cog was the only way my wife was going to get to the summit. We did get mooned by a hiking couple on the way up. I had told my wife to expect it. :D

jjo
04-26-2006, 10:00 PM
This is a very sensitive subject but I , for one], Avoid [/B] Mt Washington on my trips to the whites. The comments above are good ones and valid. The older I get, the more i realize access for all is a good thing. But I crave solitude in my wilderness trips. (Granted hard to find today) but going to Mt Washimgton is like choosing Fileens in Boston for shopping vs a small hardware store in Lancaster, N.H.Your chances are better on other trails if solitude and a true wilderness experience is your taste IMHO. Anyway my 2 cents . I do respect your opinions ..One man's meat is another man's poison..My post won't win any popularity polls..Just my humble opinion

timmus
04-26-2006, 10:26 PM
THIS (http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?t=9058) was my first Mt Washington summit experience...

But, what I didn't say on that first thread is that the golf ball thing happened the day after our hike up Mt Washington...Yes, we went up the auto road because it was such a beautiful day, compare to the crappy cloudy skies we had on our hike the day before.

And yes, I enjoyed the ride up (I was not driving), and the sticker is on my daughter's toy car.

forestgnome
04-26-2006, 10:53 PM
Another vote for "summit crowds are okay". They are enjoying the area. Of corse, there are mental midgets in every crowd, like the golfers :eek:

The only jerk I've experienced on Mt Washington was an AMC guide who screamed at me from a mile away to get back on the trail. He thought I was endangering lichens by being off-trail on the summit cone. He was a "hardcore hiker" in his own mind, saving the world, assuming some type of authority, enforcing some fantasy regulation, but really just another eco-warrior idiot. No tourist on the summit has ever bothered me.

There are countless peaceful places, even open summits, in the White Mts. where hikers can be completely alone. It's all good! :)

Happy Trails!

Tom Rankin
04-27-2006, 07:02 AM
I will shamefully admit I want one of those too :o Don't know if I'd go so far as to put it on my car, I just want it.

I saw one the other day that said my ass climbed Mt. Washington
Maybe they just altered a car one.

There was a legit one for cycling, so there could be one for walking too....

giggy
04-27-2006, 07:26 AM
The only jerk I've experienced on Mt Washington was an AMC guide who screamed at me from a mile away to get back on the trail. He thought I was endangering lichens by being off-trail on the summit cone. He was a "hardcore hiker" in his own mind, saving the world, assuming some type of authority, enforcing some fantasy regulation, but really just another eco-warrior idiot. No tourist on the summit has ever bothered me.



Happy Trails!

I had a similar exp (couple times actually) from an amc dude in franconia notch - how did I know he was amc? - he was wearing nametag broadcasting the fact - and was literally correcting almost everyone for something. I held my tongure - but the next time I will tell someone like this that the AMC does not own the NE mts and their huts do more damage than any hikers boot. Another time another tag bearer one was getting upset that someone went "off trail" on the flume slide trail becuase they felt safer going down it that way.

Disclaimer: this is not an attempt to blast the amc - just an opinion on what I have witnessed and my opinion on the matter. IMO - anyone has the right to go off trail anytime they want in certain situations.

dug
04-27-2006, 08:21 AM
Before they put in the new visitor's center, after summitting we were banished to the basement as we were too dirty to be around the upper class. I was only a 10 year old, but I've never forgot that. We were asking "Why do we have to go in the basement, we walked up here!".

When making traverses now, I generally avoid the actual summit. I love the area, and I agree you can get solitude, but I just stay off the last tenth of a mile around the top.

Mark
04-27-2006, 08:31 AM
The only time I've been up to the Washington summit, I was surrounded by a "crowd" of 3 other people. OK, it was a 4 degree day in February and one of the other people was my hiking partner. If I hiked Washington during tourist season, I don't think the summit crowds would bother me. I'd probably just tag the summit sign and head back down to the Alpine Garden for lunch, but they have just as much right to be there as I do. And at least they are there (however they got up) and not sitting on their couch watching TV. And they do provide some entertainment. I love getting reactions from them by blurting out things like, "What? There's a road up here?"

Roxi
04-27-2006, 08:40 AM
If I hiked Washington during tourist season, I don't think the summit crowds would bother me. I'd probably just tag the summit sign and head back down to the Alpine Garden for lunch

Trying to tag the summit sign during tourist season can take a half hour waiting in line for all the other people who also want to stand on the summit and have their picture taken. It's an interesting experience. I enjoyed the crowds during the Mt. Washington bike race, as it is really neat having so many people at the top cheering on exhausted family and friends cycling up one of the steepest 8 miles they'll ever ride. It's a neat experience!

jfb
04-27-2006, 09:29 AM
I don't mind the auto road or the crowds of tourists, but I don't like breathing the cog fumes. I also feel disappointed that nobody can stand on the summit and enjoy a 360-degree view. It would be nice if the last 50 vertical feet or so were above all the other summit structures.

Bob Kittredge
04-27-2006, 10:57 AM
I don't mind the crowds; gives me one of my infrequent opportunities to feel superior to someone. :)

On my first trip up the rockpile, my hiking partner, a Brit, complained about the grockles (tourists). We stopped by Clay on our way down, and he was much happier.

sapblatt
04-27-2006, 11:12 AM
Trying to tag the summit sign during tourist season can take a half hour waiting in line for all the other people who also want to stand on the summit and have their picture taken. It's an interesting experience. I enjoyed the crowds during the Mt. Washington bike race, as it is really neat having so many people at the top cheering on exhausted family and friends cycling up one of the steepest 8 miles they'll ever ride. It's a neat experience!

uh oh -

Does this mean I did not actually complete my 48? I could not battle thru the cigarette smoke to actually touch the sign. Please - do not tell on me!

pepsi
04-27-2006, 11:50 AM
I don't really care about the crowds either way anymore.

I have used the restrooms and if the restaurant wasn't there I would never have known what a Whoopie Pie looks like or more importantly what happens when your sister asks for a "little taste".

Roxi
04-27-2006, 12:04 PM
uh oh -Does this mean I did not actually complete my 48? I could not battle thru the cigarette smoke to actually touch the sign. Please - do not tell on me!

:D I wish I could have gotten out of the summit picture experience, but the husband of the couple I was with insisted we ALL be in the picture at the top. It was the only part of hiking up Washington that I did not enjoy. The hike itself was great! The entire day was magical - sunny, warm, and not very windy - unheard of for Washington! The views of the Presidentials were priceless and I was very grateful to Mother Nature for the perfect day she gave us. But waiting in line to get a picture taken at the summit was something I could have done without....as well as the cigarette smoke.

jbreen
04-27-2006, 10:10 PM
Oh - sleeping bear - and I did have a "This Body Climbed Mt. Washington" t-shirt at one point. That was about 10 years ago, though; I don't know if they still sell them.
My daughter picked up one two years ago when she was 10 and enjoys wearing it around since the closest any of her classmates came is the bumper sticker.

The only thing I hated about the summit was when we were waiting to tag the top, two "survivalist-types" in camo, bush hats, and wooden staffs cut straight to the summit sign ahead f about 10 people to get their picture.

The tourists were quite entertaining since it was about a 40 degree difference in temp with a 55 mph wind. The obs deck was quite clear.

Mike P.
04-28-2006, 02:00 AM
Of the dozen trips to the top, I have four or five pictures of me or a friend at the summit sign, a couple at the 231 MPH sign & a couple of just the sign.

If you hit the deck & maybe step on a few rocks of the summit cone I'd say you did it on a busy summer weekend. If there is snow on the ground, you should go up, picture optional IMO.

smitty77
04-28-2006, 09:33 AM
One of my best memories was made possible by the auto road and of the the "commerialism" on the summit. About 4 weeks before my wife was to deliver baby #1, we decided to take a day trip to Washington. She had never been to the mountain before and it was a sort of "last hurrah before kids" trip. On the morning of, I logged on to the MWO website at 5:30 am to check the conditions and the summit view. (So the summit buildings come in handy here). I wasn't about to drag the little woman on a 6 hour round trip car ride to look at clouds in 40 degree weather. Seeing the conditons were prime, we hopped in the car and made our way north. We arrived at the base at 9:30 am and were on the summit by 10:30. Conditons were perfect. We wandered around, popped in the gift shop to buy a small shirt for the new baby, sat down for a bite to eat, toured the museum, and then headed out. Just before starting down, I propped the camera on the hood of the car to take a timed photo of the two of us enjoying the scenery. It's one of the best photos of us together, and marks a turning point in our lives - it's the very last photo before our family expansion.

Without the auto road, my wife still wouldn't understand what draws me to the mountains. Because of that road and all the summit has to offer to the non-hiker, I was able to get her back up there with our little one to explore the Alpine Garden by utilizing one of the parking areas on the road.

As for the crowds, they don't bother me so much. I like the look on the faces of "tourists" as you approach the summit with a 40 pound pack in the middle of a 3 day trip. I enjoy the look even more when they ask "Where did you start this morning?" and we point to Wildcat ski area and say "We started 'there' yestrday, walked all the way down 'there' (Great Gulf), and now we're 'here'." The expressions are classic. Plus, if just one of those folks comes off the mountain with a desire to become "one of us" and ends up being a steward of the wilderness, then it is worth it.

--M.
04-28-2006, 10:25 AM
This is one of the best posts I have read in weeks. There is nothing like a well-crafted argument. Reasonable minds may differ on the topic at hand, but this is a solid bit of writing.

jjo
04-28-2006, 01:13 PM
Smitty 77. Agree, that was a very well written and interesting post..For you and your family, the road, restaurant is an important rescource, etc and I honestly respect that. ( In a similiar way, I confess that I love the Blue Ridge Parkway in W. N. Carolina. It allows me to get my wife into the mountains w/o the long climb. She's not an outdoor type and doesn't understand my hiking addiction altho she tolerates it. So I understand your thoughts completely).You said it well and glad you were able to experience. Maybe I'll have a change of heart and drive my LOML up next time I'm there :)

4000'er
05-02-2006, 09:38 AM
This has been a good thread, and I have enjoyed the many views expressed.
I have hiked up Washington several times as well as bicycled up. Riding up- where it was raining on the bottom, and sleeting on the top, with winds that were blowing people sideways, still stands as one of my finest cycling achievements. Also, having my dad and older brother up there to greet me as I reached the summit was an added bonus. As a side note, my brother quit smoking that day and vowed to get back in shape (which he did) after seeing the cyclists make it up the mountain. So, like many of you, I have no problems with the crowds of non-hikers at the summit. My only regret was I didn’t get one of those “I bicycled up Mt. Washington” bumper stickers…

trailbiscuit
05-02-2006, 10:39 AM
Plus, if just one of those folks comes off the mountain with a desire to become "one of us" and ends up being a steward of the wilderness, then it is worth it.

Yup. You won't want to protect it, if you don't understand how great it is.

Great post, Smitty...it's important to have those "special places"...wherever they are and however you got there.