Welcome to the crown jewel of New Hampshire’s White Mountains’ Presidential Range, “Mount Washington,” 6,288 feet of granite, with over 1,500′ being in an alpine and tundra climate. Home to the world’s worst weather, with a recorded wind gust of 231 mph (372 km/h or 103 m/s) on the afternoon of April 12, 1934, Mount Washington’s average yearly high temperature is 54 degrees Fahrenheit and average lows dropping to -4 degrees. It is not uncommon for winter wind chills reach -100 degrees.
Why is the weather so severe you may ask? It is in part due to the convergence of several storm tracks, mainly from the Atlantic to the south, the Gulf region and Pacific Northwest. The vertical rise of the Presidential Range, combined with its north-south orientation, makes it a significant barrier to westerly winds. Low-pressure systems are more favorable to develop along the coastline in the winter months due to the relative temperature differences between the Northeast and the Atlantic Ocean. With these factors combined, hurricane winds occur an average of 110 days per year from November to April.
It’s snowcapped peaks, combined with its prominent position watching over the valley, the Abenaki Indians called the mountain “Agiocochook,” home of the great spirit. Captured in folklore, described by famous writers, from artists to alpinists, Mount Washington has mesmerized many with its majestic, yet often wild presence.
There are many ways to experience the sublime beauty of Mount Washington. Below are links to resources that may of assistance in planning your trip to step atop the “The Rock Pile” …. Home to the World’s Worst Weather.