Have you ever ridden the Cog Railway up New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington? If not, someday you really should. It is one of the coolest activities in all of New England. Here is a video I put together that might motivate you to experience the adventure. Even if you go up in summer, bring a jacket because, as you will see, it can get cold up there.
In the mid-1800’s a man named Sylvester Marsh, who made a lot of money in the meatpacking industry, decided he wanted to build a railway up Mt. Washington. The legislature thought this was a crazy idea, but he persevered and in 1869 the first train actually made it to the summit. It’s a super impressive thing even by today’s standards and one can only imagine what a marvel it was back in 1869.
On this day, summit wind gusts were reaching 90 miles per hour, so for safety reasons, the train only went three-quarters of the way up. With winds that high there was a danger that customers walking around on the summit could actually have been blown over.
Upon reaching our highest point, we stopped and each passenger was allowed to spend a moment on the platform at the entrance of the car to get a sense of what the mountain might be like in serious weather. The winds at this point were only reaching 70 miles per hour, but you could get a whiff of the danger the extreme conditions that regularly occur at the summit might provide. I guess there is no way to understand what a 231 mph wind might be like. That was the wind-speed recorded April 12, 1934.
As a journalist and videographer, I would like to spend a night or two at the weather observatory in the winter to document the experience. This is actually a formal request to the folks in charge at the summit to make it happen. I have serious respect for the mountain and the people who work at the top.
Make sure to check out the Jay Talking radio show on WBZ NewsRadio 1030, weekdays from midnight to five, and don’t forget the Jay Talking podcast, where you can enjoy our best guest segments anytime, anywhere, even at the top of Mt. Washington.
(The featured image and the soundtrack are original)