AN UNUSUAL SELECTION OF MT. WASHINGTON AUTO ROAD FIRST
ACSENTS ARE ALL ACCOMPLISHED DURING 2ND ANNUAL ALTON WEAGLE DAY
PINKHAM NOTCH, NH-The 2nd Annual Alton Weagle Day on the Mt. Washington Auto Road turned out to be a great success and was proof positive that more than 150 years after it opened, the lure of being the first to do something on the Northeast’s highest peak is as compelling today as it ever was.
This year’s event found an eclectic group of first ascenders lining up at 6 am to begin their record setting attempts. Each was inspired to march to the beat of a quite different drummer, but together they created a morning on Mt. Washington like no other.
Jesse Lyman-The Fireman-In what was certainly the most physically demanding attire of the day, this 45 year old, 18 year veteran of North Conway Fire Department donned full bunker gear (pants, boots, jacket, gloves, hoodie, helmet and breathing apparatus) and made a successful ascent on what was an 80 degree day.
Andy Macleod-Star Wars Scout Trooper-This 27 year old Boston resident wore the easily recognizable white “armor” of the Scout Trooper from the Star Wars movie series. Carrying his “blaster” and in a full face helmet, Macleod made a stellar effort.
Leanne Lovell, Craig Newton-Recumbent Trikes-Climb Mt. Washington while laying down, now there’s an idea! These 37 year olds from Orange, Massachusetts rode their “lawn chair on wheels” (as they called their trikes), on a 1200 miles tour last summer, have done all the New England states in 36 hours and are currently planning a cross country trip.
Sean Doherty-Roller Skier Extraordinaire-In a performance that reminds the rest of us what true athletic excellence looks like, this 17 year old from Conway roller skied his way to the top of the Northeast’s highest peak in just one hour and 45 minutes Doherty, who is already revealing a stunning depth of ability as a biathlon skier, recently was one of only six teenagers from the United States invited to participate in the Youth Winter Olympics in Austria, where he won a medal.
Sue Wemyss-Nordic Walking-Proving that former Olympians can still kick your butt in most athletic endeavors, Wemyss, 52, powered her way to the top in just two hours five minutes. As Ski School Director and a paddling guide at Great Glen Trails she considers physical conditioning a way of life and shares her passion for fitness and the outdoors all year round.
Hans Bauer-Backwards, Barefoot, Jumping Rope-Returning to the Auto Road after making a successful winter ascent this past season on stilts with snowshoes, Bauer latest ascent was a tribute to the event’s namesake, Alton Weagle. It was Weagle, in various attempts throughout the 1950s, who eventually climbed the road barefoot, backwards, blindfolded and pushing a wheelbarrow with 100 pounds of sugar in it.
Steven Caming-Go Kart, in buckskins and coonskin cap-This eccentric character, who also serves as Media Director for the Auto Road, followed last year’s backwards drive up the road with this first ever go kart ascent. The 6 horsepower contraption featured antlers on the front, a leather wrapped frame and a bird house hanging off the back. While the 60+ mph winds, fog and rain on the summit made for a dramatic finish.
An awards ceremony in the newly dedicated Douglas A. Philbrook Red Barn Museum completed the festivities and then this group of newly minted Mt. Washington superheroes each went back to their day jobs, to await the next time Mt. Washington’s siren song lures them back to Pinkham Notch.
For more information about Alton Weagle Day or general operations at the Mt. Washington Auto Road call (603) 466-3988