Mt. Washington is the biggest climb in the NE, and often dubbed the toughest hillclimb in North America or even the world.
It is the grand-daddy of hillclimbs in the northeastern part of the country, and careers have been launched with wins on this mountain. In 1997, Tyler Hamilton broke a 17 year old record, and then in 1999, broke his own record again. A new kid on the block came along in 2002, Tom Danielson, and took another minute off Tyler’s fastest time.
The mostly paved auto road rises 4727 feet in 7.6 miles, nearly a 12% average grade. There is a 22% grade section at the top! This climb is truly monotonically rising, no flat or downhill sections to catch your breath on the way up. There is a lengthy section of well groomed gravel that can get soft in rain.
Weather at top can be downright nasty, even mid-summer. It is not uncommon to see temperatures in 60’s at the base and 39 with extreme wind at the top. The highest non-tornadic wind speed ever recorded on Earth was at the summit of Mt Washington at 231mph. Hurricane force winds are present 100 days a year on average. This in part makes Mt Washington one of the toughest bicycle climbs in the world.
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