Another Found Photo (And Video) – Mount Washington In January

We had overcast, undercast and zero visibility in freezing fog! The temperature was around zero with the wind gusting over 100 mph.

Back in 1985 someone had the good idea to go to the top of Mount Washington to do a story… in January! The day we went had every type of bad weather imaginable. It was at times very scary.

We had overcast, undercast and zero visibility in freezing fog! The temperature was around zero with the wind gusting over 100 mph.

One of the chores I was invited to perform was clear the rime ice from the instrument tower. If the ice isn’t cleared the instruments might freeze and seize! That would make them useless.

I suspect this photo was taken by my friend (then our assistant news director) Wendie Feinberg. Our videographer at the summit was Tom Racette. He had the toughest time because the heavy camera with separate tape deck acted like a sail in that wind!

A day like this isn’t soon forgotten.

6 thoughts on “Another Found Photo (And Video) – Mount Washington In January”

  1. Egads, wind chill would be about -39!! Thats cold, but I’ve experienced colder. In Boone, NC one morning in 1984, temp was -22 with winds howling 40+mph, wind chill on the new chart at -59!! (I thought for many years the wind chill was -88, on the old chart) At those temps, though, 10 or 20 degrees either way is not gonna matter a whole lot!

  2. I remember you reporting from Mt. Washington. I also kept it in mind when climbing it years later (albeit in July.) Those warning signs at the base tend to stick in your mind as you’re climbing!

  3. I’m still baffled as to why they would let you go. Just business. I really appreciate the video on Mt Washington. really good job and it’s nice to have someone recognize the videographer. that’s seldom done. It’ always amazes me when they show someone climbing some mountain and how difficult it is for them and I say to myself if that’s difficult what is it like for the guys taking the pictures?

    1. Bob – People like Tom Racette are best described by listening to Bob Thaves classic line about Fred Astaire: “Sure he was great, but don’t forget Ginger Rogers did everything he did backwards . . . and in high heels!”

  4. I remember seeing this live – and it’s one more example proving that you never have any fun. Ok, maybe that you OFTEN have fun.

  5. At the base of Mt Washington is a restored train engine, “The Peppersass”, which was smashed to pieces on the 100th anniversary of the cog railway.

    My mother’s cousin was a photographer on the railroad car pushed up the mountain by the Peppersass when it slipped a cog and started rolling down the mountain at increasing speed. He went back for his new camera and finally jumped off in the area of Jacob’s Ladder—not a good place to land. He was killed and his name is on the Plaque of Deaths occurring on Mt. Washington.

    Years ago I heard my [cowardly] sister had gone up the cog railway to the top, so I figured if SHE could do it, so would I. I was TERRIFIED all the way up, slid like a snail against the mountain into the Observatory, did NOT look out at the view, and was re-terrified all the way back down.

    Once I was safe, I used the phone at the bottom of the mountain to call my sister and commend her for being so brave as to go up on that cog railroad, to which she replied,”I would NEVER go up on that railroad! I took the auto route!” 🙁

    I guess I better listen better to my siblings heroic tales while sitting around the table at Thanksgiving!

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