Talk:Mount Washington (New Hampshire)

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Untitled[edit]

This removed text, from the ext links,

, the only railway in the world built entirely on trestles, 3.1 miles (5.2 km).

is either incoherant or just wrong. The tracks are laid on the ground at the summit, at the crossing with the Gulfside Trail, and apparently all the way between those two points; also at the Base Station and presumably large stretches between there and Gulfside. --Jerzy(t) 19:36, 2005 Jan 18 (UTC)


Modified avalanche text

and which have killed more than 130 people since 1849, largely in Tuckerman.

This number is more than all of the recorded deaths from all causes in all of the Presidentials, including falls, heart attacks, plane crashes, and railroad accidents. There were 2 Tucks avalanche deaths in 1954, 1 in 1956, and 2 in 2002, for a total of 5 , unless you add the one in 1996 on Lion's Head (which of course is 5 too many). Ref Howe, Nicholas(2000). Not Without Peril pp.299-304. and 11/29/2002 news at timefortuckerman.com. If we really need a fatality number, maybe it should cover all of Mt Washington, but maybe an external link to a compendium is sufficient. (updated talk) Lupinelawyer 01:45, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)

panoramas[edit]

The link to the panoramas was removed by somebody as "spam" but they are non-commercial and, IMHO, very informative. I'm glad it was added and think it is good for the article (which is why I returned it). - DavidWBrooks 21:36, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

The panoramas are exceptional resources; I've never seen a full-color digital version of this in such high resolution. --Talinus 14:35, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I added a link to a Web-based gallery of paintings of Mount Washington done by 19th century artists. JJ 22:53, 4 December 2005 (UTC)

Weather[edit]

As an employee of the Observatory, I conferred with one of the meteorologists to correct the world record wind speed sentence. I also corrected the description of -47°F from "frequently" to once, as it is a station record low. Reference: http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/normals.html --Talinus 05:24, 18 February 2006 (UTC)

Scope of "highest peak" statement[edit]

I am troubled by the misleading link to "northeastern United States" in the sentence describing the "highest peak" area. Mt Washington isn't simply the highest in the "northeast" 10 or so states, as defined in that article, but rather the entire geographically northeast QUADRANT; a much more dramatic area. This includes everything east of the mountains of the Dakotas (i.e., Harney Peak) and north of, say, Tennessee (i.e., Mount Chapman). So, in effect, the superlative is somewhat dulled by the reference to a limited geographic definition. One could just as easily say, "highest peak in New Hampshire", which - while true - is deceptively narrow. What if we were to say "highest peak in the northeast geographic quarter, including 26 states", or perhaps some other, more accurate geographic metric? Thoughts? Lupinelawyer 03:57, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

I have always used the following to describe Mount Washington. "Mount Washington, at 6,288 feet of elevation, is the highest peak east of the Mississippi and north of the Carolinas." Comments? JJ 13:44, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Very good. You want to put it in the article? - DavidWBrooks 15:27, 31 January 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for your support. I have made the change. This is not related, but is it "suggested" to use "ft." instead of "feet."? With short words, why abbreviate? Also, the "m" for meters, which is also abbreviated, should be "m.", right? Who's the style expert on these matters. I have piped in on both grammar and style issues on what I believe are the "appropriate" pages, but I thought I'd ask here. I often find navigating the back roads of wikipedia confusing (perhaps more than it needs to be??). JJ 00:52, 1 February 2006 (UTC)
It is incorrect to call it the highest peak "east of the Missisippi and north ofthe Carolinas" unless you make it very clear you are restricting yourself to the US (which makes no geographic sense). There are higher peaks on Baffin Island, Ellesmere Island, etc. See http://www.peakbagger.com/range.aspx?rid=110 .


I question the accuracy of the concluding statement "and is the most prominent peak in the Eastern United States." in the second paragraph. It begs the question "based on what". The prominence is obviously not due to height, so what is the claim based on? I could agree with this statement if "Eastern" were changed to "Northeastern". An explanation would help. Comments? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dan Aquinas (talkcontribs) 03:24, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Hi! Topographic prominence is a technical term, meaning the height of a peak above the low point on the ridge line to a higher peak. This makes more sense for peaks in the same range, but the mathematics extends without self-contradiction to all peaks. Although slightly lower in height, Washington does slightly outpoint Mt. Mitchell in prominence; see, e.g., Peakbagger.com: Eastern USA Peaks with 2500 feet of Prominence.
—WWoods (talk) 04:57, 20 July 2008 (UTC)

Weather: Why?[edit]

Mount Washington has impressive weather, but this article doesn't mention why. It isn't that tall a mountain. What makes it such an unusual place? (Off the top of my head I would guess the high winds are due to an airfoil effect over the top of this gently-sloaping mountain, but I don't know.) —BenFrantzDale 04:50, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

I remember reasons being put foward in a fascinating educational production, The Voyage of the Mimi, when we watched it in 6th grade. Or maybe it wasn't voyage of the mimi. maybe it was some other incredibly bootleg educational video. Point is, it was both an effect of the airfoil effect - you got that right - and an intersection of three major weather patterns (one moving south out of canada, one west off the atlantic, and one....somewhere else?) that often happen to meet in the region.
Might be interesting to include that information in a section under the weather section, but I certainly don't have the knowledge to do it. Anyone who does, that'd be great.--82.83.32.101 15:01, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

While I lack the knowledge to fully answer your questions, I've put a bug in the ears of the meteorologists at the Obs, who could provide an answer without batting an eye. --24.52.163.193 00:31, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

I remember reading that it's because Mount Washington is surrounded by narrow valleys on either side that funnel wind to the summit, which aside from the clashing air masses and the airfoil effect would explain the harsh weather. Also the fact that it's in a very exposed location; it's by far the tallest mountain in the vicinity, and these weather patterns receive no obstacle as they approach Mount Washington. However, I don't remember where I read this. bob rulz 13:47, 15 August 2006 (UTC)
http://www.tuckerman.org/weather/weather.htm Provides and explanation as well as a few pictures. Maybe someone could add one of the weather system pictures to this article, as I am not familiar with doing this. 63.65.68.246 12:53, 6 September 2006 (UTC)


Actually, the sloping effect has little to do with the weather on the summit, but rather the weather on the East side of the Mtn. The extreme weather of the summit and the Mtn. itself has to do with it's location with 2 major weather patterns, the lack of vegitation to break up wind, it's height above all surrounding peaks, and it's Northern latitude location. These factors are what combine to create its harsh weather. Most trails that climb the summit have signs near the bases of the trails that warn of the notoriously bad weather and advise hikers to turn back if weather is bad or turns bad. It's a VERY ominous sign. Mt Washington has been referred to as "the most dangerous little mtn" in the world.

  • Although the elevation isn't so high, Mt. Washington still rises some 5,000 feet/1,500 meters above nearby lowlands, which normally makes it colder by some 20 degrees F or 11 degrees celsius. This elevation gain is about on a par with higher peaks in other parts of the world, except for the exceptional 3,000 meter rises. Even valley temperatures in northern New Hampshire are relatively low. Valley temperatures can drop into the 10' celsius range on summer nights, without much warming on heavily overcast days, producing temperatures around freezing on the summit. Winter temperatures are comparable to temperatures on the world's highest peaks in their normal climbing seasons, while climbers on Mt. Washington and nearby peaks are often underequipped for so much cold.
  • A second factor is that the regional climate is humid, becoming super-humid on the mountain as air that is already moist cools with elevation gain. Clothes and sleeping equipment become wet and lose insulating value. Clouds often cloak the mountain above treeline while surrounding lowlands have sunny skies.
  • Thirdly, the mountain is totally exposed to wind from any direction, and it is located in a zone of contact and conflict between storm systems moving east across the states, down from the Canadian Arctic, and west off the Atlantic.

So Mount Washington's weather is frequently a "perfect storm" combining cold, wind, cloud and substantial precipitation. It doesn't help that the mountain is a potential weekend destination for tens of millions of people, including New York City and Boston. LADave (talk) 09:04, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Storm systems do not move west from the Atlantic. Prevailing winds are from the west to the east. There are many other mountains around. For example the Franconia ridge and Garfield, etc. To the west, the direction that storms come from, there are the Adirondacks and Greenmountains. It is not as if Washington or the presidentials sit in a plane. I Suspect that Washington's weather is not that unusual for an above treeline, locally prominent ridge at mid to high latitudes. The reason it is remarkable is because it has a weather station on top of it to record such phenomena. I suspect that if there were a Weather station on top of a high Adirondack peak similar meterological events would be observed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.177.15.20 (talk) 10:16, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Geology[edit]

I would like to see some info on its origin. Is it an extinct volcano? Dunnhaupt 01:16, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

I doubt it. The other pages on the White Mountains (New Hampshire) might say more. —Ben FrantzDale 05:33, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Mt Washington is composed chiefly of granite, which is igneous rock, but not volcanic. (Magma solidified far below the surface, -- no volcano formed.) Most of the rock was formed 100 to 200 million years ago, but uplifted into mountains during the Cenozoic (just 25 million years ago). Much of the geology you can see in New Hampshire is due to a much more recent event: Ice Age glaciers (~20,000 y.a.) reshaping the mountains and valleys.


Actually, no. The Presidential Range is the only significant part of the White Mountains whose bedrock ISN'T igneous; the bulk of the Presidentials (including Mt. Washington, the highest point in the "Granite State") is made of metamorphic rocks such as schist and gneiss.

65.213.77.129 (talk) 19:40, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Pinkham Notch[edit]

While you're on the topic of Mount Washington, take a look at the Pinkham Notch article. I just wrote it, and would appreciate suggestions. -- Sturgeonman 00:29, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

Name[edit]

What was it called before it was named Mount Washington (e.g. in the 1600s). How did it get that name? -- Beland 15:23, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Agiocochuck (spellings vary), a local "Indian" name. More interesting is the fact that "Mount Washington" originally included everything we now call the Presidential Range - eg Mt Monroe, Mt Jefferson, ....

Kensett Image in this article[edit]

It is my very strong belief that the Kensett image in this article is NOT Mount Washington. Although I am certain it's not Mount Washington, I cannot identify for certain this scene. It may not even be in New Hamshire. I need for "experts" on New Hamsphire geography to either support my claim or not, but there needs to be a discussion. There are many good, known paintings of Mount Washington, but first we must agree that the Kensett must go. Thanks. JJ 16:37, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

It's titled "View of Mount Washington" on the source web page. But looking at the larger version, I wonder if Washington is the mountain in the right background, rather than the one in the center middleground. Maybe seen from the west over Bretton Woods, with Crawford Notch on the extreme right? Or perhaps from the southeast, near Glen, with the Saco River running through the low ground to the left of the near hills? From the shadows, the sun is to the right and not too high.
—wwoods 17:44, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Titles are often wrong and should not be taken as gospel. Unfortunately, dealers would rather have a painting of Mount Washington that one of an unknown mountain. You seem to agree that it's very unclear if the prominent mountain is Washington. Also, you suggest two very different locations for the view. Why don't we agree to use a "classic" image of Washington for which there is no dispute. A Kensett masterpiece (see John Frederick Kensett), Mount Washington from the Valley of Conway, would be my suggestion. I welcome other opinions. JJ 19:18, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
That sounds reasonable to me. I'm not certain about the picture, but it sounds like the doubts are legitimate enough that we should act on them, particularly since JJ has proposed an easy alternative. - DavidWBrooks 19:32, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Snowfall[edit]

What's this comparison to Mount Rainer? Is this a useful addition to this article? JJ 14:30, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

No - I removed it. - DavidWBrooks 15:37, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

The point is that the article makes big claims for record snowfall which do not hold up in comparison to many places around the world (in particular - the Pacific Northwest).

External Links[edit]

mountwashington.com is perpetually under construction. Also, the weather section fails to load because the site from which it was designed to "acquire" content has been updated. The Cog Railway prices are wrong and the schedule is out of date. Ditto the Auto Road schedule. Animated GIFs on the page appear to have been lifted from an old version of mountwashington.org, which you can see at archive.org. In sum, the information on the site is mostly incorrect, aggregated from other sites, or simply missing. I propose this link be removed.

--Talinus 16:24, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

Since nobody responded for two months, I did the homework and deleted the link myself. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:External_links#Links_normally_to_be_avoided, which states "Any site that misleads the reader by use of factually inaccurate material or unverifiable research."

--Talinus (talk) 01:49, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

images[edit]

I have reconfigured images to eliminate huge blocks of white space on smaller screens.--Pgagnon999 (talk) 17:32, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Kensett's Mount Washington[edit]

I have concerns about stating that Mount Washington from the Valley of Conway is in the collection of Wellesley College. There is a continuing controversy about this, and, until resolved, I suggest the reference be deleted from the caption. In the 1980 exhibition at UNH, The White Mountains: Place and Perceptions, it is stated, I believe correctly, that the Wellesley College painting is dated 1869, not 1851. (When I viewed this painting at Wellesley college in the late 1990s, it was dated 1869.) Also, I quote form the description in the catalog to the exhibition: "Kensett painted this exact replica of his famous view, now lost, which was engraved for the American Art Union in 1851." If others have insight into this issue, or disagree with me, please respond here before adding ownership information to the caption. JJ (talk) 13:03, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Races[edit]

If you're going to talk about Mt. Washington races, the Inferno should probably be mentioned. Adampennin (talk) 10:07, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

You sound knowledgeable - care to add a sentence or two? - DavidWBrooks (talk) 16:34, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

Name?[edit]

When, and by whom, was the mountain named "Washington"? — The History section doesn't say!
—WWoods (talk) 20:37, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Mount Washington image by Bierstadt[edit]

The image at the bottom of the article by Bierstadt of Mount Washington is not Mount Washington, but Mount Lafayette. See my comments here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_talk:Bierstadt_Albert_Mount_Washington.jpg. Unless someone can convince me that I am wrong, I intend to remove the image from this article and place in it the article on Mount Lafayette. JJ (talk) 22:10, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

It certainly looks like one is viewing the north entrance into Franconia Notch, though I can't figure out what the water body in the foreground would be. (Did he just make it up?) However, the image is all over the internet (artchive.com, albertbierstadt.org, museumsyndicate.com) as "Mt. Washington". I could not find it labeled anywhere as Mt. Lafayette. Do you have access to a definitive catalog of Bierstadt's works? Is it possible that the painting has been mis-identified from the beginning as Mt. Washington?--Ken Gallager (talk) 14:17, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
I guess my point is that unless someone can find a published source that says it's Lafayette, it should not be moved to the Mount Lafayette article, because that would constitute original research. I would support removing it from the Mount Washington article, though.--Ken Gallager (talk) 14:28, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
This is a sensitive subject. Yes, the literature had given this painting the title of Mount Washington because, in my opinion, the owner thought it was Mount Washington and gave it this title. The owner wants to believe it is Mount Washington. But, as you can see, it's Lafayette from the west looking east. You can see Eagle Cliff. You can see Lafayette Ravine. You can see Bald Mountain. This is something I encounter all the time, especially with White Mountain paintings. Someone wants this to be a subject that's more popular than the one he has! I know you are knowledgeable about the area, so do you believe it's Washington from any vantage point? It should definitely be removed from this article. I have not read the stuff on Original Research. What would I need to do to get this image properly identified once and for all? JJHenderson (talk) 23:33, 16 January 2010 (UTC). Sorry, try this signature. JJ (talk) 23:37, 16 January 2010 (UTC)
Ken. Please compare the Bierstadt to this image of Mount Lafayette, albeit from a closer vantage point: http://whitemountainart.com/OnePageImages/lafayette_sph001.htm. JJ (talk) 00:08, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
Ken. I need to e-mail you a Google Earth image of the Bierstadt scene. Can you give me your e-mail address? Thanks. JJ (talk) 00:01, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

I have removed the image from this article, as I am in agreement that the scene is certainly of Mount Lafayette and Franconia Notch. In order to continue the discussion over whether to put the image in the Mount Lafayette article, I have pasted this discussion in the image's talk page. Let's place any new comments there. --Ken Gallager (talk) 15:14, 19 January 2010 (UTC)

What Fire?[edit]

"The Tip-Top house alone survived the fire." .... what fire???? 96.233.108.221 (talk) 13:00, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

The one in the previous sentence... --Ken Gallager (talk) 18:52, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Classification[edit]

Before I change: is it Arctic or sub-arctic? (don't know the Koeppen letterings) July at the summit station (from NOAA/NCDC data) averages 48.7 °F (9.3 °C), but surely a sufficient decrease in elevation will push the average above 50 °F (10 °C). so how should we word? ---华钢琴49 (TALK) 22:53, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Third Highest State High Point[edit]

I'll admit I missed the "eastern" part of "eastern United States", but the confusion comes with linking that statement with the list of US states by high point. I guess there is no "list of eastern US states by high point, but I just don't think you should link to any article about all US states if you are only discussing a subsection of those US states. Tex (talk) 16:53, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

I'd say just kill the whole thing - it's a meaningless distinction that nobody cares about. -DavidWBrooks (talk) 17:22, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
This was a worthwhile discussion. I went ahead and got rid of both factoids. The lead sentence already mentions it's the highest peak in the Northeast, and I've always thought that the whole concept of prominence, when used to measure across entire continents, is just silly. --Ken Gallager (talk) 19:27, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Wind Speed Record[edit]

An employee of the Observatory has informed me that Mt. Washington does not actually hold the world speed record for highest wind speed. I'm not sure how to make this disputed, but I know it to be wrong, and would appreciate it if someone at the Observatory could find out more and correct this. sdkb 13:23, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

The article is correct as written. The wind gust recorded in 1934 was the world record until the new record was verified 76 years later. Please read the ref next to the wind speed statement. --Ken Gallager (talk) 12:34, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
I have added the clause "until 1996" to clarify it - the sentence was easy to mis-read. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 14:13, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

"First Ascent"?[edit]

The "First Ascent" should probably be changed to something like "first known ascent by an ethnic European", right? Weren't humans present in the area for thousands of years? It's quite plausible that a pre-Columbian native American could have climbed it. I have walked up it, and know that it took no climbing equipment or skills. A fit adult could walk up it in a day barefoot if his/her feet were accustomed to walking barefoot. To assume no one did so, in all that time people lived in the area, is a bit of a stretch. Bulgie (talk) 01:11, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

It must be a temp[late thing - I tried to change it to "first recorded ascent" but that broke the infobox. The article makes it clear we're talking about the first European. For whatever reason, as other articles make clear, Native American cultures hereabouts have no oral tradition of climbing mountains; it just didn't seem to be something they cared about. Somebody probably did it anyway, though. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 10:59, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
I put "first recorded" after the date in the infobox. --Ken Gallager (talk) 14:09, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Article's Math on Wind: make sense?[edit]

"Low-pressure systems are more favorable... two thirds of the days." Says the article. But 2/3rds of the days between Nov and April is 120 days already, 10 more days than the 110 that the article says see hurricane winds. Any insights or does anyone know the data? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.6.117.7 (talk) 00:50, 16 November 2012 (UTC)

Orphaned references in Mount Washington (New Hampshire)[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of Mount Washington (New Hampshire)'s orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "NOAA":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 18:30, 10 June 2014 (UTC)