[ May 28, 2022 – Pinkham Notch, N.H.]  

The Mt. Washington Auto Road kicked off its 161st summer season of operation on Saturday, May 28th with the 11th anniversary of Alton Weagle Day, a tribute to unique ascents up the historic and iconic road. 

Alton Weagle distinguished himself during the 1950s with his ascents to the summit via the Mount Washington Auto Road on foot, barefoot, blindfolded, walking backwards, and pushing a wheelbarrow with a 100 pound sack of sugar in it, reportedly without putting it down.

There have been many unique ascents of the Auto Road to Mount Washington’s 6,288-foot summit by adventure seekers and creatives. Since Alton Weagle Day became an annual event, there have been well over 100 “firsts”, and a growing community of “Weaglers” who participate each year. 

Despite almost 30 people signing up to join, there were 16 people who participated. Many who did not attend were deterred by the rain forecast and possibility of thunderstorms at the summit. But the mountain welcomed the Weaglers and who were greeted with pleasant weather and astonishing mountain views. 

Erik Kondo returned with brother and friend to complete a challenging towed wheelchair ascent. Dylan Pearse-Theroux bought his electric unicycle back for a second year and made an incredible ascent and descent on the Auto Road two times. Michele McElroy, a mime, pulled on an invisible rope to ascend the mountain.

Cynthia Oldham did 225 cartwheels to the summit along the road, while her mom Angela Smith did a yoga series of postures throughout the 7.6 mile route. Fred Ross and Donna Smyth ran up the Auto Road as “Mr. and Mrs. Ukraine Supporters” wearing hand-knitted hats that raise funding for refugee children of Ukraine. Ray Anair ascended as “Spiderman.”

Phoebe Seltzer was likely the most impacted by the new pavement on the Auto Road 5-mile stretch as she rollerskied from the base to the summit as a kangaroo.

Laura Gilman and two other representatives of the iBOT Personal Mobility Device, made in Manchester, NH, demonstrated the power of the machine by its ascension with only one battery change. 

Jesse Lyman, who has participated in every Alton Weagle Day since 2011, was part of a circus troupe who along with students Isobel Lawton and Collin Reeder completed the first pelado, back tuck, and globe trotter, respectively, on Mt. Washington. 

Hans Bauer, who also works at the Auto Road giving guided tours, led the participants in the opening ceremonies of the event which included noisemakers of all kinds. He was able to complete the “Pizza Delivery on Stilts” that he had started in 2021. 

Any prospective Weagler needs to submit their idea for a first ascent to events@mt-washington.com for approval before participating. Alton Weagle Day is held on the first Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, signaling a start of summer with a nod to history, creativity, and a celebration of the freedom to do “whatever silly or serious” thing we choose to do with our day. 

Summer is upon us, with events for athletes, families, and everyone in between. Join us for:  
 
Mt. Washington Auto Road
• Bicknell’s Thrush Tours:  availability on June 2 
• Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race:  June 18 
• New Hampshire ATV Day (tickets sold out):  June 25 
• Sunrise Drives:  July 24 & August 28 
• Seek Your Peak Mt. Washington Adventure Expo:  July 16
• Summit Salute: July 17 
• Adaptive Sunrise Ascent:  July 31 
• Mt. Washington Bicycle Hillclimb:  August 21
• Muster In The Mountains: September 9, 10, & 11
 
Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center
• Salomon Spring Trail Running/Walking Series:  Thursdays, May 12 - June 16 
• There’s a Black Fly in My Eye 10-Mile Trail Run & Relay:  June 4 
• New England Youth Cycling Finale: June 19 
• Summer Mountain Bike Series: Tuesdays, June 28 - August 2 
• Moat Mountain 24 Hours of Great Glen: August 6 & 7
• Cotopaxi Fall Trail Running/Walking Series:  Thursdays, September 1 - October 6
• Paul Letarte Memorial XC Invitational:  September 10 
• Tails for Trails: September 24