PINKHAM NOTCH, NH— Held on May 25th during Memorial Day weekend, Alton Weagle Day at the Mt. Washington Auto Road was the annual kick-off event to 2019, coinciding with the much-anticipated opening of the Auto Road for its 158th summer season. The Auto Road and Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center have a full line-up of events this summer, but Alton Weagle Day is arguably the most unique.
Alton Weagle (1911 - 1984) had a passion for Mount Washington which was simply unmatched. During the 1950s, Weagle climbed the mountain in a variety of “first ascents,” including backwards, blindfolded, and pushing a wheelbarrow full of 100 pounds of sugar—without putting it down. Since those days there have been many unique ascents of the Auto Road to Mount Washington’s 6,288-foot summit, but starting in 2011, Alton Weagle Day has become an annual event, logging well over 100 “firsts” during its nine-year run.
For 2019, the event drew 13 people and two dogs, all of whom had the passion of true Weaglers. Three of them conquered the mountain on wheels, including Hans Bauer, an Auto Road tour driver, on his antique Penny Farthing bicycle, Great Glen Trails’ own Nate Harvey who backed a van and trailer to the summit, and Erik Kondo who rode a KartBOT—an innovative mobility vehicle of his own design. Ten others challenged the Road on foot, including Shannan Budde (inflatable T-Rex), Enna Carbone (Snow Leopard), Michelle McElroy (can of Tab), Andrew MacLean (pushing a lawn mower), Sue Wemyss (Nessie), Linda Hindl (one half of a three-legged walk), Jim Pac (the other half), and three Weaglers that coached, passed and received the first NFL pass on Mount Washington—Jesse Lyman, Lily Hodgdon and Addison Koehler. History was made, and fun was had by all.