National Geographic : 1937 Jul
FROM NOTCH TO NOTCH IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS and for general weather fore casting. The Blue Hill Observ atory directs the activities of the station. Life on the mountain in the winter has greatly changed since the days of the early weather station. The present one is equipped with an efficient heat ing system and electric lights, and has tele phone facilities that link it with villages in the valleys. In recent years there have been many win ter visitors to the summit. During the winter of 1936-7, more than 250 persons came. A new building for the station is under construc tion. It will pro vide improved living quarters, work rooms, li brary, and an ob servation tower. Accommodations also will be pro vided for scien tific parties. There are three I'hotograph by lrask's Studio A WEATHER OBSERVER CUTS HIMSELF A DRINK OF WATER On top of Mount Washington one winter it was so cold that water froze in a bucket only a few feet from a stove, and butter had to be cut with a hammer and chisel. The outside thermometer has registered nearly sixty degrees below zero and some of the swiftest winds that blow have been recorded here. ways to reach the sum- mit of Mount Washington: by highway, by cog railway, and by numerous well-marked trails. It is eight miles by road from the Glen House in Pinkham Notch and in that distance you climb more than 4,600 feet. Not long after the mad rush of forty niners to California for gold, the road was begun. The first organization that under took its construction failed when the project was about half completed. A few years later another company was organized and pushed it to the top. August 8, 1861, it was opened for traffic. On that day the first passenger-carry ing vehicle, a stagecoach drawn by eight horses, successfully made the trip to the summit. That was the only trip of a clumsy stage except in the nineties when one nego tiated the road as a stunt. RECORD IS NOW UNDER 14 MINUTES Until the automobile came, lighter horse drawn vehicles, carrying from nine to twelve passengers, were used, and every day, weather permitting, from fifty to one hun dred people were transported up and down the mountainside.