It was just a regular day for me in the White Mountains, the sun had gone down and it was time for my nightly visit to the library to use their wifi for emails and whatnot. Mildly itchy from a day of insulating with Roxul, I pulled in the parking lot and opened my $150 laptop. As I scrolled through my feeds, I discovered a new proposal to build a motel on the shoulder of Mount Washington. This motel would be directly on the Cog Railway, on the west side of the mountain. I was shocked.
As you all may know, I own and guide for North Ridge Mountain Guides, a mountain guiding service that specializes in winter ascents of Mount Washington from the far less traveled west side of the mountain. Our route is usually up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail, a beautiful less traveled trail that begins at the Cog Railway parking lot. It has fantastic views, and a more backcountry feel then the more traveled East side routes. As I often say, the West side is the best side.
This new proposal would increase traffic and cause much more impact on the mountain. It would also effect the views from other peaks in the Presidential Range. If you have ever walked down the Cog Railway, you would see the utter disregard that these folks have for the mountain. Years of beams, scrap metal, and coal line the entire stretch. This lack of care for the mountain shows you what kind of organization is proposing more havoc for the mountain. Not to mention I will likely be the nearest guide to the trailhead, and when drunken patrons decide that late October 1 mile summit push is "No big deal" I (and many others) will likely have to gear up and head out to save the gumby's.
In summary, this new proposal would impact a already heavily impacted mountain. What is left needs to be preserved for all to enjoy. If you want to help us fight for our mountain, please sign the petition here and attend any meetings you can and voice your opinion. Help us all keep the White Mountains the magical place they are.