Opening the Mt. Washington Auto Road

Each spring crews spend hours clearing snow and ice from the Mt. Washington Auto Road with the goal of opening to the summit by Memorial Day Weekend.

Here’s a video archive from the spring of 2008, showing just what it takes to get the Road open.

April 18, 2008

The first step is to remove as much as the snow from the road surface as possible. Crews begin plowing the Road in early April, but, eventually, the snow level is deep enough that heavier equipment is needed.

April 23, 2008

Once most of the snow is removed from the Road, each of the culverts needs to be cleared of snow and ice. Along the 7.6 mile route of the Auto Road, there are more than 100 culverts.

April 24, 2008

Once the culverts are cleared, the crew moves up the mountain where it encounters the famous Cragway drift. It’s not unusual for the snow to be drifted over 20 feet in this section.

May 1, 2008

Now, just because we have plans to move up the mountain doesn’t mean that things always go according to plan. In 2008, more snow fell on the mountain in late April, so we had to clear new snow, as well as the old snow, as we made our way up. Not quite back to square one, but, as usual, the mountain sure didn’t make things easy

May 14, 2008

Once the snow is cleared, crews need to attend to any road repairs caused by the winter snows and spring thaw.

May 21, 2008

And, then sometimes—it snows again. The mountain always feels the need to remind us who is in charge.

The Road Crew repeats this process each season in order to get the Mt. Washington Auto Road open. Be sure to follow the progress on our blog each spring.