Sunrise Ascent of Mount Washington

I’ve just signed on as a mule. Or a Mule, rather – a volunteer for the Sunrise Ascent on Mount Washington on August 6.

Photo courtesy of ASPNC and Kris Dobbins Photography

The Sunrise Ascent of Mount Washington is ushering in its eighth year in which teams of Adaptive Athletes and Mules climb Mount Washington’s 6,288-foot peak. The event starts pre-dawn with teams assembling at the base of the Mount Washington Auto Road. From there each athlete will head up the auto road as the sun rises atop New Hampshire’s tallest peak.

Photo courtesy of ASPNC and Kris Dobbins Photography

The Sunrise Ascent is a fundraiser for Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country. The event is the organization’s largest such fundraiser of the year. Each team strives to raise $6,288 – one dollar for every foot of Mount Washington’s height – to benefit ASPNC’s year-round recreational activities for individuals with disabilities.

Last year was my first partaking in the Sunrise Ascent. I joined a series of training hikes along the Franconia Notch Recreation Path to learn the mechanics of the Trail Rider, a specialized piece of adaptive equipment used by some of the athletes to climb the Auto Road. Training sessions also gave me the opportunity to bond with my teammates and share laughs (and grunts) as we trekked along the path.

Trekking the Franconia Notch bike path to train for the ascent.

Unfortunately cold temperatures and heavy winds cut short plans to attempt the summit. It is the home of the World’s Worst Weather, after all. The 2016 teams enjoyed a hike and scavenger hunt through the Great Glen Trails surrounding the Auto Road base area. We also celebrated the funds raised to support ASPNC with a hearty brunch at our base camp.

I look forward to making the attempt again this year!

For more information

For more information about the Sunrise Ascent, visit

Register as a Mule to hike the day of the event or a Trail Angel to assist in fundraising for the teams. The deadline for registration is June 12.

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