This Tesla climbed Mount Washington

Never used the brakes!

In my forty years of visiting and living in New Hampshire, I’d never driven up the Auto Road to the top of Mount Washington – though the “This Car Climbed Mount Washington” bumper stickers are ubiquitous. Today was a beautiful day, though, and Pam indicated she’d never been to the top of Mount Washington… so we went. As we passed through the toll gate we noted the Tesla Model Y battery was at 50%. We wound our way up the mountain, on extremely narrow roads with no guardrails and steep drop-offs on one side or another. The views were stupendous, but allowable only to the passenger! We reached the summit parking area with battery at 35%; it thus takes 15% of the battery to climb the mountain. But we earned most of it back! read on.

Summit of Mount Washington, after a drive up the Autoroad.

We wandered about the mountain top, enjoying the view and standing in line (yes, standing in line) to take a photo at the summit, the crowds being what they are. We visited the museum and read about the fascinating work of the mountaintop weather observatory.

A line forms at the summit of Mount Washington, for those who want a photo opp.

We watched the Cog Railway departing for its trip back down the mountain; it claims to be the oldest cog railway in the world, but I wondered whether Switzerland might have something to say about that.

The Cog Railway prepares to descend Mount Washington.

Then we headed back down the mountain. Except for one brief moment – on a a hairpin turn where the car was pointing steeply down toward the Great Gulf – I never used the brakes. I actually had to press the accelerator pedal, gently, because the good ol’ Tesla was regenerating the battery and thus the ‘engine’ was braking for us. As we exited the tollgate, we noted the battery was back up to 44%… thus it required only 6% battery to climb up and down Mount Washington. Impressive!

Pam and David on the summit of Mount Washington, after a drive up the Autoroad.

Author: dfkotz

David Kotz is an outdoor enthusiast, traveller, husband, and father of three. He is also a Professor of Computer Science at Dartmouth College.

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