New records were set at the 49th annual Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb (MWARBH). In the predawn hours of Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022, about 400 bicyclists from across the country and Canada gathered at the base of Mt. Washington for the 49th annual Hillclimb, considered one of the toughest in the world.
The iconic event is a fundraiser for Tin Mountain Conservation Center, a non-profit environmental education center for grades K–12 in the Mt. Washington Valley. This year, the organization reported the highest fundraising year in its history, with participants raising over $20,000.
The spectacular weather—bright blue, cloudless skies and very little wind—combined with a new, fully-paved road from top to bottom, set the stage for setting new records.
Four-time winner and 36-year-old Phil Gaimon (Woodland, Calif.) regained his title from 32-year-old Erik Levinsohn (Boston, MA) who won last year. Gaimon crossed in 50:38 and was followed by Levinsohn at 50:45. Third place was 24-year-old Drake Deuel (Los Angeles, Calif.) with 53:04.
The women kept a blistering pace with 39-year-old Courtney Nelson (Tiburon, Calif.) crossing first for the women at 1:09:35. 36-year-old Kathryn Cumming (Bloomfield, NJ) earned second place with a time of 1:11:36, followed by 35-year-old Nicole Falcaro (Exeter, NH) in third place with 1:12:25.
“We could not do this event year after year without teams at the Mount Washington Auto Road and Central NH Amateur Radio Club as our eyes on the mountain to keep you all safe, and all of our sponsors who supported the event,” said MWARBH Race Director Erin Holmes. “From base to summit, the cheering and the passion for the event was intoxicating. We're already begun planning and looking forward to next year's 50th anniversary event.”
The race was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic and organizers reduced the rider count to 250 when the race resumed in 2021. This year also saw the return of the awards ceremony and luncheon, featuring the famous turkey dinner provided by Hart’s Turkey Farm Restaurant.
Next year marks the event’s 50th anniversary, set for Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023. One of the leading goals for next year is to host a rider from each of the 50 states.
For complete race results, see here.
About Tin Mountain Conservation Center
Since 1980, Tin Mountain programs have reached thousands of students in grades K–12 who experience the natural world during in-school, after-school and homeschool environmental education programs. Many more experience nature at a variety of summer camps. Year-round community nature programs and naturalist-led field trips provide outdoor recreation and environmental programs to individuals and families, both residents of and visitors to New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington Valley. Tin Mountain also conducts a variety of conservation research and citizen science projects. For more information, visit tinmountain.org/
About Mt. Washington and the Auto Road
Begun in 1854 and first opened to the public in 1861, the Auto Road was known as the USs first man-made attraction and remains the oldest, continuously operated man-made attraction in the US. Nicknamed the “Rockpile,”Mt. Washington tops out at 6,288 feet, making it the highest mountain in the Northeast. Mt. Washington is known for itsfierce and unpredictable weather, including one of the highest ground wind speeds ever recorded—a 231 miles per hour gust in April 1934. For more information, visit mt-washington.com/
Photo by Joe Viger Photography.