Pinkham Notch, NH – The newest Mt. Washington SnowCoach at Great Glen Trails and the Mt. Washington Auto Road is slated to be more energy efficient and even more durable in the challenging terrain conditions found on Mount Washington.
Wrapped in a sleek new custom graphic, the latest of three Mt.Washington SnowCoaches has been converted to propane and fitted with a more aggressive track system making it more reliable in extreme terrain conditions. Propane, or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is a safe, clean-burning, high-energy alternative fuel; and when used in place of petroleum-based fuels, reduces tailpipe emissions. The clean-burning characteristics of propane also allow the engine to have increased service life.
“The propane conversion is just another step towards becoming more environmentally conscious at Great Glen and the Auto Road”, stated Howie Wemyss, General Manager of the Mt. Washington Auto Road and Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center. “Two other coaches used for guided tours in the summer have already been converted and more are planned for 2015.”
Additional upgrades to the Mt. Washington SnowCoaches have also taken place to the unique, all-wheel drive track system which enable the 9-passenger vehicles to travel on the snow-covered Auto Road during the snowy winter months. New Dominator® track systems have been designed by American Track Truck of Chassell, Michigan which are lighter and provide better floatation, dramatically increasing traction and stability even in the deepest snow. The frame of each track is fabricated from T-1 grade steel providing superior strength with minimal weight. The new tracks are easy to install and weigh approximately 170 lbs each compared to the prior tracks which weighed 700 lbs each.
“We are really excited about these upgrades to the SnowCoach program”, noted Nate Harvey, Great Glen Trails manager. “Our tour schedule will be more consistent for guests, passengers will get a softer, more comfortable ride, and our mechanics may actually enjoy a day or two off once in a while”. Dominator® tracks are practically maintenance free, allowing convenient and reliable operation in even the worst weather conditions and most challenging environments.
Guided winter tours aboard the Mt. Washington SnowCoaches are approximately 1¼ hour long and depart daily from December through March from the Great Glen Trails base lodge at the base of Mt. Washington on a first come, first served basis. Operating hours are approximately 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 pm (8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. early in the season), depending on weather and snow conditions. The cost for the winter sightseeing experience is $49 for adults and $30 for children ages 5-12. Advance reservations are not available due to unpredictable weather and snow conditions.
The Mt. Washington SnowCoaches climb to about 4,200 feet, otherwise known as treeline, which is approximately two-thirds the way to the 6,288-foot summit. Upon arrival to the turnaround point, passengers are allowed to exit the SnowCoach to experience the weather and snow conditions which Mount Washington is so famous for. Guests can take up to 15 minutes outside the SnowCoach for photos and videos before the climbing back onboard for the journey back to the base.
The SnowCoach is available as a stand-alone tour or as part of the Trails Total Ticket, which offers complete access to everything available at Great Glen Trails for one discounted price. The Trails Total Ticket includes a trail pass for XC skiing and snowshoeing; cross country ski and snowshoe rentals; all-day access to the tubing hill and a tour on the SnowCoach.
Additional info can be found by visiting www.snowcoachnh.com or by calling (603) 466-3988.