FIREFIGHTER CLIMBS MT. WASHINGTON AUTO ROAD IN FULL GEAR

by Christian Mower on June 6, 2012

IN 2011 NORTH CONWAY NATIVE JESSE LYMAN POWERED HIS WAY UP THE 7.6 MILE MOUNT WASHINGTON AUTO ROAD ON INLINE ROLLER SKATES.

THE 45-YEAR-OLD NORTH CONWAY FIRE LIEUTENANT HAD PREVIOUSLY RUN AND CYCLED UP THE AUTO ROAD. IN MAY OF 2012 HE DONNED FULL FIREFIGHTING GEAR AND WALKED THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE ROAD TO THE SUMMIT.

THE AUTO ROAD CELEBRATED ITS 2ND ANNUAL ALTON WEAGLE DAY MAY 26TH AND LYMAN – AN 18-YEAR-VETERAN OF THE NORTH CONWAY FIRE DEPARTMENT – WAS ONE OF SEVERAL PEOPLE WHO SHOWED UP TO MAKE UNUSUAL TREKS UP THE ROAD.

AUTO ROAD SPOKESMAN STEVE CAMING SAYS WEAGLE – A NATIVE OF WALPOLE, NEW HAMPSHIRE – WAS A UNIQUE CHARACTER WHO LOVED MOUNT WASHINGTON AND MADE ODD ASCENTS OF IT IN THE 1900s TO HIGHLIGHT THE IMPORTANCE OF CONSERVING AND PROPERLY MANAGING ITS NATURAL RESOURCES.

AMONG HIS EXPLOITS, WEAGLE WENT UP THE AUTO ROAD IN HIS BARE FEET, WHILE BLINDFOLDED – AND BACKWARDS – AND EVEN DID IT ONCE WHILE PUSHING A WHEELBARROW LOADED WITH 100 POUNDS OF SUGAR.

LYMAN SAYS HE WAS PERSPIRING SO MUCH IN THE EARLY GOING HE HAD TO TAKE HIS HELMET OFF OCCASIONALLY AND EVEN WALK BACKWARDS – BUT HE MADE IT TO THE SUMMIT AFTER MORE THAN FOUR HOURS OF HIKING. HE WAS INSPIRED BY THE VIEWS BUT WAS ALSO CHALLENGED BY BLISTERS ON HIS FEET AND THE FACT THAT HIS GEAR DID NOT BREATHE.

HE THOUGHT ABOUT THE FIREMAN’S PRAYER ON THE WAY UP AND WAS GREETED BY MEMBERS OF HIS FAMILY AT THE SUMMIT.

OTHER ASCENDERS INCLUDED A MAN DRESSED AS A STAR WARS TROOPER, 2 TRICYCLE RIDERS, A ROLLER SKIER, A NORDIC WALKER, A BAREFOOT JUMP ROPER, AND CAMING – DRESSED IN COONSKIN CAP AND BUCKSKINS – WHO DROVE UP THE ROAD IN A 6 HORSEPOWER GO KART THAT FEATURED FRONT END ANTLERS AND A BIRD HOUSE ON THE BACK.