Mount Washington Observatory Extends Thanks To All That Supported a Virtual Seek The Peak Hike-A-Thon Fundraiser

by Gino Devaney on July 27, 2020

The 20th anniversary of Seek the Peak a success amongst challenging times 

 North Conway, NH –  The non-profit Mount Washington Observatory celebrated its 20th anniversary Seek the Peak(STP) hike-a-thon with over 300 hikers participating virtually around the country raising nearly $110,000 in pledges.  The events’ proceeds benefit the Observatory’s summit operations where observers take hourly weather observations 24/7 continuing in 87-plus year data set used in forecasting, education and science.

Participants were encouraged to hike from anywhere between July 1-20, 2020 and to share their hikes on the Seek the Peak Facebook group page to continue to inspire the Seek the Peak community and to ultimately be included in a video bringing together the STP participants in a virtual format. Additionally, participants were asked to send along a story/prayer flag reflecting their hike of choice and years of participation to be included in a collection of flags from participants spanning the 20-year event with a plan to ultimately fly from the summit tower on Mount Washington in celebration of 20 years of STP.

Hikers took the challenge to heart, trekking up peaks beyond Mount Washington. Some chose different massive mountains in the Presidential Range while others stuck closer to home in town forests, woodlands, and state parks. Long time participants the Nowicki family went up and down hills in their neighborhood to equal the elevation of the Ammonoosuc Trail. To keep their STP experience authentic they had candy and gifts sent from North Conway’s iconic shops Zeb’s and The Penguin to share after their outing. Robin Hirsch who has been involved with Seek the Peak since the beginning opted to finish her Sleeping Giant Mountain (CT) Master  certificate, totaling 50 miles of trail over several months, to round out her virtual STP event.

“It was truly amazing to see the Seek the Peak community come together virtually through the Facebook Group and with emails to share their hikes and experiences and to inspire each other,” said Brand Manager Krissy Fraser. “We are so thankful for our participants and sponsors for continuing to make this event incredibly special and a successful critical fundraising event in support of the Observatory.”

Participants who reached a $200 fundraising goal were awarded with an exclusive Cotopaxi backpack provided by presenting sponsors Eastern Mountain Sports.  Leading fundraisers were awarded special prizes. Chris Nichols was the top fundraiser raising over $8,000 with 20-year participant Lee Eckhardt close behind raising a clever $6,288—that’s the elevation of Mount Washington.  Other 20-year Seek the Peak hikers Brad Griswold, and Pat and Brenda Daly were recognized for their dedication.  A special Brad Bradstreet Award recognizing a love and enthusiasm for STP and the Observatory was awarded to longtime volunteer coordinators of the event and 2020 participants Hank and Linda Dresch.

You can view the both the 20 year celebration video and the STP 2020 virtual hike videos on YouTube.  Donations are still being accepted and the option to earn the exclusive Cotopaxi pack will be available through the end of July. Visit www.seekthepeak.org to support the event and visit www.mountwashington.org for the  information on additional Observatory programs including a free virtual Science in the Mountains lecture series slated to launch on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.

Seek the Peak is made possible with support from presenting sponsors Oboz Footwear, Eastern Mountain Sports with additional support from The Mount Washington Auto Rd., Martini Northern, First Light, White Mountain Oil, Mason & Mason Insurance, Delta Dental and WMWV 93.5FM.

About Mount Washington Observatory:

Mount Washington Observatory is a private, nonprofit, member-supported institution with a mission to advance understanding of the natural systems that create the Earth’s weather and climate. Since 1932, the Observatory has been monitoring the elements from its weather station on the summit of Mount Washington, using this unique site for scientific research and educational outreach. For more information, call (800) 706-0432 or visit MountWashington.org.