Thanks to MountainProject I know the exact date I first climbed Mt. Washington. It was November 20, 2004 and my friend (now world-class scientest at Yale) and I climbed up the frozen waterfall that is Pinnacle Gully before hitting 54 mile per hour gusts of wind in the alpine garden and bagging the summit.
It was a first for both Brad and myself. It was our first time climbing together. It was the first time either of us had led an ice climb (I led the first two pitches and Brad led the third and final rope stretching pitch). It was also the first time we had seen each-other since we played Little League together; a fact I did not realize until he brought it up. I had thought he was just a competent stranger I met on a climbing forum online and had no idea he was the same Parry whose father had coached me a decade prior.
I have gone on to climb and ski Mt. Washington several times, sometimes solo (an entry on MountainProject from December 24, 2005 simply reads “Soloed Christmas Eve. One of the best climbs of my life.” I recall little else.) but yesterday was the first time I had ever driven to the summit via the Mt. Washington Auto Road.
True to form, I thought up the idea to drive the Ferrari 488GTB to Mt. Washington’s summit the night before I actually did it. I can be rather impulsive at times.
I had received numerous emails and invitations to attend press junkets for Ferrari’s 70th Anniversary this week in NYC and, since I happened to have a brand new Ferrari parked in the garage downstairs, I figured I might as well do something wildly unique to commemorate the anniversary of an iconic brand that has danced its way in and out of my life for years.
The execution of that idea is the photo to the right.
Six dollars worth of mylar balloons, thirty-eight dollars to drive up the mountain, and a solid nineteen hours of driving.
Sure, I could have splurged for something more extravagant, but what the hell do you buy Ferrari for their birthday?
As you no doubt know from the thousands of bumper stickers regaling tales of minivan adventures across the country, no trip to the summit of Mt. Washington is complete without the bumper sticker telling everyone you’ve been there.
In a rather elitist way inspired by the combination of my preferred literature and music of the time (Mark Twight and NOFX), I used to make fun of those bumper stickers that read “This Car Climbed Mt. Washington”. I smugly held the belief that summits of mountains should be reserved for those who reach them by natural means but my obsession with all things powered by a combustion engine has me rethinking this hard and fast position which I had previously, and passionately, held. And so, the Ferrari had a congratulatory bumper sticker bestowed upon her rear window overlooking both the 3.9 litre 8 cylinder engine and New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
This is probably the meekest accomplishment in the history of Ferrari but it’s all I’ve got. I’m no Schumacher after all.
No trip to New Hampshire is complete without a trip to Polly’s Pancakes in the aptly named Hamlet of Sugar Hill, just outside Franconia where both Robert Frost and the Old Man on the Mountain used to live.
I certainly did not earn this feast, but I don’t visit New Hampshire as often as I used to so why not have a keto-cheat day (again)? Plus, it’s Ferrari’s birthday celebration. Everyone’s allowed a cheat day for Ferrari’s 70th Anniversary, right?!
What you see below is a corn meal waffle topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, maple butter, granulated maple sugar, and doused in maple syrup. I had two.
So, here’s a sugary toast to Ferrari on their 70th Anniversary. Cento di questi giorni!