This past weekend, Dyn’s Mikel Steadman, Matt Torrisi and Mike Veilleux (along with friends and family) hiked Mount Washington as part of the 12th annual Seek the Peak Hike-A-Thon to support the Mount Washington Observatory. The Observatory’s meteorological research has had an important impact on many studies of climate and weather patterns.
The event, which has raised more than $100,000 since its establishment in 2001, draws hikers from all over New England. As part of a DynCares initiative, these Dyn hikers were proud to participate, raising almost $700 more than their projected goal of $1200.
Team leader Steadman said, “It was very rewarding to reach the summit of one of our country’s most prestigious mountains,” adding that the nine hour hike was “not only physically and mentally exhausting, but incredibly exciting.”
Torrisi agreed. “The whole event was awesome. It was great to join colleagues who share the same passion in enjoying the outdoors and to make new friends along the trail,” he said.
As an experienced hiker, Torrisi was especially interested in the event’s cause. “I often use the forecasts generated by the Observatory in my own expeditions, so to support them felt great.”
To say that the hike was a walk in the park, however, would understate the dedication of the participants.
Mount Washington is recorded as 6291 feet high and has been known to have winds of up to 231 miles per hour. This didn’t discourage the Dyn team, though, as Veilleux remembers.
“The group definitely left any grumpy attitudes at home and was motivated the entire time,” Veilleux said. “The upward climb was certainly a physical challenge for cardio and strength, but also mentally as we lost the trail for a quick second and had to come together to bushwhack and get back on track.”
After a quick snooze on some granite at the peak, the group made its way back down and was greeted at the base with a hearty, Thanksgiving style meal, prepared by the event organizers.
Each hiker shared jealousy-inducing descriptions of the views from the peak, which showcase the panoramic majesty of Canada, New England and the Atlantic Ocean.
Erik Bertrand, who was unable to participate in the event but who played a large role in Dyn’s fundraising for the Observatory, concurs, drawing on his own hiking experiences and relationship with Mount Washington.
“I started hiking in my early 20′s, while in college, summiting Washington a couple times,” Bertrand said. “I fell away from hiking for many years, though, mostly due to raising a family and growing my career, but my love for the North Country and the mountains remained unshakable.
“I’ve found that each hike can be a real journey — a time for reflection,” Bertrand continued. “The mountains have always been a respite for me and the Observatory, a valuable resource in my hikes. It seemed like a no-brainer to give back.”