We are excited to return to the “rock pile” for the 50th Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb (MWARBH) presented by Tin Mountain Conservation Center! The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb in August and the Early Bird in July are the only days cyclists are allowed on the Mt. Washington Auto Road.
Disclaimers & Policies
Once a year this race is held on the auto road of Mt Washington…the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. At 6,288 ft, Mt Washington holds the record for the highest wind gust directly measured at the Earth's surface, 231 mph. The summit features a yearly average temperature of 33.9°F (with no temp over 72°F ever recorded). The route is 7.6 miles in length, has an average grade of 12% with extended sections of 18% and the last 50 yards is an amazing 22%!
Elevation grade information
61% (4.5 miles) are at 10-15% grade and 11% (.8 miles) 15-20%. The steepest quarter-mile on this monster is 16%, and the steepest mile is 13.8%.
Mt. Washington Weather
Even August days can be wet, windy and cold. Be sure to bring warm, dry clothes to change into at the summit.
The ride of
Plan on the summit being cold and windy so have warm, dry clothing in the car. There is no bag drop area. You MUST have a ride back down in order to participate in the race.
Race Day Schedule
Here’s a tentative schedule for the race on August 19, 2023 based on previous years. Rain date Sunday, August 20, 2023. Riding your bicycle down the mountain is prohibited, and riders must have their own ride down from the summit. View the driver page for more info.
6:15 - 7:45 am
Racer Check-in (for those who have not checked in on Friday)
*Present photo ID* *Do NOT warm up on the Auto Road*
6:15 – 7:45 am
Road opens for rider’s cars to the summit.
*Support drivers must be on the road before 8 am when the road closes*
Road closes to automobile traffic.
Top Notch racers called to staging at the start.
All racers called to staging near the start for announcements.
Wave 1 – Top Notch Racers
*Red bib numbers*
Wave 2 – 19 & Under and 20-34 Age Groups
*Blue bib numbers*
Wave 3 – 35-39 Age Group and Non-Binary Category
*Yellow bib numbers*
Wave 4 – 40-44 and 45-49 Age Groups
*Purple/pink bib numbers*
Wave 5 – 50-54 and 55-59 Age Groups
*Green bib numbers*
Wave 6 – 60-64, 65-69, 70-74 and 75+ Age Groups
*Silver bib numbers*
Auto Road opens for down traffic or will remain closed until Auto Road staff deems safe to open.
*Official timing ends at 3 hours and 5 minutes after the start (12:05 PM).*
Band starts at the base; Moat Mountain on-site!
*Upon arrival at the base – grab you lunch ticket and go get some food, listen to the band, grab a free beer from Moat Mountain and hi-five your friends!*
Approx 2:15 pm
Explore the Mt. Washington Hill Climb record holders, and past 40 years of race results.
Riders who conquered the Rockpile over 10 times.
The past 40 years of race results.
Riders must have their own ride down from the summit. Securing a ride down from the summit is solely the responsibility of the registered participant and not that of Tin Mountain Conservation Center or the Auto Road.
Frequently asked questions
Can't find the answers you're looking for? Reach out to Erin, our race director, with any additional questions.
When can I pick up my bib?
Registration and bib pickup will be at the base of the Auto Road on Friday, August 19 from 3 to 7pm. Registration will open again on Saturday morning from 6:15 am to 7:45 am. Note – your support driver must have the Auto Pass off of your bib to head up. Plan well. At 8 am, the AutoRoad closes and support vehicles are out of luck at that time. Don’t wait until 7:45 to get your number. Click here for the race day schedule
What do I need to register?
Bring your driver’s license and it wouldn’t hurt to have an email with your confirmation from bikereg. Just in case.
I don’t think I signed a waiver. What do I do?
Before the event, please check your email and junk mail and whatever inbox you receive bikereg emails from. We will be sending automatic emails to those who have not electronically signed a waiver before the event. If you still haven’t signed it, we will have copies at reg. We have a list of those who still need to sign.
What time do support drivers head up and how long can they expect to be at the summit?
Support drivers must head up between 6:15 am and 8 am. After 8 am, the Auto Road closes to uphill vehicle traffic. At approximately 12 pm, support drivers will start descending the Auto Road with their passengers. That is 4-5 hrs at the summit of the “home of world’s worst weather”. They should be prepared. The summit buildings will be open at 9 am and there will be bathrooms. They should have food, water and clothing for themselves and their racers. Drivers need to drive all the way to the summit and not ‘leapfrog’ with riders – no cars are allowed on the road after the race begins.
What amenities are available to my support driver at the summit?
The Sherman Adams building at the summit is open for the season. The Sherman Adams building, a modern summit building, houses The Sherman Adams Visitor Center, a cafeteria, restrooms, gift shops, and the Mount Washington Observatory and its museum.
What is at the summit for the racers?
Portable toilets, water, commemorative fleece blankets, finisher medals, and first aid are available at the finish on the summit. You should be prepared with additional food, water/energy drinks and warm, dry clothing in your support driver's car.
Will there be a ride share meeting place?
We will have a ride share meeting spot near registration on Saturday morning. Support drivers are not guaranteed and finding you one is YOUR responsibility, not that of the Mount Washington Auto Road or Tin Mountain Conservation Center. Please review the support driver information on our driver page.
What about my dog?
Dogs are a part of a family, too. Although we love our own dogs as well, we DO NOT allow dogs in the event festival area or parking areas. If you have a Therapy or Service Dog, please make sure they are wearing their identifying collar/leash for easy identification.
What wave am I in?
Our age group waves are color coded and start heading off at 8:30 am with the Top Notch racers (red) first. Click here for the event schedule. After that, waves will be staged and started approximately every 5 minutes in the order below. Listen for race announcements throughout the morning provided by Benjamin Kramer:
8:30 – Top Notch Women and Men, red bibs.
8:35 – 19 & Under and 20-34 Women and Men, blue bibs
8:40 – 35-39 Women and Men and Non-Binary Racers, yellow bibs
8:45 – 40-44 and 45-49 Women and Men, pink-purple bibs
8:50 – 50-54 and 55-59 Women and Men, green bibs
8:55 – 60-64, 65-69, 70-74 and 75+ Women and Men, silver bibs
Where can I warm up?
Racers typically warm up on a trainer at their car or this year, in a reserved spot in tent row. Racers will not be allowed to ride “just a little bit up” the Auto Road. No riders are allowed on the Auto Road before the race. Our many support vehicles and your support driver start up the Auto Road around 6:15 am. We can’t have bikes and cars together at that time. Warming up on Route16/White Mountain Highway can be dangerous and should be a last resort. The parking lot will be very busy with cars coming in. We recommend blinking lights if you do venture out onto the road and being mindful of other drivers and riders.
Can spectators take the Cogg Railway up?
Spectators are welcome to take the Cog Railway up. Keep in mind that the Cog leaves from the base station in Crawford Notch, which is on the opposite side of the mountains from the Auto Road. Be sure to time your visit appropriately and book early.
Is there mechanical support before the start?
Yes! Mechanical support before the start will be provided by REI Co-Op North Conway. Check them out if you have some last minute needs.
What kind of support is along the Auto Road during the race?
Emergency Medical Services will be available at the base and at the summit. The medical team will be in contact with aid stations via Auto Road stages and HAM radio operators. If you need assistance, please seek the nearest race staff, volunteer or HAM radio operator. There is no mechanical support along the Auto Road.
What about that lunch ticket attached to my bib?
Your lunch ticket will be attached to your bib and any additional lunch tickets you may have purchased. Keep those safe because you will need them when you get back down.