First Snowmobile Ascent Reenacted to Commemorate 50thAnniversary

March 26, 2013

PINKHAM NOTCH, NH- A small but dedicated group of antique snowmobile enthusiasts slowly but steadily climbed above tree line on the Mt. Washington Auto Road last weekend to commemorate the first snowmobile ascent in 1963. In fact, at least one of the machines that went up recently also was part of the original team 50 years ago. All of the snowmobiles that went up this year were early 1960s vintage, including several Polaris 'Sno Travelers.' This is the eleventh year the group has made a commemorative run, only two years of which they were able to make it fully to the summit due to weather conditions.

On the original drive up 50 years ago, Polaris founder Edgar Heteen was part of the group. This year, to honor that achievement, his son Mike and nephew Alex flew in from Minnesota and were supplied with a vintage Polaris to drive. Another participant, Steve Campbell from Maine, went up on a sled that has seen a lot of North Country miles, having originally been owned by the late (and legendary) Fish and Game officer Paul Doherty.

All told, it was a colorful cavalcade of rear engine antique snowmobiles that looked like a page right out of Mt. Washington history. 'Being the 50th anniversary we were happy to be on the mountain at all, even if Mother Nature said no to the summit,' said Roger Emerson, coordinator for the New England Antique Snowmobile Club. 'This event was partially sponsored by Absolute Power Sports Vermont and the Mt. Washington Auto Road and it really allows us to trace the tracks of history,' he said.

'It's quite something to see how often history is made and how often history repeats itself here on the Mt. Washington Auto Road. It never ceases to amaze me how diverse the activities are and the passion these individuals bring to the process,' observed Howie Wemyss, General Manager of the Mt. Washington Auto Road For more information about this event or the Mt. Washington Auto Road call 603-466-3988 or online at




Click on the link below to see a video of the start of the race


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