Bimmerfesters' Climb to the Clouds IV, June 9, 2012
The Bimmerfest 'Climb to the Clouds IV' will be held on Saturday, June 9, 2012 in The White Mountains of New Hampshire.
For the fourth year in a row we're going to be touring the White Mountains of NH in our BMWs. This event is open to all Bimmerfesters, old and new, the only requirement is that you bring a BMW. In the past we've had a good mix of late model 3's, M3's, and a Z or two. It would be great to have a few E30's, E36's, E46's and maybe even an F30 along. All are welcome. Get ahold of your buddies and caravan on up, you'll have some driving you won't forget anytime soon!
As the event has grown many of us have decided to make a weekend mini vacation out of it and stay at the Mount Washington Hotel, or at the Bretton Woods Hotel. Others are daytrippers and drive in from the New England states. They meet at The Tilton Diner for a good breakfast, and then drive north to meet in Woodstock with the 'vacationers'. We all then convoy the rest of the trip which you can read about below.
As we have done in the previous Climbs, we will again be raising a charitable contribution which will be made in the name of "Bimmerfesters Climb to the Clouds". Please read about the worthy cause we have selected at the end of the second post in this thread.
After everyone meets in Woodstock (huge McDonald's parking area we have all to ourselves!) we hit the road. And what a road it is, the Kancamagus Highway. It's 30 miles of one of the most scenic roads in the USA. All mountains and passes through a National Park.
Next highlight is a great photo-op, a picture of your BMW exiting the Jackson covered bridge, that'll be a keeper.
Then we're off for the main feature, the 7.2 mile long road to the summit of Mt. Washington. I'll leave it up to other 'Festers to post their pics and tell a little bit about that adventure, it is one unforgettable trip!
We'll regroup at the base head across the street and have a chicken barbeque lunch hosted by the Mt. Washington Auto Road Co. This will be a first this year and I think the food and the view will be spectacular.
After lunch we head for our next stop, The Mount Washington Hotel. Getting there is half the fun, more perfect BMW style roads. You'll get a chance to check out this magnificent old world resort hotel and then we'll split into two groups.
One group will spend some extra time enjoying hotel amenities and ambience, while the second group heads out for Bear Notch Road. BNR is arguably the best driver's road in New England and it is an experience you won't soon forget.
Both groups then reform at The Woodstock Inn where we will have our Banquet. This fun event, held in an old New England inn and brewpub, has been a relaxing event where many of us have formed new friendships or renewed old ones. As we've done in the past, we'll have an auction to raise funds for charity. In previous years we've donated almost $1700 in the name of 'Bimmerfesters Climb to the Clouds' to Susan G Komen for the Cure.
This year a different charity has been selected, Furby will post about that later in this thread. Check it out, it's a very worthy cause.
After the banquet some Bimmerfesters head home, others go back to their hotel for an evening of drinks and good conversation. A hearty breakfast gets everyone together again before the weekend is over and we're off for home.
The trip is very family friendly, and all ages will have one heck of a day. Last year we were honored to have many friends, spouses and a few children along too. Several lasting friendships began on the Climb, and many more will. It's a fun way to meet your fellow Bimmerfesters. I can honestly say that everyone who has been on the trip has been a pleasure to have along, and we're often surprised that in real life we're a bunch of genuinely nice, and generous, people.
'Festers, save Saturday June 9, we're gathering for our fourth annual Bimmering adventure! Again last year there were no arrests and all drivers were present and accounted for at the finish line. We're going to push our luck and do it all over again. This actually is a very family friendly trip, and you are encouraged to bring your S.O. and kids along. I guarantee they will see things that they will talk about for years.
Here's a Google Map showing our trip. It is fully interactive so check out all the features. Click on the blue links on the left side and the map will bring up those locations.
When you get to the map, 'pull' it down so you can see the actual tour area. When the map first displays it has the Tilton Diner at the center. You need to look further north.
The daytrippers will meet for breakfast at The Tilton Diner in Tilton, NH and go over the plans one last time. We'll convoy through back country to "Woodstock where we meet the weekenders, and then you're going to find out what 'Freude am Fahren' is all about, NH style: The Kancamagus Scenic Byway. The "Kanc' snakes 35 miles through mountains and valleys of the White Mountain National Forest at an average elevation of 2900 feet. Dozens of twists, turns, hairpins, rises and dips will test your car's suspension, and your concentration while surrounded by spectacular scenery.
The Kanc winds up in Conway which we'll bypass for Jackson, the home of a beautiful covered bridge and the opportunity to take a picture of your BMW passing through. Then it's 45 minutes more of spectacular views on our way to the Mt. Washington Auto Road.
Although plenty wide and mostly paved the Auto Road will not be an adventure for the faint of heart. There are no guard rails, not a single Jersey Barrier, just you and the mountain. And the valley floor over a thousand feet below.
There will be a 'Fest photographer snapping a souvenir photo of your BMW rounding an uphill switchback with the mountain on one side and...nothing...on the other.
At the top is the Summit House and you'll get a half hour to explore (it's kid safe-mostly). It is unlikely the wind will be like the day when it set a (recently eclipsed) world record velocity of over 230 mph right where we're parking. It's all downhill from there, literally. Driving down can be even more…............. um, interesting, than driving up.
After arriving at the base you're all invited to something new this year, a chicken barbeque. It's across the street at the base lodge, and it should be a great lunch while enjoying an unbeatable view of the Presidential Range.
We'll then head north and west, skirting the Presidential Range and check out a few more sights along the way while passing through Crawford Notch and dipping south to The Mount Washington Hotel.
The MW Hotel, one of the few remaining Grand Dames of a bygone era recently underwent a multimillion dollar restoration. It's a great photo op and not to be missed. Plan on taking in the view of The Great Whites from the lounge before our group picture out front!
Those of us who want to have a little driving adventure are heading for Bear Notch Road, others will get to soak up the hotel ambience for a little longer.
BN Road, which would itself be a major attraction if not for the Kanc, ends at the Kanc which we will now travel to Woodstock. There we regroup with the rest of the convoy for our banquet.
Total trip time, start to finish, is estimated at 8 to 9 hours. I'll be driving the route in late May (can't now, it's still snowbound in sections), and will verify all roads and the schedule.
Each driver will receive an info packet with route maps when we meet. However I will post the final route and schedule in late May so that anyone with a GPS can set waypoints if they wish. It won't be required though because the roads are all well marked and you will get maps with your itinerary.
This will be a great opportunity for you and your family to enjoy a day together with your fellow Bimmerfesters. You might even want to stay overnight into Sunday..
Again, all the details will be posted by late May. The trip date is set in stone, Saturday the 9th of June (the 17th is Father's Day).
Q. How many BMWs will there be?
A. For tactical reasons we're going to limit it to 40 confirmed cars with 5 more stand-bys as fill ins. Reservations are on a first come, first served basis.
We'll be convoying in groups of 10, each led by someone who did the trip in a previous year. Groups will be formed based on driving style. Everyone will be comfortable with their group.
Q. How are the paid events paid?
A. You handle everything yourself. Don't forget the 'Toll' up the Auto Road, lunch, a drink at The Mt. Washington Hotel if you'd like one, and the banquet for which there are individual guest tabs i.e. you pay for what you consume.
Last edited by DSXMachina; 05-01-2012 at 08:48 PM.