Over 100 days each winter see winds in excess of 100 mph that routinely drive temperatures to wind chills of forty to sixty below zero. Snow rarely stays put for long on the exposed summit but skiers know that much of it will end up in Tuckerman Ravine on the east flank of the mountain.
In summer, Washington is very accessible by car, train or on foot and somewhere on the order of 250,000 people visit. Visitors get to see the treeless summit sculpted by wind, ice and severe cold. In early summer tiny wildflowers, some that grow nowhere else south of the Arctic Circle, put on a brief but colorful display.
The mountain is truly a study in contrasts.