Partners in Possibilities: Countdown to Sunrise Mount Washington Climb

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Kris Dobbins photo

Athletes and mules prep in the pre-dawn hours for their sunrise ascent in 2015.


This new column explores recreational and wellness opportunities for people with disabilities in New Hampshire. Look for monthly updates to highlight adaptive sports programs, athlete spotlights, and special events across the Granite State. Bill Cobb of Littleton is a year-round volunteer with and serves on the Communications Committee of Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country.

By Bill Cobb

Registration for the 2017 Bank of New Hampshire Sunrise Ascent of Mount Washington is now open. The Sunrise Ascent is a fundraiser for Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country in which teams of adaptive athletes strive to reach the summit of Mount Washington. Now in its eighth year, the Sunrise Ascent hopes to raise $62,880 to support year-round recreation opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Bill Cobb

The field of adaptive athletes is set with 11 individual athletes and two teams participating. Each team will begin an ascent of the 7.6-mile-long Mount Washington Auto Road in the predawn hours, climbing as the sun rises. Supporting volunteers for the athletes includes Mules, who will ascend the mountain alongside and/or in assistance to the athletes, and Trail Angels, who help with fundraising efforts for each team. Road Runners will also join the cause, driving teams back down to basecamp by vehicle after the ascent is complete.

Together the teams are inspired by the beauty of the sunrise, the majesty of the Presidential Range, and the determination shared among them. Once back at basecamp, teams will celebrate their accomplishments with the grand “Bottom Side Brunch.”


Kris Dobbins photo

Erik Kondo of Lexington, MA during his 2015 unassisted ascent of the Mt. Washington Auto Road on a handcycle. Kris Dobbins photo

Teams are asked to participate in a series of training hikes over the summer in order to become familiar with their athletes and any special equipment used during the climb. These training hikes also serve as bonding opportunities as Mules and Athletes push through the scenic Franconia Notch bike path or other local hiking locales.


Kris Dobbins photo

Taylor Baird of Littleton, NH and his team as they ascend the Mt. Washington Auto Road.

The registration deadline for Mules and Trail Angels is June 12. To register for the event or make a donation to a team or individual, visit The 2017 Sunrise Ascent’s Summit Sponsor is Bank of New Hampshire. Businesses and individuals are invited to sponsor the event at various levels. For sponsorship information, visit

Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country provides this column to
The mission of Adaptive Sports Partners of the North Country is to ensure the enrichment of the quality of life for people with disabilities through year-round sport, recreation, and wellness. Their goal is to enhance the personal development and self-esteem of participants, and to provide an opportunity to take risks in a safe and supportive environment. Their core belief is that, for a person with a disability, the opportunity to experience the thrill of accomplishment can be a life-affirming experience. ASPNC is committed to including the families and friends of our participants, volunteers, partner organizations, and the North Country community in our efforts.

Nick Capano of Lynn, MA with his “mule” team relax and refuel at the halfway house pit stop. Kris Dobbins photo

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