Jake Inger Biking to Mt. Washington

Port to Peak: Biking and Skiing Across New England

When Jake Inger was in high school, he first skied New Hampshire's Mt. Washington. It’s the highest peak in New England—6,288 feet above sea level—and a rite of passage for any East Coast skier. But it’s also famous for some of the worst weather on Earth, with 200-mile-an-hour winds and unbearable fog. Ten years later, he returned to ski the mountain, riding his bike 168 miles round trip from Portland, Maine.

He called it Operation Port to Peak. And it looked like this:

Part 1: Bike from Portland, Maine to Mt. Washington, New Hampshire with all of his ski gear. (84 miles + 4,704 vertical feet.)

Part 2: Climb and ski Mt. Washington. (6.5 miles and 3,222 vertical feet.)

Part 3: Bike back to Portland (84 miles and 2,703 vertical feet).


“It’s one thing to go for a quick ski or ride in between a meeting or some project at home—we all do that and it’s always fun,” Jake says. “But when you commit to something and say, ‘This is what I'm going to do all day,’ to me that feels like a vacation. Like you’re really living. You're just gone. You can just disappear from normal life and go do what you really love to do. It's the best feeling ever.” 


Although Jake, along with his friends Pier and Emily, was unable to summit Mt. Washington due to wind loading and elevated avalanche danger, they enjoyed soft snow in one of Tuckerman Ravine's gullies, Lobster Claw. “Washington gets really, really windy," Jake says. "So wind-loading can be really, really dangerous. And that’s exactly what we ran into."

“Usually on Washington, every turn you make is just chattering on ice. You’re just survival skiing. But on this day, it was soft and light snow. That was really sweet, and exactly what was needed.” — Jake Inger

Feeling energized from the ski tour, Jake slipped back into his wet bike gear and pedaled another 84 miles back to the coastline of Portland—arriving around 11 p.m. All in all, the adventure included about 176 miles and 10,700 feet of elevation gain over about 18 hours. He also burned over 14,000 calories—offset by bars, sandwiches, pastries, fries, and chicken nuggets.


To some people, an adventure like this might sound downright crazy. And it is.

But to Jake, this is his perfect day.