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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Travis Pastrana tears up Mount Washington in wildest hillclimb video ever


Mount Washington in New Hampshire is known for having some of the most extreme weather in the continental United States — if not the entire world. In 1934, the highest surface wind speed ever recorded was 231 miles per hour. Winter temperatures are extreme. On the 6,288-foot peak, a howling snowstorm can strike at any time.

The video above shows Travis Pastrana breaking his own record at the Mount Washington Hill Climb, also known as the Climb to the Clouds. The climb began in 1904, seven years before the Indianapolis 500, 12 years before the Pikes Peak Hillclimb, and several decades before the invention of particularly good automotive brakes. Pastrana’s record run occurred over the weekend, and it may be the most frenetic — and, let’s be honest, terrifying — hillclimb video ever. Words can’t express how grateful I am. Just keep an eye on it.

After setting his first record in 2017, Pastrana stated, “This path is extremely difficult. It’s probably the world’s most difficult road to drive at full throttle.”

He does, however, drive it at full throttle. According to hillclimb sponsor Subaru, the 7.6-mile Auto Road to the summit takes a tourist about 30 minutes to drive. And, given the dropoffs and mixed surfaces in this video, a tourist pace of 15 mph or so seems like a good idea. Pastrana’s 2017 record, on the other hand, was 5 minutes, 44 seconds. And this time, he was driving his Subaru “Airslayer” WRX STI built for the Gymkhana 2020 video, which has 826 horsepower and much more downforce thanks to its aerodynamics. Airslayer got him up the mountain in 5:28.67 seconds.

According to our rough calculations, the average speed is around 83 mph.

“A new record has been set!” Pastrana is quoted as saying by Subaru Motorsports. “This car is the ideal vehicle for the job. Coming off a second-place finish at Goodwood, I was eager to set a new record here to demonstrate what the car could do in the right conditions. Fortunately, we had excellent weather this year, and I knew that if I could get a clean run in, I’d have a good chance of breaking the 5:44 mark. It was a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to do it again the next time!”

So much fun? See what you think.


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