Top Ten Extreme Destinations

Some people push life to the limits, seeking out locations from the pages of Guinness World Records like they are a packing to-do list. These ten destinations represent the most extreme climates in the world and offer unparalleled stories once you land back on home turf.
By Jodi Helmer
Weather station atop Mount Washington, New Hampshire
The weather station atop Mount Washington is chained down and covered in rime frost from sideways-blowing snow. (Wikipedia)

Windiest: Mount Washington, New Hampshire
Native Americans used to call Mount Washington Agiocochook, meaning "home of the great spirit." Today, it is more commonly known as the site of some of the worst weather in the world.

The 6,288-foot peak—the tallest in the northeastern United States—is situated where three major storm tracks converge, creating nearly constant cold, wet, and icy conditions. According to researchers at the Mount Washington Observatory, the high winds are a result of the steepness of the slopes and the north-south orientation of the mountain range, which causes wind speeds to accelerate as they rise.

In 1996 the World Meteorological Organization clocked a wind gust of 253 miles per hour during Tropical Cyclone Olivia on Barrow Island, Australia. Until then, Mount Washington held the record for the highest wind gust ever recorded: 231 miles per hour on April 12, 1934; or simply "the big wind," as it's known to local New Hampshirites.

Mount Washington's original record might have been shattered but it remains the windiest destination in the United States.


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