Beginner Skills

Blizzard Wizards: Cold Weather Hiking Experts

Meet our four cold-weather experts.

Brian Clark is a meteorologist and education specialist at New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Observatory (MWOBS,, on the peak’s summit. When off-duty, he skies and guides the Whites as a PSIA-certified instructor.

Mike Finnegan works as a weather observer at MWOBS, where “the fog can be so thick, it’s impossible to see a person even a few feet away.” A climber and alpinist, he also plays the harmonica, “perfect for long winter nights in a tent or bivouac.”

Ryan Knapp, a MWOBS meteorologist, belongs to a tiny minority of people who’ve felt 158-mph winds and -100°F temps. “After five years atop the peak with ‘The World’s Worst Weather,’ the mountains of the West now seem tame,” he tells us.

Eric Larsen is one of the few Americans who has skied to both the North and South Poles. He lectures about global warming and teaches winter camping skills and expedition training courses across the country.