Special Passengers on Board for Dog sled Ascent of Mount Washington
Submitted by Lorna Colquhoun Contributing Writer

            JEFFERSON, NH – The granddaughter and great-granddaughter of the only woman to ascend Mount Washington by dog team will be a part of this week’s first-ever winter attempt to mush a team to the summit by the Muddy Paw Sled Dog Kennel.

            Maureen Clark and Bridie Grant were the high bidders on two seats available on two sleds that will go up to tree line later this week, weather permitting. They will allowing, follow in the steps of Florence Clark, who, with her husband, Edward, founded Ed Clark’s Eskimo Sled Dog Ranch in Lincoln, now known as Clark’s Trading Post.

            “I am so touched by the generosity and support of the Clark Family,” said Karen Tolin, who, with her partner, Neil Beaulieu, own Muddy Paw. “To have not one, but two women joining us – the great-granddaughter and granddaughter of Florence Clark – is beyond exciting and deepens the value of this undertaking both for us personally and as a historic endeavor.”

            The team’s ascent has been rescheduled for March 14, 2012, from the original dates of 3/8 or 3/9 due to weather concerns.     Florence Clark made history on April 5, 1932, when, on her third attempt, she was able to reach the 6,288-foot summit. She died February 22, 1950, at the age of 49, several years before her granddaughter, Maureen, was born. Bridie Grant, Maureen Clark’s niece, is a student at the University of Stirling in Scotland, studying aquaculture.

            “We are so happy to be a part of this,” Maureen Clark said. “What my grandmother accomplished has always been a matter of pride in our family and to be able to follow, at least partway, in her footsteps, brings us closer to her.”

            The availability of two seats on the sleds that will go to tree line produced some lively bidding on eBay and raised more than $900 for Muddy Paw’s philanthropic project – preserving the history and culture of dog sledding in New Hampshire and rescuing sled dogs.

            “The goal of this attempt is to draw attention to dogs that are available for adoption and to raise awareness and funds for the New Hampshire Sled Dog Rescue, History & Education Center,” Tolin said. “It is our honor to have Maureen and Bridie accompany us. We have a deep respect and awe for the bravery shown by Florence Clark in 1932, and to have them be part of our historic attempt makes it so much more meaningful.”

            Clark and Grant will pay homage to Florence Clark in several ways – Grant plans to wear a sash her great-grandmother wore in sled dog races and Maureen Clark will wear the number her grandmother wore in one of her last races. The women also plan to bring Florence Clark’s dog sled. “I cannot think of two other people that we would more like to have with us on this day,” Tolin said. ‘How incredible is it to have history repeating itself through the generations?”

  For more information on the trip, the kennels and the New Hampshire Sled Dog Rescue, History & Education Center, visit www.DogSledNH.com or the nonprofit website & event blog at www.nhdogsledding.com

            For information on the Clark family, visit http://www.ClarksTradingPost.com.