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Appalachian Mountain Club

Search and Rescue in N.H.: Pushing the Limits

Nov 4, 2019
Andrew Drummond/Ski The Whites

In addition to hikers on N.H.'s many trails, there are also a growing number of  trail runners, backcountry skiers, bikers and climbers. As adventurers in New Hampshire's backcountry press at limits previously untested or left alone, this trend is joined by modern technologyin presenting a new series of challenges for rescuers and for society in general.   

DEERHAKE. 11 VIA FLICKR/CREATIVE COMMONS

 

The caretakers of the White Mountain National Forest count among their 2018 accomplishments a land addition, investment in roads and trails and support from volunteers.

Officials say a highlight last year was adding nearly 800 acres to the forest's boundary by securing a new tract of land along the Upper Ammonoosuc River.

Jeremy R. Clark

The White Mountains are a legendary playground for hikers. For those who like an extra challenge there’s the New Hampshire 48 – the 48 mountains in the state with elevations over 4,000 feet.

But a new survey is calling almost all our summit elevations into question - and signal a possible change to the famous list of New Hampshire’s 4000 footers.

 

Janis Oppliger / Unsplash

The Town of Gorham has applied to be an official Appalachian Trail Community.

The Appalachian Trail, which runs from Georgia to Maine, passes through the town of Shelburne, which is east of Gorham. Hikers often leave the trail to pick up mail and shop in Gorham.

If the application is approved, Gorham businesses could appear on the Appalachian Trail Community's official maps and website.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

The Appalachian Mountain Club is withdrawing its proposal for a new overnight hut in Crawford Notch State Park.

The AMC notified the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development of its decision after more than a year of what the non-profit called ‘careful consideration.’

Chris Jensen for NHPR

For the first time in five decades the Appalachian Mountain Club wants to build a new hut, which would be its ninth,  in the mountains of the North Country.

The group wants the state to lease it land in the almost 6,000 acre Crawford Notch State Park.

But the proposal is controversial and even New Hampshire Fish and Game has objections.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen has been looking into this and spoke recently with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley.

What makes this controversial?

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Egg is dripping down Jeff Colt’s bare back as he stands in the kitchen of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Greenleaf Hut just below Mount Lafayette. Such is the peril of carrying about 28 pounds of eggs along with 50 pounds of other food.

But then again, running a restaurant high in The White Mountains is a little different than running one in Portsmouth, Laconia or Colebrook.

AMC Proposes A New Hut In The North Country

Aug 24, 2015
Chris Jensen for NHPR

For the first time in five decades the Appalachian Mountain Club wants to build a new, year-around hut in the mountains of the North Country.

It would be in the Crawford Notch State Park and could accommodate about 50 hikers, says Paul Cunha, the AMC’s Vice President of Operations.

“It would be a medium-sized hut located up above Ripley Falls and providing wonderful connections to the existing hut system connecting with Zealand and Mizpah.”

It would join eight other huts, the first built in 1888. The last was Mizpah Springs. It opened 50 years ago.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

The White Mountains Community College – in cooperation with the Appalachian Mountain Club - is offering a new program for those interested in working in outdoor recreation management...

The goal is to give young people interested in the field a head start, said Fran Rancourt, the vice president of academic affairs at the college, which is located in Berlin.

While the North Country is routinely working on economic development some people are also looking at human resources, in particular the source of the next generations of community leaders and volunteers.

Their concern:  Talented young adults being one of the North Country’s rarer creatures.

And, some research into that issue got underway recently at the North Country Resource Center in Lancaster, where fourteen young adults – in their 20’s and 30’s – volunteered to answer questions about what brought them or keeps them in the North Country.

Blind Hiker Takes On The Appalachian Trail

Feb 4, 2013
Gary Steffens

Trekking the entirety of the Appalachian Trail is an admirable accomplishment for anyone, and although the number of AT “thru-hikers”, as they’re called, is relatively small,  Minneapolis attorney Michael Hanson is part of an even more exclusive club – he’s one of only two people in recent memory to hike the trail without the benefit of sight.

Capturing The Mountain Voices of the North Country

Dec 11, 2012
AMC Library and Archives

For almost two decades two North Country authors have been capturing the stories of some of the most remarkable people in The White Mountains.

Now, those stories have been compiled in a new book, Mountain Voices, published by the Appalachian Mountain Club.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

Nearly 20 years ago, Rebecca Oreskes, of Milan and Doug Mayer, of Randolph, were out cross-country skiing in the White Mountains.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

A new study by the Appalachian Mountain Club says the towers for the Northern Pass hydro-electric project would “visually impact” about 95,000 acres in the state.

That includes about 3,000 acres in the White Mountain National Forest and 9,000 acres around Concord, the report says.

In all 23 towns from Whitefield south to Deerfield would be affected by the towers, the study said.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

New Hampshire’s White Mountains are known for their fierce terrain and wild weather. But atop the high peaks, there are some comforts.

Since 1888, the Appalachian Mountain Club’s high huts have provided hearty meals and a warm bunk for guests. Staff at the eight facilities carry up supplies, and also serve as educators and stewards of the alpine terrain.

To get a better feel for this unique summer job, we sent NHPR’s Todd Bookman up to the Greenleaf Hut.

Can A Doc Prescribe Play for Weight Loss?

Jun 13, 2012
Jenni from the block/FlickR

Faced with a serious problem with overweight children two unusual partners are literally trying a new prescription in the North Country – and they don’t see any reason it couldn’t work statewide.

NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

 

South of children playing….

That’s a sound healthcare professionals would like to hear more often: Kids outdoors running and jumping and generally goofing around.

 Just like the good old days before the sedentary seduction of video games and television.

White Mountain National Forest

Tropical Storm Irene’s heavy rains did more serious damage to trails in the White Mountains than any storm in decades, says one of the authors of the new 29th edition of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s White Mountain Guide.

“It was only a limited number of trails, but the ones that were damaged were damaged very badly,” said editor Steven Smith of Lincoln. “It was mainly restricted to the trails that run along streams.”

John Macomber

John D. Judge, who will take over as head of the Appalachian Mountain Club next month, says its priorities will include continued opposition to the Northern Pass project and trying to get more children away from computer games and into the outdoors.

The proposed hydro-electric project would clearly have a detrimental impact on recreation and conservation, said Judge.