The stories and images selected for this issue of our quarterly magazine, to my eye, reflect so much of the anticipation that exists in the roots of winter joy. See it on the face of the young girl on the cover (captured during an AMC-sponsored family outing in the White Mountain National Forest) or in the lengths that AMC member Edna Northrup, at age 84, went to glimpse Everest. They also bring forward the labor, the desire, and indeed the occasional danger involved in making the most of the season’s daylight rations. Even in the era of uncertainty laid bare in John S. Burk’s compelling snapshot of sled dog racing in the Northeast, it’s difficult not to see that same frugal, cold-frame-nurtured beauty that AMC has walked among with familiarity since its earliest days.
Because so many of you, in your duty, have been so thoughtful with your notes and letters throughout the year, I’m reminded, too, that this is the same spirit underlying the evolution of our club’s external image. In the photos and words we produce, in the ways we choose to color and shape the stories of life within the Appalachian Mountain Club, the collective portrait shared with the world should ultimately be one of you and the things you do—of the quiet work that you put into the universe together and the thrill of adventure that rolls back at you, from an unknowable distance, across the mountains, trees, waters, and stars, to greet you wherever you are.
With more than a hundred years of wayfinding and mapmaking behind us, AMC remains an organization that embarks on its every pursuit with a certain kind of precision. In staying on the marked trail, carrying all the essentials, and always having a backup plan, we splice together what’s unknowable about the outdoors with generations of hard-wearing knowledge.
And what’s true in our travels is just as true at home. In that vein, the Board of Directors and I have been working on a new map for AMC’s next decade—the one in which our club will celebrate its 150th birthday. I’ve mentioned it on this page before, and now the three strategic themes of our AMC150 vision have come into focus: Active Conservation, the Outdoor Journey, and our Recreational Network. Please look forward to a broader rollout of these plans over the next several months, along with ways for any and all members to get involved.
There’s much joy to be found in leading on conservation and the outdoors, in many ways, all throughout the year. It’s what I come to work for each day, with faith and gratitude in the knowledge that you’re doing the same.
John D. Judge, President