March/April 2014 Archives - Page 3 of 4 - Appalachian Mountain Club

March/April 2014

Good judgment and thoughtful decision-making are critical components of effective leadership. But in the outdoors, a leader also has to cope with physiological, psychological, and environmental factors that can greatly affect the outcome of a situation. When crisis looms, weighing risks versus benefits can be a helpful guide to problem solving. Here are a couple…

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We had the island to ourselves: 2 acres of spruce forest surrounded by a wonderland of curving, polished granite ledge that dropped into the sea. The kayaks rested above the beach, beyond the reach of the tide, and we’d pitched our tents—each of our two families in a campsite of its own—beneath the canopy of…

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Paul is in trouble. Midway into our ascent of the Valley Way Trail in New Hampshire’s Northern Presidential Range, his pace slows considerably. His face, sweat-soaked and somber, maps the struggle within. He’s an experienced hiker, but the burdens of a 40-pound backpack and weary, 66-year-old thighs are conspiring against him. Nonetheless determined, he leans…

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Snow, whipped off Mount Washington by violent winds, collects in the glacial cirque of Tuckerman Ravine all winter. The eastward-facing bowl captures drifts that can reach 100 feet deep. The snow buries trees and jagged rocks, creating a winter playground that can last into the late spring or even early summer. The first known skiers…

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If you’re hiking in late March or early April and you hear an odd quacking in the woods, like a group of hiccupping ducks, you’re probably close to a vernal pool. The sound is the courtship call of male wood frogs, which gather to reproduce in this ephemeral but vital habitat each spring. Vernal pools…

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Cindy Martell, AMC Worcester Chapter trip leader, and the group she was leading reached the peak of Mount Pierce under a bright blue sky one spring afternoon and looked out across the Presidential Range. She glanced over at one member of the group, a woman who had never climbed a mountain before. The trail had…

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If you’ve read any stories in the media the past few years about stretching, then you quite possibly received the message, “Don’t stretch!” And especially don’t stretch before activity, because some studies have found that traditional, static stretching (lengthening the muscle to the point of tension and holding) doesn’t help prevent injury and can actually…

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Gliding through open water in a kayak can be a blissful experience, an exhilarating adventure far from the confines of the terrestrial world. But that same waterscape also presents unique risks that paddlers must be prepared to deal with. Understanding common scenarios of potential danger, and carrying the essential gear to deal with it, will…

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Some of the Northeast’s more tranquil and remote spots can only be reached by water. With spring upon us, it’s time to launch your kayak or canoe into a new lake or pond. AMC authors have explored the best ponds and lakes across the Northeast for the Quiet Water book series (a completely revised edition…

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Fresh off of two years of record-setting growth in AMC’s volunteer trail programs, managers have added new projects for 2014, expanding the scope and geographic reach of trail maintenance work. For instance, performing brushing, drainage, and erosion-control work on the Pacific Crest Trail in southern California is a new option for trail volunteers as part…

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