Ryan Smith, Author at Appalachian Mountain Club

The sounds of summer are only a few weeks away: kids laughing and playing at the park, the conspicuous jingle of the ice cream truck, the buzz of lawnmowers cutting the grass, pickaxes and shovels clinking on hardened earth and rock. Wait, pickaxes and shovels? That’s right: Summer is trail work season in New England….

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Thanks to the efforts of conservation groups and the effectiveness of federal, state, and local clean-water policies, many of New England’s most iconic rivers—including the Connecticut, Housatonic, and Merrimack—are cleaner today than they were in decades past, says Kristen Sykes, AMC’s director of conservation strategies. Despite the improvements, there is no guarantee better conditions will…

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  Morning is still asserting itself—early light eking through dusty windows, aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting in from the kitchen—as eight strangers settle into mismatched couches and chairs on an unseasonably warm Thursday in October. The group gives off a mix of excitement, anxiety, and grogginess, some having driven from as far as New…

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Talk about a winning combo: AMC was delighted to recognize two outstanding representatives of its hardworking volunteers and staff at the 2018 Annual Summit in January. Ann Phair, AMC’s sales and guest services manager, says receiving the 2017 Joe Dodge Award came as a surprise. But Paul Cunha, vice president of operations, says Phair was…

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For years, AMC’s Four Thousand Footer Club has awarded intrepid hikers who climb all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4,000-foot peaks with a commemorative patch. There’s another patch for those who hike the 48 in winter and yet another for those who complete New England’s 67 4,000-footers. Even dogs can earn a patch. If you complete…

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Forget Appalachian Mountain Club. For the Barker family of Lancaster, N.H., it’s more like Appalachian Island Club. Since 1903, five generations of Barkers have held practically every volunteer and paid position at AMC’s Three Mile Island Camp (TMI) on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesauke. Larry Barker, age 58, first stayed at TMI in 1968, worked on…

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No winter trip to AMC’s Maine Wilderness Lodges would be complete without spending an evening huddled around the wood stove, warming chilly toes and sipping hot chocolate. JP Krol, a longtime winter caretaker for both AMC and Randolph Mountain Club, has spent many a night doing just this. “Caretakers wear many hats, but one of…

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During her senior year at Plymouth State University, Lindsey Bergholm interned with Georgia Murray, an AMC staff scientist, installing and monitoring time-lapse cameras at two field sites in New Hampshire’s Pinkham Notch. Bergholm’s goal, to determine the exact day of peak fall foliage in the notch, also would aid AMC in tracking the effects of…

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It happens to the best of us. You’re playing outside with friends at dusk, and out of nowhere the sky explodes into an intense canvas of color and light. You fumble for your camera, envisioning your next smash-hit Instagram post, and begin to shoot. But by the time the tie-dye skyline has faded to deep ocean blues, you realize your photos are too blurry and dark to…

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If you think a seasonal job working for AMC in the remote corners of New England can’t be matched, prepare to have your world turned upside down, almost literally. The following AMC employees spend their off-seasons working and living in some of the most far-flung places on Earth. For these adventurous souls—Jeremy Day, Construction Crew…

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