Think of it as a sign of progress rather than failure: Falling on snowshoes or cross-country skis is part of learning a new skill. Although it’s never enjoyable to fall, practice makes perfect. Try righting yourself on varying grades and standing up from both your right and left sides. Working on these skills in a…

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Working at Hermit Lake Shelters, at the base of New Hampshire’s well-known Tuckerman Ravine, can be pretty cool. The upside? Caretakers spend a lot of time outdoors, and if they’re lucky, some of that time involves making first tracks on a bluebird powder day. The downside? The ravine can be downright cold, and if a…

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Since 1876, volunteers have been central to AMC’s mission of understanding, enjoying, and protecting the landscape and trails of the Northeast. So, when research and education staff created Mountain Watch in 2003, AMC was confident volunteers would step up. In the 13 years since its founding, Mountain Watch has benefited from the passion and commitment…

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Thousands of birds migrate to warmer climates every fall, but not every species packs up ship and leaves New England. Some overwinter in the region, despite the cold temperatures and lack of food. Hang a bird feeder filled with seeds and suet blocks in the fall for migratory birds to enjoy, then watch as winter…

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» CLICK PHOTO ABOVE TO LAUNCH SLIDESHOW Already researching winter getaways? Join an AMC winter volunteer vacation to Costa Rica and you’ll not only spend your days in an exotic—not to mention warm—location, you’ll brush up on your Spanish, learn trail maintenance skills, and immerse yourself in a culture rooted in conservation. Last winter, AMC’s…

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Spend a day with the Appalachian Trail (AT) Committee of AMC’s Connecticut Chapter, and you’ll quickly realize why most volunteers who show up once end up staying for years. These diehard trail workers have maintained the AT’s entire 51 miles in Connecticut since the late 1970s. In that time, volunteers have spent countless hours building…

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Backpackers will go to great lengths to maximize every square inch of real estate in their packs. When it comes to food storage, taking the time to vacuum-seal those zip-locked bags not only saves space but also keeps food fresh over the long haul. But who wants to carry a vacuum sealer into the backcountry?…

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Many hikers who complete the 2,000-plus-mile Appalachian Trail say they aren’t the same person as when they began. Talk to any AMC Teen Wilderness Adventures (TWA) participant after they wrap up a trip, and you’re bound to hear the same sentiment. Typically entering the program with little to no outdoor experience, group members, ages 12…

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What do downhill skiing trails, rock climbing walls, and whitewater rivers have in common? If you said all three use a scale of difficulty to convey the skill level required to navigate them, you’re right on the money. In the whitewater-paddling world, that classification system is the International Scale of Difficulty, developed by the North…

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In July, AMC’s Echo Lake Camp will open for its 91st year, a stone’s throw from Acadia National Park on Maine’s Mount Desert Island. Campers can expect many familiar staples, including lobster cookouts, square dances, and talent night, but there will be one big change. After 35 years, longtime managers Ned and Mary Mitchell will…

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