Appalachia Journal

This story was originally published in the Winter/Spring 2009 issue of Appalachia. Sightings of ghostly apparitions and other paranormal phenomena in the Appalachian Mountain Club huts—especially at Lakes of the Clouds and the area on and around Mount Washington—have been reported for decades by hut men and women, summit weather observers, transmitter station employees of…

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This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 2019 issue of Appalachia. Dan McGinness is among the hiker elite in New England, where many of us admire his exploits. Four years ago, he endured a scary, unplanned overnight in mid-December. He agreed to show me where he’d hunkered down that night so that I could…

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Alex Honnold leans back. His hands wrap around a seam in the massive granite face of El Capitan. He walks his feet up the pitch, relying on friction to make his rubber climbing shoes stick. The word pitch doesn’t actually apply to this climb. Honnold doesn’t need to divide the route into rope-lengths because he’s…

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This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 2019 issue of Appalachia Journal. The fight broke out on a narrow ridge somewhere high above Davenport Gap, and I’m only slightly embarrassed to admit the first thought in my head was that this was the most beautiful location in which I’d witnessed hand-to-hand combat. Embarrassing, because…

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The December 1978 Appalachia published this story of an avalanche that swept New Hampshire’s Willey Slide in 1970. Excerpts from the story appear below. He had just put the bag of gorp back into his pack. A last charge of energy before moving out onto the ice face where Jack was stamping around to get…

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 These poems were originally published in Appalachia Journal. Crossing the Road I crossed the road and entered the meadow and it was all there, the meadowlark singing from the top of an old post and the house behind me vanished, and the road vanished, and the sky opened wider and bluer, and at the end…

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This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 2018 issue of Appalachia Journal. Pam Bales left the firm pavement of the Base Road and stepped onto the snow-covered Jewell Trail to begin her mid-October climb. She planned a six-hour loop hike by herself. She had packed for almost every contingency and intended to walk alone….

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Motherhood in a pathless landscape Editor’s note: For several years now, Appalachia has joined the Waterman Fund in sponsoring an essay contest for emerging writers. Laura Waterman of East Corinth, Vermont, and her late husband, Guy, spent their lives reflecting and writing on the Northeast’s mountains. The Watermans devoted untold hours to restoring the trails…

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An injured deer and a dilemma Not long ago, I climbed aboard a plane in El Paso, Texas, and headed here to my parents’ house in north central Illinois. I needed to go home and deal with the past I had never really relinquished under the guise of a visit for a week during Christmas….

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A woman seeks what lies beyond her childhood RV vacations Turning the corner, I saw carrion birds perched in the dead and dying branches of a mangrove swamp. Their wings arched out, drying, their heads pointed in different directions. I slowed my bike and stopped breathing. The birds must have been black vultures or cormorants…

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