Blogs Archives - Appalachian Mountain Club

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“Plogging.” It isn’t an attractive word. Did someone feel the need to mash “plodding” with “jogging” because neither, alone, adequately described their pace? That was my first thought when a friend mentioned it in a recent conversation. I googled the word a few days later and was surprised to learn it’s a Scandinavian trend that…

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1: Wet leaves, slippery surfaces It is late October and you are descending Bear Mountain (2316’), the tallest peak in Connecticut, on the Undermountain Trail. You are with a small group of friends, about 2.5 miles from the trailhead parking lot. The trail is littered with wet leaves and very slippery. While navigating a tricky…

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Climbing, descending, or traversing snow-covered slopes requires an ice ax that’s not just sturdy, but lightweight. But with so many ice axes on the market, it can be difficult to choosing one that fits your winter expedition needs. Here’s a rundown of some of your best options. Black Diamond Raven Pro If you’re looking for…

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On Thursday, October 18th Central Maine Power (CMP) notified Maine regulators that they now intend to bury the proposed transmission line under Kennebec Gorge.  This announcement came after a lengthy public hearing the previous night before the Maine Public Utilities Commission, during which the vast majority of more than 70 speakers expressed opposition to the…

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Here’s the scenario: You’re on an outdoor adventure that at some point requires a climb, traverse, or descent of a steep, snowy slope. A slip or fall could send you sliding dangerously downhill. It’s the type of terrain where an ice ax would be the optimal piece of gear to provide a firm point of…

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I don’t know about the “runner’s high.” It sounds too definitive, too… good. Don’t get me wrong—I’ve had amazing training runs, workouts, and races where everything felt easier and nothing hurt quite as much as usual. But these exist on a spectrum, not an on/off dichotomy of “high” and “not high.” With that said: The…

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As a general rule, snowshoes are heavy. Very heavy. Most models weigh anywhere from 3 to 4 pounds or more per pair, which greatly increases the amount of energy you expend lifting your snow-stomping Sasquatch feet over and over and over again. Given that every ounce on your feet matters way more than the equivalent…

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Aerogel is amazing stuff. Made almost entirely of air encapsulated in an ultra-light silica matrix, aerogel is the lowest-density solid material that exists. In fact, one kind of silica aerogel weighed, at its creation, just three times more than air and could be made lighter than air by extracting the air from its pores. Aerogel also…

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Winter camping usually means sleeping on snow, which means you’re going to need a winter sleeping pad setup that blocks the cold beneath you from stealing away precious body heat. To accomplish this, you have two options. The first is to combine two summer-weight sleeping pads to create a double-layer of insulation. The second is…

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“Mount Misery” sounds like the site of an ultramarathon. Who wouldn’t want a “100 Miles of Misery” race T-shirt? But if such an event exists, it’s not in Lincoln, Mass., where Mount Misery is merely a hill: only about 100 feet high from base to summit on my GPS. And the trails around it? Not…

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