March/April 2011

The snow around our house has almost disappeared. Crocuses and daffodils are emerging. We’ve packed away snow pants and winter boots; the kids wear their puddle-stompers to school. Spring hiking is surely just around the next muddy bend. But where to go when there’s still plenty of snow up high and trails down low are…

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Daydreaming about the summits you’ll climb this summer? Google Earth has just added several new features to further inspire your desktop plotting, including aerial tours of most major peaks, elevation profiles, and quick links to related images. First, if you haven’t already done so, download and install the latest version of Google Earth. It’s free….

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Ursula’s been on a classic movie kick recently, her answer to spring sleet and cabin fever. I’m happy to be complicit. Over the past two weeks, we’ve watched all four melodramatic hours of Gone with the Wind and dallied with several light musicals. The old movie we’ve seen most recently: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,…

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Snow has all but disappeared in southern New England and is steadily retreating northward (check out the latest snow depth map). In its wake, spring has sprung on the forest floor and green life has begun its rapid return. It’s the time of year when I brush up on my field identification skills so that…

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If you’re the parent of a child in a certain age range, chances are you’ve looked into summer camps. And for good reason: Summer camps expose children to new experiences, give them the chance to build self-confidence and lifelong friendships, provide helpful structure, and get them out into the fresh air. We’ve come to think…

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It’s summertime at the lake. The family clan gathers. It’s a paddle-happy reunion—and everybody wants to go canoeing. There’s only one problem. A flotilla of different canoes is stored in the shed. Some family members even brought their own boats! How will they decide which to use? Their choices will help guide you to the…

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This is my second post about AMC’s “Kid Spoken Here,” a program launched earlier this month to make AMC’s huts and lodges more accessible to children and families. In my first post, I described new family-friendly activities at the Highland Center at Crawford Notch, expanded offerings in the center’s gear room, and new kids’ menus…

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What’s a supercollar? It’s a dog collar with a built-in retractable leash. A molded rubber handle secures to the collar. When you need it, simply undo the quick-release turn lock and pull the handle. Two thin steel cables extend up to 36 inches from small housings on either side of the collar for instant canine…

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I write here often about my family’s efforts to spend time together outside and about my desire to raise children who are connected to the wider natural world, who will translate that connection into protecting and caring for wild, natural places. The “Great Kids, Great Outdoors” blog is part of a larger effort by the…

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Three skiers triggered an avalanche in Tuckerman Ravine earlier this month, which was captured on video. This video, along with a collection of others, highlights the very real risk of avalanches for spring skiers heading up north in the weeks ahead. Let these be a reminder to always check the current avalanche forecast from the…

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