Alpine Ecosystems

Historically, the campfire was a necessity for warmth and cooking, while today it’s become culturally synonymous with the outdoor experience. But the proliferation of lightweight and high-quality camp stoves, combined with deeper knowledge about the ecological impacts fires have on natural spaces and the environment, mean that fires are no longer a necessity in most…

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Leave No Trace is more than just not throwing your granola bar wrapper on the ground. It also means leaving the landscape in its most natural state by not moving, removing, or damaging in any way rocks, plants, trees, and other items native to an area. In other words, no matter the season, leave areas…

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A photo posted on the Mount Washington Observatory’s Facebook page this month shows a particularly hazy sunrise resulting from smoke that drifted east from West Coast wildfires.  In 2018, California’s wildfire season brought higher death counts, greater financial destruction, and longer burning seasons—a record that has now been surpassed by this year’s devastating West Coast…

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  Fifty years ago, Congress passed arguably the most important environmental and public health legislation to date: the Clean Air Act (CAA). By setting emissions standards for vehicles and industrial factories, the act has removed harmful, airborne pollutants in and around cities, as well as improved the air high above sea level. Georgia Murray, AMC’s…

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  Each winter, when snow blankets a normally mild region of the country or a polar vortex sinks large swaths of America into a deep freeze, the questions begin. They mostly boil down to a central idea: If the climate is warming, then why is it so cold outside? These questions, even when asked in…

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One of every three bites of food we eat comes from a plant that was pollinated by something. Despite their size, pollinators—those tiny bees, birds, bats, and insects that aid in the reproduction of plants by carrying pollen from one flower to another—are vital to the success of a healthy ecosystem. “We’ve come to a…

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I’ve always understood AMC first as a pragmatic place—built for fun and adventure, but also deeply invested in plans, safety protocols, good maps, and the right gear. Look around you during one of our outdoor leadership, wilderness first aid, or avalanche safety training courses, and you’ll see very plainly the kinds of situations in which…

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Dr. Sarah Nelson brings more than two decades of scientific scholarship to her role as AMC’s director of research. Before joining AMC in September 2019, Nelson spent 21 years at the University of Maine, most recently directing the Ecology and Environmental Sciences program and serving as associate research professor in the School of Forest Resources….

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When rescue teams found James Clark on Mount Washington’s Lion Head Trail at 1:15 a.m. on June 14, 2019, the 80-year-old Dublin, Ohio, resident was barely clinging to life. The day before, Clark had set out with his two teenage grandsons on what was supposed to be a day hike to the summit of New…

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We’re thrilled to welcome back the AMC Photo Contest after a hiatus of two years. Replatformed and rejiggered for its 23rd installment, the contest this year was open to non-AMC members for the first time, capturing vibrant, new perspectives and yielding a record high number of submissions over the course of its six-week run. Here…

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