AMC Adventure Narratives/History

Mount Katahdin is one of the most notable landmarks in the Northeast. As the centerpiece of Baxter State Park, the tallest mountain in Maine (reaching 5,269 feet in elevation), and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.), Mt. Katahdin attracts thousands of eager hikers each year. However, those who choose to summit Mt. Katahdin…

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  Ethan Allen Crawford and his father, Abel, were not the first to summit Mount Washington. But their actions in 1819 unlocked the fabled mountain to countless adventure-lovers who flock to the Appalachian Trail and New Hampshire from around the world. After watching numerous hiking parties run into trouble attempting the thick woods on Washington’s…

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Editor’s note: What follows is an exclusive excerpt from Chasing Summits: In Pursuit of High Places and an Unconventional Life, available now from AMC Books. By sheer coincidence, January 1, 2000—the first day of the new millennium—was the day my life changed forever. My second wife, Debbie, sat on the couch looking at photo albums…

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» CLICK PHOTO ABOVE TO LAUNCH SLIDESHOW Editor’s note: Hamlet Fort reported this story during the summer of 2015. While some croo members have changed since then, others remain the same. Get to know both the 2015 and the 2016 croo.   I had forgotten about our nicknames. But there they were, scratched into the…

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What follows is an excerpt from Desperate Steps: Life, Death, and Choices Made in the Mountains of the Northeast, available now from  AMC Books. The screen door on the ranger’s cabin slammed hard in the wind. Baxter State Park Ranger Ralph Heath rose stiffly from the supper table to secure the latch, uneasy over the…

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Here’s my round-up of useful, informative, engaging, and gripping reads and resources for the outdoor adventurer on your list this season. Many represent the most influential, and well-thumbed, titles on my personal bookshelf, while others highlight new and notable offerings that have come on my radar in recent months. Reading the Forested Landscape by Tom…

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Pluck an issue—any issue—of Appalachia from the bookshelf and let it fall open to any page, and you’ll find yourself time-traveling. If your passions run to mountains and climbing, travel, exploration, or natural history, chances are you’ll find a story, poem, map, or photo that pulls you in. Published by AMC since 1876, and billed…

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Editor’s note: This article, adapted from No Limits But the Sky: The Best Mountaineering Stories from Appalachia Journal (AMC Books, 2014), originally appeared in the November 1896 issue of Appalachia. The four climbers involved—author Fay, Charles S. Thompson, George Little, and the group’s leader, Philip Stanley Abbot—were attempting the first ascent of 11,230-foot Mount Lefroy in…

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Paul is in trouble. Midway into our ascent of the Valley Way Trail in New Hampshire’s Northern Presidential Range, his pace slows considerably. His face, sweat-soaked and somber, maps the struggle within. He’s an experienced hiker, but the burdens of a 40-pound backpack and weary, 66-year-old thighs are conspiring against him. Nonetheless determined, he leans…

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Excerpt from Appalachia, Summer/Fall 2008 I started hiking regularly in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in spring 1997, at the age of 60. I was working in Boston at the time, but had a second home in Thornton, New Hampshire, almost within the boundary of the White Mountain National Forest. Many of my hiking…

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