Appalachia journal

Late in the evening of December 26, 2016, on the summit of Mount Isolation in the Dry River Wilderness, Sue Johnston became the first person to complete “the grid” in one calendar year. She had summited all 48 peaks on the Appalachian Mountain Club’s 4,000-footer list in every month of 2016. The numbers are daunting:…

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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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SUMMER/FALL 2018 IN THIS ISSUE: ROLE REVERSAL IN THE MOUNTAINS Buy this issue Care for the Caregiver: His mother had never backpacked; he took her to the Presidentials for her 60th birthday. Stephen Kurczy Climbers as Humanitarians: Helping injured migrants in Mexico. Lisa Densmore Ballard Continuing Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie: Sometimes a family…

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Since AMC opened its first hut in New Hampshire’s White Mountains in 1888, staff members (a.k.a. “croo”) have had the reputation of being tough and resourceful—perhaps none more so than those who reported to Joe Dodge. Working in Greenleaf Hut or Pinkham Notch under the watchful eye of AMC’s legendary hutmaster in the first half…

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There are no mindless miles in the Mahoosuc Range. You will crane your neck upward to take in the incline and crawl on your hands and knees to chip away at the distance. Hikers say each section of the Appalachian Trail has its own personality. Well, this section is contradictory: stubborn but forgiving, ambitious yet…

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The trailhead for Mount Prospect, in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, is innocuous, with parking for only two cars—three if you pull in nose-to-tail, tight against the maples and pines. For all of the trailhead’s subtlety, the route itself is well marked, winding over a small stream that’s crossable in one large leap if the weather…

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WINTER/SPRING 2018 IN THIS ISSUE: MOUNT WASHINGTON, SUMMIT OF EXTREMES Buy this issue Mount Washington’s Quirky Record Holder: A writer follows the intensity of Alton Weagle. Dan Szczesny Tragedy at Skyline—September 17, 1967: One who was there investigates. David Govatski Climbers Who Volunteer: Everest climber and White Mountains fixture Rick Wilcox reflects. Erik Eisele, photo…

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