Decision Making

This story was originally published in the Summer/Fall 2019 issue of Appalachia. Dan McGinness is among the hiker elite in New England, where many of us admire his exploits. Four years ago, he endured a scary, unplanned overnight in mid-December. He agreed to show me where he’d hunkered down that night so that I could…

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Using resources from the Outdoor Leader Handbook, you and your co-Leader planned an activity and posted it on outdoors.org. The trip is full and you know it’s going to be great! The day of the trip arrives. You & your co-Leader meet the group at the designated spot. Before getting underway, you provide introductions, share the…

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The situation: You, and a co-leader, have a group of ten (10) participants. You’ve planned an ambitious day hike up a 4000+ peak in late July. The weather is clear, although it is hot & humid with temperatures in the mid-80s (Fahrenheit). Every member of your group has at least 2 liters of water and…

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On a recent trail run in the Middlesex Fells with my two training partners, two of us ran into a bit of unexpected trouble. We were attempting to complete the technical and hilly Skyline Trail, which clocks in at around 8 miles, and we had time constraints. One in our group became a bit sluggish…

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In analyzing the scenario from May’s post, you may have considered the following points: The individual wishing to depart is a proficient and experienced hiker; Though they are unfamiliar with the trails in this area, they do know how to read a map and navigate; The route they hiked yesterday is the same one they’d…

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In August 2010, AMC Director of Huts and Pinkham James Wrigley received a call that a young hiker was in critical condition after falling hundreds of feet down steep sloping rock. The teen had been hiking on the Huntington Ravine Trail of Mount Washington, one of the most challenging and dangerous trails in the White…

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Below is a fictional case study created from the experiences of AMC’s volunteer leaders on their trips. Read on & consider what you would do if you found yourself in this situation. . . Case Study: Trip Participant Wants to Depart Early Trip Location: Lonesome Lake Hut & Cannon Mountain, Franconia Notch, New Hampshire Trails:…

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Spring in the Northeast: Depending where you go exploring, you can encounter a range of trail conditions. Let’s pretend we are in Maine. It has been a fantastic winter, with lots of snow. This is great news! You can sneak in an additional day of cross-country skiing. The morning temperatures hover just below freezing, making…

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Our revised Leadership Requirements & Guidelines, which go into effect on March 15, recommend including a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) component in leadership training for the amazing folks who volunteer their time & energy on behalf of the AMC. The following post, authored by the Ava Holliday and Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin of the Avarna Group, offers…

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A lot more goes into planning a day hike than choosing your target elevation. Here’s a starter checklist. Consider the group. When choosing a route, think about the companions with whom you’ll be hiking. If you’re hiking with a novice, choose a trail that’s beginner-friendly; if you’re hiking with an experienced mountaineer, choose a hike…

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