Mountaineering

This story was originally published in the Winter/Spring 2009 issue of Appalachia. Sightings of ghostly apparitions and other paranormal phenomena in the Appalachian Mountain Club huts—especially at Lakes of the Clouds and the area on and around Mount Washington—have been reported for decades by hut men and women, summit weather observers, transmitter station employees of…

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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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Ranging from as low as 448 feet (Delaware) to 6,288 feet (New Hampshire), high points—or the location with the highest elevation in each state—in AMC’s region vary greatly. Whether you’re looking for a challenging day hike or want to see geology in action, these hikes provide a unique bird’s-eye view of each state. 1. KATAHDIN…

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Terri Werning’s biggest fear while hiking isn’t elevation, bears, or losing the trail. It’s men. Werning, 47, who has completed several sections of the Appalachian Trail (AT) over the past four years, says that were she to be attacked by a man while hiking in a remote area, she easily could be overpowered. It’s why,…

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As J.R. Harris likes to tell it today, the first time he saw grass, he tried to smoke it. He’s joking, of course, but the rib illustrates how shocking an introduction to the backcountry can be for a 14-year-old city kid. Climbing off the bus at Ten Mile River Scout Camps in Narrowsburg, N.Y., Harris…

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One of the most frequently visited shelters in the White Mountain National Forest will be out of commission this September. Guyot Shelter, which housed 3,513 guest overnights in 2018 alone, will be razed and rebuilt following years of accumulated damage from rain and snowstorms. With construction planned for the busy fall hiking season, the closure…

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Across the nation, outdoor recreation generates more than $59 billion in local and state tax revenues each year. When we buy a lift ticket, purchase new boots, or spend the night in a hotel before a big hike, tax revenues flow to towns and states. But some states benefit more, proportionally, from these revenues than…

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I’ve long been haunted by the dream of a girl who could shrink mountains down to the size of her palm, slip them into her pockets, and carry them with her wherever she went. It’s a fantastical idea, the kind a child conjures up while lying on her back, looking up at a star-packed sky….

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Ultralight backpacking quilts have been around for years. Now they are one of the leading items of gear used by Appalachian trail thru-hikers. One company in particular, Minnesota-based Enlightened Equipment, has become a go-to for ultralight hikers. What is a backpacking quilt? Backpacking quilts are essentially down blankets that have been modified to perform in…

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If you’re out adventuring in sub-freezing conditions, you should be regularly stuffing calories into your face. You want to ensure you have ample energy to generate body heat and sustain the level of exertion that is required to snowshoe, ski, or otherwise tromp through a snow- and ice-covered landscape. The challenge is that many common hiking…

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