Trail Skills

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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Solo hiking in the wilderness can intimidate anyone. If you get lost or injure yourself, help could be hours, or even days away. If you find yourself underprepared in bad weather, there’s no one to turn to for extra gear or shelter. But for female hikers, there are often additional mental hurdles to overcome on…

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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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After nearly a year of planning and training, the big day is almost here: In a few weeks, two friends and I will wake up early and make our way to the Appalachia trailhead for the beginning of our attempt at the Presidential Traverse. The Presidential Traverse (or Presi) is a roughly 20-mile journey that…

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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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The Appalachian Mountain Club believes that successful conservation depends on active engagement with the outdoors. This June, we are asking Northeast and Mid-Atlantic residents to support the outdoor places of their community by attending local trail maintenance events. Trail work volunteers who participate in our Instagram contest will be eligible to win prizes, see details…

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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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You’ve likely heard of New Hampshire’s 4000-footers, those  peaks in the White Mountains with summits cresting 4,000 feet in elevation. Thousands of hikers flock to them each year in search of a challenge. For some, the goal is to complete all 48. For others, it might be a single mountaintop. But where to start if…

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On a crisp early November morning in 2017, Zack Urgese, AMC’s White Mountain trails supervisor, and Joe Roman, AMC’s campsite program and conservation manager, were hiking up Mount Pierce for the umpteenth time. But this hike was different for the coworkers and friends: Urgese and Roman weren’t sure exactly what they’d find when they reached…

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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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