Friday, July 29, 2011

Appalachian Mountain Club Receives Grant to Preserve Historic Photo Collection

American Heritage Preservation Grant provides assistance to AMC Library & Archives

The Appalachian Mountain Club’s (AMC) Library & Archives was awarded a $3,000 American Heritage Preservation Grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to help preserve its historical photograph collection. The funds will support an upgrade in the storage of over 9,000 fragile photographic slides and negatives dating from the late nineteenth century to the present. The images document camp and trail life in the Northeast, as seen through the eyes of AMC’s members and supporters. Read More >>

AMC Outdoors: More Fire Tower Hikes

The feature story "Above It All" highlights 10 fire towers in the Northeast, including several located near AMC destinations. Here are four other towers worth trekking to, each near an AMC lodge. Read on >>

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Outdoor Nation: Real Teens Making Real Headway in the Fight for the Outdoors!

“Everyone has the right to GTFO (Get the Fun Outside)!” That’s the main philosophy of Outdoor Nation. The youth-led organization champions the outdoors. Just last month the Nation attracted nearly 250 young adults to its annual Regional Summer Summit. All of the attendees camped beneath the overcast Brooklyn sky in Floyd Bennett Field.

Outdoor Nation broke out in June 2010 with a two-day summit in New York City’s Central Park. The coalition of retailers, outdoor educators, and conservation groups provided funding for workshops, entertainment, and top ideas. One year later they’ve “grown in resolve to find solutions to the national and local issues that are keeping people indoors,” says Lindsay Bourgoine, AMC’s Maine policy associate and Outdoor Nation’s lead ambassador for Portland, Maine. The grassroots organization has almost tripled in size in 12 months. Membership now exceeds 1,300. As a lead ambassador, Bourgoine helps develop innovative ways to get youth outside and works on Outdoor Nation’s website, Facebook page, and funding proposals.

In Brooklyn, breakout groups discussed challenges to getting youth outdoors. They also developed priority lists of rights and responsibilities inherent to properly enjoying our lands. These included the right to an education about the outdoors and accessibility. Responsibilities varied from Leave No Trace to serving as an activist for our open spaces. Event sponsors, The North Face, The Conservation Fund, and REI Foundation, provided $10,000 in funding, to be awarded to the top four ideas from the summit. The Top four ideas were:
  • A mentorship program to teach leadership skills to inner city students.
  • “Reach One Teach One,” a program that will place mentors in physical education classrooms to promote afterschool programs and outdoor recreation activities.
  • A traveling outdoor recreation program that intertwines other disciplines like math and science.
  • A gear partnership between an outdoor club and a school that would provide access to donated materials.

Want to get involved? It’s not too late to attend a summit! Outdoor Nation just wrapped its summit in Denver. The year’s concluding summit will take place in San Francisco from July 29-31. Learn more about Outdoor Nation here.


Photo Cred: Mark Zakutansky

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Last Minute Savings on Teen Wilderness Adventures! Save 40% on select adventures in the month of August. Book now as space is limited!

Join us for summer adventures that include backpacking, paddling, rock climbing, biking and much more!

Register for 7-Day Hike, Backpack and Canoe, 6-Day Beginner Backpack, Zealand Valley or 5-Day Hike Canoe, Rock Climb and receive 40% off! Trip must be booked 3 days before start of trip. Must mention promotion code TWALM. View a full listing of teen programs.

AMC Outdoors: AMC's Ridgerunners Protect the Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail sees some pretty heavy hiker traffic. In this AMC Outdoors feature, meet a couple of AMC's ridgerunners in MA & CT who help maintain vulnerable & high-traffic areas of the trail so that hikers are able to enjoy it year after year!

Read article >>

Monday, July 25, 2011

Noble View Renovations Featured in Springfield Republican

In its July 17 edition the Springfield Republican featured AMC's newly renovated Noble View Outdoor Center in Russell, MA. The article highlights new features and amenities at Noble View, including a new bathhouse and renovations to Double Cottage, and also notes the green technologies used in the project. A special thanks, again, to all the dedicated AMC volunteers who committed their time and energy to this endeavor!

Read the article >>

More about Noble View >>

Friday, July 22, 2011

Celebrate the Weeks Act on July 29

We are just one week away from celebrating the Weeks Act Centennial!

The Weeks Act, passed in 1911, is marking its 100th Anniversary and the White Mountain National Forest along with several partner organizations is hosting a family-friendly festival on July 29 from 9:00 to 3:00 at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. This free, public event is part of a coordinated New Hampshire effort celebrating the Weeks Act Centennial.

Read more >>

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tuckerman Ravine Trail Closure, Starting July 18, 2011 for Approximately 4 - 5 Weeks

The Headwall section of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, one of the most popular hiking trails in the White Mountains, is temporarily closed for repair. On July 18, the AMC began a significant reconstruction project in the steep Headwall section of the trail.

The lower portion of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, from Pinkham Notch Visitor Center to Hermit Lake Shelters, remains open during the reconstruction project. Above Hermit Lake, the trail is closed up to its junction with the Alpine Garden Trail. The trail remains open from the Alpine Garden to the summit of Mt. Washington.

The Hermit Lake Shelters area at the foot of Tuckerman Ravine will remain open, providing access to picnic tables on the porch of the caretaker’s cabin and other hiker services, including drinking water and restrooms. Views from the Hermit Lake area include the ravine itself, Lion Head, and the Hanging Cliffs of Boott Spur.

Alternative routes to the Mt. Washington summit from AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center include:

Lion Head Trail: From Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, take the Tuckerman Ravine Trail 2.3 miles to its junction with the Lion Head Trail. The trail junction is at Hermit Lake just below AMC’s Hermit Lake Shelters, providing hikers with an opportunity to stop for information, water, and restroom facilities available at or nearby the caretaker’s cabin before heading to Mt. Washington’s summit. Continue on the Lion Head Trail to its junction with the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, and then reconnect with the Tuckerman Ravine Trail heading 0.4 miles toward Mt. Washington’s summit. This route is about the same distance as hiking the Tuckerman Ravine Trail and offers better views, but is narrower. It is recommended as the most direct route. Approximate one-way hiking distance is 4.4 miles. Estimated time is 4 hours 20 minutes.

Boott Spur Trail: From Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, take the Tuckerman Ravine Trail 0.4 miles to its junction with the Boott Spur Trail, and then continue on the Boott Spur Trail to the Davis Path. Take the Davis Path to its junction with the Crawford Path, and then continue on the Crawford Path heading toward Mt. Washington’s summit. Grades are mostly moderate, but there is some rough footing. This route is 1.2 miles longer than hiking the Tuckerman Ravine Trail. Approximate one-way hiking distance is 5.4 miles. Estimated time is 4 hours 50 minutes.

Huntington Ravine Trail: Caution: This is the most difficult regular hiking trail in the White Mountains. This trail is very dangerous when wet or icy, and its use for descent at any time is strongly discouraged. From Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, take the Tuckerman Ravine Trail 1.3 miles to its junction with the Huntington Ravine Trail. Continue on the Huntington Ravine Trail 2.3 miles to its junction with the Nelson Crag Trail. Continue on the Nelson Crag Trail 0.8 miles heading toward the summit of Mt. Washington. Approximate one-way hiking distance is 4.4 miles. Estimated time is 4 hours 20 minutes.

For comprehensive trail descriptions and trail maps, refer to AMC White Mountain Guide, 28th edition, or the White Mountain Guide Online, which is available by subscription at www.wmgonline.org/register. Free five-day trial subscriptions are also available.

Route planning assistance is available at AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center’s trail desk or by calling (603) 466-2721.

Take a Stand for Your Land, Water and Trails

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is facing unprecedented cuts in the budget bill now moving through the House of Representatives.

Headed to the House Floor next week, the Interior Appropriations bill would cut LWCF funding down to $61 million from its authorized level of $900 million a year — an 80 % cut from this year's level and lower than any other year in the program's 45-year history.

This program does not use taxpayer dollars as LWCF funds are authorized by law from dedicated funding from offshore oil and gas leasing revenues from public resources. These funds should be used for what they were intended — to protect America's natural treasures.

Cuts to LWCF mean almost no money to purchase land or easements from willing sellers that will add protection to our national wildlife refuges, national scenic trails, parks, forests, trails, wild and scenic rivers, and other federal lands; reduce funding to maintain working forests and ranches; and nearly eliminate funding for grants to state and local parks, open space and recreation facilities.

All across the country ready-to-go projects will have to be put on hold indefinitely, if not lost forever
. Learn about AMC's projects of interest in the Northeast >>

Learn more about the outdoor opportunities LWCF has created in your State >>

Take Action:
Act now: Ask your U.S. Representative to oppose cuts to LWCF when the Interior Appropriations bill comes to the House Floor for a vote. Also ask to vote against any harmful amendments that further cut or eliminate the LWCF or Highlands Conservation Act funding.

Please tell your Representative to voice support for restoring LWCF funding because it is important to your state and comes from dedicated oil and gas leasing revenues, not taxpayer dollars.

Locate your U.S. Representative's phone number and call today!

You can also follow your Representative on Twitter and Facebook and share your thoughts through a tweet or facebook post.

Sample Tweet: Stand up for our Land, Water and Trails — Restore Land and Water Conservation Funding in the FY12 Approps Bill.

Sample Facebook Post: As Congress takes up the FY12 Interior Appropriations bill I urge you to stand up for our Land, Water and Trails — Restore Land and Water Conservation Funding. This will protects parks, trails, river and other amazing places across the nation.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Enter "Greener Homes, Cleaner Mountains" Contest

Enter AMC's "Greener Homes, Cleaner Mountains" contest by pledging to take 3 easy actions to reduce your energy costs AND your carbon footprint for cleaner air! Prizes up for grabs include books & AMC destination stays.

All you have to do is commit to actions like air drying your clothes, car pooling / using mass transit on your next hiking trip, signing up for AMC's Conservation Action Network, etc. Enter today!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tuckerman Ravine Trail Closing for Reconstruction

The Tuckerman Ravine Trail, one of the most popular hiking trails in the White Mountains, is scheduled for a temporary closure this summer. On July 18, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) will begin a significant reconstruction project in the steep Headwall section of the trail. Hikers will be able to use the lower portion of the trail, from Pinkham Notch Visitor Center to Hermit Lake Shelter. From Hermit Lake the trail will be closed until the junction of the Alpine Garden Trail. The trail will remain open from the Alpine Garden to the summit of Mt. Washington.

An AMC Professional Trail Crew will work for 4-5 weeks restoring the trail to its original location, building rock steps, and fixing problems caused by erosion in persistently wet areas. The combination of extremely high use, steep terrain, and often challenging weather makes this trail reconstruction a high priority. Since challenging weather is a factor, the work must take place during the height of the summer hiking season. With an experienced crew on board this year AMC Trails Supervisor, David Salisbury wants to take advantage of their expertise. “This is a good year for us to take on this project,” Salisbury said, referring to the numerous veterans working for the AMC trails program.

There will be numerous signs posted warning visitors of the trail closure. According to Jeff Lane, Trails, Backcountry, and Wilderness Supervisor for the Androscoggin District, this type of trail closure is very rare. “We have very real concerns for the safety of any visitors who might find themselves underneath the workers. Boulders falling from that height can travel farther than you might imagine.” Closing the trail and keeping hikers away from the area will allow the crew to perform the work as efficiently as possible, according to Lane. “We hope to have the work completed and the trail reopened in mid-August.”

Information about trail options and conditions can be found at White Mountain National Forest Ranger Stations in Gorham Conway, or Campton, or from the AMC Visitor Center in Pinkham Notch. For White Mountain National Forest information visit: www.fs.fed.us/r9/white

Updated on 7/21: AMC has published more information on the project and alternate routes up Mount Washington - read more >>

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

It's Hot Out There! Check Out Seven Spots to Cool Off This Summer

Beat the heat this summer - take a refreshing dip in a backcountry pool or stream with these suggestions from AMC Outdoors!

Read full article >>

Friday, July 8, 2011

New Video: Brewing Coffee in the Backcountry

Learn how to wrangle a cup of joe without fancy gear in this video featuring AMC author and Equipped blogger Matt Heid. Whether you're packing light or you forget your French press, knowing how to make coffee the way the cowboys did will keep you happy on the trail.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Local Students Help Fund $2,500 Grant to AMC

The AMC recently received a $2,500 grant from the Foundation for MetroWest in support of AMC's Youth Opportunities Program (YOP) for its Outdoor Adventure Initiative for Deaf Youth and collaborative efforts with The Learning Center for the Deaf (TLC) in Framingham, MA. Over half the money awarded to AMC was raised by Concord-Carlisle High School students from the Foundation’s Youth in Philanthropy Program.

Read full release >>

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Free Event: Make Public Advocacy Work for You!

Many of us are passionate about a park, trail, legislative bill or state policy, but frequently, we are unaware of how to take that interest and turn it into positive action. This training session by the AMC will provide participants with the tools and understanding necessary to get more involved. Participants can bring their own examples to work on and we will:
  • Clarify the main goals and create an agenda for action
  • Practice speaking up in public about your project
  • Discuss examples of successful campaigns (and perhaps others…)
  • Get shortcuts for written and personal communication with officials
  • Get sources of information
This free event is open to the public but please RSVP by emailing: mgildesgame@outdoors.org or calling 617-391-6586.

When: Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: MA Audubon Visual Arts Center, 963 Washington Street, Canton, MA

Directions:
From Rt I-93: Take exit 2A (Rt 138 south). After 0.7 miles, turn right at the traffic lights onto Washington Street. The sanctuary is 2.4 miles ahead on the left, across from Canton High School.
By public transportation: Take the MBTA commuter rail from South Station in Boston to the Canton Center stop. Turn left out of the station onto Washington Street. The sanctuary is 0.5 miles ahead on the right, across from Canton High School.