Appalachian Mountain Club

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Appalachian Mountain Club logo
Looking south on the Franconia Ridge Trail.

The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) is one of the United States' oldest outdoor groups. Created in 1876 to explore and preserve the White Mountains in New Hampshire, it has expanded throughout the northeastern U.S., with 12 chapters stretching from Maine to Washington, D.C. The AMC's 90,000 (as of 2005) members mix outdoor recreation, particularly hiking and backpacking, with environmental activism. Additional activities include cross-country skiing, whitewater and flatwater canoeing and kayaking, sea kayaking, sailing, rock climbing and bicycle riding. The Club has about 2,700 volunteers, who lead roughly 7,000 trips and activities per year. The organization publishes a number of books, guides, and trail maps.

History[edit]

The AMC was organized in 1876, incorporated in 1878, and authorized by legislative act of 1894 to hold mountain and forest lands as historic sites.[1] The founder was Massachusetts Institute of Technology Professor Edward Charles Pickering, who invited fellow Boston academics and vacationers to form a group interested in mountain exploration. The club aims to preserve the beauty of mountain forests, waters, historic sites and resorts; to render them attractive to visitors and excursionists; to publish accurate maps thereof; and to collect scientific data concerning the mountains.[1][2] The group helped map the White Mountains and in 1888 built the first of eight High Huts in the range, modeled on Alpine shelters.

In 2003, the AMC purchased 37,000 acres (150 km²) of land east of Moosehead Lake and southwest of Baxter State Park, along the 100-Mile Wilderness portion of the Appalachian Trail, as part of their Maine Woods Initiative. It has converted a portion of the purchase to a nature preserve, logged a portion, and runs a sporting camp called Little Lyford Pond camps about two miles (3 km) off the trail. The Club is considering purchasing more sporting camps in the vicinity.[3]

Organization[edit]

The AMC headquarters is located at 5 Joy St. in Boston. The club has a small paid staff; however, most activities are run by volunteer members of geographic twelve chapters. The most prominent is the Boston chapter, with others in New Hampshire, Connecticut, NY-NJ, Washington, D. C. and elsewhere.

Current and former employees report that the AMC does not aggressively promote a Drug Free Workplace or utilize pre-employemnt drug screening.

Activities[edit]

The High huts[edit]

AMC Headquarters, 5 Joy Street, Boston, Massachusetts.

The AMC owns and maintains a series of eight mountain huts in the White Mountains. Modeled after similar shelters in the Alps, the various huts hold from 36 people to 90 people. Hikers may reserve bunks; at most huts dinner and breakfast are included with an overnight fee.

Although extremely popular, the huts are also controversial[citation needed], facilitating thousands of hikers entering the back woods and environmentally sensitive areas above tree line. Four years and an environmental impact statement were required to get the huts' permits renewed by the U.S. Forest Service in 1999.

The Four Thousand Footer Club[edit]

A committee of the AMC administers the Four Thousand Footer Club (FTFC). Anyone who has climbed to and from each of the 48 New Hampshire Four-thousand footers is eligible to apply for membership to the club. Members are given a patch and new inductees are invited to attend a yearly celebration dinner. The FTFC also recognizes individuals who complete the New England Four Thousand Footers (of which there are 67) and the New England Hundred Highest.

Publications[edit]

Appalachia, the club journal, has been published since 1894.[2] Books relating to mountaineering, touring trips, etc., are published under the auspices of the society.[1]

National Register of Historic Places[edit]

The Club's Ponkapoag Camp is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainGilman, D. C.; Thurston, H. T.; Moore, F., eds. (1905). "Appalachian Mountain Club". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead. 
  2. ^ a b Wikisource-logo.svg Rines, George Edwin, ed. (1920). "Appalachian Mountain Club". Encyclopedia Americana. 
  3. ^ Jermanok, Stephen (2006-09-24). "Delicate Terrain". The Boston Globe Magazine (The Boston Globe). Retrieved 2006-09-24.