National Geographic : 1961 Aug
The Friendly Huts of the White Mountains throughout the Northeast visit the hut system each season, and their leaders gather before hand for several days of seminars, lectures, and familiarization with the maze of moun tain trails. At the Lakes hut I sat in with George Hamilton on one of these sessions, attended by 60 participants. Problems ranged from "Where should a group be taken to see the striae formed by glaciers?" to "How does one get help if a youngster breaks a leg or has an attack of appendicitis?" "Discuss the pros and cons of the Hunt ington Ravine Trail and the Randolph Path, respectively, as escape routes during inclem ent weather," went one problem. "The Huntington Ravine Trail is too steep to lead the average children's group either up or down in dry weather; in wet weather it is out of the question for descent by a camp hik ing party," was the correct answer. "On the other hand, the Randolph Path offers a gentle escape from Edmands Col down into the trees on the Randolph side of Mount Adams, and is the trail to take to es cape severe weather on the ridge." This is the kind of stuff around which these annual AMC seminars are built. They teach hikers what they must do to be safe when the mountains turn treacherous. Club Members Tamed the Mountains One cannot long wander through the White Mountain country without being impressed by the number and the excellence of its trails. A few of them were built before 1876, when the Appalachian Mountain Club was formed, but not many. AMC members made nearly every high ridge accessible; they established a network of through trails which made possible cross country travel from Carter Notch to Fran conia Notch and even beyond. Other groups, notably the Randolph Mountain Club, added access trails. By the turn of the century the AMC had built and was maintaining 100 miles of trails. Some of these were hacked out of thick KODACHROME(C) NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICSOCIETY Shower of tiny pink blooms, alpine azalea (Loiseleuriaprocumbens) spreads across gray rocks rimming one of the Lakes of the Clouds. Ruler shows size of the flowers.