PDA

View Full Version : Appalachian Mountain Club



CHRIS
12-03-2008, 07:07 AM
Just wondering how many people here are members of the Appalachian Mountain Club and what chapter do you go to. Just curious I just became a member.

Brad
12-03-2008, 08:49 AM
Many years ago I used to be a member and it is a great organization. But, I have shifted focus to MWO for who I support. I have never lived close to a chapter to really get involved that way. It was nice to see AMC have a table at the STP 08 dinner.

TrishandAlex
12-03-2008, 09:06 AM
We're members of the Boston chapter. I'm taking the winter hiking lecture series right now. I don't anticipate going on any group hikes with them until the kids are older, though.

Gorque
12-03-2008, 09:11 AM
I'm associated with the Connecticut chapter and try to help out on one of the trails day in May. It the very least I can do considering how much I use that portion of the trail. :)

CHRIS
12-03-2008, 09:21 AM
I would have liked to have attended a lecture like that Trish,but the closest chapter to my house is the Southeast mass. chapter but it looks like they had it in november. I guess I joined a little to late.

mtruman
12-03-2008, 10:55 AM
We're members of the Narragansett Chapter (RI). Haven't done much with the local chapter (I did one group hike in NH this fall) but we get lots of use out of the membership with stays at the huts and lodges. Usually get to Highland Center a couple of times a year and love it there. The savings for AMC members pays for the membership with one stay each year. We just booked a long weekend at Cardigan Lodge for the weekend after New Year. Can't wait after seeing the recent pictures of Cardigan in winter here.

BlueDog
12-03-2008, 11:12 AM
I'm a member, and by default associated with the Washington DC chapter. However, I've yet to participate in any local events, as I'm mainly interested in going back up north! :) I became a member to help support the org mainly, and then if I can get to using any of the huts, that's an added benefit.

At the same time I've also become a member of ATC (Appalachian Trail Conservancy), for very much the same reasons as above.

But of course, the most prized membership is my MWO membership! :)

Rich
12-03-2008, 01:30 PM
We're members! CT chapter. We help out or participate on trails day and AT day and I've done some of the Thursday morning hikes. We'll be at JD lodge over Feb break. Like Mark said, the membership pays for itself in no time!

Bill O
12-03-2008, 03:22 PM
My father has been involved with the AMC for many years. I come and go occasionally, but I'd rather stay focused on MWO. My biggest complaint to him is that the membership rewards aren't big enough. For me they just don't pay off fast enough.

I know, it shouldn't be about the rewards...but obviously it is.

mtruman
12-03-2008, 03:31 PM
I'm a member, and by default associated with the Washington DC chapter. However, I've yet to participate in any local events, as I'm mainly interested in going back up north! :) I became a member to help support the org mainly, and then if I can get to using any of the huts, that's an added benefit.


The nice thing about the RI chapter is that they have a really active "northern hikes" group that do frequent trips to NH, VT and ME. There are also numerous inter-chapter trips and events that any member can take advantage of. The NH chapter sponsors a lot of these. There is a search page that you can use to get the listings for all the trips and events: http://trips.outdoors.org/index.cfm/method/public.publicsearch

In general the weekend type hiking trips are cheap. As an example there is a Narragansett chapter weekend trip (Fri-Sun) in January with a Saturday Webster-Jackson hike and a Sunday leaders choice hike with 2 nights lodging at AMC Highland Center Shapleigh Bunkhouse, dinner Saturday night and breakfast on Sat and Sun for $110 total. Pretty hard to beat that! There are often even cheaper ones with stays at motels and B&Bs owned by freinds or relations of the leaders.

Charlie
12-03-2008, 04:12 PM
im like bill that the MWO does give you something for your membership by just going to the web site .
i was a member of a lot of other things and the dues got to high to keep them all and not get some thing back
if you do a lot of hiking and use there huts and other things then it may pay for itself but i dont have the time to do that now

CHRIS
12-03-2008, 04:30 PM
I just joined basically to try to meet people in my area that hike so I would not have to go solo all the time. Especially winter hiking, my wife don't want me to go but she knows I am a very cautious person so I will be fine but two people sometimes are better than one. Especially where I just started hiking this year and this will be my 1st winter. (Can't wait to get out there)Plus I was hoping to get in some lectures and stuff.But we'll see.

mtruman
12-03-2008, 05:53 PM
im like bill that the MWO does give you something for your membership by just going to the web site .
i was a member of a lot of other things and the dues got to high to keep them all and not get some thing back
if you do a lot of hiking and use there huts and other things then it may pay for itself but i dont have the time to do that now

The AMC does a lot of work with conservation, education, and trail maintenance (1700 miles worth include 350 miles of the AT) so it is a worthwhile cause even if you don't use the other member benefits. I like supporting AMC and MWO (as well as other organizations that do this kind of work). In the end, it's all good...

KD Talbot
12-03-2008, 08:10 PM
Let me first say that I currently belong, and have belonged for several years. That said, I would like to also say that I have mixed emotions about the AMC. One thing that bothers me is that the president earns over $300,000. Another thing is that a hut like Lakes takes in over $5000 a night on summer weekends. A third thing that bothers me is hiking in the mountains and hearing the steady hum of a generator. Theses are just some of my grievances. I don't mean to turn this into an anti-AMC rant, but these are some things I think folks should consider when talking about the AMC.

Now, I will say that they do maintain many, but certainly not any where near all, of the trails that I hike. This is good. They provide me with trail descriptions in their AMC Guidebook, which I consider my bible. Their maps produced by Larry Garland are unsurpassed. Devoted people like Steve Smith and Gene Daniels, (and many others), painstakingly measured distances with a wheel, checked route descriptions, edited and compiled this book.

However, there are other, in my eyes, more worthy conservation organizations to give my money to, that aren't run like big business. The MWO, for one. The Randolph Mountain Club for another. Ask their president what his yearly salary is. Oh, and by the way, it's $8.00 a night to stay in their huts. 1st come, 1st serve, bring your own food. Can't beat that! There are others, too, like the Appalaichan Trail Conference, the Maine Appalaichan Trail Club and the Green Mountain Club.

In closing I'd like to quote Jack Tarlin, a writer and Appalaichan Trail thru-hiker:

"Actually, I give the AMC decidedly mixed reviews as to their care and protection of the White Mountains.

This is an incredibly over-used and fragile location, yet the Club spends thousands of dollars a year on glossy brochures and ads that encourage ignorant and ill-equipped folks to enter these areas; I personally don't think it's wise stewardship to entice people to visit a threatened, fragile area, unless they're properly equpipped and know what the hell they're doing.

It could also be added that the primary purpose of these ads is to encourgae city folks to stay in some of the AMC's high-end lodging, such as the "Hut" cabins found all thru the Whites, and the brand-new multi-million dollar facility recently opened at Crawford Notch. These facilities, by their very nature and cost, are elitist, classist, and exclusive, as the vast majority of folks who visit the Whites cannot afford to stay at them. One can quite easily question whether exclusive and exclusionary lodging places like these, which are essentially private clubs, are appropriate or have any place on public land.

It can further be stated that the Club's insistence on maintaining and expanding the operation of these high-end facilities comes at the expense of folks on a limited budget; for several years the club has been in the process of expanding their high-end lodging options while doing very little in the way of expanding or improving such options as shelters, care-taker tentsites, etc.

Lastly, the club insists on operating out of a multi-million dollar turn of the century townhouse on Boston's Beacon Hill. The cost of maintaining this unnecessary facility is enormous, never mind the millions of dollars that could be immediately realized by selling the structure and moving to less opulent offices in a more appropriate location, such as New Hampshire. And lastly, they have a bloated, over-paid office staff; the salary of their executive Director approaches that of the U.S. President.

In short, while the AMC does a lot right, it does a lot wrong. I personally can't justify sending them money so they can tear down decades-old hostels and replace them with luxury hotels, nor do I want my dues to pay for brie and chablis parties at their Boston headquarters (and yeah, I used to be a member of the Boston chapter so I know what I'm talking about here), nor do I want to help maintain a system of high-cost faux European "hiker huts" that exists solely to serve as money-makers for the organization, and to provide their wealthy members a high-country hideaway that is effectively off-limits to 95% of the folks who enter the White Mountains.

To sum up: I'm no longer a member of the AMC and can't in conscience support them. I prefer to give extra time and money to the Appalachian Trail Conference, as I know the money will be spent wisely. Or failing the ATC, I'd sooner join or support such organizations as the Green Mountain Club or the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, two small organizations that do remarkable work with very limited financial and human resources. Or better yet, if you're interested in protecting the backcountry of Northern New England, I'd join them all.

The AMC will have me back as a member when they stop building backcountry palaces, stop catering primarily to the wealthy, stop pretending that the White Mountains exist essentially to serve as a playground for their members. Or to put it another way: I'll re-join the AMC when they return to paying attention to their 130 year old mission statement, which speaks of providing wise stewardship for the forests, mountains, and rivers of Northern New England. When the AMC returns to its roots, I'll return to them. Otherwise, I think that there are other organizations more worthy of our time, money, and support."

Food for thought.

KDT

Bill O
12-03-2008, 09:33 PM
I agree with some of Kevin's points and disagree with many. But I can say that the AMC operates on a scale that just doesn't compare to the RMC or even MWO. Their endowment is in the tens of millions, they own portions of the state of Maine. It may get lost in their numbers, but I do believe they operate for the greater good.

The fact that their president makes $300,000 is probably irrelevant. He is fairly paid for his work. You might volunteer to take his job for $1 and I might argue that you're over-priced. His pay in all likelihood is in relation to his capabilities of raising money. He creates a value for the AMC that far exceeds his salary.

CHRIS
12-04-2008, 07:38 AM
WOW :eek:!!!!!!!!

BlueDog
12-04-2008, 11:13 AM
Thanks for the info Kevin. I will add my one and only complaint about AMC. Whatever slick advertising it was that enticed me to join, bribed me with this wonderful resource of online trip planning, trail maps, etc. I'm a map geek and I try and plan EVERYTHING online. So this sounded great. Little did I know (yeah, shoulda read the fine print) that using the online resources were additional subscription fees and that my membership only reduced them from $15 to $12/year.

Bill O
12-04-2008, 01:11 PM
I predict the flaming demise of that pay mapping site.

Gorque
12-04-2008, 01:20 PM
My primary gripe w/AMC is their selling of my name and mailing address w/o my permission. :mad:

FisherCat
12-04-2008, 03:31 PM
Now, I will say that they do maintain many, but certainly not any where near all, of the trails that I hike. This is good. They provide me with trail descriptions in their AMC Guidebook, which I consider my bible. Their maps produced by Larry Garland are unsurpassed. Devoted people like Steve Smith and Gene Daniels, (and many others), painstakingly measured distances with a wheel, checked route descriptions, edited and compiled this book.


KDT

Now that someone has chimed in a similar vein to how I've felt I too will pitch in a few thoughts. (That is also an interesting quote you have pulled up KDT) I belonged to the AMC a long time ago as well, and I swear this will not turn into an AMC bash. I am thankful for the guidebooks they produce as well as some of the honest-hearted, hard-working, no agenda, no-nonsense people I have been able to meet as a Trail Adopter. However, knowing they have a political lobbyist totally turned me off as I'm as politically neutral as you can get. I don't believe in politics, I believe in doing. I'm a Trail Adopter thru their programs without being a member of the AMC and am grateful for the programs they have offered equipping and assigning people, giving us a wondeful opportunity to volunteer. So if you want to support an organization without supporting it ,( I know that makes sense) if you want to do nothing but work hard and help our trails think about being a Trail Adopter.

KD Talbot
12-04-2008, 03:38 PM
Scott makes a fine point. There are ways to "support" without costing you anything but your time. I would argue that this is the greatest support of all.

KDT

mtruman
12-04-2008, 05:41 PM
I predict the flaming demise of that pay mapping site.

I truly hope not. I use it on a regular basis and there is no current replacement for it (in that there isn't an alternative for electronic maps that provides every trail in the Whites). For $12/yr it's a bargain. I pay way more than that for the paper maps and books that I buy in addition. All money well spent.


Scott makes a fine point. There are ways to "support" without costing you anything but your time. I would argue that this is the greatest support of all. KDT

Amen to that. I have to say that I agree with some of the other points that you brought out in your earlier post as well Kevin. The AMC is definitely not without its faults, but on balance I think that what they accomplish is positive. No argument about the good contributions of the RMC and other "lower key" organizations as well.

Bill O
12-04-2008, 06:34 PM
I truly hope not. I use it on a regular basis and there is no current replacement for it (in that there isn't an alternative for electronic maps that provides every trail in the Whites). For $12/yr it's a bargain. I pay way more than that for the paper maps and books that I buy in addition. All money well spent.

Not to worry, I predict it returns as a free-site with ads.

Bill O
12-07-2008, 09:13 PM
I should add a few more accuracies.

The president of the AMC does not make $300,000 per year. That's close, but not entirely accurate.

The mission of the AMC is not that of the Wilderness Society. Conservation is a priority, but not above encouraging people to enjoy and appreciate the outdoors. If their mission differs from your mission, obviously, find another organization.

The AMC's office in Boston has been with the AMC for nearly as long as the organization has been in existence. Long before real estate bubbles. It's an important part of their heritage and a solid investment for their future. While the location is prime, I've heard it described as more of a "fire trap" than a corporate retreat. Should the AMC need to raise cash, it could always be liquidated. Until then, it will continue to appreciate in value.

sheri
12-09-2008, 09:22 PM
Hi. I am an AMC member, but not very active yet. I do love the magazine and am trying to work in time so that I can do some of the Tuesday or Thursday local hikes. Oh, I am in the CT chapter ad live in Northeastern CT. I am new to hiking and can't actually claim to be one, but that sure is where my heart is and I guess it's never too late to start, right?! (I'm 51)

krummholz
12-10-2008, 03:32 PM
We let our membership lapse a few years ago because we weren't doing any AMC group activities (we were in the Boston chapter), but for the past ten years we have maintained the section of the Carter-Moriah trail between Mt. Surprise and the summit of Moriah. This is part of a great AMC program that gives you good training before they send you out to start clearing waterbars and clipping brush. We have become very attached to our trail section--I feel lucky because it's one of the more interesting ones--and plan to keep doing this as long as we can. (One tip, though--don't try going down a steep ledge with a hazel hoe when it's raining. Bob knocked out a tooth that way!)

FisherCat
12-10-2008, 10:24 PM
Good for you krummholz, you have an excellent section of trail that you have adopted. It is quite unique indeed!

mtruman
12-11-2008, 11:58 AM
Hi. I am an AMC member, but not very active yet. I do love the magazine and am trying to work in time so that I can do some of the Tuesday or Thursday local hikes. Oh, I am in the CT chapter ad live in Northeastern CT. I am new to hiking and can't actually claim to be one, but that sure is where my heart is and I guess it's never too late to start, right?! (I'm 51)

Yup, same age as me - definitely not too late to start!

KD Talbot
02-09-2009, 09:31 PM
The president of the AMC does not make $300,000 per year. That's close, but not entirely accurate.


That's true. He makes $304,466.00, or, at least he did in 2007:

http://www.bostonherald.com/projects/non_profit/

By comparison the Executive Director of the Green Mountain Club made $73,000.00:

http://charityreports.bbb.org/public/Report.aspx?CharityID=6251&bureauID=0021

It's not really comparing apples to apples as the AMC spends about $18,000,000.00 a year and the GMC about $1,000,000.00

Long thread with many viewpoints about the AMC and especially the Highland Center here:

http://www.viewsfromthetop.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27702

KDT