Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hiking in the Whites

I recently returned from a Master Course up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The course was run through the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) an long-standing supporter of Leave No Trace and an integral part of the New England outdoor community.

It's been awhile since I've had the chance to hike around New England, but to me it will always be a special place. It's a region where the land ethic seems to be ingrained in the culture of the people, probably a lot due to the history of the area and the accessibility of open space. In a matter of hours you can go from city to country, from mountains to ocean. I had an opportunity to talk with many hikers at Pinkham Notch (the primary trailhead for Mt. Washington), and almost every person told a story about how they've been coming to the area for years, or were returning from being away for a long period of time. It was clearly a very special place to all of them as well.

Whenever the idea of Leave No Trace starts to move into a more technical area, towards the perspective that it's about the specific "do's and dont's" of the outdoors,  I try to remember times like the one I described above, when the ethical component of the program seems to be shouting out loud. Because, of course, according to the principles of ecology, one part of the whole is not sustainable without the other.

1 comment:

Tyler Roemer said...

Looks Beautiful there!