Appalachian Mountain Club Rolls Out New "Outdoor Explorations" Program This Winter

By AlpineZone News |
Nov 15 2006 - 09:43 AM

BOSTON, Massachusetts — Recognizing that time is an increasingly rare commodity, the Appalachian Mountain Club this winter is introducing “AMC Outdoor Explorations” to provide options ranging from one-hour, walk-on outdoor skills clinics to multi-day introductory adventures. Many Outdoor Explorations offered at AMC lodges in New Hampshire’s White Mountains are free to guests and designed for those of all ages, including families. For more experienced outdoor enthusiasts, AMC will also offer several cross-country and downhill ski-and-stay packages, as well as a new self-guided lodge-to-lodge ski adventure between sporting camps in Maine’s Moosehead Lake region.

“The evolving format of AMC’s outdoor education programs is responsive to feedback from guests and members asking for more frequently scheduled, shorter skills sessions and outdoor experiences to better fit their schedules,” said Joe Carper, AMC Director of Operations. “AMC’s walk-on programs have enjoyed increasing popularity during the past year, and we want to make it possible for even more people to get started enjoying the outdoors. Outdoor Explorations programs give guests the flexibility to plan ahead or simply show up to take full advantage
of AMC’s outdoor expertise.”

AMC Outdoor Explorations will include:

  • Free, one-hour winter skills sessions with AMC staff, including winter gear, animal tracking, map and compass navigation, and Leave No Trace principles. These introductory, one-hour programs at AMC’s lodges in the White Mountains of New Hampshire will be offered daily at AMC’s Highland Center and Wednesday through Sunday at AMC’s Joe Dodge Lodge and Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.
  • Free, one-hour cross-country ski refresher sessions and learn to snowshoe clinics offered every weekend at Highland Center. These programs are geared toward families and individuals brushing up on the basics or looking to learn a new trick or two.
  • Free, half-day guided snowshoe or cross-country ski tours with an AMC naturalist, offered daily at the Highland Center and every weekend
    at Joe Dodge Lodge.
  • Multi-day guided adventures and skills training offered at AMC destinations in New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Delaware Water Gap of New Jersey. The range of programs scheduled this winter includes guided trips to AMC’s White Mountain Huts, introductory courses in ice climbing and winter mountaineering, winter backpacking, and Wilderness First Aid. These programs are fee-based, and pre-registration is required.

Cross-country ski and snowshoe programs begin when the snow flies, and multi-day programs start in January.

One-hour to half-day Outdoor Explorations are offered free to Highland Center and Joe Dodge Lodge guests. All-inclusive stays at Highland Center and Joe Dodge Lodge feature private room/shared bath lodging, family-style dinner and breakfast, Outdoor Explorations as scheduled, and free use of L.L. Bean gear with stays at Highland Center. Highland Center rates for winter 2007 start at $64 per person/night for members ($77 for non-members), plus taxes. Joe Dodge Lodge rates start at $57 per person/night for members ($62 for non-members), plus taxes. Peak rates apply during holiday and vacation periods.

Winter Self-Guided Packages for 2006-2007
For individuals and families ready to head outdoors on their own, AMC is offering several cross-country and downhill ski-and-stay packages this winter, plus a new lodge-to-lodge ski option in the Moosehead Lake region of the Maine Woods.

Lodge-to-Lodge Skiing in the Maine Woods
Explore the Maine Woods by ski, snowshoe, or even dogsled while enjoying traditional Maine sporting camp hospitality. Modeled after AMC’s ever-popular hut-to-hut hiking experience in New Hampshire, AMC’s Lodge-to-Lodge Skiing Adventure package will introduce this AMC tradition to the 100-Mile Wilderness of Maine. Plan a three-night getaway and cross-country ski between Medawisla Wilderness Camps, West Branch Pond Camps, and Little Lyford Pond Camps??”where a wood-fired sauna awaits. This package starts at $375 per person for AMC members ($405 for non-members), plus taxes. It includes one-night’s lodging at each camp in individual log cabins with gas lamps and wood stoves, dinner, breakfast, trail lunch, and shuttling of overnight gear between lodges.

In addition to the lodge-to-lodge package, there is the option to stay for one or more nights at Little Lyford Pond Camps or Medawisla and make arrangements to go mushing with a professional dog-sledding guide. Cabin rates start at $100 per person/night for members, plus taxes, and include lodging in log cabins and all meals. The cost of the dog-sledding guide service is extra. Guests may also independently explore on an extensive network of backcountry ski and snowshoe trails, soaking in views of Shaw Mountain, Trout Mountain, Baker Mountain, White Cap Mountain, and the “Grand Canyon of Maine,” Gulf Hagas.

Ski Free at Joe Dodge Lodge; Additional Ski and Stay SavingsSki free when you stay at AMC Joe Dodge Lodge this winter. AMC and Great Glen are teaming up again this season and offering a free ski pass to all overnight guests. Prices start at $57 per person/night for AMC members ($62 for non-members), plus taxes, with no restrictions or minimum. Includes private room with shared bath, dinner, breakfast, and Great Glen cross-country ski pass.

Other Ski and Stay packages at Joe Dodge Lodge and Highland Center include Bretton Woods and Wildcat Mountain. Highland Center cross-country ski packages with Bretton Woods start at $63 per person/night for members ($82 non-members), plus taxes. For downhill skiing, rates start at $94 per person/night for members ($113 non-members), plus taxes. Joe Dodge Lodge downhill packages with Wildcat start at $86 per person/night for members ($91 non-members), plus taxes. Starting at rates quoted reflect the adult, per person/night mid-week rates for private room/shared bath accommodations. Ski and Stay packages are valid during the 2007 winter season of the respective ski areas. Child and private room/private bath rates are available. Peak rates apply during holiday and vacation periods. Visit before December 25, 2006 for additional savings.

Combine Ski and Stay packages with AMC Outdoor Explorations programs offered at Joe Dodge Lodge and Highland Center to add variety or round out a long weekend or extended vacation.

Self-Service Savings This Winter
Winter outdoor enthusiasts willing to cook their own meals can take advantage of self-service rates offered at Cardigan Lodge in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, Mohican Outdoor Center in the Delaware Water Gap of New Jersey, and AMC’s White Mountain huts.

Cardigan Lodge, located only a two-hour drive from Boston, boasts more than 30 miles of backcountry ski trails. Rates start at $25 per person/night for AMC members ($30 non-members), plus taxes.

Mohican Outdoor Center is a short drive from New York City, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, and the lodge is an ideal base camp for a mix of cross-country skiing, ice climbing, and snowshoeing. Self-service rates start at $17 per person/night for AMC members ($19 non-members), plus taxes.

AMC Huts offer a unique adventure for enthusiasts interested in cross-country skiing or snowshoeing into the backcountry for an overnight. Rates start at $25 per person/night ($28 non-members), plus taxes.

During the self-service winter season, guests are responsible for bringing and preparing their own food, as well as providing their sleeping bags, toiletries, and towels. Accommodations vary by location.

All AMC programs and destinations are open to AMC members and non-members. Child rates are available and apply to ages 12 and under.

For more ideas and to make reservations, visit AMC’s Winter Planning Guide at or call (603) 466-2727.

Founded in 1876, the Appalachian Mountain Club is the oldest conservation and recreation organization in the United States. With 90,000 members in the Northeast and beyond, the nonprofit AMC promotes the protection, enjoyment, and wise use of the mountains, rivers and trails of the Appalachian region. The AMC supports natural resource conservation while encouraging responsible recreation, based on the philosophy that successful, long-term conservation depends upon first-hand enjoyment of the natural environment.