Founding | Early Recollections | Years at a Glance | Random Memories


From Castle in the Clouds "I must confess that I, myself, was largely responsible for one of the greater debacles we ever suffered. In 1996, we had decided to get together over the winter for cross-country skiing, and I organized an outing to Pawtuckaway State Park. Things started badly as, with a caravan of a half dozen cars trying to find the park entrance, we got lost on the back roads of Nottingham.

"But that was the least of it. I lead the merry band of skiers onto a trail that turned out to be hilly and exhausting. We finally turned back after about two miles, but two of the women with us, new to cross country skiing, had maxed out physically and just could go no further. With the prospect of the ladies spending the night in the snow in the middle of the woods, those of us who had gotten out of the woods did what any environmentally conscious organization would do - we recruited a group of snowmobilers to go back into the woods and rescue them. It was the last time I ever complained about snowmobiles when out skiing and the first time I'd ever seen anyone swallow a Snickers bar whole, as one of the exhausted ladies did once the gallant snowmobilers deposited her back at the parking lot. Talk about bad planning. I should have been impeached as Dayhiker leader."  - Phil Blampied


Icy branches (photo by Mark Malnati) "Of course every one that was on this hike in 2003 has to rate this number one as most memorable. I'm talking about Ice Gulch in Randolph when Jackie broke her ankle and had to be carried through a dried river bed of rocks and boulders."  - Dennis Marchand


"King Ravine at the base of Mt. Adams in 1999 was awesome. Great boulder fields to explore. It was also the year when Cheryl and Rachel completed their 4000 footers at Zealand. We celebrated with Champagne and snickers in the cold."  - Dennis Marchand


"watching the extreme skiers, fantastic day, giant crowd."  - Dennis Marchand


"That was the biggest hike I ever did. I especially remember I scared Rachel off the mountain. I've gotten a hard time from her ever since."  - Dennis Marchand


Moat "And I particularly remember one gentleman, who only showed up for one hike in the 1997 season. That hike was one of the harder ones we've done - the entire circuit of the Moats. I thought there might be a problem when he came to the rendezvous site smoking a cigarette. He had no backpack, and only a 12 ounce bottle of water, which he had largely consumed before we even got to the trailhead. We warned him he might have trouble, but he ignored the warnings and gamely tried to keep up with us all. As luck would have it, we were led that day by Pete Henderson, a hearty Scotsman who was a super hiker with a childhood spent racing along the peaks and crags of the highlands of Scotland. Pete kept bounding ahead of the rest of us, peering back down from ledges a hundred feet above us and saying in his charming Scottish brogue such annoying things as 'well, are you coming? What, another rest?' So all of us were getting prodded along and Mr. Cigarette began looking like Frankenstein's ghost. Stumbling down the mountain, his knees finally gave way and he went face first down onto the rocks. Fortunately, Cheryl Mathieu witnessed this collapse, gave him some of her own water and bandaged up his wounds so that he was able to get up and continue stumbling until he did, at last, get back to the parking lot."  - Phil Blampied