Posts Categorized: White Mountains Issues



Mount Tecumseh, 4000 Footers Hiking List

The village of Waterville Valley, New Hampshire during the autumn months. Mt Tecumseh is in the background. This mountain is named for the Shawnee chief, Tecumseh  (c.1768–1813).
Mount Tecumseh (2012) – Waterville Valley, New Hampshire
 

Mount Tecumseh, 4000 Footers Hiking List – On the same day that I publicized my Owl’s Head, Conserving Wilderness article, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) posted an article about some of the mountains on the White Mountain 4000 footers hiking list may not be over 4,000 feet. Being over 4,000 feet is one of the criteria for a mountain to be on the list. While our articles focus on different mountains on the hiking list, they both suggest that the time is coming for the AMC 4000 footer club to reevaluate the hiking list.

Lidar, a laser based technology, is currently being used to remap the White Mountains. This technology is very accurate at determining mountain elevations. And it was made public that the Lidar data is indicating that at least one mountain, Mount Tecumseh, is under the 4,000 foot criteria. According to the data Tecumseh is 3,995 feet (see footnote for actual new height), not 4,003 feet. Will the Lidar data reveal that Mount Isolation (4,004 feet) and Mount Waumbek (4,006 feet) are also below the 4,000 foot criteria?

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Owl’s Head, Conserving Wilderness

Owls Head and the Pemigewasset Wilderness from the Franconia Ridge Trail in New Hampshire.
Owl's Head from Franconia Ridge, New Hampshire
 

Owl’s Head, Conserving Wilderness – This remote 4025-foot mountain in the western region of the federally designated Pemigewasset Wilderness creates much debate. The controversy isn’t really about Owl’s Head its more about wilderness management. Hikers unhappy with the management of the Pemigewasset Wilderness use Owl’s Head as a stepping stone to criticize the Wilderness Act.

Established in 1984 under the New Hampshire Wilderness Act, the 45,000-acre Pemigewasset Wilderness is managed under the National Wilderness Preservation System and the Wilderness Act. Considered to be one of the greatest conservation laws ever passed, the Wilderness Act has protected over 109 million acres across the United States. And yet some are against the Wilderness Act.

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A Wilderness Bridge vs. an Alpine Zone Hotel

Mount Washington from the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains, New Hampshire.
Mount Washington Cog Railway – General Area of the Skyline Switch
 

A Wilderness Bridge vs. an Alpine Zone Hotel – Talk throughout the White Mountains and New England has been about a proposal made by the Cog Railway to “possibly” build a hotel and restaurant on the side of Mount Washington. The proposal itself has created disbelief among many. And I have to admit that I am still shocked that a group would even consider damaging the fragile alpine environment to expand a business venture.

But the reality is this scenario has been playing out throughout the White Mountains in different ways. There are many examples, but the best one is the proposed removal of the footbridge along the Thoreau Falls Trail in the Pemigewasset Wilderness. The Thoreau Falls Trail bridge has become a safety concern, and Forest Service has proposed to remove it. Much like the proposed hotel it has become a heated issue.

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Mittersill Terrain Improvement Project

View of the Mittersill Terrain Improvement Project, on Mittersill Mountain, from the summit of Bald Mountain in the New Hampshire White Mountains during the spring months. For the last few years, Cannon Mountain and Franconia Ski Club have been working on the Mittersill Terrain Improvement Project. The focus of this project is to create a world-class training and racing slope on Baron’s Run.
View of Mittersill Mountain – Franconia, New Hampshire
 

Mittersill Terrain Improvement Project – Over the last few years, Cannon Mountain and the Franconia Ski Club have been working on an improvement project to better the ski terrain on the Mittersill side of Cannon Mountain. The focus of the project is to create a world-class training and racing slope on Baron’s Run. Based on the little I know abut the project, it seems like it will benefit the ski area and the younger generation of skiers.

But not all are happy with this project and with the way Cannon Mountain operates. And great lengths are being taken to create the illusion that Cannon Mountain is a money sucking worthless enterprise that is costing New Hampshire taxpayers millions. Maybe it is time to consider building condos on Cannon Mountain (joking).

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Help Conserve Dixville Notch

Dixville Notch - Lake Gloriette next to the Balsams Grand Resort during the autumn months in Dixville, New Hampshire USA. (Erin Paul Donovan)
The Balsams Grand Resort – Dixville Notch, NH
 

A important conservation campaign is currently taken place to protect 5,800 acres surrounding the Balsams Grand Hotel Resort in Dixville Notch, NH. If you are unaware of the issue checkout the included links.

The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests has a deadline of January 15 to raise $850,000 that is needed to acquire conservation restrictions and a power line right of way on lands surrounding the Balsams. To date (Jan. 10), $745,000 has been raised and with the campaign ending in just a few days it is essential to create awareness and spread the word. 

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