I look forward to New Year’s every year because it gives me a chance to assess my big accomplishments and set new goals for myself. That is just the way I am. Goals, even the ones that take years to accomplish, get me out of the house.
Before I dive into some of the highlights of this past year and what I hope to accomplish in 2013, I want to note that this was an unusually social year for me on the hiking front, where I did far more hiking with other people instead of my typical solo adventures. Hiking with other people and leading trips is a lot different than going alone, but it has its rewards. I plan to continue doing more group hiking in 2013.
Assessing my resolutions from last year (2012), some of last year’s hiking and teaching-related highlights included:
- Qualified as a Leave No Trace Master Educator with the Center for Outdoor Ethics. Additionally, I won a national Leave No Trace Hot Spot grant for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) to address end user conflicts between hikers, dog owners, and mountain bikers in the Middlesex Fells nature preserve just outside of Boston. This is a nation-wide competitive grant program.
- Became a professional guide and employee with Andrew Skurka Adventures and started leading Ultimate Hiking Trips with Andrew in the White Mountains.
- Became a 3 season Hiking/Backpacking (H/B) leader for the Boston Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club and led 20 day hikes and backpacking trips in the White Mountains on 2012. I was also elected to the Hiking and Backpacking managing committee for the Chapter.
- Continued being a Trail Maintainer for the US Forest Service in the White Mountains.
- Continued giving frequent talks about backpacking at the REI in North Reading. I also co-led and/or lectured for the Boston AMC Spring Beginner Hiking Program and Off Trail Navigation courses, and co-taught a Lightweight Backpacking seminar for the BSA in Austin, Texas.
- Stackpole Books published two of my Appalachian Trail Section Hike trip reports in a Kindle/ebook called Hikers’ Stories from the Appalachian Trail. They even paid me for it!
- Did a fair piece of hiking and backpacking even though I was out of New England for about 2 months this year taking care of ill family members.
Resolutions for 2013
- Finish the Trailwright’s 72 peakbagging list. What a joy it is to hike these peaks and bushwhacks!
- Make a bigger dent in my Winter White Mountain 4,000 footers.
- Backpack across Scotland in the 2013 TGO Challenge. Raise money for charity.
- Finish the last 75 miles of the Maine Appalachian Trail that I need to finish section hiking the state.
- Qualify as a 4 season (winter) Appalachian Mountain Club Hiking/Backpacking leader
- Start a 4 season, bushwhacking and backpacking adventure trip series, cross-listed with the Boston AMC and the Random Group of Hikers Meetup Group, to climb some of the more remote peaks and mountain ranges in the White Mountains and Northern New Hampshire. Day long bushwhacks are fun and so are multi-day backpacks: I want to combine the two in order to hike lost trails and visit some of the wilder places in the northeast.
- Continue giving lots of backpacking and hiking talks at REI and other venues.
- Expand my trail maintenance efforts with the Trailwrights.
- Get in the best shape of my life.