The Randolph Mountain Club (RMC) manages about 100 miles of trails in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, including the major routes to the Northern Presidentials, trails connecting the club’s four camps, scenic paths on the lower slopes, and trails in the Crescent Range near the towns of Jefferson and Randolph.
In 2010, the RMC launched a special project called the RMC 100 as part of it’s 100th year anniversary. To participate, hikers are encouraged to hike all 100 miles of the RMC trail system and to record their progress in a specially formatted log book, available here in PDF form.
I was unaware of this until I received the latest edition of the Randolph Mountain Club Newsletter as part of my membership. I joined the RMC last year because they do so much with so little (750 annual members vs the 100,000 member Appalachian Mountain Club) and I wanted to support their local initiatives more directly.
Coincidentally, I’d begun a project of my own to hike all of the trails in the Northern Presidentials this year, with the greater dream (fantasy, most likely) of hiking all 1400+ miles of the White Mountain Guide someday. Needless to say, I have a way to go on that effort, but I’m not in a hurry to be honest. Adopting the RMC 100 sounds like a much more realistic goal that is consistent with my endgame, and it lets me reframe my Northern Presidential project to include hiking the Crescent Range Trails. I’ve never been to that area of the Whites, but it looks like it would make for some interesting winter snowshoeing and possibly winter camping.
My main motivation for hiking all of the trails in the Northern Presidentials was to make the process of bagging all of the Trailwrights’ 72 peaks in the area more interesting by climbing up them using as many different trails as possible. That peakbagging list includes Madison, Adams, Jefferson, Adams4, Adams 5, Sam Adams, and John Quincy Adams, but it requires that you summit each peak one at a time, encouraging a diversification in the routes taken.
In addition, to bagging the Trailwright’s peaks, I want to stay at each of the 4 camps that the RMC manages, which include Crag Camp, Gray Knob, The Perch, and the Log Cabin. I stayed at 2 of these this year (Crag Camp and The Perch), and hope to get up to Gray Knob this winter.
So if you’re looking for a worthy day hiking or backpacking goal for next year, consider the RMC 100. It’s a trail list, not a peakbagging list, although the trails just happen to climb some of the biggest 5,000 footers in New England.