Triglav National Park – Slovenia


7:30 PM at Illicks Mill, 100 Illicks Mill Rd, Bethlehem, Pa 18017, in-person and on Zoom

Jim Bloom and Lynn Fraiser will present a slide show on their recent trip to Slovenia which included visits to Triglav National Park and the capital city of Ljubljana. They enjoyed great hiking, biking, and exploring of picturesque villages and the city of Ljubljana. From their base camp at wonderful Camp Spik, their explorations took them to beautiful mountain views, waterfalls, lakes, wildflowers, outdoor markets, an art museum, and even a castle.

Information on upcoming outdoor events will be available. Everyone is welcome. Contact the coordinator with any questions.

We will once again be meeting in person at Illick’s Mill in Bethlehem as well as on Zoom No registration is required for in-person attendance, register with link if attending on Zoom.

AMC Trip Policy

AT Ridge Runner program completes its 31st year


Our ridge runner this year was Piljo Yae (she/her), a native of South Korea, Piljo relocated to the states with her family in her late teens. Most recently she worked as a project manager in steel construction before retiring. After hiking many sections of the AT in the Mid Atlantic region, she completed an AT thru hike post-retirement last year. Her trail name was WIC for women in construction.

Piljo is also a member of our chapter and who has taken leadership training and has attended AMC August Camp. She lives locally in Blue Bell with her husband. As such, you may see her in the future on a hike with the chapter or other chapter outing or event.

Piljo is a very personable and warm individual with a strong work ethic. She enjoyed inviting others to work with her on the trail, and they seemed to enjoy working together with her also. Together, much was accomplished in removing some very built-up fire rings, removing trash from campsites and trail heads, clipping and cutting blowdowns, and removing greenbrier and invasive crimson barberry from the trail. They also worked to identify and protect the endangered American Chestnut tree.


To briefly summarize the program, a ridge runner is a seasonal paid five day a week position to help educate users of the Appalachian Trail about Leave No Trace while helping to care for and protect the trail in partnership with the local maintaining clubs including our chapter. The program runs from late May to Labor Day.

Ridge runners have been deployed along many sections of the AT from Maine to Georgia in areas of higher impact and usage. A 42-mile section of trail above the Lehigh Valley included in this program may have increased usage due to its proximity to the population centers in Lehigh Valley, easy access from the New York and New Jersey areas, along with many road access points including the Delaware Water Gap.

This program has continued since 1992 with continuing grants from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry, plus our chapter and trails volunteers working in partnership with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the trails staff of AMC.

The DV Chapter has been proud to continue supporting this program along with other trail clubs with volunteer time, work and with financial support.

Bear Safety


You may be aware that bears are coming back into their natural habitats, including the A.T. corridor, after being removed by humans over the last hundred years or more. The current hot spot seems to be around Lehigh Gap, where there have been several bear sighting on or near the A.T. over the past several weeks. But, they’ve been reported in other parts of the state as well.

These flyers were produced by the PA Game Commission in conjunction with The one flier is a general Bear Wise flier giving tips for home, outdoors and on vacation.


The second flier covers the dangers of letting dogs confront or agitate bears. Too many hikers are letting their dogs run loose on trails, thereby putting their dogs, bears and themselves at risk.

Special thanks to Emily Carollo of our partner the PGC for providing these excellent materials.

Your Next Hike Could Help Support Climate Change Research!

Bunchberry by Ryan Hagerty

The Project 

Bunchberry by Ryan Hagerty
Bunchberry by Ryan Hagerty

The AMC expanded our Mountain Watch plant monitoring project in the Northeast to include the entire Appalachian Mountain region. This community science project is tracking how plant annual fruiting and flowering time (phenology) is responding to climate change. Shifts in plants flower and fruiting cycles can be used as climate change bioindicators. By seeing how the lifecycle of plants are changing throughout the entire AT region, we can determine the resilience of the Appalachian Mountains region and its capacity to be a climate refugia.

Yellow Trout Lily by Mttswa
Yellow Trout Lily by Mttswa

Get Involved 

This research and data collection is performed by hikers and outdoor enthusiasts like you! To get involved download the free iNaturalist app, make an account, and under projects search and join the “Flowers and Fauna along the Appalachian Trail Corridor” project. Once a part of the project, go for a hike on or by the Appalachian Trail and snap photos of the plants and animals you see. Make sure your location settings are on, so the location of your observation is recorded. Once uploaded AMC researchers will review your submitted photo and confirm or assign phenophases (flowering or fruiting stage) to the images of our target species. Photos are needed every year from spring (flowering) through summer and fall (fruiting) to continue building our dataset on the relationship between plant phenology and climate change. Join us today!  

Everest Base Camp


Wednesday, June 21, 2023 at 7:30 PM

We will once again be meeting in person at Illick’s Mill in Bethlehem as well as on Zoom

No registration is required for in-person attendance, register with link below if attending on Zoom.

Join Phill Hunsberger on last fall’s trek to Everest Base Camp and Chitwan National Park in Nepal. Learn a bit about trekking, mountain climbing, and riding an elephant in this unique and beautiful country!

Also, meet our new AT Ridgerunner Piljo Yae, who will do a short talk before the evening’s program.

Information on upcoming outdoor events will be available. Everyone is welcome. Reservations are not required if you are attending in person, but will be necessary if you are connecting via Zoom.

This was a previous recorded event. Click the link below to watch the recording.

The D & L Trail – Good Things Coming!

D and L Trail

In November 2022, PA announced a $7 million plan to improve the D&L Trail in the Lehigh Valley. Join Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor’s Conservation Coordinator Brit Kondravy to find out how this investment will affect the D&L Trail, and how the D&L Trail fits into the regional trail network – THE LINK.

Information on upcoming outdoor events will be available. Everyone is welcome. Reservations are not required if you are attending in person, but will be necessary if you are connecting via Zoom

Wednesday, May 17, 2023 at 7:30 PM

This event was recorded and can be viewed from clicking the button below.


Delaware Valley’s 2023 Outdoor Leadership Training course


The AMC-DV’s annual Outdoor Leadership Training course took place this year on the weekend of March 25-26 in the Environmental Education Center at Nockamixon State Park. The “Class of 2023” included a total of 25 participants with a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. Some had considerable previous experience with leading hiking, biking, and backpacking trips for other groups or AMC Chapters, while other participants were quite new to AMC and to outdoor leadership. All expressed an interest in learning more about how to safely enjoy experiences in the outdoors and share those adventures with others.

Their comments at the conclusion of the course indicated that they felt the course had, indeed, been a worthwhile one:

“The entire training was very well done. Presenters were very knowledgeable, professional, and effective. I was impressed!”

“Everything was new and eye opening. Learned a lot, need to learn more.”

“The roleplays were amazing for learning and getting to know other participants better.”

“Knowledgeable speakers, great interactions with attendees”

“I thought the two days were just perfect, not too much… not too little.”

“I appreciated hearing from a wide variety of experienced people.”

“Loved all the interactive and / or outside time. Entire program was valuable & useful.”

Congratulations to the OLT Class of 2023 graduates: Holly Adams, George Cagle, Eric Carter, Robert Coia, Paul Gehris, Kathy Gill, Paula Goulden Naitove, Pat Grannan, Wendell Gulick, Kate Hausman, Steve Jarreau, Cheryl Jones, David Kenosian,

Welles Lobb, Jim Mann, Ryan McLaughlin, Christian Morrow, Timothy Olah, David Rabold, Sarah Sato, Brian Sisko, Jerzy Sliwinski, Hannah Tyburski, Doug Wilson, and Piljo Yae.

And many thanks to the facilitators for this year’s course: Anne Lise Almira, Stan DeRiel, Barbara Fritzinger, Jeff Fritzinger, Karla Geissler, Cait Handlin, Dave Hoke, Pete Jarrett, Denis McCartan, Margaret McDonald, Joe Nanfara, Adrian Noble,

Eric Pavlak, Ron Phelps, Larry Priori, John Rowen, Annette Sheldon, Lennie Steinmetz, Midori Wakabayashi, and Susan Weida.

Our volunteer leaders are the heart of the DV Chapter, and we are fortunate indeed to have such a great group of experienced and incoming leaders in our ranks!

Overnight Canoe Camping in the Adirondack Wilderness


Wednesday, April 19, 2023, 7:30 PM

Explore some of the Adirondacks’ most remote, overnight canoe camping areas with Mark Zakutansky, covering three summers of paddle-in, paddle-out primitive trips across the more than 30,000-acre William C. Whitney & Round Lake Wilderness Area on Lake Lila, Little Tupper Lake, and Round Lake. Joined on these excursions by Mark’s wife, Leigh, son, Brady and dog, Rio, as well as family friends, we’ll discover the thrills and challenges of multi-day wilderness camping with kids, including route planning, weather emergencies, food packing, portaging, as well as the uniqueness and cherished beauty of the 6-million-acre Adirondack Park, our nation’s largest publicly protected area in the lower 48 states. Along the way, we’ll find beaver lodges, loon nests, long abandoned camps and trails, fishing holes, gorgeous sunsets, night skies, evening campfires, card games and stories galore.

Information on upcoming outdoor events will be available.

Location: Illicks Mill, 100 Illicks Mill Rd, Bethlehem, Pa 18017 or join us on Zoom

Everyone is welcome. Reservations are not required if you are attending in person, but will be necessary if you are connecting via Zoom

Please click the link below if you are interested in watching this past presentation.

Tour Du Mont Blanc


Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at 7:30 PM

In the summer of 2022, Justin Fried hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc with his wife and a group of fellow AMC members. This 110-mile route circumnavigates the highest peak in the Alps and traverses some of the most stunning mountain scenery anywhere on earth. Their trip lasted 12 days and involved climbing over many high mountain passes and descending into many quaint alpine villages. It also took them to three countries: France, Italy, and Switzerland. Join Justin for a recap of this once-in-a-lifetime trip!

Meeting Details: Lehigh Valley Group meeting – Weds, March 15, 2023 at 7:30 PM at Illicks Mill, 100 Illicks Mill Rd, Bethlehem, PA and on Zoom.

Watch the video recording of the presentation.

Inspiring a New Generation of Trail Maintainers

AMC Delaware Valley Logo

Along the wind-swept ridgeline overlooking Palmerton, Pennsylvania, a group of six volunteers spent eight weeks this past autumn building a new section of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.). The Trail, snaking along the Appalachian Mountains for nearly 2,200 miles, is surprisingly not a static entity — its location shifts slightly year-to-year as new land is conserved and opportunities to move the Trail to a more sustainable location arise.

Source: Appalachian Trail Conservancy

Trekking Patagonia


Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at 7:30 PM

“Sam” (a.k.a.Ruth) Jamke is a recent transplant to Hagerstown, MD from AMC’s NH Chapter, where she has been a four-season hike leader for many years. A life member of AMC and former member of the Club’s Board of Directors, Sam also leads many Adventure Travel trips for AMC.

Patagonia is one of her favorite destinations and she loves to talk about her four visits to this beautiful region of South America. She has hiked and backpacked in both Chile and Argentina, including multiple hut-to-hut treks on the popular “W” in Torres del Paine National Park. Come along as we experience this region through photos and Sam’s fond memories.


Information on upcoming outdoor events is announced after the presentation. Everyone is welcome.

View a recording of the presentation below.

Northampton County Parks – Present and Future


Wednesday, January 18, 2023, 7:30PM – 9:30PM

Location: Illick’s Mill, 100 Illick’s Mill road, Bethelehem, PA

Registration is not required for this activity.

Bryan Cope, Superintendent of Parks and Recreation for Northampton County, will tell us about the trails in Northampton County that now exist, like the Nor-Bath Trail, and those that are planned, like the Northern Tier Trail. He will also explain the partnerships that exist between the county and other governmental agencies in maintaining conservation open space and other recreation facilities here in our home area.

Information on upcoming outdoor events will be available. Everyone is welcome. Contact coordinator with any questions.

A Zoom option will also be available for those who prefer it. Please register for Zoom in advance.


2023 Leadership Training


Do you want to step up and lead outdoor activities or boost your leadership confidence and skills? If so, this training is for you!

The Delaware Valley Chapter will host a 2-day AMC Outdoor Leadership Training on the weekend of March 25 & 26, 2023. To make this event easily accessible for DV Chapter members, it will take place at Nockamixon State Park near Quakertown PA.

Everyone is welcome to attend: new leaders, new members, experienced leaders, members who just want to learn what AMC Leadership is all about. Training utilizes an experiential model that puts participants into mock scenarios. Not only is this method a more effective approach to learning, it’s also fun!

Topics covered are the elements of outdoor leadership common to all AMC outdoor activities:

  • Activity Planning
  • Leading Safe and Enjoyable Activities
  • Leadership Styles
  • Risk Mitigation
  • Liability Issues
  • Decision Making Model
  • Accident Scene Management
  • Conservation and Minimum Impact Issues
  • AMC Leadership Requirements and Guidelines
  • How to Become a DV Chapter Activity Leader
Photo Credit: Raun Kercher
Photo Credit: Raun Kercher

In addition, optional Basic First Aid for outdoor leaders will be covered Friday evening, March 24, 2023. Note that this isn’t a Wilderness First Aid course: That is a separate 2-day course.

Facilitators will be experienced AMC Volunteer Leaders.

If you want to stay overnight in a cabin at Nockamixon State Park, we’ll point you in that direction.

Please contact Registrar Lennie Steinmetz for registration & additional information.

Trekking Jordan


Wednesday, November 16, 2022, @ 7:30 PM at Illicks Mill

Monthly program meeting AMC -Lehigh Valley Group. This meeting will take place in person at Illick’s Mill in Bethlehem and via Zoom for those unable to attend in person. If attending on Zoom, you must register in advance at to receive the Zoom login info.

The program will be “Trekking Jordan” presented by Paula Uhrin: A journey from Amman through the ancient city of Petra and the desert of Wadi Rum to the shores of the Red Sea, Jordan is a country of unexpected beauty. Walking in the footsteps of the Nabataeans who inhabited the region in the 4th Century BC is an experience like no other, but there is much more to see in Jordan as it transformed from an ancient wonder to modern nation. The friendly people, the amazing food, and the stunningly beautiful landscapes will draw you in and keep you mesmerized.

View previously recorded presentation now!


No Meeting in October 2022

AMC Delaware Valley Logo

There will be no monthly meeting of the AMC-Lehigh Valley Group in October 2022 because most of the organizers will be out of the country enjoying new adventures.

The next LVG meeting will take place on Weds, Nov 16th. The program will be “Trekking Jordan“, presented by Paula Uhrin, and judging from the photos she sent for publicity purposes, it should be a most interesting program.

AMC Delaware Valley Logo

Pitch in and Help! DV Chapter takes over maintenance on additional 7 miles of AT


Chapter trail work also includes building new trails at Nockamixon and Ringing Rocks parks

AMC’s Delaware Valley Chapter has taken over maintenance responsibilities for a seven mile section of the Appalachian Trail from Fox Gap (PA route 191) to the western end of the I-80 bridge across the Delaware River. This section was formerly maintained by the Wilmington Trail Club, that could no longer get sufficient volunteers to do the work.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), that oversees maintenance of the trail, may try to get another club to take on this section, but for the foreseeable future this us our chapter’s responsibility.

photo credit: Lennie Steinmetz

Trails Chair Greg Bernet noted that some of this section goes through the village of Delaware Water Gap, PA, and some is on a dirt road, so that actual trail maintenance is less than six miles.

He also noted that the Kirkridge Shelter and privy are located on this section and will be our responsibility to maintain. The shelter is in good condition, but the privy needs repair or replacement

The DV Chapter’s Appalachian Trail Crew, headed by Dan Schwartz, has long done regular maintenance on our adopted 15-mile section of the famed hiking trail from Wind Gap south to Little Gap on the Northampton-Monroe county line. We also maintain and watch the Leroy Smith Shelter and privy on that section.

DV chapter is also involved in building a new trail at Nockamixon State Park, and in the spring will begin work on a new trail section at Ringing Rocks County Park, both in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. We also do regular trail work at French Creek State Park.

photo credit: Lennie Steinmetz

Trail Volunteers: many kinds, many skill levels. What is right for you?

  • Trail work involves manual labor from easy to strenuous, from pruning bushes and painting blazes to moving rocks and building steps. Tools and training are provided.
  • AT corridor monitors hike the edge of the AT’s designated land and report any intrusions such as illegal structures or tree cutting. They blaze the boundary and locate surveyor monuments.
  • Shelter watchers hike a few miles and periodically visit the shelters and privies to check on them. Several watchers take turns on a schedule.

Don‘t just hike the trails! Help! Volunteer for a day or for more

Contact or check the activities calendar.

2022 Chapter Annual Meeting and Dinner

Celebrating DV Chapter’s 60th Anniversary

Saturday, November 5 from 5:00 to 9:00 PM
Central Bucks Senior Activity Center,
700 N. Shady Retreat Road, Doylestown, PA

Central Bucks Senior Activity Center,
700 N. Shady Retreat Road, Doylestown, PA

Featured presentation: Delaware Canal history, Susan Taylor
Susan Taylor, now retired, served for 30 years as Executive Director at the Friends of the Delaware Canal

5 PM happy hour, BYOB
6 PM dinner, all inclusive buffet
7 PM election of new officers for 2023
plus service and 25-50 year membership recognition
7:30 regional updates by Mark Zakutansky
7:45 Presentation on Delaware Canal history and views, Susan Taylor;
Cost is still just $25
payable by credit card or check at

AMC Delaware Valley Logo

2023 Executive Committee Nominations


Karla Geissler

Vice Chair

George Cagle


Susan Weida


Marty Mersky


Steve Campanelli


Terry Berntsen


Eric Pavlak


Adrian Noble


Marcia Telthorster

Family Activities

Annette Sheldon


Joe Nanfara


Ron Phelps


Lisa Chou


Eric Pavlak


Annette Sheldon


Greg Bernet

20s & 30s

Anna Lise Almira

Announcements & Upcoming Events

AMC Delaware Valley Logo

2022 is AMC Delaware Valley Chapter’s 60th year anniversary.

Celebration during the Fall Fest on Saturday, September 24, 2022 at AMC Mohican Outdoor Center.

We are encouraging Leaders to lead the “60-year” term trips.

New Hiking Chair

Welcome to Joe Nanfara, our new hiking chair. Joe was approved by the DV Executive Committee to fill the position made vacant by the previous chair’s resignation. Joe will serve the remainder of the current term which wends November 5, and has been nominated to serve as hiking chair for 2023.

Mark Your Calendar

Annual Dinner Meeting on Saturday, November 5, 2022

AMC Delaware Valley Logo

79 Degrees North Latitude


Wed. Sept 21, Lehigh Valley Group Meeting @ 7:30 PM at Illicks Mill, 100 Illicks Mill Rd, Bethlehem, Pa 18017 and on Zoom.


Margaret McDonald will take us to Axel Heiberg Island, an uninhabited island in the High Arctic. It is in the Canadian territory of Nunavut; one of the Sverdrup Archipelago in the Queen Elizabeth Island Group. In winter this land is desolate and uninviting to all but the most hardy. However in the short summer, July and August, it is a different story.

Margaret recently hiked and backpacked a small area of Axel Heiberg. The latitude was 78-79 degrees north latitude, the furthest north she had ever been. It is not an easy destination to access but well worth the trouble. Join her for a presentation of her Axel Heiberg adventure.

Information on upcoming outdoor events will be available. Everyone is welcome. Reservations are required. Contact coordinator with any questions.

Presentation from live recording is available below.

August Camp 2022 at North Cascades


AMC’s August Camp 2022 is taking place this year in the beautiful North Cascades of Washington state.  A number of DV Chapter members were in attendance at Week 1 (July 16-23) or Week 2 (July 23-30), as you can see from the accompanying photos.  We hope that the Week 3 & 4 campers have as great a time as these groups did!

Bucktail Path


Appalachian Mountain Club, Delaware Valley Chapter, hosted the Elk State Forest backpack, which was a through hike of the Bucktail path. This backpack was quite the adventure; from the plowing through the nettle fields, dodging the lunging rattle snakes, eating blue berries, coyotes making weird sounds.

This hike consisted of opportunities to learn more from friends as they talk about what they know in nature. A lot of great conversations added to the experience.

Watch the documentary videos by Ernie Bailey below.

Wilderness First Aid Course is being offered on a Weekend in August at French Creek State Park.


Classes are held Saturday August 20 and Sunday August 21, 2022.

Earn your Wilderness First Aid certification (WFA) or re-certify at reduced AMC prices. Join us at French Creek State Park for two days of classroom and hands-on practice.

People get sick and people get hurt in places where definitive medical care may not be available on a timely basis. With a basic understanding of first aid YOU may make a positive difference. Space is limited so sign up soon. Completion of the two day course entitles you to a two year certification in Wilderness First Aid through The Emergency Care and Safety Institute underwritten by the American Academy of Osteopathic Physicians and the American College of Emergency Physicians. Optional CPR training, too.


The Wales Coast Path

the wales coast path solitude sea

The Wales Coast Path is the longest continuous path along a nation’s coastline and Adrian Noble has been wandering on parts of it, on and off, since he was a child. Adrian will talk about the history of the path and the enormous variety of natural and cultural wonders found along it; and also discuss access, accommodations, and route planning.

Information on upcoming outdoor events will be available. Everyone is welcome. Contact coordinator with any questions.

Watch the recording in the link below.
wales coast path logo

Northern Ethiopia


Wed. May 18 @ 7:30 PM at Illicks Mill

Location: 100 Illicks Mill Rd, Bethlehem, Pa 18017 and on Zoom.

David Stein will do a presentation on a fascinating trip he took through northern Ethiopia from Gondar, through Tigray and the Danakil Depression. Ethiopia is called the “roof of Africa” for its high mountain peaks. His trip through northern Ethiopia encompassed a taste of its rich natural scenery, ancient past history, and religious culture. He will also share some thoughts on the current situation in the region that he traveled through.

Information on upcoming outdoor events will be available. Everyone is welcome. Contact coordinator with any questions.

No reservations are required for in-person attendance.

Past Zoom presentation is available in the button below.

Bike and Barge – Amsterdam to Bruges


Wednesday, April 20, 2022 at 7:30 PM

Join Bill & Lennie Steinmetz as they tell us about a recent cycling adventure in Europe.

Holland and Belgium are intrinsically linked with cycling and waterways, so what better way to explore these beautiful areas than with a mixture of both? The classic artist’s landscape, synonymous with long canals, windmills, and a rich industrial heritage can be explored on this route, finishing up in the picturesque World Heritage city of Bruges.

Our relaxed cycling holiday starts in Amsterdam, traveling along the canals and waterways, guaranteeing a striking and diverse introduction to the heart of the country. The cycling will take us along calm, tranquil riversides, through perfectly preserved historic villages, and along winding dike roads. On the way, we pass by beautiful windmill-strewn countryside along the Merwede canal and get to explore some of the oldest cities in Holland.

Information on upcoming outdoor events will also be available.

The event recording is available in the link below:

Snakes in a Park


By Richard Puglisi

Copperheads! Hard to believe, but that’s what the sign said during a recent hike at Ringing Rocks Park. Wow, and Ringing Rocks has always been such as nice safe place. The ideal location for a fun family outing.


It seems the signs resulted from a July, 2021 incident where a teenager was bitten by a copperhead at the park. It was so bad that she needed to be sent to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to be treated with anti-venom treatments every six hours. Her hand had swollen to four times its original size.

Maybe not so unusual when you consider that copperheads along with timber rattlesnakes, both venomous, are common across Pennsylvania. There was an incident in 2015 when two people were bitten at Ohiophyle State Park. A copperhead struck when a rafter stepped on one in a rocky area and another when a person was walking near the restrooms.

An adult copperhead can reach 2-3 feet with a body color of copper or hazel-brown. They like wooded hillsides, stone walls and piles of rock, not to mention rotting logs and large, flat stones located near water. They are fond of rodents, especially mice.

Copperheads are said to be quiet creatures and usually do their best to avoid trouble. Though if threatened and they feel the need to protect themselves, they will strike out vigorously. Venom is injected through two hollow fangs connected to glands located on each side of the head. The injection of venom is painful but with prompt medical attention seldom poses any serious threat to human life. According to the Penn State Poison Center, if you are bitten by a poisonous snake, the most important thing is to stay calm and call 911 or go to a hospital immediately.

In the vast majority of snake encounters, people have ample opportunity to stop, backup or otherwise avoid the snake. If you give snakes a bit of respectable space, you should be fine. Don’t poke them with sticks or throw things at them. Be careful, be cautious and let’s enjoy our parks and the outdoors.

Chimborazo: The Highest Mountain in the World

David Torres Costales Chimborazo Riobamba Ecuador Montaña Mas Alta del Mundo

That is, if you measure from the center of the earth. This extinct stratovolcano is 20,549 feet above sea level, but because it lies on the equator in Ecuador, it sits in the maximum part of the Earth’s equatorial bulge. Its peak is the farthest from Earth’s center, and the closest point on our planet to the Sun. Measured from sea level, it is only the 37th highest in the Andes. Aconcagua in Chile at 22,283 feet is the highest.

David Torres Costales Chimborazo Riobamba Ecuador Montaña Mas Alta del Mundo

The biggest mountain in the world by far is Denali, in Alaska. It is a “mere” 20,310 feet high, but it rises from a 2,000 foot base with an immense bulk that dwarfs all other mountains in the world. Denali means “the great one” in the indigenous Koyukon language. However…

If you include the undersea part of mountains, the Big Island of Hawai’i, topped by Mauna Kea at 13,803 feet above sea level, is even taller and bigger, rising more than 32,000 feet from the depths. In geologic terms it is a youngster, only about a million years old.

Love Butterflies?

monarch butterfly

If you love butterflies, don’t plant butterfly bush!

Rip it out, if you have some. Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii) helps exterminate butterfly populations, and is detrimental to songbird populations, too. Native to China, it is not edible by the caterpillars of our butterflies. Sure, it attracts them with its nectar, but the butterflies lay their eggs on the plant and their offspring starve to death.

Songbirds, even the vegetarian species, feed their young almost entirely on caterpillars. It takes at least 2,000 caterpillars to raise a nest of cardinals. Doves are the only exception.

monarch butterfly
Monarch Butterfly, milkweed flowers

Plant milkweed! Common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, a native plant that produces beautiful fragrant flowers will attract many butterflies. There are also many other native species of milkweed that are equally good. If you care about butterflies and songbirds, a good rule is to plant native species. You would be amazed at how many beautiful garden plants are native to our area.

The Third Pole

the third pole mystery obsession and death on mount everest feature

Mystery, Obsession, and Death on Mount Everest

by Mark Synnott, Dutton Books, 2021

Book review by Kathy Kelly-Borowski

Who has not heard of the 1996 Mount Everest Disaster? Many books have been written about that deadly season: Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest by Anatoli Boukreev, Left For Dead: My Journey Home from Everest by Beck Weathers, Climbing High: A Woman’s Account of Surviving the Everest Tragedy by Lene Gammelgaard, and After the Wind: 1996 Everest Tragedy, One Survivor’s Story by Lou Kasischke. I have read the first three mentioned.

Mount Everest is referred to as the “third pole” because it has the biggest ice mass after the earth’s north and south polar regions. Mark Synnott is an experienced professional climber who became part of a team that went to Mount Everest using Northeast Ridge. The group was trying to solve the mystery of the 1924 British Expedition to be the first to summit the mountain. Did George Mallory and Sandy Irvine actually stand on the roof of the world on June 8?

the third pole mystery obsession and death on mount everest

George Mallory’s body was found in 1999 and detailed in the book The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mount Everest by Conrad Anker and David Roberts. Sandy Irvine’s body was never found. It was believed that a Kodak camera was carried by one of the climbers to record their attempt. No camera was found on Mallory’s body, so it was thought if Irvine’s body was found he may have the camera. If the film was still viable, the mystery might be solved.

Before the 2019 team’s summit push, Renan Ozturk, a professional mountaineer and filmmake, used a drone that weighed only one and a half pounds and fit in the palm of his hand to photograph the terrain and map the mountain. These photographs were used to locate the area where they believed Irvine’s body was located. Renan had to hack the drone’s safety functions, allowing it to descend quickly and operate at high elevations.

Synnott weaves the history of Everest, Mallory, Irvine, and other climbers throughout the story while describing “the year Everest broke.” Traffic jams on the Northeast Ridge and South Col Route occurred during summit attempts in 2019. There were eleven deaths that season, with four deaths blamed on overcrowding. Avoiding spending extra exhausting hours in the “death zone,” Mark and his team waited until those crowds cleared to make their push.

The National Geographic documentary Lost On Everest was released about the expedition and is streaming on Disney Plus

Most Active Participants & Leaders in 2021


The following are lists for the 2021, most active participants and most active leaders of Appalachian Mountain Club Delaware Valley Chapter.

Most active participants in 2021

Jane Richter
Gregory Bernet
Jay Gross
Jerry Taylor
Nancy Marciniak
Susan Weida
Adrian Noble
John Rogers
Richard Einstein
Dave Hoke
Robert Hileman
Annette Sheldon
Stan deRiel
Christine Filippone
Elizabeth Depenna
Jerald Srodes
Larry Priori
Kathy Ciliberti
Cameron Smith
John Rowen
Dave Schofield
Lois Rothenberger
Mary Morley
James Bloom
Michelle Thompson
Paul Schulke
Holly Adams
Robert Willenbucher
David Rabold
Joanne McDonald
Sue Auyeung
Mike Manes
Karen Rossino
Peter Jarrett
Lynn Fraser
Jeffrey Schrager
Diane Ullmer
R. Phelps
Walter Auyeung
Richard Hudson
John Buzdygon
Geraldine Chmiel
Michael Ahern
Lisa Kleiman
Martin Mersky
Lennie Steinmetz
Rich Pace
Jesse Gusler
Susan Bickford-Martin
Scott Holloway
Amy Newman
Dorothy Knaus
Kathy Gill
Blase Hartman
Susan Mosley
Midori Wakabayashi
Carol Broadbent
Kayleen Soffer
George Rockett
Allison Hudson
Lisa Schustak
Paul Schott


Miles Equivalent Scale

ranked by mile equivalents

Hiking – 1 mile = 1 mile
Backpacking – 1 mile = 1 mile
Snowshoeing – 1 mile = 1 mile
Biking – 1 day bike ride = 10 miles
Paddling – 1 day paddling = 10 miles
X-C skiing – 1 day trip = 10 miles
Alpine skiing – 1 day trip = 10 miles
Trail work – 1/2 day = 15 miles
Conservation – 1/2 day =15 miles
Shelter Watch – 1 visit = 10 miles
Volunteering – 1 outing = 10 miles

Most active leaders in 2021

four or more leads

Michael Ahern
Katie Barok
Gregory Bernet
Theresa Berntsen
Susan Bickford-Martin
Steven Campanelli
Paul Davis
Stan deRiel
Richard Einstein
Judy Farrell
Jay Gross
Blase Hartman
Peter Jarrett
Raun Kercher
Lisa Kleiman
Denis McCartan
David Mong

Adrian Noble
Rich Pace
Janet Penner
Larry Priori
George Rockett
John Rogers
Karen Rossino
Lois Rothenberger
John Rowen
Daniel Schwartz
Annette Sheldon
Jacob Sitkin
Kayleen Soffer
Lennie Steinmetz
Jerry Taylor
Diane Ullmer
Jill Watkins
Julia Watson
Susan Weida

Outdoor Leadership Training 2023

Leadership Training in Nockamixon State Park

March 25 & 26 2023

Do you want to step up and lead outdoor activities or boost your leadership confidence and skills? If so, this training is for you!

The Delaware Valley Chapter will host AMC Outdoor Leadership Training on the weekend of May 07 & 08 2022. To make this event easily accessible for DV Chapter members, this session will take place at Nockamixon State Park near Quakertown PA.

Everyone is welcome to attend – new leaders, new members, experienced leaders, members who just want to learn what leadership is all about.

Training utilizes an experiential model where you get outdoors and participate in mock scenarios. Not only is this method a more effective approach to learning – it’s also fun!

AMC Leadership Training
Leadership Training in Nockamixon State Park

Exploring the Tunnels of Conestoga

hikers silhouette photo in tunnel

A group of ten participants went on an AMC led hike along the Enola Low Grade Rail Trail to explore the tunnels that help drain the railroad tracks in this area. These tunnels were engineered with precision with their attention to detail in their brickwork and strong bases. The first half of the hike took the participants through the first six tunnels (this includes one tunnel you drive through to reach the parking area.) At the top of each tunnel, there is a numeric code which was used by a thief to recover their stashed gems. (More on that here: The route passes by an old train wreckage site where rail car debris is visible.

After the first part of the hike was completed, part of the group, entered the optional secondary part of the hike, which consisted of an exploratory search for more historic remains. This led them further into the Shenks Ferry Wildflower Preserve where they discovered a seventh tunnel. What an exciting exploration in this historic area!

Tales From The Trail


New Book Release

Tales from the Trail: Stories from the Oldest Hiker Hostel on the Appalachian Trail by Sherry Blackman has been released worldwide. This 255-page collection pays tribute to those who dare such a grueling and soul-satisfying adventure on the 2200-mile hike from Georgia to Maine.

The Presbyterian Church of the Mountain in Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, is home to the oldest, continuously-running Hiker Hostel on the Appalachian Trail (AT), offering sanctuary to over 1200 hikers per year. Blackman is a spiritual-investigative reporter in her new book, relying on decades of experience as a prize-winning, globe-trotting journalist, poet and author. She brings a keen observational eye, an inquisitive intellect, and deep-down compassion to those who shared their stories and longings for answers, healing, and transformation in this cathedral of the wild.

Tales from the Trail, part memoir and part spiritual reflection, chronicles the adventures—some humorous, some deeply moving—of those who dare to strip life down to its bare bones to discover or rediscover their humanity.

Tales from the Trail (ISBN: 9781737628736) can be purchased through retailers worldwide, including and Amazon. The paperback retails for $15.99. Wholesale orders are available through Ingram.

During the 2020 pandemic, one thing held true: Scores of people headed out for a day hike on the Appalachian Trail (AT) as if being in the woods, immersed in beauty and mystery, immunized them against an invisible enemy. The AT became a hospital for souls locked up in quarantine, needing to breathe, stretch, and be nourished by the earth beneath their feet.

For decades, the AT has been a sanctuary for seekers, the tired and the lost; those hungry for renewal, the broken and the grieving; and those who want to face and answer questions they have lugged around with them in invisible backpacks. Questions like, what is next for me? Is there a God? Should I live or end it all? How can I liberate my life from what weighs it down? How can I forgive God?

This book pays tribute to all those who dare such a grueling and soul-satisfying adventure. It tells the tales of those on a pilgrimage through insightful conversations and encounters, exploring and revealing what angels the hikers are wrestling with in the wilderness, angels who call out to name them again. This collection unveils the spirituality of any such journey in sometimes humorous, sometimes heart-wrenching portraits.

Tales from the Trail explores what it means to be human.

Yellowstone National Park in Winter

two hikers with x-country skiis in yellowstone in a snowy winter

Wednesday, March 16, 2022 at 7:30PM

Join Holly Adams as she tells us about exploring an area that has been termed, “The Land of Fire and Ice”: Yellowstone N P in winter. Using a seasonal yurt camp in Canyon Village as a base, travel by snow coach and x-country skis to visit iconic landmarks such as the Upper Geyser Basin and Old Faithful and the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River in snowy, winter solitude and without the hordes of summer tourists.

Travel by x-country skis into the backcountry to explore thermal areas and their mud pots, fumaroles, and geysers that are completely off-limit to the summer visitors. View plant and non-hibernating wildlife and discover adaptations that make survival in the subzero winters possible. Finally, return to the town of West Yellowstone to ski groomed areas – one which follows the Madison River back into a corner of the park.

Information on upcoming outdoor events, conservation news and trail maintenance will be available. Everyone is welcome.  Contact coordinator with any questions.

View presentation with passcode: wg@1&ywB

BeOnlineWithAMC: Taking Advantage of Land & Water Conservation Fund Full Funding in the Delaware River Watershed

protecting delaware river conservation large

Thursday, February 10, 2022, 1:30PM – 3:00PM

An opportunity to bring together the staff who administer LWCF stateside grants in multiple states with nonprofit partners who’ve worked mostly on federal LWCF investments, and discuss the opportunities presented by the Great American Outdoors Act’s full permanent funding of LWCF. With more money coming in, we want the project pipeline to be as strong and diverse as possible! The stateside administrators will be able to compare and contrast their state’s approaches and foster greater community outreach and collaboration.

Delaware River Conservation

Please register in advance for this webinar:

The River of No Return: Rafting Idaho’s Salmon River with Mark Zakutansky


Wednesday, February 16 at 7:30 PM


Nestled deep in the middle of the 2-million-acre Frank Church Wilderness Area lies the Salmon River, a corridor only accessible as a multi-day whitewater rafting adventure with rapids of class IV difficulty. The 82-mile gorge of the Salmon River ending in Riggins, Idaho, crosses through historic and prehistoric sites and homesteads while traversing the most rugged peaks and ranges of the entire Rocky Mountain range hundreds of miles from civilization. Join Mark Zakutansky on photographic journey of this unique 6-day, 5-night experience, as the group planned and executed this excursion without any guides or professional support tackling travel logistics, food planning, safety, equipment, and permitting, ensuring a successful and enjoyable trip including thrilling rapids, side hikes, iconic wildlife, hot springs, and even costume parties.

Information on upcoming outdoor events will be available. Everyone is welcome.  Contact coordinator with any questions

View the recorded presentation in the link below.

Mountain Majesty
North Cascades • AMC’s August Camp 2022


Explore magnificent North Cascades National Park, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, and Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas. Camp on the banks of the swift Skagit River in the shadow of 10,781 foot high glaciated Mt. Baker.

Hike, raft, bike and more, visiting many stunning waterfalls and scenic vistas on dozens of activities led by trained AMC volunteers. Just arrive and enjoy the activities and camaraderie. Everything’s provided: tents, hearty, delicious meals prepared by our staff, local transportation and a free shuttle from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

July 16 through August 13. Plan to attend for one week or two. Details and registration are on our website. Camp filled by early February last year, so don’t miss out! Sign up early for the week(s) you want!

  • Week 1: July 16 — July 23
  • Week 2: July 23 — July 30
  • Week 3: July 30 — Aug. 6
  • Week 4: Aug. 6 — Aug. 13

Cost per person per week: AMC Member $1275; Non-member $1525

The general application window for August Camp 2022 is January 3-12, 2022. Acceptance will be made based on a random lottery system, but applications will continue to be accepted until Camp is full and a substantial waitlist is generated. Visit our website for additional information.

Questions? Ask Lois Rothenberger at

A Walk in France

Sunflower Field, Le Puy Way

A Walk in France, Lehigh Valley Group Zoom Meeting. John Rogers will take us on a walk in France.

Virtually all hikers around the world have heard of the Camino de Santiago, a route in Spain that ends at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the location of a major shrine to Saint James. The ending point for this famous walk is well known. But where does it begin?

Part of the answer is France, where four major pilgrimage roads converge in the Pyrenees mountains near the small city of Saint Jean Pied-de-Port. The most popular and famous of the four French trails, though little known to Americans, is the Le Puy Route. This trail has acquired many names over more than 1,000 years of use: the Latin Via Podiensis, the French Chemin de Saint Jacques, in English the Way of Saint James, and in modern times the GR 65: one of the long-distance Grande Randonnée walking routes in Europe.

Information on upcoming outdoor events will be available. Everyone is welcome. Contact coordinator with any questions

Join us for an evening as we walk about 800 kilometers (480 miles) of the Le Puy Way through southern France, from the small French city of Le Puy in the Massif Central, to St. Jean Pied-de-Port in the Pyrenees. It took John six weeks to complete the trail, we’ll cover the distance in 60 minutes or less.

View the recording from this past meeting below:

Reauthorize the Highlands Conservation Act


Many AMC DV members have enjoyed stays at Harriman, and many use (and maintain) trails in other areas of the Pennsylvania and New York Highlands. The current and future health of these lands depends on the Highlands Conservation Act, which expires at the end of this year.

There are two bills now in Congress, H.R.2793 and S.753, that would reauthorize this valuable program, but they need to be voted on. Please ask your members of Congress to bring these bills to a vote as soon as possible.

Backpacking the John Muir Trail

john muir trail aerial view

Margot Lacey did a presentation on November 17, 2021 about her backpacking trip this past summer on the John Muir Trail. As she states: “This past summer, I was one of the fortunate 5% of lottery applicants to receive a permit for the John Muir Trail. Over twenty days, I hiked from one beautiful high alpine lake to the next, climbed innumerable switchbacks to get over the trail’s seven mountain passes, and tried mightily to will away some of the occasional smoky haze, as I made my way south from Yosemite Valley to the summit of Mount Whitney.

john muir trail aerial view

Early in the hike, I befriended three ‘youngsters’ forty years my junior, and we became a little ‘tramily’, camping and often hiking together. It was nice to have familiar faces waiting for me at the top of some hard climbs! I had previously hiked Vermont’s Long Trail, but the JMT was a completely different adventure. Without easy access to towns, it is a more committed hike, with limited resupply options, as well as high altitude and intense sun (but very little mud!). Along with pictures, I’ll talk a bit about the kind of mental/physical/logistical preparation that was involved, the equipment I used, and the different mapping resources that were most useful. Truly an amazing hike!”

View the recording from this past meeting below:

2021 Annual Meeting


This years annual members meeting took place on November 4th, 2021. Two AMC speakers provided updated information on our latest programs and activities. The election of 2022 Executive Committee took place. There were two annual awards presented including this years Appie Award and this years Golden Appie Award.

Lisa Kleiman burst onto the Delaware Valley Chapter scene in late 2020 as an active and engaged participant in the chapter’s first all virtual leader training. She quickly became certified as a hike leader with an early spring 2021 trek through Tyler Park.

Since then, she has led more than a dozen interesting and creative themed hikes in varied settings including urban, wildlife and nature preserves, and local parks. Lisa’s innovative approach to trip planning helps to promote AMC’s commitment to inclusion, making the outdoors accessible to everyone!

Lisa volunteered in 2021 to serve as the Chapter’s Publicity Chair, executing resourceful strategies to re-engage leaders and members as we emerged from pandemic restrictions for our activities.

AMC’s Delaware Valley Chapter is pleased to present Lisa with the 2021 Appie of the Year award in recognition of her energy and commitment to serving our members.

The Golden Appie is awarded to a chapter member who has provided extraordinary service to the chapter over many years. We are proud to announce that our recipient of the Golden Appie for 2021 is Susan Weida.

An AMC-DV member since 2009, Susan has been actively involved in chapter activities since joining. She is a consistent participant and leader in our recurring Wednesday hike series, in hikes and bike rides all over the area, and hikes in far flung places as well. Susan became a hike and bike leader in 2016 and has consistently led trips since then. She became more involved with the chapter when she served as data recorder of activities and participants, for which she was named Volunteer of the Month. Susan took on more responsibility when she became Chapter Vice Chair 2016-2018 and then Chapter Chair 2018-2020. She proved a very able leader guiding the chapter, and in this role, she also became a valuable member of the Chapters Committee for all AMC chapters. Her views are widely respected by the AMC staff in Boston. She presents her views to them in a way that is not confrontational, but still to the point, and therefore, gets her concerns heard by the powers that be.

Since retiring from the Chair position in 2020 she has still attended Executive Committee meetings this entire year in order to help the current Chair and Vice Chair. Upon the re-opening of activities after the Covid shutdown, Susan took it upon herself to organize and re-introduce our regular Wednesday hikes that are attended and valued by many.

Susan has helped our club in so many ways. She is a doer, not a talker. When something needs to be done, she doesn’t just talk about it, but gets up and DOES it. She is very welcoming and inclusive to all new participants as well as a positive presence to all, and a friend to many veteran participants. Thank you, Susan, for all you have done and continue to do!

2022 Executive Committee

View a list of the 2022 Executive Committee for the Appalachian Mountain Club, Delaware Valley Chapter.

Lisa Kleiman
Susan Weida

Annual Meeting set for Thursday November 4, to be held online, 7 to 8 PM.


The election of next year’s Executive Committee will take place, and all DV chapter members may vote. The meeting is free, and in addition to the election, we will present our annual awards and provide information on our latest programs and activities. 

You must register to attend.

2022 Executive Committee nominees

Chair, Karla Geissler
Vice Chair, Kathy Kelly-Borowski
Secretary, Midori Wakabayashi
Treasurer, Margaret McDonald
Backpacking, Steven Campanelli
Bicycling, Open
Communication, Eric Pavlak
Conservation, Adrian Noble
Diversity, Marcia Telthorster
Family Activities, Annette Sheldon
Hiking, Blase Hartman
Leadership, Ron Phelps
Membership, Lisa Chou
Paddling, Eric Pavlak
Social, Annette Sheldon
Trails, Greg Bernet
20s-30s Members, Katie Barok

If you wish to volunteer for one of the three open positions, contact


August Camp 2021 –  Maine

stream near Little Lyford Pond in Maine
stream near Little Lyford Pond in Maine

For the first time since 2004, AMC’s August Camp took place on the east coast this year. Since Maine is where August Camp started back in 1887, it seemed like a particularly appropriate place to re-visit. As you will hear from campers Agnes Sablow, Holly Adams, Sammi Gibb Roff and leaders Mark Kern, Phill Hunsberger, and Lennie Steinmetz, the camp at Little Lyford Pond near Greenville, ME turned out to be a truly delightful experience. Join us to hear about hiking, paddling, and exploring in the Maine Woods and why there were so many “happy campers” at AC 2021!

Please register in advance for this meeting.

Naturalist Photo Contest!

delware river
delware river
photo courtesy of Delaware River Means

Take, identify, and submit photos of plants, animals, and fungi that you come across while out-and-about in and around the Delaware River for chances to win great outdoor-related prizes! 
The Delaware River Means Biodiversity contest is your chance to connect on a more thoughtful level with the natural world around you.

The Delaware River Watershed provides a thriving home to hundreds of species and if you look closely enough, you will be able to find them just about anywhere! 

Contest Link: Delaware River Means | Delaware River Means Biodiversity | Campaign

Facebook Page: Delaware River Means | Facebook

The valuable community science tool, iNaturalist, is a great way to get involved with researchers and help further their science while also giving you the opportunity to learn something new! Simply record your observations, share with fellow iNaturalists, and discuss your findings. Each of your observations will contribute to biodiversity science by helping scientists collect and use your data. iNaturalist is a free, easy-to-use app that anyone can enjoy!

iNaturalist:  A Community for Naturalists · iNaturalist

Iceland Road Trip


A virtual Zoom meeting will be held 7:30 pm. Wednesday, September 15, 2021. Join Phill Hunsberger and his daughter, Robbin, as they tell us about a road trip they took with other family members to Iceland in July of 2021. Waterfalls, dairy farms, recent lava flows, hiking a mountain and soaking in a thermal fed stream are amount the items they will highlight of their trip around this almost treeless island in the north Atlantic.
Information on upcoming outdoor events will be available. Everyone is welcome. Reservations are required. Contact coordinator with any questions.

This event has was from the past. Please click the link below to see the recording.

Swamp Things


A hike in Delaware State Forest

From the scarlet tanager to the mating luna moths to the two black bears (which safely ran away like usual). This land is thriving with life! Sadly the logging industry has pushed forward in this area to make up for the lumber demands. It’s not a pretty sight. Lets hope the industry is maintaining the responsible efforts to save space for the homes of our friends of the woods.

The Swamp Things hike was amazing this year! What a great group we had. Thank you all for being a part of the experience.

Nepal Village Life


Lehigh Valley Group online meeting from the June Lehigh Valley Group program on Nepal. Jo‌in Phill Hunsberger as he tells us about a business trip with his nephew, Dale Nafziger, to Barchet Tole village, Nuwakot District, Nepal.

Meeting Recording:

Access Passcode: 3iXDF^k=

Important Changes and Activity Dates


AMC’s brand new guideline starts on June 11, 2021!

(Paper waiver form and “Show-up and go” trips will be back!)

AMC’s Trailfest throughout the month of June.

Get dirty, Give back, Make new friends! (* No experience necessary)

Welcome New Activity Chairs:

Hiking: Blase Hartman
Backpacking: Steven Campanelli

Vaccinate, if you can!

Happy Outdoors!

Nepal Village Life


Future Zoom Presentation

A virtual Zoom meeting will be held 7:30 pm. Wednesday, June, 16, 2021. Join Phill Hunsberger as he tells us about a business trip with his nephew, Dale Nafziger, to Barchet Tole village, Nuwakot District, Nepal, Mr. Nafziger, who operates a coffee business in Kathmandu, Nepal is establishing a business relationship with subsistence farmers in Barchet Tole, to grow quality coffee. This coffee will that be bought by Mr. Nafziger and used in his Top of the World business, in Kathmandu. We are aware of the beauty of Nepal’s scenic trekking destinations; this presentation will highlight another side of the Nepal: the beauty of life in a village distant from any the tourist route.

Information on upcoming outdoor events will be available. Everyone is welcome. Reservations are required. Contact Phill H. at 610-533-1390 with any questions.

Please register in advance for this meeting on Zoom meeting.

Preserve the View with AMC


A Zoom meeting. Join AMC’s Mark Zakutansky and Cathy Poppenwimer to learn about a science-based campaign and call to action to preserve scenic trail experiences. The Protect the View campaign seeks to preserve ten picturesque views vulnerable to development pressure located along Circuit Trails in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

Find out how these views were selected as well as potential outcomes and how to get involved. This presentation will touch on how to put data together, inform policy, and work with local partners – relevant components for protecting other threatened open spaces throughout AMC’s region.

View the recording of the presentation from May 19, 2021 in the link below.

Use access Passcode: 2kwDua#8

Job Opportunity: Conservation Outreach Manager, Mid-Atlantic Region


Appalachian Mountain Club

The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) is seeking a talented and enthusiastic conservation advocate and public policy professional to lead our coalition-based work to advance conservation and recreation in the Mid-Atlantic Region, based out of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. A qualified candidate will be enthusiastic about AMC’s conservation and recreation mission, have a proven track record as a skilled communicator, and will have experience in community and constituency engagement around environmental and outdoor recreation issues.

The Conservation Outreach Manager is primarily focused on eastern Pennsylvania but will support other AMC conservation initiatives from northern Virginia to Connecticut. Priority initiatives include state and federal legislative and regulatory public policy issues in the region that seek to combat and prepare for climate change; protect the region’s landscape and waters; and advance equitable access to the outdoors.

Come Join the Planning!

Group biking along the Lehigh Gorge

Phase 3 starts on June 12, 2021! More activities, more people.

Leaders, let’s connect with each other and have some fun. Discussions and planning for our in-person leader social and much more. Expect prizes and raffles during the Zoom event. Save the Date – June 8 (Tue) 7:30 PM

Vaccinate, if you can!

Next EC Meeting on Zoom: June 1 (Tue) 7:00 PM Discussion Topic: Reopening All the members are welcome.

Reminder: National Trails Day 2021: June 5 (Sat).

News from AMCDV Executive Committee (May 2021)

Delaware Canal Photos – Old and New


Originally held April 21

Susan Taylor, Executive Director of the Friends of the Delaware Canal, will present an eclectic mix of images that take in the Canal from the Forks of the Delaware in Easton to Phillips’ Mill in New Hope. You will see:

  • exceptional nature and landscape photos
  • pictures from the canal’s past
  • records of what has been happening in and along the Canal recently

Conservation on an Astronomical Scale


Originally held Wednesday, March 17

Join Doug Arion, Executive Director of Mountains of Stars, for a discussion of light pollution: how it compromises our ability to observe space from the surface of the earth, its surprisingly widespread effects, its impacts on people and the environment, and how we can fix the problem and save money at the same time.

This presentation will also describe the effort we are conducting with the AMC to create an International Dark Sky Park and Reserve surrounding the AMC lands in the Maine Woods — which will preserve 100,00 acres of the last dark sky area in the eastern 2/3 of the US!

Unfortunately, we did not succeed in recording this meeting, but the presenter has kindly provided a link to a similar program he presented to another AMC group:

If you’d like to learn more about Doug’s organization and its many efforts to address this challenging situation, go to:

What’s New in Eastern PA State Parks?


Originally held Wednesday, February 17

DCNR is a statewide leader in land conservation, trails initiatives, and manages much of the land available for public recreational access. During the COVID-19 pandemic, state parks attendance increased over 26%, from 37 million to nearly 47 million visitors. Some parks in Eastern Pennsylvania saw months where their visitor numbers more than doubled. With those rapid increases in visitation came increased pressures on our public resources, and increased difficulties for staff to engage an abundance of new visitors while still protecting and maintaining our public lands. Despite the challenges, it has been rewarding to see clear evidence of people turning to outdoor spaces such as state parks for recreation and solace during the pandemic.

In addition to discussing the impacts of high visitation pressure on our public lands, we’ll discuss updates and recent projects at some of the 20 state parks or park complexes in Eastern Pennsylvania. With a new park office and visitor center at Hickory Run, which opened in 2020, the recent addition of the Kittatiny Ridge to our Conservation Landscapes program, and the guidance provided by our Penn’s Parks For All planning initiative, there is a lot of news to share!

Recording Unavailable

Greg Bernet presented with Pychowska trails award for third time


Chapter Trails Chair Greg Bernet was the recipient of the Marian Pychowska Award for the third time by doing 158 hours of trail work during 2020, presented at AMC’s Annual Summit on January 23, There are 96 hours minimum required for award.

He is the leader of the Pennsylvania Highlands Trail Stewards who have built new trails around Ringing Rocks County Park, in Veterans’ Park near Quakertown, and are currently scouting a new trail to be built in Nockamixon State Park. He also leads the New Jersey Highlands Trail Crew which does maintenance in Jenny Jump State Forest and the western section of The Highlands Trail.

Greg is AMC-DV’s Coordinator of the Appalachian Trail Boundary Monitors program for the Appalachian Trail Conference and National Park Service, as well as a monitor himself. He is also a member of our club’s AT maintenance crew and a certified sawyer, does solo maintenance on a section of the AT in N.J. at Culvers Gap in Stokes State Forest as well as on the Pahaquarry Trail on the backside of Mt. Tammany at Delaware Water Gap, and he is AMC-DV’s representative to the New York New Jersey Trail Conference.


Raun Kercher earns AMC 2021 Volunteer Leadership Award

Raun Kercher of the Delaware Valley Chapter is a recipient of AMC’s 2021 Volunteer Leadership Award, which was presented at the club-wide annual meeting, held on line this year because of the ongoing pandemic. Since completing Outdoor Leadership Training, Raun has become a hiking, biking and backpacking leader for the Delaware Valley Chapter. He has led a wide variety of trips in each of these activities, notably characterized by his detailed, creative and compelling trip descriptions. After only one year as a leader, he took on the role of Publicity Chair for the DV Chapter. He applied his creative and technology talents in many ways to increase the chapter’s social media presence on Facebook and Instagram. Raun produced entertaining and informative videos about Earth Day and our new activity ratings system to be shared on these platforms. He also elevated the promotion of the chapter’s Fall Gathering to new levels. In 2020, he volunteered to join DV’s Leadership Committee, making important contributions to the leadership training planning efforts. He is playing a critical role in development of a virtual outdoor leadership training platform for the chapter. Raun’s diverse efforts as a leader, trainer, and technology specialist have made a positive difference for AMC and the DV Chapter.

Improve Your Travel Photos


Originally held Wednesday, January 20

Larry Bieber has had the good fortune to travel the world with a camera in hand and the opportunity to take several National Geographic courses on how to use that camera. He will share some suggestions with us on how to raise the level of our travel pictures and then show pictures from two of his trips – one to Bhutan and the other to Iceland.



In 2022, the Delaware Valley Chapter will celebrate its 60th year of existence. In October 1962 when the chapter was formed, there were about 200 members in the Philadelphia area. Ten years later, the membership had grown to 620. By the time of the chapter’s 25th anniversary in 1987, there were 1187 members. As of January 2021, the chapter has 4,831 members.


Footnotes Winter 2020-2021

  • Virtual Annual Meeting
  • Appie Awards
  • Smartest of birds
  • Super hiker—super angel
  • Help what you hike on
  • Sun is a Compass review
  • Rail trail opens
  • ATC honors DV leaders

National Park Service announces new plan for Water Gap, River

National Park Service released its Final Visitor Use Management Plan for Delaware Water Gap and Middle Delaware River which features no entrance fees for the Water Gap, multiple improvements and reserved riverside camping permits with daily fees.

National Park Service

Footnotes Fall 2020

  • COVID Heroes
  • Annual Meeting, no dinner!
  • 2021 EC nominations
  • Leadership’s joys and challenges
  • Goldenrod, a joy in fall
  • Highlands Story Map

Footnotes Summer 2020

  • AMC Restart
  • Fall Gathering Postponed
  • Bird of Prey
  • Unlikely Thru-hiker
  • Tree Pandemics
  • Art & Photo Contest Winners

Footnotes Spring 2020

  • A look at Earth Day at 50
  • Elevation gain: what it means
  • Chapter long-term investments
  • Now is the time to volunteer
  • Top leaders and 100 plus milers
  • Three nasty invasive bugs
  • There was snow in the Catskills

The Unlikely Thru-Hiker


An Appalachian Trail Journey by Derick Lugo

Published by AMC Books, 2020

Review by Kathy Kelly-Borowski

Since finishing the Appalachian Trail in 1989, I have read many books on Appalachian Trail hikes. Just some of them include Walking with Spring, Grandma Gatewood’s Walk, A Walk for Sunshine, A Walk in the Woods, Just Passin’ Thru, AWOL on the Appalachian Trail and The Barefoot Sisters Southbound.

It would be no surprise to anyone that I would pick up The Unlikely Thru-Hiker, especially because of its epic cover.

This is the story of Derick’s thru-hike in 2012. What makes Derick an unlikely thru-hiker? Derick is of Puerto Rican and African American heritage, placing him in a distinct minority among thru-hikers. He grew up in New York City, never camping or taking a hike before stepping on the AT.

On March 19, Derick started the Amicalola approach trail, a strenuous 7.8 miles to Springer Mountain, the Southern terminus of the AT. (When I started my AT hike I opted to start at the Springer Mountain parking area and walked one mile south to the trailhead to avoid the approach trail.)

A few days into the hike, Derick is given his trail name ”Mr. Fabulous” because on the trail, as at home, he liked “to stay groomed, fresh and well dressed”.

Mr. Fabulous was the 438th hiker to start the season. He was given the number 438 by the ranger at Katahdin Steam Campground six months later signifying the 438th hiker to finish the trail that season on September 17.

He started his day by touching a white blaze, “showing gratitude and respect for the markers that guided” him through the wilderness.

Mr. Fabulous was true to his thru-hike by hiking every mile of the trail with his backpack and hiking poles. Most hikers including me leave their backpack and poles at the ranger station before the last 5.2 miles to the northern terminus of the trail.

“Free food and showers is definitely the way to a thru-hiker’s heart” is what Derick says about the hiker feed given by the First Baptist Church in Damascus, VA. How true is this statement?

While hiking in PA, Derick gets a text message from his hiking partner for the day, “Can you drown in rocks? Because there is an ocean of them before me!”

Can anyone relate to this? Mr. Fabulous received advice from a guy he meets attending Trail Days in Damascus; “Be kind to all, don’t take your friends for granted, and be memorable.” This is great advice for all of us especially during the current lock down.

This book is well written and entertaining. I had a hard time putting it down. It is a series of short trail stories instead of covering every state he walked through.

Derick remained positive during his trek north. He signed the shelter journals with the phrase “Peace, Love & All That Good Stuff.”

The question the book left me with: Did Mr. Fabulous ever see a moose?

Kathy Kelly-Borowski has led DV Chapter trips for more than three decades. She thru-hiked the AT in 1989. You can read more of her reviews and many other book reviews at

You can purchase this book and others and get a member discount at


Footnotes Winter 2019-2020

  • New activity rating system
  • Appie & Golden Appie awards
  • Winter hiking clothes and gear
  • 2020 outdoor leadership programs
  • Former DV chair now AMC’s treasurer
  • Chapter weekend retrospect
  • August Camp 2020 goes Olympic

National Park Service issues draft plan for Water Gap, invites public comment, schedules meetings

A group hiking with clouds in the background

Plan includes new camp sites, facilities, entrance fees.

The National Park Service has issued a draft Visitor Use Management Plan for the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area and Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River. The draft plan is available for public review and comment for  until December 6, 2019 at their web site.

In addition proposing an to an entrance fee, which has yet to be established, the plan also proposes a park-specific seven-day pass: $25 for a vehicle, $15 for a person, and $20 for a motorcycle,  and a $45 annual pass. The new entrance fee would mean changes to existing amenity fees and the park’s entrance stations. The plan calls for expansion and improvement of visitor facilities and amenities, including additional river camp sites.

In addition to public comment submitted on line and by mail, there will be two public meetings:

Thursday, October 24, 6 – 8 PM, Bushkill Volunteer Fire Company Hall, 124 Evergreen Drive, Bushkill, PA 18324

Saturday, October 26, 1-3 PM, Sussex County Technical School Auditorium, 105 North Church Road, Sparta, NJ 07871

Jane Richter, top mileage hiker two years in a row, active trail worker, Volunteer of the Month


Jane Richter: to some, she seems like the Energizer Bunny in that she shows up every week for hikes, no matter how far away they are or whether they’re an easy canal walk or a mountain climb. She has been the number one AMC-DV member in terms of total mileage for the last two years.

But a lot of people don’t know that she has also been an active volunteer in doing trail work with the Pennsylvania Highlands Trail Stewards and the New Jersey Highlands Trail Crew, working in Ringing Rocks County Park, Veterans’ Park in Quakertown, and all the way up in the Jenny Jump State Forest in New Jersey.

As an active hiker, she appreciates the quality of a well maintained trail and knows that trails don’t maintain themselves, but are maintained by dedicated volunteers like herself. Thanks for pitching in Jane, and congratulations!

Take the Kittatinny Ridge Recognition and Identification Survey

a turtle crawling along the trail

The Kittatinny Ridge (the Ridge) is Pennsylvania’s longest contiguous forested ridge. This long mountain range is familiar to many. It is the large forested expanse that one can view to the left when you travel north on Interstate 81 from the Maryland border and continue east on Interstate 78. It’s where many go to play, relax, enjoy nature, and get away from it all. Click here for more information and to take the survey.

Footnotes Fall 2019

  • Trail running
  • DV to host 2020 Fall Gathering
  • Two years of tree planting
  • Highlands trail adds new section
  • August Camp 2019

Footnotes Summer 2019

  • Glen Onoko Trail Closed
  • ID Chestnut Trees
  • Water Safety Course Offered
  • Summer Reading Group
  • New Leaders 2019
  • Meet the Ridge Runner

Footnotes Spring 2019

  • DV leaders earn four club-wide awards
  • Land & Water Conservation Fund renewed
  • Original keepers of our national parks
  • New New Jersey guide book by DV author
  • Tree planting: good and fun
  • Outdoor leadership learning opportunities
  • Top leaders & 100-plus milers

The Sun Is a Compass


A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds

By Caroline Van Hemert. Little, Brown Spark, 2019

Book review by Kathy Kelly-Borowski

If you like stories of adventures, have an interest in birds, paddling or the Arctic this book is worth reading. Caroline holds a PhD in biology, and her special expertise is birds. Her husband and travel companion, Pat Farrell, builds homes.

In their early thirties, the couple set out on an expedition of 4,000 miles from the Pacific rainforest to the Arctic coast.

“No roads, no trails, and no motors. We would travel by foot, on skis, in rowboats, rafts, and canoes. We would use only our own muscles to carry us through some of the wildest places left on earth.”

For 176 days, they traveled from Bellingham, Washington to Kotzebue, Alaska. Caroline and Pat spent hundreds of hours in a small tent, with no doors, no privacy and no facilities. They encountered mosquitoes, mountain goats, moose, bear, sea lions, whales, caribou and countless species of birds. They were tired, hungry, and hurting most of the trip, but they had to travel twenty plus miles a day to complete the trek in six months. In the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, they learned to trust the caribou instincts.

“And so, crossing this river has become necessary, in the way that it’s necessary to kiss a lover before leaving, to pause and look up when the moon is rising. Our bodies know what is essential and what is not.”

Before starting this adventure on March 17, 2012, the couple had climbed, skied, paddled, and explored together for more than 10 years. They spent a year planning this backcountry expedition. During this time, Pat was busy building the canoes they used at the start of their trip. Caroline was planning and packing their food. By the time they started in Washington, time had run out and the boats had not touched water and they had not had a chance to operate them.

Weather was an issue for much of the trip: snow, strong winds and rain. Due to a route change they were low on food and the weather caused a delay of their only air resupply. When it finally arrived and they moved on, they experienced a view of the western Arctic caribou herd migration. This almost made being stuck waiting for their needed food worthwhile. On September 9, the duo completed what had been a dream for years.

As people find trail magic along the Appalachian and other long distances trails, Caroline and Pat found locals who were willing to help them out with knowledge of the area, equipment, lodging and food. Learning that people are kind was the most valuable lesson I learned when I hiked the Appalachian Trail. Kindness was found in the people I travelled with and that of complete strangers.

For route information and pictures from the trip:

Book website:

Kathy Kelly-Borowski is a long-distance hiker completing the Appalachian, Long Trail, John Muir and Wonderland Trails. She has hiked in the Canadian Rockies, did a section of the Colorado Trail, walked Rim to Rim of the Grand Canyon, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Pichu in Peru along with the Milford and Routeburn Tracks in New Zealand. Kathy has visited Alaska, Scotland, Slovenia, Antarctica and Hokkaido, Japan.


Footnotes Winter 2018

  • Appie Awards
  • Mohican a gem
  • Leadership workshops
  • Hiking history review
  • 45 years on the AT
  • Lonesome Lake family
  • August Camp 2019

Footnotes Fall 2018

  • Conservation fund expiring
  • Freya Stark, explorer
  • Leadership learning programs
  • Review: The Adventure Gap
  • Fall Gathering in Connecticut
  • August Camp photos and story

Footnotes Summer 2018

  • Hiking in a strange land
  • Enslaved explorer on Lewis & Clark Expedition
  • I love to hike
  • Leadership grads 2018
  • Trail crews at work
  • Ridge runner 2018

Footnotes Spring 2018

  • DV Chapter leaders earn top honors at AMC annual meeting
  • Matthew Henson, story of a polar explorer
  • Trekking Iceland with AMC Mountain Leadership School skills
  • Mohican Getaways for kids
  • Outdoor Leadership Workshop April 6-8
  • Top activities leaders and participants of 2017
  • Hiking, paddling skills programs, and more!

Footnotes Winter 2017-2018

  • Hiking the AT in 20 years
  • Winter hiking workshops
  • More on chestnut trees
  • Appie Awards
  • Watching the AT
  • Memorial tree
  • Winter waterfowl
  • Highlands Trail
  • August Camp 2018

Footnotes Fall 2017

  • Goldenrod
  • American Chestnut
  • Diversity
  • Leadership training
  • Climate Change
  • Ruby Harwood, first woman AMC president, 1917-2017
  • August Camp, a personal view
  • Summer on the river

Footnotes Summer 2017

  • Fireflies
  • The building of the LeRoy Smith Shelter
  • A dock for everyone
  • Rich Wells remembered
  • Ridge Runner 2017
  • How to fix a flat bicycle tire
  • Backpacking, solo canoe, swiftwater workshops

Footnotes Spring 2017

  • Top leaders & participants
  • Volunteers keep trails open
  • Outdoor leadership training
  • Leaders: using Meetup
  • Custom activities lists
  • and more!

Footnotes Winter 2016 – 2017

  • Winter hiking
  • Free XC skiing
  • Winter things to do
  • Dave Simpson’s legacy
  • Hike that helped others
  • Outdoor leadership
  • Appie Awards

Footnotes Summer 2016

  • Highland Trail Stewards
  • Ian Kindle: State park Educator of the Year
  • Leadership training graduated 29
  • Become a Mohican getaway leader
  • Mountains of the Heart review

Footnotes Spring 2016

  • Bald eagles!
  • Leroy Smith Shelter roof
  • New leader training
  • Gear swap
  • Activity awards social
  • Highlands Trail progress
  • PennEast Pipeline update
  • Kent Johnson remembered

Harriman State Park


In 2016, DV Chapter members became involved with leading chapter trips at the new AMC facility at Harriman State Park. The success of the Stephen & Betsy Corman AMC Harriman Outdoor Center has led to the addition of a second facility at Harriman, which is expected to open in 2023.

Footnotes Winter 2015-2016

  • Where to XC ski
  • AMC mid-Atlantic office moves to historic mill
  • New Highlands trail crew
  • Leader training programs
  • New Mohican Managers
  • Gear swap planned
  • Boot failure repeat and update