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  1. #21
    ME => GA 19AT3 rickb's Avatar
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    Marlboro, MA
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    Courses serve all sorts of good purposes-- not the least of which might be to give some the confidence to move forward with thier hikes.

    Others help insure success.

    That can be measured, too. Those taking Warren Doyle's course enjoy a tremendously high completion rate, for example.

    While it is a high bar to reach, Snorkle has the hiking experience to achieve similar results over the coming years. If she does, that would be another remarkable feather in her cap.

  2. #22


    Quote Originally Posted by rickb View Post
    That can be measured, too. Those taking Warren Doyle's course enjoy a tremendously high completion rate, for example.
    I believe the success of Doyle's course is the hands on experience. Can that be duplicated by an online course? I suppose time will tell.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  3. #23
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Front Range Zoo, Colorado


    Quote Originally Posted by Lyle View Post
    Unfortunately, she will be indoctrinating a new generation of backpackers to "speed hiking". Great.
    I know Liz very well (she's been in my living room a few times now. Think that qualifies) . While she can be a speedy hiker, I sincerely doubt she will "indoctrinate" that her way is the one, true way to hike. If anything, students will catch her enthusiasm for the outdoors.

    And, yes, it is $299..but some people want a class, instruction, etc. As others pointed out, it may save money. I paid $250 for my EMS 5500 back in 1996 (or $380 in today' dollar...yowsers) as just one example.

    I am excited for her and for those who think it is something they want.

    Also, the reach is more than the AT. The lessons will apply to any long trail.
    Last edited by Mags; 01-02-2016 at 16:21.
    Paul "Mags" Magnanti
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    The true harvest of my life is intangible...a little stardust caught,a portion of the rainbow I have clutched -Thoreau

  4. #24


    This is:


    what Tipi said.

    in closing
    "You search out my paths and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways." Ps 139

  5. #25


    Hah! Seemingly a correlation of age and shunning of such courses.... but this old fart thinks such instruction is fantastic for building enthusiasm for these endeavors. The real learning comes from experience, but such courses are a great jump start.

    Our colorado mountain club teaches a fantastic suite of courses from trekking to ice climbing to high altitude mountaineering and our club members response to these courses has always been very positive. Same principle; the actual courses provide the jump start.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Golden, CO


    I wish Snorkel well in this endeavor. If you meet Liz, hear her talk, see her smile, see her around other hikers, you know her heart is in a good place. There's no evil indoctrination plot going on!

    As far as taking newbie courses go, I'm all for it and it's great to see the availability. Coincident with the start of my backpacking career, I took a survival course in Boulder from this guy (may he RIP). I took courses in avalanche safety from the CAIC. A few years ago I was involved with the Arizona Trail Assn and helped give free classes at Phoenix REI stores for AZT wanna-bes. They were all packed, energetic, and lots of fun (and patently non-commercial, since REI sells practically none of the stuff in my pack).

    It's nice to think everyone can self-develop the skills to walk out into the woods and walk out safely again a week or so later. But many can't or won't and have no way of gaining them without paying for tuition. If you get the hiking bug and nobody else in your family or community has it, where do you learn? If we could all learn stuff on our own, there would be no schools. I like the example of reading a book about swimming then jumping in the water.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  7. #27
    Registered User
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    Georgia and Hawaii


    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    I believe the success of Doyle's course is the hands on experience. Can that be duplicated by an online course? I suppose time will tell.
    Well, Warren's ATI class success has something to do with him having romped up and down the AT from end to end some 16 times too!!!

    Warren's $300 class(donation) is focused on LD backpacking on the AT not backpacking in general. Lots of carry over but still AT focused.

  8. #28


    Thankfully fer Liz, I don't think grumpy farts with a few decades of hiking experience are the target audience.

    Some learn by readin, some by doing, some only honor edumacation earned from the school of hard knocks, some folks are just stubborn and ain't learned much at all really...

    Fer those who don't learn that way...

    An IPhone costs $600+ and at best lasts you two years.
    If a $300 class can get you out on a long trail successfully, you'll have a lifetime of enjoyment from it.

    More importantly the trail may get more hikers from a generation who generally lacks the opportunities and avenues that most of us took when we got started.

    I'll gladly thank and respect any who have come before me, and care only slightly if you got here as an Eagle Scout, slugging beer, running on a crew, or sittin in a slightly mobile tipi.
    My children will heartily appreciate those folks who find their way on the trail now, and likely won't give a damn how they got there truth be told, they'll just care that they stuck around.

    If you got a better plan to pass on your knowledge please step up and do so.

    All our trails need lifelong friends, not unprepared dreamers who run back to town after a week.
    I think it's a shame so many show up at the door looking to get in and end up going back to town for lack of little more than a couple of days of basic education that most here could share if they cared to do so.

    An if'n you value your time on the trail so much, why would you get in the way of any looking to do the same?

  9. #29


    Some people had the unfortunate birth circumstances of being born to city folk. They haven't been exposed to what you might consider "common" in your sense and would like to learn a little more before they run willy nilly into the wilderness so that they and those around them can enjoy it more on their first tries instead of spending it all learning lessons the hard way. We didn't all get grow up being Boy Scouts or living off the land, gathering knowledge from our forefathers.

    I think it's a great idea.

  10. #30


    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    If a $300 class can get you out on a long trail successfully, you'll have a lifetime of enjoyment from it.
    Well said Just Bill. The sentence quoted above is me. I did some peak bagging in my youth out in Colorado, but when middle age settled in, and family responsibilities took over, the most we did was the occasional day hike or a weekend at an AMC lodge. I felt intimidated by the idea of going out into the woods overnight.

    So I took a class though my local chapter of the AMC on hiking and backpacking that included a group hike of my first 4000 footer in NH, and was hooked. I did some hiking on my own and as my confidence grew began to do overnights to AMC huts with my daughters.

    Next I took a Wilderness First Aid class, which gave me the confidence to do multi night hut-to-hut hikes with the entire family.

    After that I did a seminar with JPD (my wife and daughters also did the class). That got us comfortable with staying in a tent or shelter. This had a huge impact on all of us, both the information Jen provided and her enthusaiam for hiking (it is infectious).

    Now, my teenage daughters like nothing more than to grab the tent and head out with me for a hike on the AT in the Whites. My wife will even stay in a tent. I have taken up winter hiking, with I do with a growing group of friends who had little experience hiking before I dragged them along. Our family summer vacations are planned around a week of hiking at the AMC's Cold River Camp ( I serve as a hike leader at CRC which, in part, involves helping others get more comfortable with and knowledgable about hiking.

    Most importantly, hiking has become a passion that keeps me in shape, keeps me positive, keeps me balanced, and has provided wonderful moments with my wife and daughters.

    All because my wife got me to sign up for an AMC hiking class.

    We need more people who care about the trails and know how to hike in a way that is respectful to fellow hikers and the environment. Classes, if done right, will only help with this goal. I am living proof of it. I really don't understand why others would be critical of Snorkel doing an online class that will only encourage others to join the ranks of those who love the AT and other trails. Maybe it will not help you, but it will certainly be very useful to others.

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