Our Mission and History
The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of America’s Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. As part of the AMC organization, the Boston Chapter Mountaineering Club supports this mission with a specific emphasis on rock, ice, and alpine climbing in New England. We sustain a longstanding tradition of community involvement through instructional programs, events, and support for climbing area access.
The AMC was established in 1876 by Edward Pickering and 33 other outdoor enthusiasts. Early work including building trails, huts, and advocating for preservation. As early as the 1890’s, a sub-set of climbers from the AMC began exploration of the Canadian Rockies and French Alps. Bringing new techniques back to New England, AMC climbers explored popular climbing areas including Cannon Cliff, Mt. Washington's Huntington Ravine, North Conway's Whitehorse Ledge and Mt. Katahdin in Maine. Adventurous AMC climbers like Miriam and Robert Underhill and Stephen Henderson were instrumental in exploring untouched rock faces throughout New England in the 1920’s. In 1937, New England’s first climbing guide detailing 13 routes was distributed amongst AMC climbers.
By the 1960’s modern improvements in equipment helped AMC climbers establish increasingly difficult routes. In the following decade, famous AMC climber, “Hot” Henry Barber, singlehandedly helped raise the climbing standard worldwide, beginning with a slew impressive first ascents in New Hampshire up to the grade of 5.11. Over the years, the AMC has continued to educate future generations of impressive climbers on cliffs as small as those at Hammond Pond. The Boston Chapter Mountaineering Committee has also been integral in the development of new climbing areas and the preservation of lands where access has been threatened, including Farley Ledges, Quincy Quarries, and Eagle Bluffs.
It is from this rich history that our committee has evolved its modern programs and events. We continue to espouse the same spirit of exploration, adventure, and quality instruction that our predecessors had in forming the New England climbing community that we know today.
The Crux is a print newsletter that is distributed to the AMC climbing community between two to four times per year. It features articles, photos and trip reports from AMC climbers as well as committee and event updates. All contributions are welcome, especially climbing photos and articles averaging 500 words. To be included in the mailing list for the Crux or to make a contribution, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.