For adventurers, the mountains are always calling. But nowadays, you should probably ignore that call until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. To help hikers resist the urge to climb, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) announced that if you hike one of the New England mountains the group oversees, it will not officially count toward completing your lists.
According to its official website, “Effective Monday, April 13 and continuing until the authorities in each state have lifted stay-at-home orders, we will not be accepting peaks ascended during this time period for the lists that we oversee: the White Mountain 4000-footer list (including the four-season award), the New England 4000-footer list, and the New England Hundred Highest list. In other words, any ascent made from now through the time that the stay-at-home orders are lifted will not ‘count’ towards the completion of any of these lists.”
The policy was enacted to discourage large numbers of people from defying lockdown orders and congregating on trails, putting themselves and other hikers at risk. The AMC also cautions hikers that conditions on the mountains are particularly hazardous this spring, and that first responders may not be as readily available.
Currently, stay-at-home orders are in place through May 4 in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, May 15 in Vermont, and May 1 in Maine — but these dates could be extended.