How long has VFTT been in existence?

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Super Moderator
Staff member
VFTT Supporter
Sep 3, 2003
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Gorham NH
Talking to Dave Metsky in Lexington this weekend, we were trying to determine how long the forum has been running?. It came to prominence post Ice storm of 1998 and I think it had been running at least a year before which would put it in 1997. The First Gathering was also in the fall of 1998. I think a lot of us were on both the AMC long departed forums and VFTT before the AMC moderation got too onerous and there was a mass shift to VFTT. My guess is I got to VFTT via a link from Dave's Hike the Whites site. So my guess is possibly 25 years which is "forever: for the internet;).

I think I got on soon after Darren had shut down the other forums, rock and ice climbing?) on the site but there may have been some overlap. I do remember talking with Darren at the last sparsely attended official Gathering in Eustis, that he and his partner wanted to make a profit off the site by selling ads linked to page views but at the time advertisers had no interest in advertising on the internet;)

Anyone have any better records of the start? Note I am referring to the original VFTT pre crash. The crash was a major reset where all the archived posts were lost and members had to reregister but it had been running for few years prior to that event.
The original VFTT was at and the very first trip report was a Guyot backpacking trip dated 10/16/1995. I'm not sure that part of the site was active before 1996, though. Dave's White Mountain site, the AMC forums, and VFTT were about all there was.
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I am pretty certain I first joined in 1995. It was the very first website I ever bookmarked.
I recall visiting the old text-based site back in 1995, and possibly a year or two earlier. I was so excited when I found it.
I recall visiting the old text-based site back in 1995, and possibly a year or two earlier. I was so excited when I found it.

Same here. Summer of 1995. With 14.4kbs dial-up!
I remember the lexicomm days and I organized a couple of hikes with members. The first trip I did with Chomp was 1/30/99. I doubt either of us would have volunteered to do a winter hike with a stranger after just a few weeks online so at least as far back as 1999 prior to his Thru-Hike. Back in the early days there was a rec-climbing section too and there was more discussions on South America, and out west. One of the first members we lost was on Shasta, Zippy, I think was his screen name). I believe that was back in 2003, I recall a helicopter crash and found a story back in 2003 of a crash while searching. Several of the rec-climbing members went out to search.

We had some epic rants from members like Danhedonia and Machimoodus. Machi I met as he grew up where I live now, he went state highpointing for a while and met his wife while out west. Dan was very passionate and was a fan of mountaineering in SA and Mexico as flights to some places were cheaper than flying to Denver or CA for trips to the Rockies. Between here and on the AMC boards Dave and I must have answered 100+ questions on what to bring to Mt. Washington, why it was a poor choice to bring non-hiking friends on their first hike and all that weather stuff is just hype too.
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As I recall part of Darren’s hoped for revenue stream from the site was selling his mountain photography of the Whites and elsewhere.

In the Lexicomm era service could be spotty and was pretty slow.

And in reality Metzky’s site might very well have given birth to VFTT. Congrats Dave!
Darren started VFTT on it's own. When the AMC forums turned into the Wild West, longtime users will recall that we inherited the now former-members who's goal was to troll and cause problems here. Took Darren and I much of a year to clean house. Happy that Dave was asked to join as a moderator and thrilled that Tim too over as the admin when Darren retired from VFTT.