RMC Cabin Fee Increase

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peakbagger

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FYI, The price to stay a night at Gray Knob or Crag Camp is now up to $50 a night for non members and $30 a night for members (Hint, become a member before staying there ;))
Pretty simple, the costs to fully staff a caretaker over the winter has gone up as they now have to pay higher wages to compete. They also need to fly up tons of biobricks to Gray Knob to heat the building as they no longer can cut wood in the woods around the huts per their forest service permit. I think they also had to institute a new heating policy at Gray Knob a few years ago to keep the building interior over freezing 24/7 as the former approach of only heating it in the evening was causing damage to the building. (Hikers covered with snow come in after day of hiking, they hang up their clothes to dry them out, the humidity level in the building goes up and then it condenses inside the walls and freezes during the day). In addition to the biobricks they also need to fly in bark chips to run the composting toilets.

In general, it is a small club that choses to support a paid seasonal skilled trail crew that is more than a paint and brush crew, they do serious trail hardening and rebuild work. It does a lot without full time staff and are very low key at fundraising.

The most recent newsletter describes a rescue of a Canadian Hiker with hypothermia this summer that did not make the news but very easily could have as a fatality. If there is accident in the northern presidentials, the caretaker is most likely to be in or near the lead either solo or eventually backed up several hours later by F&G SAR.
 
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FYI, The price to stay a night at Gray Knob or Crag Camp is now up to $50 a night for non members and $30 a night for members (Hint, become a member before staying there ;))
Pretty simple, the costs to fully staff a caretaker over the winter has gone up as they now have to pay higher wages to compete. They also need to fly up tons of biobricks to Gray Knob to heat the building as they no longer can cut wood in the woods around the huts per their forest service permit. I think they also had to institute a new heating policy at Gray Knob a few years ago to keep the building interior over freezing 24/7 as the former approach of only heating it in the evening was causing damage to the building. (Hikers covered with snow come in after day of hiking, they hang up their clothes to dry them out, the humidity level in the building goes up and then it condenses inside the walls and freezes during the day). In addition to the biobricks they also need to fly in bark chips to run the composting toilets.

In general, it is a small club that choses to support a paid seasonal skilled trail crew that is more than a paint and brush crew, they do serious trail hardening and rebuild work. It does a lot without full time staff and are very low key at fundraising.

The most recent newsletter describes a rescue of a Canadian Hiker with hypothermia this summer that did not make the news but very easily could have as a fatality. If there is accident in the northern presidentials, the caretaker is most likely to be in or near the lead either solo or eventually backed up several hours later by F&G SAR.
Those Bricks are interesting. As per their FB page it takes multiple air lift runs to get those bricks up there to the tune of tons of pounds. I guess the price of things was bound to creep up. Although it is nice to see those funds being funneled directly back into maintaining the immediate area. Which is more than I can say for the AMC who leases on public/federal lands, charges the public for the use of their facilities and then spends the profits to support their political agenda. The AMC could learn a lot from the RMC but of course I have been saying that for decades.
 
Which is more than I can say for the AMC who leases on public/federal lands, charges the public for the use of their facilities and then spends the profits to support their political agenda.

So the AMC hut croo do not do work on the immediate areas about them? I was under the impression the staff at each location had to maintain trails in their given areas.

Yes, those environmentalists are awful!
 
So the AMC hut croo do not do work on the immediate areas about them? I was under the impression the staff at each location had to maintain trails in their given areas.

Yes, those environmentalists are awful!
Never said The AMC did not do work in the immediate area. What I am saying is the profit from the Huts income goes to further their political agenda which much of the time is occurring elsewhere and potentially not the agenda or beliefs of the patrons in the area that the money is collected. Plain and simple if you don’t like it don’t stay at their facilities. Also the last time I checked I believe the Shelters and Trails were a different part of the AMC’s budget than Huts. Here in lies where one must do there homework. By the way The Hut’s lease is coming up. Maybe a good time to study up.
 
Never said The AMC did not do work in the immediate area. What I am saying is the profit from the Huts income goes to further their political agenda which much of the time is occurring elsewhere and potentially not the agenda or beliefs of the patrons in the area that the money is collected. Plain and simple if you don’t like it don’t stay at their facilities. Also the last time I checked I believe the Shelters and Trails were a different part of the AMC’s budget than Huts. Here in lies where one must do there homework. By the way The Hut’s lease is coming up. Maybe a good time to study up.

Amen. I joined back when you needed two sponsors to become a member. The Club was focused on the mountains, hiking, trails, shelters, canoeing, etc. Once they veered off to become Sierra Club wannabees, I ceased membership.
 
Amen. I joined back when you needed two sponsors to become a member. The Club was focused on the mountains, hiking, trails, shelters, canoeing, etc. Once they veered off to become Sierra Club wannabees, I ceased membership.

Pretty much followed the same timeline and mentality. I especially did not like that coupled with the all knowing and arrogant attitude. Although I do think they have been making more of an effort to work on their curb appeal. Unfortunately for them it seems that pissing people off dating back to the 60's is going to take a lot more to get where there is a wider array of support for them. As the baby boomer population is aging so is the club. They really need to adapt or their operation is just going to become more and more exclusive.
 
Pretty much followed the same timeline and mentality. I especially did not like that coupled with the all knowing and arrogant attitude. Although I do think they have been making more of an effort to work on their curb appeal. Unfortunately for them it seems that pissing people off dating back to the 60's is going to take a lot more to get where there is a wider array of support for them. As the baby boomer population is aging so is the club. They really need to adapt or their operation is just going to become more and more exclusive.

But, but they have that stylish new logo, which was the straw that broke the camel's back, for me.
 
I'm surprised there is not more howling here about the RMC's $50 a night price increase. Ya gotta be RICH to stay there. :)

As a non-member I can enjoy a January night at Zealand or Carter for less than I can at unheated/uninsulated Crag. ($50 vs. $37). Yikes!

QUESTION -- How come you guys give the RMC a pass on this and whack the AMC over every little thing?

QUESTION for Peakbagger -- Does RMC own the land under their facilities as in-holdings in the WMNF?
 
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RMC does not own the land under the cabins, the original cabin owners did have some lease rights. I think much of the land on the north side of Adams was at one time Brown or Libby land so my guess is they were leases. Once the USFS bought the land the camps were handed to the club and treated like AMC which incidentally does own the land under Madison Hut in fee. Note the AMC does not own the land under the Madison hut septic system. RMC has to file for and receive and renew a special use permit for their facilities on Mt Adams, they must be open to the public. As I mentioned they used to be able to heat the hut with wood cut nearby but at some point the permit was changed to require flying in fuel. They also have to maintain with a lot to time and effort a low temperature waste composting system at no charge at Grey Knob and Crag Camp. Unlike the AMC, RMC's budget is pretty simple. Generally, the contention is that the social aspects of the club subsidize, the actual trail crews and huts. They also have no paid year round staff unlike the AMC and with the exception of Stearns Lodge for the trail crew and the adjacent tool shed, they dont have any facilities in the valley. Capital upgrades to the huts are usually a special fundraiser, so the cost for the huts is the cost for caretakers, and operating supplies like bark chips for the composter and biobricks for the Gray Knob stove. Included in the cost is generally a trained S&R first responder living just below treeline in winter, a service that AMC has never offered, and the Obs no longer supports.
 
Pretty much followed the same timeline and mentality. I especially did not like that coupled with the all knowing and arrogant attitude. Although I do think they have been making more of an effort to work on their curb appeal. Unfortunately for them it seems that pissing people off dating back to the 60's is going to take a lot more to get where there is a wider array of support for them. As the baby boomer population is aging so is the club. They really need to adapt or their operation is just going to become more and more exclusive.

Dang straight. 'Specially since defenders of free market capitalism never ever cop an all-knowing and arrogant attitude and never ever seek to piss of their critics, right?
 
I'm surprised there is not more howling here about the RMC's $50 a night price increase. Ya gotta be RICH to stay there. :)

As a non-member I can enjoy a January night at Zealand or Carter for less than I can at unheated/uninsulated Crag. ($50 vs. $37). Yikes!

QUESTION -- How come you guys give the RMC a pass on this and whack the AMC over every little thing?

Because they are the AMC!:eek::D:) Not much of a price increase considering the extended timeline and relevant to subsequent price increases. To more directly answer your question it's not about the amount of money but the way it is used by the AMC. I think I have already stated my concerns in this thread about the administrative distribution of the AMC's coiffeurs. I appreciate the transparency of The RMC's agenda. The AMC has agendas of their own within its inner management that I do not agree with. Also their ignorance of not only non-member sentiment but of paying members and patrons also. Just take a look at the new Logo aka "Stickman". That has been widely frowned upon and it was a program instituted internally rather than polling and getting input from members. Guess what? It's been a failure. I won't support that.
 
Because they are the AMC!:eek::D:) Just take a look at the new Logo aka "Stickman".

Maybe in retrospect a "Stickman" was oddly appropriate from a certain perspective. They just got the posture wrong....:p
 
But, but they have that stylish new logo, which was the straw that broke the camel's back, for me.

You mean the one that looks like a transgender bathroom sign? Clearly the AMC is trying to bridge the gap, from old white rich people from Boston, to a diverse group inclusive of the new generation's philosophies. I'm skeptical that they will succeed, but I really don't have a horse in the race. I grew up hiking in the Whites and never felt the desire to join.
 
Because they are the AMC!:eek::D:) Not much of a price increase considering the extended timeline and relevant to subsequent price increases. To more directly answer your question it's not about the amount of money but the way it is used by the AMC. I think I have already stated my concerns in this thread about the administrative distribution of the AMC's coiffeurs. I appreciate the transparency of The RMC's agenda. The AMC has agendas of their own within its inner management that I do not agree with. Also their ignorance of not only non-member sentiment but of paying members and patrons also. Just take a look at the new Logo aka "Stickman". That has been widely frowned upon and it was a program instituted internally rather than polling and getting input from members. Guess what? It's been a failure. I won't support that.

I think a lot of White Mountain "locals" and other denizens of the North Country resent the AMC's expanded focus into Maine, NY, NJ etc. Good lord, Harriman a mere 40 miles from the Big Apple... and served by mass transit no less! Greenville Maine / AT corridor, so far away, what's the point of that?

You can grouse about logos and stick figures all you want, but when it comes to acquiring and conserving land, making efforts to get under represented populations active in the outdoors, or partnering with state and federal agencies to further conservation and land use policy, there's no comparison.

The RMC is a really great organization, but its impact is limited to the shady side of the northern Presies.

The AMC is a juggernaut and non-profit corporation operating on many fronts with many initiatives any many "agendas."

And if you don't think the AMC is well run, take a look at Maine Huts and Trails for an object lesson in how a hut system can quickly crash and burn.

The AMC ain't perfect for sure, but the net good it accomplishes offset (for me) that stickman logo.

Hey, maybe it really is time for a gender-neutral hiker logo. Why the hell not?!?
 
AMC seems to have missed out on REIs direct largess; National Forest Foundation moved into the area with almost no prior presence and got direct funding from REI. I think they may have led the Lost Pond Trail bog bridges project directly across from Pinkham?.

First rule of nonprofits is they have to grow, and the logical growth is a larger geographic area. It looks like the Harriman deal is some donor had money they wanted to donate, and the space was available so why not? Nothing ventured nothign gained and they keep a donor happy. The Mohican Center near Delaware Water Gap seems to have been a bust. It's an old Boy Scout camp on land owned by the federal government so the carrying costs are cheap but a bit out of the way. For a place that should depend on folks from NYC, the lack of any public transportation sort of dooms it. I think it was a $50 cab ride 15 years ago to get from the nearest transportation hub to the center.

The AMC Maine project was greenwashing for Plum Creek and the desire for AMC to control their own destiny on their own land and land under their control. Thrown in with the deal were three old sporting camps that probably had outlived their clients. If they were on owned land some out of stater would have snapped them up for a private reserve but with AMC owning the land there was not a lot of value. Unfortunately, if you build it, they will come seemed to work better in a corn field than in the home of the black fly, the Maine woods. Glamping near wilderness ponds is nice but its long haul from Boston with closer options. That part of the AT in Maine has its beauty spots but wide open summits are in short supply. Borestone Mountain is probably the nicest property in the area but Maine Audobon has had it since 1958 and they are not letting it go anytime soon. The club has a dedicated donor base and buying the Maine land and subsequent additional parcels has not been a problem, finding enough guests reportedly has been the challenge.

In general AMC has been throwing the proverbial projects for a couple of decades against the wall and hoping they will stick. I think Highland Center had been successful once they replaced the roof (I never did find out who paid for that problem). Crystal Cascade was a fiasco but no doubt they redirected the donors to other projects. I do find that AMC has been noticeably absent in the recent large number of land conservation actions in the Mahoosucs, many led by Sally Mannikan a former AMC employee that seemed to be on the fast track in the organization before parting ways. AMC did help in the background 35 years ago with the now struggling Androscoggin River Watershed Council that probably kickstarted the Mahoosuc Land Trust but after a rough start, MLT seems to be quite separate from any AMC influence these days. AMC has not been in the picture despite many of the properties being quite close to their backyard.

RMC has worked hard to stay small with no full timers and very limited scope. They luckily do not need to concentrate on land acquisition as the Randolph Community Forest along with the WMNF and the RCF assisted Pond of Safety tract acquisition by the WMNF means that Randolph is effectively an inholding to a very large block of conserved land. Thanks to some super dedicated volunteers over the years they have pulled it off. When a permanent location for the trail crew was being sought, there was some pressure to build it out into a Pinkham type facility with lodging for visiting RMC members. No doubt they could have gotten the funding as their donor base has been loyal over the years, but the club directors knew that supporting such a facility would have led to the need for professional management and once in place that individual would try to grow the organization as their career progression depends on growth. If the growth doesnt happen, then the position ends up as a stopping point on someone's career progression. The ultimate Stearns lodge has only lodging for one winter caretaker on their time off and the trail crew stay in tents on platforms in the surrounding woods all summer. As it was, the Stearns Lodge project burned out one of their most effective volunteers who stepped way back from the organization.

MHT was another if you will build it they will come supported by large sums from the former CEO and CFO of Beans. Unfortunately there was no organization in the background to drive customers to it and no endowments to cover the rough years. If AMC was not so invested in their Maine Woods program, I wouldn't be surprised if they ended up with the MHT facilities. I wonder the ultimate disposition of the assets if MHT cant make a go of it? But probably a discussion for another day.
 
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You can grouse about logos and stick figures all you want, but when it comes to acquiring and conserving land, making efforts to get under represented populations active in the outdoors, or partnering with state and federal agencies to further conservation and land use policy, there's no comparison.

The RMC is a really great organization, but its impact is limited to the shady side of the northern Presies.

The AMC is a juggernaut and non-profit corporation operating on many fronts with many initiatives any many "agendas."
!?
That’s just it. The AMC has to have its finger in everyone else’s pie to their own benefit in the end. Indeed, the conservation is good. Although you're not getting my buck from here and go do what you want with it over there.
 
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MHT was another if you will build it they will come supported by large sums from the former CEO and CFO of Beans. Unfortunately there was no organization in the background to drive customers to it and no endowments to cover the rough years. If AMC was not so invested in their Maine Woods program, I wouldn't be surprised if they ended up with the MHT facilities. I wonder the ultimate disposition of the assets if MHT cant make a go of it? But probably a discussion for another day.

When I was volunteering for MHT, I talked to a guest who had stayed at the AMC camps in Maine as well as MHT. She preferred the AMC camps because they had hot tubs and saunas. From the emails I still get from MHT asking for Volunteers to man the huts, it seems to be all volunteer now. The wife and I kinda lost interest in the organization when they fired the last paid employee, Sue Davis. She is a force of nature that has very strong opinions and she and Wolf Tone butted heads on the direction MHT should go.
 
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