The mountains sound like you

This is the last post for the Soudbytes zine, issue 2, “The Mountains.”

My own response to the question ‘Search and Rescue in the Whites’ was too long for me to afford to print but it’s been published by Misadventures Magazine. Please give it a read!

Thank you everyone for contributing to the zine and get going on all those beautiful submissions for round 3! The next question is ‘how does home sound?’ As usual, any and all answers are welcomed! A submission guarantees you a copy of the next issue.

Send them to me at 2121 13th Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55404 or It’s really best to keep the US Postal Service in business so snail mail is the way to go.

Lesson 1: expect the unexpected Lesson 2: just do it
Lesson 1: expect the unexpected
Lesson 2: just do it

The mountains echo with heartbeats

sound so high
tone too steep
cry of cliff
echo of awe
The poem above was submitted to the zine by Matt Soza of Laconia, New Hampshire. It’s simple and poignent words are accompanied by Matt Lanoue’s photographs of Gilford, New Hampshire. Lanoue wrote described his photographs to me in an email: “The first is a picture of Kimball Castle. The mountains here tell the story of New Hampshire history. One simply has to stop and listen. The second is a waterfall taken on the top of a mountain. It’s sound is the heartbeat of the mountain. A rhythm few people ever hear.”

The mountains make sound slowly

2015-09-08 15.18.132015-09-08 15.17.51

In the White Mountains slow communication is really the only communication. Most of the AMC huts are at least 3 miles up the trail, out of cell service, and certainly not in WiFi proximity. Daily morning radio calls keep the hut staffs in communication with each other and the home base AMC offices at Pinkham Notch. On our bi-weekly truck trips, we filled the box truck with at least 100 boxes, and 9 oversized canvas green envelopes. In the boxes is the hut food for the next 3-4 days, and in the envelope is the mail. Hut croos pack their own envelopes down from the hut which include guest and croo communications. In Storehouse, we’re responsible for sorting this mail which comes down from the huts. I must have delivered thousands of letters! Hut croos send a specific kind of note (in Storehouse we called them love notes but the croos called them truck notes) which is often wrapped up in or written on the boxboard packaging the food in their hut. Most popular were the Annie’s Mac n’ Cheese boxes, prized for the flexible yet durable composition.

This zine submission came down from Hannah at Zealand Falls Hut in mid-July, a happy surprise in the green envelope. These are home made stamps printed with ink on the inside of Snickers bar boxes.

The mountains sound like silence

The mountains sound like
Carabiners clinking on metal pots and zippers
Jolly rancher wrappers being scrunched into some tiny pocket
Metal cables creaking as the bear bag is pulled high into the air
Water rushing downhill over rocks
Leaves crunching underfoot
And occasional silence that makes the sounds and thoughts in your head become silent too.
Above is a poem submitted from Emma Koeppel, a Beloit College student, Wisconsinite, and native landscaper. The photo is of Mikayla Clarke, (sister, hiker and New Hampshire Native) on the Appalachian Trail during her thru-hike this spring/summer.