The Museum of the White Mountains Presents, “To the Extremes: The Geology of Adventure in the White Mountains” in North Conway March 28 – May 28

March 12th, 2013 by blyndes

A hiker admires the beautiful vistas of the White Mountains. Photo courtesy Jerry Monkman

Plymouth, N.H. – New Hampshire’s White Mountains are home to some of the world’s best outdoor recreational opportunities; skiing, hiking and rock climbing draw hundreds of thousands of visitors every year to the region’s glistening ski slopes, rock-strewn summits and green river valleys formed by Mother Nature in a fascinating series of geologic events starting more than 400 million years ago.

Plymouth State University’s Museum of the White Mountains, in collaboration with the Mount Washington Observatory, will present To the Extremes at the Weather Discovery Center in North Conway March 28 – May 28; the exhibition of 24 photographic and text panels details the connections between geological history and recreation in the White Mountains. An opening reception will be held at the Weather Discovery Center in downtown North Conway on Thursday, March 28 from 5:30 – 7 p. m. The exhibit is curated by Sarah Garlick, a New Hampshire-based writer and science educator who says To the Extremes is for anyone who loves the White Mountains region.

“Our favorite hikes, climbs, and ski runs are tied to rich geologic histories… there are stories beneath our feet!” Garlick said. “I think we often view the mountains as an inert landscape—an environment that we explore and inhabit, a setting for our adventures. But the mountains have their own stories—how the different rock formations came to be, how the mountains have been sculpted through time, sometimes slowly, sometimes very fast, and how they continue to change today. This exhibit allows us to explore the connections between our mountain adventures and the stories of the mountains themselves. It gives you a sense of being connected to a much bigger picture, a much longer tale.”

Museum of the White Mountains Director Dr. Catherine Amidon said the exhibit examines the science, art, culture and recreation of the White Mountains, with a special emphasis on mountain tourism and recreation. Amidon noted the exhibition is one element of multipart educational project. Part two of the larger Beyond Granite: A History of Mountains and People project is the exhibition that opens in the museum in Plymouth, N.H. in March, 2014, though some of the ideas and concepts to be developed in the larger project are accessible in this panel exhibition and on-line at the museum website.

“This is another way for the new Museum of the White Mountains to learn how to best meet the needs of our growing audiences,” said Amidon. “Not only will people be able to see the touring exhibition in various sites and online, but they will be asked to share feedback online. Though technology, user generated feedback and even content will help us to shape Part two of the exhibition.”  This is the kind of interactive experience that will help make the history, culture and environmental legacy of the region more personal and immediate for participants.

The exhibition includes topics like the connection of a geologic event such as a landslide and how that precipitates activities like hiking, downhill and backcountry skiing, modern day rock and ice climbing. It also explains the impact of climate change on the region, and the science behind the formation and eventual destruction of the Old Man of the Mountains.

“We talk a lot in New Hampshire about of our love of the White Mountains, if you’re a hiker, a skier, climber, this exhibition will take that passion and bring it to another level and explore why we have the mountains that we have,” noted Garlick. “It allows people to take their love for the outdoors and explore them in a deeper way ––to make those connections and have a deeper understanding of the mountains themselves.”

After the March 28- May 28 display in North Conway, Beyond Granite will appear as a travelling exhibit around New Hampshire in coming months as an outreach project of the Museum of the White Mountains.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU News Services Mgr., (603) 535-2775 or blyndes@plymouth.edu

 

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