Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship by Tom Ryan is published by William Morrow. It tells the story of my adventures with Atticus M. Finch, a little dog of some distinction. You can also find our column in the NorthCountry News.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Mike Dickerman's Column (1.30.08) From The Littleton Courier Leads With A Piece On Tom & Atticus

Mike Dickerman has been a constant and reliable voice in the White Mountain hiking community for the past quarter century. He, along with Steve Smith, has covered the hiking world for a generation. His long-running newspaper column The Beaten Path is must reading for hikers in the Whites. Mike headed up his January 30th column in the Littleton Courier with a piece on our Winter Quest. It follows…

Tom and Atticus on another winter mountain quest

By Mike Dickerman

Tom Ryan and his faithful canine companion, Atticus M. Finch, are at it again this winter, trying to climb as many 4000-foot White Mountain summits as possible in the course of the fleeting winter hiking season.

Ryan and Atticus, his well-known miniature schnauzer, had set a pretty lofty goal heading into the season with high hopes that they could climb all 48 of the high peaks twice during the official 90-day winter season. After reaching more than 80 summits last year, when their winter hiking exploits raised money for the Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute of Boston, it didn’t seem an unreasonable goal.

But as all in the mountains know, this had not been a normal winter, what with huge snow totals in December, a memorable post-New Year thaw, and more recently bitter cold temps. As a result, Tom and Atticus are running a bit behind schedule with the first month of the winter season yielding 23 peaks, or about half of a single peakbagging round.

The hiking duo, who moved to the Lincoln area last fall from Newburyport, Massachusetts, are again raising money this year for a worthy cause. Funds donated by hike supporters are going directly to benefit the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) and their Angell Animal Medical Centers in Boston and on Nantucket Island. According to the MSPCA website, the medical centers care for more than 100,000 animals each year.

Readers can follow the pair along on their winter quest by logging onto their website, Persons wishing to pledge money in support of their winter hikes may also do so by sending a check made out to Angell Animal Medical Center to: Tom & Atticus, P.O. Box 111, North Woodstock, NH 03262.