Dear Green Mountain Club Friends,
It is with great sorrow that I share the news of the loss of our friend and coworker Dave Hardy. Dave passed away peacefully yesterday morning, surrounded by family and friends, after a year-long battle with cancer.
Dave grew up hiking with his family, so the trail was in his blood from an early age. He referred to his job as GMC’s Director of Trail Programs as the greatest job in the world. To him, it wasn’t really a job at all. It was a special opportunity to connect people with the natural world.
It is hard to think of anyone whose identity is more interwoven with the Long Trail and the community of trail stewards throughout New England than Dave’s. Every mile of tread, shelter, bridge, privy, and waterbar on the 500-mile trail system is imprinted with his vision and unwavering passion.
Yesterday, the Long Trail lost one of its greatest champions. Today, people will be able to get up, go hiking, and explore the natural world because of Dave’s twenty-five-year legacy at the Green Mountain Club.
We will all miss his wisdom, knowledge, sense of humor, and unique ways.
Our hearts are with his family and all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
We hope that each of you will find the time to take a walk on the Trail in his memory.
Plans will be made for a celebration of Dave’s life with details to follow in the coming months. In the meantime, we welcome you to share any memories you have of Dave in the comments below.
The Green Mountain Club
Edited to add:
A Celebration of Life for Dave will take place on Saturday, January 6, 2018. Please see our Facebook event for details.
Eric Friedman says
So sorry to hear this news. Dave was a champion of the trail and we enjoyed working with him here at Mad River Glen. RIP Dave and our condolences to his family.
Rick Hubbard says
A huge chunk of GMC’s longtime trail knowledge just passed away. Dave was an institution by himself, greatly benefiting GMC with his knowledge, commitment and skill. He” be greatly missed and a challenge to follow.
Jeff Schoellkopf says
So shocked and sorry to hear of Dave’s passing. He was a real treasure- knowledgeable, super hard working, laid back, fun, and totally dedicated to the Long Trail. He wroked with us on the Headquarters committee many times, lobbied hard for the trail crew quarters improvements, and helped craft some powerful trail maintenance guidelines and practices. I would also run into him occasionally carrying just loads of wood chips to supply his beloved wilderness composters. Love and Peace to one of our real heros!
Jeffrey Zwicker says
I am so sorry to hear of Dave’s passing, I volunteered for 15 years as a summit caretaker on Mt. Mansfield. I dedicated 2 weeks each year of my vacation. Dave always allowed me to stay at the Stone Hut. I always made it a point to stop by and see him each year. His dedication to the club will be missed and I shall always look back at him as someone who was completely committed to his work in making the Long Trail such enjoyable place to hike.
Richard Windish says
I am devastated by the loss of my dear friend, but also grateful to have known him, what an honor. His mother told me yesterday that Dave lived the life that he wanted to live, and had no regrets. I believe her. GMC was not a job to him, it was his true calling and life’s work. Dave’s legacy is a world-class hiking trail system and the legions of fine young men and women that passed through his field program. My fondest trail memories of Dave are us getting lost on more than one occasion, on the very trail system that he knew better than anyone else. He was fine as long as he could see blazes, but bushwhacking or “shortcuts” (and he had many) often involved a bit of an adventure! I will never set foot on the Long Trail or have a post-hike beer without thinking of my buddy. Hike on brother, we love you.
Kathleen krevetski says
I am so sorry for all of us who knew & loved Dave Hardy
Judy (Larson) DiMario says
Though I didn’t know Dave, and haven’t been able to use The Trail for years, I Just want to thank you for a wonderful write-up. It’s special!
Bob Erickson says
Enjoy walking the trails that lies beyond Dave
Ron Hudnell says
I barely knew Dave Hardy, but wish that I had known him better… We first met him in 2013 when visiting our son in Vermont. Dave found us in the ATC HQ parking lot, and we discussed his attendance at the upcoming ATC Biennial that was to be held in Western NC. Later that year I started working on the AT in Southwest Virginia, and then realized what a force Dave was on trail maintenance. In 2014 when we revisited the ATC parking lot, Dave remembered us! What a memory! What a great source of knowledge on trail maintenance! What a man! I am sure he will be missed by the GMC, but he will also be missed by all of us who used him for standards of good trail maintenance. Our sympathies to the family and to GMC. Well done, Dave – you had a great hike…
Very Sad. My heart goes out to his family at this difficult time.
Dean Meltzer says
Dave was a great support for the GMC Education Committee and for the Randolph Union School hiking programs. We worked together on adopting a shelter. He always made a point to interact with my students and me, when we visited GMC Headquarters. Over all the years I’ve known Dave, I felt that he was the heart and soul of the GMC. I’ll miss his conversation and exchanging homebrews.
Jess Cook says
Mr. Meltzer – those same thoughts echoed by this Randolph Union High School grad and Camel’s Hump summit caretaker.
Dave welcomed the crews with a unique meal at Sterling Pond that included dried cherries, fiddleheads, and I’m not sure all what else. But it was local, quirky, and memorable – and a fitting way for me to get to know Dave and his commitment to the Green Mountains. Rest in long trails that never need maintaining…
Michael Chernick says
Dave Hardy has been the soul of everything the GMC stands for in the Vermont trail community. Without Dave, it is hard to imagine the LT system that exists today would be in such wonderful condition. He was its guardian and protector and embodied the mission of the club. He will be missed deeply and affectionately in the GMC! The trails in heaven are awaiting his tender loving attention. Dave will remain in all our hearts!
Richard & Phyllis Pomeroy says
We worked with Dave I The 1990’s while maintaining the Bromley Mt area trail section. He was so knowledgeable and such a inspiration to our team. So sorry to hear of his passing.
Ted Albers, Shelburne says
Dave was a brilliant ‘explainer’. As we know, the LT is actually quite complex with many moving parts. Dave had an uncanny ability to zoom in on the salient facts and the issues at hand. He helped us understand what was needed, what action should follow. He would nudge discussions along a constructive path. I always felt as if I had a some keen insiders view after hearing Dave explain some byzantine parcel-management issue. Dave would somehow boil down months of scouting, land-owner negotiation and meetings with town officers into to a fascinating, technically accurate & often humorous ‘report’, as happened for example during the LT relocation. Dave was a gift to us all and will be missed.
This is so very true! Well said.
Bernie Oakley says
I spent a week back country skiing with Dave in Gaspe, Quebec on an AMC trip in 1995 . He was a wonderful guy . I am so sorry to hear this.
Melissa Green says
I first worked with Dave in trails in about 1995, and more recently we worked as part of a team to tackle invasive species. It was always a pleasure to see him and I’ve never seen anyone more dedicated to the trail than he. There are many of us who will remember him for a very long time.
Theresa Hoffmann says
I was just hiking on the Long Trail 2 days ago, thinking of Dave. I worked as a caretaker at Little Rock Pond back in the 1990’s, and was remembering hiking with Dave and his support of me and work on the trail. I felt he really cared about the well-being of his staff as well as the trail and the wilderness. Thank you Dave!
Chris Sturm says
I worked at Little Rocky Pond in ’95. Dave was a wonderful boss, mentor, and friend
Mary Anne Hardy says
Mike, thank you for the beautiful write up about my brother Dave. He was the most happy when he was in the woods and sharing his love of the natural world with others. I was honored to see the great love Dave’s friends had for him as they gathered around to support him in his last days. Thank you all so very much for everything.
Tom Anderson says
Carol Johnson Collins says
Our son and daughter both worked on The Long Trail, first in connection with VYCC, then when our daughter worked as Summit Caretaker for Camel’s Hump and Mt. Mansfield. Dave knew our children in these connections. He knew us because we supported our children and cared about The Green Mountain Club. I was impressed with the fact that years after our son and daughter’s involvement with the club, he not only recognized us, but greeted us as ‘one of the gang’. I am terribly sorry to hear this news. As I read Mike’s moving piece about Dave, I thought of the words that were written about our Grandfather, Capt. Robert H. Domey, the Namesake of Domey’s Dome, as both men had the same feeling about The Long Trail and devoted their lives to it. Sadly both died too soon of Cancer. It’s just not fair, but all we can do is accept it, and remember them with the highest respect, love and appreciation.
Rick Paradis says
Although my relationship with Dave for over 20 years has been primarily professional, I’ve always felt we shared a kinship for places wild wild and unkept and of course for home brews. He was an original in every sense of the word.
Cynthia Gray says
I was so very saddened to hear about Dave’s passing. I’d first met him when he was a teenager at the AMC August Camp, and also had hiked the weeklong hut-to-hut range hike with him, led by his mother and two other very capable women. Later, in Vermont, my memories of hiking with him included an early evening summertime hike up the Stowe Pinnacle, and a long backcountry ski through the Stratton Pond area.
Herbert Ogden says
I will think of Dave whenever I walk the trails he walked with us Trail Management Committee people. His dedication to maintaining and improving our trails and shelters, his ability to navigate sometimes strange legal requirements, his articulate presentations, and his warm sense of humor have inspired us all.
John Kamb, USFS says
Memories of working with Dave on the Thundering Falls boardwalk and many other great projects on the LT within the Green Mountain National Forest. You will be missed Dave.
Lincoln Vannah says
Dave came along at a low point in my life, when he and I worked at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard back in the mid-80’s. His enthusiasm for the outdoors, hiking and trail maintenance was highly infectious, and ended up pointing me towards a lifelong love of the outdoors and the mountains that has had an immeasurably positive impact on my life. I also admire Dave’s decision to leave the security of a good paying but unsatisfying career and go fearlessly towards what his heart called him to. What a source of inspiration for others – a life well lived.
Sue Hardy says
David had the courage of his convictions and chose to act rather than continue in an unfulfilling career. He was always happiest in the woods, and he loved Vermont and the Long Trail so much. His was a life well lived but too short. How his father and I miss him.
Silvia Cassano says
I was first introduced to Dave while working to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Many of my friends had worked or were working for GMC and Dave at the time or within recent years. He explained situations and helped us gently debate the pros and cons and perhaps his most useful pearl of knowledge that he instilled in me was that I was capable of making my own decisions and that my ideas were valid. The Trail Community is large. I went on a section hike ont the LT this past weekend and Hiked in total calm and peace under the nearly full moon. My hike this weekend was a good reminder to me that it takes dedication and passion to make people come together to support a cause, and though our commonality is our passion for the outdoors, conservation, and trails- the wisdom, friendships, and mentorships gained are just as memorable, if not equally important to the views you seek, or the countless the rock steps that carry you up and down, treadway work needed, and the improvement projects thar hw passionately worked on getting completed or kept on the radar. Thank you for your legacy.
Bill April says
Tribute to Dave Hardy
Bill April says
There has been a disturbance in the force. Dave has been a stabilizing and mentoring force to us all. I was able to thank him for the work on the boardwalk at the opening.
Jessica Rubin says
Sorry to hear of this loss. May Dave’s memory be a blessing. I appreciated knowing Dave when working for the GMC as someone who was kind, warm, understated, wise, relaxed yet aware, and funny. Dave used to have a bumper sticker that said ‘bark less wag more.’ Thanks Dave for all you did for the long trail lands and community. May your journeys be blessed with peace and freedom in the wild you worked to protect.
Harris Roen says
So sorry about Dave’s passing, it is a great loss to the Long Trail and its community. Vermont is a better place for Dave having dedicated his life work to our mountains.
Margaret Ann Campbell says
While I did not know Dave, I did know his parents Sue & Gerry Hardy and am sure he learned early from them the love of hiking and all things outdoors. I extend my profound sympathy to all of Dave’s family.
Tony Sepe_Chester, VT says
Though my interactions with Dave were quite long ago and all too brief, he had a lasting impact on me. I did several workshops with Dave in the 90’s and always felt I was in capable and caring hands. A map and compass outing, where there was much time for conversation, particularly stands out in my memory. His dedication to and knowledge of the trail were wonderfully evident and will be greatly missed. Hike on, my brother!
So saddened to hear of Dave’s passing; I actually first came to know Dave at AMC Cardigan Lodge many years ago; his humor, presence and committment to the trails was evident. He will be missed
Ken Sturm says
Dave was such an advocate for the trail and for being in the woods. I met Dave in 1992 as a summit caretaker on Mansfield. Worked with him three summers and then had the pleasure to reconnect with him 20 years later helping with the summit caretaker training on Mansfield. Always enjoyed his spirit and the messages he would impart to the new GMC folks during the Mansfield walk. Happy trails Dave.
Brad Moskowitz says
I am so saddened and sorry to hear of Dave’s passing. He was a true stalwart to the GMC, with unwavering love and commitment to our nation’s first long distance footpath in the woods. I first forged a working relationship with Dave in the mid 2000’s as we collaborated with Johnson State College groups each fall on whatever trail projects we could assist with. Dave would often lead the charge with his calm demeanor, his unassuming approach and his sly wit. He was also THE resource expert whenever I had questions about trail work, land management issues, and of course, backcountry privy! Many a JSC student was influenced by Dave and many have interned or worked with the Club as a result. Though we only crossed paths once or twice a year, I will miss him and treasure the times we shared. With honor, – Brad
Hope Crifo says
To walk with Dave was an education. Thank you Dave for all you gave us, to the GMC and as individuals sharing a journey.
Reidun and Andrew Nuquist says
It is difficult to imagine the Green Mountain Club without Dave.
In addition to his remarkable tenure as director of the club’s trail programs, he was a superb defender of and advocate for the Long Trail: always calm, always patient, always diplomatic, always supportive of his field staff and trail volunteers.
Dave hardly ever missed an annual meeting of our local Montpelier Section. There he would masterfully and clearly explain to us the intricacies of modern trail management and the fine points of the club’s working relationship with state and local agencies, which he clearly navigated with great skill.
At GMC annual meetings and board of directors meetings, Dave was an articulate staff representative. His strong voice and sense of humor could easily calm any heated discussion of trail issues. He was a unique person. We are glad the GMC dedicated the new centennial Long Trail Guide to Dave.
Our thoughts are with Carol and Dave’s family.
Holly Knox says
The trail community has lost a trusted adviser and steadfast advocate for LT/AT resources. It was with a heavy heart that I read the news of Dave’s passing and tried to comprehend moving forward without him as a partner. The Forest Service family feels your loss and sends condolences to Dave’s family and friends.
Breck Knauft says
Dave was a great champion of the trail. Many staff from VT Youth Conservation Corps learned from him – we all took inspiration in his uncompromising advocacy for his beloved Green Mountains. Vermont is a better place thanks to Dave. Sorely missed.
John Page says
In so many ways that we can’t yet appreciate, the Long Trail as we know it today is a reflection of Dave’s vision and life work. He had personal relationships with virtually all of the hundreds of volunteers who maintain the Long Trail, and was the hub that made the whole complex wheel turn. He was also a truly unique character who lived life on his own terms. We will never see his like again.
Adam Sherman says
When I worked on the Long Trail Patrol in the late 90’s, Dave would always bring some of his home brew to the end of season parties. I remember that was a coveted item.
Dave inspires me to see trails as my home and with deep love and admiration. Furthermore, he amazed me with knowledge of the land and sense of humor. I am a lucky person to have known him and his legacy will always be in my sole/soul.
Chuck Hardy says
It was back in the 80’s, I was recently out of the Army with fond memories of how great the beer was in Germany. Sam Adams was brand new, revolutionary for the United States. Their original lager recipe, with much more hop bite than today’s “brewed for the masses” version. Dave was still a civil engineer for the Navy. We’d talk about the pronounced hop profile, and how much we’d enjoy it. It wasn’t long after that Dave took to home brewing, with Charlie Papazian’s “The Complete Joy of Home Brewing” as the bible. “Relax. Don’t worry. And have a homebrew.”
Within a couple years, Dave got me my first home brew equipment for Christmas. I’d ask for advice, and experiences he learned. He’d always be there, willing and eager to help. It kicked off a decades long experience of collaboration. Whenever I brew (or make coffee, or spaghetti, or…;), I hear his advice, and things we talked about.
Dave’s memory was impeccable. He could remember every hop’s characteristic, and yeast profile, he had come across. He was a wealth of information, a walking encyclopedia. He was the definition of a beer enthusiast. It was a great pleasure to taste test beers with Dave. He could dissect them with his tongue, yielding insight to potential clones, or cross hybrids.
I raise a virtual “Space Juice” by Long Trail Brewing. Cheers Dave!
Anthony O'Donnell says
I first met Dave back in the early 90’s when I worked on the GMC trail crew. Dave was my boss, mentor, and friend. Whenever I think of Dave I always smile. I have many fond memories of him out on the trail but my favorite memories of him are when we would just sit and talk. He was such a kind, laidback, and understanding person. My condolences.
Bob Popp says
I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with Dave on the annual summit steward training for 20+ years. His message was always to allow people to enjoy the alpine summits, but grounded in strong protection of the fragile alpine environment. He never took himself too seriously and he imparted that message to the stewards. I’ll certainly miss our annual alpine walk.
Patty Hynes says
I know David was happy up in Vermont and it sounds like he was well loved by many in Vermont. We loved him from Connecticut as well, and as his youngest sister, I remember his years of hiking and involvement in the AMC, AT and then at GMC for the last 25 years. I looked up to him as a wise older brother, and reading all of these comments, he was well thought of by many… I am glad to hear he had many friends and love around him while in VT and during his last days. I am very sad that he is gone – but will work to celebrate his life well lived.
Steve Kimball says
I’ll always cherish hikes with Dave on the LT, looking at trail issues and sharing perspectives on Wilderness. Meeting him at the trailhead, with his sandals and zealousness, always inspired me. And did he get things done! What a dedicated trail soldier and LT Champion.
Sharon Murray says
Dave was a great guy, and a wonderful community resource… All of us in Bolton appreciated his dedication, and willingness to work with the town on the new bridge across the Winooski, on relocating and protecting the LT, and the restoration of the two historic GMC shelters in town. Dave will be sorely missed, but all his good work will stand in tribute … thanks to Dave! Our heartfelt condolences to his family and the GMC.
Paul Hannan says
“When you were born you cried and the world rejoiced. Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.” I expect that Dave rejoiced in a life well lived – he deserved to. We’ll all miss him terribly.
Mary Anne Hardy says
thank you Paul – this is a beautiful and apt quote.
Kathy Duclos says
I came to know Dave just a few years ago when my family was hoping to improve the Abbey Pond Trail using funds donated in honor of my nephew, Levi Duclos. This trail is not connected to the Long Trail but Dave surprised us by offering to involve the GMC. He spent several days in those woods with us and the USFS, including the day he led us in a search for a new route for a partial trail relocation and got us all lost (we thought, he didn’t)!
Thanks to Dave we were able to hire the Long Trail Patrol to do the heavy lifting. I’ve always assumed this trail improvement would not have been such a success, and likely would never have happened at all, if it hadn’t been championed by Dave. I am so glad to have had the opportunity to get to know him. He was impressive – and easy going and fun. Just a great guy. I’m so sorry we’ve lost him.
Smith Edwards says
I am so sorry to hear about Dave. In my years spent working with the GMC Dave became a good friend and one of my favorite Trail people.
He will be greatly missed by me and the whole Trail community.
Christopher Jones says
I had the pleasure of working under Dave. We southern section caretakers all enjoyed the times we got together to work or play with Dave. I would always be surprised at how I would, through the years, bump into him and we would recognize each other and reminisce. In hindsight, I see why that should not come as a surprise. He’s still on a trail now. Stay true to your trail and Dave will bump into you, too.
Roland Normand says
Thinking back many years. I spent so many happy hiking days with Dave & his family. I’ll always treasure those memories. Dave was always so helpful and agreeable. He will be greatly missed by everyone with whom he came in contact.
Andy Squires says
So sorry to hear of Dave’s passing. A life too short but what a great life it was. Only the lucky ones find a “job” they love so much. And it shows in the work they do. He’ll be missed by all who knew him.
Donna Brigley says
Dave was the AMC Adopt-a-Trail program Region Leader for the Pemigewasset when I came on board in 1993. I replaced him and served in the Pemi for decades after his departure for the greener side of the mountains. He had a great sense of humor and was a pleasure to work with. The mountains and trails have lost a great champion with Dave’s passing. My heartfelt condolences to his friends and family.
Heinz Trebitz says
My first encounter with Dave Hardy goes back to around 2000 when the need to relocate the AT around Thundering Falls in Killington took shape. Many of us at the Ottauquechee Section thought that the price tag was way too high. Not so Dave Hardy. Of course he didn’t like road walks. But he had the vision to build a board walk over the swamp at River Road. It took some 7 years to realize it, but Dave had the Forest Service pay for most of it.
Today, the Board Walk is a major recreational handicapped accessible attraction in the Killington area, a real gem along the AT in Vermont. Following Mike Debonis suggestion “take a walk in Dave’s memory”, we should place a bench on the Board Walk to sit on and enjoy Dave’s gift. There should be a plaque with Dave’s name on it. Or we may want to rename that piece of trail to “Dave Hardy Board Walk” .
P.S.: Sign, of course, in 2 “ cedar, with routed letters, left all natural, as Dave would have specified.
Mary Anne Hardy says
I would love to see something honoring Dave on that boardwalk. Who do we talk to get this to happen? Thanks for suggesting it!
Tim Tierney says
I had the great pleasure of working with Dave at GMC from 1994 to 1998 where he, Lars Botzojorns, and myself shared a minuscule office in the basement of the HQ. I learned a lot from Dave and always sought his sage viewpoints on policy and practices. I was even with Dave the moment I met my future wife at the Shed Restaurant. He and I also split the duty of caretaking the RMC huts for 2 winters in the mid-90s. We would just see each other as one was heading out and the other packing in. We would share a laugh or a story of a hike or even have a brotherly inquisition such as “did you eat all my pancake mix?” After I moved to the Adirondacks, Dave’s visits were looked forward to and so enjoyed running into him at conferences and trying to make him laugh. He had the best laugh. Dave made a positive impact and left us more than footprints . Knowing him was a privilege. A life well lived. He truly helped make the Green Mountains play a larger role in the lives of so many. So grateful to have known him.
Marge Fish says
A large hole has been ripped in the fabric of the trails community in Vt with Dave’s passing. He will be sorely missed.
Luke Greenlite Moran says
It was an honor to have met, worked with, learned from and seen in action, Mr. Dave Hardy. Thank you for allowing me to become a part of the GMC family as a caretaker of my favorite Long Trail mountain, Camels Hump. May you find heaven on Earth and in the wilderness. Good bye my friend.
Cilla Kellert says
Dave helped Yale students work on service projects along the Long Trail. They enjoyed his company immensely. He will be missed.
Jane Coffey says
He was the first friend I made via the Green Mountain Club (GMC) in 1997. I had moved to VT in 1994 after college and was still in search of a community of friends.
I reached out to GMC and started volunteering. Dave Hardy took me on the Long Trail for the day, hauling bark mulch up the Jerusalem Trail to a shelter and then we continued on to clean water bars that were full of leaves for miles …hiking in 4 inches of snow along the LT. I knew then that I had found my community.
Dave was unique. He was in love with the woods, making sure the Long Trail stayed true as Director of Field Programs for the GMC, working with volunteers and hard core trail crews, making friends along the way.
Meeting his wonderful partner in crime, Carol Gregory.
Dave made home brew on the side and brought kegs to my wedding…his beer lasted about 45 seconds lol. It was amazing!
Dave and I also shared a deep fanaticism for the Red Sox!! Rabid fans. Dave joined us on a few Red Sox games at Fenway. I had already left my job at GMC when the Red Sox finally won the world series in 2004. I remember emailing Dave immediately, sharing that joy. And then emailing him, again, in 2007 and 2013 when the Sox did it again.
You have left your mark on many, Dave. Much love to you and your family that mourn. We all love you. I hold you tightly, Carol. <3
Carroll Ann Cowing says
I am remembering David as a 9th grader in my ’73-’74 Geometry class. He had a good sense of humor and was a pleasure to teach. I saved the cartoon he drew of me for many years before sharing it with his mother Sue, my longtime friend. It was always a joy to know how happy he was in his chosen field. That is what teachers always want for their students. All these many wonderful comments are proof of a good man who led a worthy life that benefited countless others…a legacy to view with pride. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
Rebecca Washburn says
I raise a toast of the finest brew in the memory of Dave Hardy. Thanks for all you’ve taught us.
Pam Gillis says
It is so hard to imagine Dave gone. I worked with him the whole 25 years he was with the GMC. I remember an early outin where he came to help the Burlington Section on a trail reroute for a muddy section south of Taylor Lodge. Dave looked at it and said the reroute would become just as muddy and that large rocks were the answer. Our group worked hard finding and moving large rocks. They are still doing there job today and I think of Dave each time I walk over them. Now I will think sadly instead of happily.
Bob Hagen says
The full impact of Dave’s death hit me as I was out doing trail work. There was sadness, but as I worked along, I thought about Dave’s easy shuffle as he hiked , his calm way of imparting humor and wisdom, and expressions that I will carry always: about hung-up limbs, “I’d leave it. Just don’t have lunch under it.” About clearing tread with a “flick stick”. “You don’t have to bend down, and it’s mildly entertaining.” About dealing with difficult problems with agency partners: “I’ll just have a quiet conversation with them.” Such people are gifts.
Greg Osilka says
Dave Hardy. I only worked with him one season, ’09, but working with and for him really changed my outlook, well, basically on life. He took a chance on me as a ridgerunner in Killington and it was a summer I’ll never forget. His knowledge and caring for people and the trails was unrelenting. Damn, just a great person to be around. His legend will always continue in the hearts of so many. Thank you Dave.
Ann Gotham, President of Friends of Bolton says
I and the Bolton friends and all future users of Bolton Lodge and Bryant Cabin will be forever indebted to Dave. The Friends of Bolton had recently formed, we had no idea of what to do with those camps. Dave and Jean Haigh approached us with the idea of working with the GMC for their restoration. I felt like we had just been handed a gift from on high. It took nearly 2 years of grant writing, negotiating regulations (esp. for Bryant’s Privy), and fund raising before building could begin. Dave stuck with us throughout an often frustratingly slow process. He was so very knowledgeable and wonderful to work with. I always knew he would give me straight talk, with out embellishments, and what he said came from the voice of experience. Dave was able to see the completion of Bryant and knew the Bolton was well on its way to completion, before he left us. I am so very grateful to Dave for all he did for not only the camps but for Bolton Friends and the state forest land we preserved. I am so very sorry to hear of the passing Dave Hardy. He has left a wonderful legacy for us and will be truly missed.
Paul H. Austin says
I was completely surprised by Dave’s passing. I have many experiences etched in my mind with Dave, particularly with his advice for trail maintenance and various conversations. I deeply regret not knowing him better. I hope GMC will find a way to honor him with a fund, a shelter or trail named after him. Wherever you are Dave, I hope the trails are pristine, the views breathtaking, and your steps light as air.
Russell Hirschler - Upper Valley Trails Alliance says
I am saddened to hear of Dave’s passing. His knowledge was extremely impressive. On behalf of the Board and staff of the Upper valley Trails Alliance and the whole Upper Valley community, I offer our most sincere condolences.
Dave " SlowFoot "Buonomo says
This was a total shock to me !!! Dave was such a great and Amazing guy to everyone he came in contact with !! I met Dave on my first thru hike on the LT back in 1996 and also met a fellow Thru Hiker who also became a friend along the way in life ( The late Ned Green ) Dave inspired me on Trail Work and after my Appalachian Trail Thru Hike in 1999 i looked for some work and Volunteering in that field, I landed a spot as a caretaker with AMC and the USFS up at Upper goose pond cabin in Lee,Ma..One day Dave stepped in to upper goose pond cabin and asked me if i could do some volunteer ridge running and Trail maintaining on the Long Trail in Vermont, I was so pumped..He asked me ( could you do what you do in Ma. For trail work up here for a few weeks out of the year ) which i was so happy to join trail crew in VT I did 6 weeks of trail work with Ned Green that year and countless other years along the way ! Dave was such a awesome person to just being around , He loved not only Nature but all that could make it better for future generations to enjoy…He will be deeply missed and here among others who helped out in this field is the late Patrick “Pat ” Fletcher of AMC who passed last year…We seam to have lost many good fellow mentors over the past few years….Surely going to miss Dave ….My condolences to his family ~~ Dave ” SlowFoot “Ravenwood – Buonomo
Jeanne and Hugh Joudry says
We were so honored to have been a friend of Dave’s over the twenty-one years we have been GMC caretakers on Stratton Mountain. In Dave’s years at the club, he built an extraordinary and unmatched field service program consisting of site caretakers, trail crews, supervisors, and assistants. We soon discovered that Dave was mentor to all. Dave was a real master at this – using both his engineering and communication skills to get the jobs done well and not done without fun too. Dave kept reshaping and redefining the Caretaker Program to make it what it is today! We continue to meet the many caretakers and field staff that tell us that working with Dave was a life-changing experience for them. Dave liked to think of himself as a bit curmudgeonly, but everyone saw through that pretty fast. He was kind, very funny, and ever insightful. We would look forward every season to that time when Dave and Carol would visit us on Stratton. Dave would have a beer and relax on the trail he loved so much. Over the years, all those who have worked with Dave for the Club hold precious memories of their experiences together with him. We send our love to Carol and to Dave’s family.
All hail! Thy cracking wit, thy golden mead, thy hoary mane and prow.
Thy will astride the misted mount, thy sandal print in snow.
Witness all thine addled steed, thy manner cool, strife for thy charges’ growth.
In mud, on rock, in poor lit hall both youth and sage, at odds
Now peals of thunder sing for thee, tonight we sup with gods
James W. Soares Jones says
Thank you, Dave, for your care and work on Vermont’s long distance recreational trail. The Long Trail has shaped my life for fah bettah…Dave, you helped me and many others a lot.
Phillip Brown says
I only found out today (Nov 26th). Dave, I’m sure you are investigating trails in heaven–and are probably planning improvements already! Rest In Peace, old friend from yesteryear.
Dave and I were fellow civil engineers on the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in the early 1980’s, before he left Federal civilian service to pursue his dreams. What a magnificent legacy you have left us with, Dave! Thank you from a former friend and woods runner.
My sincere condolences to all of Dave’s family members.
Nichole Hastings - former Dartmouth Outing Club Corridor Monitor Coordinator and volunteer GMC Corridor Monitor (Elm Street to VT Rte 14) says
I just found out that an excellent human being has passed. So I’m a bit late with this. My condolences to Carol and Dave’s family.
What can I say about Dave Hardy?
AT colleague, fellow Vermonter, nature-lover, hiking enthusiast, beer-brewer, great listener and communicator, inspirational, generous, caring, open, playful, sparkling sense of humor, a true and loyal friend.
I want to be sad and cry but for some reason when I try to, an image of Dave standing in front of the Happy Hill Shelter in winter, wearing an orange hoodie and Crocs smiling while snacking on a Snickers bar, appears in my mind’s eye … and all I can do is smile back.
Dave, you are missed and loved … I’m just one of the many who feel the same. There are a lot of good people out there in this world but you were a great one … I’m so glad our paths crossed and we were able to walk together for a while!
Damn, I guess I am going to cry after all.
Alex Sienkiewicz says
Dave was a tireless volunteer and beautiful man. He gave so much of himself to our public lands and trails. When I was a public land steward with the Green Mountain NF, Dave was helping to ease our trail maintenance workload almost constantly. He made some damn good beer too. We’ll miss you Dave. Rest in peace.
Dave and Louise Ransom says
We appreciate Dave’s gift to the Mountains and their consequences. We, personally, shall miss him very much. I would like to receive any obituary that may have been published. We will include his name in The Mountain Chapel’s (on Mount Mansfield) annual Mountain Day of Remembrance this next fall. Thank you.
Cat Eich says
Just got the news.
Dave, we looked up to you for so many years. You were mentor and friend during my 20+ years of volunteering. i hold many happy memories of our work and our fun times.
Cat “Lawson DeWoods”
Ken Kelly, Charlotte, NC says
I didn’t personally know Dave, but you dont always have to “know” someone to know they were special and made a true difference in the world. I hiked a good portion of the LT several years ago with my son and it was among the nicest trails I hiked. Not doubt this was because of the efforts of Dave and countless volunteers. I wish I would have had the opportunity to meet him and thank him for all of his contributions.
Karalyn Mark says
Today I’ve been reading the latest issue of the Long Trail News and thinking of Dave Hardy. During my Archives internship with the Green Mountain Club, Dave was a wonderful colleague – eager to help identify locations in archival photographs and share his knowledge of the trail system. He was passionate about the GMC’s history. In October 2015, we visited the Rutland Historical Society, where we viewed glass plate negatives of the Long Trail for hours. Driving through the Granville Gulf and along Route 100, he shared stories of building the trails – he knew every inch of the LT. Towards the conclusion of my internship, I remember him thanking me for my work, and saying, “After you earn that master’s, I hope you’re back in the green mountains to thru-hike the LT.” Rest easy at this “Journey’s End” & Happy trails, Dave.
Margaret Fowle says
I am so sorry to hear of this news so much after the fact. I only met Dave face-to-face once, but he and I corresponded yearly for over 20 years about the peregrine falcons nesting in Smugglers Notch and along the Long Trail. I greatly appreciated his support of the species’ recovery efforts and willingness to help with any cliff closures. So sorry to hear of his passing.
Grant Christensen says
Dave was my boss in the Late 90’s and he was pretty awesome. I envied and loved him. I hope I will be a fraction of the man he was.
Don Avery says
I just found out about Dave’s passing a few days ago while hiking the LT, I bumped into a GMC trail monitor. It was a kick in the gut … I met Dave leading AMC Volunteer trail crew in the 1980’s, he took my better Boy Scout backpacking skills and refined them immensely over a few winters (can’t do trail work in the winter). My favorite winter of all time was with him and the crew; we had every wknd from New Years out to the last wknd in March planned by Halloween to be out in either VT, NH or ME. You get to know who has real skills (vs. talk) when you backpack and/or ski with the same people every wknd for 3 months. Since then I have guided Rainier 9X, did 10 years Mt. SAR, section hiked the LT and section hiked the AT in New England. I kept up with Dave a little but not as much as I’d have liked, I knew I always lived just an hour from him and thought he’d always be there … sad.