12/26/10 Hike up Camel’s Hump via the Burrows Trail
A good number of people inquired about the hike but we only had four participants, including the trip leader. As it turns out, we were the lucky four. Although it was a bit cold, there was little wind and the views on top were spectacular. In addition, we had the top of the peak to ourselves. What a day! I think the pictures tell the story. Trip Leader: Sheri Larsen with Rich Larsen, Robynn Albert, Marjan Schugar
For additional photos, check out my photo albums on picasa:
12/18/2010 Mansfield Ridge
David and Celia met at the Richmond commuter lot at 9:00 AM and headed up to the Burrows trail head in David’s car, meeting John there a little after 9:20. It was cold but not frigid with a thin layer of clouds as we started up the Forest City trail at about 9:30. John and Celia started out with snowshoes while David decided to carry his. The snow crust was almost hard enough to go without snowshoes, but after about 20 minutes we had hit enough soft patches that David put his on as well. About 2/3 of the way up Forest City, Celia was working hard to keep up, and since we’d told her the Long Trail stretch up to the summit from Montclair Glen Lodge was much harder, she decided to head back down and wait for us. John and David continued up, reaching the Long Trail junction a little after 11. There we met Brian and Chris from Westford and Essex, and their dog Izzy, with whom we hiked most of the way to the Camel’s Hump summit. After passing over some of the small knobs on the way to Camel’s Hump, the sun came out and we had some nice view back toward the Allens. We’d been following occasional slight depressions from some old snowshoe tracks and the white Long Trail blazes when they were visible (some were right at the snow line). So between the four of us we managed to stay on the trail until the last stretch up to the junction with the Alpine trail, where we appeared to veer off a little to the left. So we were left (or west) of the trail when we reached the base of the south cliffs on Camel’s Hump, and had an even steeper than usual climb up to them. Fortunately the snow crust was very hard, so with good snow claws it wasn’t too hard to climb. David and John reached the cliffs before Chris, Brian, and Izzy and left them behind there resting as to proceed up to the summit. We shed snowshoes at this point to go over the rocks, and David switched to microspikes. The wind had been very light up to this point, but was very strong as we reached the summit at about 1 PM. We headed down to the hut clearing and calmer wind, had a bite to eat, and then continued down the Burrows trail, reaching the car at about 2:30. Although the snow was softening up a bit as we reached the bottom, the Burrows trail had seen much more traffic and was packed well enough that we were able to leave snowshoes off all of the way down. When we met Celia at the car, she said she had gone up and down Burrows trail as far as the hut clearing while waiting for us, and had only been back for about 20 minutes herself.. Trip leader: David Hathaway, John Predom, Celia Ryker
12/18/10 Mansfield Ridge
The listed trip participants met at the Underhill Center commuter lot
at 8:30, along with co-travelers Rich and Sheri Larsen (they insisted
they were not officially part of the hike, so we shouldn’t wait for
them). Rich, David, and Robynn drove up to the winter parking area on
the State Park road and started hiking up at about 8:50 AM. Weather
was cold but not frigid (low to mid 20′s F) and overcast. The first
part of the road and trail were packed, so we started with some folks
wearing snowshoes and others just carrying them. After the faster
folks at the head of the pack waited for the rest at the Sunset Ridge
trailhead, the group stretched out quite a bit on the way to the
summit, with Wes charging ahead, Christopher, Robynn and Jeff
following, and David bringing up the rear. Rich and Sheri were last
seen somewhere below Cantilever Rock and later let us know that, after
hearing reports of wind and whiteout from others coming down, they had
elected to turn back before reaching the summit. David, Robynn, Jeff,
and Christopher regrouped near the beginning of the open ridge, but
Wes was still quite far ahead. By this time we were all wearing our
snowshoes. On the ridge we met some other folks coming down, including
David Warren who had earlier said he might join the hike. They said it
was pretty windy and low visibility at the top and they had decided
not to try the ridge. We continued up, following Wes’s tracks where we
could, but at the base of the West Chin his tracks showed he’d lost
the trail and angled up too sharply. Since he was quite a ways ahead
of us we decided to follow the trail and scan the slopes above us for
signs of him. Shortly after reaching the Long Trail junction and
starting up toward the summit we were relieved to see Wes coming down.
He had mistaken the West Chin for the summit in the low visibility, so
we all proceeded up to the true summit, which we reached just a little
after noon. While it was windy, the winds were less than we’d expected
based on what we’d heard. And just as David was commenting on “the
beautiful 360 degree panoramic view of the inside of a cloud” (credit
Ben Rose, who gave the same description to David last summer when
David was climbing Mt. Abe on the Long Trail and met Ben coming down),
we started to catch a few glimpses through the clouds down to the
Stowe valley below. We started back down, and at the Sunset Ridge
trail junction decided that the winds were dying and the visibility
improving enough that we would try the ridge. Jeff led the way,
breaking trail along the ridge, and managed to stay on trail with
amazingly few and short wrong turns, despite the lack of visible
blazes on the ridge and frequently erroneous (but occasionally
correct) advice from David about where he thought the trail went.
About halfway along the ridge we stopped for lunch in the surprisingly
calm shelter of some trees. When we reached the service road that
provides access to the various antennas on the Nose, we followed it to
where the Long Trail diverges off toward the Forehead. About this time
David started punching through with his MSR snowshoes, so he stopped
to put on their detachable tails, which proved enough to keep him atop
the snow. We were again very successful in following the trail, with
only one brief wrong turn. From the Forehead we started down the
Wampahoofus / Maple Ridge Trail. We met a couple folks who had gotten
off trail to the right (south) on the last steep stretch up to the
Forehead, and met another group just at the point where the first two
had gotten off trail, so we were able to help them avoid the same
mistake. All of these folks had come up the Wampahoofus Trail from
Butler Lodge, so after that trail junction we were back to breaking
(and finding) trail. We continued to have unusually good luck
following the trail, with just a couple wrong turns, with most of the
group sliding down many of the steeper sections, while David generally
backed down using the more aggressive snow crampons on his snowshoes.
At the Rock Garden Trail junction we found the tree to which Maple
Ridge trail sign was attached broken off, so we propped it back up in
hopes of helping future travelers. The Rock Garden Trail sign, however
was completely missing. We continued on past the Frost Trail junction
down to the end of the CCC road, from which we followed the Lower
Teardrop ski trail down to the State Park Road. We got back to the
cars just before 4 PM.
Trip leader: David Hathaway with Wes Volk, Robynn Albert, Jeff Wehrwein, Christopher Morriss; thanks to Sheri Larsen for the photos
12/11/10 Phelps Mt., ADK
It was a long day, but a great time was had by all! Tim and I met at the Essex Center P&R at 7:00 am, picked up Rob at the Agway in Williston and then headed for the Charlotte ferry, where we then picked up Wes and Lynda. Headed across the pond to NYS. Don’t let me forget to mention that the back of Tim’s car was piled high with stuff – if 7 more people had shown up in their birthday suits, we could easily have outfitted them. Correction – Lynda and Rob could have outfitted them. Headed upstairs on the boat and took in the foggy, gray conditions. It was OK as no precip was falling and none was predicted. We were in for a good day. Stopped briefly at the Dogwood Bakery in Essex, NY for coffee refills before heading to the Adk. Lodge trailhead in Lake Placid. Emptied our coffee and then we were on our way around 10:20 am. Easy walk into Marcy Dam, and met only a few others along the way, including three strapping young men who were headed to Marcy for the night and hoped to be out before the storm hit on Sunday. Their packs were so big, they looked like they might have been ready for a few days in the mountains. Anyway, after a brief snack, onward we were on the Van Hovenburg trail before cutting off to the left onto the Phelps trail. There was little snow from start to summit and none of us needed our snowshoes, just microspikes. I don’t recall even seeing anyone with shoes on, either.
The sun tried to break through a few times and Wes, speedy Wes, hit the summit first and snapped a few pics of a little bit of clearing. Marcy was not to be seen in all her glory that day, but another time for sure! Four others with 3 4-legged friends approached right behind us so we had company for lunch. And of course, if you have Tim on any outing, no matter the season, you also have wine! Yeh! We toasted and had a bite, then headed down. Also, let me mention that if you have Lynda or Rob on any hike, you have built-in, free entertainment. So there was a double dose of stories upon stories. I will say nothing, except you will experience them and hardly need to ask any questions. Say a word and that will remind them of a past life experience and one story leading to another to another. Great fun and so many laughs! Since none of us had any evening plans, we decided the Noonmark in Keene was calling us. Everyone found something on the menu to enjoy and then we were back in the car. The Charlotte ferry had barely pulled out and darn!, Tim brought more libations, so we needed to, had to, were forced to enjoy them during the hour-long wait for the next boat to hit the dock. More stories and more laughs…home again for all! And many great memories!
Who: Outing Leader: Robynn Albert, Rob Selvaggi, Wes Volk, Tim Welsh, Lynda Hutchins;
Wes Volk photo – click to enlarge
12/5/10 Camels Hump via Monroe Trail
6 participants. This was one of the coldest days so far in the winter, and it seemed to take a toll on the cars of planned participants – we had multiple cancellations the morning of the trip, including one ‘no show’ because of car trouble, and one who arrived a bit late after having to ‘call AAA’. And, there was almost no snow, so we were able to drive to the summer lot after meeting at the winter lot. In spite of the uncertainty of who would make it and where we would start, we did head up from the summer lot at about 9:15 AM with 5 people, and one more caught up with us about 30 minutes later. With so little snow, we did not even bother to carry snow-shoes, but all used micro-spikes or something similar. We did some trail-work on the way, since there recent blowdown and one of the folks had a saw. We reached the summit cone around noon, with a temperature of 10 degrees, and strong wind. So, we just spent a very brief time at the summit, and headed down to the clearing at the trail junction for a quick lunch. We returned to the parking lot about 2:30. Participants – Barry Goodman, Laureen Gauthier, Ted Albers, Girish Hemashettar, Sheri Larsen, Trip leader Rich Larsen.
11/27/10 Mt. Hunger
We met at the Richmond Park and Ride on I-89 at 8:30 AM, and took two cars (Wes rode with David) to the trailhead for the Waterbury Trail, and were on the trail by 9:10. The skys were overcast with low cloud cover, and there was a dusting (maybe an inch) of snow on the ground. Since it was hunting season, we all wore blaze orange vests belonging to the GMC Burlington Section that David had gotten on loan from Pam Gillis, and since none of us got shot, they must have worked. The lower stretches of the trail weren’t too bad, but about the time we got to the stream crossing the trail became very icy, and was pretty much continuous ice the rest of the way up. Rich and David donned micro-spikes, but Wes managed to continue without them all the way to the top using his hiking poles, falling only occasionally. We reached the top around 10:50, but didn’t spend much time there since there were no views and it was fairly windy. On the way down we debated whether to take the side trip to White Rocks, as had been advertised in the trip description, but decided not to in deference to Rich’s knees and Wes’s lack of traction. On the way down we passed a few other groups coming up, several of whom also were lacking any means of enhanced traction on ice, so Wes wasn’t the only one sliding up and down the mountain that day. We got back to the cars around 12:45 and headed home. Trip leader: David Hathaway with Rich Larsen, Wes Volk
11/20/10 GMC Mt. Hunger via Middlesex trail
Out of the nine hikers on this outing, a total of one had ever hiked this Mt. Hunger less traveled route. Phil, the closest to most senior member of the group (maybe he was??), and a safety advocate, suggested we consider the not-as-treacherous Waterbury side. He was quickly, but diplomatically shot down, by his fellow hikers. What could a few steep spots with a rope possibly do to us seasoned folks?
Out we headed towards the trailhead. A pretty decent day at the start that was trying to become nice but did not really materialize to what we had hoped. A few folks had hiked together before, either in the past or more recently on a GMC outing. Yep, we hit the steep spots that Phil was referring to, but what a great challenge for us all! Definitely needed that rope….came in handy on the way up and more importantly, on the descent. Very blustery at the summit, we took a group photo at the sign (hey, who busted the sign in half????) and headed for warmer parts to eat a bit of lunch. Uneventful down and then onto the Reservoir for a brewski. A good time was had by all! Outing Leader: Robynn Albert, Who else? Jesse Robbins, Rob Selvaggi, Christopher Morriss, Lee Wrigley, Phil Hazen, Wes Volk, Bob Stahl, Mark Blanchard
[editors note: here is a puzzle: can you spot the difference between these photos? Click to enlarge to original size. Wes Volk Photos - Thanks Wes!!]
11/16/10 Mt. Ethan Allen
The group enjoyed a pleasant hike to Mt. Ethan Allen, the view was limited that day but we all enjoyed lunch at the sumit then back down to Montclair Glen lodge where took off our micro spikes than back to the parking lot.
11/7/10 Little River History Loop
This walk in Little River State Park (part of Mt. Mansfield State Forest) at the Waterbury Reservoir, was a blast. We walked past abandoned settlements, overgrown roads cemeteries and old farm sites. We had lunch at an old grave site. It is an easy hike about 3.5 miles, 900’ elevation gain. A good family outing. (This walk is written up on page 172 of your GMC 50 Hikes in Vermont – 6th edition). Showing maximum disrespect for their toiling trip leader, the photo below (taken by Uncle Phil hazen) shows trip participants watching a squirrel chewing a nut, while Ted read an educational passage about the abandoned farmhouse just behind them. Bob Stahl, Nate Eastman, Kathy Adams, Phil hazen, Dot Myer, Rute Hare, Shirley Coffin, Lenore Budd, and thoughtful historian, Ted Albers. Photos by Hazen
11/6/10 Mount Etghan Allen
Trip leader Lee Wrigley
Joanne Mellin, Mark Smith, Wes Velk, Rob Selvaggi, Jean Cannon.
Nice hike many clouds.
10/23/10 Mt. Abraham
Trip leader: Russ Kinaman
A beautiful fall day. Snow and ice was a little tricky, but we all had microspikes which helped a lot. Two other people cancelled the night before. Jean Cannon, Lee Wrigley, Katy Wrigley.
10/11/10 Mt. Mansfield/Sunset Ridge
A wonderful hike. Perfect fall day. Beautiful colors. Good camaraderie. Tough climb, but well worth it. Harvey Schugar, Carol Hignite, Jan Grady, Kalyn Burns. Trip leader Russ Kinaman.
Battell, Long Trail, Jerusalem, Led by Carlene Squires
8 participants and 4 dogs – What a wonderful way to celebrate 10/10/10. We had a crisp autumn day to hike two side trails (Battell and Jerusalem) and two 4,000 footers on the Long Trail (Abraham and Ellen) It also turned out correspondingly to be 4/4/4 – four men, four women, and four dogs. The views, conversations, and the people we met along the way was a great way to share these wonderful trails. There has been some logging on the Jerusalem Trail so one must carefully look for the blue blazes in the disturbed area. Carlene Squires, Jeff Wehrwein, Wes Volk, Darryl Smith, Louanne Nielsen, Stewart Ruth, Jacquelyn Liebman, Wendy Savoie
10/08/2010 – Friday Hike ( Taylor Lodge to Butler ) 4 humans, 2 dogs
Under overcast skies, we headed into Taylor. Lois was mostly a 1st time hiker and really enjoyed the walk and pace into Taylor. We met up with several people, and even a couple from Cornwall, England. A snack and drink at the lodge and we headed North towards Butler. It smelled fresh and woodsy out with the new fallen leaves……………..as we approached Twin Brooks Tent Site, Lois was feeling a bit tired. H2O and a snack brought her back and we arrived @ Butler around 1500. Inside was a bit trashed: scattered pieces of paper, plastic, bottles and general detritus. Fortunately there was a 5 gal bucket which had been acting as a waste receptacle, so I hauled it out, full to the top. There was a sleeping bag on the bunk and a pair of running shoes……..certainly NOT left by the caretaker!!!!! It seems a need for some ” Leave No Trace ” education. We arrived back in the parking lot @ Stevensville around 1630………………Lois did an excellent job with her first real hike. It was nice to have her along. Wendy Savoie, Trever Savoie, Anneliese Koenig, Lois Price, Pete Saile ( trip leader )
9/25/10 Little River State Park
Despite threatening weather predictions for the afternoon, the day turned out to be ideal for hiking. We started at the east end of the Hedgehog Hill loop trail, ascended to the Ezra Fuller farm, and went on to the junction with the Balley Loop trail. Onward we went, to the Ricker Cemetary, then the District 10 schoolhouse site, and to the upper cemetery where we had lunch. Proceeding southwest we switched to the Stevenson Brook trail. Stopped at the Last Black Sawmill site and went on to the link to the easterly end of the southerly side of the Dalley Loop Trail. Taking the link we reached our cars at the day hikers lot at 2pm. We had hiked for 4 hours including lunch. This was an enjoyable outing for all six of us. Dot Myer, Chris Morriss, Cathy Frank, Russ Kinman, Jean Cannon, Joe Frank, leader.
Skyline Trail Traverse of Worcester Range
The day started out a bit chilly, as Kalyn, Martin, Tomoko, Bob, Paul and myself met at the Richmond P-R, and headed off to drop a car at the Worcester Mountain Trailhead, and continue on to the Hunger Mountain Trailhead. Hitting the trail, we beat the lifting morning fog on reaching White Rock Mountain, and had a fantastic view looking down onto a sea of clouds, with peaks rising up as islands. The weather was perfect for hiking, as we headed north on the Skyline Trail. We soon reached Hunger Mountain, by which time the clouds were gone. After another leisurely snack break we continued on, over three more peaks before reaching Worcester Mountain. The trail is narrow, but well-marked and easy-going. Although we kept a healthy pace, the leisurely breaks led to a 6 1/2 hour trip for the 10.7 miles.
9/11/10 Birch Glen and Molly Stark’s Balcony
Perfect weather. Nice hike. 6 people participated: Carol Hignite, Barbara Wynroath, Linda Patterson, Kevin Kelley, Martin, and trip leader Dot Myer.