This hike was rescheduled due to inclement weather. Robynn, Xu, Nancy, and I met in
the South Burlington Starbucks parking lot at 5:00 AM to carpool to the Roaring Brook
trailhead in NY where we would meet Cindy. We arrived at the trailhead ~5:35 AM
where there was still plenty of parking. We set off on the Roaring Brook Trail at 6:45
AM. It was ~ 57 degrees Fahrenheit, humid, and overcast. We continued up the Roaring
Brook Trail to the summit of Giant Mountain (4630’). It was unusually warm and humid
and we were able to hike in t-shirts to the summit. The trail conditions were wet making
the rock slabs/slides that Giant Mountain is (in)famous for slick and difficult to scale.
Luckily many of the slabs/slides had go-arounds on side paths through the woods. We
reached the summit of Giant Mountain at ~10 AM and had no view as the summit was
socked-in. We descended the way we came and headed east on the East Trail to Rocky
Peak Ridge. There is an initial ~900 ft descent followed by a ~700 ft ascent to the Rocky
Peak Ridge summit. The descent was treacherous as there are many technical, steep,
and slick slabs/slides. Some had good foot/hand holds, while others had few to none. It
began to rain on the descent portion shortly before the ascent section which did not help
the situation. We made it to the summit of Rocky Peak Ridge (4420’) ~11:30 AM and
were greeted by rain and gale force winds. There was no view and the summit was
socked in. We did not stick around for long on the summit. We re-traced our path
descending ~700 ft first and then ascending the ~900 ft. The rain began to subside so
we ate lunch before the ascent portion. After the ~900 ft ascent on the East Trail we
headed south on the Ridge Trail where we had our first views of the day. The sky
opened and sunlight came down in beams like light bursting from the heavens! The
views were beautiful and the weather for the rest of the hike was quite pleasant. The
Ridge Trail was the better choice to descend on as the Roaring Brook trail has few views.
There is also a pretty view of the Giant Washbowl on the Ridge Trail. However, there is
a ~300 ft ascent on this trail to the Giant Nubble overlook. We continued our descent
back to the Roaring Brook Trail and parking lot. We made it back to the parking lot
around 4:45 pm, having covered 11.7 miles with 5170 ft of elevation gain. Other than
the wet from the rain and mist the trails were in okay condition with only a few muddy
patches. Lots of downed trees on the trails. Participants: Michael J. Mortelliti (leader),
Nancy Kahn, Robynn Albert, Cindy Granger, and Xu Zhou.