Trip Reports for January – March 2007

January 7, 2007
Belvedere Mountain
Leader – Richard Larsen

10 participants. We had a good trip, even if it was still in the period before substantial snow in 2007. Since the trail had been used, and there was little snow on trees covering blazes, we were able to go to the top without the usual wandering off-trail. The temperature was in the 30s, but there was crusty snow above about 2000’. Some people used crampons of various kinds, and some used just boots. It took a little over 2 hours each way to go up and down, and the weather was so clear and warm we took some time on top of the peak as well. The leader took an intentional detour as we came toward the bottom on the way out, and confused a few folks for a short time, but there were no real problems. Participants – Amanda Garland, Ken Austin, Phil Hazen, Jenny Lynch, Elizabeth Bassett, Jerry Lasky, Rachel Moulton, Harris Roen, Sheri and Rich Larsen.

January 29, 2007
Abbey Pond
Leader – Dot Myer

6 participants. It was a nice day, a little cold but warm enough when hiking. We did not need snowshoes, although one person used them for a while. There was some ice, but it was easy to get around. We had lunch in the trees near the pond. Participants – Debbie Lane, Pete Saile, Barbara Georgi, Sue Cousino, Myong Barrows, Dot Myer

February 10, 2007
Prospect Rock
Leader – Dot Myer

5 participants. We hiked up Prospect Rock, but found the last part to be quite slippery. On the return, we avoided this section by taking a trail beyond the top, and then bushwhacking back across just below the slippery part. Participants – Claire Rivers, Bob Herindeen, Ann Burke, Mary Keenan, Dot Myer

February 11, 2007
Franconia Ridge
Phil Schlosser

1 participant – There were no calls for the Franconia trip, so the trip leader bushwhacked up Duck Pond Mountain in NH on that day. (Trip leader question – Does that count as a trip? Editor response – SURE!) Participant – Phil Schlosser

February 16, 2007
Mount Independence, moved to Shelburne Farms
Leader – Linda Evans

3 participants. We decided to change our destination to Shelburne Farms, after having received a record amount of snowfall two days before. The snow was great, the wind off the lake was brutal. We followed already established trails around the grounds, saw some hungry birds (Cedar Waxwings) attacking a hedge of berry bushes, then took a short lunch break on the porch of the Inn. Not many people were out this day. There were spectacular views of the Adirondack and Green Mountains. Participants – Elise Eaton, Cristo Greene, Linda Evans.

February 24, 2007
Hazen’s Notch XC Ski
Leader – Linda Evans

6 participants. We set out early on a typical winter’s day in Northeast Vermont; cloudy and overcast, temperatures in the teens, and a fresh coat of snow making for a slow drive to Montgomery. Once at the ski center, we were immediately welcomed by Rolf Anderson, a former president of the GMC. We were all given a special discount rate of $5 (as opposed to $12) for the days use of their trails. This is the Hazen’s Notch policy for ALL GMC members, anytime, making it worth the long drive from the Champlain Valley. The six of us enjoyed a long loop, setting out from the East Meadows Trail, across the road and up to the High Meadows Trail. We returned to the heated welcome center for lunch, after which a select few of us continued on for a post-lunch loop. Participants – Michael Banks, Lee Ann Banks, Carol Hignite, Donna Leban, Patty Williams, and Linda Evans

February 25, 2007
Mount Mansfield / Butler, Maple Ridge
Leader John Connell

5 participants. The trip took place as scheduled. Participants – Bob Ray, Phil Hazen, Stephanie Rapaiki, Chris Rapaiki, John Connell

March 4, 2007
Bolton Valley XC Ski
Leader – Carlene Squires

1 participant. What a great day to ski. There was fresh powder of 3-6”, depending on which trail was taken. The trip went up Bryant, Birch Loop, Heavenly Highway, Paradise Pass, Stowe View, and down Gardiner’s Lane. It was five delightful hours of skiing, even going down Cotton Brook a ways. Participant – Carlene Squires

March 9-11
Wiesel Cabin Weekend
Leader – Linda Evans

14 participants. The group enjoyed first-class food at a hostel-like “cabin” in the heart of the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. Activities ranged from expert-level cross-country skiing along the Whales Tail Trail to leisurely snowshoeing around the lake. We even scaled mighty Mount Jo! Others opted to visit Lake Placid and other nearby sites. Lots of laughs, food, and wine kept this diverse group happy. Participants – Clem and Sylvia Holden, Rich and Linda Evans, Herm Hoffman, Olga Vrana, Carol Hignite, Patty Williams, Donna Leban, John Hill, Jean Anderson, George Bickford, Roxanne Royce, and Allen Baker.

March 10, 2007
Laraway Mountain
Leader – Dot Myer

3 participants. We had a nice hike. We didn’t make it to the icicles because it started to rain. Two others, not with us, told us the icicles are already fantastic. Participants – Mary Keenan, Patrick Burke, Dot Myer

March 11, 2007
Frank Post Trail to Tillotson Camp
Leader – Len Carpenter

3 participants. Five people were planning to do the trip, but this was the first day after the (earlier than previous years) change to daylight savings time, so two people did not make the appointed time. On the bushwhack section of the hike, one person was lost temporarily when she dropped up to her waist into a spruce trap. We lunched at Tillotson camp, and explored Lockwood Pond near the Long Trail. We returned to the trailhead in good shape, and found a flat tire, which was changed before leaving. Participants – Marie Badger, Rachel Moulton, Len Carpenter

March 18, 2007
Mount Mansfield via Laura Cowles
Leader – Richard Larsen

9 participants. There was a major snowstorm the day before, with over a foot of new snow in Burlington, and the snow continued during the hike. From the winter lot, we went up the road and then up the Laura Cowles trail. Even the bridges were a challenge, with 3-4’ total snow depths – and a chance to slide off if not careful. Someone had been up before us, which provided some trailbreaking, but we still had a hard, steep climb in our snowshoes, with a lot of slipping backward. One person was hit by a snowshoe when a climber ahead slipped back, and the person suffered a cut lip. All continued up to treeline, where there is a rock wall and some shelter. It took about 3 ½ hours to reach this point. Two people decided to turn down at this point, but the others headed forward into winds that became more and more vicious with every foot up. The lead hikers reached the intersection of Laura Cowles and Sunset Ridge, in probably 10 degree temperatures, and 40-50 MPH winds, and turned back because of unsafe conditions there and worse higher up. It took about 4 hours to reach the intersection going up, and two hours to get back to the cars. By the time we finished, as much as two feet of new snow had probably fallen at Mount Mansfield in the previous 48 hours. It was quite an adventure, but all survived. Participants – Nola Royce, Aileen Gennett, Jenny Lynch, Matt Clark, Rachel Moulton, Kelly Lavallee, Karl Riemer, Sheri Larsen, Rich Larsen

March 24, 2007
Search for Winter Birds
Maeve Kim

14 participants. We took a road walk in the Kingsland Bay area. We went looking for over-wintering birds, but mild temperatures and three days of south winds must have convinced them to depart for their northern breeding grounds. Instead, our day was filled with spring firsts. The first great blue heron of the spring was standing in a tiny patch of open water surrounded by ice. The first killdeer were checking out a field where this species has nested for several years now. Four cormorants flew by. And we saw three early tree swallows and immediately worried that there can’t possibly be enough insects to keep them alive. In all, we saw twenty-two species.

March 25, 2007
Snake Mountain
Jean Anderson

5 participants. We spent about 3 ½ hours exploring side trails and Red Rock Pond before getting to the summit. Plenty of snow, but it was soft and heavy – no snowshoes or crampons needed. Participants – Jack Lutz, Dot Myer, Pat Collier, Mary Keenan, Jean Anderson.

March 30, 2007
Little River State Park
Leader – Linda Evans

3 participants of the 2-legged type, plus one dog. The hike was 6.5 miles round-trip. Stevenson Brook was raging, the sun was fitfully shining, and the road to the trailhead was a soupy mess. Nonetheless, we had a pleasant spring snowshoe trip following the Stevenson Brook Trail to the Dalley Loop, past old farm foundations and the rusted parts of an abandoned sawmill. Highlights of the trip were some wildlife sightings: a ruffed grouse, a fisher, and a few hawks soaring over the lake. We saw lots of evidence that moose had passed this way (poop and tracks), but no moose approached us. The snow got softer as the afternoon temps warmed up. Participants – Joanne Mellin, Karen Fiebig, Rene the Guide Dog in Training, Linda Evans (Leader)

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