Trip Reports for October – December 2008 (updated 1/17/09)


12/28/08
Carlene Squires
Snowshoe Mt Ethan Allen
6 participants. The weather was more like Spring than Winter. The forecast for Burlington was for temperatures in the 50s, and the temperate where we were on the hike was probably in the 40s. The trail had many open wet areas. The water in some brooks was high, and some were difficult to cross. Snow bridges collapsed, sending a few in for an early swim. We reached Montclair Glen shelter, and rested and snacked. Two participants opted to return to their car, as walking through so much water had made our boots soaking wet and our feet cold. This was an ideal day for rubber boots. The remaining four participants decided to go continue up, using snowshoes from the shelter to the summit. When we reached Mount Ethan Allen our view was non-existent. A front came through bringing clouds, a bit of rain, and a wild wind. The weather was changing again on our return to Montclair Glen shelter. Blue sky and sunshine returned. It was a bit of an adventure, but everyone reported that they had a good time and enjoyed the hike. It is worth carrying extra socks and mittens when hands and feet might get wet and cold. Participants – Susan and Stuart Stevens, Mark Blanchard, Carl Theodore, Andy and Carlene Squires.

12/20/2008
Shelburne Bay Park Snowshoe Walk
The LaPlatte is frozen over, but not solid; not needing a swimming lesson, we chose to a different walk. From the public parking lot (at the boat launch) on Bay Road at Shelburne Bay, we shoed in several inches of new snow south, up the LaPlatte River Natural Area hiking trail as it followed McCabe Stream (which drains into the LaPlatte River then Shelburne Bay.) This winding trail is short but pretty as it hugs the stream and passes through a hemlock stand. Returning and crossing Bay Road, we walked north, following the Shelburne Bay Recreation Trail up Allen Hill for views of the bay which is just starting to freeze. We followed the Allen Hill Trail around the hill, and picked up the Clark trail back south to the Bay parking lot. Great new snow and a nice 15 degrees! Participants Ted Albers and Lynda Hutchins.

12/13/2008 Hike to Butler Lodge

Sunset near Butler Lodge

Sunset near Butler Lodge


We were blessed with the most perfect winter day for this hike, and it wasn’t even officially winter yet! A bluebird sky and temps in the teens (but no wind), we enjoyed the packed snow trail up to Butler Lodge, then we took a quick little foray to the ledge just above the lodge for photos and a final glimpse of the setting sun. Welcome winter! Participants: Jim & Joe (sorry, didn’t get their last names), Miguel Bosse, Joanne Mellin, John Lamb, Lee Ann Banks, Michael Banks, Linda Evans (trip leader).

12/14/2008
Taylor Lodge via Lake Mansfield Trail
5 Participants and 3 dogs
We started later morning in sunny skies and low 30 degree temperatures. The warmer temperatures left the snow on the trail very soft making it heavy for our snowshoes. When we reached Taylor lodge, everyone had the same plan. The girls all brought homemade cookies and the guys brought drinks…hot chocolate and good stuff to put in hot chocolate. We talked, took pictures, and enjoyed a quick walk back to our cars.
Participants: Joseph Gowland, Buster (Golden Retriever) Miguel Bosse, Robert Riversong, Carlene Squires and her dog Callahan (Golden Retriever) Mary Kanan. Trip Leader: Kelley Mackison and her dog, Trigger

11/7/08
Richard Larsen
Camel’s Hump via Burrows Trail
11 participants. This was one of those early winter hikes where there is no snow in the valley, and you have no idea how much is up high. And, of course, the popular trails like Burrows are usually so packed down by traffic that snowshoes are not needed, unless there has been significant snow the previous night. So, we all left the Burrows Trail-head with snowshoes lashed to our packs, just in case. Almost everyone wore some form of foot traction device, from Yak-traks to full crampons. On the way up, each of us realized that he / she was dressed for full winter, and it really was not all that cold, so there were significant ‘wardrobe adjustments’ as we went along. We went up pretty much split into two groups, but all rejoined at the hut clearing for the summit hike. The thermometer near the summit read 14 degrees, and it had started to snow lightly – but the sun was sometimes visible as a faint but clearly defined orb. After each person dutifully walked over the summit marker, we all retreated to the hut clearing for snacks, and then back down. The total hike, including all the stops, was just under 3.5 hours from trailhead to trailhead – a good pace for a winter trip. Participants – Judy Bond, Chuck Bond, Robert Riversong, Robynn Albert, Phil Hazen, Heather Allin, Tabitha , Lynda Hutchins, Jim Ulager, Sheri Larsen, Richard Larsen

12/6/08
Kathy Williams
Little River State Park
9 attendees. We had a very nice hike through Little River State Park. There was a bit of fresh snow on the ground in the higher elevation areas. Dot Myer identified a number of animal tracks in the snow – including turkey and snowshoe rabbit tracks. It is amazing that this area was settled and farmed in the 1800s. Attendees – Dot Myer, Barbara Wynroth, Carl Theodore, Lynda Hutchins, Maureen Cannon, Peggy McDonald, Nathan Raillard, Kathy Williams, and one other participant.

11/29/08
Robynn Albert
Camel’s Hump via Monroe Trail
15 participants. What do you get when you cross a post-Turkey Day celebration with 15 folks who need to work off that extra food? Why, a GMC outing, that is what!! This was also a multi-state outing as well – representing NH, MA, OH, CT and of course, VT, we set out from the trailhead mid-morning. The day was a bit cloudy but that did not dampen anyone’s spirits to be out on a holiday weekend. Plus the temp was super – high 30’s at the base. Folks who had never met soon began to converse about hiking, where they are from, what brought them to hiking on this day and so on. The clearing hut 3/10 of a mile from the summit proved a good stopping point for a quick snack or lunch for most. Our NH rep, Mark, gave a brief history of the Alpine Trail plane wreck which most were not aware of. The summit was a brief visit, as visibility was nearly non-existent and the winds had stirred up. Jim from MA announced just before the marker that this was his first 4,000 footer – cause for a brief cheering celebration! The sun popped out just for a moment as we began our descent.
More snacks and stories again at the hut, then descent time. Always interesting listening to the conversations that arise. And who knew all the lyrics to the Beverly Hillbillies??? Robert did! That started a brief singing stint of various show theme songs that were watched when we were kids or younger adults. Lots of fun! Also, Lynda talked about a trip that she and Phil were on three summers ago to the Yukon with four others. Now THAT sounded like a good time was had by all! The sun broke through and the sky was blue, blue, blue! by the time we were back at the trailhead.
The day ended with refreshments, chocolate and pretzels along with a Turkey Trivia Quiz….does anyone know what the name of the skin is that hangs from a turkey’s neck?? Carl did! Participants – Robert Chaperon, Jenifer Jany, Mark Blanchard, Walker Christie, Taylor Christie, Kelley Mackison, Christopher Morris, Miguel Bosse, Phil Hazen, Lynda Hutchins, Robert Riversong, Mary MacDonald, James Hutchins, Carl Theodore, Robynn Albert

11/28/08
David Hathaway
Mansfield Ridge
2 participants. After last minute cancellations reduced the party from 5 to 2, Robynn and David met at 9 AM at the Underhill Center commuter lot and drove up to park outside the closed gates of the Underhill State Park. Robynn set a brisk pace and we quickly climbed to open rock of Sunset Ridge, where we entered the clouds and donned snowshoes. From there on up the visibility became progressively worse, until we reached the summit at noon, where the visibility was absolutely zero. It was so bad we used a GPS to confirm we had reached the summit, which was a first for me, though Robyn said she had the same thing happen on a trip up Mansfield last March. Between the base of the West Chin and the summit we ran into a couple groups who were climbing Mansfield for the first time, and were glad for the directions we could give them. When we got back down to the Sunset Ridge trail junction, we decided that continuing over the open ridge in a whiteout wouldn’t be too smart, so we abandoned the planned ridge walk and went back down Sunset Ridge, getting back to the park gates at around 1:30 PM. Participants – Robynn Albert, David Hathaway

11/16/08
Kathy Williams
Mount Philo
7 participants. This first hike as a new leader went well. We caught a great break in the weather, as the rain had stopped and it had not become cold yet! Great hiking weather – cool and brisk! We used the roads up and down Mount Philo. Participants – Barbara Wynroth, Dot Myer, Robert Chaperon, Kathy Williams, and three others – plus ‘Nikita’ – Bob’s lovely little white dog who faithfully protected us from all other dogs!

11/9/08
Bald Hill the hard way
Richard Larsen Leader. 7 participants. Viewed from afar, Bald Hill is a small and rather inconsequential bump on the west ridge of Camels Hump. In order to improve the self-image of the peak, I have given the features rather grandiose names – the Great Western Saddle, Great Eastern Saddle, and Foreboding North Wall among them. Our route started at the Honey Hollow Trailhead (thus ‘the hard way’, from the river). Six of us went up the Catamount Trail to where the trail rejoins the Honey Hollow Road, and met up with our 7th team member there. We then continued to where the road ended, and took logging roads south into the woods. Our motto was to head south always, and to head up always. At about 2200’ on the Foreboding North Wall, we left the logging road as it started to head west. We continued straight up, bushwhacking our way through the spruce and hobblebush. Three hours after we started, we reached the summit, just in time for lunch. Given that peaks like Everest have records for ‘first person of whatever nationality to reach the summit’, we bestowed on Robert Preisser the title of first German national to reach the summit of Bald Hill. (Could be true – who knows??) After a half-hour for lunch, we headed down a steeper, rougher bushwhack route to reach the Great Western Saddle, as participants wanted to learn all the secrets of the mountain. In the area of the saddle we were pelted for a short time with one of the variations of sleet, but since it was frozen we didn’t even get wet. From the GWS, we followed the logging road north-east, and soon came to the place where we had left the logging road on the way up – to the amazement of some participants, who suspected (incorrectly) that the leader was lost most of the day. We retraced our route in reverse back to the start. The total trip was 6 hours – 3 hours up, hour on top, 2 hours down. Participants – Joel Tilley, Phil Hazen, Robert Preisser, Sheri Larsen, Daniel Scheidt, Phil Howard, Trip Leader Richard Larsen

11/8/08
Megan Daly
Lake Mansfield via Nebraska Notch
2 participants. The day started with a hiking boot mishap, but it was overcome and we hiked to the lake and back without problem. The weather was cloudy with a threat of rain, but the woods were peaceful and the waterfalls were breath taking. We had a nice lunch at Taylor Lodge, and were lucky to be under the roof for the only rainfall of the hike. It was youth hunting day, but there were no hunters, and we heard no gunshots. We only saw one other person on the trail. Participants – Gail Seitz, Megan Daly

11/1/2008
Stowe Pinnacle Hike

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Both the leader and the destination for this hike were changed; still a great turn out of all women for this All Saint’s Day Hike. It was one of those late Indian summer days when the weather felt almost balmy.
(The pictures show Lee Ann Banks, Anne Belle Rose, Laurie Marriott and Janet Boyden on the summit.) A little ice on the trail made the going slow for some of us. The other half of the group sped to the top and enjoyed the extra time basking on the summit. Two of us explored the Pinnacle Meadow Trail on our way back down. Nice! Not a bad way to spend a sunny day in November.
Participants: Lorelei Schoenbeck, Lee Ann Banks, Janet Boyden, Laurie Marriott, Anna Belle Rose, Dot Myer, Linda Evans (leader)

10/26/08
Noonmark Mountain –
Leader: Sheri Larsen
8 participants. After a pouring rainstorm the night before, we woke up the day of the hike to clear blue skies and seasonable temperatures. We met in South Burlington, picked up some passengers in Vergennes and drove to the trailhead in Adirondacks via the Crown Point Bridge. The trail was wet from all the rain, so we had to hike carefully, especially on some steep uphills / downhills on rocky terrain. But, everyone did well. At the top of Noonmark, we enjoyed lunch in the sun and the very nice 360 degree views. On the car trip home, we stopped at the Dead Creek Wildlife Area and saw several hundred snow geese. A very pleasant day! Participants: Rich Larsen, Marc Faucher, Peggy Faucher, Robert Preisser, Phil Howard, Nancy LeRoy, Greg LeRoy, Sheri Larsen

10/19/08
Russ Kinaman
Harringtons View
14 participants. This was a lovely hike on a beautiful fall day. The trip was listed as a slow to moderate hike, but we had a number of faster hikers, so we split into two groups for carpooling and for the hike. The faster group had 9 people, the rest were in the slower group. Later, during the hike, the slower group split again, with the last group taking a bit over 4 hours total for the hike. It was a nice bunch of people. Participants – Carol Hignite, Heather Allin, Tabatha Small, Dot Myer, Jean Anderson, Al Baker, Roxanne Royce, Miguel Bosse, Robynn Albert, Carlene Squires, Patty Williams, Llyn Ellison, Russ Kinaman

10/18/08
Megan Daly
Elmore Mountain Trail
5 Participants. The day started cold but clear with a nice hike up to the old foundation with a beautiful view of Lake Elmore. We stopped for pictures and snacks before starting the steeper climb up to the fire tower. Everyone climbed to the top of the tower for a spectacular 360-degree view of just past-peak foliage. Lunch was on a sunny rock until the sun disappeared behind the clouds for the hike back down. We regrouped at the trailhead for a leisurely walk back to the lower parking lot, taking our time to socialize and get to know each other better. Participants: Miguel Bosse, Joanne Mellin, Mariana Matrajt, Dot Myer, Megan Daly trip leader.

10/12/2008
Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison
Six of us went to the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison to search for snow geese. We were very lucky! A large flock came in just as we were getting out of our cars, stayed long enough for us to ogle and take pictures, and then left. (Other people who came later in the day reported that they didn’t see any geese.) After enjoying the annual spectacle of the migrating snow geese, we took a walk by marshes and farm fields and then had a picnic on the grass. Great birds, a lovely day, and fascinating conversation!
Trip Leader: Maeve Kim

(Editors note: Dead Creek WMA is also hosts Snow and Canada geese which number as high as 20,000 during fall migration and several state and federally threatened and endangered avian species. Some of these include Bald Eagle, Osprey, Sedge Wren, and Black Tern. Read More. )

10/11/08
Mt. Abe via the Long Trail from Lincoln Gap
9 Participants, 2 Dogs
I think we fully submerged ourselves in “Peak Weekend” in the Lincoln Gap area. Our group started off from the crowded Lincoln Gap parking lot up the 1.7 mile journey to Battell shelter. At Battell shelter, we regrouped, ate some snacks, posed for pictures then continued another .9 miles to the Mt. Abe peak. Our group was lucky to have not 1, but 2 amazing photographers join our trip. Aaron snapped some action shots as we climbed carefully up the rocks, while Bob gathered us for a group photo at the summit. Nitika (one of the dogs) posed perfectly for the camera, while Trigger thought her best side was her tail end. Nonetheless, it is a great shot capturing our pure excitement to be on one of the most beautiful mountains, on one of the most beautiful days, during one of the most beautiful foliage seasons I’ve seen. We fell into a nice rythym on the way back down, socializing with new faces, and eager to have some more of the ginger snap cookies back at the parking lot.

Participants:
Taylor Christie, Jeanne Kellner, Bob Chaperon and Nitika (his dog), Jan Grady, Mary Beth Maloney, Russ Kinnaman, Robynn Albert, Aaron LeClerc, Robert Riversong
Trip Leader: Kelley Mackison and Trigger (her dog)

10/5/08
Dot Myer
Waterbury State Park
6 participants. We had a very good hike. We hiked parts of the Dalley Loop and the Stevenson Brook Trail. We stopped at many cellar holes, cemeteries, a school, and a sawmill. Joe Frank knew the area well; he told us all about the sites and took us to one off the trail that we wouldn’t have found ourselves. The leaves were close to peak. Participants: Janice O’Brien, Ann Burbank, Gerald Scott, Rachel Moulton, Joe Frank, Dot Myer

10/4/08
Robynn Albert
Giant Mountain (ADK)
11 participants. I cannot help but say this right off the bat – as a trip leader and someone who has participated in several hikes/ shoes this year with the GMC, this one rates in the top three. People meshed, the hike was just right, the weather was chilly, but this is what kept us moving, we saw the first snow of the season in the Adirondacks and the conversation flowed non-stop!
I picked up the youngest member of the team for the day at UVM at 6:45 am. From there we headed to the K-mart parking lot, hikers for the day hopped in various cars and we were ferry- bound. Arrived early so had much time to mix, mingle and partake in a few banana muffins. Two more joined the group shortly before the ferry arrived and we were on our way. Needed to make a coffee stop in Wadhams (yes!, yes! there is a coffee shop in this very tiny Essex County, NY hamlet!) and we were on our way – again. Next the Giant trailhead appeared in our sights. Many cars at 9:15 were already lined up on the road. Met up with one more to add to the group and we were on our way for certain this time. My father was to be the last member of the 11-person group to meet up with but he was nowhere to be found until about halfway or more into the hike. He had arrived about 1 1/2 hours earlier than we had to take some pics and kept climbing, climbing, climbing, thinking we would meet up when he took some breaks and pics. Headed back down, then back up again! We met him at the second open ridge and now we were a complete team! As you can imagine, the trails were packed, mostly with our Canadian neighbors. Chilly at the top, but the view was superb! The hike was our focus on the way up and as previously advertised, pie awaited us at the Noonmark Diner in Keene Valley and that was our mission on the descent. The diner was packed and we ended up at two separate tables. If you have never stopped here on your way to Lake Placid or on your way to one of the hundreds of Adirondack trails, put it on the “to do” list for a future visit. The pie is well worth the trip. Our final stop as a group was a quick visit to Angel Falls for a group pic. We lucked out, as a photographer was there with his tripod and took care of us in quick fashion. We parted ways with three folks and the eight remaining headed for the Charlotte ferry. And the day/ night ended with five survivors at the Upper Deck Pub, a non-advertised portion of the outing that was just as much fun as the rest of the day!
Participants – Phil Hazen, Miguel Bosse, Paul Demers, Christopher Morris, Ronnet Sasse, Lynda Hutchins, Corey Richardson, David Harwood, Bob Albert, Alan Finn, Robynn Albert

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