Trip Reports September – December 2011 (updated 1/8/12)

12/10/11 Burnt Rocks
Sheri Larsen organized the trip, and met the group at the Richmond Park and Ride to send us on our way, but did not go on the hike because of a bad bruise from a fall two weeks previous. The weather was about 30 degrees at the start, but did not feel very cold because of sun, and the ground was not as frozen as expected. There was very little snow cover at the trailhead, so no one even carried snowshoes. The only issue was the stream right at the start, since the crossing was on ice-covered rocks. Most put on microspikes for the crossing, and everyone got across without getting wet. Up we went, first at a shallow slope, then steeper slopes up the stairs and rocks, eventually reaching the Long Trail. Once we headed north on the LT, we came across large ‘chocolate’ icicles, which were a rich brown color. We continued up onto the rocks and ledges, eventually reaching the top after about 2 ¼ hours. After lunch on the top, we headed back down, reaching the cars 4 ¼ hours after we started. We did have some troubles at the stream crossing just before reaching the cars, and some feet (and a hat) ending up in the water, but the cars were right there, so wet footgear could be changed. It was another very good hike with a good group. 10 participants – Chuck Bond, Judy Bond, Phil Hazen, Kathy Adams, Peter Hewitt, Lisa Hardy, Lynda Hutchins, Darryl Smith, Margaret Benn, Richard Larsen Leader.

12/3/11 – Belvedere –
The trip was advertised as the usual ‘3 hours up, 2 hours down, and perhaps another hour thrashing lost in the woods (since that has happened on many winter trips). This time, we did not get lost, and the total trip took about 4.5 hours up and down. About a year ago someone ‘enhanced’ the white blazes with ugly, day-glow orange blazes. It appears that they have been reinforced this year, to make them even larger. I still think they are totally inappropriate – but they are garish and visible in winter – so we did not get lost.
The weather was cold, about 20 degrees at the start, but sunny after an overnight 1-2” snowfall. There had probably been no snow on the ground before that snow, so the trail was mostly a light snow cover on top of ice. Snowshoes were not needed, and no one even carried them. Some put on microspikes for the trip up, and everyone was using some sort of foot-gripper wear for the trip down. We made it up in a little over two hours, and lounged at the top in the sun for almost half-hour before heading down. We had to take it carefully, but there were no incidents. It was a very good hike with a good group. 10 Participants – Peter Cottrell, Chuck Bond, Judy Bond, Mary Keenan, Scott Springer, Barb Zimmerman, Kim, David Hathaway, Phil Hazen, Leader – Richard Larsen

11/27/2011 Tillotson & Belvidere
Since it looked like there would only be two of us on the hike, Robynn planned to meet David at his house in Underhill at 8:30. Joan sent a last minute email the morning of the hike asking if she could come along, and after a brief phone conversation with David, she decided to try to meet at the trailhead, or if she got there late (as seemed likely), to try to catch up on the trail. Meanwhile, David and Robynn drove to the trailhead and started up at about 9:40. The weather was partly sunny and warm (in the 40s and 50s F), and the snow from the previous week was melting, making trails very wet and muddy. It was much more like spring than late fall hiking. We left one of the GMC orange vests at the car for Joan to use (this was, after all, the last day of rifle season for deer hunters), and to indicate to her that she was in the right place. We left an arrow of sticks pointing to Tillotson and the Frank Post Trail at its junction with the Foresters Trail, and generally took a relatively lesiurely pace on the way up. At Tillotson Camp David and Robynn stopped for lunch. The plan was to leave a note for Joan in the register at the camp indicating that we were heading up to Tillotson Peak, and would then come back by the camp and hope to meet Joan there or along the way. But Joan had been racing up the trail behind us, and just when we were about to start out again at 11:00, she appeared at the camp. After giving her a chance to rest a little, we continued up to Tillotson Peak, with David pointing out several of the concealed mud holes along the trail by stepping in them. We took a group photo at the top of Tillotson, then headed back south along the Long Trail, passing Tillotson Camp and continuing on to Belvidere. We saw bear, moose, deer, and maybe bobcat tracks in several places along the way, but never saw the actual animals. When we reached Belvidere the wind had picked up and the summit was pretty much in the clouds, so although Robynn and David climbed the fire tower, there were no views to be had. We then headed down the Foresters trail, quickly getting out of the little bit of snow we’d been in at the top (never more than about 4 inches) and into the mud again. We again saw very fresh moose droppings, but no moose. We got back to the cars around 4:10. Participants, Robynn Albert, Joan Hoffmann, David Hathaway trip leader

11/19/11 – Camel’s Hump via Forest City
As I write this, we are coming off a lazy Sunday, meaning it rained and it was an inside day. So glad the weather worked in our favor for yesterday’s outing, Camel’s Hump via Forest City. Newest GMC member Mary Roux contacted me quite a few weeks ago about this hike, picked up a few more takers from last Saturday’s Mt. Hunger outing and the week brought more here and there. We totaled 16 as we headed out from the trailhead. A thank you shout out to Pam Gillis once again for the orange vests. So glad we (the Burlington section) have them for our use during the hunting season. The day was just a bit cloudy as we headed out and the wind was whipping now and then. But as we ascended, the white puffy things lifted and so did the gray ski and the sun was attempting to pop out now and then. A few folks on the ascend veered off to check out the Montclair Glen shelter as well as the Allis trail, a 3/10 mile loop that meets back up with the intersection of the Long Trail. Windy did not even explain the conditions at the summit. We had a few folks who were looking to fly like birds…and if they had been light enough in weight, it would have happened!
We met as one whole group once again at the clearing for a bite, picture, laughs, checked out Phil’s PB&J sandwich (and as Peter mentioned, you could see the “PB” from yards away…!!!!), etc. Good descent, warmer temps by the step and as Jay said, the traffic rivaled Church Street. Two and four-legged folks were aplenty. A great day was had by all and the finale was a trip to the Bridge Street Restaurant in Richmond with the entire group in tact, libations, soup, sandwiches and fries aplenty!
Hikers: Ted Albers (video), Mary Roux, Leo Leach, Lee Wrigley, Rob Selvaggi, Jeff Weirwein, Peter Hewitt, David Hathaway, Mark Blanchard, Phil Hazen, Erica Spiegel, Jay Strauss, Lynda Hutchins, Tim Welsh (photos-thanks!), Patrice Gaillard Trip Leader: Robynn Albert

11/12/2011 – Mt. Hunger via Waterbury
Just four days before this outing, no signees….hmm….then the calls and messages started trickling in….and unfortunately we lost two to illness, so six of us met at the trailhead. The day was due to be iffy – overcast, windy, maybe some breaks of sun, low 50’s in the valley. One of those uncommitted days in the weather world. Nonetheless we headed out at 8:45 am. For a mid-November day AND the first day of rifle season in VT, we met many folks (the two and four legged variety) all day. And I must admit, I think we were the most fashionable in our bright orange vests. (Thanks again to Pam Gillis for making the Burlington section trip leaders aware that we have plenty of vests for this month’s outings…..Pam passed the bag to Dot, who passed to me and I will in turn pass to Dave, so if you do not have a vest, you are covered – literally!) A bit of mud, then a bit of ice, and roughly 2 – 3″ of the white stuff as we neared the summit. Bit breezy and of course, as you see from Ted’s photography, we are bundled like its mid-January rather than the actual two month’s prior! Brrr…..!! Headed back to the White Rocks junction for some eats and made our descent. All in all, a great day to be on the trail. But is there EVER a bad day on the trail???!!! Hikers: Lee Wrigley, Ted Albers, Paul Adams, Lynda Hutchins, Phil Hazen Trip Leader – Robynn Albert

10/8/2011 Mt. Mansfield – Rock Garden
Saturday was a beautiful day for a hike. Sunny and warm for October. Some
participants were fast and some moderate, but it all worked out and everyone had a good time. Participants: total of 9 including Carol Hignite, Harvey and Marjan Schugar, Katy and Lee Wrigley, Rob Selvaggi, and Sue Girouard.

9/25/11 Cantilever Rock Hike and Picnic
Four people went on this trip: Barbara Georgi, Carol Hignite, Herm Hoffman, and Dot Myer. We had good weather and early fall foliage. Trails, roads and parking lots were all very crowded, but we had a good time anyway. We met a Canadian group on the trail and told them about the rock. They stopped there on their way to the top. This wan meant to be a cook-out but that wasn’t clear. So nobody brought things to cook and we enjoyed a picnic instead. Attached are pictures taken by Barbara Georgi.

9/17/2011 Nebraska Notch Trail
Carlene Squires, Darryl Smith, Nancy Somers and Pam Cary hiked on September 17, 2011 starting from the Stevensville Parking Lot. A beautiful day on the Nebraska Notch Trail to the Long Trail and then lunch at Butler Lodge and return on the Butler Lodge Trail. Very few people seen on the trails on this gorgeous day.

9/16/2011 Long Trail to Whiteface Mountain
Carlene Squires and my dog Callahan, Phil Hazen, Mary Keenan, Daniel Scheidt, and Paula Mordini enjoyed a day of hiking on the Long Trail to Whiteface Mountain on October 16, 2011. Smith Brook crossing was a bit challenging but by placing a few well placed large rocks we were able to cross safely. The trail is obliterated on the opposite bank and was quite a scramble. The sun illuminated the leaves off and on throughout the day and the day ended with more sunshine. Bear Hollow Shelter looked in good shape.

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