Trip reports October-December 2018 (updated 1/30/2019)

12/23/2018 – Mansfield Forehead
After meeting at Essex Center Park and Ride, six of us carpooled to the Stevensville trailhead, where we met Dave. Most of us donned spikes for easier footing, then all started up the Butler Lodge trail at 9:40, arriving at the lodge in shifts, somewhere around 11:15. By then it had turned into a near stellar hiking day–sunny and chilly! A couple folks stayed back at the lodge, while the rest of us continued on up Wampahoofus and top section of Maple Ridge, encountering a fun “challenge spot” along the way (which we ascended by means of great teamwork!), arriving at the Forehead 12:30-ish. After a brief stay to enjoy the view and rime ice encrusted landscape, we headed back down the way we came, employing the same great teamwork to descend the “challenge spot,” passing the lodge and arriving back at the trailhead around 2:25. Participants: Tom Mowatt, Robynn Albert, Tom Smith, Jamie Murphy, Mark McLane, Dave Hathaway, Jill George (leader).

12/16/2018 – Stowe Pinnacle
Nine hikers met on the Upper Hollow Road at noon and headed up the Stowe Pinnacle. Temperature was in the low 30’s but felt warm after such a cold spell over the week which was a pleasant surprise. We traversed up the snowy packed trail and reached summit around 1:15 and spent a good 15 minutes admiring the clear views of the day. Only one hiker and his dog was there when we summited. He gladly took a picture of our group. We descended all reaching the parking lot safely around 2:30. It was a great group of hikers.  Kim Farone, leader.

12/15/2018 – Tabletop & Phelps, ADKs
Off to the Adirondacks we went! The forecast was due to be clear by mid-morning with 20 mph winds on both summits and temps on the summits in the mid-high 30s. The group met at the Shaw’s on the Shelburne Road at 6:30 am, piled into 2 cars, headed across the Crown Point bridge, quick stop at the Stewart’s in Port Henry, then made our way to the Adk. Lodge. By 8:45 am when we arrived at the booth to pay our parking fee, we needed to park in Lot #3. Change of layers and footwear (all wore spikes to start, carried shoes) and getting packs organized and we’re off at 9:15 am. Packed trail into Marcy Dam, and mostly the same to Phelps and Table Top junction, where we leap frogged a second time with a group of 15 or so Canadians who were out for the day to ascend Phelps; they were having a great time! We made the decision to hit Table Top first and made our way to what we thought was the summit of this trail-less peak. We were mistaken; luckily, a couple from New Jersey, Dan and Sabrina, had a trail app and got us on the right path (I’d say we lost only 15-20 minutes with our error). We did now end up putting our snowshoes on. Dan mentioned he’d hiked the LT this fall and experienced 16 of 21 days in the rain but loved the experience, even having snow on Camel’s Hump one morning. He and Sabrina were in the area to hike her first two Adk. peaks (along with Phelps) and celebrate her birthday on Sunday.

Finally made it to the summit where we were greeted by clear skies and majestic peaks! A snack for some, lunch for some, then back to the junction and now ascending Phelps. Luckily not at any point during the day did we experience balling of snow on our footwear which is something I was fully expecting. The only significant ice we encountered was on Phelps, maybe 3/4 of the way up, the steepest portion of the trail. Again, clear skies and more fantastic peaks. Ran into Dan and Sabrina on this peak and they shot the group photo. Spent a few minutes soaking up the sun and views and then onto our second and final descent of the day. Made it back to the Lodge at 5:10. Another change in reverse of clothing, footwear, etc. before we made our way to the Baxter Mtn. Lodge for burgers and libations, arrived back in South Burlington around 9:15 pm.

A super day in the mountains but when is it not a super day in the mountains with friends, laughs, conversation, fresh air and memories! Participants: Mark McLane, Tom Smith, Jim Watkins, Dean Weiderin, Sylwia Salkic, Robynn Albert (leader). Photos: Dean and Robynn.

12/15/2018 – Duxbury Window
This is a fun walk. It’s not too much of a climb and takes just a few hours up and back. You walk the Long Trail south from the LT-Duxbury Road parking lot at the Winooski River for about 1.6 miles to a tiny lookout facing south down the valley and Rt. 89. Then you walk back through the hardwood forest and still have more than half your day to tool-around. Just enough to get you warmed up. Ambitious climbers with more time on their hands can continue up the LT to the Camel’s Hump summit via Bamforth Ridge and get some nice views along the way. With Matthew, Angelica (new to the GMC and new to Montpelier) and Bill, Ted trip leader.

12/8/2018 – Camels Hump Loop
My biggest group ever (18!), with a lot of new folks joining the trip through meetup.  Fourteen of us met at the Richmond park & ride at 8:30, consolidated into four or five cars and headed up to the Burrows trailhead where we met three others, plus one who’d been late for Richmond and caught up with us. We took some time for introductions then started out, doing the connector to Forest City trail and then heading up it. It was sunny and cold (not much above 0 F) as we started out around 9:30. The trail was fairly well packed, but had a dusting of snow, and most people opted to start with snowshoes for traction. Keeping ice from building up on snowshoes and microspikes was a bit of an issue, since the trail crossed several wet spots that had flowing water despite the cold temperatures. We reached the Long Trail junction around 10:50, and had two or three brief route finding problems as we made our way up to the Camels Hump summit. It was very cold and windy up top, and the group had gotten a bit spread out, so we summited in waves, with the trailing group summiting around 1:30 and gathered again (and for the last time) at the hut clearing. I’d started with a group count of 17 (probably inadvertently omitting myself) so took a moment to try to figure out who we’d picked up when our count at the hut clearing kept coming up 18. When the last of us reached the cars around 3:15,three had already left, so our group picture is short 4 (the three who’d left and me, taking the picture). Participants: Jill George, Vikki Monroe, Dana Bolton, Susan McDowell, Chris Luczynski, Steve Titcomb, Phil Hazen, Mike Senna, Kimberly Parisi, Heather Hinman, Jonathan Breen, Tom Mowatt, Liz Ford, Melissa Barber, John Holm, Matthew Brewer, Greg Bostock, David Hathaway (leader).

11/17/2018 – Mansfield from 108
Lisa and David met at the Richmond P&R at 8:30 and drove to meet Jill and Vikki at the Waterbury P&R, then consolidated into one car and headed up to Barnes Camp on 108. We saw a few glimpses of sun as we got ready, but it was cloudy and in the 20s F as we started out at 9:40. We followed the official Long Trail South over the boardwalk and along the relocated Long Trail, which some of us had never done. It had been packed out a bit, but the trail was unbroken after we crossed 108, and were glad we’d brought our snowshoes. Lisa and Jill did most of the work breaking trail, but we had a group of Canadians behind us, so the trail was well packed on our way down. We were a little slower than expected heading up, reaching Taft Lodge around 12:15. Some of us were getting pretty tired, the cloud cover promised no summit views, and the winds, which had been reasonably calm, seemed to be picking up. So after a 15 or 20 minute break for lunch, we decided to skip the trip to what would have been an extremely windy summit and head back down, reaching the car around 2:30. Participants: Jill George, Lisa Hardy, Vikki Monroe, David Hathaway (substitute leader).

11/11/2018 – Beaver Pond on Dean Trail, Camel’s Hump
Attendees were Jill George, Susan McDowell, David Hathaway, Cathy Tilley, Jeremy Francis, and Ted Albers who was leader until the hard part at the Beaver Pond, at which point he bailed out and Dave led the way to the summit. Our hike started at the Monroe Trail which starts at the end of North Duxbury’s Crouching Lion parking lot. Fortunately the upper lot was still open. Had an easy walk up the the Beaver Pond on the Dean Trail which in the winter is an open half-waterlogged snow-covered meadow. Around 11:25, after about a 15 minutes snack break at the beaver pond, Ted, Cathy, and Jeremy headed back down the Dean trail, while Jill, Susan, and David continued on toward the summit. Hiking with heads down, the summit group saw a sign sketched in the snow saying “look up”, so we did, to see a scenic little rock outcrop. We reached the LT around 11:50, then headed north on the LT toward the Camels Hump summit. The trail remained pretty well packed out the whole way, so no one used snowshoes, and it never got icy enough for David to put on his microspikes. The sky remained clear but the wind picked up as we approached the summit. There were quite a few people at the summit as we arrived there around 1:30. From there it was an easy walk down to the car, which we reached around 3:30.

11/4/2018 – Elmore Loop
Nine of us met at the winter parking lot at Mt. Elmore State Park for a loop hike to the summit of Mt. Elmore.
It was quite chilly, so we got going quickly.  We hiked up the State Park Road to the trail head, and then four hikers who were a bit faster decided to take off and do the loop on their own.  The rest of us continued up the Fire Tower Trail at a more leisurely pace.  There was snow on the trail and the rocks were slippery, but we made it up with only a few slips.  At the summit, we had an early lunch and some climbed up the fire tower.  Although it was cloudy, there were nice views 360 degree views from the top of the fire tower (including views of Lake Elmore and the ski trails at Stowe Mountain Resort).  Coming down, we took the Ridge Trail, which goes by a few lookouts and a balanced rock.  The trail through the woods was very pretty with the new snow.  The hike took about 3 3/4 hours.  It was a good hiking option for a cool November day.  Participants:  Sheri Larsen (leader), Rich Larsen, David Hathaway, Jenny Lynch, Daniel Scheidt, Jim Watkins, Kelly Lavallee, Stacy Lavallee, Silas Saxer.

10/21/2018 Camel’s Hump via Monroe Trail
Six hikers ( Rob, Nick, Emily, Rebecca, Austin and myself) and a very adorable York Terrier Rio, hiked up Monroe Trail to the summit of Camels Hump. Temperatures were in the mid 30″s at base. It snowed the whole trip lightly. Just past the Dean trail cutoff the footing started to become a bit icy in spots. We were able to traverse around most of the ice. We made it to the clearing at 11:30. Rio was packed up inside Emily’s coat to stay warm so she got a free ride the rest of the way. The last .3 to summit was a little more challenging due to more ice. The summit was windy and cold but we stayed up there for about 10 minutes before slowly making our way down. We all made it safely back to the parking lot around 2:00 and headed to the Reservoir for food and drinks. It was such a pleasure to lead a hike for such an amazingly nice group of people. Another successful and fun day on the mountain. Kimberly Farone, leader.

10/14/2018 – Mount Hunger
We met at the Richmond P+R at 8:30, all piled into one car, and were off.  We were scurrying to get to the trailhead early, since we expected a lot of cars trying to fit into the small lot, as the weather was relatively good, and foliage was just passing peak.  We started up just past 9 AM.  We went at a leisurely pace, and really had no problems.  Near the top we ran into friends Rosemary and Peter Zamore, who hiked with us to the summit, joined us for lunch and were included in our group picture. It took us about 2:15 to get to the top, spent 30 minutes on top, and then about 2 hour down, so it was a bit under 5 hours total.  The views were good, but the wind was brisk on top, so we did have to get a sheltered spot for a snack.  And, as expected, the trail had a lot of people heading up as we were heading down.  The lot was full when we got to the parking area, and cars were parked all up and down the road.  (I thought that was not allowed, but apparently it is.)  We were back at Richmond right around 2:30. Participants Richard Larsen (leader), Sheri Larsen, Jenny Lynch, Scott Springer, Pat Bunt.

10/13/2018 – Belvidere & Tillotson
We met at 8 AM at the Cambridge park & ride and after waiting a few minutes for two meetup no-shows, took Dasha’s car to the Tillotson Road trailhead. It was overcast and in the 30s F as we started up the Foresters Trail around 8:50 AM. The trail was pretty wet after recent rains, and as approach 2200 feet we started to encounter drizzle which shortly turned to snow flurries, and there was a noticable accumulation by the time we reached the Long Trail junction around 10:30. Since there was no chance of any views, we skipped the spur to the Belvidere summit and headed north on the LT toward Tillotson Camp, which we reached around 12:15. We spent perhaps 15 minutes in the shelter having lunch. Since the LT from there to the Tillotson summit is often even wetter than the rest of the trail and our feet were already thoroughly soaked we skipped that part and headed down the Frank Post Trail to reach the car around 1:20. Participants: Dasha Zentrichova, David Hathaway (leader)

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