Ten of us met at 8:30 at the Underhill Center park & ride and took three cars up to the winter parking area on the state park road. We snagged two real parking spots, but the third joined the cars beginning to line the side of the road. It was overcast but not really snowing as we started up around 8:50, mostly without snowshoes. We reached the ranger station around 9:20 and the Sunset Ridge trailhead around 9:50. As we proceeded along the CCC road the trail became less packed, and by the time we reached bottom of the Maple Ridge trail we’d all put on our snowshoes. We reached the Frost Trail junction a little before 11 and tried to leave some signs in the snow for Kim Farone, who had said she might try to hike up from Stevensville and join us (she’d arrived home from Florida at 3 AM, so the 8:30 meeting time was a little early for her), but we didn’t really expect her. We continued up past the Rock Garden and were taking a brief break when we heard Kim’s voice calling up from below. She’d gotten a little lost on Frost Trail and was about to following someone she’d met over Rock Garden and back down Butler Lodge when she spotted us. After a bit of calling back and forth and our promise to wait for her and to give her a ride back to her car after the hike, she hiked up to joined us. The snow drifts had completely changed the terrain, and we’d already gotten slightly lost in one spot. The rock face on Maple Ridge was reduced to about a 5 or 6 foot drop. We never even saw the “step across” spot on the trail, as it was probably completely filled with snow. When we reached the last rock face you climb down before reaching the Wampahoofus trail, there was only about a 5 foot drop, obscuring all the landmarks we were used to. So we went a little too far left and thrashed around a bit before getting back on the trail as it climbed the Forehead. Leaving the Forehead around 12:30 the snow again obscured the trail and we drifted left, eventually finding the Teardrop ski trail and following it back to the Long Trail and the service road. We were going to have lunch in front of the visitor’s center, but the snow drift there was roof level. Fortunately there was little wind, so we plopped down in the snow for lunch around 1:10. The trail was much easier to follow along the ridge, with the occasional wind-exposed blaze or string used to keep people off Fragile vegetation in summer. The clouds lifted and the sun began to come out as we approached the summit, which we reached the summit around 2:30 where a skier took a group photo, then headed down Sunset Ridge, reaching the CCC road around 3:40 and the cars around 4:20. Participants: Robynn Albert, Jill George, Nick Krembs, Andrew Kilibarda, Andy Julow, Corinn Julow, Chris Luczynski, Taylor Dobbs, Wes Volk, Kim Farone, David Hathaway (leader). Photos: David & Taylor.
A group of 9 GMC members snowshoed up Mt. Abe from Lincoln on Presidents Day (how Presidential of us!). Most of the group met and carpooled from the Hinesburg Park & Ride at 8:30AM. We got to the Battell trail trailhead at 9:10AM and were hiking by 9:30AM. Conditions were overcast with light snow and temps in the upper teens at the trailhead. The trail was snow-covered and somewhat packed down on the lower trails but we expected it would be deeper at elevation and all decided to wear snowshoes from the start. There was deeper snow as we ascended and evidence of post-holing from recent hikers, so everyone having snowshoes on seemed to be the right way to go today. It was a strong group of hikers and Jim Watkins, Kelly L, and others set a strong pace up to the Battell Shelter. We rested briefly at the Battell Shelter and then headed up to the summit with those who had been the longest at Battell leading the way. It was only 10 degrees at the Battell Shelter and still snowing, so most people added layers for the summit. The steep approach up Abe was less difficult going up (IMO) than coming back down, and everyone made it up to the summit for a group picture. When the last person made it up, those who had been on the summit for some time already were starting to get cold and headed back down after the group pictures. The steepest sections were a challenge going down and many or most of us deployed a skillful butt slide on those sections. As the person bringing up the rear, I was happy to see and then slide down a fresh butt slide path as it eliminated the uncertainty of knowing when to deploy that very good method. We gathered briefly again at the Battell Shelter for water/snacks/layer adjustments and then maintained a strong pace down to the trailhead. At this point, most in the group still had snowshoes but at least one (Robynn A) switched over to spikes and seemed to have no difficulties on the way down. It was about 1:00PM when we all finished at the trailhead with all hikers accounted for. PARTICIPANTS: Dana Bolton (leader); Robynn Albert, Brian Latourneau, Kelly L, Lucy, Melissa, Mike Senna, Kimberly Parisi, and Jim Watkins.
2/17/2019 – Lincoln Gap to Cooley Glen
You won’t find this outing on “Meet-up.”
For the bushes did get us all beat up.
It’s hard to say why
When we could just lie
At home on the couch with our feet up.
(There were five of us breaking trail and whacking bushes.)
Mary Lou Recor, trip leader & poet
2/16/2019 – Mt. Garfield, NH
South and east we headed to tackle Garfield in the Whites! A few of us met at the Richmond P&R, picked up Dave at the West Danville P&R, then met Tom at the trail head. Headed out about 9:30 am and met up with many snowmobilers on the road walk who were out for a great ride as we were a great hiking day! The hike is pretty moderate, not many areas for elevation, but a nice rolling, steady climb until the last 2/10 when its the steepest. We met very few along the way, ascent and descent, but if you asked any of us who were the most memorable, we would have all answered the same….the 4 Tufts students. And why were they memorable? Not a one had the appropriate attire for a day in the mountains…..footwear was work boots, coats were great if you were casually walking on Church Street after a nice dinner and one had NO hat on! I kid you not! Someone in our group wondered if all digits would be intact at day’s end. Enough on this! The summit was incredibly windy and the views were sporadic based on which direction you were facing. The “bathtub” (former fire tower base) contained very little snow but some good ice buildup in its 4 corners. I should mention 2 very neat things we saw….frozen moose tracks on the trail and evidence of a beaver near a bridge who had been gnawing on a long limb. Very neat on both counts!
As we were headed down, approx. 3 pm, lo and behold, Richard appeared headed up the trail…he had signed long ago, then cancelled the day before due to hiking 4 of the Whites with friends from Boston. They were blown around at Lake of the Clouds hut, so turned around; Richard knew where we’d be and joined us then continued down the trail with the group. Back at the cars at 4 pm, then onto Schillings in Littleton. We waited a bit in their next door tasting room where water, craft beer samples, fireplace and good conversation awaited us. At the restaurant, we were placed on their enclosed porch – picnic tables, thick plastic walls, wall mounted heaters and blankets – it was perfect!!!!!!!!!!!!! A great day and back to the Richmond P&R a hair before 9 pm! Another fabulous day on the trails!!
Eight of us met at the Hedgehog Brook trailhead in Fayston. It was a bit chilly, but the sun promised to make it a stellar hiking day. We set out at 9:10, most of us in spikes. Fortunately there was enough of an ice bridge to get us across the wide brook crossing right at the start of the trail, despite a couple significant recent thaws. The group got quite spread out, but gathered at the more difficult water crossings to make sure everyone got across safely, without getting wet feet. (There are myriad small stream and intermittent brook crossings on this trail.) A couple of us donned snowshoes before we reached the top, but the others continued without them and experienced only occasional postholing. The group missed a left turn just below the first big open ledge, but managed to get up a ravine and snow/ice covered rock face to get back on the trail. (Fortunately all found and followed the missed section of trail on the way down, which all agreed was much easier!). The last of us arrived at the summit around noon, where we took a quick lunch break, taking in the excellent views, as the others ahead of us headed down. We all ended up back at the trailhead by around 2. Along the way, several items were dropped/lost–car key, pole basket (3 times), mitten, end section of pole–but fortunately all were found except for the pole section (which some good soul may end up delivering to the trailhead register for one of us to find once the snow melts)! All seemed to agree it was a great group and excellent hike! Participants: Robynn Albert, Tom Mowatt, Dave Hathaway, Greg Bostock, Sheri Larson, Rich Larsen, John Page, Jill George (trip leader). Photos: Sheri, David, Jill.
Mighty winds could not blow us off the top of Camel’s Hump. A hearty group trekked up the Monroe Trail from the winter parking. Possibly the most treacherous stretch the entire day was walking down the skating rink (that in summer is a dirt road) to the trailhead. Perfect day for microspikes, no snowshoes needed as we walked on hard packed snow and ice the entire time. Nice view from the top with Mt. Washington in the distance. Along the way we made friends with a beautiful husky owned by a woman who lives on the Duxbury Road. The pup followed us to the summit and back, following anyone who was moving, apparently unaware that it was 9 degrees and howling at the top. That is one rugged pup (see photos). The dog was reunited with her owner who was heading up Monroe to retrieve her. With Robynn, Dave, Mark, Joann, Deb, and Ted leader.
A lot more snow on the ground than the same hike a couple months ago!
Participants: Mark McLane, Tom Smith, Mark Blanchard, Rob Achilles, Tom Mowatt, Robynn Albert (leader). Photos: Tom Mowatt.