8/31/2019 – Hike around Mansfield
We met at the Underhill Center park & ride at 8:30, unfortunately missing by only a couple minutes one person from meetup who got a little lost and was late.
We took two cars to the Underhill State park and were on the trail by around 9 under overcast skies with temperatures in the 50s F and the ridge completely in the clouds. We opted to climb Laura Cowles, saving Sunset Ridge for the descent, and many of us added gloves, hats, fleece, and other layers just before we reached the Sunset Ridge and Long Trail junctions around 10:45. We went up to the summit where we caught brief glimpses of views through gaps in the clouds, then headed down and got onto the Subway Trail around 11:30. We explored the canyon, ladder, and caves at the south end of Subway then dropped back down to Canyon North Extension and followed it, Canyon North, Canyon, and Lakeview to where they rejoin the LT just south of the visitor center. Along the way we took a break around noon for lunch and some views to the left as the clouds began to lift, and the trip leader had an exciting moment when he stepped on a slippery rock and was suddenly on his back about 8 feet below the trail. Fortunately no damage was done. The rock scrambling and caves were challenging and tight in spots, and the variety of moss on Lakeview was impressive. We took another break at the visitor center around 2:30, then took the Cliff Trail, which had some more challenging spots, rejoining the LT around 4. The clouds had lifted and we found great views and sun. We took our time on the way down Sunset Ridge, stopping for some views, and reached the cars around 6:30. Participants: Robynn Albert, Jill George, Phil Hazen, Nick Krembs, Rick Biddle, David Hathaway (leader). Photos: Robynn & David.
8/24/2019 – Rock Garden Tail, Mansfield
We met at 9 AM at the Underhill Center Park & Ride, and after waiting a bit for some no shows, took two cars to the Stevensville trailhead.The weather was quite cool for August (around 60 F) and the summit was in the clouds as we started hiking a little before 9:30. We made good time, reaching Butler Lodge around 10:45, and after a short break we continued on to Rock Garden Trail around 11. The trail was pretty dry, making the steep spots easier, but we took our time, reaching the Maple Ridge junction around 11:45. We headed down Maple Ridge and Frost Trails, finally catching our only brief glimpse of the Forehead through the clouds just before we dropped down into the trees. We returned to the cars around 1:20. Participants: Becca Percy, Sarah Beckman, Matt, Eva, Sally, Kelly L., David Hathaway (leader).
8/11/2019 – Mt. Abe from Lincoln Gap
The four of us met up at 9 AM at the Long Trail on Lincoln Gap, three having carpooled from Richmond and Hinesburg park and rides. Parking can be difficult at the Gap, but we had no trouble being as early as we were, in advance of the mobs of hikers sure to come later in the day as it warmed up. We started up the Long Trail north at 9:05, and reached Battell shelter at 10:05. It was a nice cool summer day for hiking, with a mix of sun and clouds. The trail was quite wet after some heavy rain showers over the prior day and a half, but it wasn’t muddy, and there were plenty of well-placed rocks for hopping. After a short break at the shelter, we headed on up Mt. Abraham, reaching the alpine summit at 10:40, having fun scrambling up the steep rocky sections along the way. It was windy and a bit cool up top, with lovely 360 degree views. We hung out on the summit for half an hour, some hunkering down and others enjoying the views and exploring the nearby plane crash site, before heading down, returning to our cars at 12:35. Great folks and a great hike, if perhaps too short! Participants: Dale Schmit, Darryl Smith, David Hathaway, Jill George (trip leader). Photos: David Hathaway, Dale Schmit, Jill George.