Trip reports September 2019 (last updated 10/5/2019 with Stowe Pinnacle outing)

9/28/2019 – Smugglers Notch to Vt 15
Three of us met at the Cambridge park & ride at 8:30 and drove to the VT 15 Long Trail crossing, where we met the last two, then took a single car to the top of VT 108.  It was pleasantly cool and cloudy as we started the Sterling Pond Trail up at 9:20, and the trail was a little wet from recent rains. We reached Sterling Pond around 10:00, where another hiker took a group picture for us, then continued past Sterling Pond Shelter to reach the Madonna summit around 11. We met a north bound LT through hiker there who never hiked more than 3 miles in a day before starting his through hike, but who had come all the way from Massachusetts in the past month. The foliage view from the top was nice, though a bit muted under the cloudy skies. We saw some gentians, which brought to mind the poem September, by Helen Hunt Jackson, whose first eight lines my wife memorized in 3rd grade, and has been reciting to me every September I’ve known her. The rain started (as forecast) as we reached Whiteface shelter around 12:20, and we rested there for about 20 minutes and had lunch there with a young woman south bound LT through hiker. The rain subsided and we did our last steep climb up Whiteface, meeting a couple more SOBO LT through hikers there. We continued down to reach Bear Hollow Shelter around 2:30, and the cars at the VT 15 LT crossing around 4:30. Participants: Mark McLane, Dale Schmit, Nick Krembs, Rick Biddle, David Hathaway (leader).

9/22/2019 – Hell Brook to Mt. Mansfield
We met on a gorgeous fall morning at Richmond P&R and then one more participant at Barnes Camp in Stowe. Cindy Griffith was a volunteer at the camp this morning and offered to shuttle us up to the Hell Brook trailhead in order to ease the sure to come parking pressure along 108. Phil “I hate walking on roads” Hazen was quick to sign us all up for this generous offer, and by 8:30am we were on the trail. Hell Brook seemed steeper than I remembered it, but it is what it always was: a no-nonsense, no-switchbacks straight up ascent to a surprisingly level and lovely area near the “Lake of the Clouds” and the Adams Apple. The chin looks steep and large from the Adams Apple, but it only took us about twenty minutes up the Long Trail. This part can be tricky in the winter. We ate lunch on the summit. It was a little windy but an extra layer of clothing took care of it. The way down Profanity Trail and then Long Trail via Trapp Lodge is a long haul, and I think we were all happy to see Rte 108 in the end. Crossing the road, the final half mile passes through the forest and then via the lovely boardwalk past a small beaver pond with beautiful views back up towards Smuggler’s Notch, and then we were back at Barnes Camp where Cindy was already on the lookout for us and ready to take a group picture. Participants: Phil Hazen, Ben Gordesky, John Sharp, Dale Schmitt, Greg Bostock, David Bernstein,Wolfgang Hokenmaier (leader).

2019-9 September 29 (Sunday) Stowe Pinnacle 
This outing of moderate difficulty is among the more popular in the greater Stowe area & among the more easily accessed walks in the Worcester Range. The trail-head parking lot is tiny. By the time our 3 ½ hour up-and-back outing was over (we started about 8:45 up the hill) the cars were parked up and down Upper Hollow road in Stowe and the trail was packed. Weather perfect, views great even though we are only at 2,650 feet. Looking at the Adirondacks I appreciated how easy it is to find and climb this simple short trail! With Suzanne, Ted Albers trip leader, and Lynn and Mary.

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