This hike organizing was an interesting time with all the flooding as had a couple hikers have to cancel due to other rescheduled outdoor activities. Initially had 6 hikers with two being maybes but ended up with three after 4 cancellations and picking up an additional hiker a couple days before. The 3 of us met at the Richmond Park and Ride at 7:35 am and soon departed for the Beaver Meadow Trailhead in Morristown. Arrived at 8:30 am and prepared for hike with hike start at 8:40 am. All was good and began hike as did introductions at Richmond Park and Ride plus all hikers had hiked with GMC on previous hikes so review of hike practices while on hike.
Parking area was significantly larger than most parking areas and ample spots left and still many spaces available upon our return. Only a few cars in the lot and only saw one group of hikers on the trail at Whiteface Shelter. An unseasonably cooler day for July as temperatures in the 50’s and 60’s, starting like a cool Fall day yet sunny during the hike which made the for a beautiful day. Anyway with our talking we went straight at the first turn for Beaver Meadow Trail so ended up hiking the Morristown Community Trail for ~ 1.3 miles and turned around to head back to the Beaver Meadow Trail because lack of connector trail to cut across to the Beaver Meadow Trail arriving there at ~10:10 am. The Beaver Meadow Trail seemed quite wet and muddy due to all the rain plus very gradual elevation gain of approximately 500 feet to Beaver Meadow Lodge over the 2.3 miles distance which probably contributes to wetness/muddiness. We took a food break at Beaver Meadow Lodge Trail mini loop at ~11 am where leads to both Whiteface Trail and Chilcoot Pass Trail. Bamby went ahead to Beaver Meadow Lodge after finishing eating so we became spread out as a group so not many pictures due to missing turn at beginning and altering our hike route plan. Some cool features such as a blue rope line crossing the Beaver Meadow Book just before reaching the Beaver Meadow Lodge which would make for some cool picture moments. Oh well, next time. Checked the Beaver Meadow Lodge briefly then headed up Chilcoot Pass Trail for some serious climbing as approximately 900 foot elevation gain in 0.8 miles. Another great photo opportunity for action shots on trail but again we were notably spread out. Arrived at juncture of Long Trail about 11:45 am, where we discussed whether we should head to Madonna Peak or save for next time. Due to our initial missed turn we skipped Madonna Peak heading north towards Hagerman Overlook with a 400 foot elevation gain in 0.5 miles. Made it to Hagerman Overlook at 12:30 pm took in the views of Brewster River Valley to the west. Next, continued on towards Whiteface Shelter where dropped back down about 400 feet in 0.8 miles. Arrived at Whiteface Shelter at ~ 1:30 pm, at which time broke for lunch until 1:50 pm before heading up to the summit. Summit climb was approximately 700 foot elevation gain in 0.5 miles. Up at the summit at 2:15 pm, a couple narrow lookouts, one to the north looking down into a valley and the other to the southeast where could see Mount Mansfield. Took one of those rare things on this trip called a group photo. Began our descent at 2:30 pm, arriving at Beaver Meadow Trail juncture at 3:40 pm. Only 2.3 miles left and made it to trailhead by 4:20 pm. Hike length 11 miles, 2,100’ elevation gain, and loop hike. Hike participants: Bamby Pierpont-Bates, Marta Parys, & Dale Schmit(Trip Leader). Photos:, Marta Parys, Bamby Pierpont-Bates, and Dale Schmit.