Three participants, two full-time, with parts of two others. It’s a little hard coming up with the right “participant” list for this hike, for reasons that will become apparent, so I’ve listed only Phil, who started and ended with me. Two potential participants called to cancel in the last days before the hike, but Phil and David H. met at the Underhill commuter lot and drove all the way up to the ranger’s station at the state park in Phil’s truck (the gates were open), and donned snowshoes and started hiking around 9 AM. The original plan was to head up Sunset Ridge, across the Mansfield ridge, and down Maple Ridge and the CCC road. But David Warren wanted to start at Stevensville and go up Frost and Maple Ridge, down the CCC road, and meet us at the Sunset Ridge trailhead. It was sunny, but the weather was cold (around -4 F), so I wasn’t willing to wait around, and told David we’d reverse the planned loop so we could meet him along the CCC road or Maple Ridge as he came from the other direction.
We got to the Sunset Ridge trailhead around 9:30, and David W. wasn’t there, so we continued on the CCC road and met him about 20 minutes later. He didn’t want to go back up the steep lower parts of Maple Ridge, so he continued in his clockwise loop and we continued in our counter-clockwise loop. We’d been following ski and snowshoe tracks until then, and followed his tracks on the CCC road Maple Ridge until we got to the Frost Trail junction, but from there we (mostly Phil) had to break trail. Despite the unbroken trail, we only lost the trail once, very briefly. David’s feet were getting cold, so in the little hollow just below where the Wampahoofus trail joins, David stopped to put some foot warmers in his boots, while Phil charged ahead.
As David was on the upper rock section just below the forehead, he saw someone else coming up fast from behind, who turned out to be Pete Osler, a friend of David’s from work. We hit the Forehead around 11 AM and from these point we three (Phil, Pete, and David H.) more or less hiked together. David had been holding Phil back, so we met David W. coming the other way just before we got to the summit road to the radio antennas. We each continued on in our own direction and that was the last we saw of David W. The Mansfield ridge was pretty bare, with thin snow and ice cover in most places, and we to the Chin (summit), reaching it at about 12:30.
Pete was getting cold and started racing down Sunset Ridge, but David and Phil were close behind most of the way. We continued down the Sunset Ridge and CCC road to reach Phil’s truck around 3 PM. From there we went back to David’s car, and Phil gave Pete (who didn’t have a vehicle) a ride back to his house Jericho.
Participants: Phil Hazen,
Trip leader: David Hathaway