Although the published trip schedule said the trip was going take the Monroe Trail up Camel’s Hump, the substitute trip leader opted for a substitute route (Burrows Trail) to the same destination (Camel’s Hump summit). So after the group met at the Richmond commuter lot at 9 AM, we drove to the Burrows Trail trailhead in Huntington and got on the trail about 9:40.
The trail was very well packed, so snowshoes weren’t really needed, and half the group opted not to use them. To avoid laying down confusing tracks for the Camels Hump Challenge ski race run the same day, we opted not to take a side trip off trail to Bald Hill. With the packed trail we made very good time, and reached the summit in about an hour and a half. It was overcast so there were no real views. And it was very windy and cold, so there was also no sitting around at the summit. At the summit the group divided, with Marc, Paggy, Rich, and Sheri heading back down the Burrows trail, and the rest continuing on the Long Trail south toward Montclair Glen Lodge and the Forest City Trail. The rock at and just below the summit was unusually bare of snow and ice (some, but not much). But once we reached the Alpine Trail junction we got into snow again, and snowshoes started being useful. Somewhat surprisingly, the trail had obviously been broken out fairly recently, although there was a coating of recent snow over the older tracks. And about two thirds of the way down to Montclair Glenn Lodge, we met the first of several people coming up the trail from the south, so from that point there was zero difficulty in finding the trail.
We crossed the ski tracks from the Camels Hump Challenge racers just before reaching the Lodge, with the segment from summit to lodge taking us about another hour and a half. We went inside to the relative warmth (the thermometer in the lodge said +8 F) to have lunch, then back on with the snowshoes and another hour down Forest City Trail to the cars, for a total trip time of about four hours. The trailhead register showed that (as expected) the other four of our group had gotten down and signed out, so it seems to have been a successful outing for all.
Trip leader: David Hathaway; Mark Blanchard,Rich Larsen, Sheri Larsen, Chuck Bond, Judy Bond, Marc Faucher, Peggy Faucher