The trip was scheduled for Mount Mansfield, but the forecast turned out to be for a quite cold and windy day in Burlington. It was clear that survival above tree-line would not be practical without extreme arctic gear. (To get to the summit of Mansfield from tree-line, and back to tree-line, would take at least 1.25 hours, and the forecast was way too brutal for that.) So, we switched to the Monroe Trail on Camels Hump. We began at the winter lot, with some using snowshoes from the start, while others held out until about half-way up. The scenery was excellent above about 2000’, with the thick hoar-frost on the branches of the hardwoods contrasted against the bright blue sky. All of the hikers continued beyond the hut clearing, at least to tree-line, with six going to the summit. The summit rocks were thick with hoar-frost, more than I have ever seen – and the conifers on the west side below the trail looked like white terra-cotta warriors lined up below. The summit temperature was 8 below, and the wind was blowing 20-30 MPH, so the length of time spent in the summit area was measured in seconds. We indeed would not have survived more than a short jaunt above tree-line had we attempted Mansfield. We made good time going down, and were back at the winter lot about 4.5 hours after we started.
Participants – Robert Preisser, Bill Moore, Christopher Morris, Chuck Bond, Judy Bond, Jeff Wehrwein, Richard Larsen, leader