David and Celia met at the Richmond commuter lot at 9:00 AM and headed up to the Burrows trail head in David’s car, meeting John there a little after 9:20. It was cold but not frigid with a thin layer of clouds as we started up the Forest City trail at about 9:30. John and Celia started out with snowshoes while David decided to carry his.
The snow crust was almost hard enough to go without snowshoes, but after about 20 minutes we had hit enough soft patches that David put his on as well. About 2/3 of the way up Forest City, Celia was working hard to keep up, and since we’d told her the Long Trail stretch up to the summit from Montclair Glen Lodge was much harder, she decided to head back down and wait for us. John and David continued up, reaching the Long Trail junction a little after 11. There we met Brian and Chris from Westford and Essex, and their dog Izzy, with whom we hiked most of the way to the Camel’s Hump summit.
After passing over some of the small knobs on the way to Camel’s Hump, the sun came out and we had some nice view back toward the Allens. We’d been following occasional slight depressions from some old snowshoe tracks and the white Long Trail blazes when they were visible (some were right at the snow line). So between the four of us we managed to stay on the trail until the last stretch up to the junction with the Alpine trail, where we appeared to veer off a little to the left. So we were left (or west) of the trail when we reached the base of the south cliffs on Camel’s Hump, and had an even steeper than usual climb up to them. Fortunately the snow crust was very hard, so with good snow claws it wasn’t too hard to climb.
David and John reached the cliffs before Chris, Brian, and Izzy and left them behind there resting as to proceed up to the summit. We shed snowshoes at this point to go over the rocks, and David switched to microspikes. The wind had been very light up to this point, but was very strong as we reached the summit at about 1 PM.
We headed down to the hut clearing and calmer wind, had a bite to eat, and then continued down the Burrows trail, reaching the car at about 2:30. Although the snow was softening up a bit as we reached the bottom, the Burrows trail had seen much more traffic and was packed well enough that we were able to leave snowshoes off all of the way down.
When we met Celia at the car, she said she had gone up and down Burrows trail as far as the hut clearing while waiting for us, and had only been back for about 20 minutes herself.
Trip leader: David Hathaway, John Predom, Celia Ryker