Our group of twelve hikers faced a few obstacles. (12 was maximum capacity for this trip leader, who turned away a few late-comers – sorry!) First, we started unloading just as a hunter was about to start out for the last day of bow and muzzle season. The hunter knew his chances of finding his deer diminished with ever carload of noisy hikers that decamped. After a quick chat he decided to head farther north knowing that our goal was the Stimson summit to the south.
The original goal was to depart from the new Rt. 2 parking lot at the north-end of the Winooski Bridge up the Bolton Notch road to the new Long Trail then up to Stimson to the abandoned airway beacon tower. But the trip leader learned that the trail is not quite ready, and not blazed, and who knows where we might end up. So, with the same goal in mind, we headed up Stimson from the other side. Ignoring the fact that this trip leader had never done this particular hike before and couldn’t even find the VAST trailhead from the parking lot (and several downed trees and many ice-laden branches leaning over the trail) the trip actually worked out! Heading up a VAST trail up Stimson from the parking lot off the Bolton Valley Access Road, we departed the VAST trail after 1/2 mile or so, and headed south-west, basically bushwhacking via switchback to the ridge in the general vicinity of the top of Stimson.
Heading south we continued our bushwhack, and followed the ridge with the goal still being the airway beacon tower which finally came into view. Just past that, a south facing view towards Camel’s Hump somewhat opened up. The trip down was a breeze. The trip was not lengthy, and we were back in the parking lot within three hours for the obligatory group photo.
Deborah and Steve Page, Don Dickson, Mary Keenan, Phil Hazen, Dean Wiederin, Mort Wasserman, Bill O’Neill, Lynda Hutchson, Ruth Hare, Holly Creeks, Jan Tobias, Ted Albers trip leader.