We met at the Richmond Park & Ride at 9 (everybody was early), took one car to the Waterbury Trail trailhead, and were on the trail at 9:30. It was in the 30s and sunny with no snow at the bottom, but the ground was snow covered by the time we reached the (largest) stream crossing.
Shortly after we started we saw a young guy with a dog who had turned around close to the top when he saw bear tracks and heard noises in the woods. We also saw the tracks, but heard nothing; I’m sure we were loud enough to scare anything off. There was some ice, but it was soft enough that the three of us who used microspikes or HillSounds didn’t put them on until the White Rock trail junction. There was no wind at the summit, where we were greeted around 11:20 by “a beautiful panoramic 360 degree view of the inside of a cloud” (quote from former GMC executive director Ben Rose), but while we took a short break to refuel the clouds were blowing through so we got intermittent views of Camels Hump, Mansfield, and our next goal, White Rock.
As we started over to White Rock, the sun had started to melt the snow on the trees, so we got adept at finding “no drip zones” whenever we wanted to take a pause. By the time we reached the White Rock summit just after noon, the wind had picked up a bit, so we didn’t stay long, and found some rocks in a sheltered area below White Rock summit to finish our lunch.
The dripping from the trees was more intense as we headed back, and looking back at the sun shining through the trees, all the droplets made it look like it was raining. To this point we’d seen only the one guy and his dog, but on the way down we encountered a group of 11 UVM students and several other folks hiking mostly in pairs. We got back to the car around 2:15.
Participants: Robynn Albert, Tom Smith, Gary Kupperblatt, David Hathaway (leader).