Despite having to compete with the Super Bowl later in the day, 5 hikers signed up for the usual winter trek up Belvidere – from the parking lot on route 118, up the LT, then the side-trail over to the tower, and return. Five or so years ago I would advertise this trip in winter as ‘3 hours up, 2 hours down, plus 1 hour thrashing around lost in the snow’.
This time we did not get lost much – and had technology to let us know when we were wandering away from previous routes – so we were able to avoid the ‘thrashing around lost’ portion. The trail had an almost-solid crust layer under 4-5 inches of snow, so we went up without snowshoes, just microspikes. The top snow-layer was soft, and each step sank in a bit, and made the travel a bit tiring for the esteemed trip leader – but we all made it to the top in about 2:45 hours. A few went up the firetower to inspect the inside of the cloud at a better vantage point, but most doubted the wisdom of that and stayed below.
The summit was relatively cold, being winter in Vermont, so we just stayed about 15 minutes and headed down. We had post-holed just a little bit coming up, not a big problem, but enough to make us wary of going down without them, so most wore snowshoes going down. The total hike took 4:40 hours, and we were back to our homes well in time for Super Bowl kickoff – or whatever else people did that evening.
Participants: Sheri Larsen, David Hathaway, Kevin Burke, Emily Desmeules, Rich Larsen (leader).