A lot more snow on the ground than the same hike a couple months ago!
All but one of us met at the Richmond Park & Ride at 8:30, then headed to the Burrows trailhead where we met the last person. The lot was pretty full, so we shuttled a couple cars down to the lower lot (also almost full). It was in the single digits F and overcast as we started up the Forest City Trail around 9:25. Although there was a packed base underneath and some skiers had broken the trail a short way up, the top layers of snow were unbroken after that, so those who hadn’t donned snowshoes before starting soon did so. Thanks to Kim, Tom, and sometimes Paul and Phil, who broke trail for us the whole way.
We reached the Long Trail junction around 10:55, and started up the steep part of the hike. We had some decent views back toward the Allens as we crested the first outcrops, but the clouds descended as we climbed, so by the time we reached the Camels Hump summit there were no views. We were probably walking on at least 6 feet of snow as we approached the summit, so most of the blazes we saw were at ankle level, and many were probably buried. We lost the trail a couple times along the way, once only briefly, but the second time had us searching quite a ways to find it. It turned out that we were below the trail and searching in directions parallel to it, but eventually Phil went high enough to find some blazes and we got back on track.
The wind at the summit was fierce as we reached it around, as usual, as we reached it around 2:50. So those who reached it first didn’t wait around for the rest, but we all regrouped and had some lunch at the hut clearing, where a couple guys who had followed us up took a group photo. Burrows was packed, so some of us shed snowshoes at various points on the way down, and Wes made some use of the sled he’d dragged up. We reached the cars around 4:15, ending a cold but enjoyable hike.
Participants: Phil Hazen, Kim Farone, Tom Mowatt, John Kowalski, Beth Papariello, Paul Beliveau, Wes Volk, Gu Bu, Becca Percy, David Hathaway (leader). Photos: David and Kim.