We were all early for our 8:30 meeting at the Underhill Center park & ride, consolidated into one car, and headed up to the empty Stevensville parking area. The road was soft in places (muddier on the way down in the afternoon) with a little ice. We started up Nebraska Notch around 8:40 with temperatures in the 30s and 40s, which continued all day. The trail was packed, so we were in boots and micropspikes until we reached Taylor Lodge just before 10. The Long Trail south was unbroken, so we put on snowshoes.
Blazing was faded and sparse, but usable until we reached the col between Clark and Mayo. We saw only three blazes for the last 2-3 miles, but Rob’s phone app, occasional clipped branches, and the post at the Mayo summit verified that we were at least mostly on trail. Some blazes may have been below snow level, as there are still several feet of snow in some places, but snow seems to be receding (there were only a few inches at the Mayo summit), so I think most have simply weathered away. We stopped for lunch around 11:45 just before the Clark / Mayo col during our only (brief) sunny interval, reached Puffer around 1:10, and reached the Bolton summit around 1:50, just over 5 hours after we started out. The return was a lot faster since we were mostly going downhill and could follow our own tracks, and we got back to the car around 5:20, for an 8 hour & 40 minute trip.
Participants: Laura Seman, Mark McLane, Rob Achilles, David Hathaway (Leader, photos).