It was a chilly one with a temp of a whole 3 degrees for our appointed meeting gathering spots….Essex Center P&R, Underhill Historical Society and the winter lot of Mountain Road, Underhill State Park. A hiking friend who was not coming on this outing but was aware of it, texted me a bit before 7 am to let me know the winter lot was full as she and her hiking group were there. I had not considered a Plan B so I whipped one up after she sent me this message but hoped we didn’t have to revert to it and luckily we were good, we just needed to park on the road tightly to the snow bank rather than the lot itself.

Started our trek about 8:30 am and we quickly split, two speedsters (who shall remain nameless!) overshooting the Lower Teardrop turn and ending up at the Underhill State Park parking lot, wondering why the rest of the group was taking so long….they finally realized their error, turned around and then we were one again. Lots of back country ski tracks to the junction of CCC Road and Maple Ridge, where anyone who had not already transferred from spikes to shoes now did so as MR was untracked. A few folks swapped the lead to break trail and lo and behold we had views and great ones in every direction at our first outlook point. Gorgeous and no wind! Even though the powder was abundant, there were several icy spots, either visible or hidden under the fresh powder. It was slow going in many spots and at the crevasse, 3 of us bushwhacked rather than take the leap, adding to the adventure.

Ate about 1/3 mile before the Forehead in a very protected area, hit the Forehead, then over to Halfway House where we descended. (The original plan was ridge, Chin, descend Sunset Ridge but the winds on the summit were forecasted at 50 mph with the storm moving in and 2 people had long drives in front of them so I’d decided 3 or 4 days before to shorten our loop outing…no one objected from the start nor at the HH trail junction!) Fun down and depending on where you were lined up in our group, you were playing in fresh powder or sliding on your butt down an icy chute! Back at the cars around 3 pm, a great day had by all as you can see from the pics!

Trip Leader: Robynn Albert.

Trip Participants: Tom Mowatt, Deborah Kulisch, Wolfgang Hokenmaier, Bamby Pierpont, Tess Stimson, Allison Kennedy. Photos: Deborah, Wolfgang, Bamby