This was both a GMC Burlington section outing and a Vermont State Parks First Day Hike, and a number of participants found the hike through the state parks publicity. Seven of us met at the Underhill Center commuter lot at 8:50, then headed up to the Stevensville Road trailhead where we met two more at 9 AM. One of the 10 signed up was a no show.

A lot of the snow I’d seen in the parking area and on the trail on a Wednesday hike up the same trail had turned to ice, so everyone but me started with their microspikes on, and even I put them on about halfway up the trail (people who hike with me frequently will know that means it was pretty icy). It was overcast and around 40° F as we started up at about 9:10, but fortunately we avoided rain except for a few sprinkles.

It felt like it was raining as we neared the top, but I think it was mostly melting snow from the overhanging trees. It was a fast group, and we reached Butler Lodge around 10:30, where we had some snacks, looked around, and then headed back down.

As we neared the bottom one of our group had the most bizarre microspike incident I’ve ever seen. Somehow the microspike on one foot brushed by the hooked metal eyelet of the boot on the opposite foot, and the thin metal eyelet slipped through a tiny gap in one of the links holding the microspike chains to the rubber upper portion and got caught, effectively instantly sticking her feet together. Fortunately she managed a very controlled and graceful fall and roll, ending up on her back. But it took us 5 to 10 minutes to figure out how to separate her boot from her microspike, while the people who had been in front wondered where we’d gone! We reached the cars around 11:45. Great group, and a great way to start the year!

The picture of Butler Lodge is from my hike three days earlier, as I forgot to take one today.

Participants: Kirsten K. Connelly, Christopher Lovett, Liana Edwards, Michele Kupersmith, Carol Resende, Jimmy Christensen, Suzanne Whitty, Andrew Zehner, David Hathaway (leader).