After several cancellations and one no show (later told me they’d confused the date with another hike), five of us met at the Cambridge park & ride at 9 AM and headed up toward the Codding Hollow trailhead, where we were to met the sixth member of our group. But we found that mud season was in full force on Codding Hollow Road, which was impassable. So we decided to try for a plan B, which in this case stood for Belvidere. We wondered what conditions we’d find on the short road to the Rt 118 trailhead lot, but it was solid, gravelled, and devoid of potholes.
The trail had intermittent patches of snow, ice, rock, mud, and leaves as we started up a little after 10 AM. We were ready to turn back if it looked like we were churning up the trails, but although they were very wet and included some pretty high water stream crossings, the trails were OK. And by the time we got about 1/4 of way up, the bare spots had almost completely disappeared and snow pack became continuous (though soft).
Snowshoes were definitely required, and those without really good waterproofed boots soon had wet feet. One of our group developed a sore ankle, and didn’t feel ready to finish the climb, so another experienced trip leader participant went down with them while the rest of us continued up. As is often true on Belvidere winter hikes, we lost the trail once (but only once) near the top, but soon got back on track and reached the summit around 1:40.
The summit views were completely blocked by clouds, and the wind seemed pretty intense at the top of the tower, so none of us opted to climb it. It started snowing a little near the top, and that continued as light drizzle for the hike down. We got back to the car around 3:40.
Participants: Renata Cupertino, Jonathan Breen, Greg Bostock, Rich Douglass, Adrienne Goggin, David Hathaway (leader).