trails: blue summit trail
conditions: parking lot off w. union st. is in good shape. not too busy when i got there around 2pm, but overflow parking along the road seems acceptable. the trail was icy to start with increasing packed snow over ice for the first mile or so. snow cover increased with elevation and it became a narrow hard packed boot track to the summit area where the final bit to the summit is snowmobile packed. some light drifiting in a few spots and around the summit.
equipment: i bare booted to start then went to microspikes and kept them on for the rest of the hike. i was advised that snowshoes were not needed for this hike in current conditions and they were correct, but i ended up carrying them just in case my opinion differed.....
comments: after hiking mendon in the morning it was a relatively quick shot from rutland down to manchester. the trail was hard and fast to the summit and particularly so on the descent. construction on the summit is complete so i was able to access views i was denied over the summer. catskills, berkshires, greens, adirondacks and some snow capped peaks in nh were all visible. warm down in manchester, but quite cold up top. a great day to be out.