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Thread: Route Suggestions for Killington, Pico and Mendon

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    Senior Member sli74's Avatar
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    Route Suggestions for Killington, Pico and Mendon

    Though it is highly HIGHLY unlikely that we will be able to "get" all 3 peaks . . . Brian and I are gonna head up there and give them a try this weekend. I am looking for suggestions on a plan of attack. What are your favorite routes and which order would you do the peaks in? Would you go up the back way by the Bucklin Trail or stick to the LT? Would you use the ski trails at either Pico or Killington? Going up or down? Give me your route suggestions, GPS tracks, etc. Thank you in advance.

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    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    This weekend in unbroken snow? Could be a workout.

    In any case, the best way is to park at the Bucklin trailhead but go up the old carriage road. Just look straight ahead on Wheelerville Road - the road turns right but the carriage road goes straight. You'll see the Catamount Trail as it crosses. At one point there's a fork in a field; bear gently right (and slightly down) back into the trees. Then it criss-crosses a while but eventually hits some major switchbacks. You won't be able to see the cairn, but it's pretty obvious after those very steep switchbacks that the trail turns and goes dead level. Take your bearing there and into open woods to the false summit of Mendon, then to the real one, then back.

    In summer, one would continue on the carriage road; however, I might be concerned with the fresh snow that you might not spot where it turns right and goes up what looks like a drainage, as opposed to continuing straight and down and going nowhere. The carriage road then needs to be following through unblazed open woods until it eventually turns again straight up the fall line to meet the LT. From there it's mere moments north to Cooper Lodge, then tag the summit of Killington.

    Therefore, I might suggest that after tackling the real summit of Mendon and coming back to the false one, that you simply head east, nearly due flat, into the col between Little Killington and Killington. The woods seem nice and open most of the way to the LT. Then it's maybe 10 or 15 minutes (?) to Cooper Lodge, then tag the summit of Killington. Peak_bgr & co. went this way at the Gathering. I've only been on that piece of LT during a traverse coming from Shrewsbury Peak.

    At that point, if you feel up to it, continue north on the LT to Pico. If not, the Bucklin Trail takes you right back to where you began.
    Last edited by MichaelJ; 03-16-2007 at 12:32 PM.
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    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    Oh, you wanted a GPS track. Note that we were off-course when we went from what was then called the 3rd cairn but is now the 2nd cairn, towards the false summit.

    Also, here's a track that skipped Mendon but does include Bucklin.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

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    Senior Member sli74's Avatar
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    You are awesome, THANKS
    If we were to do only Mendon and Killington, would you suggest we go up the Bucklin Trail, hit Killington first and then go to Mendon before descending and if so can you give me an idea how best to head from the summit of Killington to Mendon? Also will the road to the Bucklin Trail be plowed do you think? Thanks again, MJ

    sli74
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    Senior Member king tut's Avatar
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    Forecast is for 10-20 inches in VT, more than that on the spine off the Green Mt's. Have fun!
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    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    Wheelerville Road is a dirt road but is plowed in the winter from Rte 4 at least as far as the trailhead. The road has a street sign, a big cluster of mailboxes at the end, and is just before a bridge (when driving west). What I can't say is if it will be plowed *yet* after this storm.

    Killington first might not be a bad idea. In that case go up Bucklin then after summitting come back down the spur to Cooper Lodge and head south on the LT. It may be that the carriage road is obvious, just keep an eye out on the right. If it isn't, then just keep heading south to the Killlington/Little Killington col and bang a right, due west.

    Then after Mendon you would have little problem finding the carriage road to head back down the switchbacks and out to the car.

    I won't be online again until Sunday night, so good luck!
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

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    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    PS -
    If you want a mid-hike break, it's a short trip from the summit down the opposite side (left of the towers) to the top of the gondola and into the peak lodge for food & facilities.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

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    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    Wheelerville Road is plowed all the way through, including the parking areas.
    Have fun!
    Not snowing here yet but forecast is 18-24 inches.
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    Senior Member sli74's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for all the info. We will likely try for Killington via the Bucklin Trail and then make a decision after figuring out how wiped we are from the trailbreaking . . . fun, fun !!!!!

    MJ, happy skiing

    sli74
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    Senior Member una_dogger's Avatar
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    BTW, keep an eye peeled for snowmobiles as you get down to the carriage road...its really a snowmobile trail. They'll be out tommorrow fer sure.
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    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    So how'd it go up there?
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

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    Senior Member Driver8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelJ View Post
    Wheelerville Road is a dirt road but is plowed in the winter from Rte 4 at least as far as the trailhead. The road has a street sign, a big cluster of mailboxes at the end, and is just before a bridge (when driving west). What I can't say is if it will be plowed *yet* after this storm.

    Killington first might not be a bad idea. In that case go up Bucklin then after summitting come back down the spur to Cooper Lodge and head south on the LT. It may be that the carriage road is obvious, just keep an eye out on the right. If it isn't, then just keep heading south to the Killlington/Little Killington col and bang a right, due west.

    Then after Mendon you would have little problem finding the carriage road to head back down the switchbacks and out to the car.

    I won't be online again until Sunday night, so good luck!
    Is the 1.5-ish mile bushwhack over Little Killington to Mendon so bad that no one ever does it? Or does a Long Trail/Ski Trails approach over Killington to Mendon work? Or point-to-point, base of K ski resort to Mendon to Bucklin Trailhead traverse?
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    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Driver8 View Post
    Is the 1.5-ish mile bushwhack over Little Killington to Mendon so bad that no one ever does it? Or does a Long Trail/Ski Trails approach over Killington to Mendon work? Or point-to-point, base of K ski resort to Mendon to Bucklin Trailhead traverse?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Driver8 View Post
    Is the 1.5-ish mile bushwhack over Little Killington to Mendon so bad that no one ever does it? Or does a Long Trail/Ski Trails approach over Killington to Mendon work? Or point-to-point, base of K ski resort to Mendon to Bucklin Trailhead traverse?
    It's pretty bad by VT standard, but that's the way we did it 5 years ago (Bucklin TH to Pico then back to Killington then L. K. then Mendon then back to TH mostly following an old route).

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    Senior Member Driver8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sherby View Post
    It's pretty bad by VT standard, but that's the way we did it 5 years ago (Bucklin TH to Pico then back to Killington then L. K. then Mendon then back to TH mostly following an old route).
    Thanks, Sherby. How rough a go was it? The Long Trail Google Map at Postholer.com suggest there's an old road cut which runs from the AT area past LK most of the way to Mendon. I understand that such old paths grow back in fast in the wetness of the higher Greens, and I'm aware that the standard BW to Mendon is from the Bucklin TH along old roads with pure bushwhacking for the last few hundred feet of vertical. Friend of mine lacks K, though, and my thought was to get both from the ski area base while staying as high up as poss. I've also read that some go from K to M by an old road cut which runs westward from AT north of LK.

    Just had an enjoyable hike of Jay and looking forward to a summer and fall full of outdoor adventure.
    Last edited by Driver8; 05-31-2017 at 06:10 PM. Reason: Correction: "B" should be "M", for Mendon
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