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Thread: Mt. Mansfield VT

  1. #16
    Senior Member TEO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Hogan View Post
    surprisingly slippery dry rock. Common foot placements were almost polished smooth which kept my attention focused on personal safety throughout the day.
    Haha. It has nothing to do with holds being polished, that's the nature of the schist found on Mt. Mansfield and elsewhere in the Greens. It sure ain't Adirondack anorthosite or White Mountain granite. You guys are spoiled.

    Csprague, based on the description of your girlfriend' needs, I like Roy's suggestion of Camel's Hump. The Monroe Trail is an excellent choice. The Burrows Trail would be, too, but it would be a much longer drive.

    If someone has severe difficulty with feeling exposed on hiking trails, and/or rough, rocky footing, then I would definitely not recommend Laura Cowles. While the Maple Ridge trail is a mighty fine trail, there might be one or two short stretches where such a person would have difficulty and almost the entire trail is rock, much of it open. The same is true for Sunset Ridge (there are one or two rock scrambles on Sunset Ridge, which I'm guessing might prove difficult). In fact, if your girlfriend is uncomfortable with rocky surfaces, I would avoid the West side of Mansfield altogether.

    The Long Trail would be fine, except that there are one or two exposed feeling scrambles in the last couple hundred vertical feet. Certainly the Haselton>Toll Road>Long Trail would be no problem at all. The Haselton isn't a bad trail, but the upper section is loose gravel in the middle of a ski trail and isn't aesthetically pleasing.

    P.s. Make sure to stop at the Cabot Outlet between Wateerbury and Waterbury Center on Route 100 , on the West side of the road, for all-you-can-eat free cheese and other snacks. Grazing is encouraged! The Cold Hollow Cider Mill on the East side of Route 100 is also another good stop with free food samples and cider. The cider donuts are excellent, though not free.

  2. #17
    Senior Member Tim Seaver's Avatar
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    I run the Sunset Ridge/Maple Ridge Loop regularly, and definitely agree as to the polished nature of the rock where it has been stepped on many times, especially where the trail narrows and forces people to use the same areas to step on - it's not simply the nature of the rock. Generally there is a fine layer of rock/mud dust on the heavily trodden areas that seems to act as a kind of dry lube. Watch your step!
    You donít have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things ó to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated. - Edmund Hillary

  3. #18
    Senior Member king tut's Avatar
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    The Maple Ridge trail is awesome, but it has two crack climbs where it is a bit exposed. Here is the tougher one,



    I would just do the Sunset Ridge trail up and down, easiest and most scenic trail up and down.
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  4. #19
    Senior Member mirabela's Avatar
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    Lots of good suggestions already. Here's my take:

    The west side (Sunset Ridge, etc.) is great, but the drive from Stowe is ridiculous. It's three miles by air and about fifty by road. Save it for another trip.

    Go up the LT from Rt. 108, and at Taft Lodge take the Profanity Trail to the ridgeline to avoid the scrambles on the LT near the top of the Chin. They're not really that bad, but people have their share of freakouts on them. I've seen several.

    If it seems like enough, descend the way you came. If you want a longer day, go south on the LT along the ridgeline to the toll road; descend the toll road to the Octagon and the start of the Nosedive / Haselton trail. File me as a dissenting opinion on the Haselton -- I like it as a descent route, and it makes a nice loop. It'll pound your knees, but no worse than any other way off the mountain will.

  5. #20
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    After a nice ridge walk, Hazelton wa in the brush. Seemed overgrown, as if not much used. Many streams flowing down the trail, And the 'closeness' provided a few bugs. What was that dam / narrow ridge/ knife edge looking thing near the bottom??

  6. #21
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    I love sunset ridge, and I love maple ridge even more. But I would not recommend them for someone afraid of modest scrambling. Even Sunset has some exposure, ledges, and cracks. Nothing hard, but a novice may find it hard and hot and exposed in the middle of summer. Plus, as noted it is a long drive around to Underhill.

    Camel's Hump is closer than Underhill, particulary via Duxbury. I can't remember that route, but I think it is much "easier" than Sunset in terms of scrambling. the main scrambling on Camel's Hump are the steps on the south side on the LT, but you won't need to go there. CH is an easy walk up from the Huntington side. Camel's Hump is really beautiful and special. If you go mid week, it would be really nice.

    Easier and much closer to Stowe is Mt. Hunger. Mt Hunger has no scrambling that I can think of, and a very nice summit looking out over Stowe.

  7. #22
    Senior Member csprague's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone for the replies. We did this hike on Saturday, and my girlfriend did fine on the terrain. It was indeed a bit more challenging overall than anything she'd encountered before (aside from the scramble near the top of Webster Jackson) but she did great and I think it helped build her confidence a bit. I will now feel comfortable bringing her on somewhat more challenging terrain going forward.

    Alas, she didn't summit, but that owed more to fatigue and heat than the terrain (she'd only done one other hike in the past year). She stopped a couple tenths of a mile from where the Sunset Ridge and Laura Cowles trail converge and hung out on an overlook while I went to the crowded summit and back alone.

    For all of those who advised against making the drive from Stowe all the way to Underhill State Park - we loved it! We found Smuggler's Notch to be extremely beautiful and interesting, and found all the homes and small outposts on the other side built along the dirt roads to be very charming and positively idyllic! It was a very enjoyable sight we would not have had the opportunity to see otherwise.

    Thanks again, and to the Vermonters: this was my first actual visit to your state, and both of us loved it. I'll be back (and not just to finish the other 4ks)!

    csprague

  8. #23
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    Thumbs up going there tomorrow!!

    Tim - how long does it take to run the Sunset/Maple ridge? just an estimate would be great!!! even if you could estimate how long it takes to hike would help greatly!

    Thanks!!

  9. #24
    Senior Member Tim Seaver's Avatar
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    My best time on the loop is 1:46, fwiw. A few weeks ago, I ran it with somebody who wasn't a regular mountain runner (decidedly less psycho about flogging the steep downhills) and it took us 2:30. It makes a ton of sharp turns and has lots of weird little sections, so if you aren't familiar with the trail, just staying on route while running can be a challenge.

    It's the fun-house of VT trail runs, I know you'll enjoy it!

    In case anyone needs it, here is a .GPX file of the route


    Click for bigger pic of route:
    Last edited by Tim Seaver; 08-01-2011 at 09:37 PM.
    You donít have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things ó to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated. - Edmund Hillary

  10. #25
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    Thumbs up Thanks, Tim!

    We're just going to check out some VT hiking for a change! Thanks for the route recommendation.

  11. #26
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    Hi all,

    I will be in VT this week and am excited to try out the Sunset Ridge/Maple Ridge loop discussed in this thread. Someone posted on the conditions the other day and mentioned Underhill State Park being gated/locked. I did a bit of searching and I guess the park is closed for the season. Is it still possible to park at the end of Mountain Road? Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

  12. #27
    Senior Member mirabela's Avatar
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    You can park near the gate, around 1/2 mile below the state park, until the road gets snowed in. After that, the turnaround is about 3/4 mile below that. So, it adds some distance to your trip.

    Make sure you bring traction (microspikes or crampons) and full winter gear for this trip, this time of year. It's icy up high, and the ridge is fully exposed to wind & weather. Between the ridge up, the ridge across, and the ridge down, you're completely exposed to the northwest wind for more than four miles.

    Have fun, it's a nice loop.

  13. #28
    Senior Member blacknblue's Avatar
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    Yep - you can park on the side of the road where it's gated and just walk around the gate. IIRC, it adds about a mile each direction, but a pleasant walk.

    Quote Originally Posted by charolastra View Post
    Hi all,

    I will be in VT this week and am excited to try out the Sunset Ridge/Maple Ridge loop discussed in this thread. Someone posted on the conditions the other day and mentioned Underhill State Park being gated/locked. I did a bit of searching and I guess the park is closed for the season. Is it still possible to park at the end of Mountain Road? Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
    "People hardly ever make use of the freedom which they have, for example, freedom of thought; instead they demand freedom of speech as a compensation."
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  14. #29
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    Thanks for the super-quick replies! I'll be prepared for sure. Any ideas on snowfall yesterday/last night? Is there a good source for checking snowfall info in VT?

    Thanks again.

  15. #30
    Senior Member blacknblue's Avatar
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    http://www.uvm.edu/skivt-l/?Page=depths.php

    Hope this helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by charolastra View Post
    Thanks for the super-quick replies! I'll be prepared for sure. Any ideas on snowfall yesterday/last night? Is there a good source for checking snowfall info in VT?

    Thanks again.
    "People hardly ever make use of the freedom which they have, for example, freedom of thought; instead they demand freedom of speech as a compensation."
    --Soren Kierkegaard, 1838

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