Over Labor Day weekend, armed with helpful information from the Manbearpig and gleaned from the web, I climbed four peaks on the New England Fifty Finest list in Vermont. I'm splitting the TRs up by day. This is for Sunday.

Cold Hollow was tough.

It rained most of the way from where I camped to Rte. 109 where I started, although it had stopped by then. I parked on 109 next to a road which I was pretty sure was the one marked on my map and walked past the gate. It started as I expected, but then turned east and soon got to a hunting lodge. Past the lodge the road went north, like I expected, but was in much worse shape. Soon I started wondering if I was on the right road. It had chest high weeds and was starting to veer to the east. Since the weeds were wet I put on my rain pants, which I kept on the rest of the hike. After a while I decided this wasn't the road I wanted. I turned and bushwhacked due west knowing if I didn't find the road I wanted I would hit Rattling Brook and I could follow that upstream. I crossed a bunch of snowmobile paths and then got to a grassy road which I followed north until it petered out. I started whacking west again until I hit another road which I was pretty sure was the one I wanted, because 1) It was wider and clearer than any I'd seen (although still not drivable), 2) It was headed pretty much due north, and 3) The topography was right, with the land going down to the west and up to the east. Also when I took it I started hearing the brook to the west.

After walking north on this a ways it ended at a dirt road. As in a real road, wide and flat and totally drivable. This was definitely not on my map. This went north and southeast and I took it north, hoping that it replace the old road I had been taking. After a while it got to the confluence of the brook with a tributary, and from the configurations of the brook, the road, and what I could see of the mountain below the low overcast, I knew I was at where I'd planned to start whacking. So I set a compass bearing and headed into the woods.

Cold Hollow is steep. Not relentlessly, the steepness alternates with easer inclines, but a large percentage of the way up is very, very steep. The woods were not hard to get through; it was mostly deciduous trees alternating with high ferns and wildflowers, with only occasional patches of conifers. But it was, mostly, steep. Somewhere on the trip up it started raining and I put on my rain jacket. I left it on the rest of the hike, although it didn't actually rain very much. A couple times I came to cliffs I had to work my way around. Finally, after what seemed to be a lot longer than the two hours it actually took, I reached the summit. There are several possible true summits in the area, and I am not convinced the canister's on the highest one, but I found it without too much trouble. Most of the entries in the log books were by hunters.

After not too long I reversed my bearing and headed down. There were a few places where I thought I might be retracing my route up, but mostly not. After an hour and a half I reached the brook's tributary about thirty feet from the confluence I'd started at.

On my way back I took the road I'd missed coming up all the way to its end, which was on the road to the lodge. So if you're going to climb Cold Hollow: Take the road in between Jim Road and the sharp turn on 109. At its second right, where it turns east, instead go north on a sketchier road. When that joins a good dirt road continue north, and when you get to the brook confluence head up at 289 compass degrees. Or you can figure out how to get on the good dirt road and start your hike with the bushwhack.

Cold Hollow was number 39 on the New England Fifty Finest list for me.

Here are the pictures.



NE111: 115/115 (67/67, 46/46, 2/2); Cat35: 32/39; WNH4K: 32/48; NEFF: 40/50
LT NB 2009

"I don't much care where [I get to] --" said Alice, "-- so long as I get somewhere," ...
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
- Lewis Carroll