Date Hiked: 3.24.12
Trails Hiked: Long Trail to Cliff Trail
Total Distance: ~4 miles
Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
Conditions: Overcast, 50s, snowy/icy
Equipment: None, though microspikes could be useful
Stayed up at Stowe this past weekend and, given the lack of snow for skiing, decided to hike the mountain instead. It was warm, but not too warm (in the 50s at base) with overcast skies.
We took the Long Trail up. Despite the lack of snow on the mountain, the trail still had plenty of snow - especially as we reached the higher elevations. The lower portions had packed snow and ice from foot travel. As we moved higher the snow became less compressed and we would have a foot sink in every few steps in some of the less traveled areas.
Once out of the woods the snow and ice made for slow going up the steep rocky areas - I stopped to put on my gloves so I could use my hands in the snow - but a manageable final ascent at any rate. Up at the top visibility was great despite the cloud cover. The breeze made it a bit colder but not bad considering it was a March hike.
Not wanting to slide and fall down the snow-covered trails, we took the Cliff Walk to the Gondola coming back down. Definitely had several stretches of skiing on boots from the snow and steepness. At the gondola we decided to continue down the half-covered ski trail - it quickly turned into a sprint down the mountain, slipping and sliding down the slushy snow and slogging through the mud.
Overall a highly enjoyable trail despite the wintry conditions. Great variable terrain with some bouldering mixed in. Ascent: about 3 hours. Descent: about a half hour. Skinning/sprinting down a ski trail takes far less time!
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)