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Mt. Mansfield, worth it?

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Mt. Mansfield, worth it?

Postby qwimjim » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:18 pm

have been to marcy, giant, algonquin, washington, franconia ridge, and katahdin. i don't have the time for the presidential traverse so i figure it's time to finally visit vermont (unless someone has a better idea).. was thinking of hiking up to the lake of clouds and the chin, then across the ridge to the forehead and back down. has anyone done this hike? (or is it better in the opposite direction?) i'm just wondering if we'll be disappointed with it and whether we should go elsewhere, what with it being a ski hill with a gondola, toll road to the top, etc.. ?
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Re: Mt. Mansfield, worth it?

Postby Moogie737 » Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:23 pm

Any state highpoint is worth the effort, at least the highest 25 or so. But my personal recommendation would be to wait and do it in the winter when there is plenty (we hope) of snow. Mid-February to late March are usually good for decent snow conditions. To be honest, though, I have only done it at that time of season, so I have no direct experience with summer/fall conditions. With the reputation Vermont has for fall colors, right now would seem to be ideal. Good luck = it's an easy mountain compared with many.
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Re: Mt. Mansfield, worth it?

Postby brianhughes » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:06 pm

From the Underhill SP trailhead, go up the Laura Cowles trail, then return on the Sunset Ridge trail, with a side trip out to the Cantilever Rock. Did this last month in perfect fall weather, although a little too early to catch the fall colors. In answer to your question, yes, definitely worth it.
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Re: Mt. Mansfield, worth it?

Postby nartreb » Tue Oct 09, 2012 10:13 pm

It's right up there with Katahdin. This time of year the crowds won't be bad except parts of the ridge nearest the top of the gondola (assuming they run the lifts for leaf-peepers) and toll road. (Color is fantastic right now, BTW.) Make it a challenge by taking the Hell Brook trail up and the Subway across, and you wont' see too many people.
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Re: Mt. Mansfield, worth it?

Postby qwimjim » Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:31 pm

What about going up maple ridge and down sunset ridge? and what are the odds of ice this time of year? (friend would like to bring her dog)
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Re: Mt. Mansfield, worth it?

Postby nartreb » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:17 pm

http://www.nws.noaa.gov/view/validProds ... &node=KBTV (look for "higher summits forecast")

Temps now dropping below freezing overnight on the summit, but any ice should be gone by midmorning. Even if you find a little ice, I wouldn't worry about a dog's traction. Four paws + claws are usually better than humans in boots. However,I would not take a dog on the Subway unless it really loves boulder hopping.
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Re: Mt. Mansfield, worth it?

Postby qwimjim » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:06 pm

nartreb wrote:http://www.nws.noaa.gov/view/validProds.php?prod=REC&node=KBTV (look for "higher summits forecast")

Temps now dropping below freezing overnight on the summit, but any ice should be gone by midmorning. Even if you find a little ice, I wouldn't worry about a dog's traction. Four paws + claws are usually better than humans in boots. However,I would not take a dog on the Subway unless it really loves boulder hopping.


What is subway? I don't see it on my map, along the ridge all I have are long trail, canyon, and cliff trail? Any issues with bringing novice hikers up maple ridge and down sunset?
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Re: Mt. Mansfield, worth it?

Postby nartreb » Wed Oct 10, 2012 5:34 pm

Subway is the trail numbered 19 here (but I really mean all the segments 16 through 19):

http://mappery.com/map-of/Mount-Mansfield-Map

(waterproof paper copy of map can be ordered here for $5.00: http://www.greenmountainclub.org/produc ... p?sku=1111
The Map Adventures map ("Northern Vermont Hiking Trails") is also pretty good - can be found online or in stores.)

Maple and Sunset are pretty straightforward hikes, similar to the Old Bridle Path to Franconia Ridge. Obviously you'll be on the ridge above treeline for a while, and you'll be doing a decent amount of mileage, so make sure your guests are prepared for both weather and effort.

The Subway is a different story. See my trip report.
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