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Ascent of Rams Head on 2015-07-02

Climber: Nicholas Daniel

Others in Party:Jeff Halper
Date:Thursday, July 2, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Rams Head
    Location:USA-Vermont
    Elevation:3600 ft / 1097 m

Ascent Trip Report

With Halper. Did a massive new loop that we put together, going in order: Pico, Rams head, Snowdon, Killington, Little Killington, Mendon. This loop allows all one-way travel, no backtracking other than summit spurs, and ending back at the typical trailhead.

We parked the car at the Bucklin Trail TH at Brewer's corner and headed out around 0830. After about 1-2 miles of flat walking on the Bucklin, the difference making this a loop is to veer off left onto the old logging roads, this way you meet the ridge up and do Pico first. There are several old logging roads on the topo map and all are semi difficult to see as they are overgrown. The way we did it was to look for the river bridge crossing at about 1-2 miles into Bucklin. You can see this as a ravine on the topo map. Go off of Bucklin trail just before you cross the bridge and you will run into a logging road. This is roughly at 43.37186, -72.51229. You can take these up the ravine Northeast almost all the way to the LT/AT. The roads will stop up near the ridge - you just need to bushwhack up and northeast and you can't miss the LT/AT. We actually hit the LT/AT at exactly the Pico Peak summit spur. We headed up this to the summit of Pico, then headed back down some ski runs walking towards Rams head ( you could also go back to LT/AT). This took us to the small clearing near the summit of Rams head and we then went up further to see this impressive lean-to syle shelter with a hammock in it. We continued down the ski run and this took us exactly to Snowdon. A little rest here sitting in the sun on the cushioned lift chairs with some food was much needed. We cut from Snowdon the short bit back over to the LT/AT and cut off up the killington summit spur. The last 0.2 miles of this is quite a fun uphill scramble. We hung out at the top and talked to a couple people, then headed back down to Lt/AT. Continued on LT/AT until right next to Little Killington and bushwhacked the very short distance up this. At this point we had a clusterF of a time bushwhacking to Mendon. If you veer towards the south side of the ridge you run into a huge ravine that causes major problems. If you veer to the east/northeast slope up Mendon, you will eventually hit the trail that heads up to the top. Look for bright orange/pink plastic ties on trees. The little tendon (false) summit at the top of this path has the best outlook on this loop, just don't forget to travel along the top of Mendon for a couple of minutes to the real summit and the register. You CAN take this orange/pink trail back all the way down, but you back track a little and it's pretty steep to go down. You'd end up near the end of the log road seen on the map. At the top of Mendon there is also another well marked orange/pink tie blazed trail that cuts straight north to the Log road at catamount ski trail. We followed this and the log road back to Wheelerville road and Brewer's corner.

Overall, fun hike. Relatively taxing as I believe it was somewhere around 12-15 miles, but bushwhacking was fun as backtracking is boring. We saw a TON of fresh bear and moose scat but didn't see any of the donors.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant
Ascent Part of Trip: Killington Loop

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDate
1Pico Peak2015-07-02
2Rams Head2015-07-02
3Snowdon Peak2015-07-02
4Killington Peak2015-07-02
5Little Killington2015-07-02
6Mendon Peak2015-07-02



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