Ascent of Bread Loaf Mountain on 2020-05-24

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, May 24, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Bread Loaf Mountain
    Elevation:3835 ft / 1168 m

Ascent Trip Report

I was surprised to find the lot almost full on FR 201 when I arrived. I squeezed into the last real spot with the Corolla. The road itself wasn't too rough for a normal passenger car. I got hiking quickly and was feeling great. The temperature was very comfortable to just be in a t-shirt. The register and wilderness boundary signs were the first markers on the trail, then there was a singular arrow. After not too long I encountered a stream crossing. This was when it got interesting. I tried to make it across on the boulders, but there was one too many underwater and I backed up and took my shoes off. I decided to throw my shoes across, except that I hesitated at the wrong moment and my shoe ended up falling into the creek. It landed just above a two foot waterfall and then was gobbled up by a foamy well below it. I never saw it come out, but was vigilantly looking at the clear water just downstream of it. I took off my pack and put my phone and camera in it so I could risk getting wet to get the shoe back. I got a stick and tried poking around below the whitewater, but it was no use. Then I turned around from my perch in the middle of the river and saw at the top of the rock staircase leading to my backpack, a moose! It was the first I had ever seen in Vermont, but I realized three things. I didn't have a way to take a photo without going to my pack, going to my pack might startle or anger it since I would be going right in its direction, and I didn't have shoes on so I couldn't run away, but was also in the middle of the stream on a rock anyway. We did some posturing for a couple minutes, then it turned and went a little farther downstream. I crossed the stream trying to figure out a new way to stir up the rapid, but also found that the water was very cold and I couldn't stand in it for too long before needing to get out. There were two logs that were horizontally sticking out of the waterfall and I dislodged them to see if my shoe was caught on one. Indeed it was! A few feet down the stream I grabbed my boot and prepared to have one foot wet for the whole hike. The moose was still in sight, but by the time I grabbed my backpack, it was out of there. I thus continued up the trail. The trail then crosses many small side streams and I passed one couple heading down. Next was a steep section and then it got more moderate before the Emily Proctor Shelter came into view. There was a tiny amount of snow on the trail before this, but once on the Long Trail it was 80% snow and in some places it was 3 feet deep and slushy. Lots of stepping in post holes, or making a few of my own. My other foot started to get wet, but it wasn't that bothersome on a relatively short hike. Near the turn for Bread Loaf there were some trial-wide puddles to avoid. Then on the short spur I passed two people as they were headed back from the summit/viewpoint. The summit had a small cairn, but no register. The blue blazed trail continues past it (and actually only gets within 10 feet of the summit) and dead ends shortly after at a surprise viewpoint that is only really wide enough for one person to enjoy at a time. Careful of the big drop just one step away... The view really made the whole hike worth it as it was an expansive view from Middlebury Snowbowl to Whiteface. There is one other decent viewpoint that's on the LT between the Bread Loaf Spur and the Proctor Shelter which is worth stopping at.

On the way down I passed the couple from the summit again, they were moving slowly with their heavy packs. I cruised down the trail making good time and took both boots off to cross the big stream again. On the other side I passed three groups heading up. Late starters... Another highlight of the hike was the painted trillium that could be found along the lower portions of the trail. With my feet feeling fine, I decided to go for Robert Frost Mountain before heading home since I was in the area and it also boasts 1000'of prominence.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2515 ft / 765 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2515 ft / 765 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.4 mi / 12 km
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Stream Ford, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2335 ft / 711 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2215 ft / 675 m; Extra: 120 ft / 36m
    Loss on way in:120 ft / 36 m
    Distance:3.7 mi / 5.9 km
    Route:Emily Proctor - LT - Breadloaf Mountain Trails
    Start Trailhead:FR 201  1620 ft / 493 m
    Time:1 Hours 59 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2395 ft / 729 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2215 ft / 675 m; Extra: 180 ft / 54m
    Gain on way out:180 ft / 54 m
    Distance:3.8 mi / 6.1 km
    Route:Breadloaf Mountain - LT - Emily Proctor Trails
    End Trailhead:FR 201  1620 ft / 493 m
    Time:1 Hours 34 Minutes

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