Ascent of Mount Mansfield on 2014-05-26

Climber: Michael Berger

Others in Party:Richard Bedard -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Randy Bullis
Brian Platt
Date:Monday, May 26, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Mansfield
    Elevation:4393 ft / 1338 m

Ascent Trip Report

Joined Dick Bedard, Brian Platt, and Randy Bullis today for an assault on Mt. Mansfield. I went into this climb with no specific ideas of what to expect but just figured that it would be a fairly easy climb to the top of a ski mountain. I was wrong. With 2800' of elevation gain in 2.3 miles, the climb to the top is a lot of steep climbing over rocks and ledge with very few breaks. Every time you turn a corner, you just seem more climbing over rocks ahead. The day started with overcast skies with the top half of the mountain socked in and it remained that way all the way to the top. The trail and rocks were all very wet which didn't make it any easier hiking. About halfway up, we hit a very cold rain which thankfully didn't last too long. Just before reaching the Taft lodge, we saw a lot of snow in the woods and a few short stretches of monorail on the trail. We took a short break in the lodge - very nice lodge BTW - and then continued on. The last 3/10 mile up to the Chin was the toughest climbing (and descending) I've done yet. I'm glad visibility was so low, we didn't see what was coming. We struggled to find good footholds and handholds among the wet rocks as we ascended the steep rock wall. At some point I think each of us had a little personal struggle on some part of that wall. But we made it to the top for a view that reminds me of the inside of a ping-pong ball. We didn't stay long at the top as it was very windy and chilly with nothing to see. As we began descending, with almost perfect timing, some breaks in the clouds came through and we started seeing what we had been missing. We were treated to short glimpses of great 180 views of the notch and all the land east of Madison. It's kind of shocking to see how high you've climbed after having no reference of elevation at all on the way up. We gingerly made our way back down from the chin taking in the short bursts of views as breaks in the clouds came by. When we got back to the col between the Chin and Adam's Apple, it was clear enough to actually see the Adam's Apple and we decided to go hit it. We took the short climb and it was well worth it as we had some great almost 360 views from there - we saw Lake Champlain and into New York as well as more good views of the notch - the top rim of the notch anyways. It was windy - gusts of about 50 mph, but we all hung out on the Apple for a while because we were enjoying the views. The descent after that was fairly uneventful. Great day, but a much more difficult hike than I was expecting.
Summary Total Data
    Route:Long Trail
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Michael Berger
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