Ascent of Mount Mansfield on 2015-08-23

Climber: Spencer Corcoran

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, August 23, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Mansfield
    Elevation:4393 ft / 1338 m

Ascent Trip Report

NOTE: The Adam's Apple has a separate report, but stats for the whole hike are in this report.

Due to a late start, I knew the hike was gonna be short, so I decided to make it interesting by going up what is supposedly the steepest hiking trail in Vermont, the Hell Brook Trail. From my parking spot off VT 108, I walked the road about 100 ft to the trailhead proper, then started up. Right off the bat, it climbs rather steeply and does so all the way to the ridge crest (with a few reprieves). Not long after leaving the road, there was a spur path to a waterfall (low flow that day). As I climbed, the scrambling got tougher and the trail wetter. Hence why I wouldn't recommend going down it. The two sketchiest scrambles involved climbing up two iron bars and pulling myself up using a root, respectively. Near the ridge crest, views started popping up. Eventually, the Hell Brook Trail flattened out near a mountain pond known as Lake of the Clouds (which I missed). From LOC, it was an easy 0.2 mile to the junction with the Long Trail. I turned right (south) onto said trail, which climbed 0.3 mi to the top via moderate scrambling. Still not a trail to take grandma on. Eventually I stood on the 4,393 ft. summit, an hour and a half after starting.

The Hell Brook Trail was decently challenging, but not stupidly difficult like some people and websites make it out to be. Class II at worst. It was hella fun, though! Would recommend it to anyone who enjoys scrambling and challenging terrain. The hike up was 1.8 miles with 2,600 ft. of elevation gain. Again, keep grandma away.

I spent about a 1/2 hour or so taking in the incredible view, which included Madonna Peak, Mount Putnam, Mansfield Nose, Camel's Hump, Lake Champlain, and the ADK High Peaks. The top was starting to get crowded, plus I had a 3 hour drive home, so I headed back to the LT/HBT junction and started the hike down on the Long Trail, but not before checking out the Adam's Apple subpeak. Excellent views from here too, particularly of Mansfield. On the top, a couple who got engaged on the top asked me to take their picture, which I gladly did! Now that's a place to pop the question!

Back to the Long Trail, I headed down 0.3 mi to the junction with the spur path to Taft Lodge, which I followed there. The lodge was like a little hotel- comfortable interior, water, views, a toilet, and a selection of books. I know where I'm staying on a future LT backpack!

After that, it was an uneventful 1.7 mile hike back to VT 108, which I walked back to my car.

57 down, 10 to go, all in Maine!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2700 ft / 822 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2900 ft / 883 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4.4 mi / 7.1 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2600 ft / 792 m
    Distance:1.8 mi / 2.9 km
    Route:Hell Brook Trail, Long Trail
    Start Trailhead:VT 108  1793 ft / 546 m
    Time:1 Hours 35 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2900 ft / 883 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2800 ft / 853 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Gain on way out:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:2.6 mi / 4.2 km
    Route:Adam's Apple Trail, Long Trail
    End Trailhead:VT 108  1593 ft / 485 m
    Time:1 Hours 
Ascent Part of Trip: Mansfield loop

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Mount Mansfield2015-08-232700 ft / 823 m
2Mount Mansfield-Adams Apple2015-08-23 
Total Trip Gain: 2700 ft / 823 m    Total Trip Loss: 2900 ft / 884 m

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