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Ascent of Ethan Allen Mountain on 2017-10-12

Climber: Dan Hildebrand

Date:Thursday, October 12, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Ethan Allen Mountain
    Location:USA-Vermont
    Elevation:3688 ft / 1124 m

Ascent Trip Report

I had a plan. It turns out it wasn't the best plan, but I went through with it anyway...

I'm living in Colorado at the moment, but I really miss peakbagging in my home state of Vermont and I've done a horrible job of working on peaks during my few visits to the east coast. I was determined to make some progress on the VT 3500' peaks during a fall trip with my girlfriend, but I needed to multitask between peakbagging and family time. So I proposed a family hike up Camel's Hump, a family tradition, and decided to tack on a spur visit to Ethan Allen to tick the box. My parents have not been hiking in a while (although we dragged them through the Inca Trail last fall) so they were moving a little slowly. The plan was to take the Forest City trail up the Long Trail and then part ways to give my parents time to slog up the LT on the south side of the Hump (which is a pretty difficult hike with some rocks to scramble up and some substantial elevation gain) while my GF and I scurried south on the LT to tag Ethan Allen and then doubled back to get to Camel's Hump. After enjoying a late afternoon at the summit, we would trundle down the Burrows trail to get home.

After cruising up Forest City (it's a pretty couple of miles that gently brings you to 2800') we split and started up Ethan Allen, which proved to be steeper (and wetter) than I expected. We were both sick and I'm definitely not in my ideal hiking shape, I but I was hoping to blast through the spur, which ended up being almost 2 miles and 1000' of gain, which set us back by a little over an hour. The North Peak has a nice viewing window and we had a nice clear day with great foliage. We hiked like crazy to catch up to my parents and found them heading back down about .3 miles from the summit! Apparently, they had given up little before tree line, which was unfortunate since they were trading a few hundred feet of vertical (well, maybe a few few hundred :P) at the end of the hike for a couple of miles and retracing their steps over the rough terrain on the LT. Once you hit tree line it actually levels out a good bit, so if you're almost there, it gets easier! We raced up to the summit and back down to meet them for the return trip, but definitely regretted the couple extra miles to get back to the trailhead.

In conclusion: don't abandon your family on family hikes, take 1000' of elevation gain seriously and if you want to do the loop, start on the Burrows trail and coast down the other side to the Forest City trail. We ended up doing 8.4 miles RT and over 3500' of elevation gain in a little over 5 hours.
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