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No Views From “The Chin”

Peak Summited2022 Mount Mansfield
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadSunset Ridge Trail
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a dog, Hiked with a partner
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

On the day of our hike (Saturday, July 30th), the weather forecast in the area of the mountain was for light drizzle for an hour in the early morning and then clearing with sun in the afternoon. Given our late start (9:50 AM), I figured we would reach the summit in the early afternoon and would, therefore, have nice views. I was wrong. Bigly.

Our original plan was to hike a loop northeast up the Sunset Ridge Trail, then south along the Long Trail (Chin to Nose), then southwest down the Maple Ridge Trail and, finally, north along the CCC Road back to the parking lot. The hike up Sunset Ridge Trail went well until we entered the clouds and the air became cool, misty, and windy. There were sections of rock scrambles and places where one needed to use both hands and feet to climb. The mist dampened the trail which made the hike even more challenging.

It became more windy as we approached the summit. I had to take my hat off and my hearing aids out for fear that they would fly away. The cloud cover that we were in completely blocked any views, so we quickly took a photograph of us at the summit and left.

Because of the poor weather conditions, we aborted our original plan and decided to follow an alternate trail to the parking lot, specifically, the Laura Cowles Trail. The story is that, years ago, the Green Mountain Club stopped maintaining the Laura Cowles Trail and hoped that it would be abandoned. Obviously, that did not occur.

We regretted our decision not to go back down the Sunset Ridge Trail. The Laura Cowles Trail is a very steep, dangerous trail that follows active stream beds for much of its length and is, thus, alway muddy, wet, and slippery. We walked down cautiously at a very slow pace and I still fell three times, though I was unhurt.

Overall, it was not a fun hike.

Next, Camel’s Hump.

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