Mansfield for a View
Submitted By Michael Virdone
The Mountains & Stats
People On The Trip
After an amazing breakfast at our B&B Nicole and I headed out to re-climb Mansfield. We had climbed it as part of our 115 years ago, but it was in a cloud and therefore not very fun. We ascended the same way as last time, climbing up the LT from smugglers notch. We took our time (mostly because we were still digesting our breakfasts) and eventually we reached Taft Lodge where we took a break. After taking in the views from the deck we continued our climb eventually reaching the fun scrambles to the summit. When we had climbed last time, I had no idea we were so exposed (we had next to no visibility). I vaguely remembered the chimney, but I didn't recall all the other scrambling. Nicole and I really enjoy that type of hiking so it made the final ascent all the more fun.|
When we arrived at the summit we were disappointed to find it crowded with tourons all talking so loudly they were practically yelling. Rather than hang around and get frustrated we just continued down the mountain a little ways until we found a rocky outcrop to sit on (while avoiding the vegetation). I never realized Mansfield had such a nice rocky ridge traverse available so rather than descend the LT we decided to traverse the ridge and take the Hastleton trail back to the ski area. The walk along the ridge was wonderful and gave you that fun alpine feel. Eventually we reached the auto road and we knew our fun was about to end. The descent down the Hastleton trail is steep but fast, and once we were off the ski trails we made pretty good time to the ski area.
When we arrived at the ski area it was filled with people and event staff, apparently we were hiking on the day of "Race to the Top of VT" where bikers and runners ride/run to the top of the auto road (http://www.catamounttrail.org/news/n...the-top-of-vt/). It seems like something fun to do some time, but not on this trip.
We were hoping to relax at the B&B for the rest of the day, but with the hurricane coming in on Sunday we had to compress our schedule and do our entire weekend's events all on Saturday. To finish our day we went to Ben & Jerry's for "lunch" and did the tour followed by a trip to Burlington to do some shopping at OGE, followed by a trip back to Waterbury for dinner at the Alchemist brew pub. The food and beer were absolutely amazing. This was one of those places where picking dinner off the menu was almost a depressing event because there were so many good looking choices.
The Good and The Bad
Wasn't prepared for the steep climb
|not much, we were staying in stowe|