Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Mansfield (The Chin), VT
Trails: Hell Brook Trail, bushwhack
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Monday, December 10, 2018
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Parked at the gate blocking access to Smugglers Notch Rd. just beyond ski resort parking.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Ice - Breakable Crust, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Drifts, Snow/Ice - Postholes 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: All crossings of Hell Brook can be jumped or easily maneuvered. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: A few blowdowns that harbored snow traps.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Several dogs on the road walk to and back from the trailhead to the car.  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Someone lost a plastic bag of dog poo on the road just past the gate.  
Comments: We meant to hike the Long Trail SoBo to the summit, but walked past the trailhead somehow and ended up at Hell Brook instead. It's a short (distance wise) but extremely steep ascent to the ridge of Mansfield and there was enough snow covering some of the trail markers, combined with many diverging ski and snowboard paths, and the shear steepness of the trail itself, to present some route finding issues that nearly doubled our time to the top and also added a few hundred feet of elevation gain/loss. Having hiked Camel's Hump yesterday and Mt. Ellen the previous day, extra mental and physical work weren't what we were hoping for, but that's the name of the game sometimes. The lower portion of the trail was fairly well packed with a couple inches of fresh snow over it. The upper, steeper half was mostly unpacked powder and without snowshoes, we were sinking in from knees to hips at points. It was a slow go. The last portion of trail up to the summit from the East side was nonexistent so we followed a boot path traversing South along the base of the summit cone which eventually brought us steeply uphill to the top. Blue, sunny skies with clear views in all directions, winds gusting about 40mph. Elizabeth's final New England 4000 footer didn't give it up easy!  
Name: Alex and Elizabeth 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2018-12-10 
Link: http:// 
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