|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Mansfield (The Chin), VT|
||Long Trail, Profanity Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, February 16, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Drifts |
||Snowshoes, Light Traction, Traction, Ice Axe |
|Water Crossing Notes:
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
|Lost and Found:
||Deep snow means the ski crowd has crisscrossed the LT 100 times over from Route 108 up to Taft Lodge. Most tracks generally bring you in the right direction but there's a good chance you'll get mixed up more than a few times. Spent Saturday night at Taft Lodge - epic amounts of UVMOC graffiti and they should know better (who is running this program? this is why we cant have nice things). Had to melt snow for water Sunday AM because the nearby water source was completely buried. The privy was also completely buried, but I dug it out. Would be nice if folks contributed to digging this thing out periodically over the course of the winter so one person doesn't need to shovel out +4' of snow in a single go... that task alone was enough to send me home early on past winter attempts up Mansfield.|
The LT from Taft up to the Chin is in full winter conditions and is now a continuous snow slope for the last ~300 feet. Once you hit the junction between the Chin and Adams Apple on the ridge-line, you have to find a way up/around the first cliff band since the chimney is nowhere to be found. We went left (south) and picked a nice steep snow line, but you could probably go right (north) a little bit and find a slightly easier way. You'd be silly not to bust out full crampons and ice axe at this point but I'm sure some will do it anyway. We used an ice-axe belay w/ a short 30m rope - not completely necessary but good practice and makes for a much more comfortable climb (vs. sketchy).
Once we hit the summit, it was full white-out the and flat nature of the summit makes route finding a little difficult when visibility is <20ft. Had to pull out the GPS once or twice and accidentally found ourselves wandering towards West Chin more than we meant to. Once we got to the top of the Profanity Trail, it was easy to follow and the wind is mostly blocked from there down. This is another spot to watch your step since a fall could result in a slide (on lower consequence terrain than the LT/north ridge). The last section on Profanity back to Taft Lodge when you re-enter the woods is a little tough to follow and another spot where ski tracks can get you off-trail pretty quickly. Basically steer left more than you think you should and you'll either intersect the LT above the cabin or walk right into the cabin.
Uneventful hike down, but my partner had an interesting couple of ski moves
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.