|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Mansfield - The Chin, VT|
|Date of Hike:
||Wednesday, January 12, 2022|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Parked outside the gate at the south end of the closed section of VT route 108. |
||Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow - Drifts, Snow/Ice - Postholes |
||Snowshoes, Traction, Ice Axe |
|Water Crossing Notes:
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||The Long Trail can be tough to follow both above and below treeline, particularly after a recent snowstorm or after snow drifting. No major issues otherwise |
||I wouldn’t recommend taking a dog up here in winter unless conditions are extremely forgiving. |
|Lost and Found:
||Wore snowshoes the entire hike. Used an ice axe to get up the last 1/3 mile of the Long Trail to the summit- dunno if was truly necessary, but it made the going immensely easier. The Long Trail to treeline was well packed out to a short distance past Taft Lodge; after that point, the trail got trickier to follow and was not well packed out at all (the result of snow drifting and falling and piling up in the catch basin-like area due east of the Chin). |
Above treeline, the trail was packed out at times but drifted over at others. Snowshoes were still the way to go, and the ice axe got a dusting off. On the summit, the ground was a mix of boilerplate snow and ice- crampons would work well here if the teeth on one’s snowshoes don’t make the cut.
I planned to go back to the LT via the Profanity Trail, but there was so much unbroken/drifted-over snow and rime ice on the mountain that the sign for that trail was completely blocked/buried, so I couldn’t find the start of the trail. I eventually found what I thought was the trail but actually wasn’t, and I soon hit treeline and was bushwhacking through waist to chest-deep snow (I’m 6 feet 2 inches in my boots for reference). Tried whacking uphill in the direction of the Profanity and Long trails, but the going was so slow and physically taxing that I scrapped those ideas and just bushwhacked downhill in the direction of the Stowe ski trails, and I eventually got back on the LT where it makes a close approach to them.
Mount Mansfield is challenging enough in summer, but in winter, it’s a whole different beast and IMO is as difficult as much of the Northern Presis when hiked via the Long Trail.
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.