|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Mt. Mansfield - The Chin, VT|
||VT 108, Long Trail, Profanity Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, December 4, 2022|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Room for a few dozen vehicles outside the closed VT 108 gate, by the travel information kiosks. |
||Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Ice - Breakable Crust, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Drifts, Snow/Ice - Small Patches |
||Light Traction, Traction, Ice Axe |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||No issues- only real crossing was small and easily rock hopped. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||If you must take a dog up the Chin from Stowe/Smuggler's Notch, I'd recommend going up and back via the Profanity Trail- the Long Trail going up the exposed northeast side of the Chin can get technical in winter, and that was the case today. |
|Lost and Found:
||Seems like trail conditions on Mt. Mansfield (the eastern side at least) today were vastly different than on the White Mountain 4Ks. The lower parts of the Long Trail were mostly covered with frozen granular snow, crusty ice, and a thin layer of fresh snow from the morning. There were a few scattered areas of wet ground near the trailhead as well. After the first 1/2 to 3/4 mi, the trail and mountainsides had consistent snow cover, and the snow got noticeably deeper. Above 3,500 feet or so, the snow was deep enough to completely cover and conceal everything. |
Once at the junction with the Hell Brook Trail, up to which I wore microspikes, I switched to crampons and whipped out the ice axe, knowing that the last 1/3 mile of the Long Trail to the top of the Chin can get technical. Glad I did- the Chimney in particular would not have been passable without at least the axe, and that and several other areas were "no-fall zones" due to dicey snow and ice conditions. Better to be overequipped than underequipped!
The summit of the Chin was strangely calm in terms of wind, which meant I could comfortably sit down for a while and take in the impressive views before making my way to the Profanity Trail, which involved hiking down a short but very icy section of the LT. Once on the #@!&$ trail, I indeed let a lot of expletives loose, since the snow there was twice as deep as any other section of trail on Mansfield I hiked today, and I was the first one to track it out in a good while. Thankfully, Taft Lodge was near the end of the #$@%;! Trail, and I holed myself up in there for a little while to eat and put the spikes back on before hiking down to my truck.
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.