|Hiking Trail Conditions Report
|Cold Hollow Mountain (Belvidere), VT
|Woods roads, bushwhack
|Date of Hike:
|Monday, January 1, 2024
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
|I parked at a long-disused gate about 50 yards east of the entrance to the Barred Woods sugarhouse. There's no real parking space otherwise, especially in winter (in summer a vehicle or two could park on the side below the sugarhouse gate). The gate was open during my arrival and departure, though it didn't look like anyone was at the sugarhouse.
|Snow - Trace/Minimal Depth, Ice - Blue, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Drifts
|Water Crossing Notes:
|The streams have not fully frozen up just yet, but they're all small and easy to cross.
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
|The woods roads on the first half of the climb serve the maple lines for the sugarhouse. There are a few different options, the route I took got me up to the top of the first crest (near point 695m). No trail after that, but the bushwhacking is quite easy.
|This is a good bushwhack peak for dogs.
|Lost and Found:
|Rang in the New Year with another Fifty Finest peak. Splendid hoarfrost from 1500 ft. up to the top, an ice fairyland.
Due to the thick frost plus overcast conditions, orienteering in the middle half of the hike was tough - I went too far west going up, and too far east going down. Fortunately, I was able to correct without going too much out of my way. Accidentally going into the North Fork of the North Branch of the Lamoille valley would be easy to do in these conditions!
This is a classic bushwhack peak - incredibly easy, hardly any thrashing to do, especially when walking on top of a snowpack. I saw old snowshoe tracks for the last 500 feet, from when everything was thawing out a few days ago (the old snowpack is still about 1-2 feet deep up high). Now it is all frozen solid, and you can bareboot easily - the biggest challenge is getting good purchase for your feet going downhill on the nearly rock-like snow (Hence my recommendation of light traction until the next big storm gives us some powder). There are a few small cliffs near the summit with ice, but these are easy to avoid by going west.
In good weather (not today) there are some views east near the top, but none otherwise. This is one of these peaks it's arguably prettier to do in winter than summer due to all the potential for spectacular snow and frost shows.
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.