Date: August 23-September 3, 2001
Trails: Long Trail, Vermont
Distance: 33.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate hiking; Major elevation gains
Conditions: A lot of boulders/climbing; Rain Saturday
Trip Report: I wanted to do a three day hike taking in Camel’s Hump on the Long Trail Labor Day weekend but also wanted to try and avoid the crowds that Camel’s Hump attracts on a holiday weekend. In order to do Camel’s Hump and be off by Saturday I would have to start Friday morning north of the mountain on River Road and hike south over the mountain. My girlfriend dropped myself and my trusty four legged companion, Shelby, off at the trailhead at 9 pm at 400′ elevation (the lowest point on the Long Trail). Each time we caught a view on our way up we could see that the summit was socked in with fog but I was hoping that by the time we reached it the clouds might blow off.
We reached Gorham Shelter at 2:30 pm which had been closed due to snow caving in the roof last winter and then finally the summit of 4083′ at 3:15pm. An elevation gain of over 3600’…a killer for me. I was beat but, even though it was still a little hazy, the views were beautiful. We didn’t stay too long as a storm was moving in and we still had two miles to go to Montclair Glen Lodge. The Lodge has room for ten and we ended up with eleven and two dogs so it was snug but comfortable. Because of Gorham Shelter being closed Montclair Glen was now always busy. It started raining and thundering soon after we arrived at the shelter and didn’t let up until Saturday afternoon. Because of the water shortage problem we’ve had on the trails this summer I didn’t hear anyone on the trail complain.
Shelby and I got on the trail about 8 am and really didn’t get any clear scenic views until we reached Molly Stark Mountain Saturday afternoon. We crossed Appalachian Gap (2365′ elevation) and hiked the last two miles up to Theron Dean Shelter (3320′) where we arrived at 5:30 pm. From the shelter we had a gorgeous easterly view. We had the shelter to ourselves except for a hiker from Boston, Jim, who had just purchased a hammock and wanted to try it out and a local rodent that later kept me up trying to protect my food supply while my companion and protector slept. It had been a 12.5 miles day and Shelby probably walked three times that distance so she wasn’t interested in a mouse. The temperature dropped to about 36 degrees Saturday night so we were a little slow in getting up Sunday morning. Jim said the hammock was a little cold so he didn’t sleep well plus he had heard the bout between the mouse and me. I apologized. We got a beautiful sunrise and warm sun so Jim and I hung our damp stuff out to dry off a little before hitting the trail.
I knew that we only had eight miles to do Sunday to Battell Shelter and it was a perfect day so we could take our time…just a walk in the woods. Jim was headed south to Battell also so we hiked together. He was good company. We stopped several times including Mt. Ellen (tied with Camel’s Hump for the 3rd highest in Vt) and Mt. Abraham (4006′ elev.) for some pictures, views, and just warm sunshine. From the view on Mt. Abraham we could see the White Mountains 80 miles to the east, Mt. Marcy and the Adirondaks to the west, Killington to the south, and Mt. Mansfield (Vermont’s highest) on the other side of Camel’s Hump to the north…awesome. Jim also knew where a Cessna hadcrashed into Mt. Abraham in 87′ so we took a little side trail to check it out before heading down to Battell Shelter. We suspected that the eight person shelter might fill up so Jim put his hammock up again and I put my tent up for Shelby and I…away from the mice. Monday morning we only had two miles to Lincoln Gap where Jim had his car and my girlfriend would pick me up and take me to breakfast (must have felt sorry for me :-). Had a great hike and met some great people. In two weeks Canada south to Camel’s Hump (92 miles)…my girlfriend, myself, and our two dogs. That should be a story 🙂 Photos from the hike here. http://community.webshots.com/album/21111179NlduBNcmRQ