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Ascent of Equinox Mountain on 2006-08-07

Climber: Scott Surgent

Others in Party:Beth Cousland
Date:Monday, August 7, 2006
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Equinox Mountain
    Location:USA-Vermont
    Elevation:3840 ft / 1170 m

Ascent Trip Report

From Killington Peak, another hour of casual driving along US-7 brought us to Equinox Peak, which is accessible by a toll road. We found the tollhouse and paid the $10 fee, and started our way up the mountain. Similar to the Stowe Road from yesterday, the road to the top of Equinox gains steeply, this time a little over 3,000 feet in about 5.5 miles, but the road is paved all the way. Again, our Cobalt went up to the top with no difficulties, taking 30 minutes. Near the top, the road comes into the open along a narrow saddle and offers nice views of the peak and of the valleys below. We rolled into the top parking area and walked around. The highpoint seemed to be a gentle mound about 50 feet off the road back towards a batch of communications towers. We both stood on the mound, then went over to check out the interesting building at the summit.

The building seems to have been an inn back in the olden days. The wall around the parking area is marble and cut very skillfully, and it seems that at one time this was a high-end destination for the locals. A nearby sign gave us some sense of history of the area, but didn't really explain the building. We then walked to the building, which was in slight disrepair. In places, siding had blown off, but for the most part the building looked to be in good shape. The windows are all intact, not busted out, and there was no grafitti. Looking into some of the rooms, it seems to be mostly empty, or used for storage.

The "main" room was open and accessible. I peeked in. It had a number of tables and chairs, all with complete place-settings, and china hutches in the back, all intact and nice looking. Obviously someone takes care of the place. Maybe it's still used as an inn, although I doubt it. The main room had a musty smell to it. Even though there were a couple cars parked at the top, we did not see anyone around. The whole effect was kind of creepy, like one of those ghost-chaser episodes from television. Where was everyone, and why would someone keep the dining room intact and fully set, if no one is around, and keep the front doors open?

We left after a few minutes, taking the downhills as slow as possible, then drove to our hotel room in Bennington in southern Vermont. Tomorrow, we visited the Massachusetts state highpoint so Beth could tag it, and then revisited the Fairfield (CT) County highpoint, which I needed to redo after missing the highpoint six years ealier.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:0 ft / 0 m
    Trailhead:3840 ft / 1170 m



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