Ascent of Mount Mansfield-Lower Lip on 2013-06-08
|Date:||Saturday, June 8, 2013|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
|Peak:||Mount Mansfield-Lower Lip|
| Elevation:||4120 ft / 1255 m|
Ascent Trip ReportFrom Parking at Underhill State Park follow the CCC road a short distance to the nearby parking lot and Eagles Cut trail to it's right. Follow the Eagles Cut trail straight 0.4 miles crossing the CCC road 3 times until the Eagles Cut Trail merges with and continues along the CCC road another 0.2 miles to the Sunset Ridge Trailhead Kiosk and hiker register. Follow the Sunset Ridge Trail 0.1 miles crossing 3 foot bridges to the Junction of the Laura Cowles Trail.
The 1.5 mile Laura Cowles Trail is marked with blue blazes and parallels a brook to your left through a hardwood beech and birch forest. Don't let the short distance and docile description fool you because the trail ascends steeply following steep rocky steps quickly changing tundra to a birch and fir tree transition as it quickly increases elevation. There are a few minor blow downs that require minimal avoidance but the trail is well marked and easy to follow crossing a brook and following it to your right a few hundred feet before crossing the brook a second time as you begin a steep ascent over bare rock slabs eventually exposing yourself to the elements before merging with the Sunset Ridge trail a few hundred feet from the summit ridge. Continue to the junction with the Long Trail marked in white and continue north 0.2 miles to the 4393 Ft. Mt. Mansfield Chin. The Chin has an obvious highpoint and is marked with a benchmark.
From the Chin return south along the Long Trail along the profile of Mt. Mansfield passing the Sunset Ridge Trail then passing the lower lip located a short distance off the trail at 0.4 miles. Pass the Upper Lip at 0.5 miles and the deceiving Stowe Pinnacle which includes a summit building, summit cairn marked with a benchmark disc continuing a total of 1.1 miles to the junction with the Summit Toll Rd., parking lot and summit facility. This area can be popular on clear summer days.
The Long Trail follows the Summit toll road 0.3 miles and continues south into the woods. For those wishing to summit the 4020 Ft. Mansfield Nose follow the auto road a short distance past the summit buildings to the Ron Whitcomb Communication Facility and the Mansfield Nose a few hundred feet away. There are 3 possible summit highpoints however I found a severely damaged benchmark at the easternmost point. Descend to the Long Trail 0.35 miles to the 3940 Ft. Forehead. The Maple Ridge Trail is marked with blue blazes and descends between precariously steep to utterly dangerous conditions. The terrain is extremely steep, very difficult and challenging terrain descending rock cliff slabs and open crevasses an arduous 1.4 miles to the CCC road. I would not recommend ascending the Maple Ridge Trail or descending the Maple Ridge trail in any conditions unless you are in excellent physical condition and looking for an extreme hiking adventure. Follow the CCC Road 2.1 miles as it ascends a few hundred feet then gradually descends back to the Sunset Ridge trail junction and kiosk.
Follow the CCC road / Eagle Cut trail 0.6 miles back to the Underhill State Park Headquarters.
|Summary Total Data|
| Elevation Gain:||2525 ft / 769 m|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail|
| Elevation Gain:||2525 ft / 769 m|
| Trailhead:||1595 ft / 486 m|
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