Ascent of Equinox Mountain on 2019-08-11

Climber: Gustav Sexauer

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, August 11, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Equinox Mountain
    Elevation:3840 ft / 1170 m

Ascent Trip Report

After hiking Stratton I was starting to feel ill, so I stopped by a store and bought a large orange juice which I promptly drank. This was my fuel for Equinox. I parked at the trailhead at the end of West Union Street and started up the Red Gate Trail by the water tank. I am happy that private parties have allowed access to hike the mountain from the bottom, since the top is on public land, but the trail being private, and the road to right near the top is also private. I passed several groups on the way up and tried to keep a strong steady pace without taking breaks. It was challenging, as the first 2/3rds are an old road which is very steep. Somehow it was built in a way that it is still not washing out and there were very few water bar features. Eventually, the trail becomes more of a regular trail past the spur to the spring. I took this spur on the way down, but the spring is just coming out of a large pipe and wasn't as natural as I was hoping. In the upper reaches, a group of guys "blessed me" and told me to look out for the area with dark brown bark and green moss which was the best part of the hike. Near the top it was kind of like a fairy tale forest with no needles low down on the pines and just bark and moss everywhere. There were also signs stating that the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps was doing work up here, but I didn't encounter them. I did see some rocks they were moving to make steps and anti-erosion features, though. The high ground seemed to be either by a small communications tower or the chapel-looking visitors' center at the end of the road. I could hear some old engines which I thought were motorcycles down in the trees, but now I saw that it was old British cars. There was an Aston Martin DB4, Mini Cooper, maybe an old Lotus F1 car, and others getting ready to head down the mountain. It turned out that this was part of an annual hill climb race for cars built before 1960, and it was just good luck that I got to see them for five minutes before they headed down for the day. The views were excellent from both ends of the building and the signs helped identify other visible peaks. I went down the same way I came up, but ran for part of it when the slope made it easy. This certainly cut off a lot of time. As with most peaks that can be driven up, I would still prefer to hike them, and Equinox is no exception.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2805 ft / 854 m
    Extra Gain:20 ft / 6 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.4 mi / 8.7 km
    Route:Red Gate - Blue Summit Trails
    Trailhead:West Union Street  1075 ft / 327 m
    Grade/Class:Class 1
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 25 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:58 Minutes

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