Ascent of Bolton Mountain on 2020-02-16

Climber: Gabriel C

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, February 16, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Bolton Mountain
    Elevation:3680 ft / 1121 m

Ascent Trip Report

Planning for a short P1K bagging day, I woke up around 06:15 and was on the road around 06:40. I headed south on HWY 245, crossed the border in Mansonville, and kept going south on HWY 101/100. I drove into Stowe and then Waterbury where I passed over I-89 and took a right on HWY 2 all the way to Bolton Valley Rd. I made it at the base Lodge around 08:45, went in line for a very expensive $23USD backcountry ticket, and by 09:15, I was heading off past the condo parkings towards the backcountry trails.

I had strapped the snowshoes on my backpack and the groomed, wide trail was hard packed to the point where my bare boots were not even sinking in the snow. I was leaving barely noticeable tracks so I decided to keep going this way. After a few minutes, I reached the Bryant trail junction and went right. I soon passed a guy skinning uphill and he greeted me, remarking I should be wearing the snowshoes. I asked if it was mandatory to which he replied it was more of a courtesy. I hoped I didn't come across as disrecpectful but I replied that if it was any softer, I'd already have put my snowshoes on.

I was going a good speed and I reached Bryant camp in no time. After checking the northbound Birch Loop trail, I had to break the snowshoes out. It was a singletrack affair that was easy enough to follow, but the snow wasn't hard enough for bare boots. It was still a quick hike to the junction with Raven's Wind trail, where I went left. Somewhere on this leg, closer to the LT, I crossed a skier that was heading down. I wasn't sure if the Long Trail would be traveled so when I reached a signpost that indicated Bolton-Trapp trail, I became slightly confused. In any case, I kept going as the slope steepened and passed under some cliff bands. My GPS seemed to show me following the ridge so I assumed I was on the way to the summit. I crossed a second skier but it was the only other person I'd see for a while.

In some steeper spots, I had to contend with skier bare booting, which destroyed the boot track, but it wasn't too bad. The trail soon leveled off and I reached the summit area. I didn't spot the sign and went downhill a bit until I spotted it. After retracing my steps and marking the high point, I started downhill. It seemed to be going pretty well so I started jogging whenever I could. I crossed a snowshoeing couple around Olga's Falls after which I was able to pick up a bit of speed in the steeper sections. When I reached the flats on Birch Loop, I was slightly winded and was happy to take a short break at Bryant Camp where I also removed my snowshoes. I saw a couple people around with walking crampons so I didn't feel that out of place bare booting.

The way down Bryant and World Cup trails was quick as I was able to run downhill on the hard pack. I crossed many large skinning groups and even saw the second skier I had crossed on my way up as he was going uphill again. When I reached the condos, I went straight to the car and decided that since it wasn't even noon, I could grab another summit. I didn't have a good beta but I knew that there was a P1K near Bristol so I took out my road map and figured out the quickest way there, after which I started the drive south.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1793 ft / 545 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1793 ft / 546 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5.1 mi / 8.1 km
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1734 ft / 528 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1629 ft / 496 m; Extra: 105 ft / 32m
    Loss on way in:105 ft / 32 m
    Distance:2.5 mi / 4 km
    Route:Bryant, Birch, Raven's Wind trails, LT
    Start Trailhead:Bolton Valley Parking  2051 ft / 625 m
    Time:1 Hours 7 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1688 ft / 514 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1629 ft / 496 m; Extra: 59 ft / 17m
    Gain on way out:59 ft / 17 m
    Distance:2.6 mi / 4.1 km
    Route:Bryant, Birch, Raven's Wind trails, LT
    End Trailhead:Bolton Valley Parking  2051 ft / 625 m
    Time:39 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Gabriel C
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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