Ascent of Equinox Mountain on 2016-01-17

Climber: Spencer Corcoran

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Sunday, January 17, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Equinox Mountain
    Elevation:3840 ft / 1170 m

Ascent Trip Report

I approached Equinox Mountain from the east, via the Blue Summit Trail from W Union St. in Manchester.

The trail started off on an old woods road at an easy grade, with icy frozen granular footing. After the last trail junction, the grade picked up significantly, and would stay moderately steep almost all the way to the top with little reprieve. About halfway up, the trail forked. A spring was off to the left, but I kept right, after which the trail corridor narrowed to a regular single track path. This part of the trail has potential for excellent glissading, but I didn't do much of it due to relatively thin snow cover. Near the top, the trail's grade eased a bit as I passed the spurs to Lookout Rock. Eventually I emerged on the summit at 12:05 PM, 3.15 miles and 1.5 hours after starting.

The summit is the upper terminus of Summit Drive, a seasonal car toll road. There is also a visitor center on the top, which is owned by Carthusian monks. As for the views: The sky was incredibly overcast, but the summit was not socked in. The view was actually pretty good! The 'Daks and the Whites were visible, as were Mts. Greylock, Ellen/Abraham, Stratton, Ascutney, Dorset, Grass, Berlin, and Killington. About 10 or so min. after I got there, several more groups summitted, including a group of veteran VFTT members, whom I talked with for a good 15-20 min. I started back down around 12:45 PM, and leapfrogged the group most of the way down (with some buttsledding thrown in the mix), eventually walking the last 1/3 of a mile or so with them. Got back to the TH around 1:40 PM.

Equinox was a nice mountain, and I envy the residents of Manchester, VT who live within minutes of it. Next up for this area is Dorset Peak!
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2800 ft / 853 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.3 mi / 10.1 km
    Route:Red Gate Trail, Blue Summit Trail
    Trailhead:W Union St  1040 ft / 316 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Cold, Calm, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:55 Minutes

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