Ascent of Mount Mansfield on 2007-11-18

Climber: Matthew Martinez

Others in Party:Jerry Meitz III
Date:Sunday, November 18, 2007
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Mansfield
    Elevation:3500 ft / 1066 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started the trip ridiculously late in the day, and planned to do things "the manly way" by ignoring trails and climbing straight up the mountian after going down the CCC Road a little ways. There was plenty of snow on the ground near the bottom of the mountain, and it only got deeper as we climbed. Not only did the snow get deeper, but the foliage got much denser until moving through the trees and snow was becoming pretty difficult.

We were about two-thirds to three-quarters of the way up at about 5:00p, when we realized we wouldn't be able to make the summit before nightfall, and even if we did that we had nothing (literally just the clothes on our backs) to help us survive the night. (Also, I had a flight out of BTV at like 7:30p.)

Not wanting to be stuck on an unfamiliar mountain (this was our first time to Mansfield) at night without a flashlight or, well, anything useful, we sprinted through the thick snow and brush, down the side of the mountain, making as much noise as possible so to scare any bears that might have been looking for a pre-hibernation feast, praying that our ridiculous choice to not follow a trail wouldn't end up causing us to miss the parking area completely and be hopelessly lost in the Vermont wilderness.

At about 5:50p, with the sun securely set and just enough ambient light for us to realize it, we came across the Eagle's Cut trail and thanked our maker for that stroke of good luck. By 6:00p we were safely in the car, heading off to Little Ceasar's and Burlington Int'l, where I did make my flight and was probably the most-homeless-looking passenger ever to fly on JetBlue.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Bushwhack, Snow on Ground
    Weather:Cold, Calm

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