Vermont Weekend 12/27

The PM is doing it. mutha's doing it. tMail's doing it. g-$$$? maddog? And just MadDog on HellBrook
what is that we're doing? on Saturday, 12/27, we're doing the Bamforth Ridge trail to Camel's Hump... or the Hell Brook trail up Mt. Mansfield.

Be there or be square.

The PM will be in Vermont from 12/24 onward, so we have a week's worth of festivities (on and off).

[Update Christmas Day, 2008] Okay, it looks like a weekend of rain. I'm guessing this whole idea is shot to hell. To salvage what's left, there's always tomorrow (Friday). It ought to be a nice day: a night of wind and rain and warm temperatures on top of several feet of soft, cold snow. What the heck is this all about?

[Update Christmas Day, 2008: Snowpack Analysis - Danville, Vermont]

Conditions prior to rain:
exceptionally dry, low density snow - roughly two feet of it - maybe three in filled-in hollows. it was pretty fresh and what little water vapor was available in the ground was locked down by a layer of ice from before the snow and the cold temps prevented much more from filtering up. There was some blowing around, but not enough to make a significant wind crust.

Then came the rain:
Steady and copious quantities of rain and warm weather yesterday, along with high winds. The winds didn't pick up until after the rain had thoroughly saturated the snow so nothing really moved around at all. Temperatures will be plummeting tonight but as of 3pm the snow hadn't firmed up at all even with air temperatures below freezing (and ground/snow temperatures colder still). While the snow seems to have consolidated a bit, it doesn't look like it'll freeze up hard enough to come a supporting crust although we won't know until morning. I tried walking in the snow with no snowshoes and sank right to the bottom. Even the dog avoided going off trail because it hadn't lost that much depth.

Tomorrow in the Greens:
Not sure what the ramifications are, but I expect to see deep snow that probably requires snowshoes to stay afloat. Crampons may be necessary ice falls, but except for a few ice walls it's probably all covered in snow. I can't wait to see.


  1. I want to experience Armageddon...

  2. Wasn't that a movie with Bruce Willis?

  3. Ben Affleck played a young tMail and Liv Tyler played Washington. tMail put on his crampons to mount washington. ha ha. that's really not funny at all. sorry.

  4. tMail, your choices are the Bamforth Death March, in which you lose all sense of time and all your internal body heat; or Hell Brook, in which you lose all hope of ever being on horizontal terrain again.

    bamforth history: maddog and i got completely lost on bamforth in deep snow so cold we lost feeling in our feet. the pm, md and i lost so much energy one time we split three large pizzas at day's end. no joke. i've made the summit twice - in summer. never in winter. we'll be coming down in the dark.

    hell brook history: md and i worked 5 hours to go 1.25 miles and didn't summit. the PM, md and i were so deep in snow it was worth it for me to jog back 2 miles to the car to retrieve snowshoes while the PM and MD froze to death. i've made 4 ascents up hellbrook and summitted once - in the summer w/ mr. & ms. pm and riley.

    the Green Mountains of Vermont: Armageddon if you want it.

  5. The word "Death" was mentioned in the Hell Brook History...so lets go with Hell Brook...what better place to experience the prism of light before death than on a trial called Hell Brook...

    Its also leads to the states High Point another quest of mine...

  6. Hell Brook is one schweet deal. The snow tends to load up in that thing.
    We will be in Road Dieland for the da weekend. So have fun, and if you start a snowball fight be sure the PM's arm doesn't fire the forehead, he's likely to hit the house. And I don't need to be fixing any windows in the -11 weather we're having.

  7. Good. I have been waiting patiently since I returned my Patagonia "furnace pants" to try out these EMS love bibs that I scored for a sweet $69.95 (ridiculous EMS blow out). God bless the cheap and the deep.

  8. Of course the weather doesn't look like it'll be cooperating - and my lung thing has turned into nasty bronchitis... fuckin' A.

  9. The Short Trail (kinda)

    Once again we were beaten up (badly) by that trail they call Hell Brook. How bad you ask? Well, it was post holing for just about the whole day, and so deep that I relied on an improvised crotch-stop technique most of the time to prevent me from going completely under the spine of the Greens. It was just another absurdly hard HB hike. Like the last we (PM, MZ) bushwhacked it, but different. today it took us about 5+ hrs to travel something like ~1.5 miles. We were just shy of crossing over to the LT before calling it quits. The decision came when Mutha was suspended above the snake pits, spread eagled, with nowhere else to go. Another way to envision the day is - if you can imagine this, it was like being armed with spears, then getting locked in a UFC cage and being pitted against 5 fast moving midgets, in a fight to the death, all the while, the fight producer is pulling levers on secret trap doors causing you to fall and thrash. I'm not much of a fighter, but we managed to pull on trees, stomp holes, swim, and crawl our way up that thing today. Kudos to Mutha for being the lead plow. We also met up with a nice couple (Bob, Jess and Ramble) at the tail end near the turn for the LT and then later on the return...we have some beer drinking rain checks to cash in at some point. And finally, on the return back to the bungalow, I met up with the Morton's Fisherman and returned his suit. I told him I wouldn't need it any longer. He asked, why? I said four Xmas great and generous Xmas elves had upgraded me. THANK YOU, Xmas elves!!!!!