When Alex and I took a trip to Vermont towards the end of October, we were SO excited to see snowfall and it got us really excited for winter
Now knowing that it was a tease, lack of snowfall in the Northeast has become quite the joke. Just take a look, here, here, or here and my favorite, here. As I mentioned in my first post, Alex and I would normally be planning a ski weekend in December. When we planned our trip to the Highland Center Lodge for the day after Christmas, we knew backcountry skiing wouldn't be an option. We were hopeful to still maybe see some snow? Maybe have enough to use snowshoes? As the weekend came closer and we looked at the weather, it was not favorable for either of those options and we packed our hiking boots, and only our hiking boots. We had big plans & originally wanted to check off another 4000', Mt. Tom. It would be a 5.7 mile round trip hike, gaining about 2380 ft and estimated to take about 4 hours. On Saturday night knowing the forecast was even less favorable, we made plan B which was to hike Mt. Willard. A 2865' peak, 3.3 miles round trip from the lodge, a 971 ft. elevation gain estimated to take just about over two hours. When we woke up on Sunday morning, the wind was howling (it actually kept me up a lot of the night it was so loud) and there was ice.
|Looking out from our room with ice covering the window|
We took our time getting up, enjoyed our breakfast and sat by the fire. I was enjoying the morning drinking coffee and reading my new book I had just purchased.
We would have intermittent conversations of, "are we going?" "ok, lets go" "no, its really raining hard..." As our checkout time approached we finally decided together, "OK Let's Go!" As hard as it was to tear my self away from the warm fire and go out into the rain, I am glad we did. The ice actually made things very beautiful and as always, it was wonderful to be outside.
The hike was an easy-moderate grade up the the Mt. Willard Trail. It got my heart rate going and left my legs with a slight reminder the next day. My fibit surge actually clocked it at 3.78 miles round trip and it took us just under two hours, Strava claims it was a 921' gain. (Stats mentioned in the paragraph above are from the AMC White Mountain Guide one of my favorite trip planning tools!) The trail climbs next to a brook for a while, crosses over it twice and about 1/4 mile in there is a clearing at the brook with Centennial Pool which looks like an amazing spot to take a dip in the summer. The trail was slick in spots, I never felt like I had to use micro spikes. However, Kristen had just got them for me for Christmas and I wanted to try them out! Unbeknownst to us we put them on at a slick part which was right before the summit.
|I enjoyed wearing them.They made walking around the icy granite at the summit easy, as well as aided on the way down.|
Along the way up we passed some hikers and one told us the view would come and go, mostly go. We heard from our friends who hiked the trail the day prior that the views were awesome and unexpected for a small peak. We unfortunately didn't get to see any of it.
Still, with smiles on our faces, we enjoyed walking around the peak for a bit, ducking into the woods and thinking that this would be a really cool spot to camp (until we saw the sign for no camping). It would make for a great shorter hike in the summer, a good relaxing spot for lunch & a perfect spot for the hammock!
Since I am just beginning this blog, I welcome any comments or feedback! Thanks for reading.
*Update* Since beginning this post Boston has seen some snow! I think my Christmas Cocktail is working! We are heading up to Killington for New Years so lets continue to pray for [more] snow. Happy New Year all!