As days get shorter, hours become precious and I was determined not to waste my final summer trip to Vermont by recovering from a late night wedding party. After a slow start, I headed to an area near Route 2 and the Long Trail that has long held my interest.
There is something remarkable about this spot. The lowest point in the state is nestled directly below Camel’s Hump, the tallest undeveloped peak. The long vertical and steep terrain always holds surprises, and going up Bone Mountain is a great way to check out the views.
The parking lot at the end of Green Mountain Road was deserted but even alone, I decided to bring my climbing gear in case I ran into a friendly climbers. On that list was Travis Peckham’s Tough Schist. It’s one of my favorite guidebooks and I thumbed its well used pages to get a closer look at the topos to find Cat Crack and The Dwarf Wall before I left.
It makes sense that a warm and underperforming winter would be followed by a cold and wet spring. I’ve been burying myself in work and household projects, but Killington just would not go away.
Each time I peeked at social media or the Killington conditions thread, Superstar seemed deep and very top-to-bottomish. On top of it all I’d only used a week of vacation all winter.
I took off early Friday, and arrived in the early afternoon. Darkside Shaman loaned me his most awesome Stihl leaf blower and I dusted up the trails. Just as I was finishing cleaning up, the Son of Pitches showed up and afternoon MTB was on.
Every spring when the season is over, I head to the cabin to turn off the heat, stack the wood for next winter and get the trails in shape for summer. I’m productive enough, but really it’s just another reason to return to my favorite place in the world.
Traditionally the spring work weekend was in early May, before the black flies had their game on. But over the last ten years the bugs are emerging earlier and we’ve moved spring weekend into April. Even this year it hardly feels like the ski season is over.
I arrived Friday afternoon and took a quick walk of the yellow trail. It was dry and I was surprised to find little deadfall; small consolation for the thinnest winter in memory.