10/19/16 Catching up with Joe on Killington
Joe and I took a day off yesterday to hike Killington, which is #66 on the NE 67 list for both of us. Well, Joe had done this hike before, by the ski trails this July, but I guess he loved it so much that he was willing to do it again with me. Knowing how much I hate hiking up ski trails (memories of my calves burning while hiking up Sugarloaf ski trails!), he agreed to do it by an honest hiking trail.
Our route was up the Bucklin trail, which intersects with the Long trail, then up a short spur to the summit. The forecast was for partly cloudy conditions, but it wasn't looking too great on the way up - mostly clouds. We stopped at Quechee Gorge on the way, which I had seen before, but it was a first for Joe.
We were on trail at about 9:00 AM, after being warned by someone at the trailhead (who was camping out in his car and had apparently been there the day before) that the trail was very wet and slippery. The first 2 miles of the Bucklin trail were very easy, with less than 500' of elevation gain, so we made good time.
The next 1.7 miles was a bit tougher (or was it 1.4? Maps indicated the route was 3.7 miles, signs on the trail indicated 3.4, but I'm going with 3.7) . There was about a mile of fairly steady, somewhat steep hiking. Then it leveled out a bit near the intersection of the Long trail. We passed by Cooper Lodge but decided to just check it out on the way back down. From there, the rest of the hike is a steep, 0.2-mile climb to the summit over a lot of boulders. We ended up in complete cloud cover at the summit. We then decided to hike down the short way to the ski lifts and hang around for a bit in hopes that some of the clouds would clear out. We had lunch on one of the picnic tables, and just as we were getting up to leave, some of the clouds started to blow away. We never got really great views but it wasn't a total loss - we were able to snap some half-decent pics from the ski lift area and then from the spur trail on the way back down.
We got back to the car at about 1:30, just 4 1/2 hours after we started. Of course, it was warm and sunny on the way out.
Anyway, #66 is in the books, and Joe and I hope to finish soon on Camel's Hump.
Quechee Gorge in the morning
Start of Bucklin trail
Bridge on Bucklin trail
Still some decent color out there
But as we go higher we climb up into the clouds
Spur trail to summit
Viewless time on the summit of Killington
Joe checking out the ski trail signs
We got excited as it started clearing up a bit
Hoping for the clouds to lift even more
And then the clouds come back in....
Joe desperately takes as many photos as he can before it gets completely clouded over again
As we descended the spur trail back down to the lodge, we were able to get some partial views
Inside Cooper Lodge
Yet another bridge, on the way out on Bucklin trail
Athough we didn't have many views from the summit, it was still a beautiful fall day in Vermont
And one more view of Quechee Gorge on the way home.
All the pics: https://flic.kr/s/aHskLTvYGm