Yes, I admit it, I used the gondola at Stowe to cover most of the vertical gain on this hike.
We were hiking with a small group of friends and everyone else hiked to the summit of Mt Mansfield like real men (sorry ladies). This great group gathers once a year with the long term goal of hiking the highest summit in each State in New England. I wish we had done Rhode Island this year (Jerimoth Hill @ 812') instead of choosing Vermont (Mt Mansfield @ 4,393'). I was still having some breathing issues and I did not feel fit enough to hike this mountain with a group as I hate being the laggard.
So far our group has accomplished Mt Washington in NH (without me but I did it later), Mt Katahdin in Maine, Mt Mansfield in Vermont and in June 2014 we are planning on hiking Greylock in Massachusetts.
Back to Mt Mansfield. The rest of the group hiked up the Haselton Trail eventually reaching the Long Trail which they used to traverse from the ridge across Mansfield. I met up with them on the Long Trail after hiking the remaining .4 of a mile from the Gondola up till I intersected the Long Trail. That short distance was actually challenging and reasonably steep (wimp!).
After meeting up with the group we all finished the rest of the ridge and descended on the Long Trail. I will say the descent was without a doubt one of the steepest I can recall doing. Hard for me to imagine people doing the ascent from that direction but they were. Oh to be young again. In any case, here are some photos.
The rest of my group hiking up Haselton (Leslie is behind the camera).
The next few shots are on the climb from the Gondola to the Long Trail intersection.
Take your pick - under or over.
Yep, you've got to go through here. The trail designer was a skinny guy.
A look back along the ridge towards the visitors center (near towers in the distance).
Its official - we've reached the summit marker
A summit photo opp for our entire group.
Leslie who was leading in this shot looks over the edge and ponders what to do next.
We are all having a great laugh coming down this section.
A short distance but rather steep.
With that belly you would think I could just roll down (me on my butt). What doesn't show in this shot is the fact that the ledge Russ is standing on (silver haired gent) is very narrow. Miss it and who knows where you'll stop.
What an adventure!