|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Whiteface Mountain, Chilcoot Pass, VT|
||Long Trail, Chilcoot Trail, Beaver Meadow Trail, Beaver Meadow Cutoff Trail|
|Date of Hike:
||Thursday, March 5, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||FP dropped me off just above the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail on Rt. 15 near Johnson. Did not check out the official LT parking on Rt. 15, but when we were there about a month ago, it was not plowed. Beaver Meadow winter parking area was large & plowed although icy in the morning & muddy in late afternoon. |
||Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||A few drainages required big steps/jumps. Most still snow bridged. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Usual amount of winter blowdown for this time of year but nothing show stopping. In some areas, tree branches are not cut high enough for winter travel. Some blazes are very infrequent, old & faint. Also, they are white. The LT is “not designed for winter travel.” Winter travelers must be comfortable navigating their way because the trail will be lost with great frequency. |
|Lost and Found:
||Long Trail south from Rt. 15 to Chilcoot Pass to Beaver Meadow parking.|
First couple of miles were an easy warmup: West Settlement Road is plowed as there is active logging going on, although I did not see any of it save for a parked logging truck. LT then follows a groomed VAST snowmobile trail for another 1/2 to 3/4 mile or so, more easy walking. Barebooted.
LT makes an unsigned, abrupt right hand turn off the VAST trail that is easy to miss - I just happened to look up & see a white blaze off to my right. Snowshoes went on here & remained on until the car. The snowshoeing was *perfect* & I floated along barely making a dent in the solid but grippy surface. There were some older ski tracks along this section as far as Bear Hollow Camp. The hardwoods were spectacular here!
Bear Hollow to Whiteface to Morse Mtn., about “4.5” difficult miles, did not look to have seen any traffic. (Last sign-in at Whiteface Shelter was in November.) The climb & descent of Whiteface get very steep, but snowshoeing conditions were absolutely stellar this day so the going was not difficult. I lost the trail about a half dozen times & resorted to GPS to get back on track (the rule on the LT, not the exception - haha). After Whiteface (aka Sterling) Mtn., staying on the LT proper was a bit more challenging, but I eventually made it to Whiteface Shelter, where FP was waiting having come up from Beaver Meadow & Whiteface Trail (“steep!!!”)
We continued on to Chilcoot Pass over some sketchy, steep terrain & more challenging trail finding... “1.5 miles” my ass. ;p Chilcoot Trail is very steep but fun & the footing was good this day. A few more inches of powder would have made for an exciting butt slide! Nearing Beaver Meadow Lodge we lost the trail, but the woods were open so we bushwhacked the final quarter mile.
On the way out, we checked out the large Beaver Meadow which required a short BW. Views of the Meadow, which is situated in a bowl, and surrounding ridges were very fine. An easy couple of miles brought us back to the car.
||Snowflea & Fancypants |
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.