February 26, 2011
Took a snowshoeing trip up Blue Ridge Mountain to assess the condition of the Canty Trail for the GMC. The weather was partly cloudy with a few flurries. The temps were in the low 20's with a light breeze. A recent storm left about 6" of fresh snow.
This is one of my favorite hikes in Rutland County. Although a scheduled trip up to Killington via Buklin Trail was canceled, I decided to hit up the summit of Blue Ridge Mountain. I have never attempted to snowshoe this trail before so the opportunity was screaming "Climb Me!". I grabbed my Tubbs and headed out.
When I arrived at the trailhead the snow banks from the plows had piled them up to about 3 feet. I strapped on my snowshoes and headed up. Being the sector checker for the Killington section of the GMC for this trail, I thought it would be a good idea to note the conditions. I found that the conditions were great with the exception of 3 blown down trees. Although not the most difficult in the world, Vermont trails are rugged and keeping an eye on foot placement does take away from enjoying the environs. This was not the case. The footing was a lot easier than without snow and I had the opportunity to look around more, and with no leaves in the tree canopy, the distance was there as well.
I passed through the lower evergreens into the Green Mountain Nat. Forest and followed the trail up until I reached the waterfalls. I attempted to traverse down to a good view but one of my trekking poles pierced through the top layers of snow, got seized up on some underlying rocks and broke. I knew that I wouldn't be able to get to the summit. The previous .2 miles was the start of the steep section and I was relying on my poles just to make forward progress. I know there was no way of getting to the summit with a pole missing. I turned around and headed back down.
It took me an hour and fifteen minutes to get to the falls and thirty five minutes to descend to the trailhead where my ride was waiting. Out and back I covered 3.5 miles and 1200 (est.) feet of elevation