Hell Brook Trail, Mt. Mansfield, VT

It started with a vague plan: climb a mountain around Smuggler’s notch, skate, eat, split. Tommy, Brian, Brian, Ryan, Chuck and I drove out in the early afternoon, and didn’t start hiking until nearly three. We walked down the road leading through the notch, and decided to play in a waterfall for a bit.

To our delight, a trail rose into the woods three feet next to this brook. Naturally, we had to climb the waterfall until the trail drifted out of sight, at which point we left the rocks and walked. And so we found ourselves climbing Mt. Mansfield, half heartedly following a rumor about some mountain lake. We didn’t go far until the trail took a steep incline straight up the southeast face. Maybe we missed the sign at the bottom. Maybe we didn’t. But given the rock-climbing nature of the trail, we weren’t surprised when we came across this:

We learned what happens when you aimlessly go hiking in VT. You find some cool waterfalls, a huge rock, some knotty trees, and end up so far along the hardest trail on the highest peak in the state that you can’t possibly turn around, and have to remind your body that it was made for more than inhaling smoke and sitting on couches!

Straight down...

Standing on “the Chin”, the highest location in VT, we sat on the rocks and talked, watching the grass jittering and the clouds rolling over a clear blue sky. A crow flew an arm’s length over our heads. We remarked on how wild the crow’s world seemed as he experienced the world from its highest point, not as a luxury or occasion, but as a part of life…

Click to see full size panorama

Above: The view from “the Chin”
Below: A patchy panorama from halfway up Hell Brook

Click to see full size panorama

We ended the day with a hitchhike back to our vehicles, and a great meal at the Shed, in Stowe. I hope you enjoyed our adventure, now go have one of your own!

“We hiked Hell Brooke, and lived to blog about it later!”
-me, jokingly…but then I did it. BAH!

 

If this helped you, or if it didn’t, feel free to leave a comment.

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~ by evanlitsios on June 6, 2011.

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