July 10- 11, 2004
Mendon,Killington & Dorset
Today's goal was Mt Mendon which ends in a bushwack to the peak. After reaching the summit we decided to head up to the summit of Killington and see if the cafeteria was open.
This is the profile of the first part of hike from our GPS. This was to the summit of Mendon Peak.
This is the profile of the 2nd part of hike from our GPS. This was to the summit of Killington from where we left the trail for our bushwack to Mendon Peak.
This shows the direction we took for the bushwack. We headed into the woods at the 3rd carin, (2 minutes walk past the 2nd carin that most people start at) based on a trip report that "papabear" had posted. Based on his posting we headed further South for a while, before heding towards the summit. This allowed us to miss the heavy line of spruce and made for very easy going. We followed a herd path most of the way.
The start of the hike. This is the same parking lot that is used for the Bucklin trail, but instead of going into the woods on the left, you go through the gate that blocks the road.
This is the 1st of 4 crossings (3 of them over the Eddy Brook) Geri slipped and washed one of her boots :<
The 2nd crossing was wider but easier to cross.
The 3rd crossing was very easy.
The 4th crossing had the least amount of water.
After the 4th crossing the trail heads up steeply. Due to recent rains the trail was fairly wet, but not too muddy. Shortly after this crossing we reached a hairpin turn where we found the 1st carin. A few more minutes brought us to the 2nd carin, and 2 minutes later the 3rd carin where we left the trail and headed into the woods.
It took us 20 minutes to reach the East summit of Mendon Peak. Most of the way we followed a heard path, or walked through sparse woods.
The West Mendon peak seen here is the final destination - a herd path goes between the summits and is only a 5 minute walk.
We found the canister quickly and enjoyed reading the entries. So far this year there have only been entries from 20 hikers or groups of hikers.
We were very supprised to see that somebody had been there today - about an hour ahead of us. Cliff and Rod from Maine had completed their goal of the New England 100 Highest peaks here at Mendon Peak. This was our 64th peak on the same list. As we were appoaching the summit of Killington we even ran into these two and shared stories. Congrats!!!
We returned to the trail following the same heard path and headed off to Killington. The trail became narrower almost to the point of not being a trail, but finallay intersected the Long Trail.
At the summit we headed into the cafeteria for a cold drink to go with our lunch. For those that are not as ambitious, the gondola is running for trips to the top where you can look at paintings of what we see hiking.
They were setting up for a late afternoon wedding. When we left the summit the clouds were giving way to bright sunshine, hopefully in time for a sunset during the wedding.
A shot of Little Killington.
Geri with Mendon Peak over her right shoulder.
We returned to the car by way of the Bucklin trail. After the hike we stopped at a local swimming hole that you reach by going over this suspension bridge which is on the Long Trail.
It crosses above a deep gorge.
Below the bridge is a deep swimming hole that is very popular on hot summer days.
On Sunday we tackled Dorset Peak. The start of the trail is reached by taking Lower or Upper Dorset Hollow Rd (they come together at the far end) and traveling as far as you dare up the 4 wheel drive road. We parked about 1/4 mile past he last house. Just before a Winter Camp there is a split in the trail (marked A) - go to the right. After about a mile trudge up the road/trail you come to a T intersection (marked B) - go to the right. 1/4 mile later you will come to a trail leading off to the right marked with a carin (marked C) - you can go either way, however the trail to the right is very steep - we choose to go straight on a slightly long path, but one iwth a gradual incline that you can make good time on. Another mile and you come to a trinangle of trails. (marked D) to the left 1/4 mile is the North peak - to the right is the ridge line that takes you to Dorset Peak. (marked F). From the summit we continued on the ridge to what remains of the old fire tower (marked G). There we took a sharp right and headed down - at the only trail junction go left and you will return to point marked C. The hike was a little of 6.5 miles and took us 3 1.2 hours.
This is the profile of the hike from our GPS.
We parked on a spot where we could pull off the road and still ahve room to turn around. As we started hiking we realized that if we had driven another 150 feet there was a field on the right with room for several cars. A half mile into the hike we passed another field on the left with a fire ring that also would be good for parking. And if you have a smaller 4-wheel drive vehicle you could park at the winter camp, although I am not sure who you would need to get permission from.
Here is the camp marked on the chart by the word "house". Nobody was home, but there was a lot of firewood, so it does look used.
Taking a break at the point on the chart marked B - it was all uphill to this point.
After a quick side trip to the North Peak we reached the summit and the canister on Dorset Peak. Notice the waterh pitchers at Geri's feet.
There are the ramains of a cabin at the summit.
A quick snack before we headed down.
The remains of teh old fire tower, complete with gas grill that we assume snow mobilers use during the Winter.
As we started down the steep trail by the fire tower we were greeted with our only view of the day.
After the hike we stopped off at a local swimming hole - an old granite quary that was very popular today for people of all ages.
But it was the younger crowd that didn't find enough height on the cliff across the way - this guy climbed a tree about 30 feet. After getting up there he realized how high he really was :> After 10 minutes of encouragement and jerrying from many, he went for it.
Lost his form a bit as he neared the water, but got a big cheer from everyone there.And no - we didn't feel the need to try it ourselves :>
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