So, winter was cancelled in the Champlain Valley. It’s too bad, but it’s time to stop whining and go sledding. Winter is still scheduled on top of Vermont’s four highest mountains. Where the coverage isn’t great for skiing, sledding is a great alternative. Plus, it’s only a semi-skilled sport, and all it requires is a piece of plastic tarp. In the right conditions, you can sled in just your snowpants.
Pete Goodwin and I climbed the Burrows Trail on Camel’s Hump, which rises 2,200 feet in 2.4 miles. The trail begins gradually, then climbs more steeply to join the Long Trail for the final .2 miles to the summit. The snow was patchy at the parking lot, but more than acceptable for sledding in the higher elevations.
It was cloudy and windy at the summit, so we sledded back to arboreal safety as soon as possible.
Stick to the trail when sledding on the Camel’s Hump summit cone, because it’s too far steep for good sledding on the south side.
Once we got into the trees, the sledding was fast and steep. We brought only one plastic sheet sled, so Pete and I often doubled up. The dog nipped at our shoulders to keep us in line, in accordance with his shepherd heritage.
The total trip, up and down, took a little less than 2 hours. We left the trailhead at 1:00, were on the summit at 2:10, and back down to the parking lot before 3:00. The descent was over far too soon, so we butt-sledded down to Brush Brook on the Forest City Trail.
The Burrows Trail is at the end of Camel's Hump Road in Huntington. In yellow above.
(map from summitpost.org)
I tried for Mount Abe the next weekend, but got distracted sledding on Lincoln Gap. I don’t have any photos, but for fast, easy sledding, the Warren side of Lincoln Gap is hard to beat. Go buy a cheap sled at the hardware store, or nikwax your jeans, and go find something snowy to hike up!