Mt Mansfield – something of a Traverse
My final run of my mini vacation was a (near) traverse of the various facial features of Mt Mansfield. I decided to park at the base of the toll road and planned on running the 108 up to the Long Trail then ascend to the ridge and come down via the toll road. I’d been to most of the Mansfield features before but still needed the Adam’s Apple (4,120’), which is the COHP for Lamoille VT. The day was already a bit warm but I decided that I wouldn’t be out “too long” (whatever that means) and just went with 16 ounces of water and a gel. I hoped to make the loop in under 3 hours.
After a brief chat with a couple heading for a hike up the toll road (I wanted to make sure they actually allow hiking on the road) I headed off on Route 108. The map shows it as 3 miles from the Toll Road to the Long Trail, but I hit the trailhead in 23:13, so it is a bit shorter than 3. I took a 2:47 break to adjust my END Stumptown high-top running shoes and sign in at the LT register then started the ascent. 49:51 later I was on top of the Adam’s Apple enjoying the view and the cool breeze. I took a short 1:19 for a couple of pictures and a drink and headed for the part I was worried about. The climb to the chin is very steep, rocky, exposed in spots and on this day wet. I moved very slowly on this part, a couple of times making five points of contact. I reached one spot where I wasn’t sure if I could safely ascend, but I knew I’d have way more trouble heading down. At the same time a couple of backpackers came by (descending) which gave me a few minutes to collect my thoughts.
After they passed I made my way to the top, hitting it 18:23 after leaving the Adam’s Apple. The summit had a lot of people on it, so I didn’t even stop. I really enjoyed the running across the summit ridge, with some drop to the Lower Lip (4,120’) and Upper Lip (3,964’) then the slight climb to the Nose (4,020’) which I reached in 24:16. I had no intention of heading for the Forehead, so it was all down hill from there. In less than 2 minutes (1:56) I finished off my gel and the last of my water and 4:44 later I was on the toll road and enjoyed the excellent footing and easy running down the road. I stopped half-way down to chat with the couple I had seen at the start of the run (4 minutes) and hit the bottom in 38:25 (34:25 actual running) for a grand total of 2:44:57 for the very interesting 11+ mile loop.
A couple of Pictures: http://doubledmountainrunner.shutterfly.com/2181