Addison and (half of) Washington County
Mt Abraham and Mt Ellen
I was hoping to finish off the final county high points in Vermont last weekend, but the icy conditions on the very exposed summit of Camel’s Hump, squashed any plans of even attempting that peak. Eric, who’d joined me the day before on his first bushwhack hike, came up with an interesting plan for getting Mt Abraham and Mt Ellen. All of the accounts we’d read mentioned traversing the range but none seemed to consider using the ski areas as access points. We figured that by starting at Sugarbush and running the ridge to Mt Ellen and descending on the ski trails would be a lot more run-able, and in our minds more fun. It also looked like the road to the gaps on either end might be closed for the moment as the region had gotten anything from a dusting to over 1.5 feet of snow.
We dropped my car at Mt Ellen just before sunrise then headed over to Sugarbush. We’d prepared our packs the night before and included strapping our snowshoes on to the back (just in case). Eric went with some Nike XC shoes with “aggressive tread” and I wore my Stumptown END high top running shoes. Eric was familiar with the first 2.5 mile up Sugarbush (2,300’ of climb) as this was the first 2.5 miles of the HERC race a couple of years ago. We took it pretty easy and ascended to the snow line without any trouble. There were some slick spots after that and some postholes to avoid but mostly the footing was very good. From about half-way up to the summit there was anywhere from a dusting to a foot of snow. We reached the viewing platform on top of Lincoln Peak in 48:21 and spent 4 minutes on the summit snapping a couple of quick pictures and taking in the limited (clouds) view.
Distance = more than 9 miles
Climb/descent = 3,675