0917 Madonna Peak Ski Warming Hut

0917 Madonna Peak Ski Warming Hut

It’s been many days since I’ve posted. I’ve written and photo’d but haven’t had a stretch of time with steady wireless and power. That won’t happen until my next Zero Day off trail. So here’s one from yesterday until then.
In short, we are well. Feeling stronger with growing awareness and appreciation for the peculiarities of this trail.
It’s Saturday. The dance with the weather and the rocks is on.
Madonna Peak is our target today. Very rough and steep tread. We’re just starting the biggest Mountains of the Greens. Today Whiteface. Then a day in the warming hut for thunderstorms. Then down a very steep Smuggler’s Notch. We call it Snuggler’s Notch, but not sure it’s gonna feel snugly.
Then up Mt Mansfield. The biggest peak in VT. Then down and up Camel’s Hump. Look at the elevation profile.

I’m anxious about this next stretch of the trail.
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0910 Elevation Profiles

0910 Elevation Profiles


We’re going north to south. So we’re traveling from the right to left on each map. Also from Division 12 to 1.

This gives you a sense of what we’re up against on any given day.
For instance, today we’re headed back to the trail from Hazen’s Notch headed to Tillotson Camp. As you can see, a long climb up Haystack Mountain. Longer elevation gain than Jay Mountain. How hard will depend on the tread. (hiker speak for the condition and texture of the trail)

 
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0909 Montgomery Center, VT

0909 Montgomery Center, VT

Wake up about 8. Walk Sherman. Finish the Quesadilla. Drink some coffee.
This will be our first Zero Day. A day with Zero miles hiked. A rest day. A reorg day. A laundry day. A nap day. An anything that needs doing but hiking day.

And… the gear sort begins…
 
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0908 Montgomery Center, VT

0908 Montgomery Center, VT

It’s a slow morning. I’m moving slowly getting our gear repacked. I eat the lentils and mung beans left from last nights uneaten dinner for breakfast. The body is still not wanting much in the way of food, though I know I need calories. Sherman eats this morning. His first breakfast since we left Bristol.
As we’re walking my legs are very sore. Each rest, Sherman plops right down to rest. No exploring. We’re tired.
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0907 Hazen Notch Lodge

0907 Hazen Notch Lodge

We get up at 7 and start packing. Dave is packing soon after. I offer Sherman some food. No. He’s eating some snacks during the day and one big meal at night. I’m a bit concerned. He’s not.
We head up Jay Mountain. It’s a ski resort. So large swaths are clear of trees. Amazing views.

 
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