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Album: journal:day22

Butler Lodge to Taft Lodge
19 Oct 2005
Day 22
3.5 miles, 213.4 cumulative miles

09:28 OMG! There is a view out of the front door! The sun is even shining on the trees below. I can see Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks in New York state.

Butler Lodge is situated at 3000 feet or so. The summit is 1300+ feet higher. Unfortunately the cloud ceiling doesn't appear very high right now. I think the upper mountain is still in the clouds. I'm going to wait a bit and see what happens.

Well that was short lived. A light drizzle has returned, and the cloud level is about even with the lodge. I didn't even have time to finish my Ramen Noodles before things changed for the worse.

12:44 I'm packing up. The sky isn't wonderful, but I can see into NY again, and it isn't wholly bad. I plan on making for Taft Lodge on the other side of the summit. Wish me luck.

18:10 I'm happy to report that the weather window held. It wasn't magnificent, but there was no rain and I had views. I'm here in Taft Lodge fed and satisfied. After this entry I need to go through my photos and delete some duplicates.

From Butler Lodge the trail immediately began ascending The Forehead. Mt. Mansfield has the profile of a face so its summits are named after facial features. The Forehead is one of those sections of trail mentioned as difficult and dangerous. The guide mentions "handhold traverses" along cliffs. There was definately some scrambling/climbing involved and one or two spots with a respectable potential fall. It was along here that I got my first good views. South was Bolton Mountain and to the west Lake Champlain and the 'dacks of New York. Exciting trail and good scenery! It doesn't get better than that. After The Forehead was an easy stretch where I passed the summit station (and terminus of the closed auto toll road) on my way to The Chin, Vermont's highest point at 4,395 ft. It would have been a little more exciting if that number was in meters, but I'll take what I can get. Arriving at The Chin was fairly easy. There was some travel over talus but nothing to write a book about. At last I was on top of Vermont! It is all downhill from there. Well not really.

Taft Lodge is only a half mile further but what an interesting downclimb. Short and steep. No ladders but sometimes it felt like it. Once past the cliffy bit it was easy walking to Taft. This is another wonderful cabin. The sunrise is supposed to be beautiful.

One humorous tidbit from the trail: during bad weather hikers are supposed to take a bypass trail around The Chin and avoid the steep part. The name of the bypass trail is Profanity Trail. I'm not sure it would be any nicer!

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