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South Carmel Peak VT 11/5/2016

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  • South Carmel Peak VT 11/5/2016

    On Saturday, CommieHannah and I did a nice hike from VT Route 4 to the Chittenden Reservoir along the Long Trail. I really liked this stretch of trail; it feels pretty remote and doesn’t appear to get much use aside from LT thru-hikers. The trail was generally in good shape - no snow to speak of - although the layer of fallen leaves combined with the beautifully open woods and relative dearth of white blazes made it difficult to discern at times. To me, this added to the trail’s appeal. I love paths that are just barely there…...

    About 10 miles in, we left the trail to make the short quarter mile bushwhack to the summit of South Carmel Mountain (3022’) also known as Telephone Gap Peak. Amazingly, about 500 feet from the trail we ran into a young couple who were also bushwhacking up to the summit! I found this remarkable for two reasons: (1) I’ve bushwhacked over a hundred summits in the northeast and have never once run into another person or group off-trail and (2) this seemingly unremarkable and viewless peak is one of only eight peaks in VT above 3K feet but *not* on the VT HH list, thereby making it even more obscure! These were the first humans we encountered all day. Anyway, we chatted briefly, wished them well and were on our way. We didn’t see them again, not even on the descent. This bushwhack is through very open woods but is quite steep, gaining 400+ feet in 0.25 miles.

    Back on the Long Trail, we were treated to intermittent views of the Chittenden Reservoir below us through the trees. The trail seemed to drag a bit as we eagerly awaited the junction with the New Boston Trail. We met a small group of folks doing some trail maintenance at this junction, and then hiked down the New Boston Trail toward the reservoir. All in all, a great day in the woods: a new 3K peak, 12+ new miles on the Long Trail, and no bullet holes.
    From every mountainside, let freedom ring.