Killington Peak, August 25, 2007


Diane and Jim (photo by Mark Malnati) On August 25, Diane is taking us to Vermont to hike Killington, here is her preview:

4,251 feet, 7.2 miles round trip, about 5 hours (elevation gain 2,481'). Follow Bucklin Trail (blue blaze) two miles through gentle woods road and take a right off that road to begin a steady steeper climb with good footing. We will cross right over (but not take) the Long Trail just below Cooper Lodge. From the lodge we continue on Bucklin Trail on a 0.2-mile pitch straight to the top with some scrambling up large rocks to the open, rocky summit. I expect the ski lodge up at the summit will be open; it has restrooms and a cafe with light food and beverage.

Lift in the fog (photo by Mark Malnati) NEXT HIKE: August 25, Killington Peak
MEETING SPOTS: Exit 2 off of Rt. 89 North, turn right off of the ramp, Park N Ride on Clinton St., Concord at 7:15 a.m.
Bucklin Trialhead at 9:15 a.m
TRAILHEAD: From I-89 North in Concord, NH head into Vermont and take Exit 1 for Route 4/Woodstock VT. Travel on Rt. 4 toward Rutland until you are within 5 miles of east of (before) Route 7 (Rutland) and take a left onto Wheelerville Road. Go about 4 miles down Wheelerville Road; Bucklin Trailhead is to the left before a sharp corner. I will bring a couple copies of mapquest directions to handout at the carpool. If you plan to meet at the trailhead rather than at the carpool; I can e-mail them to you on request.

Trail Report

Diane took us to Killington last weekend, here is her review:

SDHers on deck (photo by Mark Malnati) Five dayhikers ventured into the Green Mountain State for a hike up Killington. Clouds loomed over us at the parking lot on a humid summer morning. As we waited a bit for any last minute arrivals, Pat broke out an assortment of cupcakes in honor of Mark's birthday. Then we started out the easy path through the forest crossing Catamount Cross Country ski trail past a stream and wildflowers. The humidity made the steeper part of the climb more difficult as the sky brightened then faded repeatedly.

We inspected the Cooper Lodge and journeyed up a 0.2-mile rugged pitch to the top. Once there, we swirled in a curtain of clouds hiding our promised reward. We scooted over to check out the Peak Restaurant instead of the missing view. Pat broke out the cupcakes again and we tested out the latest gadgets Jim had brought until bright sky became apparent.

We went out to the deck and looked upon the peaceful yet bustling view. We observed Pico Peak, Blue Ridge Mountain Peak, gondolas running up and down the lift station and brave mountain bikers taking various hard packed and grassy trails down the mountain. Some of the more venturous vowed to come back and do those trails on bike! Jim inquired for us as to the rates: $10 for one trip and $42 for as many trips as you can endure.

Overlooking Killington (photo by Mark Malnati)

The restaurant had a mural depicting the famous "Long Trail Brewery" in downtown Killington and we decided we would need to inspect the brewery to see if this representation was accurate. We headed back down Bucklin Trail and met up with a couple of backpacking groups and a weary AT thru hiker as well as a hiking spa group called New Life Spa. Jim inquired (again) of the rate: $249/day for hiking, food, aerobics and yoga and the experience of meeting people from around the country, like New York and Texas, and even one from France. The group had already hiked over to Blue Ridge Mountain that morning so I am guessing they got their money's worth.

At the Long Trail Brewery we replenished lost fluid, shopped , and sat on the deck sipping and munching on popcorn with a view of a stream and the welcome cooling as the clouds returned.

Mural of Long Trail Brewery (photo by Mark Malnati)

I am guessing everyone liked the hike as, throughout the day, people came up with excuses to return to Killington "when it is clearer for an even better view", "need to mountain bike", "need to return to the brewery when Arianna is of age"... and besides that we all have to find out the secret encrypted message of the Chinese tattoo she has. She was told it means "HOPE" and I explained how I heard in a documentary program that sometimes they tell you it means one thing when in reality it can mean pretty much anything. Her mom is convinced it means "Your Mother is a Pig" (these rest of us didn't think so). Anyway, Mark has homework as he photographed the artwork and will see to it that this gets properly translated. The rest of us hope for "HOPE".

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