Monday, August 27, 2018
Start: Tiltson Camp
End: Corliss Camp
Mileage: 15.0 on LT (+0.4 for side trail to Ritterbush Lodge)
Elevation gain/loss: 3,665’/4,429′
We were up at 6:30am and on trail by 7:15. For the first 2-3 hours, it was super cloudy and foggy. Mt Belvedere was completely socked in. The sun slowly started burning off the fog mid-morning. By the time we crossed VT 118 at Eden Crossing, it was shaping up to be a nice day. We went up and over Ritterbush Lookout, which looked down at Ritterbush Pond.
At the recommendation of a local section hiker yesterday, we took a slight detour at the intersection with the Babcock trail. We took a left, heading down toward the pond. We took another left when the trail split, heading around the pond. Within 0.2 from the LT, we came to the Ritterbush Lodge, a cabin on the pond with a privy and a dock. The water was clean and the ground smooth rock pebbles. The pond steadily got deeper, so it was a perfect swimming spot. We had a lovely swim and lunch break, spreading out our clothes to dry on the dock. After a nice break, we headed back to the LT.
We went through Devil’s Gulch, which is like a smaller VT Mahoosic Notch, and stopped for water by the side trail for Spruce Ledge shelter.
Then we climbed; we went over Bowen Mountain North and South, descending to Basin Brook, and then went up and over Butternut Mountain. From there, it was only 1.2 miles downhill to Corliss Camp. We arrived at 5pm.
When we arrived at Corliss Camp, there were maybe 15 freshmen from Sterling College here on their orientation trip, as well as one NOBO hiker, Wishbone. We enjoyed chats with him and then prepared our dinner at the picnic table, sharing with Sterling College. In the end, the college group had made too much food, so they gave us some fresh baked, with an actual crust and Cabot cheese pizza. It was heavenly.
While we were eating, one person came up a side trail with a cooler (Landfill), and his friend Tolkien showed up on the LT maybe 20 minutes later. I guess Landfill thru hiked last year, and was bringing trail magic to Tolkien and Wishbone. The magic consisted of different prepared foods, beer, and more Cabot cheese. We all had a great time chatting and snacking for quite a while. After a bit, Landfill, Tolkien, and Towanda went to the picnic table and talked and drank for a few hours. Wishbone and I got ready for bed; he went to bed and I eventually joined the group outside for some evening chats. Both Landfill and Tolkien seemed like really sweet guys. We had a lot of fun, though it was a late trail night; we didn’t get to bed until 9:30pm.