Monday, January 18, 2021
Start/End: Wheelerville Rd, Mendon, VT
I packed up as much as I could the night before, and then headed out by 8am. I was the first car in the parking lot, though one car with two other hikers came in just as I was heading out. I was on trail by 9am, delighted to find that Bucklin Trail up to Killington had been traveled by 2-3 pairs of snowshoes yesterday, so there was an established track with an unstable monorail. There were occasional flurries, but the snow had stopped for the most part, dropping 27″ of snow on Killington between Friday night and Monday morning. On the climb up, the wind wasn’t too bad and I didn’t start seeing backcountry skiers until close to the Lodge on the Long Trail. Closer to the summit, as I snowshoed up the steep summit cone, high winds had caused deep snow drifts and I had to find my way and pack that area down again. Above treeline, the wind was blowing perhaps 30-40 MPH and the visibility was poor. I quickly took a few pictures, and then headed back down. I made it back to my car by 1pm, changed clothes, and started driving home (after a 2-hour delay while I waited for a tow truck to pull my car out of a snow-hidden ditch only a few miles away from the trailhead). Given the snowfall this weekend, it was remarkably easier than I’d expected, with minimal trail breaking.