Monday, December  17, 2018
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This is an image gallery of a mid-winter hike of Mount Mansfield. I'd only ever done Mt. Mansfield by driving most of the way up and then walking along the ridge, many years ago in the summer, with Andree. I hoped to do it properly this time, climbing from the base up a very scenic route to the summit, and in winter.

Our chosen day, Sunday, February 27, was clear and sunny but a little cold. No matter, we had the right gear! Our route was the sunset ridge trail on the west side of the mountain. Normally one would drive up into Underhill state park and park at the trailhead, but in the winter, the road is only plowed to within mile or so of the park. This means you must walk an extra couple of miles before the trail itself really starts. No matter, because the route is still pretty short.
Road to Underhill
Jenn getting ready
Jenn and Shannon await the start
Heading up the road
Entering Underhill State Park
Snowy ridge above
Jenn at true trail start
Hiking on up
well-formed trail
Cantilever Rock
Gaining the ridge.
A quick breather
Distant Adirondack views
Whiteface from Afar
Twisted Appalachian Rock
Rock closeup
Shannon and the winter sky
Sunset ridge is truly quite spectacular. It is an open spine of rock for about a thousand vertical feet or more. The views back across lake Champlain and up to the summit ridge are outstanding. There is a brisk winter wind on the ridge but it adds to alpine feel!

By the way, for most of the pictures taken on the ridge, I accidentally set my camera's ISO setting to 3200, which is very grainy. (and also reveals some CDD dust I had in my camera). Please forgive that for these pictures - normally they would look much better. I noticed the problem near the summit and switched back to a more reasonable and much better lower ISO setting.
Cool new glasses
Deadwood and west chin
Rising Above Vermont
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