Killington Peak was my last 4k-footer in Vermont left to do for my Northeast-111er project. We combined this climb with a visit to Mark and Linda's
, our new Adirondack climber buddies that we met last winter on our Dix Mountain Traverse hike
. Mark and Linda's home is in Bolton Landing, NY -- only an hour or so away from Killington Peak.
There are a couple of ways to get up Killington Peak. In the interests of a potential more interesting and challenging hike, we chose one of the longer ways -- starting at Sherburne Pass on US Route 4, and hiking south along the spine of the main ridge of the Green Mountains to Killington. Along the way, we decided to cross over the summit of Pico Peak, a sub-4000-footer.
The day was super-hazy and very humid. I didn't hold out much hope for grand scenic vistas. The walk, though, was pretty nice - the lower part of the Sherburne Pass trail goes through beautiful lush deciduous forest, and the trail is in many places superb: loamy and earthy, instead of muddy, rocky and rooty.
Nearing the top of Pico Peak, the Sherburne Pass trail heads on a bypass around the peak. We chose to hike a spur trail up the open ski slopes to the summit, where we ate a snack in the ski summit shelter, away from all the annoying black flies. There were a few limited views through hazy skies to nearby ridges and peaks, but for the most part, we couldn't see too much.
After our Pico Peak snack stop, we continued on down the other side, taking steep spur trail that lead south down to the Sherburne Pass trail on the south side of the mountain. From there, we started off south on the long traverse to Killington.
As it turned out, this traverse over to Killington was pretty easy. The trail is quite flat. It has been engineered to stay within a 200-foot elevation range for almost the entire distance between Pico Peak and Killington Peak, staying to one side of the main ridge where necessary to maintain a particular elevation (which was mostly around 3450 to 3550 feet).