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Beautiful peak baggin’

Rare view in the Breadloaf wilderness
Rare view in the Breadloaf wilderness

Despite last night’s rain, today is hot and clear with lots of up and downs. I’m beginning to learn that even more so than the Appalachian Trail, every mountain I can see from a view will be a mountain I will need to climb up. Water situation is still a little less than ideal, but at least its not hot. Still relatively bugless…

I’ve seen people today and chatted with some section hikers. Coming up near Mt. Abraham, there were tons of cars in the parking lot. I passed lots of families and hearing the parents telling their kids that “this young lady is walking all the way to Canada” really made me feel encouraged. I always fancy myself somewhat of a lone-woods person, but I really do enjoy and thrive off of seeing and talking with other people. The magic of the trail really is getting to meet people from all over—people I might not run into or have a chance to chat with otherwise. I also like the idea that some kid I ran into may feel inspired to hike the LT some day.

Mt. Abraham was a fun mountain with lots of semi-rock climbing and scrambling and a little exposure, which is always fun. It was great to soar above treeline and walk on granite slabs–very pleased that they weren’t wet and that it wasn’t raining. On more than a few sections of this trail, I’ve thought how scary the rocky parts would be if they were wet. It reminds me of going down Bemis Mountain on the AT and how I kept slipping over and over again…

Vermont alpine plants
Vermont alpine plants

 

I’m not going so fast that I can’t enjoy the lichen and moss and other high altitude-tundra alpine species. The area near Mt. Abraham is on a beautiful ridgeline near Mad River Glen ski area. Today has been my most fun day of hiking the LT so far and I’m really enjoying “bagging” so many peaks on the ridgeline with relatively little effort.

View from Stark’s nest
View from Stark’s nest

The finish point at the Mad River Glen ski warming hut, Stark’s Nest, was a fantastic reward. It has a view out to the Whites and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the ridgeline of the Whites from afar–absolutely terrifyingly up and down. Hard to believe I’ve gone up that twice! Stark’s Nest also had a privy and rain water collection barrel–so all the services of a regular shelter. It was a grand place to sleep and I enjoyed eating my dinner as I read old newspaper clippings about the history of the place. 4080′ gain

 

Home sweet shelter–thanks Mad River Ski People
Home sweet shelter–thanks Mad River Ski People

Liz "Snorkel" Thomas

Liz Thomas is a well-traveled adventure athlete most known for breaking the women’s unsupported speed record on the Appalachian Trail in 2011. She has completed the Triple Crown of Hiking–the Appalachian Trail, the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail, and 3,100 mile Continental Divide Trail–and has backpacked over 15,000 miles across the United States. While not on trail, Liz lives in Denver, Colorado.