Long Trail Day 4 - VT 118 to Corliss Camp

Posted on August 9, 2017 by Chris Lumens in long-trail.

The fourth day involved a very late start after a fun night in town, some very long climbs, missed radio activations, and generally very easy trail conditions.

We spent the night at a hotel in Stowe with Sarah, which involved kind of a late night of real meals and beers. Then we had a bunch of errands to do the next morning including laundry and a big breakfast, so it was after noon when we got back out to the road crossing at VT 118. I was sorry to see Sarah go, but it was great to meet up with her and have her help us with resupply.

Speaking of which, my pack was very heavy with five days’ worth of food and extra clothes. The easy night in town didn’t do much to make me less sore, so it was hard to get moving. At least the trail was nice.

It very easily climbed up a hill, then came back down the other side to an outlook to a nearby pond. We dropped down a staircase near the pond, walked around it, and entered Devil’s Gulch.

There were ladders and bog bridges and boulders to climb up and over and under. It was really cool, and it’s how I expect Mahoosuc Notch is (just much larger).

Too bad it only took about 20 minutes to get through because it ended up being the best part of the day. After a brief climb, we got to the side path to the Spruce Ledge shelter. We were tired so we thought about stopping, but it was still so early in the day. So we decided to push on to Corliss Camp, several peaks away.

The climb up Bowen was steep but straightforward and we were there before we knew it. Over the next few miles, there were a couple subpeaks of the mountain and some really nice ridge hiking. I enjoyed this part quite a lot.

The trail wound around through some wet areas and over and across some old roads. It seemed very out of place, but at least it made for easy hiking.

After that the trail dropped down quite a bit before beginning a very long climb to Butternut Mountain. The drop seemed needlesly long, and the climb seemed to go on forever. It didn’t help that my phone stopped tracking us at some point so it really didn’t look like we were moving at all.

Some time around 6pm, I got to the summit and Kaitlyn came up shortly after. I wanted to do the first activation of this peak, but I was more concerned that the shelter in the col down below would be getting full. I wanted to secure space, so I skipped the radio and sped on down the trail.

It was a short, fast descent to Corliss Camp but I was very happy to have it over with. The shelter was a really cool two story building with extra sleeping space in a loft outside. We ended up only having to share it with a father and daughter group, so my hurrying and skipped first activation were for nothing.

The water source was a bit of a walk away, but it was from a pipe in the river so it was very fast to fill up. I had couscous with curry for dinner, but I dumped too much water in the bag so it ended up being a kind of unpleasant soup. I need to be more careful with measuring in the future.

It was a long, tough day despite the very easy footing on the trail. For the most part, it feels like we’ve been on a completely different trail ever since Belvidere Mountain. I ended up trying to go to bed around 8pm, though it didn’t work out very well.