Long Trail Day 5 - Corliss Camp to Roundtop

Posted on August 10, 2017 by Chris Lumens in .

Our fifth day on the trail was probably my favorite one. We had nice weather, great footing, and some good views. The hiking was easy and even the couple climbs went by without any real difficulty. Plus, we got into the shelter early so we had lots of time to sit around and relax.

I woke up feeling pretty good. It was a warm, sunny day, I had plenty of breakfast, the water source was good, and we only had one substantial climb to face. That climb was right after the shelter, too, so we’d get it done early and could cruise through the rest of the day.

Still the only southbounders, we left Corliss Camp around 8am. I was the last one out the door again.

The easy footing continued all the way up Laraway Mountain. We climbed to a southeastern bump and then were on the ridge. From time to time, we got a peek at the summit up ahead. Just before 10am, we got to the treeless real summit. I set up my antenna for the first SOTA activation in a couple days.

I very quickly worked seven people, though none of which were as far away as the Czech Republic contact from Belvidere. It was still a very satisfying activation.

I packed up, had a snack, and hit the trail. It dropped right off the summit and then ran along some interesting rocks.

Suddenly, the trail emerged at the top of a cliff with views to the north, west, and south. I thought we could see Whiteface and Marcy over in New York.

We took another long break here, eating and checking out the views. It was still pretty early and we were making good time, and this was our first real view since Belvidere. It was worth enjoying.

The trail began a longer drop down into Codding Hollow. This is a big bowl down below the ridge of Laraway Mountain with a major river crossing at the bottom. We took another nice break at the river, taking off our shoes and not worrying about having much to do. Along the way, the trail went under a lot more cliffs. I looked for pitons or bolts or any sign of climbing, but didn’t find any.

Down at the very bottom of Codding Hollow, we crossed a little dirt road at a parking lot. This was the first road crossing since we’d gotten back on the trail at VT 118. We saw our first day hiker here too. Then it was back into the woods where we climbed along streams and rock walls to the saddle between two little bumps. The trail was oddly straight here, making me thing it followed property lines.

Coming down the other side, we started to talk about what to do for the rest of the hike. We were both a little tired of being stinky, and we knew there would be a lot more rain coming in over the weekend. Looking at the map, we decided there probably wouldn’t be any way we could get to Smuggler’s Notch before all that rain. Plus, we would need to get to Bear Hollow Shelter which involved either seven more miles today, or a very boring and short hike the day after that. Neither sounded appealing.

So we decided VT 15 would be a great stopping point and would make an easy place to start next time too. Kaitlyn called her brother, and he agreed to pick us up in the morning. Now all we had to do was walk the couple more miles to Roundtop and hang out overnight.

We passed through some woods with maple syrup taps installed.

And then we crossed another road, where we were just in time to see some northbound hikers getting picked up by a taxi. Apparently one of them injured her knee and was having to quit, just a couple days short of the end. That must have been frustrating.

Through a meadow on the other side of the road…

And then there was one more short climb through fairly open woods to the Roundtop Shelter, a strange L-shaped shelter with a bit of a view out the back. The skylights were a nice touch.

We got there at 3pm, giving us plenty of time to do camp chores and eat a couple meals and talk to the three other people who rolled in through the afternoon. The only downside to the shelter was the water was a long ways downhill on a side trail, but it was a very good pump.

I had burritos for an early dinner, with dehydrated beans, jalapenos, onions, cheese, and peppers. I finished it off with hot sauce and sliced up chorizo. I think this ended up being my favorite dinner on the trail. We were there for so long I ended up eating again later in the evening, but just some snacks I’d been saving.

We got a pretty good sunset from the back of the shelter, fitting for our last night on the trail.