All images shown here were copied from the archives of the Vermont
LTN vv n is used as an abbreviation for The Long Trail News Volume vv Number n; The Long Trail News is published by The Green Mountain Club.
LTN 60 1 Spring 2000Crossing The Winooski
Sterling Pond Management Plan
"In early December, the Trail Management Committee formed the Sterling Pond Planning Subcommittee to develop a Sterling Pond Management Plan to guide the club in developing a recreation and natural resource management policy for Sterling Pond and the surrounding area. At just over 3,000 feet in elevation, Sterling Pond is one of the most heavily visited alpine ponds in the state. Like the ponds on the AT/LT in southern Vermont, Sterling Pond's shorelines are very fragile and easily damaged.
"During the hiking season, a caretaker is in residence at Watson Camp (one of two GMC-maintained overnight facilities on the pond). The caretaker spends most of her time interacting with the thousands of day hikers and tourists who ascend the Long Trail from Vt. 108 in Smugglers' Notch. While the caretaker program has helped protect the natural resources around Sterling Pond, the committee is searching for ways to enhance protection efforts through improving trail location, and overnight facilities, and dealing with the issues surrounding the many uses of the pond such as camping and fishing. The management plan will be completed for the 2001 field season..."
LTN 60 2 Summer 2000
LTN 60 3 Fall 2000
Kitzmiller Marries for GMC!
"For the past ten years, Justice of the Peace Warren Kitzmiller of Montpelier, former owner of Onion River Sports, has been joining people in marriage in exchange for contributions to the Long Trail Protection Fund. "So far, I've married people on top of Snake Mountain, Mount Mansfield, Mount Hunger, and on top of the tower in Montpelier's Hubbard Park. I'll marry people anywhere, anytime, in exchange for a minimum $25 contribution to protect the Long Trail." Kitzmiller's marriages have already netted over a thousand dollars for GMC's land acquisition campaign..."
Montpelier Section News
"In the first half of the year 2000, the Montpelier Section's interactions with Mother Nature have been both awe-inspiring and respectful.. The words of the trip leaders best describe this year's activities. Nancy Schulz wrote about a January hike in North Branch and Hubbard Parks: "About one to two inches of fresh powder were underfoot. This transformed the surroundings into a beautiful winter landscape, but it disguised the ice that was underneath. I think everyone fell at least once." With his tongue in cheek, Andrew Nuquist wrote about a moonlit ski trip to Smuggler's Notch, "Great Planning! A moonlight ski trip on the night of a total lunar eclipse. Fortunately we had ample time to ski ... before the first bit of the earth's shadow appeared on the moon." And in writing about the "wonders of the mountains" on a ski/snowshoe from Stevensville to Taylor Lodge, Fred Jordan declared, "Today was like winning the lottery."
"A snowshoe on the Appalachian Trail to Winturri Shelter was described by Michael Chernick as "A very strange day as the weather continuously shifted from beautiful to brief, but intensive, snow showers." Steve Lightholder demonstrated that weather reports can be defied. He wrote about the ski trip to Craftsbury Commons, "They said it might rain. Nancy Schulz and I went skiing anyway. It didn't rain." Section members munched on green cookies (supplied by Ann Burcroff) on a snowshoe hike up Irish Hill on St. Patrick's Day.
"With the advent of Spring, the weather was wet and fickle. One outing was cancelled due to a spring snowstorm, another due to sleet. But those who ventured out with leader Fred Jordan to a canoe/kayak on Peacham Pond were rewarded, "The reflection of the azure sky in the cold calm water was punctuated by the wild call of the loons. This was nearly too much stimuli for the paddlers to bear."
"Steve Lightholder is holding a series of hikes on the Appalachian Trail from Norwich to Killington. Steve reported on a June hike from Norwich to West Hartford, "Along the way we observed the usual compliment of wildflowers, including columbine, a garden snake, a milk snake, and a porcupine. Human sightings included Mr. Clean, a friendly through-hiker headed for Georgia."
"In May, the section ventured out on the first work hike under the leadership of Eric Seidel. The section maintains the Long Trail from Gorham Lodge to Jonesville and Smugglers' Notch to Chilcoot Pass.
" Christie Carter"
LTN 60 4 Winter 2000
Montpelier Section Dedicates Bench to David Morse
"In September, the Montpelier Section dedicated a bench at a vista on the Allis Trail to longtime member David Morse, who died in 1999. An active trail maintainer, hiker, cross-country skier, and kayaker, David was loved by members and staff alike. The inscription on the plaque reads, "In memory of David Morse (1914-1999). May all who pass this way be inspired to love this land as he did. Montpelier Section, Green Mountain Club, September 2000."
"The inscription expresses perfectly how deeply David cared about the Green Mountains. The bench was constructed at his favorite place on the Allis Trail in his memory. He will long be remembered for his hard work on trails and shelters.
"The construction of the bench was made possible by the foresight and hard work of Sterling Section member Bob Lindemann. Thank you, Bob, for a job well done.
" - Fred Jordan, President of Montpelier Section"
LTN 61 1 Spring 2001
Reconsidering the Smugglers' Notch Trail Relocation
"The Trail Management Committee has decided to pursue an optimal location review of the Long Trail relocation through Smugglers' Notch. Until recently, GMC has planned to build a new trail through the notch that would move the trail off Route 108. This plan was developed in accordance with the Smugglers' Notch Scenic Highway Corridor Management Plan prepared for the Vermont Agency of Transportation in 1995.
"This relocation would have moved the Long Trail off the highway, but kept it in the notch, which is considered by many to be one of the most impressive places in the Green Mountains. Over the past few years, the realities of trail construction, combined with new concerns over human disturbance of bear populations and their corridors, have raised questions about this route.
"Trail scouting for the relocation revealed that the cliffs of Smugglers' Notch, while rugged and scenic, limit the terrain on which a trail can be built. Parts of the new trail could be built, but they wouldn't differ much from the current road walk. Other parts of the trail would require a highly technical rock treadway through the boulders to the top of the notch. While the trail is feasible, it would require the dedication of a Long Trail Patrol crew for a full season.
"Because of these issues, the club is now considering using the Elephant's Head Trail for the Long Trail. This was the original route of the Long Trail, together with the Haselton Trail, from Mount Mansfield to Sterling Mountain. Elephant's Head is a steep trail that provides a route above the cliffs of Smugglers' Notch. The trail is in need of reconstruction, possibly including some switchbacks, to improve it for the increased use that it would absorb as the Long Trail. Bear biologists like this alternative because it would minimize bear corridor disturbance by retaining the present trail configuration through the notch. Additionally, because the Elephant's Head Trail crosses lands that are slated to be transferred to the state by Stowe Mountain resort, there would be no additional land protection issues.
"Moving the route from Smugglers' Notch to Elephant's Head is a major change to the Long Trail, requiring an optimal location review process. The Trail Management Committee has not yet fully defined the process, but it will include site visits to the different routes, discussions within GMC sections and the Trail Management Committee, ranking of alternatives, and finally a recommendation from the Trail Management Committee to the GMC Board of Directors.
"GMC Field Programs hopes to proceed with the process as soon as the snow melts so that permits can be secured this field season in the hopes that the final route of the Long Trail between Taft Lodge and Sterling Pond can be completed by the fall of 2002. For information, or to participate in the process, contact Dave Hardy, director of field programs.
" - DH"
Uphill with a
"Are you familiar with the Mother Goose nursery rhyme "Three Wise Men of Gotham"?
"Three Wise Men of Gotham
"Three wise men of Gotham
"Went to sea in a bowl;
"If the bowl had been stronger
"My song had been longer.
"Following the Montpelier Section work hike in Smugglers' Notch on October 28, I cam up with another version:
"Six Wise Guys in Smugglers
"Six wise guys in Smugglers
"Went uphill with a bowl;
"If the wind had been stronger
"It would be there no longer.
"The 'guys' were Eric Seidel, John Buddington, and Bill Clark of the section's Trail and Shelters Committee, and section volunteers Thomas Weiss, Andrew Nuquist, and myself.
"Our 'bowl' was a composting bin. It was white, huge, round, and slippery. According to GMC Field Supervisor Peter Ketcham, it had a diameter of 4.5 feet, was 3 feet high, and held 210 gallons. He estimated the weight to be 40-50 pounds.
"Our wise guys alternated between calling it the "chamber pot," the "litter box," or just the "bucket." The bucket also had a big black lid with a nasty sharp edge that weighed almost as much as the pot.
"The work crew stopped at GMC headquarters, on the way from Montpelier to Smugglers' Notch, to pick up the composting bin which had been ordered for the privy at Watson Camp. It was early in the morning, and we were still rested and eager. Eric turned slightly pale when he sized up the bin, sitting innocently in the damp grass outside the Gameroff Hiker Center. "Wow," he said softly.
"We managed to get the pot and lid onto the bed of Eric's pickup truck, and proceeded up the grey, deserted notch. There, the trees were covered in time at higher elevations, and the cold wind that had been a whisper in Montpelier had changed to a roar. We struggled to put on the extra clothing in our daypacks before our hands turned numb.
"Our original plan for the work hike had been to clean out the waterbars between Smugglers' Notch and Sterling Pond and to build a drying rack for the compost at Watson. But our priority was now to get the giant bucket and lid up the Long Trail.
"First, we hitched two spare 1-inch x 3-inch wooden boards that Eric had in his truck under the lip of the bin; then we tied them together with rope to make a harness. Four of us started up the trail carrying the bucket by the boards.
"This seemed like an elegant solution until one of the boards broke not far from the parking lot. With ingenuity we replaced it with one of the shovels we carried for trail work.
"This time we got almost to the top of the first set of stone steps out of the notch before we capitulated: the ropes moved on the slippery plastic surface, the handles were shifting, and the trail was clearly too narrow for the bucket and the four of us bumblers. We stood there in the wind - by now snowflakes were whizzing by - staring with respect at the big white chamber pot and at the Long Trail, winding its way upward over roots and rocks. This was sheer folly! We would never succeed.
"But we got the bucket to Watson. None of us wanted to admit defeat, so two of us carried the bucket - sans handles and rope - above out heads up the trail. Since visibility was limited, constant communication was needed: "I'm about to take a giant step over a rock! The trail turns to the right here! We're stepping onto two slippery logs!" For those beyond the pot, it looked like a colossal shiny puffball wobbling up the Long Trail.
"If the pair with the bucket could feel the wind, it was also noticeable for the two who carried the lid. At times, it felt like the giant Frisbee would take off above the trees in the direction of Smugglers' Notch Ski Area. The sharp lid edge cur off circulation in our hands as we determinedly hung on. The rear person, who couldn't see his feet, was forced to memorize the immediate trail ahead, to avoid tripping.
"After one-hour-and-a-half, with frequent breaks, we could thankfully drop the lid and bucket in the damp weeds next to the Watson Camp privy. We still had building materials to carry from the top of the ski lift a half mile away. We had the drying rack to build and the old privy compost bin to shovel out. But that seemed mere routine work compared to our singular adventure with the monstrous chamber pot!"
LTN 61 2 Summer 2001
"An Interview with GMC's Tireless Volunteer
"Back in the winter of 1964, Doris Washburn spotted an article in the newspaper about an oyster stew supper that was being held by the Montpelier Section at Taylor Lodge. Typical of her get-up-and-go attitude, Doris grabbed a friend, borrowed a pair of snowshoes from the State Highway Department, traipsed into the festivities at Taylor, and was forever changed. With a broad smile, the kind induced by numerous fond memories, Doris muses, "I did the hike and it was fantastic. The people were wonderful, and I was hooked on the GMC." And the GMC quickly became hooked on Doris. For nearly forty years, Doris has been an active member of the Montpelier Section, offering her talents and time as secretary, treasurer, and president, as weekend volunteer, trip leader, and trail maintainer.
"When Doris's name enters conversations around the GMC, certain sentiments consistently come up. Volunteer Reidun Nuquist captures such sentiments when she says, "With her cheerfulness and friendliness, as well as her enthusiasm about all things GMC, Doris is one of the club's very best ambassadors. She is also a cornerstone of the Montpelier Section, one of those you can always count on, whether it's washing the dishes, brushing our section of the Long Trail, or leading a trip in Groton State Forest. Doris is a gem!"
"I had the opportunity to speak with Doris on a gem-like day at her home in East Montpelier, where she brews a superlative cup of coffee and where birds are a constant presence at the feeders outside her kitchen window.
" - Katy Klutznick"
"Where were you from originally?
"I am a native Vermonter. I was born in Barre City Hospital, Barre Vermont. I moved to southern New England when I was seven. After growing up and getting my education in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, I came back to Vermont when I was about thirty"
"What brought you back to Vermont?
"Things got too busy there [in Massachusetts and Rhode Island]. You didn't have any elbow room and things were at too fast a pace, so I decided to come back up here and see how I'd make out. I had a sister who lived in East Montpelier, so I rented in Montpelier for a year and a half to see about getting a job that would support me and making friends. That seemed to work out well the first year and a half, so I bought this place and I've been here almost forty years."
"When did you start volunteering for the club?
"Well, I used to volunteer weekends when the club office was in Montpelier. They had volunteer weekends. We used to do things like putting labels on the Long Trail News. I wanted to volunteer somewhere when I retired, which was in 1988, and it took me about a year to make up my mind that the Green Mountain Club was going to be it."
"What made you settle on the GMC?
"Over the past several years, I had really enjoyed the people that I had met at the GMC, and I was very interested in the outdoors. I knew I would be interested in the type of work I would be doing there."
"What volunteer work do you enjoy most?
"Outside of the office, I enjoy using my little hand clippers or my little folding saw and going through and clipping out the hobblebush, or cutting out small blowdowns."
"Do you have a favorite Long Trail spot?
"Camel's Hump has always been my favorite spot. I don't think I'll ever make it to the top again, but I have climbed to the top. I also enjoy the Montclair Glen area, going into the Wind Gap area, which I'm still able to do now. I have a lot of memories of the Camel's Hump area. Also going up the Bamforth Ridge - you start at River Road and go up in there a little bit and you come to this stream with a beautiful bridge built across it; I just love sitting there. And the same type of bridge going up to Wind Gap. There's that nice stream coming down there. My best friend's ashes are strewn up there - that was his wish. So I have many happy memories."
"What does the Long Trail mean to you?
"The Long Trail has brought me to know many people who had the same idea of life that I have - enjoying the outdoors and doing what you can for the environment and the trail. It offers an opportunity for everyone, whether they can climb steep mountains or they're a beginner hiker, to get out and see what's out there in the woods."
"What would be your ideal hiking day?
"I had many ideal hiking days with my best friend who has passed away. Whether I was just on an easy trail in Groton or scaling one of the major peaks in the Adirondacks, it was ideal because I was with my favorite person. We both enjoyed being in the same kinds of places - sitting by a brook and listening to the water or being out in the winter and listening for the birds to come back at the beginning of spring. I guess we were both made from the same mold because we both enjoyed exactly the same things."
"What jobs do you do on volunteer day at the club?
"We do a variety of things. We do bulk mailings, prepare new membership packets, copy and out together board packets, post all the mail that's going out, answer inquiries, package and mail orders, type articles for the Long Trail News, prepare lists of donors, filing, stuffing guidebooks, setting up the barn for meetings, seminars, or evening programs, and inventorying merchandise."
"What is it that keeps you coming back each week to devote your time and
energy to the GMC?
"The people are the greatest! I look forward to seeing the other volunteers as well as the staff. The volunteers all cooperate very well at accomplishing the tasks for the day, an we help each other get through the length jobs like bulk mailings. During lunch breaks we always catch up on each others' personal lives over the past week. I enjoy that"
"What changes have you noticed in the trail of the club over the years?
"I'm thinking about when I did my end-to-end [which she completed in October 1967]. I don't think I'd even recognize the Long Trail because it's changed, it's been rerouted, a lot of the cabins have been done away with or replaced.
"The overall outlook on the Long Trail has changed immensely, especially environmentally. People look more to the environmental aspects of the trail. The trails close in May so as not to cause erosion, and people are encouraged to do things away from the streams so as not to pollute streams. They've done away with a lot of the stoves so we're not cutting down wood that shouldn't be cut down around campsites.
"Of course, the membership of the club has increased dramatically, as had the staff. Used to be that one gal had a little office in her home down in Rutland - Minerva Hinchey. Now that's speaking back in the sixties. She was a sweet old lady [laughing] like I am now, I guess!"
"How did you feel when you finished the last section of your end-to-end?
"It was kind of joyous and kind of sad because I like to set goals, and I had no more hikes that I had to get done. I had to set some other kind of goal."
"What other goals have you set?
"I have set goals not particularly to do with hiking on the trail. I've walked every road in East Montpelier. That was one thing I did over the years. When I was growing up, there were three places I wanted to visit. I wanted to go to Switzerland, Alaska, and Hawaii, and, oh another goal I set was to visit each of the fifty states ... I've fulfilled all my goals. If I wanted to do something, I just do it! I find a way to do it."
"What would you tell someone who's thinking about volunteering for the
"Come on down! There's always plenty of work to do, so I'd tell them to come right in!"
LTN 61 3 Fall 2001
Smugglers' Notch Relocation
"The GMC trail Management Committee is wrapping up an Optimal Location Review of the Long Trail relocation through Smugglers' Notch. GMC has planned to relocate the Long Trail between Taft Lodge and Sterling Pond, moving it off the highway but keeping it in spectacular Smugglers' Notch. Members of the Montpelier Section, Burlington Section, Trail Management Committee, and Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife are collaborating to determine the best location for the trail. The options under review are the potential flagline through the notch and the existing Elephant's Head Trail.
"The Trail Management Committee's process includes site visits to the existing alternatives, discussions within the GMC sections, ranking of alternatives, and, finally, a recommendation from trail management to the GMC Board of Directors for their approval. The goal for this field season has been to select a site for the relocation and complete the permitting process. The next step will be to complete the work so that the final route of the Long Trail between Taft Lodge and Sterling Pond will be in place by the end of 2002. Contact Dave Hardy, director of field programs, with questions or comments. - DH"
Montpelier Section News
" "The Montpelier Section is catching its breath after hosting the club's annual meeting at Bolton Valley on the weekend of June 9 ... Planning for the event began last fall, with meetings of the Planning Committee, led by Priscilla Page. After months of preparation, the meeting happened, and the weather cooperated magnificently. There was a wonderful slide show Saturday night by Reidun and Andy Nuquist, attended by more people than anticipated. The business meeting on Saturday morning was most notable for its recognition of those, from all sections, who have worked so hard and given so much to the club. On Saturday afternoon we hiked according to our interests, and all went smoothly thanks to the planning of Fred Jordan and others. A terrific dinner Saturday night topped off the occasion for many, but more events on Sunday kept members busy, with a work hike on the LT south of Jonesville and the dedication of the Pirk and Dot Pirkanen Field Workshop.
"Meanwhile, the section indulged in some very snowy hikes on snowshoes and skis during March, and hikers were amazed at the depth of the snow. In May, the largest work hike turnout in recent memory converged on Smugglers' Notch. Eighteen volunteers, even though finding their work impeded by tenacious snowpack, accomplished a lot of clipping, removal of big trees, and an analysis of the work that will need to be done as the season advances.
"This summer we have enjoyed a variety of hikes, paddles, and bike rides. There is something for everyone!
" - Priscilla Daggett"
LTN 61 4 Winter 2001
LTN 62 1 Spring 2002
Bridge Across the Winooski
"The Jonesville bridge was closed to all vehicle traffic last November; it is now open for pedestrian use, meaning the Long Trail remains intact. Current plans to replace the bridge are on hold. Once replacement begins, the existing bridge will be removed and a new one built in its place. The closest bridge will be in Richmond, 3 road miles west of Jonesville. GMC has decided to provide a ferryboat for hikers in the interim.
"Boat builder Geoff Kerr generously donated his expertise and time to un a workshop last fall to build a replica of a historic Adirondack boat, the "Bisby scow." One characteristic of this type of boat is that it allows anglers to stand up and cast a fly without overturning. The 14-foot rowboat constructed in the Pirkanen Field Workshop should be able to safely carry up to 1,200 to 1,500 pounds, which should be sufficient to provide dry passage for a few backpackers at a time. The workshop took place over three weekends with the help of intrepid volunteers Joe and Cathy Frank, Scott Christiansen, Fred Gilbert, and Ken Bassett. With Geoff's guidance, they turned out a beautiful boat!
"Once the bridge is gone, GMC will need help with ferry operation. The club hopes to run the ferry between the hours of 10 A.M. and 2 P.M., seven days a week, from the beginning of July or when the bridge comes down (whichever is later) through Labor Day weekend. For more information or for those interested in becoming involved in ferry operation, contact Dave Hardy or check the Web site for details. Novice volunteer boaters are welcome - training and life jackets will be provided! - DH"
LTN 62 2 Summer 2002
(GMC Board of Directors Report)
"Due to closure of the Jonesville Bridge, hikers on the Long Trail must cross the Winooski River in Richmond or Waterbury, involving a roadwalk. Ben Rose noted that volunteer shuttle drivers will be a great help, and that the situation calls for some "trail magic". Fred Gilbert reported on recent efforts to set up a telephone for through-hikers near the south end of the closed bridge. The bridge is scheduled to be back in action by the end of November."
New Shelter for Bamforth Ridge
"Fred Jordan of the Montpelier Section reported on recent progress in finalizing the location and design for a new lean-to shelter on Camel's Hump to replace the now-gone Gorham Lodge. The site is located 300 feet off the LT, two and a quarter miles south of River Road on Bamforth Ridge in Duxbury. Construction is scheduled for late summer, provided that permit approvals are received in time."
Montpelier Section News
"The Montpelier Section's principal focus since June of 2001 has been the replacement of the destroyed Gorham Lodge on the north slope of Camel's Hump. After months of hard work by our trails and shelters coordinator John Buddington and his team, a site was designated, called "Bamforth Ridge," and a design was agreed upon. The shelter, a three-sided lean-to, will be located about 400 feet southeast of the LT. Nearby tent platforms will bring the total number of overnight spaces to more than twenty-five. Sections of the structure will be assembled in July at GMC headquarters and helicoptered to site; volunteers will do final assembly at the site on the weekends of August 3 and August 10. Detailed information and photos are available on the section Web site.
"By no means are the section's activities all work and no play. There are four planning meetings per year, at which an effort is made to accommodate both those who love challenging events and those who prefer easier outings. Then there are those trips for those of "all abilities," where people can choose routes according to their skills. One of the more challenging outings was a February snowshoe outing at Little River State Park in Waterbury, led by Nancy Schulz. The "high" point of this trek was the summit of Ricker Mountain, where six snowshoers actually saw a rainbow. An example of a hike which should have been easy but wasn't because of the icy conditions was the annual snowshoe/potluck at the home of Sally Sairs in Woodbury. After sliding around on the ice, participants were treated to food and video lips of the famous Men of Maple Corner! That part was easy.
" Priscilla Daggett"
LTN 62 3 Fall 2002
Bamforth Ridge Shelter in the Works!
"July 18: The first load is airborne at last! After all the meetings and all the permits, it seems so worthwhile now. Here comes the first 800-pound package, carried by a sturdy helicopter. The pilot eases eagerly awaited cargo through the tiny opening in the forest. Volunteer Bill Clark rushes in to unhitch the load. Soon the pilot turns his steed and is away for the second load. At last, after delays for poor visibility, the material for Bamforth Ridge Shelter, three tent platforms, and a privy are on site.
"Bamforth Ridge Shelter, the replacement for Gorham Lodge on the north slope of Camel's Hump, will be an 18 x 11 foot Adirondack-style shelter with a deacon's bench across the front. Authentic Log Homes of Hardwick prefabricated the shelter. The walls are constructed of 6 x 8 inch machined cedar logs and are joined with 8-inch screws. Metal roofing will extend over the rear of the shelter to provide storage and reserve sleeping space.
"The shelter is located 2.8 miles south of River Road in Duxbury, about halfway between Duck Brook and Montclair Glen Shelters. Through-hikers will welcome the stopover on the arduous Bamforth Ridge. The shelter will be open by Labor Day weekend.
" Fred Jordan, Montpelier Section"
LTN 62 4 Winter 2002
" "Where are all the %$@#* hooks to hang the paint cans?" The voice came from a Montpelier Section volunteer trying to stain the newly constructed Bamforth Ridge Shelter and brought me back to reality. After months of planning, weeks of preparation, and countless volunteer hours, the shelter walls were up, we were nailing down the roof, and the structure was almost complete.
"Actually, we had forgotten the hooks, but after moving nine tons of building materials to a remote site three miles away from any road and coordinating the efforts of sixty workers, leaving a few things behind can happen."
"GMC Staff and Montpelier Section volunteers began thinking about a new shelter after discovering that Gorham Lodge, on the north slope of Camel's Hump, was destroyed by heavy snows in 2001. Where would the new lodge be located? And what type of structure would be built? A traditional log cabin like Butler Lodge? A post-and-beam structure like Stratton Pond Shelter?
"The site that was eventually chosen offered views of ledges, was easily accessible from the Long Trail yet far enough away from the road, and was equidistant from Montclair Glen Lodge and Duck Brook Shelter. The structure would be a milled log lean-to - from Authentic Log Homes of Hardwick - because it would look appropriate for the backcountry, avoid the labor intensive construction of a typical log structure, and allow maximum volunteer participation."
"The drop zone crew arrived at the shelter site for an early start on July 18. We heard the helicopter as we hiked up Bamforth Ridge. Twenty-four loads were transported to the drop zone. The toolbox came first, followed by bundles of lumber. Each load touched the ground gently, and the ground crew gave the pilot a "thumbs up" to release it. Then everyone scrambled to unhook the cargo netting or slings and got ready for the next trip.
"At the end of the day, the site contained a toolbox, generator, ladder, materials to build the shelter, privy and tent platforms, and puncheon material for installation on the Long Trail."
"On Saturday, August 3, a crew assembled at the staging area. Most of us had arrived the day before to tent in the woods and install six foundation pilings, the sill logs, and one additional log course. When the crew arrived Saturday morning, they continued laying the courses and installed the tongue-and-groove flooring as the walls rose around them. The construction took place over three weekends, for a total of seven days."
"The shelter began with an idea and a need, evolved into a place festooned with orange flagging tape and grade stakes, lost some of its trees, saw load after load of materials dropped by helicopter, hummed along with the noise of the generator, and then blossomed as crowds of eager, laughing people built it piece by piece.
"The newly dedicated Bamforth Ridge Shelter seems alive today. I heard the laughter of our lunches and jokes told as we worked. I remember the views from the roof, the 300-pound kingpost that we lifted and shifted back and forth until it fell into place. This event carried with it the spirit of a barn raising, but maybe even more spirited for its distance from civilization.
"Oh, yes, one last thing: Those @#%!* hooks are on my list for the next shelter project, along with extra roofing felt, six penny nails, a good attitude, and a willingness to volunteer again.
" Bill Clark"
Winooski River Shuttle: a Success
"The Jonesville Bridge, just north of Camel's Hump, was coming down last spring for repairs, and GMC needed to find a way to help Long Trail hikers across the Winooski. First the club built a ferryboat, but that solution was quickly quashed by poison ivy along the riverbank (and a few other logistical problems).
"Then there was the van. The club bought a used Ford Cub Wagon and hired a driver. One rainy, riderless day later, however, the driver fled and joined the Long Trail Patrol. So the shuttle found itself with mostly volunteers at the helm; within a week, nearly ninety percent of the shuttle trips were volunteer runs. The shuttle ran double shifts, seven days a week from late June through Labor Day and most weekdays in September through early October, shuttling more than 120 hikers.
"The Jonesville Bridge should be back in November and will be open for next season's Long Trail hikers. GMC would like to thank the following volunteers for their help with the shuttle:
"Dick Andrews, Ken Hertz, Charlene and Andy Squires, Andrew Nuquist, Mark Bower, Dick Alderman, Linda Evans, Wyatt Waterman, Bob Leavitt, Pete Saile, Fred Jordan, Sally Sairs, Ann Burcroff, and Priscilla Daggett.
"Thanks to the Squires for allowing the club to base the van in Jonesville, saving many miles and gallons of gasoline - DH
Smugglers' Notch Easement
"The Green Mountain Club is grateful to the Mount Mansfield Company, owner of Stowe Mountain resort, for its donation of a right-of-way easement for the trail over land it owns in Smugglers' Notch. The mile-long easement follows the route of the former Elephant's Head Trail. GMC officially relocated the Long Trail onto this route on October 19 to help hikers avoid the hazardous road walk on Vt. 108 through the notch. The right-of-way ensures that the GMC can continue to maintain the trail and keep it accessible to the general public for hiking and other foot travel.
"This is the Mount Mansfield Company's second donation of a trail easement to GMC. In 2000, the company donated right-of-way easements for the Long Trail, the Lakeview Trail, and the Canyon Trail over their land on the summit of Mount Mansfield. The Green Mountain Club appreciates the company's generous support of hiking. GMC trail crews performed reconstruction work on the Elephant's Head Trail this past summer to create a better treadway for the increased use the trail will receive as the Long Trail, and will continue this work next season. Volunteer assistance with this project is welcome. Funding for the reconstruction work has been provided by a federal transportation enhancement grant and the Vermont Recreational Trails fund. The former Long Trail between Vt. 108 and Sterling Pond has been retained and renamed the Sterling Pond Trail.
" - [Susan Shea and Greg Western]"
LTN 63 1 Spring 2003
LTN 63 2 Summer 2003
"When hikers climb the Long Trail this summer, many will carry in their packs the work of artist Dave Blumenthal.
"That's because the thirty-seven year-old Montpelier resident and GMC member contributed more than a dozen drawings of mountaintop vistas and trailside scenes to illustrate the recently published 25th Edition of the Long Trail Guide.
"Blumenthal's watercolors and ink drawings are part of a journal he kept during a solo end-to-end Long Trail hike in August and September of 2000. Starting at the Massachusetts border and walking north at an average of twelve miles a day, the trip took twenty-three days to compete.
"Hiking by himself, Blumenthal says, he had plenty of time to observe the nature around him. He had purposely decided not to bring a camera on the journey, opting instead to use pens, pencils, brushes, and paper to record what he was seeing.
""If you are casually taking photographs, it's very easy to not be fully engaged with the landscape as you walk," he says. But drawing requires a more thoughtful process. "In order to draw on the paper you have to look at what the scene is. You have to look at all the details. You have to look at the sky, you have to notice what the colors are, what the textures are. It forces you to observe much more than you normally do.
"Many of Blumenthal's scenes are panoramas from summits or trailside lookouts. The sky and distant mountains are layers of vivid blue and cool gray, while the nearby hills are shades of green. But in contrast to the awe-inspiring views, he also has captured the detailed shape of krummholz (a dwarf tree that lives at high altitudes), a single hobblebush leaf, and a clump of bright orange brick cap mushrooms sprouting from the side of a tree.
""There's a lot more to be learned from looking at things closely," he says. "I think it's a matter of being open to what you find interesting and beautiful."
"Blumenthal earned an undergraduate art degree in studio art from Harvard University in 1994 and a master's degree in industrial design from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York in 1997. The self-employed designer operates Studio Zoic, doing freelance architectural model making and product design for clients. He also teaches art two days a week at a private school in Shelburne.
"On his hike, Blumenthal carried a small watercolor set, several colored pencils, and a few black pens. He used these as a toolkit, doing watercolors on rain-free days, and sketching with colored pencils when he didn't want to stop as long. Sometimes he did ink drawings on the trail and then added the watercolors in the evening at camp.
"Blumenthal says he wasn't trying to record everything he saw in a scene, but several of the works do include human-made structures, such as a building with antennas on the summit of Mount Mansfield or the single-chair ski lift at the top of Mad River Glen.
""I thought it was interesting. I thought it was worth my time to check it out," he says of the steel lattice that supports the terminus of the lift. Because of his training in industrial design, "I think that I'm perhaps more inclined to see those man-made structures as part pf the landscape and not something to ignore."
"The antennas are part of Mount Mansfield, he notes, and leaving them out of his drawings would be like leaving out part of the experience of being on the mountain. "That's not to say I'm really excited about structures on the tops of mountains," he adds.
"Blumenthal hopes that publication of his images in the Long Trail Guide will inspire other people to go hiking, and also to look more closely at the world around them when they are on the trail. "There are lots of people who thru-hike the Long Trail or the Appalachian Trail who have a very narrow vision of what their experience is. They have their sights set on the end, and they go at break-neck pace to get there. I think if you do that, you are missing out part of what the trail experience has to offer."
" By Steve Larose"
"Editor's Note: To see more of Dave Blumenthal's work, visit his Web site at www.studiozoic.com and his blog at https://type2fun.wordpress.com.
"This story first appeared in The Montpelier Bridge community newspaper." This web site is dedicated to Dave, who died in 2010.
Montpelier Section News
"Finally, the arctic winter is over (almost) and the Montpelier Section looks forward to a full springs schedule. Our section annual meeting and potluck dinner was April 4, and we had the amazing good fortune to have Bryan Pfeiffer as our guest speaker. Bryan is known statewide for his love of the outdoors and his depth of knowledge about its many wonders.
"The annual meeting will mark the end of the terms of some of our officers. Fred Jordan has been our respected president for three years, and he will relinquish that office for new responsibilities as alternate director on the board. We will miss Fred's dedication and hard work on behalf of the section. Our nominee for new president is Bill Clark. For director, to replace Reidun Nuquist, Ann Burcroff is the nominee, and for vice president, to replace Christie Carter, the nominee is Jill Aspinall.
"The president appointed a Web-site committee to update the existing site, which had been used by the section since 1997. The redesigned site (www.gmcmontpelier.org) is now complete after months of hard work by the committee. The committee's vision was of a site that would be attractive, up-to-date, and accessible, and that would allow referencing a large volume of information. Visitors will find trail maps, the history of the section, a calendar of events, and special features, such as the history of the Bamforth Ridge Shelter.
"The next major shelter project is to be undertaken by the section's new Sterling Pond Shelter committee, which will hold its first meeting soon. Their task is to meet with representatives of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation; the Stowe Mountain Resort; and the Smugglers' Notch Resort to study the uses of the area around Sterling Pond. There will be some reallocation of land and an examination of the existing Sterling Pond Shelter and the Watson Camp. The process will begin with the Act 250 application, and construction is projected to begin during the summer of 2004.
"The plus side of this cold winter just passed is that there was lasting snow of good quality, and there were some great ski and snowshoe outings. The spring program offers a variety of recreational and work outings, including an early season canoe/kayak on Shelburne Bay, a work hike in Montpelier's Hubbard Park, and bike rides in the islands and the Mad River Valley, to name just a few.
" Priscilla Daggett"
LTN 63 3 Fall 2003
Montpelier's Andrew Nuquist is elected GMC president
Montpelier's John Buddington is named GMC Volunteer of the Year
"During the 2002 field season, John assisted with the scouting, planning, and construction of the Bamforth Ridge Shelter on Camel's Hump, including the installation of signposts and puncheon along the Long Trail. He also led the section's efforts to convert the Elephant's Head Trail in Smugglers' Notch to the Long Trail in fall 2002.
"For almost a decade, John has dedicated himself to trail work and other section activities, serving with enthusiasm and distinction. He is an indefatigable worker: After a day of clearing blowdowns, brushing in trails, and clearing waterbars, he remains willing to work on one more task, long after other members of the work party have left. And he shows great concern for other members, ensuring that everyone returns safely to the trailhead at the end of the day.
"As trails and shelters coordinator of the Montpelier Section, John organizes as many as six yearly work hikes. This year, he chaired a committee to create a new section Web site that went online in April 2003.
"John's trail work extends beyond the Green Mountain Club. He is a longtime adopter for the Mount Hunger Trail in Middlesex, and he has worked with the Appalachian Mountain Club to build and maintain trails in New Hampshire and Maine. John is a volunteer's volunteer, always willing to say "yes" to requests involving trails, the section, and the GMC. Most importantly, he remains willing to share his knowledge during work hikes and bring any group together in a positive way.
LTN 63 4 Winter 2003
"Sterling Pond Shelter - and Sterling Pond, Sterling Mountain, Sterling Range, and Sterling Brook - derives its name from the old, high-elevation town of Sterling, granted by the Vermont legislature in 1782 and later divided among surrounding towns.
"Esther Swift, in her authoritative Vermont Place-Names (1977), suggests that the town was named for Sterling, Massachusetts, which again was named for William Alexander, Lord Stirling, Revolutionary War hero and friend of George Washington."
"North of Smugglers' Notch/Vt. 108, between Taft Lodge to the south (5.5 mil./8.9 km.) and Beaver Meadow Lodge to the north (2.8 mi./4.5 km.), in the town of Stowe, Lamoille County. Division 10 in the Long Trail Guide."
"3,030 ft./924 m."
"Sterling Pond Shelter sits on a bluff above Sterling Pond, the highest sizeable body of water in Vermont, with a view of Mount Mansfield. The frame lean-to, with table and bunks for eight, was built by the Montpelier Section in 1972 with considerable help from GMC members who attended that year's Intersectional in Eden.
"Work began on September 1, when the Madonna Mountain Corporation drove materials and volunteers to the top of the ski lift, from where they carried the lumber to the building site; two remained overnight to guard the materials from vandals and porcupines. Next morning construction began with Roy Buchanan as building consultant. Volunteers piled stone supports, laid the floor, installed uprights and bunks, put up the back wall, and set roofing boards. The following weekend they completed the roof with overhang and table. On September 23 and 24, they finished the two-foot wrap-around sides for protection against the weather and did the last creosoting - in time for a hot dog roast and celebration attended by twenty people, some staying overnight to "test" the shelter under a full moon."
"Today's Sterling Pond Shelter is the third structure on the site.
"During the first years of the Long Trail there was no overnight facility at Sterling Pond. The nearest was on the summit of Sterling Mountain, where the Sterling Section, in 1915, had erected a basic shelter frame that could be thatched with evergreen boughs for cover.
"Several early editions of the Guide Book to the Long Trail promised a future building at Sterling Pond, meanwhile pointing out campsites on the east and north shores and good water that "will answer for coffee."
"At last, in 1926, Fred W. Mould of Morrisville built the first Sterling Pond Lodge, a closed balsam log cabin with metal roof, bunks for eight, and a box stove. The 1928 guidebook called the lodge "one of the best shelters on the trail." It was rebuilt by the Long Trail Patrol in 1938 at a cost of $325. In July 1950 two unidentified fishermen found it burned to the ground; it was the most serious fire loss the club had suffered to then. One month earlier, Mould, a granite manufacturer, had died while climbing Sterling Mountain at the age of eighty-one with Eugene Bamforth (of Bamforth Ridge.)
"That same year the LTP, with the help of Sepp Ruschp, rebuilt the lodge for the Sterling Section. Seventeen years on, in August 1967, Long Trail Patrol chairman Jack Harrington described how his crew floated lumber for lodge repairs across Sterling Pond, "practically to the door of the lodge. The roof and bunks were repaired, some vertical logs were replaced in front, and shutters were made for the front windows instead of glass. These are made so they swing in and mounted vertically. ... We will see how the lodge will survive another season."
"It survived until August 1972 when it, too, burned down: a group of schoolboys who spent the night lost control of their gas stove. The remains of the lodge were later cut up for firewood for overnight hikers."
"Because of its location on a popular fishing pond and near a ski area, Sterling Pond Shelter and its predecessors have suffered frequent trashing. In a 1967 Long Trail News article, Frances Holmes of the Montpelier Section wrote that, "Much work has to be done on Sterling Pond Lodge as the result of winter vandalism."
"The GMC's long-range Sterling Pond Management Plan (2001) calls for elimination of the shelter. In the meantime, some improvements will take place this year with the construction of a tent platform and new composting privy. Nearby Watson Camp is scheduled for removal during the upcoming field season. These steps will eventually improve the ecosystem around the high-elevation pond.
" Reidun D. Nuquist"
LTN 64 2 Summer 2004
GMC President and Montpelier Section member Andrew Nuquist includes in his the From the President column a 1970 photo of himself and new son Jon; Andrew and Reidun joined the GMC that year.
Easement Near Sterling Pond
"On February 11, 2004, Stowe Mountain Resort granted a 50-foot wide easement to the GMC for a 1-mile section of the Long Trail between Sterling Pond and Madonna Peak. ...
"On the same day that the easement was granted, however, the 966-acre parcel along Sterling Ridge that contains that section of trail was transferred to the state to be added to Mount Mansfield State Forest. The Vermont Land Trust holds a conservation easement prohibiting development of the entire parcel.
"This easement was part of a larger land swap between the resort and the state of Vermont, in which high-elevation lands were conveyed to the state in exchange for lower-elevation lands within the ski area that will be developed as part of the resort's expansion plans. Smugglers' Notch campground was relocated as part of this larger project as well.
"The easement largely completes protection of the Long Trail in the Stowe Mountain Resort area. The resort has granted several other trail easements to the GMC over the years, including one for the Elephant's Head Trail (now the Long Trail) in Smugglers' Notch in 2002 and one for the short section of the Long Trail and several side trails atop the summit of Mount Mansfield in 2000. Also in 2000, the resort agreed to restrict ski area development on state lease land north of the Chin Clip Trail to protect the Long Trail, Profanity Trail, and Taft Lodge.
Long Trail News volume 64
Honorary Life Memberships to Bristow and Dean read pdf (2.2 MB)
Little did Preston Bristow know that his 1972 end-to-end hike of the Long Trail would begin more than thirty years of service to the GMC. He was so inspired by the adventure that he took a position as caretaker of Stratton Pond in 1973 and 1974. In 1975, he was caretaker on Mount Mansfield. Pre- ston was elected to the board of directors and has served for extend- ed periods on various committees, including as initial chair of the Long Trail Protection Fund He currently chairs the Stewardship Committee He was elected club president in 1983, serving until 1986. During his tenure, he presided over the general meeting at the 1985 Appalachian 'I'rail Conference gathering in Poultney. According to Director of Field Programs Dave Hardy, "Over the years, Preston has contributed thoughtful, well-informed opinions to key decisions made by the GMC including the proposed Thundering Falls Appalachian Trail relocation which is now coming to fruition.
Ben Rose says, "My only concern about Preston getting an honorary life membership is that he seems too young to have accomplished all that he has for the trail. Preston is generally regarded as one of our most valuable wise people. In his quiet, friendly, unassuming way, he has been helping the club and offer- ing good counsel for a long time."
Montclair Glen was named by Professor Will S. Monroe ( 1863-1939), he
of the Monroe Skyline. He camped in
'the glen' while rerouting and building
the Long Trail south from Camel's
Hump to Middlebury Gap. The earlier
route lay too low for Monroe's liking
so he moved the trail up on the ridgeline to take advantage of the views.
Montclair Was Monroe's hometown in New Jersey, where he taught psychology at the State Normal School when he was not traveling the world.
South of Camel's Hump, between Cowles Cove Shelter to the south (5.1 mi./8.2 km) and Bamforth Ridge Shelter to the north (5.6 mi./9.0 km), in the town of Duxbury, Washington County. Division 9 in the Long Trail Guide.
2,670 ft./814 m
According to the. Long Trail Guide (2003), Montclair Glen Lodge is "a log cabin with bunks for ten built by the Long Trail Patrol for the New York Section in 1948."
Construction of the lodge began in June that year under the leadership of Professor Roy Buchanan. He and the patrol were assisted by volunteers from the section that Monroe had founded in 1916, among them Gene and Hannah More, John Williams, Charles T. Pomeroy, G. Ernest Anderson, Jr., Bob Johnson, and John Thompson.
Anderson, the son of a founding member of the New York Section, first set foot on the Long Trail as a teenager when he joined his first trail crew of six, As a warm-up for the 1 1948 shelter construction, he and Bob Johnson, both members of the Amherst College outing club, hiked down the Long Trail from Route 15 in Johnson to Montclair Glen. Anderson later became a professor of education at the University of Massachusetts.
The New York Section paid for any building materials that needed purchasing. Fortunately, the logs could be harvested on site, and the old shelter that the lodge replaced provided boards for the roof, floor, and bunks. A stove was installed. Anderson later remembered how he "came to realize, that those nice wood stoves didn't get there by themselves - 125 pounds was the weight of the main body which couldn't be disassembled further for transporting."
The lodge. was built as an enclosed structure and hikers were urged to keep the door shut and the porcupines out. The finishing, touch was the creosoting of the building: As ']'he Long Trail News pointed out, porkies "don't. I like the flavor. Do you?" Hikers were reportedly pleased with the. new overnight facility.
The Montclair Glen Lodge that we know today sits one-quarter mile south of where the original shelter stood, at the junction of the Forest City Trail and the LT where the LT begins its steep slug up the southern escarpment of Camel's Hump
Built in 1917 by Professor Monroe, the first building at Montclair Glen was "an open camp with four doubledeck pole bunks that can sleep twelve, stove, simple cooking utensils, excellent permanent water, fine view of [the] Adirondacks." Outside was a seat from which one could admire a grove Of young birches, several tent platforms, and a small flower garden by the shelter wall
From World War I and into the 1920s, the shelter served as base camp for Monroe and his trail worker friends. Originally, it had no windows and occupants had to leave the. supper table and go outside to admire the sunset. Grace Carpenter commented one evening that a window on the west side might be a nice addition. After supper, according to Carpenter, Monroe and another man "melted away. An hour or more later they returned, lugging with them a window. After the fatigue of a full day of trail work, he had gone down the mountain, negotiated the ownership of the window with a farmer and brought it back up again so that it might be installed during our own stay in Vermont."
Monroe's shelter gradually became a haven for porcupines that "literally ate the place down," wrote Ernest Anderson. He once dispatched "twelve porcupines one day, only to dispatch eight more the next."
As early as 1924, the Long Trail guidebook promised overnight hikers new quarters at Montclair Glen, but more than two decades would pass before that happened.
Old enough to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, Montclair Glen Lodge is showing its age. The GMC is working with local volunteers and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation - and ultimately the Division for Historic Preservation - to develop a structure that will serve future hikers on Camel's Hump. The club will be considering any and all options, including: the historic location, a potential new site, renovating the existing structure, replacing it, and/ or adding to it.
Anyone interested in providing input into this process should contact Dave Hardy at email@example.com or extension 20.
- Reidun D. Nuquist
This article is part of a series about Long Rail shelters, lodges, and camps. The first in the series was on Sterling Pond Shelter and appeared in the Spring 2004 issue. Submissions are invited. Please contact Katy Klutznick for guidelines.
Brainstorming with Jill Aspinall read pdf (1.9 MB)
The Montpelier Section has been trying new ideas to invigorate its outings schedule. In March, about twenty-one people (longtime members and newcomers alike) attended an outings brainstorming session at Vice President Jill Aspinall's home. As a result, the section launched a summer schedule with several new ideas for a more attractive and varied events calendar.
One new regular item on the schedule is Monday after-work outings that leave from Montpelier High School at 5:00 p.m. The section hopes the outings will attract new people to the GMC, and they already seem to be doing just that.
The first outing was a working landscape walk on the back roads and trails of East Montpelier Fifteen people, seven of whom were new to the club, participated. The second hike in the series, a hike around Hubbard Park and the North Branch Park in Montpelier, attracted eight people, two of them new to GMC. Other hikes include a hike up Mount Elmore with an apres-hike swim in Lake Elmore, the Long Trail to Duxbury Window on the Bamforth Ridge of Camel's Hump, a paddle and picnic on the North Montpelier Pond, a hike up Paine Mountain, and several others. The section plans to continue the after-work hikes throughout the year.
Other new outing ideas include offering more than one event on each weekend day to allow for outings of varying difficulty and type, and more hikes, bike trips, and water events on a regular basis.
The section is also trying to offer mixed difficulty levels within one outing. For example, an easy hike could combine with a more difficult hike that shares the same trailhead. The section also hopes to offer "challenging" outings for those activities that go beyond "difficult." These activities will warrant a more descriptive write-up on the schedule and will require all participants to be screened by the leader before the outing.
To help trip leaders in planning outings, Treasurer Ken Hertz created a spreadsheet of all the summer trips of offered by the section since 1955. Section members are excited to revisit some forgotten places.
The Montpelier Section officers for 2004 are listed on the section's Web site at www.gmcmontpelier.org. - Sylvia Plumb
Andrew Nuquist on Allemannstretten read pdf (1.3 MB)
Andrew Nuquist is GMC President read pdf (1.5 MB)
Long Trail News volume 65
Montpelier Section celebrates fiftieth anniversary read pdf (1.3 MB)
MONTPELIER SECTION CELEBRATES FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY
The Montpelier Section is fifty years old this year. Given its size (300 members) and visibility, you may have thought it was older, but the Burlington and Killington Sections easily surpass it in seniority. In fact it took several starts before a Green Mountain Club chapter became firmly established in central Vermont.
The beginning. First, there was a Mount Hunger Section formed in 1922 in Montpelier. It wanted to build a trail along the Worcester Range, as well as "cooperate in the extension of the Long Trail to Canada." By 1929 it was reportedly "in a state of coma" and seems to have expired soon after. A Barre Section came next, in 1952, coexisting with Montpelier from 1955 until 1959, when the two merged. The catalyst for the formation of the Montpelier Section was Fred Field, chairman of the GMC Section Service Committee. He spoke at the 1955 annual meeting of the Barre Section, where he made several Montpelier contacts. Arrangements were made for him to show slides and talk about the club. "At another meeting, a week later, thirty-eight people signed a paper requesting permission from The Green Mountain Club to form a Montpelier Section." The section received its charter that same year.
First officers. Harlan Farnsworth was the first president of the Montpelier Section and later the section's first member on the GMC Board of Trustees. A long-time mathematics teacher at Montpelier High School and respected community leader, Harlan was active in the section until his death in 1999. The Bamforth Ridge Shelter is dedicated to him and to David Morse, another longtime member The first section secretary was Ellen Hebblethwaite and the first treasurer was Frances Holmes.
Early outings. Initially, hikes were scheduled every two weeks. The very first outing took place on April 2, 1955, when twenty-five adults and children met for a sugar-on- snow party at Morse's Sugar House on County Road. Later sugar parties were at the Joslin farm, the last dairy farm within city limits. One party there attracted eighty people! Early favorite hike destinations were Nichols Ledge, Mount Elmore, Camel's Hump Worcester Mountain, Allis State Park, Scragg Mountain and Middlesex Notch. There were popular annual outings involving corn roasts and oyster stews.
The Burlington connection. Since its beginning, the Montpelier Section has had ties to the Queen City. Harlan Farnsworth grew up there and had been active in the Burlington Section (his father Russell was section treasurer). Ann and David Otis were, respectively president and vice-president of the Burlington Section, and later joined the Montpelier Section where Dave became president. The connection to Burlington manifested itself in several ways, but most obviously in joint oyster stew hikes to Taylor Lodge in the 1950-1960s. These outings were enormously popular, reaching a climax in 1977 when sixty-two hikers came, consuming two gallons of oysters, seventeen quarts of milk and two pounds of butter. Finally, Burlington had to ask the Montpelier Section to put on its own oyster stew hikes. To return the hospitality, Montpelier invited Burlington members on beef stew hikes to Long Trail shelters.
Trail work. But it wasn't all play and no work. At a GMC Board of Trustees meeting in 1956, the Montpelier Section was temporarily assigned a Sterling Section part of the Long Trail, Sterling being at a low ebb. In the 1960 Guide Book of the Long Trail the Montpelier Section became the official trail maintainer from Smugglers' Notch north to Chilcoot Pass. Since 1996 it has also been responsible for the LT from the old Gorham Lodge site to the Winooski River. For many years, section volunteers cooked huge breakfasts in Smugglers' Notch for spring trail workers The most popular item on the menu was Sally Sairs' sticky buns - tasty fuel for a day of digging and clipping. Montpelier Section members have long lent a hand to trailwork off the Long Trail System, especially in the Worcester Range and most recently in the Montpelier park system and on the East Montpelier Trail.
Anniversary events. To celebrate the section's half-century, a Fiftieth Anniversary Committee is preparing a slide show and writing a section history. It is also staging a series of monthly "heritage" hikes. These will go to destinations that were once popular but are less common today. And of course, there will be a traditional corn roast and a grand sugar-on-snow party at Morse's farm, today a ski touring center popular with section members.
-Reidun D. Nuquist
Reidun Nuquist thanks Montpelier Section members Thomas Weiss and Ken Hertz for help in uncovering the history of the section.
Dave Blumenthal nominated for General Director read pdf (1.4 MB)
Nancy Schulz's Fifty/Fifty read pdf (1.4 MB)
You're Invited to the Fifty/Fifty!
To celebrate the Montpelier Section's fiftieth birthday (and her own fiftieth birthday), Nancy Schulz, a frequent section trip leader, has organized a fundraiser that will run throughout 2005. Nancy will lead fifty outings that she hopes will attract five hundred participants. Her goal is to raise $5,000 to support the section's adopted trails and shelters, particularly the new shelter at Sterling Pond that is being built this summer The outings will be a mix of hikes road walks, paddles, bike rides, and backcountry ski and snowshoe excursions. The level of difficulty will vary from easy to difficult, so there is something for everyone- Armchair travelers as well as participants are welcome to donate a set amount or to pledge a specified amount per participant. To find out more about upcoming trips, download a pledge form, or read past trip reports, you can visit the section web site: GMCMontpelier.org. Checks should be made out to the "GMC Montpelier Section" and mailed to PO Box 105, Montpelier VT 05601-0105, Please be sure to write "Nancy's 50/'50" on the memo line. Nancy and the Montpelier Section are grateful for the support from all members and friends of the GMC for this worthwhile project.
- Nancy Schulz
Nuquists on Hadrian's Way read pdf (1.4 MB)
Eric Seidel wins President's Award read pdf (1.4 MB)
Eric Seidel wins President's Award
Eric Seidel of Middlesex was awarded the President's Award this year in recognition of the valuable leadership he has provided to the Green Mountain Club over the years in numerous capacities, earning him wide respect within the GMC community. Eric. has been an at-large board member for six years and has served on the Executive Committee, Headquarters Planning Committee, Trail Management Committee and most recently, the Capital Campaign Committee He served as chair of the Montpelier Section's Trails and Shelters Committee for six years and was instrumental in the construction of Bamforth Ridge Shelter in 2002. Eric is actively involved in the replacement of Sterling Pond Shelter this year.
In 1972, Seidel built his home in central Vermont realizing a dream to live in the Green Mountains. Since 1983, he has been the director of facilities at New England Culinary Institute. Aside from the many leadership roles Seidel has played with the club, he also enjoys getting his hands dirty moving soil, rock, and downed trees to maintain and improve the Long Trail. He also likes hiking, kayaking, biking, skiing, snowshoeing, and gardening.
"Eric Seidel is a talented, committed, and hardworking volunteer who exemplifies the tradition of extraordinary volunteer service that has made the Long Trail possible," commented Director of Development, Bob Lincoln.
New Sterling Pond Shelter read pdf (1.8 MB)
New Sterling Pond Shelter Built
By SYLVIA L. PLUMB
Shelter building on the Long Rail is as much about the people as it is about hauling wood, banging nails, and installing a roof. "It's the contemporary equivalent of a barn raising," notes Montpelier Section President Bill Clark. "People who wouldn't ordinarily meet get together for conversation and camaraderie." This summer over ten days, fifty-one volunteers hiked the 1.2 mile trail to a bluff overlooking Sterling Pond to build a shelter. The new structure - completed September 24 - replaces one built in 1972.
Building a shelter in the mountains takes a lot of grunt work and cooperation. Duncan Wilkie, Montpelier Section Trails and Shelters Coordinator, considered how to lug 10-foot long, 8" x 8" pressure-treated posts down a rocky footpath in the pouring rain without injuring anyone. Duncan's ingenious solution was to create slings that allowed eight to ten people to carry each post. Despite two inches of rain, the twenty-one volunteers had a fun-albeit wet and cold-day. Similarly, a stretcher made from two poles and rope allowed pairs of volunteers to haul seventeen 80-pound bags of cement, one bag at a time.
Shelter supplies were carried in over the weekend of July 9 and July 23, and construction began in August. Wilkie made sure that every volunteer had a job. He didn't want anyone to walk out feeling they had not participated. For twelve-year-old Jordan Leach and thirteen year-old Lia Van Dyke, the shelter's adopters, this meant helping to remove a stump in the way of the shelter. other volunteers replaced bog bridging, painted the shelter, moved rocks, blazed trail, and improved drainage. Clark notes that the shelter construction revitalized the whole area around the pond. He also feels the project renewed the interest of volunteers in trail work. It certainly did for Maura O'Brien. She was inspired by the Bamforth Ridge Shelter project, but her true inspiration came from her dad. "It reminded me of work I used to do with my father when he volunteered at a Girl Scout Camp," notes O'Brien.
Many memories linger in the minds of the volunteers. one benefit of the shelter project was an excuse to spend the night outside. "I stayed two full days, and from the porch at the Smuggs hut watched a beautiful shooting star show," recalled Allen Jacobs. "It was magnificent-one of those gorgeous, clear nights - a magical time."
But why would fifty people work in mud, sun, rain, and bugs more than a mile in the woods to build a shelter? "It's fun and it brings people together," says Jacobs. "I like the Green Mountain Club because it is such a diverse group of people. It truly is a melting pot and it is good to be with them." Wilkie wonders how to make it even more diverse. At the shelter dedication attended by fifty people, at least two young people seemed to have caught the GMC bug. Adopters Jordan Leach and Lia Van Dyke received symbolic "keys" to the shelter from Bill Clark. Perhaps they have learned at their young age what Jacobs feels, "It makes me feel good to work on it. I get more out of it than I give."
Funding for the Sterling Pond Shelter came from the Adirondack Forty-Sixers, Inc., Concept II, Nancy Schulz 50/50 Fundraiser, Peregrine Outfitters, and Smugglers' Notch Resort. Thanks also goes to Smugglers' Notch Resort for bringing supplies up with the ski lift.
Duncan Wilkie proposes Side to Side award read pdf (1.8 MB)
Hike the Side Trails
I especially enjoyed the articles in the fall 2005 LTN. "Ramblings on Trail History", by the Old Ridge Runner caught my eye. it mentioned old side trails, which struck a chord with me. GMC should encourage more hikers to do all of the side trails associated with the Long Trail A few years back, I completed all the side trails and sent a list and approximate mileage to GMC headquarters. I estimated in 2001 that there were 192.4 miles of side trails of the Long Trail and a total of 112 side trails. I listed them from south to north and by section. Please share this list with any hikers that are interested.
One of the most interesting trails was the Broad Brook Trail which crosses that brook six times without a single bridge. I did it one cold November and fell in twice. Later I camped next to the old foundations of a large sawmill. The Lye Brook Trail is one of the longest at 9 + miles, and goes through a wilderness where I saw a great horned owl and a large buck crossed the trail in front of me. The Hell Brook Cut-Off Trail is one of the shortest and least-used in the Mount Mansfield Area. The path is mostly covered with moss due to the lack of hikers. At the peak of fall foliage, I enjoyed the Forester's Trail and Frank Post Trail as a loop with the Long Trail. Colored leaves were all over the trail as I walked beneath the hardwoods. Sometimes I have fun travelling the back roads, looking for the hidden Trailheads. I have an advantage here as I work for the Vermont Highway Department.
- Duncan Wilkie,
Long Trail News volume 66
Andrew Nuquist concludes his term as GMC President read pdf (1.4 MB)
Sterling Pond Shelter adds storage read pdf (2.1 MB)
Long Trail News volume 67
Young Adventurers Club introduced read pdf (1.8 MB)
New Group for Families Begins
On a cold Saturday in December, an unusual crew of two babies, four parents, and one grandparent (not all related!) made their way up the snow-covered slopes of Paine Mountain in Northfield. At the summit, we slurped cocoa - all except the four-month-old - she slurped on something more to her liking. By the time we reached our cars at the end of the hike, both youngsters were sound asleep. Four families hiking with infants in tow did not happen by chance. This was the auspicious kick-off adventure of the Young Adventurers Club.
The Young Adventurers Club (YAC for short) is a new group of the Montpelier Section of GMC intended to get parents and kids one to six years old outdoors to hike, play, learn, and make friends. The trips will be at a variety of difficulty levels. Some, labeled "kids-easy" are appropriate for children who can walk and want to be outside. "Kids-difficult" is for kids being carried by a parent; and "kids-medium" is somewhere in the middle. Regardless of the difficulty, each trip is intended to appeal to a child's sense of adventure. Some days we'll be learning to snowshoe in Hubbard Park. Others days we may look for bear sign or hunt for wildflowers. Each trip's itinerary will be adjusted on the day of the adventure to accommodate those participating. Our primary goal is for everyone to have fun,
Each child will receive an "Adventure Journal" that will be stamped after each official adventure, in which they can record things they saw and learned along the way. After completing five and ten adventures, children will receive small prizes to recognize their efforts. Who doesn't like a reward?
We were inspired to found YAC after the birth of our daughter in July. We have been determined to continue adventuring and to pass on to her our love of the outdoors. Each time we venture out we say to each other "surely there are other families out there that we could hike with". Motivated by this sentiment, we created YAC to bring together families and kids in the spirit of adventure.
We have a full calendar of adventures this spring, and will have more fun things to do this summer. To find out more, log onto our website at http://www.gmcmontpelier.org/yac. We'd love to have you join us!
- Dave Blumenthal and Lexi Shear
Dave Otis dies read pdf (1.8 MB)
Shelter projects announced: Watson Camp down, Montclair Glen up read pdf (0.3 MB)
Montpelier Section history prepared by Reidun Nuquist read pdf (1.5 MB)
Willem Lange, recently moved from New Hampshire, gives Taylor Series presentation read pdf (1.9 MB)
Long Trail News volume 68
Dave Blumenthal and John Page nominated to Board of Directors read pdf (1.7 MB)
Dave Blumenthal grew up hiking the Appalachian Trail and still enjoys skiing and hiking. In 2000, he hiked the Long Trail from end to end, then donated artwork from his trail journal to illustrate the new edition of the Long Trail Guide. In 2004, he thruhiked the 2700-mile Pacific Crest Trail Dave designed and produced the new end-to-enders certificate and Long Trail poster. He serves or the Publications Committee and chairs the subcommittee managing the publication of a beautiful book celebrating the club's upcoming 100th anniversary. Dave is webmaster for the Montpelier Section and serves on their Executive Committee. With his wife Lexi Shear, Dave started the Young Adventurers Club, a program of the Montpelier Section which has involved more than forty families to get kids and parents outdoors.
Dave has design degrees from Harvard and the Pratt Institute. He has been president of Studio Zoic in Montpelier for seven years. Dave would be proud to work toward a strong and secure future for GMC as a general director.
A Montpelier Section member, John Page previously served on GMC's board as a general director from 1999 to 2004. Since leaving the board, he has continued to serve on the Executive, Stewardship and Land Protection Committees. John grew up in Burlington where his family was active in the Green Mountain Club throughout his childhood. in 1971, he was the caretaker at Taylor Lodge. John is an avid hiker, canoeist and skier, and is currently about halfway done hiking the Long Trail for a second time.
John works as a lawyer with the Montpelier firm of Zalinger, Cameron & Lambek He is a former director and legal counsel to the Greater Lovell Land Trust in Maine, a former member of the Montpelier Conservation Commission, and is currently a trustee and vice president of the Kellogg-Hubbard Library in Montpelier.
Success for Second Century Campaign read pdf (2.3 MB)
Bob Lincoln retires read pdf (1.6 MB)
Update of Trip Leaders Handbook led by Reidun Nuquist read pdf (0.4 MB)
Kenneth Kidd dies read pdf (0.4 MB)
Andrew Nuquist receives second President's Award read pdf (0.4 MB)
Andrew S. Nuquist
Andrew joined the Montpelier Section as a life member in 1970 and has been actively volunteering ever since. He worked on rebuilding Sterling Pond Shelter - twice in forty years. He served the Montpelier Section as Treasurer, board representative, leader of trips and work outings, and President. Andrew and his wife Reidun were awarded Honorary Life Memberships in 1995. In recognition of his service on various GMC committees, he received a President's Award in 2001; this one makes him the first two-time winner. Andrew was President of GMC from 2003 to 2006. Like Joe [Frank], he would be a shoo-in for election to a GMC First Century Hall of Fame. Joe Frank claims that Andrew was "first among equals" between the co-chairs. He kept everybody moving forward.
Young Adventurers Club
Dave Blumenthal and Lexi Shear of the Montpelier Section began the Young Adventurers Club (YAC) in December of 2006. Our mission has been to get kids outside, exploring, and having fun. We also hope like-minded parents will make social connections, so that in the long run both kids and parents will see their peers being active in the outdoors.
Since our first hike up Paine Mountain in Northfield, we've gone on more than twenty-two trips that have attracted many new faces to GMC. Some of them have become club members. Some have turned into trip leaders. Our e-mail list for announcements and trip reminders has forty-five names and keeps growing. YAC adventures are close to home, to cut down on car rides, but we're happy to let YAC spread to other GMC sections. If you are interested in advice on how to start a YAC program in your area, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Kids are the future users, maintainers and protectors of the trails we love, so the more that grow up hiking, the better.
- Dave Blumenthal
Doris Washburn and Nancy Schulz receive Green Mountain Awards read pdf (0.5 MB)
The Fit Family by Heidi Hill - review by Dave Blumenthal read pdf (0.7 MB)
Deborah Lewis gives Taylor Series presentation at Capitol City Grange read pdf (0.8 MB)
Lexi Shear authors Nature Guide to Vermont's Long Trail, published by GMC. "This guide includes comprehensive descriptions of 215 species and color photos to assist with identification."
Long Trail News volume 69
Montpelier Section sponsors GMC Annual Meeting, inaugurates new South Barn read pdf (0.1 MB)
Carroll Lawrence supplies wood for GMC boiler read pdf (0.6 MB)
A Century in the Mountains produced with help from several Montpelier section members read pdf (0.2 MB)
A Century in the Mountains
To commemorate its upcoming centennial in 2010, the Green Mountain Club has published A Century in the Mountains, Celebrating Vermont's Long Trail. This beautiful, hardcover coffee-table book is edited by Tom Slayton with a foreword by environmental writer Bill McKibben. The book is illustrated with stunning color photographs by well-known Vermont photographers, historic black and white photos, and hand-colored images from the 1910s, 20s, and 30s by trail pioneer Theron Dean. A Century in the Mountains includes chapters on the history of the club and the trail, life on the trail over the years, the hiking experience, trail work, flora and fauna, trail protection and stewardship, and the future of the Long Trail. Writers include Tom Slayton, Reidun Nuquist, Katy Klutznick, Laura Waterman, Val Stori, Bryan Pfeiffer, Charles Johnson, Susan Shea, and Ben Rose.
GMC's Centennial Book Committee worked with editor Tom Slayton for over two years to develop this landmark publication. Members of the committee were: Dave Blumenthal (chair), Ruth Hare, Val Stori and Susan Shea. The book was designed by Mason Singer of Laughing Bear Associates.
Senator Patrick Leahy had praise for the book: "Virtually all of us Vermonters have some connection to the Long Trail, whether as a serious end-to-ender, the occasional day hiker or just knowing it's there for posterity along the spine of the Green Mountains. As we approach the Green Mountain Club's centennial, this book offers a comprehensive look at one of Vermont's - and our nation's-unique natural treasures."
Carl Demrow to give Taylor Series presentation read pdf (0.3 MB)