View Full Version : Mt. Mansfield via route 108

01-16-2018, 10:21
Have a hike planned in two weeks to head south on the long trail from route 108 to mansfield. Is 108 clear? I hear the road is closed passed the ski area. Does anyone have recommendations on ways to hike up there in the winter besides that way?

01-16-2018, 11:19
It looks like 108 is closed through the notch. It's quite possible the road is open at least to the LT trail head, which is just past the ski area. Call the GMC to find out for sure. You could park at the ski area an walk over to the trail head if the road isn't open any farther, it's maybe a 1/4 or 1/2 mile.

Going up from 108 is about the only practical route this time of year. I doubt you can get to the Underhill side without a snowmobile.

01-16-2018, 11:43
There was a recent article in the local papers about someone who works at the ski area and commuted by ski over Smugglers Notch. For folks not aware the real estate prices are sky high south of Smugglers notch and and an average working stiff would not be able to afford to live there unless they have trust fund on ski areas salary, housing north of the notch is far more reasonable. His commute via car would be an hour plus so he parks on the north side and ski the notch in the morning and evening.

I havent done Mansfield in the winter but many folks park on the road to Underhill State Park and walk up it in the winter.

01-16-2018, 14:56
After the thaw/freeze we just had, I bet the roads on the west side of Mansfield are not in very good shape. I bet they are a sheet of ice. Might even be washed out sections. There could be a few more snow/thaw/freeze cycles ahead of us in the next 2 weeks, so conditions will be highly variable. Can't really know until you get there.

The climb up (or down) the Forehead will likely be an ice climb. All the trails up from the west side are really steep. If the idea is just to summit, going up from the Notch side is safest, using the Profanity trail once at Taft Lodge. The route up the Chin would also be an ice climb. I'd want real crampons and an ice axe for this in any event.

01-17-2018, 07:33
I would think you’d also need, a paid up life insurance policy, and a pre-arranged funeral.

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Highland Goat
01-17-2018, 07:58
The evidence for Mansfield ice is visible year round, in the crampon scars on every exposed rock face on the West side of the mountain, especially on the Sunset Ridge Trail.

01-17-2018, 13:15
I'm not sure where you are planning on starting your hike. Smuggler's Notch Road is always closed for the winter. People use it for snowshoeing, skiing, snowmobiling, etc. There is a gate at either end. The trailhead for the LT south to Mt. Mansfield is close to the gate at the Stowe end of Route 108, perhaps 1/2 mile. Towns of Johnson (on the LT) and Swanton had considerable flooding recently, but otherwise roads are fine. You may want to check on trail conditions by contacting the Green Mountain Club. Some of the ski areas had flooding on their trails at stream crossings. There may still be a lot of icy sections in 2 weeks.

01-17-2018, 14:33
If you're just going from 108 to the top of Mansfield, the trail is usually very easy to follow, and is doable by nearly anyone with snowshoes or micro spikes up to the base of the Chin, after which it will be ice climbing. The difficulty level is almost entirely dependent upon how many people have gone before you. As Slo pointed out, you can also use the Profanity trail, if you can find it, to summit. I usually just head for the Adam's Apple - just as fun, great views, and fewer people.

Beware of spruce traps if you're breaking trail.