View Full Version : Mt. Mansfield and Camel's Hump: which direction is easier?

08-15-2018, 15:32
I'm contemplating a fall hike on the non-AT part of the Long Trail and have already looked into the travel logistics, weather, and so on. Like many hikers, I'd rather go up the more difficult side of the mountain and descend on the "easier" trail. Can anyone make a recommendation, or is it a "six of one..." situation?

08-15-2018, 16:48
Well, the steep side of Camels hump is NOBO, but it's SOBO for Mansfield. Actually, Mansfield is tough either way. There's a nasty set of wood ladders just before getting to Butler lodge. Real fun if you hit them at dusk. Coming down off the chin on the north end can be scary.

No matter which way you go, you'll have some interesting descents.

All in all, I prefer doing the LT SOBO. A lot of the climbs are steeper on the north side of the gaps due to the glaciers. The one real nasty decent going SOBO is off of Madonna. It drops right off the side of the mountain, to avoid a ski slope.

08-15-2018, 18:32
Thanks, that's exactly the kind of info I was looking for.

08-15-2018, 20:26
If you're planning a section hike that includes Camels Hump and Mansfield, my preference would be NOBO. That gives you a short (relatively) steep hike up the hump, and a looooong descent to the Winooski River. You then have a looong climb out of the valley up Bolton Mtn. (stay at Puffer shelter for a great sunrise), and a gradual climb up the forehead until you get to the ladders, which are easier to go up than down. Coming down from the summit of Mansfield, you have some hairy spots, but just a few. All in all, there's a lot of up and down either direction, but if you go NOBO, most of the steepest scrambles will be uphill. Either way, do it mid-week.