“Mountains have a way of dealing with overconfidence.” Nemann Buhl
Why This Mountain?
Tami has long wanted to hike on the East Coast. She has selected mountains that would represent different ranges and states in order to see as much as she can in a short time. She selected Mt. Mansfield because it is the highest peak in Vermont and is in the Green Mountains.
Mountain & Route Facts
Mt. Mansfield is the highest mountain in Vermont with a summit that peaks at 4,393 feet (1,339 m) above sea level. It’s located in the town of Underhill which is near Stowe. When viewed from the east or west, this mountain has the appearance of a (quite elongated) human profile, with distinct forehead, nose, lips, chin, and Adam’s apple. These features are most distinct when viewed from the east; unlike most human faces, the chin is the highest point.
Mount Mansfield is one of three spots in Vermont where true alpine tundra survives from the Ice Ages. A few acres exist on Camel’s Hump and Mount Abraham nearby and to the south, but Mount Mansfield’s summit still holds about 200 acres (81 ha).
There are two main trails to the summit: the Sunset Ridge Trail (5.6 miles, 2,831′ of gain) and the Laura Crowles Trail (5.4 miles, 2,600′ of gain). Tami intends to take the Sunset Ridge Trail. The first mile and a half is relatively easy with an even terrain. The last 1.5 miles is almost all rocky terrain or bouldering. If the rocks are wet or muddy, the scrambling can be quite treacherous. In the last .75 miles to the summit, there are a number of exposed areas where wind speeds can be quite high. The last mile or so is marked by blue paint markers to help you find the way as there is not always a defined path.
Historical and Cultural Information
The Green Mountains are a mountain range in the U.S. state of Vermont. The range runs primarily south to north and extends approximately 250 miles (400 km) from the border with Massachusetts to that with Quebec, Canada. The part of the range that is in Massachusetts and northwest Connecticut is known as The Berkshires, and the part in Quebec is called the Sutton Mountains, or Monts Sutton.
Vermont not only takes its state nickname (“The Green Mountain State”) from the mountains, it is named after them. The French Verts Monts is literally translated as “Green Mountains”. This name was suggested in 1777 by Dr. Thomas Young, an American revolutionary and Boston Tea Party participant.
Vermont is a state in the northeastern United States, known for its natural landscape, which is primarily forested. Part of the New England region, it’s also known for being home to more than 100 19th-century covered wooden bridges, and as a major producer of maple syrup. Thousands of acres of mountain terrain are crossed by hiking trails and skiing slopes.
Vermont borders the other U.S. states of Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. Lake Champlain forms half of Vermont’s western border with the state of New York and the Green Mountains run north–south the length of the state.
Vermont is the second least populous of the U.S. states, with roughly 40,000 more residents than Wyoming. The capital is Montpelier, the least populous state capital in the U.S. As of 2015, Vermont continued to be the leading producer of maple syrup in the U.S. It was ranked as the safest state in the country in January 2016.
For thousands of years inhabited by indigenous peoples, including the two historic Native American tribes (the Algonquian-speaking Abenaki and the Mohawk), much of the territory that is now Vermont was claimed by the French colony of New France. France ceded the territory to Great Britain after being defeated in 1763 in the Seven Years’ War. For many years, the nearby colonies, especially the provinces of New Hampshire and New York, disputed control of the area (then called the New Hampshire Grants). Settlers who held land titles granted by New York were opposed by the Green Mountain Boys militia, which supported the many settlers whose claims were based on grants from New Hampshire.
Ultimately, those settlers prevailed in creating an independent state, the Vermont Republic. Founded in 1777 during the Revolutionary War, the republic lasted for fourteen years. Aside from the Thirteen Colonies, Vermont is one of only four U.S. states that were previously sovereign states (along with California, Hawaii, and Texas). In 1791 Vermont joined the U.S. as the 14th state—the first to be admitted to the union after the original 13 colonies. While still an independent republic, Vermont was the first of the future United States to abolish adult slavery It played an important geographic role in the Underground Railroad, helping refugee American slaves escape to freedom in Canada.