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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Bromley Mountain

Had the day off and the forecast called for clear blue skies with temps in the 20's so I took full advantage and drove north to Bromley Mountain in Vermont.  The trail I'd be hiking today was a section of the Long Trail/ Applachian Trail. The two coexist as one through southern Vt before the Long Trail continues its path north to Canada as the Appalachian Trail winds east towards Maine.  Signage is very good along the AT/ LT with white blazes marking the AT for its entire length.
Even though there was anywhere between 6-15 inches of snow on the mountain, the trail was beaten down pretty good, so I left the snowshoes in the car.
Someone got creative in the snow.
There are several small stream crossings as well as a beautiful foot bridge over Bromley Brook. Bromley Brook was completely frozen over on this day but here is one of the streams meandering through the woods.
After 2 miles of moderate climbing there is a trail junction with several signs.  This is looking back south towards where I had just come from.
The summit of the mountain lies only one mile ahead.  Just right of this sign and about 500 yards away is the Bromley Shelter(Lean To).
The last mile got significantly steeper, but views to the southwest began opening up through the trees.
Nearing the summit, the trail comes across more spruce trees.
About 2.5 miles up the trail, a short spur trail leads to a vista to the southeast.
A short distance later the trail emerges from the woods and follows one of the ski trails from Bromley all the way to the summit.  The last .3 of a mile was very steep and several skiers passed me on their way down.
Once clear of the canopy of trees, the views down from the ski trail were simply amazing.
The Long Trail continues north from Bromley's summit here and descends rapidly towards Mad Tom Notch.
360 degree views from the summit offer a great view east towards Okemo Mountain.
From Bromley's summit, there are spectacular views of Stratton Mountain to the south.  The ski slopes of Stratton are clearly visible.
It is a truly different experience to hike 3 miles through deep woods, only to emerge at the top of mountain to a gondola and skiers all around you.
Bromley Mountain's summit area is unique due to it being an operational ski resort.
Views to the north stretch for miles all the way to the distant Presidential Range.
Tremendous views abound from the 3263 foot summit of Bromley of the surrounding mountains and gondola
Heading back down from the summit behind a skier with remarkable views of the Green Mountains.
Breathtaking views
Outstanding views accompany your hike back down the ski slopes to the woods.
As I hiked back down, a couple of skiers raced by  down the slopes.
One last look at the southwest views all the way to Mount Equinox.
Bromley Shelter is a very well kept, newer lean to that was built in 2003 with a number of tent platforms and a large outhouse.
The sun was beginning its slow descent as I hiked back down the AT/ LT.
As I arrived back at the large parking lot, I was greeted by the brightly shining setting sun and only one other car left.
A great hike totaling 6 miles RT on a beautiful winter day.

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