Dangerous Hiking Conditions

Published 05/15 2014 10:31AM

Updated 05/15 2014 10:50AM

I love hiking, but I wait until late May or even until June before I head up into the hills to do some climbing and exercising.

I wait because the mountains keep snow and ice for a long time, especially in sheltered and shadowed areas, where it will then make it dangerous to do some steep climbing. Sure the lower and smaller peaks/mountains are just fine go to up, but the taller/bigger ones aren't quite yet.

On Wednesday afternoon/night Waterbury Rescue had to rescue a woman who was coming down the Monroe Trail of Camels Hump when she slipped on ice and got hurt. It took two and a half hours to evacuate the person down the mountain, one night after the same Waterbury Rescue team rescued another injured hiker on Hunger Mountain.

As of Wednesday, May 14 there was still about 30 inches of snow at the peak of Mt. Mansfield! The cold, snowy March we had is taking a while to melt. Many state forests' high terrain are closed to the public in Spring because of the ice and sensitive vegetation which is typically wet and soggy. Check in to see if a trail is closed before you head up!

The snow usually melts completely from Mt. Mansfield's peak by the first week of June. It looks like it will be on pace for that this year too. You can follow that snow depth here, courtesy UVM: http://www.uvm.edu/skivt-l/?Page=depths.php
-Meteorologist Steve Glazier

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