It might have been better to take this hike today, with the sun out on fresh snowfall, and no doubt wonderful views across the winter Taconics. Well, I took it yesterday. It was my second time on Mt Everett (2,602 ft), the first being in spring four years ago. That time I continued down the north side of the mountain, completing a loop via the Elbow Trail and Route 41. But the AT Guide says the north side is “rocky and steep” and advises caution “especially in wet weather”. Even more would be advisable in snow and ice, so yesterday I returned the way I had come.
Start & Finish: Race Brook Falls Trail parking, MA Route 41 three miles north of CT line.
Route: Race Brook Falls Trail to Appalachian Trail, then AT north to Everett summit. Return by same route.
Distance: 5.4 mi.
Time: 5 hrs (9:00am – 2:00pm).
Terrain: A 1,800 foot climb, so steep in places. Care needed for snow-covered ice.
Maps: Official AT Guide map (Four – Jug End to Cornwall Bridge)
Weather: Gray skies, continual light snow, calm.
Wildlife: Two bursts of birdsong, that’s it.
Photos: A disaster. Using flash in falling snow has decorated the world with baubles (as right, the summit with remains of fire tower)
Breakfast: McDonald’s in New Milford – Sausage McMuffin, hash browns, coffee.
Lunch: Two installments: (1) on the summit – Manchego cheese and prosciutto sandwich, apple; (2) sitting on a tent platform at Race Brook Falls campsite on the way down – remaining half of sandwich, nuts.
– Frozen Race Brook Falls (top photo, no baubles).
– Coming down ice as if on a kids slide.
– Knowing the views I was missing.
– Cold fingertips on the summit – warmer gloves next time!
– Poles and boot chains essential.
– Snowshoes left in car (on purpose), and not missed.
Company: A jogger 15 minutes from the start; some footprints on the home stretch.