The plan for Nick and I on Saturday was to do a fast pack on Mount Mansfield. We would start on the Underhill side, work our way to the forehead, then to the chin, and then do a loop on the Stowe side before heading back up and over to the car. When Nick and I left Williston the temperatures were in the mid 20's, at the trail head we were in the mid 30's, by the top of the forehead it was easily in the 50's! We moved from icy conditions to soft snow, to extreme mud to slippery rock and then finally dry rock. Talk about temperature inversion.
We ran, hiked, walked, climbed and even stopped all movement and simply enjoyed the sunshine. It actually felt empowering to stop and walk rather than try and run every section. It felt good to not be worried about what speed we were traveling at and how many miles we had ticked off.
After having a taste of some bouldering on Saturday it was time to strike out with Geo, Marc, Andrea and my father for some climbing in West Bolton. I am afraid of heights, but was interested in doing some rappelling. When Geo and I arrived at the top of the cliff so he could set the anchors and rope he offered to let me rappel first. No such luck, I was too fearful to be a crash test dummy. Of course he and Marc did a great job of setting ropes. On my first climb quickly learned that I don't use my "climbing muscles" when I run. Within minutes, ok lets be honest, within seconds my fingers, arms and shoulders were shot.
It was a great way to spend a beautiful fall day in the woods with friends and family. Just 47 days until my off season is over and I hope to make the best of each moment that remains.