Round Top Figure 8s

gps_pictalltrailscaltopomapmyhikeOn Thursday, February 23rd I awoke to find the temperature already in the low 40’s. I had a few things to take care of in the morning and some basketball games to time in the afternoon. I decided to head across the street to Round Top with Sheila around 11:00 AM when the temperature had risen into the mid 40’s. The day was overcast and the snow was a mess from the high temperatures so I decided to forego the pack. I did not put on a baselayer and wore a lighter Mammut pullover instead of the wool I had been wearing for the colder weather. I wore my Salomon Nytro boots which seem to have just the right amount of insulation. I didn’t know how much snow there would be so I wanted the extra grip and height of these boots. I donned my Mammut hoody although I thought it might be a little too heavy as the sun made the day feel even warmer than the temperature. I grabbed a set of poles but decided against snowshoes or even spikes. I put Sheila on her leash and started out the driveway and across the street. We crossed the street and walked through the field to the base of the cemetery hill. There was very little snow in the field which early in the week had at least 10 inches. There was some snow behind the church but the cemetery hill was showing only pavement. We began the ascent of the steepest hill which is short but really gets the circulation pumping! When we got to the top of the hill, we turned left and entered the woods. I noticed there was hardly any snow on the trail. At the first trail junction Sheila headed straight and up the hill to the lookout so I decide to follow. The hill had no snow at all and it looked like a summer day! When we got t the top, I took a quick look at town and then continued to follow the trail as it turned right and continued through the woods. There was quite a bit of snow on the trail in this location. It was clear that the amount of direct sunlight had the most impact on the amount of snow as this part f the trail faces north.

We continued to follow the trail as it made a sharp right turn and headed around Round Top. At the next sharp right turn, we turned left and followed the green blazes of the proposed upper trail to the summit. There was a little less snow on this part. At the summit we continued following the green ribbons as they led downhill and back to the main lower trail. Again, there was more snow in this are and the descent was slippery in spots. At the main trail we turned left and followed the lower trail to the sharp right turn where we headed right. We walked down the trail to the woods road and stopped at the first trail junction. We had walked a figure 8 and I decided to turn around and walk a figure 8 in the opposite direction. We turned around and started up the wood road back Ti the sharp left turn. We made the turn and continued to follow the trail until it made a sharp left. At this point we turned right and followed the green ribbons to the summit of Round Top. The ascent was slippery as there was still snow on the north side of the hill. We followed the rakes across the summit and back down to the main lower trail. We turned right on the main trail and followed the yellow blazes back down to the lookout. We turned left at the lookout and walked down the hill to the first trail junction. At this point we had completed two figure 8’s but I still wanted to hike a little more. We turned around and hiked back up the hill to the viewpoint and followed the trail in a clockwise direction back around to the first trail junction. The loop is about half a mile. When we arrived at the first trail junction, we turned around and hiked the same lower loop in a counterclockwise direction. Once we were back at the first trail junction, we continued straight out the trail to the trailhead. We turned right and walked down the cemetery hill to the back of the church. From here we crossed the field and walked back to our driveway. We walked back to the house after walking about 3 miles in an hour and a half.