East Osceola, Mt. Osceola, Lake Champlain, Mt. Ellen – Birthday Weekend 2015

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East Osceola & Mt. Osceola – Birthday Weekend 2015

Osceola and East Osceola

Type of Hike: Day

· Matt’s Gear:

  • Base Layer: EMS TechWick 3 Thermal, EMS convertible Pants, EMS long underwear T2
  • Insulation: Patagonia Down Sweater Jacket
  • Shell:
  • Accessories: EMS Gortex Gaitors, MSR Snowshoes, EMS Thermal Mountaineering Gloves, Artc’Tech beanie, REI balaclava
  • Pack: Osprey Stratos 36

Matt also carried: Patagonia Nano Puff Vest, Rab Nexus Shell coat

· Gear: Gabrielle

  • :

Notes: Happy birthday Gabrielle! We started the morning with some nice warm, car cooked cinnamon buns to celebrate Gabrielle’s special day. It was a cold March morning. Generally Matt starts off in minimum layers but today required lots of warmth. We chose to hike going up the Mt. Osceola Trail from Greeley Pond due to winter road closures. We knew this trail was going to be steep but we were excited for the challenge.

The climb to East Osceola was almost vertical and we kept our snowshoes on from beginning to end. East Osceola is a wooded summit and did not offer any views however Mt. Osceola was shining in all its glory. We had 360 degree views that went for miles and miles. The wind was whipping and we layered up so we could enjoy nature’s birthday gift to Gabrielle.

We got back to the car to warm up but we were not done yet. This was a birthday weekend celebration and we packed out gear back up and headed to Vermont so we could conquer Ellen the very next day.

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Birthday Festivities – Lake Champlain, Sugar Daze, and Maple Factory

Mt. Ellen

Type of Hike: Overnight

· Matt’s Gear:

  • Base Layer: EMS TechWick 3 Thermal, EMS convertible Pants, EMS long underwear T2
  • Insulation: Patagonia Nano Puff Vest
  • Shell: Rab Nexus
  • Accessories: EMS Gortex Gaitors, MSR Snowshoes, EMS Thermal Mountaineering Gloves, Sherpa wool hat, REI balaclava
  • Pack: Osprey Atmos AG

Matt also carried: Patagonia Down Sweater Coat

· Gear: Gabrielle

  • Base Layer:
  • Insulation:
  • Shell:
  • Accessories:
  • Pack:

Notes: It is day two of Gabrielle’s birthday weekend and we are trail reviewing our brand new Osprey Atmos/Aura AG packs. The Jerusalem Trail up to Ellen offered some interesting sites as we navigated our way through a maple syrup farm. The new packs felt great and we were amazed by how light they felt on our bodies. The trail was in great shape and we made it to the Long Trail with ease.

Next stop… Glen Ellen Lodge. This was the final destination for the night but we were just making a quick pit stop to drop our gear and then return later. It was still very early in the day and we had Mt. Ellen in our sights. We broke trail down to the lodge and discovered that we were not the only ones down there. There were numerous “cat” prints were in the snow and they were fresh. It made us more alert of our surroundings and I think the volume of our voices increased so that we did not sneak up on anything.

The way up to Ellen involved climbing up the ski slopes. Snow began to come down and our shells came on to keep us dry. We snapped our summit picture, took a pause for the cause and headed back down to the lodge as skiers flew by us.

This was a fun night. We had the shelter to ourselves and we continued the birthday celebration with an outstanding meal consisting of cheese and crackers for an appetizer and fresh salmon and couscous for the main course and a birthday cupcake with sparking apple cider for dessert. We lit up the lodge with our UCO candle lanterns and played some cards while we warmed up in out -20 degree down bags that we were also using for the first time (yea, it was that cold out!)

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Mt. Ellen & Glen Ellen Lodge 2015

We were up early the next morning and cooked some pancakes and scrambled eggs. We seriously went all out on this overnighter in terms of what we carried for food but hey, it was a celebration after all! We slowly packed up our gear and prepared for our trek back to the car. Gabrielle’s family were on their way up to meet with us as they had rented out a time-share house so we could all go see Switchfoot preform at Okemo Mountain.

To keep this post short and sweet it was an outstanding weekend and I felt truly blessed to have had Gabrielle share her special day with me. Happy birthday Babes!

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Mt. Ellen & Glen Ellen Lodge 2015

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