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Mount Mansfield
Mount mansfield 20040926.jpg
Mount Mansfield, September 2004
Mount Mansfield is located in Vermont
Mount Mansfield
Elevation 4,395 feet (1,340 m) NAVD 88 [1]
Location Chittenden County and Lamoille County, Vermont, USA
Range Green Mountains
Prominence 3,633 feet (1,107 m) [2]
Coordinates 44°32′38.21″N 72°48′51.52″W / 44.5439472°N 72.8143111°W / 44.5439472; -72.8143111Coordinates: 44°32′38.21″N 72°48′51.52″W / 44.5439472°N 72.8143111°W / 44.5439472; -72.8143111 [1]
Topo map USGS Mount Mansfield 44072-E7
First ascent unknown
Easiest route Hike
Listing U.S. state high point
New England 4000-footers
#3 New England Fifty Finest

Mount Mansfield is the highest mountain in Vermont, United States. The mountain, its highest point in the town of Underhill, Vermont, peaks at 4,395 feet (1,340 m) above sea level. Its ridgeline, including some secondary peaks, extends into the town of Stowe, and its flanks also reach into the town of Cambridge.[3]

When viewed from the east or west, this mountain has the appearance of a (quite elongated) human profile, with distinct forehead, nose, lips, chin, and Adam's apple. These features are most distinct when viewed from the east; unlike most human faces, the chin is the highest point.[4]

Mount Mansfield is one of three spots in Vermont where true alpine tundra survives from the Ice Ages. A few acres exist on Camel's Hump and Mount Abraham nearby and to the south, but Mount Mansfield's summit still holds about 200 acres (81 ha).

The mountain is used for various recreational and commercial purposes. "The Nose" is home to transmitter towers for a number of regional radio and TV stations. There are many hiking trails, including the Long Trail, which traverses the main ridgeline. In addition, the east flank of the mountain is used by the Stowe Mountain Resort for winter skiing. A popular tourist activity is to take the toll road (about four miles, steep, mostly unpaved, with several hairpin turns) from the Stowe Base Lodge to "The Nose" and hike along the ridge to "The Chin."

Contents

Naming of the mountain

The name comes from the dissolved town of Mansfield, Vermont, in which the mountain was located. It was common for settlers to name Vermont towns for their previous homes; several of the original grantees were from Mansfield, Connecticut, which in turn is known to have been named for Moses Mansfield, one of the chief landowners there. The Town of Mansfield was platted before anyone involved had visited the site; when it was surveyed, it was discovered to be mostly mountainside. Although a few hardy pioneers settled in the town's few lowlands, the town was dissolved by degrees, with the portion generally west of the mountain being annexed to Underhill in 1839, the eastern portion to Stowe in 1848 after a vote of the citizenry. The dividing line did not run exactly along the ridge of the mountain; thus, the Chin is in Underhill and the Nose in Stowe.[5]

Topography

The ridge which forms the "head" of the "man" is aligned generally north and south. The "Adam's apple" is on the north end of the ridge, and the "forehead" to the south. From north of the mountain, looking south, this ridge appears as a triangular peak. At the northeastern portion of the mountain, there are cliffs. At the base of these cliffs (on the western side of the Notch Road, Vermont Route 108), there is a honeycomb network of talus caves. There are cliffs on the eastern side of the Notch Road as well. These two sets of facing cliffs are separated by 3 yards (2.7 m) at their base.

Skiing on Mount Mansfield

In addition to other expert trails, a group of famous trails, known as the "Front Four", are Goat, Starr, National and Liftline. They have steep pitches, many natural hazards (rocks and trees), and little grooming. There are also numerous cross country ski trails around the base of the mountain and on its lower slopes. The Bruce Trail descends the east side of the mountain while the Teardrop Trail descends west side.

Hiking Mount Mansfield

Mount Mansfield has four major hiking trails which lead to the summit. They range in difficulty from M (moderate) to DDD (very difficult). The Long Trail, a famed route through Vermont, is rated as M, as is the Haselton Trail. More difficult is Profanity Trail, which is rated as a DD (More Difficult) and the very difficult Cliff Trail, a DDD. These trails extend to the peaks named The Forehead, an elevation of 3,940 feet (1,201 m), the Upper Lip and the Lower Lip, and The Chin 4,395 feet (1,340 m). The Chin is Vermont's highest point. Each peak is generally named for the part of a face that Mount Mansfield resembles when viewed sideways.

Marking the trails are white and blue blazes. The Long Trail has 2 by 6 inches (51 by 152 mm) white blazes (formerly red-around-white circular bulleseyes). All other trails are marked with blue blazes. This is an extremely challenging 0.7 miles (1 km) hike to the ridge, along which The Long Trail extends. To reach the Profanity Trail a long trek up The Long Trail must be made. Finally, the Haselton starts at the base of the gondolas, running up to The Toll Road.

References

  1. ^ a b "Mt Mansfield Highest Point". NGS data sheet. U.S. National Geodetic Survey. http://www.ngs.noaa.gov/cgi-bin/ds_mark.prl?PidBox=AE3691. Retrieved 2008-12-11.  
  2. ^ "Mount Mansfield, Vermont". Peakbagger.com. http://www.peakbagger.com/peak.aspx?pid=7013. Retrieved 2008-12-15.  
  3. '^ Vermont Atlas & Gazetteer, Delorme, 1996, p. 46.
  4. ^ Robert L. Hagerman, Mansfield: The Story of Vermont's Loftiest Mountain. Essex Publishing Co., Essex Junction, Vt., 1971, pp. 23-24.
  5. ^ Hagerman, chap. 4; Chris Hanna, Mansfield: A Town Divided. Accessed 2009.09.21.
  • Johnson, Charles W. (1980). The Nature of Vermont: Introduction and Guide to a New England Environment. The University Press of New England. ISBN 0-87451-183-6.  

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