Paul and I left well after Zoey and Sampson did. Today was the precursor to Camel’s Hump, one of only three alpine summits in Vermont. On our way up to Burnt Rock Mt. we passed an orientation group of incoming freshmen from the University of Vermont. It is hard to believe that college was just a year ago yet felt eons away.
The skies were grey and promised rain. The day promised to be a short one and there was little doubt in my mind that we would make it to the shelter before the weather turned for the worst. In began to drizzle as Paul and I navigated the bare surface of mountain. I briefly thought about the danger of being on such an exposed slab of stone in a thunderstorm but still asked Paul to pose as a for-scale-object in a photograph atop Burnt Rock.
Shortly after we heard Samson’s whining and picked up the pace in case something had happened to either him or Zoey. He just didn’t want to go any further. We did our best to usher the lab onto the slippery ledge until Paul scooped him up in his arms and lifted him on it. We continued along as the rain came down light and steady. Then we saw the ladder. After some failed tries to finding another way down for Samson, a plan was devised. We would create a harness from rope and Samson’s doggie pack and lower him down about 12 feet. At this point he wouldn’t even come near the ledge! Paul seized him once again and gently lowered him to Zoey while I held the rope slack. Fortunately, the “harness” snapped at a low enough point!
After one more climb we made it to Montclair Glen, a fairly new shelter that still smelled of pine. Being the first in that afternoon, we had some time to get to know each other as the shelter filled with hikers from all walks of life.