Pico Camp Shelter, Rutland VT

Pico Camp Shelter Travel Blog

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Up up up
This was my favorite day. Though we got started really late, we actually made the best time. We had more elevation to gain onto the mountain ridge, but insodoing, it allowed us to hike up and over nearly three mountains in one day. There was more uphill, but it felt much more manageable and my legs were starting to work a little better. Jon also did a great courtesy and switched packs with me, relieving some weight, which made a huge world of difference. His new Osprey fit me way better than Max's borrowed Northface Skarab. We climbed above the hardwood treeline and into a more brawny, mossy, sparse-evergreen landscape, rockier and rootier than ever. I LOVED it. As we went, we passed pile after pile of what we believed to be Moose droppings... intently looking around for the slightest glimpse of their majesty.
No luck. We got near the top of Shrewsbury mtn., and came upon a patch of ice. Yes. Ice. As we climbed over it and began up toward Killington peak there was more snow, sometimes a foot deep in the more shadowy sections of the trail.
We aimed for Cooper lodge, near the summit of Killington, with plenty of daylight to unpack and cook dinner. When we arrived, however, be were disgusted by the state of the site. The windows had been smashed, the shutters were gone. The inside had not only been graffittied and the signs and notices burned on the walls, but it was trashed. There were empty bottles, cans, wrappers and garbage everywhere. Jon took lots of pictures of the lodge with the intent of sending them to the Green Mountain Club, the group that maintains the VT AT/LT shelters.
Um, what business does ice have here this time of the year? It wasn't even cold up there.
We both decided it was uninhabitable and decided to push on another 3+ miles to the next shelter, Pico Camp, .4miles shy of the the summit of Pico mtn.
In less than an hour and fifteen minutes, we made it. The trail was relatively flat, with some downhill action, allowing us to move quicker, though it was still quite dangerous in its rocky/rooty ways. Jon twisted his ankle a second time, rolling it in and crunching the joint during a downhill section, and had to rest it immediately.
The Pico camp was the same type of structure as Cooper lodge, but a bit smaller... a much more pleasant. We were so pleased by the condition! And the fact that it had four complete walls just made us jump for joy. It was tidy and clean, and very cozy... until the sun went down. Again, it got COLD.
We made a very spicy chili dish with pasta and veggies, and decided that we should partially combine our sleeping gear to maximize warmth. It was an okay night of sleep, but my feet were cold for most of it and I was beginning to feel uncomfortable about being un-showered :P We woke up relatively early, packed up, had some pop tarts and prepared to summit Pico, despite cloudy skies, chilly air and GUSTY wind conditions.

Signed, Moosegut and Saltlick
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Up up up
Up up up
Um, what business does ice have he…
Um, what business does ice have h…
Steep and rocky climb
Steep and rocky climb
Snowshoeing.
Snowshoeing.
Wearing pants as a jacket: Jon had…
Wearing pants as a jacket: Jon ha…
Graffiti and busted windows at Coo…
Graffiti and busted windows at Co…
Liquor bottles, burned sign.
Liquor bottles, burned sign.
Three large trash bags worth of ra…
Three large trash bags worth of r…
Refuse stuffed into every nook and…
Refuse stuffed into every nook an…
Why yes, that is a half-eaten loaf…
Why yes, that is a half-eaten loa…
Crossing the access road near Pico…
Crossing the access road near Pic…
Pico Camp!!!
Pico Camp!!!
We are so happy to be there!
We are so happy to be there!
Inside the Pico Camp cabin
Inside the Pico Camp cabin
Built 1959.
Built 1959.
Morning of the 14th... you cant t…
Morning of the 14th... you can't …
Pico Camp Shelter
photo by: RSofR