West Dover and Bromley Mountain

by Sarah on May 30, 2013

Continuing with our hiking adventure from yesterday…

After giving back Becky’s car we headed into town to find accommodations.  On our way to pick up the car, we had been scouting for a good place to stay, particularly one with breakfast and maybe with a hot-tub. We found the Kitzhof Inn, an Austrian style ski lodge in West Dover, VT. If you are ever in West Dover around Mt. Snow, stay at the Kitzhof! It is a charming Inn with a lot of character. We loved our British Inn Keepers, Alison and Simon, who cooked us a nice hot breakfast each morning. Seriously, the coolest Inn ever.

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We spent the remainder of Saturday running around town finding appropriate gear for the weather. Thankfully, I don’t have a really good hiking rain jacket, so I didn’t feel too bad buying a new one. Below is a much happier me in my new Helly Hansen jacket. We also picked up a fleece for Carol, and a new exterior soft shell jacket and wool socks for Jay. Once we were appropriately prepared for the rest of our weekend, we enjoyed the charm of both the Kitzhof and West Dover.

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Sunday we got up refreshed and started out on a day hike. As I indicated yesterday, it snowed Friday and Saturday evenings, which meant we would be hiking slower.  This, with the fact that we only had one car, meant that our plan was to hike 5.5 miles over the mountain and then turn around and hike back. Since this was an ADVENTURE, our plans changed, but I’ll get to that ;).

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Now, well-rested and prepared we headed up Bromley, fully expecting to see snow. We were not disappointed! As we slowly climbed the mountain we were greeted with more and more snow. We were also blessed with dry weather on this hike, so we slowly peeled off layers as we exerted ourselves.

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Of course, snow has some positive aspects like this great photo.

Half-way through our hike we finally made it to the top of the mountain at a much slower pace then anticipated. The cool thing about Bromley Mountain is that you hike onto a ski resort. In fact, our last 1/8 of a mile was up a ‘Green’ Slope.

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Because we were on top of a mountain, conditions were bleak with high winds and the occasional snow shower. As we reached the top, a few hikers pointed us to the open Ski Patrol Hut. We were surprised when we walked in to meet the woman who told us about how nice the Stratton Pond Shelter was (Sorry I don’t have a name, we called her Canada).

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She was seeking refuge in the hut with her friend until the storm blew over. It was amazing how much warmer 4 walls keep you. This was her second Zero day in a row because of the storm, and she was one of 5 people we ran into who had been caught off-guard. This made us all feel a little better about our choice to stay in a hotel.

As we talked, she also told us that she had heard from another hiker that you could get to the main road by taking a 10 minute hike down the ski slopes. Watching the clock (it was already past noon and we weren’t close to half way through our hike yet) we decided to split up.

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My mom and Carol continued on North to the next cross road while Jay and I headed down Bromley Mountain Ski Slopes to the main road and back to our car.

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Not knowing which trail to take down the mountain, Jay and I played “Rock, Paper, Scissor” between a Green and Blue Route. This has become the primary way we decide major life decisions. We ended up going down the Blue Route next to the chair lift (Jay’s choice, obviously). The first 500 feet were spent literally sliding down the mountain with every step we took, but once we got down the initial decline we found a dirt service road and followed that the rest of the way. The funny thing is, Jay had a much harder time than I did walking in the snow.

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Of course Jay had to test out sledding down the mountain on his half empty pack. It didn’t work sooo well…

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Just like the hike up the mountain, within a few 100 feet we went from a snow covered mountain to one without any snow.

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From the base of the mountain we followed the main road 2 miles back to our car before driving to meet my mom and Carol on the other side of our hike. In the end, our adventure worked out really well. My mom and Carol marked off another 5.5 miles of the AT and Jay and I had a lot of fun on our adventure down the ski slopes.

Have you hiked down ski slopes before?