|Event Title:||Smarts Mountain Via Lambert Ridge|
|Event Date:||07 Oct 2001|
|Report Date:||29 Oct 01 GH|
This outing was originally planned for Saturday, 6 October. The original destination was to be Black Mountain. Due to the quick notice with which this outing came up, participation was low. When it became apparent on Friday evening that the party would consist of two Scouts and two adults and that the weather forecast was better for Sunday than Saturday, the participants decided to delay the hike to Sunday. Furthermore, in order to shorten the driving time to accommodate sleep schedules and other committments, we decided to change the venue from Black Mountain to Smarts Mountain.
We met at 8:00 AM at 46 Ferson Road and drove from there to the Lambert Ridge trailhead along the Dorchester Turnpike near the Dartmouth Skiway. We started up the trail at about 8:30 stopping for map reading exercises and coffee/cocoa breaks several times at places where scenic views were available. We reached the summit at about 11:45 and prepared lunch under the fire tower. Although the morning weather had been mostly clear and breezy, we realized we were in New England when at about 12:15 we observed a fast moving squall line approaching from the west. We packed up our gear and headed back down the trail at about 12:30. At about 12:45 we found ourselves in a snow storm that continued for about 30 minutes, creating some extraordinay scenery and a slippery trail. When we reached the junction with the Ranger Trail (which also goes back to the same trailhead), we decided to take that trail down rather than going back the way we had come up. We arrived back at the cars at about 3:30 and were home by 4:00.
The weather on the day of the hike was partly cloudy until it changed to snow! After the snow squall was over, the sun came out again; making everyone glad that they were PREPARED with a variety of clothing.
This was a good one-day outing without a lot of driving. Although the round trip distance was a bit over seven miles, it was not terribly strenuous. The scenery was great and there were several good opportunities to use map reading skills to see exactly where we were. The Ranger Trail is not recommended for future use; the upper parts of it cross over a lot of flat, slippery rock outcroppings, the middle section follows a rocky seasonal stream bed, and the bottom follows an old logging road through the woods making it pretty boring.