I had started this hike a bit late, about 10 AM. I initially was going to do an out-and-back from the parking lot area in St. Huberts. This would eventually change, and I decided to hike it clockwise. Shortly after signing in, the trail immediately starts the climb up, eventually easing to a gradual climb through a mix of hard and softwoods. I kept seeing fresh deer tracks along the way, obviously pushing the deer as I gradually made my way up to a point around 2600 feet where she finally revealed herself. She was about 30 yards away, and I tried to make a video of her, but it turned out very grainy.
The climbing gets steeper at this point, and along the way, you start to see excellent views of Giant mountain becoming more and more prominent. At one point, I came out of the woods to an open ledge that was like an amphitheater seating for "the Giant of the valley." From this point, the trail led back into the woods, made of pine and cedar trees. This area was moderately steep but easy climbing with a good base below my feet. There were areas with ice below the snow, but the ever-changing temperatures made for some excellent traction. I had put on my snowshoes just after signing in for no other reason than to take advantage of the televators; micro-spikes would have worked fine in lower elevations. Still, at around 2600 feet, snowshoes were needed with 4-6 inches of powder. As I continued up, I ran into a headwall at about 2800 feet, with cool-looking ice flow coming off it. My pictures did not do it justice. At another 100 feet of elevation, I thought I had reached the partially open summit, only to realize I had a bit more hiking to do. With a quick down and up in elevation, I was finally at the summit and the spectacular views of the Lower Great range, Dix and Hough mountains, and Giant and Noonmark mountains.
After about a half hour on the summit, I dropped down to the Dix trail, making my way back to the dirt road that leads to the Ausable Inn road and eventually signing out at the Round Mountain register.
I did not see another soul all day, which was quite surprising. I had expected, at the least, to meet traffic coming up to Round from the Dix trail. I guess it is true; Round mountain sees very little traffic.
I did this hike clockwise from St Hubert's parking area.
Two areas of blow-down.
Elevation: 3100 ft
Ascent: 1820 ft
Distance: 4.9 miles