Third chapter of the FOC 20 –5 -1 Campaign for Children’s Cancer Research (20 mountains, 5 states, 1 mission – A Cure) is set on Mount Ellen.
Mount Ellen is the third-tallest mountain in Vermont at 4,083 feet. Its peak is located in the town of Warren, VT. The Long Trail is regarded as the easiest trail to the mountain. The Jerusalem Trail is rated as a “hard” difficulty rating on All Trails. The trail is an out-and-back trek of 7.5 miles with elevation gain of 2,539 feet.
Kelly Skelton’s partner for this hike was Christian Bennett, who last year, on the 10-5-1 campaign, was also with Kelly when they summited Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s tallest mountain.
Chris Bennett is a nursing student at Rivier University in Nashua, NH while working in his career field in two positions: a CNA at Bayberry Emerald Court, an assisted-living facility in Tewksbury, MA and a Patient Care Technician at Melrose-Wakefield hospital in Melrose, MA. Bennett works with both facilities part-time while pursuing his bachelor’s degree at Rivier, a university that boasted a 100% pass-rate by its students on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
Sunday, June 30th, just before the holiday week, the two set off to summit another mountain for the campaign.
The trailhead was extremely difficult to find as there is no parking lot and the trail begins with only a small sign.
They parked on the roadside thanks to a navigation tip from some local residents and began their hike.
The beginning of the hike was calm and actually begins on private property. The initial trail land is owned by maple syrup harvesters and the tubes around the maple trees are widely visible for the first 30-45 minutes of the hike.
“It was really interesting to see the trees being tapped right along the trail for delicious Vermont maple syrup. The trust required to have a root passing directly through a person’s crops shows what Vermont residents are all about,” said Skelton.
The middle portion of the hike was very steep but lived up to the region’s name “green mountains.”
When they reached the ridge, they walked along the ridge for about an hour before reaching the summit.
He continued, ““Mount Ellen was particularly unusual because of its lengthy ridge. The distance between reaching near-peak elevation and the official summit was the longest I’d ever experienced.”
The official summit is not bald, meaning that the peak is in the woods as seen in this picture.
However, there is a ski lift drop-off nearby that signifies the top of the hike for all intents and purposes.
Kelly joked, “The ski lift at the top looked like something from a horror movie. Luckily, I had Chris by my side but the silence of the area, intense fog and wind-blown lifts themselves was very creepy.”
The 20-5-1 fundraiser has a goal to raise $100,000 for pediatric cancer research and childhood cancer research awareness this summer of 2019. The updates about this campaign can be found on the 20-5-1 Campaign Page including a bit about each hike.
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