No one else at all happened to be hiking on the mountain that morning. It was just me and my thoughts and my map. I brought my trusty app Endomondo and it calculated my total ascent as 2,643 feet, to about 3,200. I hike uphill pretty fast (around 24-minute miles) and decend slowly on tenderized, middle-aged knees.
The round-trip from Hedgehog Brook Trail to the Long Trail and back is about seven miles (7.2 according to my GPS).
It was 79 degrees fahrenheit on the mountain–all of a sudden! winter has lingered here–and I sweated heavily, didn't quite bring enough water. The hike involved a brisk walk through woods with trekking poles, crossing several streams where I dunked my head but didn't drink because of the possible bacteria, then climbing up stone-filled drainages and hiking through kind of stressed forests, with falling down trees, and interesting pockets of left-over ice and snow.
This made it feel for a short time like the Alps, where it can be wicked hot on the hike but there's snow all around. One picture shows a place that had a small cliff with ice and snow forming a soupy meltwater at the bottom of it. This feature is described as a "glacial pothole," a rare find in New England apparently.
It was odd to come upon this crevasse-like feature with it so hot and in Vermont.
Then Burnt Rock near the top becomes hiking over open, rather exposed boulders. I could see how it could be hazardous if there was a sudden icy rain, but this time it was sunny and very dry. It was almost too hot to sit on the top, where it was just me and a slight wind. A nice 360-degree view that includes adjacent valleys and Sugarbush ski area. I got going back somewhat fast because I thought it would be a bit of a puzzle finding my way back (it wasn't).
Great exercise, highy recommended, and I dived into a cold river afterwards–51 degrees F.– to get rid of the soreness. It worked!