Rock slide in Smugglers Notch: What happened when boulders tumbled down to Vermont 108

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People trekking along Smugglers Notch Sunday morning were greeted with an unwelcome surprise. 

A rock slide along Vermont 108 narrowly missed hikers and climbers as boulders from a section of the Notch known as “The Castle” broke off and tumbled down the ledge. 

No injuries or casualties were reported, according to Vermont State Police, however several cars were found damaged on the roadside. The road through the Notch was temporarily closed to traffic until later in the afternoon.

“The rockfall must have been the result of many days of very hot weather, followed by several inches of rain and a sudden freeze-thaw cycle, but who knows,” wrote Vermont Rock, a local publication that covers rock climbing in Northern Vermont, in a Facebook post. 

“While this is very unfortunate, it’s not especially surprising given the unstable, alpine nature of this area.”

Vermont Rock continued to say that at least five climbing routes on the Notch had been damaged by the rockfall. They advised climbers or hikers to avoid “The Castle” section for the time being.

Contact Ethan Bakuli at (802) 556-1804 or ebakuli@freepressmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @BakuliEthan.

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