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AT Maine

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Re: AT Maine

Postby Bark Eater » Fri Mar 04, 2011 10:56 pm

It's something like 350 miles. Maine is bigger than it looks! You can make pretty good time/distance from Kathadin down to Monson (100 mile wilderness) but once you get into Western Maine (as in the Whites) there's a tremendous amount of up and down that takes its toll with a full pack. Most take 3-4 weeks to do this section when thru-hiking.
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Re: AT Maine

Postby Sarah Simon » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:29 am

Hey Fletch,

I am a recently "baptized" AT section hiker. One thing I learned right away is expect for your high-altitude Colorado ass to be humbled more than you'd expect by those "little eastern mountains." In Colorado, we're so used to "steady elevation gain" followed by "steady elevation loss." The AT punishes you with constant ascents and descents. Sure, you're not backpacking at 13,800 feet, but you will gain/lose an awful lot of elevation in a day.

Have fun! But when it comes to planning mileage, don't let those Colorado eyes get too big for your legs... And enjoy the poison ivy, copper heads, chiggers, ticks, briars, brambles, and whatever else you can find out there.
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Re: AT Maine

Postby BobSmith » Sat Mar 05, 2011 4:48 pm

A few years ago I was day-hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park when I met up with a guy from Colorado. Turned out he had bagged most of the the 14ers and we talked about that as we hiked (his favorite was Mount of the Holy Cross) . He had a 30-pound backpack and I had a 25-lb daypack (what can I say? I go prepared). After a while he started to talk about how tough the hiking was in the Smokies. It was his first trip there. We continued to talk as we hiked along, but his voice got fainter and fainter as I left him farther and farther behind. He just wasn't accustomed to so much up and down and so many thousands of feet of elevation gain. "This place is tough!" was one of the last things he said to me as we parted ways.
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Re: AT Maine

Postby Bark Eater » Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:27 pm

Correction, most would take 4 weeks from Washington to Katahdin. All this isn't to say that you couldn't put together an awesome two-week section hike. Starting at the Bigelows and finishing through the Mahoosucs in W. Maine would be a great trip. You'd get to enjoy Mahoosuc Notch, http://www.summitpost.org/mahoosuc-notch/160600, wildly acclaimed as the toughest mile on the whole AT. This is class 3 bouldering on a marked hiking trail at its best. :-)

And, if you are headed south late summer, early fall you'd get to visit with the thru-hikers heading north at the leantos in the evenings.
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Re: AT Maine

Postby DersuUzala » Sun Mar 06, 2011 8:04 pm

Hi Fletch,

Alot of great sections in Maine and NH. Although not my cup of tea, you can pay to "hut-hop" along the Presidential range for about $40 a night (cha-ching!) where they will feed you and provide bedding so you can hop around with essentially a daypack. You can hike the Presedentials without staying at the huts but you will have to drop below timberline every night and find legal camping or the rangers will be waking you up (been there done that). AT Sections in NH and ME run by the AMC will cost you around $8 a night just to stay at leantos or campsites and these areas are crowded and first come first serve. It's kinda funny, anyone still on the trail in the late afternoon and it becomes a race to beat other hikers into the camp areas - if they are filled, you've gotta move on to the next camping area which could be 10+ miles away or take your chances camping "illegaly". There are ridge-runners that show up every evening to collect their money. Not trying to turn you off, the Presidentials are definitely worth the trip and NH has alot to offer. The Mahoosuc Notch was great fun, you descend into the deep boulder-filled gap between 2 very steep mountains, temps are about 15-20 degrees cooler than above and there is typically patches of ice and snow even in the summer. I remember it to be minor bouldering (but in full pack it was challenging) and some spots you have to push your pack through a hole first and then squeeze through.
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Re: AT Maine

Postby kakakiw » Mon Mar 07, 2011 8:11 pm

The 100 mile wilderness takes about 10 days to get thru. If it's a dry time then it's not too bad, but sections of the trail during a wet year, well, I hope you like mud.

I live near the trail in Rangeley, we get lots of thru hikers coming by, and the AT is 267 miles in Maine.
Check out the Maine ATC site too.http://www.matc.org/index.html
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Re: AT Maine

Postby AlexeyD » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:23 pm

Fletch wrote:Thanks guys. Appreciate the comments. I think the hut idea might be the way to go... couple extra bucks could make the trip do-able if we were able to cover some respectable distance. Thanks all. Will let you know how it pans out...


If you are going from Katahdin to Washington, there is exactly one hut (Madison) in the Presidentials that would be on your way. There are 3 more huts run by the AMC in the 100-Mile Wilderness region, but there is a huge gap, perhaps 200 miles, between those and Madison. So, even if you don't mind spending the money, there really is no possible way that the trip you are proposing can be done as a "hut-hop", which means that you will still need to carry a tent, sleeping bags, stove, cooking gear, etc.; the only weight you will be saving by staying in a hut will be food (breakfast and dinner, more precisely) and fuel, but even there you are talking about 4 days worth' out of 30 days total. My point here is: I'm not saying you shouldn't use them (that's obviously your call), but for what you're planning, I wouldn't expect staying in the few and far-between huts along the way will affect your overall speed by all that much.
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Re: AT Maine

Postby rasgoat » Mon Mar 07, 2011 11:34 pm

Florida Frank wrote:Correction, most would take 4 weeks from Washington to Katahdin. All this isn't to say that you couldn't put together an awesome two-week section hike. Starting at the Bigelows and finishing through the Mahoosucs in W. Maine would be a great trip. You'd get to enjoy Mahoosuc Notch, http://www.summitpost.org/mahoosuc-notch/160600, wildly acclaimed as the toughest mile on the whole AT. This is class 3 bouldering on a marked hiking trail at its best. :-)

And, if you are headed south late summer, early fall you'd get to visit with the thru-hikers heading north at the leantos in the evenings.



What he said
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Re: AT Maine

Postby AlexeyD » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:53 am

rasgoat wrote:
Florida Frank wrote:Correction, most would take 4 weeks from Washington to Katahdin. All this isn't to say that you couldn't put together an awesome two-week section hike. Starting at the Bigelows and finishing through the Mahoosucs in W. Maine would be a great trip. You'd get to enjoy Mahoosuc Notch, http://www.summitpost.org/mahoosuc-notch/160600, wildly acclaimed as the toughest mile on the whole AT. This is class 3 bouldering on a marked hiking trail at its best. :-)

And, if you are headed south late summer, early fall you'd get to visit with the thru-hikers heading north at the leantos in the evenings.



What he said


Well, in that case you're down to 0 huts.
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Re: AT Maine

Postby rasgoat » Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:06 am

AlexeyD wrote:
Well, in that case you're down to 0 huts.


I'd take the Maine wilderness anyday over the NH hut experience.
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Re: AT Maine

Postby AlexeyD » Tue Mar 08, 2011 2:25 am

rasgoat wrote:
AlexeyD wrote:
Well, in that case you're down to 0 huts.


I'd take the Maine wilderness anyday over the NH hut experience.


Oh, me too - absolutely. I'm just emphasizing this point for Fletch's planning purposes, that's all.
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Re: AT Maine

Postby nartreb » Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:56 pm

You won't find two weeks' worth of huts anywhere in the Northeast, but if you hike the Presidential range a couple of the huts are convenient: if you don't want to drop off the ridge, you've got to make it from the Notch to Mt Adams (RMC campsites or huts {cheaper than the AMC huts}] in one day and then to Mt Pierce (tentsites at Mizpah a.ka. Nauman) on the next. Whereas the AMC huts at Madison Springs and Lakes of the Clouds are in very tempting locations.

Bit of self-promotion here, but this may be useful:
http://www.summitpost.org/appalachian-t ... chapter_22
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