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best route on katahdin for beginers

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Eastern US. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Eastern US Climbing Partners section.

Postby cbcbd » Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:14 am

The Hunt trail - basically the same trail as the AT.

Quickest, least exposed, but still steep at parts. Few sections with some boulder hoping and using metal rungs put in the boulders to climb up small steps.

But still being the easiest, it is still 5.2 miles one way from Katahdin Stream Campground and over 4K' elevation gain.
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Postby nartreb » Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:46 pm

Concur. The other relatively easy option would be the Saddle Trail. A couple of the trails up to Pamola Peak (Dudley and especially Helon Taylor) are also pretty straightforward, but if you insist on hitting the true summit you'd have to cross the Knife Edge from there, which won't happen if you discover that your charges suffer from vertigo.
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Postby Matt Worster » Fri Apr 02, 2010 3:08 pm

Suppose I agree, too, if summit is the focus (and hey, sometimes it is).

My first time up was on the Saddle. I was with my brother, 6, and a family friend, 78. The advantage of the Saddle is that if your family is really just not into it that day, you have stops that are still "feel good" places: Basin Ponds, a marked (well, it was, probably still is) viewpoint, and of course, Chimney Pond. Both Hunt and Saddle hit the Tableland at about a mile from the summit. Wife and daughter could stop there while Dad summits, if that fits within the family dynamic that day. If coming from the Hunt, go just a bit further to Thoreau Spring on the Tableland.

The Hunt Trail does have Katahdin Falls at, what, 1.1 miles? but I like the landmarks on the Chimney Pond Trail (on the way to Saddle).

I will now try to cease my overspray of info.
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Postby jniehof » Fri Apr 02, 2010 4:47 pm

I think the difficulty of Abol tends to be a bit overstated; the exposure is minimal (no iron rungs needed) and it's a blocky/rubbly slide rather than a friction climb like Coe. It is, however, very persistently steep. Few people go down it (returning via Hunt instead) and descent can be fairly hard on the knees if you're in a hurry. But I wouldn't rule it out if the other trailheads are full.

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Postby Bark Eater » Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:31 pm

The Saddle Trail is the easiest for beginners. The Abol Trail is quickest and shortest from trailhead to summit but has some relatively steep pitches.
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Postby fsclimb » Fri May 14, 2010 7:46 pm

Don't forget to reserve your parking pass...bring lots of $$.


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