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Katahdin in 2013?

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Katahdin in 2013?

Postby emiller1 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:10 pm

Looking for some advice on Katahdin in July of 2013. After doing some reading, I was thinking start at the Roaring Brook campground up the Chimney pond trail to Cathedral trail. Then across the knife edge and down the Helon Taylor trail. My best guess is about 8 miles? Does that sound right? I enjoy Class 3/4 scrambling out west so it seems this would be the way to go for a very enjoyable trip. My brother who will be going with me has never done a class 3 scramble so this seems like a good introduction for him as well. Is there anything else you would suggest? thanks
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Re: Katahdin in 2013?

Postby nartreb » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:34 pm

That's an excellent loop.

My advice: 1) get your hands on a bunch of good maps. (Try Caltopo.com for detailed topo maps, the Baxter website for trail names.)
2) Plan ahead but remain flexible. July is busy season, you want to make sure you're on time but also have some options ready to go if Roaring Brook road is closed when you get there, or if the weather is not suitable for a trip over the Knife Edge. There's lots of other good trails on Katahdin and some great hikes elsewhere in the park.
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Re: Katahdin in 2013?

Postby Eric2000 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:19 pm

If you know anyone who lives in Maine that definitely helps. Only Maine residents can reserve campsites and parking spots more than 2 weeks in advance. The park greatly limits the visitors and most everyone prefers the Roaring Brook so it's hard for out of staters to get in there on weekends especially.

The idea of the Cathedral trail and Knifes edge is defintiely the way to go. From what I understand there really isn't any class 4 scrambing out East on marked trails atleast. The Gap on the Knifes Edge b/t Pamola and Chimney peak is about as intense as it gets.
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Re: Katahdin in 2013?

Postby NW » Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:22 pm

Yea that campground and parking lot get full fast! We had reservations at the park last weekend. It was a cool, rainy Saturday with the whole upper mountain wet, slippery and engulfed in low lying cloud and the parking lots were still full by 6:30am. And that's after the worst part of the busy season there. We left from Katahdin stream campground that time. I've always had a hard time getting a site near Roaring Brook. I got one at Abol once and then twice I had to camp at Nesowadnehunk and drive to a parking spot (once at Katahdin Stream, once at Roaring Brook). Sounds like a good loop though. I haven't done that loop personally because 2 out 3 times I climbed it I had my kids with me and I took them up and down Saddle (easy) and up and down Hunt (slightly trickier). I've also done the Abol trail which I thought was quite easy but some find it taxing. This is an example of conditions last weekend on the Hunt trail and it was still full even in these conditions.

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Re: Katahdin in 2013?

Postby emiller1 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 4:56 am

I hope to do a midweek climb to make the reservations a little easier to get. I will have to talk to my brother about the maine resident part. Sounds like that could greatly improve our chances of a reservation
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Re: Katahdin in 2013?

Postby FloridaMountaineer » Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:24 pm

I am thinking of doing the same thing this summer with the daughter. We did Mt Washington last year and had a ball. We really ran into some brutal weather as well. Fortunately the hut and warm clothes made the difference.

Anyway, Katahdin has been something I have wanted to do for probably 23 years or so. I know have a partner for the smaller mountains. I know the knife edge is a must if the weather is nice but you need to be adaptable.

I think most understand that until you see a place it is impossible to know everything about it.

Is there any books about Kahtahdin that would be helpful. THe SP breakdown is nice for sure. I am a big fan of being prepared.
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Re: Katahdin in 2013?

Postby Jaskic » Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:06 pm

I did Katahdin last summer (July).

(1) We had planned on the Knife's Edge, but it had been raining non-stop for a few days when we arrived. And the ranger was brutally honest that the danger level on Knife's Edge wasn't worth the risk. Done and done. We looped up from Roaring Brook camp via Chimney Pond and the Saddle trail, then to the summit. Back tracked a bit down the (actual) saddle over to Hamlin peak, and came back down the Hamlin trail. It was hard, and a blast.

(2) Scenery is gorgeous, make sure to have a camera and a big memory card. For us, the summit on Katahdin was clouded out, so our pictures on the summit lose a bit of the awe factor.

(3) Bugs. Nats. Flies. Dear god, this was the worst part. They were everywhere. I think they're called "Black Flies" and they were covering us head to toe at the tree line and below. On our early morning start (around 0400) it was fine, but coming back down around lunch time/early afternoon it was miserable with the bugs. If you're sweaty they are even worse. If you can bring any sort of spray or repellant, do it.

(4) We stayed the night at Roaring Brook- so reserved a slot for Friday. Got there Friday late in the day and setup camp. Woke up early, packed up and moved our car about 90 feet to the day lot, then headed out for the trail. This made it easy to get a camp spot (since you're reserving for Friday and not Saturday).
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Re: Katahdin in 2013?

Postby sm0421 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 5:57 pm

Hey man, you can also do a reverse trip. Kathadin is not difficult and knife's edge is really not a knife edge... it's fun and awesome, but really with very limited exposure, the weather can be extremely unpredictable, I've been there 5 times and it rained 5 times...
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Re: Katahdin in 2013?

Postby FloridaMountaineer » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:06 pm

Well flying up tomorrow night with the 14 year old daughter. The weather looks pretty crappy. We will bring our raingear and adapt.

I don't pretend to know all the nuances with Katahdin. My experience is you have to be on the mountain to gain some understanding of it. I can read all I want and it helps a lot........but.
I read Thoreau's prose about climbing the mountain in college and have wanted to go for some time now. We have a roaring brook parking spot. Funny to get a flight and then later try to get a parking spot. Just the way it works.

I guess if it is really crappy It is just a trudge up and down Chimney pond and the saddle. IF it looks like it might hold out, up Helon Taylor and make a decision at Pamola? IF it is bad I think we would do Dudley to Saddle or Cathedral?

Does this make sense? I am obviously disappointed in the weather forecast but it is not the first time I have put a lot of eggs into the basket only to be turned back by the weather. I guess in this case we could at least climb the mountain in the rain.

I would love some input. Thanks in advance.
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Re: Katahdin in 2013?

Postby desainme » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:37 pm

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Re: Katahdin in 2013?

Postby nefarious_1_ » Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:48 am

I'll be up there for a couple days during the week of the 22nd. I've had a campsite reservation I moved a couple times since earlier this year and, hopefully, will finally use it. Can't wait, even with a 9hr drive ahead of me!
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Re: Katahdin in 2013?

Postby FloridaMountaineer » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:04 pm

Well the weather kept me away this weekend. Flight cancelled and it may of been for the best with the Friday/Sauturday forecast.


Need to look at October dates and see if it is in the books for this year. I am thinking the weather would still be fairly nice.
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Re: Katahdin in 2013?

Postby nartreb » Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:14 am

October is often gorgeous, but the rangers tend to close off most or all trails on Katahdin if any snow remains on the ground. Something to keep in mind if you're there primarily to bag a highpoint. Lots of other beautiful trails to choose from.
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