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Summer trip to Katahdin?

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Summer trip to Katahdin?

Postby Jaskic » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:53 am

Hello All....

A friend and I are climbing Mt Adams in Washington State in August, and as a bit of personal training and gear prep we've decided to climb Katahdin in early June. It's going to be our first time on the mountain, and our thought is to do it unguided. Given the time of year, we're expecting the weather to be manageable. I wanted to top the collective wisdom of the SP forum to hear from folks who have experience on Katahdin- thoughts on weather prep, gear, best routes, anything else...I'd appreciate anything from the folks who know the mountain.

Thanks!
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Re: Summer trip to Katahdin?

Postby DK » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:08 am

Kathadin is the best hike on the east coast! I highly recommend Cathedral trail up & the Knife Edge! It's the closest thing to west-coast mts we have here. Not sure about June, but early July is black fly season :P
Also expect lots of fun with anal-retentive Baxter park rangers :P There's lots of moose in the park, but not much other wildlife. All in all, Kathadin is a memorable experience. Enjoy!!
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Re: Summer trip to Katahdin?

Postby Jow » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:17 am

I didn't get to see any moose myself but it was one of prettiest hikes I've done around here. The new parking reservation system makes things easier than waking up super early. Doubt u need a guide trails well marked and plenty of people in summer months to keep u company. I went up cathedral down saddle because too windy for knife edge. Cathedral scrambling was more challenging/ fun than I thought. Check my profile for more detailed trip report.
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Re: Summer trip to Katahdin?

Postby nartreb » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:05 am

How early in June? Expect spring conditions - leaves recently emerged, some roads still muddy, chance of flurries above treeline which will cause the rangers to close affected hiking trails for a few hours.

If you have time, visit some of the other peaks nearby - lots of fantastic hiking in Baxter.

Plenty of wildlife in Baxter. There's the moose of course, and bald eagles are relatively common. Various rodents: chipmunks will jump into your car in search of food if you leave the door open for a second. The trick to spotting wildlife is to wake up early and go someplace quiet.
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Re: Summer trip to Katahdin?

Postby Bark Eater » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:47 am

This will give you some feeling for potential summit conditions:
http://www.summitpost.org/katahdin-climbs/766082

June is black fly season.
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Re: Summer trip to Katahdin?

Postby Aguil14 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:36 pm

You're going to love it. As some above mentioned it's truly one of the better hikes in the Northeast. AND!!! My favorite thing about this mountain, as a MA native, is it's name...doesn't get much more naturally Boston-accent sounding than that. I took my caah up to Kataahdin, and paahked it on the side of the road before starting my hike!!!
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Re: Summer trip to Katahdin?

Postby Jaskic » Sat Mar 17, 2012 1:05 am

Thanks all, I appreciate the comments.

Any thoughts on the weather I can expect in early June?
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Re: Summer trip to Katahdin?

Postby desainme » Sat Mar 17, 2012 3:34 am

June is a bit wet in my experience but you should be able to get a good day.
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Re: Summer trip to Katahdin?

Postby splattski » Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:41 pm

I'd think Katahdin would be good training in terms of fitness, but in terms of gear/conditions it is nothing like Mt. Adams.
Here's trip reports of each for comparison, including time on the trail, vert, etc.:

Katahdin in October
http://www.splattski.com/2011/katahdin/index.html

Adams in July
http://www.splattski.com/2006/celebration06/index.html
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Re: Summer trip to Katahdin?

Postby Jaskic » Sat Mar 17, 2012 7:00 pm

@splattski: yeah, the fitness part was the real draw. I know the conditions don't match at all, and few pieces of the gear do as well. Then again, here on the east coast, there aren't a whole lot of options to recreate Mt. Adams! The gear will be the gear...my ability to achieve it, though, is something I can at least to to the test.
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Re: Summer trip to Katahdin?

Postby mountaindan » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:57 am

Since this has been a low snow year the trails should be clear by June. I love katahdin, as a west coast trasnsplant it is the closest mountain to home! You defintely won't need a guide. Last time I was there we had bears in the campground! beautiful setting! Enjoy!
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Re: Summer trip to Katahdin?

Postby Jaskic » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:49 am

Hey All, thanks for the tips. We're getting close and excited for our trip up to Baxter.

We're running into an issue of timing, though, since we can only camp in the designated areas around the base of everything. Assuming an Alpine start on day one (after camping that night), is the peak of Katahdin (and back down) realistically reachable? I will have a six hour drive back to Boston when we'e finished, so we don't want to be on the mountain too late.
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Re: Summer trip to Katahdin?

Postby splattski » Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:09 pm

On Katahdin, we got a late start, went car-to-car in under 6 hours, and then drove to Portsmouth.

To make if quicker to get going in the morning, we stayed at a B & B about 20 minutes outside the park:
http://www.bigmoosecabins.com/index.php

Also, if you have not yet found it, here's a web cam showing current conditions:
http://www.katahdincam.com/
Last edited by splattski on Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Summer trip to Katahdin?

Postby PackLightPaul » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:02 pm

Blackfly's were so bad in late May the last time I was there! Buy a $.99 bug headnet, you'll thank me later for it. Also I'd reserve your campsite asap they fill up fast.
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