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Tips for Katahdin

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Tips for Katahdin

Postby beaudittl » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:46 am

Hey everyone, I'm new to SP so hopefully I'm doing this right. I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice/info on Mt. Katahdin. I don't plan on climbing it right away, but saw it on here the other day and thought it looked good. My main question is if i climb it in the summer, do I need special gear (ie: ropes, etc.)? Or can I hike up normally? And is the Knife Edge as bad as some say? Any info is much appreciated. Thanks!!!
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Postby Matt Worster » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:40 am

It's a great hike no matter the route. You've got a little readin' to do, but start in on the Katahdin page here at SP. There are great route descriptions, plenty of photos. I think I've done every possible trail to get to that peak, and they all have their own kind of awesome. Of ever a mountain deserved more than one ascent, it's this one.

Knife's Edge is fine for most people, and fun!

Do read up on parking situations for day hikers. A lot of people have the same idea, and space is limited. There are great alternates: the Brothers, Owl's Head, O-J-I. Doubletop. Get Stephen Clarks's book, a reference I've had since I was 10.

On the other hand, there is a ton a great stuff in the Whites, too :D
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Postby woodsxc » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:03 pm

Knife Edge does have some serious exposure, but it does not require a rope. Katahdin's a great hike in the summer. Bring plenty of water, prepare for a strenuous hike, and use your head. If you do those things, you'll have a great time.
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Postby beaudittl » Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:48 pm

Well thank you guys very much. I've only been climbing for about a year now, but in that time I've done over 30 mountains including seven of the High Peaks and have looked into the Whites. I wanna do the Presi Traverse real bad. Anything challenging and unique (Knife Edge) is what I like.
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Postby Castlereagh » Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:47 pm

Try Huntington Ravine on Washington on a good day. The difficulty is anywhere from Class 3 to Class 5 on smooth NH granite. It's a great climb, and you can descend via Lion's Head or Tuckerman's.

Holt Trail up Cardigan is short but sweet. Pretty good scramble. Just don't do it while it's iced up.
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Postby gwave47 » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:17 am

Do read up on parking situations and quotas. This is very very important. Parking is by far the most "technical" section of Katahdin. In the summer I'd advise getting there about an hour before the gates open. Everything else is cake, there are many easy hiking trails to the top.
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Postby beaudittl » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:20 am

Now when you say class 5 climbing, can you describe that for me? I havne't heard that terminology until recently. I understand the higher the number means steeper but idk what to base that off of.
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Postby Castlereagh » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:37 am

For Huntington you won't need ropes but you shouldn't use it as a descent route either. I honestly don't know what class it is; it'll depend on your exact line on the granite. Regardless of class though along with Knife Edge Katahdin (which I haven't done yet) I think it is one of the few sustained scrambles in New England (without being a straight up rock climbing route), and I found it just as challenging as Pyramid and N Maroon in CO. It's comparable to Old Rag in VA, except with a little more exposure.

I borrowed a few pics from a friend to illustrate below. The pictures are taken near the bottom of Huntington, usually considered the crux, but I found a few sketchy spots higher up too, before topping out.

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Postby beaudittl » Tue Feb 16, 2010 4:10 am

Wow, that looks intense...and like something I wanna do! Thanks for all the info, great help.
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Postby Grampahawk » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:27 pm

try this - http://mainelyhiking.com/trails.cfm. It will give you some route information. A friend and I are going up on April 16 if you want to tag along. You can also go to "meetup.com" and look for "random group of hikers". There are people going out hiking and climbing almost every day in New England.
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