Katahdin Winter Ascent

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 45.90458°N / 68.92204°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Feb 24, 2008
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Winter


3 miles (almost entirely uphill) from Golden Rd to Abol campground

3.8 miles from Abol campground to Baxter peak = (2 miles of uphill wooded trail + 0.8 miles of rock slides [Abol slide] + 1 mile of tableland)
3.8 miles from Baxter peak to Abol campground
3 miles from Abol campground to Golden Rd

Weather Conditions

Saturday: sunny, big cloud on top of katahdin, upper 20s

Sunday morning: sunny, clear sky, upper 20s

Sunday at tableland: 40-50mph winds with 60mph gusts

Sunday at summit: 50-60mph winds with 70mph gusts

Sunday after summit: upper 30s (snow melting and sticking to crampons)


Saturday = instant mashed potatoes + chicken with sautéed veggies and thai peanut sauce

Sunday = oatmeal + pop-tarts

Lunch = summer sausage + clif bars + snickers bar (made me nauseous on Sunday) + white cheddar cheese

Packed/Brought Items

(*didn’t use) (†daypack) (◊never packed)

Sleeping bag (-20F)
Fleece vest*†
Fleece hooded sweatshirt†
Orange/blue postal jacket*†
Double plastic mountaineering boots
Ice ax†
Nalgene bottle†
5 pairs of socks (used 4 pair)† (◊2 pair)
ski boots
X-C skis
Ski poles
climbing helmet†
sleeping pad
BSP map*†
Fruit snacks (2) †
Athletic tape†
Fleece gloves†
Black polyester gloves†
Burton oven mittens†
Gore-tex bibs
Fleece pants◊
Burton long johns◊
EB shell jacket◊
Long-sleeve cold under armour shirt◊
Short-sleeve warm under armour shirt◊
Fleece hat◊
Synthetic balaclava
Neoprene facemask
Ski goggles◊
Synthetic liner gloves

Miscellaneous Notes

Skied up the tote road for almost all of the 3 miles; very steep in places
Made a 4-person snow cave at abol campground; 6ft tall, 8-9ft diameter; took 3-4hrs to complete
Took a long time to get to sleep and didn’t sleep well because of the cold, even with the snow cave

Made it from abol to summit (2 miles of snowshoeing + 0.8 miles of rock scrambling + 1 mile of high wind exposure) in 5hrs
Left abol campground at 6am, returned to van (10.6 miles round-trip) before sunset @ 5:14
2 miles of snowshoeing was the most difficult leg of the trip; 1 person turned back to camp during the snowshoeing
One person lost a glove and a nalgene bottle down the mountain at the summit
I lost an empty Gatorade bottle down abol slide
Snickers bar + eating snow with waxy mittens = nauseous
Best possible weather conditions for winter ascent of the summit; extremely small (2-3 days) window for opportunity
Should have had ski poles for the climb up from abol campground
Coming down abol slide was very tricky and we had to zig-zag down most of it because of the steepness
Took off crampons at tree line and didn’t use snowshoes for the hike down


South Peak

Looking Down to Chimney Pond

West Side of South Basin

Tired but Rewarded

Me at the Sign

At the Summit

The Last Photo


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rasgoat - Mar 18, 2008 7:46 pm - Hasn't voted


You really had some splendid weather! great luck!



ljbailey - Nov 22, 2012 12:20 am - Voted 7/10

easiest route?

was abol the easiest route in the winter?

Viewing: 1-2 of 2