Abol route, in the clouds
Made a cirque hike out of it, up Helon/Knife down to saddle, up to Hamlin down Hamlin ridge. 11.2 miles over 4000 vertical gain. Not crowded. Baxter rules are a pain, but they sure do make the hike more enjoyable by not allowing crowds.
Didn't do nearly as much research as I usually do for peaks, expecting that there would be detailed maps at the trailhead showing the different route options (there aren't). Also expected that there would be a pump to fill up bottles/bladders at Roaring Brook since it's a campground (there isn't) and it definitely slowed us down having to filter water from the stream before starting. But, hit the trail at about 8am, made it up to Pamola by about 11 with some food and photo stops, and a slow climb up the Knife Edge (descent from Pamola and up Chimney seems like class III+ to me) - about 4.25hrs to summit minus the food stops.
Spent about an hour at the summit, and took the Saddle Trail down since it sounded easier than Cathedral, but it's by no means easy! Steep and loose along the gully at the top, and then just a lot of rocks. Big rocks, small rocks, not too many loose rocks, but rocks rocks rocks. Any bits of actual dirt trail were rare. Got to Chimney Pond, had to break to filter more water and eat, and took on the long final 3.3-mile slog back to Roaring Brook, which was more rocks rocks rocks.
As someone from the west, I'm used to many approach trails being mixed dirt and rock and fairly quick to blaze through. But this...even the flatter sections down from Chimney were like walking on a dry stream bed. The miles are long and the footing takes focus. Got back to the car at 5:30, and the final consensus was that while we were definitely not expecting it to be that hard, we were perfectly prepared for it what with prior experience/poles/climbing gloves/water filter etc. Final description can be summed up as rocks rocks rocks rocks summit rocks rocks rocks.
Reserved site at Abol Campground. Went up Abol trail. Lower part of trail was in great shape. We were surprised how sustained the scrambling was above treeline. Thought coming down Hunt, the AT would be easier. It wasn't! Just as much if not more scrambling. The trail was more eroded below treeline. The bugs were obnoxious at the trailhead. There was no relaxing afterwards. Just fleeing from the onslaught.
Made it to the summit and then chased by storms on the descent.
Very tough for a day hike, especially if you take Cathedral route which has some scary scrambling to it. Do not recommend this route for anyone that has no familiarity with rock climbing; instead take the saddle route.
Great day with great friends. Climbed the Armadillo with Cletus and Alex. Was pretty chilly in the morning, but it warmed up enough after the first pitch and soon we were on the summit. State highpoint #37. No wind, clear skies, perfect. A long awaited outing. 9 hrs 45 mins car to car from Roaring Brook.
First summit in 2011 was prior to new mandatory permit regulations, 2nd summit was on 7/18/2017 during my thru of AT and I needed permit, horrible camping situation if you didn't reserve way ahead
Definitely one of my favourite hikes of all times, will be going back! [Approximate Date]
Date approximate. Joined Arlene Blum and two others. The park requirements for climbing were horrendous (requiring a physician's certificate like the old requirements for climbing Denali in Alaska).
Went up the Hunt Trail, down Abol. This was the conclusion of hiking the 100 Mile Wilderness for us, and what a conclusion it was. The only clouds we saw on the way up were condensing above the peak itself, like the ancient volcano that it isn't. Views from the top were unforgettable. We brought coats and raingear - should have brought sunscreen.
Hiked w/ Amy up and down the Abol Trail. We got a glimpse of the lower mountain on the way, then more clouds roiled on and we had no more views the entire hike. Still a fun outing. Lots of humidity for us westerners!
Great day to hike this one except for a drenching thunder and lightning storm that rolled through shortly after noon. I was near the large rock slab shelter/cave that can be found along the Hunt Trail and avoided the drenching downpour that lasted about 30 minutes.
Spent the night at Roaring Brook Campground, then headed up first thing in the morning via Helon Taylor and the Knife Edge. The weather was beautiful all the way up: sunny and blue with next to no winds. For someone used to Eastern peaks, the exposure and scrambling was a little intense (particularly in the Chimney just below Pamola Peak--if that wasn't class 4, I don't want to know what is), but I made it to the summit in decent time and descended via the Saddle Trail (the round-trip took a little over seven hours). This was the last of the major Northeastern high points for me--only RI's Jerimoth Hill to go.
One of my favorite hikes of all time. Did the Hamlin Peak/Baxter Peak/Knife Edge loop from the campground. What a great day!
Good times with four good friends...quite crowded...fun scramble, long descent
Definitely the best hike I've done on the East Coast. Hiked up the Saddle Pass Trail and down the knife edge. Fun hike and nice to finally find a mountain above the ridgeline east of the Mississippi.
The hike took right around 9 hours flat. We went up Saddle, then went across the Knife Edge and down Helon-Taylor. Took 2 small breaks: the first at the Chimney Pond view right by the water and the second at the summit to make and enjoy a Mountain House meal. We were encompassed by clouds soon after heading up Saddle and all the way until about a third into our decent down Helon-Taylor.
We went up Helon Taylor to Knife Edge, down the Saddle Trail and back to Roaring Brook. There was rime ice all along the Knife Edge, and the weather was great. We took a very leisurely pace and did the loop in about 8 hours. The authorities were out in force, no thanks to Scott Jurek, but were not particularly helpful.