Easy up and easy down
A little late signing the guestbook. Even more tardy on a second attemp. Kathadin has to be the coolest mountain in the entire east. Based on Cathedral and word-of-mouth, all routes are excellent. From Chimney Pond, the mountain has a very distinct western look to it. As if it's a Rockies transplant. Well worth the early morning arrival for your summit attempt.
I climbed this at age ten. My folks drove our Rambler up to Katahdin Stream, where we heard some old New Yorker driving a Caddy ask road directions for the top. The ranger sputtered a bit and the old guy drove off-but this was before SUVs. We walked up stream past the waterfall. Climbing as a group we were pretty excited to reach the falls of Katahdin Stream. A couple of miles later we reached the boulders and I recollect a bit of vertigo. The Tableland appeared to be at the top of the large boulders- but that was delusional. My father brother and I left my mom and sister to admire the view. My brother raced ahead and proceeded to the spur. He was a good deal ahead of us and my father demanded that he wait. We eventually caught up and finally made it to the Tableland-strolling the last mile to the top. Most startling memory: Pamola looked pretty cool from Monument Peak. We were kind of worn out by the time we rejoined my mom and sister at the big boulders. That evening we crossed two miles of lake on the way home as the sun painted alpen glow on the scene of our adventure.
This is my favorite hike I have ever done as of April 2003. It is nothing short of spectacular! I loved climbing Abol slide and being able to guage approximately how far my party and I had come and how far we still had to go. I started this hike in shorts/t-shirt, but ended up with long pants and a jacket up top where it was somewhat windy. The tableland was nice and it was great reaching the 5267' summit. The hike down the AT(Hunt Trail) was also very impressive. The exposure was fun but not too bad and the boulder fields were and adventure! To top it off the waterfall at Katahdin Stream was brilliant. My party and I made it out just before dark and one of us hitched a ride to our vehiche at the Abol trailhead. WE had wanted to climb from the other side of the mountain but those parking lots had filled up and so we hiked from this Western side. I want to go back again sometime and climb it from the East side and also traverse the Knife Edge!
2,167.1 miles! Now THAT is an approach trail!
What an awesome mountain. Great views on the hike in to Chimney Pond. My buddy Brian did not want to do Cathedral so we split up there and he went up Saddle Trail. I started scrambling up and loved every minute of it. Sign at Chimney Pond Hut said average time up is 3 hours and I made it up in 1 hour 55 minutes. Was great scrambling up about 2000 feet.
When I got to the top there were like a dozen Amish people in bonnets and straw hats and long dresses, etc who had come up an easier route. Was kinda surreal.
Waited about 15 minutes for my buddy to show up and we took some pictures. Storm was blowing in from the west and winds were kicking up so we decided against the Knife Edge. I really wanted to do that route back down but I guess I'll have to come back next year. This peak pretty much put the cap on the end of my climbing season this year and what a great one to end on!
I enjoyed this hike the most of all last summer, including the Huntington Ravine Trail on MT. Washington. It was demanding but not to excessive and the views were great. Hiking the Knife's Edge was an experience that I'll always remember. It is narrow enough to be challenging but I didn't feel it was dangerous as long as one keeps in mind the weather can change dramatically, with little warning, and stay on the trail. You feel as though you are walking on a narrow ribbon of earth, perched high in the sky. Exhilarating is the best word for it and the views all along the hike are great.
Katahdin is simply a great mountain! The Hunt Trail was a nice climb for a 7-year old like me.....then the Cathedral was more challenging. I also walked across the Knife Edge - it is one of these traverses that should not be missed........especially the "Chimney" cleft. Katahdin is my favorite mountain and I am sure that I will come back again to Baxter State Park and its fabulous wilderness scenes.
Katahdin is IMO the most impressive mountain in the Eastern US. My most recent ascent was in 1995 at the end of my AT thru-hike.