10 comments on “Katahdin, The Greatest Mountain

  1. If you ever get the chance, climb Katahdin in the dark for a sunrise. That’s how we ended our thru-hike and it was epic. And anytime I look back at anyone’s daytime photos I just about faint at what we did at night.

    • Haha! I love it. Hiking up in the dark does seem a bit terrifying 🙂 Actually, when I finished my through-hike, I waited until sunrise before hiking because I was with a bunch of family members. The six through-hikers who finished the 100 Mile Wilderness with me went up for sunrise, but it was raining hard, with sleet and gusting wind, so they didn’t have a sunrise at all. Climbing in the dark with a rainstorm seemed even crazier. They had a good time, though.

      • Hoping for some wet weather wisdom from you, since most of my backpacking has been dry weather. Poncho? pack comer? just rain jacket? pants? Umbrella? I Will be backpacking in glacier and need ready access to bear spray too. thanks

        • Oh wow… That’s a question that can take a lifetime to answer. I’ve found that there is no perfect way to hike in the rain, and no rain gear is quite perfect. I tried an umbrella earlier this summer, but it was a definite no (love it in town, though). I’ve never tried ponchos. Lots of people love pack covers, although I’m more a fan of using a trash compactor bag and several small dry bags inside the pack to keep things dry. A decent rain jacket and sometimes rain pants (for colder areas) is really the most tried and true way to go, although hiking for a while in steady rain, even if it’s not very hard rain, will eventually get you wet anyway.

          I’ve found that the best way to deal with lots of rain is to either wait it out in a sheltered space (tent, under a tree if there’s no risk of lightning, etc.), or hike slower and just learn to enjoy the inclement weather. There are a lot of things about wet weather that can be a drag, but if you adapt to the situation, there are also many things that are uniquely positive– the smell of a wet forest, the vegetation (especially moss and flowers) getting more vibrant, the mist traveling around the mountains. Just remember to take some time in the sun when it comes out in order to dry out things that got wet, like your tent, rain gear, and especially feet.

  2. Nice report. I particularly like your description of the Hunt trail – still the hardest hike I’ve done. Last month we did Saddle trail up to Baxter and then over to Hamlin Peak and down beautiful Hamlin Ridge trail, less hard than the Hunt trail (all trails up Katahdin are challenging). Chimney Pond and the cirque are breathtaking – we stayed at the campground just to secure parking at Roaring Brook but were glad we had a 3.3 mile headstart on summit day.

    • I agree that there are no easy trails up that mountain 🙂

      Actually, I’ve never climbed from the east, but the next time I go to Katahdin I would love to camp at Chimney Pond. It really is breathtaking from the summit, and I can only imagine what it’s like to camp there. I’m working on plans for next summer to take a trip to lots of places in the park that I’ve never been, and Chimney Pond is at the top of that list!

  3. Nice report. I found Katahdin to be a very difficult day hike! I went up Abol and down Hunt, and it took me so long I started worrying about sunset. Those steep scrambles scared me to death and took me forever. It was very beautiful, though, and I loved how remote it was.

    • I agree. Day-hiking Katahdin is a serious undertaking. I think hiking the entire AT is the best way to get ready for the day-hike, but I’ve only been able to do that the one time 🙂

      • Ha ha–that must have been amazing! Many years ago, I aspired to that, but those days are behind me. I managed the tiny Connecticut section once, and I still enjoy short hikes.

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