View Full Version : 100-Mile Ideal Time

08-04-2011, 10:43 AM
So as not to hijack threads about specific trips (hint), here's my separate question:

If one were to imagine the highest and best environment for crossing the 100-mile Wilderness, at what time of year would this take place?

It seems that doing it in spring or early summer meets with too many bugs, blow-downs and mud, while August loses some of the solitude one might seek, whereas after the October cut-off, it may be difficult to include a weekend tagging the knife-edge and other non-Baxter peaks (gotten there twice now, but still need to finish the ridges & other features).

My guess then is that one may have to split off the end-piece, doing Katahdin separately, and then do the rest of it after the season has closed: fewer bugs; maybe a little company, but not crowds of hustling finishers; hopefully not too much snow yet. Maybe bring a light fishin' rod and go slow? How much of the Hundred Miles are inside the BSP Boundary of Regulation (vs. being able to go when one wants)?

What do the experienced offer for advice? Thinking November, perhaps (if not this November).



08-04-2011, 10:55 AM
24 to 30 hours would be a good time, I think.

Wait, what?

Edit: The HMW starts/finishes at Abol Bridge, just outside the BSP fiefdom.

08-04-2011, 12:19 PM
24 to 30 hours would be a good time, I think.

What the heck are you talking about? I've heard that's impossible.

08-04-2011, 12:37 PM
this is crazy talk.. there's noone headed to the 100-mile wilderness this weekend.

wait.. huh? oh, i mean in november.. noone.. so it would be ideal, cause there would be noone there running.. i mean hiking, it.

08-04-2011, 01:07 PM
<mod hot on>

You guys, let's try to stay on topic here, OK?

David Metsky
08-04-2011, 01:29 PM
<mod hot on>

You guys, let's try to stay on topic here, OK?

Fight the power! Down with The Man!

08-04-2011, 01:49 PM
Oh. Well, then good luck..., and don't forget to write!

Wait a minute: aren't you The Man?

08-10-2011, 08:40 PM
Well, it took closer to 31 hours.

We didn't find it crowded, but then again, we didn't stay in any shelters. Or sleep at all for that matter.


Edit: Aside from a yellow jacket that stung me, the bugs weren't bad at all and there were plenty of water sources.

08-10-2011, 08:57 PM
Holy crap! Strong work.

But especially Thank You for the photos & write-up. Every time I read something on this section, it bumps up on my list a notch or two.

So maybe mid-October to early November? When's the average first hard (bug-killing) frost? Average first foot of snow (at valley-level)? And yes, light-weight, but not that light (those days were over long ago)! And will you loan me your "support"? Will they sherpa all my stuff the whole way?

Thanks for following up, and congratulations!

Did you see a lot of traffic? Good thing you're not allergic to that particular bug, huh?

08-14-2011, 03:40 PM
I hiked it in early August a few years back with three others. There were still a few bugs... but not bad. What I loved about August was that the water was warm and we bathed and/or swam in every river, pond, and waterfall we could find. It really made the trip for me.

That said, I imagine a fall hike would be beautiful... and a whole less crowded than how I found it.

Good luck!

08-15-2011, 08:41 AM
As I recall, the local water there was beautiful, but a touch chilly, not that it mattered. I've also been known to dunk as late as November! Swimming and fishing would be central to the trip. Thanks, just pondering how to fit it in.

No one's ever skied it, have they? My perception is that it's a bit tangled & thick in spots. Could you imagine having a decent track the whole way through there? Now, that would be an interesting time-trial! You could have an A-B-C comparo with the cross-Pemi ski and Upper Works to the Loj. A three-state race!

No, I think the optimal conditions would be after the bugs, in a medium-dry spell, before significant snow, very light, but with gear (not a run!), and two or three other hikers.


08-15-2011, 08:53 AM
I've often thought of skiing it. If anyone ever is so inclined, be sure to let me know.

08-15-2011, 05:23 PM
I've done this twice in September which I feel is the most ideal time. The bugs are gone, the air is cool but you can still take a swim in the ponds. You do run into a lot of thru-hikers who are finishing but I enjoyed their stories.

The Hundred Mile Wilderness starts in Monson, ME and ends on Katahdin. If you are strong backpacker you could do this in five days. The second time I did this I decided to take 10 days and had someone meet me at one of the logging road crossings to re-supply.

08-15-2011, 06:37 PM
I've often thought of skiing it. If anyone ever is so inclined, be sure to let me know.

Guy Waterman and Dan Allen did it pulling sleds, half of them are still alive and might be happy to talk about skiability