View Full Version : Question RE: Katahdin's Knife Edge

Buster Brown
06-07-2005, 05:51 AM
I am planning a trip to Katahdin for August this year. I'm looking for any help in finding a trail that's comparable (I know there's NONE as exposed as the K.E. is) to the Edge so that way I can get used to the sheer exposure that the Edge will pose. Preferably a trail in the Whites since I will be going there in a few weeks. Is Huntington Ravine the best bet?

Thanks for any and all advice/help!

Good and safe hiking to all!

06-07-2005, 05:57 AM
I would advise Huntington Ravine for sure. It is quite exposed but climbing is easy enough to make it enjoyable. I am headed up Huntingtion soon for High Sierra prep. If you are very new to exposure I would advise Jefferson via Caps Ridge its a walk in the park.

06-07-2005, 05:57 AM
The only official trail I know that has greater exposure than the Knife's Edge is Angel's Landing in Zion. But I don't think that is going to help you.

Bob Kittredge
06-07-2005, 07:07 AM
There are a couple of scrambles at the Pamola end of the Knife Edge which are comparable to those in Huntington Ravine. It's still just simple, non-technical rock climbing, though a slip could conceivably kill you.

The rest of the Knife Edge is just rock hopping such as you find in the northern presidentials. If you slip, you'll fall 3 feet onto rough rocks and get banged up, but you won't plummet to your death. Jefferson or Adams would be good training for this part.

Here are some pics from our foray last July: Baxter pics (http://home.comcast.net/~bobkittredge/)

06-07-2005, 07:10 AM
As you mentioned, there really isn't a true equivalent of the Knife Edge in the Whites (not that I know of anyway). You may want to consider inching yourself closer to the more "terrifying" drop-offs in the Whites and look down (Bondcliff comes to mind) in an effort to deal with vertigo. Just a thought.

Hiking the Knife Edge is truly an unforgettable experience. Best of luck! :)

06-07-2005, 10:43 AM
I would suggest the Air Line below Madison Hut, yes it's not as bad as the Pamola Knife Edge but that's what you wanted :-)

Note that the steepest part of Pamola Knife Edge is the gully between Pamola and Chimney Peak, there is not much exposure but the trail is very steep so practice on a boulder somewhere. The Knife Edge itself is not as hard but has real exposure.

Mike P.
06-07-2005, 11:48 AM
Knife edge except for in & out of the chimney is a somewhat level walk on rock shards with big drop on both sides. Standing on edge of Bondcliff, Airline Trail offer closest thing. Huntington has exposure but it's more in line of slip & fall back/down & you routinuely have three of four points of contact with the ground.

Different types of exposure.

06-07-2005, 12:04 PM
The trap dike on Mt. Colden in the Adirondacks is supposed to be fairly exposed. If you like slide climbing, the dax have much to offer.


Buster Brown
06-07-2005, 03:18 PM
Thanks for all your info folks! Done Caps Ridge 2 years ago and it really is a great trail. Haven't tried Air Line or any trails in the ADKs. I did Cathedral, Saddle and Hamlin last year when I went to Baxter. Those weren't too bad. I have made plans to do the Hunt/Abol as well as Dudley/Knife Edge/Saddle this summer. Baxter is so awesome. Looking to see some deer this year....had 2 moose sleep outside my bunkhouse at Chimney Pond last July.

Happy hiking and safe trips to all!

06-07-2005, 03:26 PM
If you go to the Adks, you could try the Great Slide on the West Side of East Dix (Grace). But instead of taking the herdpath partway up the slide, head straight up and on top of the "nub". Some good exposure, but also nice firm (relatively) wide ledges to stand on. Attached is a photo of me ascending...

Mad Townie
06-08-2005, 08:31 AM
If you've climbed the Cathedral Trail, the Knife Edge shouldn't bother you. Sure it's more exposed, but it's a fairly secure kind of exposure (whatever that means!!!) due to the width of the "edge" itself in most places.

Hey, I've seen people on the Knife Edge in sneakers and, in one case, loafers. :eek:

06-08-2005, 08:57 AM

Those are some really nice pictures in your link.


06-08-2005, 09:03 AM
Baxter is so awesome. Looking to see some deer this year....had 2 moose sleep outside my bunkhouse at Chimney Pond last July.

Happy hiking and safe trips to all!

Did one of them look like this guy?
I took this picture right behind the bunkhouse last August. He slept out on the lawn in front of the bunkhouse one night.