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Thread: Katahdin Route

  1. #16
    Senior Member Brambor's Avatar
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    I wonder. How is the South Turner trail in the winter? Has anyone tried to skin up and ski down ? Is it skiable without peril? :-)




    Quote Originally Posted by Jay H View Post
    South Turner is a great "little" peak on the east side. Sentinel Mtn is a greal "little" peak on the west side. Both gives you great views of both sides of Katahdin...

    Jay
    Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.

  2. #17
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Its been many years since Ive been to Katahdin. I camped outside the gate and got in line early, the next day. We climbed Pamola peak traversed the knife edge, bagging hamlin and baxter, desended to chimney pond and hiked out, absolutley no problem, so long as your very early both for the gate and the hike. Since then Ive never been back, that park is an epic for red tape, they have taken a beautifull mountain and wrapped in so many logistics its not for me. I tried once to go back and solo the samt route in the winter and they basically laughed at me for even considering it. They also (or used to ) classify thier days weather wise and if its the wrong class restrict treeline travel, which just about does it for me. Other then that good luck, it is one beautifull mountain, but once was enough for me.

  3. #18
    Senior Member MikePS's Avatar
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    Great place, ambitious itenerary, I would second, Bluberry Knoll & South Turner for quick options. Howes give a different perspective on the North&central parts of the park, that adds a lot to what (for me) is a long day. If you can avoid weekends i have had good luck getting lean-tos at Chimney, weekends are difficult expecially for non_Mainers. Good luck and have fun, it is a wonderful place.

  4. #19
    Moderator David Metsky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brambor View Post
    I wonder. How is the South Turner trail in the winter? Has anyone tried to skin up and ski down ? Is it skiable without peril? :-)
    I hiked it in summer and parts of it would be great for skiing, other parts not so much. I don't know how windswept the open pitch up top gets, but there would be some peril involved up there.
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose. -- Dr. Seuss

  5. #20
    Junior Member ADKSherpa's Avatar
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    Unhappy

    Wow! Great responses, thanks for all the help! I'm definitely getting a better idea of this...

    I had heard about the 5PM cutoff time to head in to Chimney Pond but I think if we leave early enough here (5 or 6 am is not unusual for us at all) we should be able to start hiking by 3 or 4...feasible?

    We'll definitely look at adding on another day both for weather purposes and to be able to explore a little more. Sandy Stream Pond sounds really cool and I've heard about Blueberry Knoll from other people but have been unable to determine exactly where it is...guessing the end of the North Basin Trail? Also as an appeal to a few of my other friends, whats the fishing look like up there? Assuming we get Maine licenses, obviously, and have another day to spend, what are the options right around there?

    Finally, we're definitely looking at a midweek trip, or at least starting midweek. Chimney Pond would obviously be ideal but if we tack on another night, maybe we will do Roaring Brook for one. We obviously have better chances getting a place there than Chimney?

    Thanks for all the help, I really appreciate it!

    Ryan

  6. #21
    Senior Member marty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADKSherpa View Post
    I've heard about Blueberry Knoll from other people but have been unable to determine exactly where it is...guessing the end of the North Basin Trail?
    Ryan, you are 100% correct. Blueberry Knoll is a rocky high point at the northern terminus of the North Basin Trail. There may be some herd paths leading into the basin, which probably have some great views, but I have never tried that. Blueberry Knoll also makes a nice detour after descending the Hamlin Ridge Trail.

    Oh, and Chimney Pond is generally gradual and fast hiking, although a bit rocky. You can make good time, but may feel compelled to stop at the Basin Ponds for the scenery.

    Marty
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  7. #22
    Senior Member TJ aka Teej's Avatar
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    Knoll pic, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by ADKSherpa View Post
    Sandy Stream Pond sounds really cool and I've heard about Blueberry Knoll from other people but have been unable to determine exactly where it is...guessing the end of the North Basin Trail?
    Blueberry Knoll is also a short (1.2m?) hike from Chimney Pond.
    Sandy Stream Pond: http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/show...&imageuser=314
    Humorous Sandy stream: http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/show...&imageuser=314
    Blueberry Knoll: http://whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/show...&imageuser=314
    Pick up your feet!

  8. #23
    Senior Member Brambor's Avatar
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    Fishing: Small brookies in roaring Brook. Real fishing off Golden Road west branch of the Penobscott upstream from the bridge of the Big Eddy.

    Sorry for the typos. Typing this on my cell from the bunkhouse at the AT lodge in Millinocket
    Last edited by Brambor; 03-02-2012 at 08:10 PM.
    Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.

  9. #24
    Senior Member Bob Kittredge's Avatar
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    I second Roy's comment about your plans being for too short a stay. For that amount of driving just to get there, the risk of your one day there being ruined by bad weather is just too great. If you possibly can, give yourselves three days in the park to maximize your opportunities. There a tons of great hikes. I found Hamlin Ridge almost as much fun a scramble as was the Knife Edge.

  10. #25
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    One of nice aspects that you will miss out on is the "baxter vibe" if you stay in the park anywhere except the campgrounds at the base of the actual mountain. Once you get away from the big three campgrounds, everything gets far more laid back. The rangers have time to be social and the majority of the folks have been camping in the park for many years. In general its a lot more life in the slow lane (which unfortunately may be a rude shock to some).

    Unfortunately the big three campgrounds and the Togue Pond gate have to deal with a lot of new unprepared hikers frequently and have to assume that everyone is a newbie. They also have to deal with folks who cant understand the rules and expect that just because they drove up on a whim they may not be able to climb the mountain. There is a also an element that are unable to understand that the majority of the park is a wildlife preserve and pets just arent allowed. All of these items tend to contribute to the reputation that Baxter State Park is an unfriendly place. The park long ago was an unregulated place with few rules and the experience was degraded for all, the rules were put in place to try to protect and restore the resource to what it should be

  11. #26
    Senior Member Red Oak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post

    Unfortunately the big three campgrounds and the Togue Pond gate have to deal with a lot of new unprepared hikers frequently and have to assume that everyone is a newbie. They also have to deal with folks who cant understand the rules and expect that just because they drove up on a whim they may not be able to climb the mountain. There is a also an element that are unable to understand that the majority of the park is a wildlife preserve and pets just arent allowed. All of these items tend to contribute to the reputation that Baxter State Park is an unfriendly place. The park long ago was an unregulated place with few rules and the experience was degraded for all, the rules were put in place to try to protect and restore the resource to what it should be
    Very nice way to phrase your thoughts P.B. Both my experiences at baxter were a mixed bag,there is sort of a fascist primitivism about the place but most likely needed to maintain the pristine ecology there.Now that I finished my three peaks up there[2010],I look forward to hitting those more remote areas.It was tough for me because I hate being told what to do,I was also very disappointed with how crowded my baxter hike was[maybe like 150 people!].My campground was like a college frat party,loud! My older dad even went to complain to the ranger,who wanted to be friendly but was done at that point with dumb tourists. One other thought is that baxter is very much set up for maine residents to enjoy[a good reason to become a maine resident].A little tougher for out of staters,just be patient in your trying to get up there,its worth it!
    ne67/n.e.h.h.31/100w

  12. #27
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    Red Oak; you are right on with my 2 experiences @ BSP. One experience was focused on the Traveler loop with a stay at South Branch Pond Campground. The campground was too convenient not to utilize, but it was not he BSP experience that I was looking for. The Traveler loop is one to keep on the bucket list, we hiked it this past August on a Monday and we saw only three other people over the course of our 9 hour hike. This is a beautiful loop with a good percentage of the trail above treeline.
    My other experience was a three day stay (midweek in late July) in a cabin @ Daicey Pond. I will say that the need for reservations and the smaller numbers at the cabin site left a much nicer feel than the larger campground. Further, as it rained for most of this stay, the cabin was a nice respite.
    I would have to say that if I were stuck to a limited amount of time for my first stay in BSP, I would suggest staying somewhere out on the perimeter loop. This choice is all about flexibility; you will have to drive (sometimes a long ride) to most of the trailheads. But, as reservations must be made so far in advance, you never know what will happen and it would be a shame to limit your opportunities on your one chance.
    I too hate following rules, but as I have gotten older, I realize that if I really want something, sometimes I simply have to keep jumping the hurdles that others put in my way.
    Last edited by Lost Dad; 03-05-2012 at 08:51 AM. Reason: correct spelling error

  13. #28
    Senior Member bubba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADKSherpa View Post
    Wow! Great responses, thanks for all the help! I'm definitely getting a better idea of this...
    Ryan
    Welcome! Amazing the kind of knowledge you get from the members here. If you are lucky, you'll get to meet many in the years ahead

    Thanks for the post - because I really don't understand Baxter and figure that pretty soon I'll have to buy a map and re-read this post. You have the same questions that I would have getting ready to take on BSP!
    You only live once... but, if you do it right, once is enough!
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  14. #29
    Senior Member BobC's Avatar
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    Another thing to consider is that sometimes when the weather is questionable, your routes up Katahdin are limited...they could close the Knife Edge for example while leaving other trails open. So consider other routes from Chimney Pond, if it comes to that. A couple of summers ago I did a nice hike starting from Roaring Brook, going up Chimney Pond trail and hitting Hamlin first, then over to Baxter Peak, then doubled back and went down the Saddle trail. You don't get the Knife Edge that way but it's still a great hike. In fact I found the trip up Hamlin - with its many scrambles, and great views over to the Knife Edge - to be the most interesting part of the trip.

  15. #30
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    If Hamlin wasnt attached to Katahdin, it would be worth driving up from southern New england to climb on its own. Its a great circle route from Chimney Pond but if doing it from Roaring Brook it comes at the end of a long day and may not be appreciated as muhc as it should. The Hamlin Ridge trail has a great feel to it on a nice day with two huge glacial basins on either side. The actual top of the ridge is a bit wider than the knifes edge and in general a little less intimidating. I especially like it coming down as it drops out of your view as you descend. About 80% of the trail is exposed above the trees.

    If you catch it at the right time of the season, the blueberries are better than on Helon Taylor trail.

    Thanks for the reminder Michael J.
    I was going to mention the spring near the top but it had been a while since i have been up there. Compared to the other "springs" up on the plateau which tend to be bogs, the Hamlin spring has some flow to it.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 03-06-2012 at 02:40 PM.

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