[at-l] trail notes, Crawford Notch, Trip 10

RockDancer rockdancer97 at comcast.net
Wed Aug 29 10:45:36 CDT 2012

Hi all, I've been to the Baxter website and I can't confirm exactly what I'm
going to say. Perhaps someone can point to a reference if they know the
situation to be different. Specifically, Art doesn't mention that there is
an end date even for day use activities. I believe the last official day to
summit Katahdin, under day use rules, is Oct. 31. And that date is of course
subject to the conditions on Katahdin. Also Art states that he stayed
overnight on Oct. 24 and I don't believe this is allowed anymore.

AT hikers & the general public are allowed to sleep in the park up to the
night of Oct. 14. Starting on Oct. 15 and going to Oct. 31 the use of the
park is restricted only to day visitors, whether you are an AT hiker or not.
In 1997 this was not the case and the AT hikers (only the hikers, no
visitors) were allowed to sleep in the park, up to the night of Oct. 30,
only at Katahdin Stream & that "2 shelter thingy" near Daicey Pond.

>From Nov. 1 to Nov. 30 the park is closed to all visitors. The park crew use
the time to cleanup, do maintenance and prepare for the Winter season. Any
visitor to the park is considered an overnight visitor because the park
roads are not plowed. To climb Katahdin you will have to walk or ski
yourself and your gear to an overnight spot.

Dec. 1 starts Winter season and all visitors to the park are now subject to
Winter regulations for overnight stays in the park. 
http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/camping/campgrounds.php shows the
Season dates for the different campgrounds.

Winter regulations are much beyond what a regular thru-hiker would want to
deal with in Baxter SP. See
Going to the summit of Katahdin requires a party of 4, a written special
request permit submitted 2 weeks ahead of time, 2 specified alternate
leaders and the group is subject to gear inspection prior to the start of
the trip. Those not adequately prepared won't be admitted to the park.

So, I agree with Art that a hiker can day-hike Katahdin after Oct. 15,
subject to mountain conditions. But I wanted to clarify that this option
only lasts until Oct.31. In '97 the last of the season's thruhikers summited
on Katahdin, in snow, on a nice day, on Oct. 31. That night, in Millinocket,
it was just a few degrees above zero.

I have heard over the years that at least one hiker has summited Katahdin in
November. He described the terrain on the tableland as pushing through
"waist-deep snow" with high winds. He returned along the Tableland only to
find his footsteps smoothed over and had difficulty finding the trail down.
This hiker snuck in from Abol and returned to Abol to avoid detection and to
then reach Millinocket.


-----Original Message-----
From: Art Cloutman [mailto:Art at crystalacresnh.com] 
Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 9:38 AM
To: RockDancer; at-l at backcountry.net
Subject: Re: [at-l] trail notes, Crawford Notch, Trip 10

Why would they want to flip?  Baxter State Park may be closed to camping
after October 15th but it is open year round to hiking.  I finished on
October 25th.  Was shuttled from the park on the 24th and returned on 25th.
Only 2 other people on Katahdin when I summitted. 
It was perfect.  A dusting of snow on the way up but it had melted on the
return trip.  Temps in the 50's with only a slight breeze and limitless
visibility.  No crowds at the summit to spoil my final day. 
It turned out that conditions in the Whites were more treacherous with snow
and ice.  I think you are correct saying it could be 
tougher to flip in the late hiker season.   Besides, most of the 
Maine section stays at lower altitudes.  Only Katahdin goes above tree line
The Bigelows could be tough in a snow storm. So, don't hike in a snow storm.
With the warming climate chances a very good for successful late season
summit of Katahdin.

Happy Hiking.

>The weather from Aug. 22-25 at Crawford Notch made a liar of me, well 
>sort of. The low pressure area didn't show up and instead we had warm, 
>dry days & cool (to cold) nights for this 10th trail magic. With one 
>hour to go before heading home, a sudden downpour kicked up and doused 
>us, just to let us know it can happen anytime. The nights may have 
>reached low 40's in the early AM on Friday, but Saturday was warmer and 
>Sunday warmer still overnight. The hikers are enjoying the good 
>weather, making miles on the trail, and also signaling how fortunate they
are to have such nice late-August weather.
>57 hikers came through the notch this time, with only 1 SoBo hiker each
>I think I've only seen one hiker on the flip and that was over a week ago.
>Everyone else is on the march North. A few more Germans came by, so 
>10 this season, and one young Frenchman, Timothee, quite young and 
>traveling on his own. GIPCGIRL (Gypsy Girl) came through on her 3rd AT 
>in 3 years, and has also done the PCT thru-hike this year! She still 
>had time to sit, rest & tell stories with us. Cane Cutter is a young 
>guy from Alabama, taught us about the large rabbits down there. Grand 
>Poobah (SoBo) and Ginger Snap
>(NoBo) stayed a night with us, and we stayed up late watching the 
>stars. On Friday afternoon, Rockfish returned from his dayhike on Mt. 
>Washington to spend the night. He's got to be at work in Michigan 
>starting tomorrow
>(Monday) but this trail regular made great use of his short vacation.
>Stitches '99 was helping a lot on this trip & she had to answer LOTS of 
>questions about the CDT and PCT. Clearly those trails are on the minds 
>of many hikers.
>257 hikers so far this year. I'll have one more trip to the notch over 
>Labor Day Weekend. But after that is a bit vague. The back of the pack 
>only has 7 weeks to make it to Katahdin to stay within the Oct. 15 
>date. And it's problematic to flip in the Whites. It'll be nearly as 
>snowy & cold here in November as in Baxter SP. Well, not exactly as bad,
but you get the idea.
>Those "back of the pack" hikers may need to use snowshoes to get 
>through the Whites if they wait too long to flip!
>Arthur D. Gaudet
>RockDancer on the Appalachian Trail
>Rockdancer97 at comcast.net
>at-l mailing list
>at-l at backcountry.net
>Please trim this footer if replying to the list.   Do not send 
>entire digests in your replies.


Life is Good!!!
Art Cloutman

More information about the at-l mailing list