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

Art Cloutman Art at crystalacresnh.com
Fri Aug 31 08:52:52 CDT 2012

I did not stay in Baxter overnight on October 24th.  I was shuttled 
out of the park then returned on the 25th to complete my last day.

>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


Life is Good!!!
Art Cloutman

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