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View Full Version : SOBO's, don't underestimate Katahdin



RITBlake
02-14-2006, 17:34
SOBOs begin their thru hike by first summiting Mt. Katahdin. It is a big mountain and we were unprepared for what lay ahead that day.

So I have some advice esp for sobos. (by the time nobos get here they've pretty much seen and done it all, and know how long it will take to climb K.)

1. Bring plenty of water. 7 or 8 hours of climbing + 2 liters water = mistake

2. Bring plenty of food. The descent off Katahdin is almost as challenging as the ascent. The progress is slow and you really don't want to lose your energy halfway down the Abol or Hunt trail.

3. Give yourself PLENTY of time. Be waiting at the park gates when they open in the morning. Give yourself as much time as possible.

4. Bring deet. The black flies are going to be coming at you full force. It will make the first few miles of your assent much more comfortable.

6. Take plenty of pictures and enjoy the view. It's amazing!

SnakebiteSurvivor
02-15-2006, 05:33
In addition to DEET, it's a good idea to bring a long-sleeved shirt and long trousers. Those black flies aren't much deterred by deet! And a bug net would be a good idea, too.

Actually, you should bring a sweater and warm pants anyhow, since the weather is often very chilly on top, even in summer. But what we did (in June) was to bring just a warm sweater..... it turned out to be both hot and buggy and we were pretty sweaty by the time we got down!!

TJ aka Teej
02-21-2006, 11:01
I'll agree - bring extra clothes for the tableland and summit! In June it can be 30 degress colder on top than it is at the Trailhead. And I'll add - The Ranger has loaner day packs for you to borrow at his cabin (you stash your own backpack on the Ranger's porch). And while you're on the porch sign your very first AT Register! It will still have last year's finishing GAMErs entries - always a good read! If you have time, walk up to the Birches site and check it out.

Barrel Roll
05-22-2006, 11:17
The Ranger has loaner day packs for you to borrow at his cabin (you stash your own backpack on the Ranger's porch).

All really good tips. I made a LOT of mistakes on my first day and am just thankful it didn't end my hike on the first day. First, I hiked up with my full pack, which was 48lbs with water - a false sense of bravado and adrenaline made me over-confident. And I completely underestimated how long it would take me to get down the Hunt Trail (we summitted via the Abol Trail, which is gorgeous as well) - as a result, I ended back in the campground after dark, completely and utterly exhausted and hurting from the climb.

Great tip about the water - just want to add yet another comment of a mistake I made during the early Maine stage of my hike. I was carrying 4 liters of water to start every day, which is an extra 8lbs of weight on your pack. Maine has the most plentiful water in the entire AT - you're constantly passing streams, ponds, and springs. You can really get through all of Maine carrying 1.5-2 liters of water and filling up when you need to, with some exceptions on the longer mountain ranges.

johnny quest
08-02-2008, 19:53
all great advice, thanks

Phreak
08-02-2008, 20:05
Personally, I found Mt. K's difficulty to be overrated IMO. I completed it round-trip in 4 hours 20 minutes last June.

rickb
08-02-2008, 20:16
Dang, you got a good memory!

rafe
08-02-2008, 20:37
Personally, I found Mt. K's difficulty to be overrated IMO. I completed it round-trip in 4 hours 20 minutes last June.

I wouldn't call it "easy" hiking but I do recall the round trip taking far less time than I'd figured. Left the ranger's station around 9 AM on the way up, returned just before 3 PM. I think there was a good deal of adrenaline involved.

Phreak
08-02-2008, 20:47
I wouldn't call it "easy" hiking but I do recall the round trip taking far less time than I'd figured. Left the ranger's station around 9 AM on the way up, returned just before 3 PM. I think there was a good deal of adrenaline involved.
I agree... it's now 'easy' by any stretch, but I heard so many horror stories about its difficulty. So maybe I was prepared for the worse, and it was easier than anticipated.

Lone Wolf
08-02-2008, 21:03
Personally, I found Mt. K's difficulty to be overrated IMO. I completed it round-trip in 4 hours 20 minutes last June.

yeah. it ain't that tough

rickb
08-02-2008, 21:10
Kinda sucked with a full pack.

Lone Wolf
08-02-2008, 21:15
Kinda sucked with a full pack.

for you maybe. 4 times for me was no biggie. course i'm a Marine. different mindset :cool:

Flush2wice
08-02-2008, 21:15
Kinda sucked with a full pack.
I left my pack at the bottom.

rickb
08-02-2008, 21:16
for you maybe. 4 times for me was no biggie. course i'm a Marine. different mindset :cool:

You had 10 days worth of food?

Lone Wolf
08-02-2008, 21:17
I left my pack at the bottom.

i won't say it. :cool:

Lone Wolf
08-02-2008, 21:17
You had 10 days worth of food?

in 98 yeah SOBO

Flush2wice
08-02-2008, 21:17
You had 10 days worth of food?
You took 10 days of food up Katahdin? It's a day hike.

Flush2wice
08-02-2008, 21:18
in 98 yeah SOBO
you too?

Lone Wolf
08-02-2008, 21:21
duh........

splash1986
09-12-2008, 14:22
Be in shape. Not saying you won't make it if your not, but it makes it a lot more enjoyable if you show up in somewhat decent shape to do the climb. Also have good footwear!!!! Can't stress that enough.

Mags
09-12-2008, 15:38
All bravado aside, it is almost 10 miles r/t and over 4000' elev gain.

10 miles r/t is a good day hike. Throw in 4000'+ elev gain and it become a good, stiff hike.

For mere mortals, it is a challenge.

If you are in shape, it is a good challenge.

If you are not in shape (as many thru-hikers starting out seem to be for some reason), it is a difficult and not-so-fun challenge.

Most people can do it, obviously. If you are in shape, it is more fun.

Knox
07-04-2010, 11:22
I know this is an old thread, but I'm confused (future sobo, first time thru)--are these day hikers or thru hikers leaving their packs at the bottom of Katahdin? I figured lugging gear up the mountain would just be part of it...

Slo-go'en
07-04-2010, 11:29
I know this is an old thread, but I'm confused (future sobo, first time thru)--are these day hikers or thru hikers leaving their packs at the bottom of Katahdin? I figured lugging gear up the mountain would just be part of it...

There is no need to lug your full pack to the top, as you have to come right back down again. Why make it any harder then it already is? Just carry enough food/water/clothes to make the round trip.

weary
07-04-2010, 11:55
....are these day hikers or thru hikers leaving their packs at the bottom of Katahdin? I figured lugging gear up the mountain would just be part of it...
The first thing thru hikers need to learn is to not waste energy needlessly. It's a long walk from Katahdin to Springer. Save any surplus energy for exploring side trails to waterfalls and scenic overlooks -- not proving your physical prowess. That's a given if you manage to do the entire 2,175 miles.

If you have any energy left on the way down Katahdin (you won't) take a side trip to the summit of the Owl. It provides a different perspective on one of the great mountains of the east.

Weary

10-K
07-04-2010, 14:06
Took me less than 4.5 hours up and back and I spent about 20 minutes at the sign talking to other hikers...

Anyway, now that I've tooted my horn.... :)

The drill is to leave your regular pack at the ranger station and get a loaner day pack to carry snacks, water, etc..

It was cold when I got to the top but it was wind chill cold - the wind had to be blowing 30-40 mph up there... I could hold my hiking poles by the strap and let it hang loose and the wind would blow it at a 45* angle...

Oh... and you won't really need hiking poles either - they just get in the way.

earlyriser26
07-04-2010, 14:08
I climbed Katahdin in the August of 1978 ( I think). It was about 60 degrees when I strated. 50 and rain half way up. Sleet and snow on top. Be prepared. I was dumb enough to do it in a t-shirt.

Praha4
07-04-2010, 19:01
depending on how many miles/day you hike, you can do many days on the A.T. in GA, NC and TN on the AT and do more than 4,000 net elevation gain.... my question for those who have been there... how difficult was Katahdin compared to a climb like NOBOs face when they climb Roan Mtn?

my other comment is any climb's relative difficulty is very weather dependent... on a hot, humid day with temps in the 90s, a 2,000 ft climb can be an *ss kicker also

10-K
07-04-2010, 19:32
my question for those who have been there... how difficult was Katahdin compared to a climb like NOBOs face when they climb Roan Mtn?


Comparing Roan Mt. to Kathadin is apples and oranges. They're completely different mountains.

Roughly, it's about 5 miles from Kathadin Stream Campground to Baxter Peak. The first mile is very easy. The second mile begins the climb - still typical AT fare. The third mile gets tougher and is basically going up climbing over and around boulders of various sizes. Mile 3.5 to mile 4 looked scary when I first saw it - durn near straight up over more boulders and is the really hard part. Mile 4 to Baxter Peak isn't bad at all after that climb.

Like someone else mentioned I also found it harder going down than up. In fact, my first thought when I got to Baxter Peak was "now I have to get down...".

fiddlehead
07-04-2010, 21:20
Add some variety to you hike.
Go up from Chimney Pond and down the Hunt (AT) trail.

the goat
07-06-2010, 14:28
Add some variety to you hike.
Go up from Chimney Pond and down the Hunt (AT) trail.

abol trail is a nice way up too......steep, but nice.

rsmout
11-17-2010, 13:33
The rangers at Baxter probably know this, but here's a question for serial climbers, with several assumptions:

The Abol Trail appears shorter and starts 200 feet higher than Katahdin Springs Campground (or maybe the ranger station). And it looks a little steeper in the final pitch to the table land.

The Hunt Trail/AT appears longer, with multiple pitches, but that aren't as high as the final pitch on Abol.

The Hunt/AT has several bolder exercises and scrambles. Don't know the trail condition on Abol.

Question(s): For those that have used both trails, which trail was easiest in terms of total energy expenditure (or how many times did you puke going up)? Is it a better strategy to go up the Abol and down the Hunt if you're a SOBO?

mudhead
11-17-2010, 14:25
I found the Hunt Trail easier in your terms. Abol is shorter but took me the same amount of time going up.

I think the Hunt Trail is better for first time climbers. Very slick view when you pop out of the scrubby trees.

weary
11-17-2010, 15:32
Just a couple of thoughts.

Katahdin is hard. Just not as hard as the rumors suggest. Thousands of people climb the mountain annually -- most first time day hikers, family groups, and children as young as six. Very few make the round trip in 4 hours, 20 minutes. I've been on the mountain a score of times, summer and winter. I've never come close to four hours. My first visit was probably my fastest I left Katahdin Stream at 9 a.m. via the Hunt Trail, went down the Saddle Trail and ended at Roaring Brook at 4 p.m. That's a seven hour round trip. Usually I figure on 9 or 10 hours at a comfortable pace.

DEET does work well against black flies, despite the reports to the contrary. It doesn't work mostly for those who don't apply it properly. It needs to be smeared on all exposed skin surfaces. I wear long sleeve shirts and long trousers to avoid having to apply the stuff more broadly than necessary.

The easy way up is to hike into Chimney Pond, camp, and then climb to the top the next morning -- and down the Hunt Trail if one is starting a thru hike.

Weary

The Flatulator
11-29-2010, 12:50
For most people, Katahdin is an all day climb. If you are not use to a straight up climb and are not in decent shape, then you will be hurting, to say the least. Lots of house sized boulders to go up and over and a few iron bars thrown in to make it interesting. Add some serious wind and the climb becomes even more demanding. I tell everyone that the views are breathtaking and so is the climb. Yes...the ranger at Katahdin Stream campground (where the Birches shelters for long distance hikers is located) has loaner daypacks and it is a good idea to use this option. Take your time to enjoy as you'll be hurting for a few days after "doing the mountain". While you are up there, take time to check out the Knife Edge trail at Baxter Peak. You don't have to go out very far to reap the benefits and be impressed with the dropoffs. Nothing else like it on or near the Trail......Phil from Maine

Driver8
11-29-2010, 14:21
Lots of house sized boulders to go up and over and a few iron bars thrown in to make it interesting. Add some serious wind and the climb becomes even more demanding. ... While you are up there, take time to check out the Knife Edge trail at Baxter Peak. You don't have to go out very far to reap the benefits and be impressed with the dropoffs. Nothing else like it on or near the Trail.

Are the iron climbing supports on the Hunt Trail only, or also on the Abol Trail? The Abol looks quite severe. Was any of you who's done it worried about slides or poor footing, given that much of the trail goes through an old slide?

As to the Knife Edge - I'd love to be able to do it, but believe my mild acrophobia might quickly become severe out on it. One thing at a time - Mt. Washington and Franconia first, then the K. ...

mudhead
11-30-2010, 09:48
Are the iron climbing supports on the Hunt Trail only,

Couple of hand holds and foot placement. One spot that you will want to put a knee down on flat granite the first time. Hat or glove under knee helps.



The Abol looks quite severe. Was any of you who's done it worried about slides or poor footing, given that much of the trail goes through an old slide?

Abol has some loose scree and a couple steep stop and look spots that might be a problem if heights make you "swimmy." Not that the Hunt Trail is flat...


As to the Knife Edge - I'd love to be able to do it, but believe my mild acrophobia might quickly become severe out on it. One thing at a time - Mt. Washington and Franconia first, then the K. ...

Pick those off first. If you freeze up with heights, you need to deal with that before you do the Knifedge (easier from Pamola to Baxter as it is uphill.) Easier if you face the rock and don't look past your feet.

Plenty of good hiking out there without looking over the edge and feeling like crap.:)

The Flatulator
11-30-2010, 10:53
The Hunt trail (the AT) does have several iron bars to assit you in pulling yourself up through a gap and over a couple of good sized boulders, but nothing that would make you feel "life threatened". There are a couple of "scary" spots that will make you hunker down if it is windy or if the rock is wet from rain. I have been up and down the trail dozens of times and, admittedly, the first time was the most intimidating. Without a doubt, there is nothing on the entire AT that compares. The Abenaki Indians who lived in the area named the mountain "Kette-Adene", meaning "greatest mountain" and that pretty much sums it up.....The Abol trail is one of those trail I have said I would never do again and, lo and behold, I have descended it six times since, including using it as a way off the mountain upon completion of my third thru-hike this past August. It is a quick way off the mountain and does make for a nice loop hike if you use the Hunt trail to ascend. It is a short walk from Abol campground back to Katahdin Stream campground, making it a nice way to see just that much more of the mountain. The Abol trail utilizes a "slide" which is nothing more than loose rock, gravel and sand over some ledge. Footing is poor and you will definitely "slide" down the mountain in more than a few spots. Not my favorite trail on the mountain, but, again, it is a quick way off and offers some nice views when you stop to look around. The Knife Edge from Baxter Peak is not immediately intimidating. It narrows more towards the Pamola end where it does, indeed, drop off on both sides. If you make it over to Pamola, then you have to deal with the Chimney, which is a deep notch with sheer walls and can be a bit scary on the descent. Not a good trail to take on a windy day, but a nice opportunity to at least experiance a trail like few others.

DapperD
02-04-2011, 21:04
Just a couple of thoughts.

Katahdin is hard. Just not as hard as the rumors suggest. Thousands of people climb the mountain annually -- most first time day hikers, family groups, and children as young as six. Very few make the round trip in 4 hours, 20 minutes. I've been on the mountain a score of times, summer and winter. I've never come close to four hours. My first visit was probably my fastest I left Katahdin Stream at 9 a.m. via the Hunt Trail, went down the Saddle Trail and ended at Roaring Brook at 4 p.m. That's a seven hour round trip. Usually I figure on 9 or 10 hours at a comfortable pace.

DEET does work well against black flies, despite the reports to the contrary. It doesn't work mostly for those who don't apply it properly. It needs to be smeared on all exposed skin surfaces. I wear long sleeve shirts and long trousers to avoid having to apply the stuff more broadly than necessary.

The easy way up is to hike into Chimney Pond, camp, and then climb to the top the next morning -- and down the Hunt Trail if one is starting a thru hike.

WearyThis is interesting and sounds like good advice. I guess if one was to go up to Katahdin by way of Chimney Pond and would at the summit begin their thru-hike by going down the Hunt Trail (which I believe is also the AT) you could take your full pack and all your gear with you, rather then just a daypack with just the basics to only climb Katahdin. Or I guess you could do it with just the lighter daypack, and have someone meet you with your full pack and all your gear at the bottom of the Hunt Trail and continue on with your thru-hike from there:-?.

TJ aka Teej
02-04-2011, 21:11
This is interesting and sounds like good advice. I guess if one was to go up to Katahdin by way of Chimney Pond and would at the summit begin their thru-hike by going down the Hunt Trail (which I believe is also the AT)

One thing to remember is the for MEGAs, the trail to Chimney Pond might not open until mid-June.
And yup, the Hunt Trail is the AT going up from Katahdin Stream Campground.

Andrewsobo
03-26-2012, 17:30
I was planning to start from the north side of Katahdin and bring my from there pack, start the AT at the summit and then go straight onto the trail... what do most people do? i don't understand how you would use a daypack, or why. So basically just climb to the top of the mountain then straight back?

fiddlehead
03-26-2012, 18:50
I was planning to start from the north side of Katahdin and bring my from there pack, start the AT at the summit and then go straight onto the trail... what do most people do? i don't understand how you would use a daypack, or why. So basically just climb to the top of the mountain then straight back?

That's a good idea and what we did in 2001. The climb up from Chimney pond is short but steep. I think it only took us an hour or so.
The walk into Chimney pond from the nearest parking lot (roaring something???) was nice too and we saw 2 moose on the way in.

Have a great hike.

Most people are NOBOer's and they leave their pack at the campground and use a daypack for the colder/exposed weather at the top and then hike back down to the same spot. That's why they call it a dayhike.
Other's go up the AT and down the knife edge which is an awesome hike if the weather is good. (the weather isn't always good in Maine)
That's probably my personal favorite.
But your idea, although not as scenic is probably the easiest physically and you don't have to hike the same trail twice. (even though the scenery is different each way of course)

TJ aka Teej
03-27-2012, 13:22
I was planning to start from the north side of Katahdin and bring my from there pack, start the AT at the summit and then go straight onto the trail... what do most people do? i don't understand how you would use a daypack, or why. So basically just climb to the top of the mountain then straight back?

Most people start form Katahdin Stream, on the west side. They leave their packs on the Ranger's porch and use a daypack he supplies from a bin under the trail register. Then they go up and back down via the Hunt Trail, a 10.4 mile round trip. The up-and-over option from the Roaring Brook trailhead (abt 10.3 via the Saddle trail) with a 10-day food supply in your pack has been done but isn't a recommended way to start a thru-hike. Remember the east side trails won't open for weeks after the trail out of Katahdin Stream.
Hope this helps.

Andrewsobo
03-28-2012, 01:06
Thanks, that helped a lot. I've actually done the hike up Katahdin as a day hike before, so I'm inclined to just get on with the AT and not do the Knife Edge again... I'm slightly afraid of that heights and that trail was definitely scary as hell. Once is enough...

Excell
04-11-2012, 15:58
I don't think I can use the day pack. Even though it is at the start, I feel like hiking my pack up Katahdin is required. If I was doing a Northbound hike I would hike my pack up and to the finish. Without my full pack, it would be like starting out cheating. To each their own though of course, I still believe in hike your own hike. I am training hard to be in the best shape I can be. I look forward to starting early June and hope to see any of you out there.. especially when I am half way up the mountain and recalling all of your advice about the day packs! haha. Motivating slap on the backs are welcome.

weary
04-11-2012, 17:35
I don't think I can use the day pack. Even though it is at the start, I feel like hiking my pack up Katahdin is required. If I was doing a Northbound hike I would hike my pack up and to the finish. Without my full pack, it would be like starting out cheating. To each their own though of course, I still believe in hike your own hike. I am training hard to be in the best shape I can be. I look forward to starting early June and hope to see any of you out there.. especially when I am half way up the mountain and recalling all of your advice about the day packs! haha. Motivating slap on the backs are welcome.
"Required" by who? Even starting a 2,000 plus mile walk is a rare thing among most of us. Actually finishing -- regardless of the how -- is even rarer. Just staying out of automobiles heading north or south is rare enough for most of us. Adding additional challenges to these rarities is just setting oneself up for failure in my opinion, based on 50 years of observations.

BTW the only one who really cares is you. ATC which issues a paper proclaiming your success asks only that you make a serious effort to hike the entire tral before applying. My advice is to make that your primary goal. Then you will be in truly unique company.

mrcoffeect
04-12-2012, 08:45
Thanks, that helped a lot. I've actually done the hike up Katahdin as a day hike before, so I'm inclined to just get on with the AT and not do the Knife Edge again... I'm slightly afraid of that heights and that trail was definitely scary as hell. Once is enough...

Ive been across the knife's edge five times, and it still is not enough.

oldbear
04-12-2012, 09:35
I was planning to start from the north side of Katahdin and bring my from there pack, start the AT at the summit and then go straight onto the trail... what do most people do? i don't understand how you would use a daypack, or why. So basically just climb to the top of the mountain then straight back?
A couple of additional things
The hike up Abol Slide Trail and down the AT is a great hike that keeps you out of the weather for as long as possible and gets you on the AT side of the Mountain
Speaking of weather :
BSP rangers can and do close the mountain for climbing if they judge the weather on it to be dangerous
With that in mind it is highly advisable to have a 3-4 window of opportunity for climbing Katahdin and starting your SOBO

Excell
04-12-2012, 10:14
"Required" by who? Even starting a 2,000 plus mile walk is a rare thing among most of us. Actually finishing -- regardless of the how -- is even rarer. Just staying out of automobiles heading north or south is rare enough for most of us. Adding additional challenges to these rarities is just setting oneself up for failure in my opinion, based on 50 years of observations.

BTW the only one who really cares is you. ATC which issues a paper proclaiming your success asks only that you make a serious effort to hike the entire tral before applying. My advice is to make that your primary goal. Then you will be in truly unique company.


Valid points. There are many obstacles already. haha. I hope the best for those that face these challenges. I will still be hiking up with my pack though.

Slo-go'en
04-12-2012, 13:40
I don't think I can use the day pack.

I think everyone who has ever climbed Katahdin will say "Use the day pack!" Once you get there and up into the near vertical rock scrambles you'll understand why.

mudhead
04-12-2012, 15:10
Ive been across the knife's edge five times, and it still is not enough.
But it is squirrelly the first time.:)


I think everyone who has ever climbed Katahdin will say "Use the day pack!" Once you get there and up into the near vertical rock scrambles you'll understand why.

I always get a charge out of the ones that carry nothing. Then at the summit, a can of Bud comes out of each jacket pocket. How they hike without chapstick is beyond me.

Day pack.

mrcoffeect
04-14-2012, 11:48
But it is squirrelly the first time.:)



I always get a charge out of the ones that carry nothing. Then at the summit, a can of Bud comes out of each jacket pocket. How they hike without chapstick is beyond me.

Day pack.

my third time across i had just a half full gallon jug of water and my hiking stick,piece of cake. But then again im a roofer. I get paid to train for this stuff.(ie carrying 80lb bundles of shingles up ladders and working on the edge two or three stories up all day.


I love my job!

oldbear
04-14-2012, 18:00
andrewsobo
If you want to climb Katahdin from it's east side w/ a full pack and then go down the AT/Hunt Trail you may want to consider using the Hamlin Ridge Trail
Ideallly you should spend the night at Chimney Pond CG But if you get a crack- of- dawn- start ,you can do it from the Roaring Brook CG
http://baxterstateparkauthority.com/pdf/maps/RoaringBrook.pdf

LandonBarnes
04-18-2012, 18:38
Has anybody hiked in the Adirondack High Peaks and can say how Katahdin compares? I've been up about 20 of the High Peaks and I'm just curious how this would compare, especially because it seems like a tough hike.

AngryGerman
09-12-2013, 14:55
Has anybody hiked in the Adirondack High Peaks and can say how Katahdin compares? I've been up about 20 of the High Peaks and I'm just curious how this would compare, especially because it seems like a tough hike.
I am a summer 46er and have 20 bagger in winter conditions so far. You've already hiked some of the toughest mountain terrain in the NE, that being the High Peaks of the Adirondacks. Katahdin will be less surprising but more challenging and equally more beautiful than the High Peaks. Remember, some trails to the summits in the High Peaks are 18 miles round trip and have some nasty ascents and descents. The Knifes Edge made my heart skip a beat for a second; I can only remember one or two spots in the Adi's that made my heart do that. Good luck and don't over analyze the inevitable. You got to get up and down either way!

tanyah
06-23-2014, 21:34
Hi all, I would love some advice about Katahdin. I meant to start my SOBO thru about 7 days ago, but in my training hikes, I suddenly started suffering some foot problems. I went to a podiatrist and was diagnosed with tendonitis that should be fixed after a week or two of rest. I decided to delay my hike by a month to make sure I got some rest in and moved my flight to Maine to July 14.

My question: should I skip Katahdin? As in, is it worth putting my foot through Katahdin at the very beginning? Should I risk hurting my foot again with an intense hike on the very first day? I have been told by a friend who did a SOBO thru a few years ago that it was a highlight of the trip and not to be missed. However, I would rather do the rest of the trail and do Katahdin another year than only do Katahdin and nothing else this year. Thoughts on risks vs. benefits of these options?

TJ aka Teej
06-25-2014, 17:28
Don't skip it. Just be ready to turn around.

tanyah
06-26-2014, 20:53
Don't skip it. Just be ready to turn around.
Sounds like a plan, thanks.

Sly
06-26-2014, 21:58
Hi all, I would love some advice about Katahdin. I meant to start my SOBO thru about 7 days ago, but in my training hikes, I suddenly started suffering some foot problems. I went to a podiatrist and was diagnosed with tendonitis that should be fixed after a week or two of rest. I decided to delay my hike by a month to make sure I got some rest in and moved my flight to Maine to July 14.

My question: should I skip Katahdin? As in, is it worth putting my foot through Katahdin at the very beginning? Should I risk hurting my foot again with an intense hike on the very first day? I have been told by a friend who did a SOBO thru a few years ago that it was a highlight of the trip and not to be missed. However, I would rather do the rest of the trail and do Katahdin another year than only do Katahdin and nothing else this year. Thoughts on risks vs. benefits of these options?


If it were an either/or question I'd say skip it, but it's since it's the most rewarding section of the entire trail, why wait?

rafe
06-27-2014, 07:39
Has anybody hiked in the Adirondack High Peaks and can say how Katahdin compares? I've been up about 20 of the High Peaks and I'm just curious how this would compare, especially because it seems like a tough hike.

Done a fair am't. of hiking in the DAKs and Katahdin a few times though most of that was long ago. It's possible if I tried it now I'd be much more awed by it. As it was: I was young and fit and full of adrenaline and it was a blast.

I'd give a +1 to AngryGerman's response based on my recollection. The bottom third of Hunt trail is routine for a thru-hiker. The last mile or so, on the summit ridge, is nearly flat, also no sweat. (Very similar to Presi traverse.) It's that middle third where you'll be spending most of your time and energy. Very steep, very exposed. Here's a nice account with pictures of a hike up that trail.

http://www.northeasthikes.com/hunt-trail-katahdin-baxter-state-park-maine/

Best done with a day pack, and in that middle third, poles are useless. It's 4100 feet of vertical and 10.4 miles round trip, so plan accordingly. Weather can be all over the map but you already knew that.

Yankee15
08-27-2015, 19:00
Katahdin is weak

rafe
08-27-2015, 20:16
Has anybody hiked in the Adirondack High Peaks and can say how Katahdin compares? I've been up about 20 of the High Peaks and I'm just curious how this would compare, especially because it seems like a tough hike.

I've done a fair number of hikes in the DAKs. Katahdin is pretty special in my opinion. Especially from out-of-the-way sites like Chimney Pond. And of course the Knife Edge.