View Full Version : Thruhiker Stats from Katahdin

TJ aka Teej
11-20-2003, 17:21
Here's the season ending AT hiker stats that were collected by the Baxter Park Rangers at Katahdin Stream Campground.
After 10/20/03 there were few rangers around to collect data, they move on to other tasks after the overnight camping season ends on October 15th. So few AT hikers finishing after this date were counted. The number of AT hikers is definitely higher than the data shows, because not all hikers check in with the Ranger when they get to Katahdin. The last thruhiker the Ranger says he spoke with was on 11/01.

Total for the year 1114+.
These numbers seem down from last year.

11-20-2003, 20:43
These numbers seem down from last year.

RAIN. Lots of it. Still happening too

11-20-2003, 21:46
Good point A-Train, too much rain can certainly dampen ones spirits. Bet it sure felt great when the sun finally came out.


12-09-2003, 16:35
We summited on October 31, having had to wait a week for snow to melt and the Powers that Be to OK our summit. In that week nobody else rolled into Millinocket or Baxter. From October 15 to when we got to Baxter on the 23 there were only 3 or 4 thru-hikers that signed in at Baxter. That really surprised me, because I was under the impression that there were always stragglers like us.

And they didn't think anyone else was behind us: Shaw's hadn't seen anyone, and the river fording was a bear. If someone came behind us - and crossed those rain-swollen rivers AFTER the snow melt - then my hat is off to them. Fording in cold waist deep water at speed is not something I care to try again.

Didn't see many flip-floppers coming south through the wilderness either, which surprised me.

TJ aka Teej
12-09-2003, 20:21
We summited on October 31, having had to wait a week for snow to melt and the Powers that Be to OK our summit.
Hiyas Rumbler,
Congrats, what was the weather like while you were waiting, and on your summit day?

12-09-2003, 22:40
TJ - We had some cold weather and a few days of snow coming into Baxter. Temperatures around October 20 dropped close to twenty degrees. The folks at White House Landing - whom we had called from Shaws to let them know we were coming - figured that, since we lost time to snow, we must not be coming because the weather and the crossings were so poor and they closed down the guest quarters for the season. Which led to the strange scene of me standing across from their house with no food yelling "Hellooo!". Fortunately they heard us and reopended for the night. We didn't even see Katahdin until we were about 30 miles from it. As we walked across Abol bridge the top half of the mountain was snowbound. Quite a site if we weren't trying to figure out how to climb the darn thing.

The next few days were cool but nice. A bit of rain, but we were able to hike up to the base of the mountain - although due to the rain the fords in the park were unpassable. I mean unpassable, very deep white water. After eyeballing the map we finally chose to 4-wheel it along the river (along an overgrowing trail whose fading blazes had us assuming that it until recently had been the AT) until the trail crossed back half a mile or so on up. I have some impressive pictures if I can figure out how to get them posted.

The weather warmed quite a bit about October 26, and a hard rain managed to sweep most of the snow off the mountain. The park powers that be still would not let us go, saying that cuts in the trail were too flooded to cross. Finally, on October 28 the park service said they would let us go up on either Oct 30 or 31, our choice. We went on the 31st, which ended up being an extraordinary day.

They requested that we go up and back down on the Abol trail, as it was the steepest trail on Katahdin and most likely to be free of rushing snowmelt. The temperature was in the fifties, dropping to the thirties by the time we reached the summit. When we hit the summit it was very artic, with ice covering both rocks and signs. When we left after 30 minutes all of the ice had already melted. An amazing day, probably the best visibility I had on any peak on the trip.

The thing about most of the weather the last three weeks of October was all of the rain, which complicated the fording tremendously. Going into Monson the crossings were waist deep and 20 yards wide. And frigging cold! A father/daughter combo in front of us literally got washed downstream. We hunkered down for a day, then went into Monson. Even leaving Monson 3 days later was difficult, and we were very fortunate to find a fallen tree traversing the first swollen river whose name escapes me for the moment.

All of it made up for by three spectacularly warm days and an absolutely perfect day on Halloween.