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  1. #1

    Default A winter trip to BSP

    Here is link to a thread on VFTT with some good photos on a winter trip into BSP http://www.vftt.org/forums/showthrea...e-in-deep-snow

    South Brother and Coe are NW of the Baxter Peak sign, there is chain of 4 mountains that run roughly south to north separated from Katahdin by the Klondike.

    The shot with the top of the stop sign peaking out of the snow is good idea on the snow depth. They don't plow the road so that's how much snow is on the ground versus what is piled up by plows. This is down low so the snow depth just increases as they go up the mountains.

    The trails are only trimmed for summer and fall use and since the snow is several feet deep, the hikers are on occasion having a tough time finding the route as they are up in the branches. I noticed in the close up shot of the hikers feet that he had MSR climbing snow shoes on (Denalis), they are designed for packed trails and really aren't great for deep snow. I cant tell if he had the optional tails on them which slightly increase the overall flotation. Few use them as they screw up the balance of the snowshoes. In deep snow trying to go up steep slopes can be a battle. The lead hiker effectively ends up digging a trench down to a dense enough snowpack to get traction. It can be workout and usually the group switches leads frequently. The nice part is when retracing the route downhill it goes much faster as they report. There is possible loop back to the Marston trail but it traverses a bare rock slope that is very prone to avalanches so an out and back was definitely the way to go to avoid it. 30 years ago getting to these summits were much harder as the only trail up was via another steep vertical slide that was also subject to avalanches. At some point the park rerouted the trail away from the slide.

    One thing folks from down south don't factor in is the length of day in winter in Maine. Odds are they had 8 hours at best. Dark to dark hiking and if it is a clear night temps drop 20 to 30 degrees quickly

    The one thing that definitely doesn't line up with recommended practice is breaking up the group at the end of the day. Bad things didn't happen but could. After a long day its really easy for someone to get leg cramps or hypothermia and it rapidly can become an unexpected overnight with only one person who may only be in marginally better condition to try to think through what needs to be done to make the morning. There is no cell service and by the time BSP staff would be able to contacted and mobilized it would be morning.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 04-12-2018 at 11:09.

  2. #2


    This pic from Hikersnger's trip typifies the worst aspect of winter backpacking for me in the Southeast---deep snow and hiking thru "snowdowns"---where the green tunnel collapses onto the trail due to snow weight. There's nothing much harder than crawling along a trail underneath with a 75 lb pack on my back. Plus the trail is often lost because it doesn't exist anymore.


    Beyond all this, I'm really impressed with the quality of his photos---makes my point and shoot look like a piece of junk.

  3. #3
    Registered User
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    Purgatory, Maine


    Little late to the party Peakbagger. https://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/sho...ghlight=Baxter
    Everyone has a photographic memory. Not everyone has film.

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