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  1. #1
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    Default Chairback Gap Lean-to

    Info, questions, comments, experiences (good or bad) regarding -Chairback Gap Lean-to

    Past hikers - what can future hikers expect here? Have any good stories or memories from here?

    Future hikers - any questions?

  2. #2
    Registered User Bob McCaw's Avatar
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    Default Seen better days

    I wasn't too wild about this shelter. It's one of the older ones in Maine, and the floor has become quite tilted. I kept rolling off my Thermarest -- not a desirable state of affairs on a frigid day in May.

    Also, the water source is quite a downhill climb from the shelter. On the plus side, someone actually left a roll of TP in the privy!

  3. #3
    Registered User walkin' wally's Avatar
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    I agree that this shelter has seen better days. It is an old shelter, built in 1954, and I imagine that it has a lot of history. When I was there the floor seemed to be going in about three directions at once. It is not a good place to go wandering around in the dark either with the drop-off in front of the lean-to. There are some nice tentsites nearby just to the west. The trail goes right across the front of the lean-to. Also some nice views from the summit of Chairback Mountain to the north. The Barren-Chairback area is a great hike.
    I always wondered why the shelter was located near such a poor water supply.( just my opinion) In the summer there is sometimes just about an inch of water over mud. While not stagnant, there wasn't much of a flow from the source either, and this was after a rainy spell.
    This lean-to seems to me to be one of the more inaccessable ones on the trail, for maintainers, I believe. Cloud Pond lean-to area has seen much more maintenance than this one. I can't speak for the last couple of years though. I have heard stories of an above average mouse population too.
    I think this lean-to is in Weary's district(?) so he would have better info than me.

  4. #4
    As in "dessert" not "desert"
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    Angry

    I was at this lean-to a few days ago, and it was such a dark and unhappy looking location that I couldn't imagine spending the night there alone. I pressed on for the summit of Chairback Mountain. Now that's a nice place to camp-- it's scenery straight out of a magazine ad! I also couldn't find any water at this lean-to.

  5. #5
    But I believe, yes I believe, I said I believe
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    I passed by this shelter, not that amazing. Typical shelter I suppose. The water source is not all that great. I would reccomend moving on and camping at the East Chairback pond, people have camped there before, very nice pond, very quiet.

    Kirby

  6. #6
    Registered User Pootz's Avatar
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    I stayed at this shelter in September 07 during my thru hike. The water was a down a steep hill but nothing compared to some others on the trail. Over all the shelter was in good condition. The mice were a lot of fun. The mice in the shelters in Main must go through combat trailing. They are afraid of nothing, climb right around the mouse hangers and ruled the shelter. Not sure how many there were but they ate over a pound of GORP out of a friends food bag. I actually was able to pick one up by the tail off of my food bag, I found out that mice can not fly that night.
    Pootz 07

  7. #7
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    We are all tourists to them. Easy pickin's.

  8. #8

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    Chairback Gap is one of my least favorite shelters in Maine and is in the running for least favorite in New England. Unfortunately given the shelter spacing to the North and South and the terrain, it tends to be a "must stop" (for people who want to stay in shelters). The water supply is in no way shape or form a "spring", its the outlet of a bog that the trail goes right through. It beats staying out in the rain during a stormy night but thats about it.


    Definitely a popular place for a southbounder to learn how to uplug a filter. The privy is a LONG walk south from the shelter.

  9. #9
    Registered User weary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    .....The privy is a LONG walk south from the shelter.
    It's the only place we could find that had soils suitable for a privy. When the original pit filled up, three of us moved it a few years ago, digging a new pit and moving the structure 30 feet -- not an easy job, believe me.

    I agree the water supply is marginal at best.

    Weary

    www.matlt.org

  10. #10
    But I believe, yes I believe, I said I believe
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    And there really is only a small area where a shelter could fit, 2 minutes awar from the shelter in either direction it is uphill, nice shelter though.

    Kirby

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by weary View Post
    It's the only place we could find that had soils suitable for a privy. When the original pit filled up, three of us moved it a few years ago, digging a new pit and moving the structure 30 feet -- not an easy job, believe me.

    I agree the water supply is marginal at best.

    Weary

    www.matlt.org
    Weary, just want you to know that after hiking through here, I really appreciate all that you guys do to maintain the trail. Man, how do you manage to do those climbs up and down at your age?!? The boulders wore me out!!! You are awesome!

  12. #12
    Karen
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    was just there this week. The shelter was full with six hikers when my son and i arrived around 6:30, so we set our hammocks up in a very nice area right behind the lean-to. It was cleared out and had a fire ring. Very enjoyable spot, although we did not need water.

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