Katahdin – not for the faint of heart.
Mount Katahdin is the highest peak in Maine. It doesn’t take long before you’re well above the tree line over looking some of the most beautiful views on the East Coast. I had the pleasure of hiking alongside 12 other young professionals who, much like myself, were looking to escape the overwhelming work life of a twenty-something.
The peak is reached using a combination of trails. We decided on the following Chimney Pond to Cathedral Trail to Baxter Peak (5,270 ft) across Knife’s Edge to Pamola Peak down Helon Taylor Trail. We completed the trail (with numerous breaks) in 8 hours.
Few tips from experience:
- Pack a day pack – I recommend the smallest pack possible with two shoulder straps. Learn from my mistake and don’t bother with a cross body. When you’re bending over and twisting yourself, the last thing you need is your pack swinging around you and ending up at your front. Bring the following:
- Wind breaker – It is extremely windy at the peak.
- Water – Camelbacks are recommended for this one!
- Snacks – Granola bars, something sweet and something heavy (sandwich!)
- Whistle – Hopefully you’ll never need to use it, but keep one attached to the outside of your pack.
- Coordinate an emergency plan – There is no cell reception at all anywhere around the mountain. If you’re going in a group, have a few “regroup” points along the trail with time periods. We waited an hour at the summit for two people. They ended up taking a different trail because of an injury. Which leads to my third recommendation,
- Make friends with the hikers around you – The only reason we knew that our friends were okay was because of a couple who relayed a message after they passed our friends. No one is sketchy on the mountain. Talk to fellow hikers – they may help you down the line.
- Take a small camera – Unless you’re a professional photographer and master climber, you don’t need your DLSR. There are too many things that you need to pay attention to when you’re climbing Katahdin. Take the view in and store them in your memory – a picture won’t do it justice anyway.
- Good Shoes – this goes without saying. I was happy I had hard soled shoes – there are a lot of jagged rocks!
Have a great climb!