Mount Katahdin Summit Log (#8458)
- Signed By: Jay Meyer
- Date Submitted: February 20, 2002
I led a six member team on this four day winter ascent of Katahdin via Roaring Brook, Chimney Pond and Cathedral Gully. We followed a fairly typical itinerary for a winter trip to this mountain: Day 1, ski from Abol Bridge to Roaring Brook towing sleds loaded with gear; Day 2, ascend from Roaring Brook to Chimney Pond (with mixed equipment: sleds, backpacks, snowshoes and bare boots), and also snowshoeing the Saddle Trail from Chimney Pond to the base of the headwall to pack out the trail and assess our summit route; Day 3, summit day ascending via the Cathedral Gully, a prominent, moderate (approx. 35-40 degree) gully south of the saddle, then descending via the Saddle; Day 4, descend from Chimney Pond to Roaring Brook with sleds or bare boots, then ski out to Abol Bridge. Conditions, particularly at the summit, were excellent (sunny, very little wind). This was a dry winter so there wasn't as much snow as usual, but still plenty (including deep powder and many spruce traps on portions of the Saddle Trail). Extreme caution is merited in ascending or descending any of the gullies on the headwall above Chimney Pond, due to potential avalanche or icefall hazards.
NOTE: Anyone considering a winter trip in Baxter State Park must review the Park Rules very carefully (http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/camping/win_procedures.html). The Baxter State Park Authority strictly enforces these stringent rules, and a considerable amount of planning and organization is required for any winter trip. But take it from me: the view of the South Basin from Chimney Pond makes it all worthwhile!