New Hampshire
Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Katahdin - Hamlin Peak, Mt. Katahdin - Baxter Peak, ME
Trails: Ski trails, Tote Road, Abol Slide Trail, Cuttoff to Saddle Trail, Saddle Trail, snowfields, Saddle Trail, Hunt Trail, Abol Slide Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, January 21, 2017
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: plenty 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Ice - Breakable Crust, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular, Snow - Wet/Sticky, Snow - Spring Snow 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction, Traction, Skis 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes:  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes:  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes:  
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: Started from Golden Road at 6am. Golden Road has some ice and ruts but for a dirt road in winter conditions
I found it not to bad.

I thought I remembered a bridge that you had to go over but the start is directly across from the winter lot.
I took my first left went through a snowmobile parking lot and then got onto a snowmobile track. I followed
the track and signs to Abol Stream and then up the tote road to Abol Camping area. I noted to myself that it
was going to be a nice ski out as a lot of the road is downhill on the return.

Left my skis and boots at one of the shelters switched to micros. There was 2+/- inches of new snow.
Switched to snowshoes about 3/4 mile up as there was a lot of post holing and I was not getting good grip.

I decided to go up the slide. There was a fair amount of ice under the snow, about 1/2 way up the slide
switched to full crampons. They won't seem to work with a not hard boot and fell off 15 steps up so went with
old faithful Kahtoola trail crampons. There were a little undersized. Had to toe in, in many places but
falling was not an option. Used the rock and harder surfaces, there was lots of balling in the thicker snow and made
my way up to the lip.

Winds picked up but were not bad for this area headed to Thoreau Spings and then the cutoff to Saddle
trail. The wind was blowing fog over the table lands and saddle area and it would open and close. Down
Saddletrail was ice, but hit spruce traps and put my snowshoes on up to Hamlin. Met 4 guys coming up
from the saddle who were staying at Chimney Pond. They asked if Hamlin Ridge was an easier way down.
I've only come up it but said "I don't think so". Continued back up Saddle trail to Baxter and met two
other climbers coming down who were also at Chimney.

Snow fields going up were great and very solid and used them to zig zag my way up. Baxter seemed very
lonely compared to the times Wayne and I had been there in the fall. I headed back down to Thoreau Springs
hoping the fog would hold off until I got to the sign. I found Cairns but the fog built. Luckily I stopped
and waited the fog cleared and was very glad to see the sign and my way back to the lip.

The sun had heated the new snow into a stick mess and underneath was a very hard crust. I tried going down
forwards a couple of times and went into slides, which I was able to stop. I then down climbed 4/5 of the area
using my poles as an anchor and backing down until I got to the top of the old slide trail (all I could
think of was a cow backing out of a trailer) it was slow and wet but effective.

I traversed over to the "new" trail there were good blue blazes and I worked my way down the same way.
The blue blazes ran out and I had to try to figure where to pick up the trail. I got to far left and then
came back but eventually picked it up. after that easy street down to Abol Campground and out.

Several large groups coming in for the next day.  
Name: Little Brown Mushroom 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2017-01-22 
Link: http:// 
Bookmark and Share Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.

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