Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mt. Katahdin - Baxter Peak, Mt. Katahdin - Hamlin Peak, ME
Trails: Abol Stream Trail, Tote Road, Abol Trail, Hunt Trail, Saddle Trail, Northwest Basin Trail, Baxter Peak Cutoff
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Thursday, December 13, 2018
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Golden Road and parking area at Abol Bridge very icy. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Snow - Packed Powder/Loose Granular, Snow - Unpacked Powder, Snow/Ice - Frozen Granular 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Snowshoes, Light Traction, Traction, Ice Axe, 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: Route from Abol Bridge to Abol Campground is packed down solidly by snow-mobiles and skiing conditions are becoming very difficult (hard to gain traction uphill and breaking on downhill sections). Barebooting seemed like the best choice although skiing was very nice on the flatter sections.

Abol tr was trekked out. We used snowshoes until above tree-line and then switched to crampons. Unconsolidated crusted snow with many rocks protruding. The crust not solid enough and we would break-through frequently even on sections where we could see foot-prints from previous parties. Used ice-axe when descending this section.

On the Tableland we switched back to snowshoes expecting crusted conditions but not solid enough to hold body-weight. Until 1/4 mile beyond Thoreau Spring that seemed like a good call but after that the surfaces got considerably harder and crampons would probably have been a better choice as the risk of punching through diminished.

The Tableland is a like a frozen tundra and you can walk everywhere. Krumholtz sections are covered completely with about 6-12" of the top of the vegetation showing. Many cairns are visible but from 1/4 mile beyond Thoreau Spring until shortly before the Baxter Peak summit we could not pick out a single one. The summit sign is almost completely covered. Same with the trail sign at Thoreau Spring. Note: the descend from Baxter Peak to the Saddle is dangerous. Very hard crusted - almost icy - surface. And the fall-line is very bad when following the trail. We traversed away from the bowl-rim towards the Tableland where the fall-line is considerably better.
Name: LongMark&Andy 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2018-12-15 
Link: http:// 
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