October 10, 2012

When Old Man Winter Flexes his muscles - Katahdin hikers need to prepare!

The recent passage of a cold front early on Columbus Day left several inches of snow on the Tableland and hiking trails to Baxter Peak.  Hikers during this time of year should realize that climbing Katahdin can be a real winter experience.  Hats, gloves, warm clothing and plently of food and water are a necessity.  Appropriate footwear for snow and ice on steep rocky terrain is also very important.  During the fall months, a set of in-step cramp-ons is a very reasonable addition to your hiking pack on Katahdin.
In some situations, the Park will close trails due to hazardous conditions, but all hikers should remember that the Park is a wilderness.  In this wilderness, you and only you are responsible for your safety.  You should set a turn-around time before you leave the trailhead - your real destination is to get back to your car safely at the end of the day.  Rescue or assistance may take 24 hours or more.
Our Rangers and our website provides excellent information and recommendations on how to have a successful hike.  Listening to these recommendations and making good choices for your own safety are always important, but never more so than in the fall when Old Man Winter flexes his muscles.