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Brother, we are ready, willing, and Abol! 11/1/17

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  • Brother, we are ready, willing, and Abol! 11/1/17

    Little Brown Mushroom needed the Baxter 4Ks for Nov, and I needed to get out on a hike of substance. We met up in Millinocket and headed to the gate to await opening. We signed in at 6:20 and headed up the Abol slide trail. There was a lot of water flowing in the trail lower down but careful foot placement kept us mostly dry. The rerouted trail is in great shape and other than a few branches down low took no damage from the storm. Things got pretty frosty once we popped out of the woods. Layered up. Just before we topped out onto the Tablelands we added additional gear. Everything up top was frosted with a light covering of rime and snow. With the white visuals and a wind chill around zero it felt a lot like Winter. Visibility was good and we soaked in the beauty of The park and took some pics. Things were a bit slippery but not bad as we tagged Baxter peak and headed over to Hamlin. We shot a heading to use if needed on visits later this winter. The descent was uneventful. We headed up the tote road to the Marston trailhead dodging and hitting lots of small branches (cue the foreboding music). Though my body told me to stay in the car and wait, Steve cracked the whip and got us back on the trail by one. The Marston trail took a fair amount of wind damage from the storm. We spent the whole trip throwing and dragging what we could off the trail. In addition there are probably a couple dozen blowdowns requiring some scrambling, stooping, and a couple of workarounds. We reported the status to the ranger and hopefully it will get cut out before Winter but time will tell.... The water crossings required stepping on some partially submerged rocks but pretty easy. Several large areas had flooded in and required good balance and a tree or two to work past. We opened up whatever drainage we could. The upper section was pretty much just walking up a stream. It sounds like it will stay like this til a possible reroute a few years off. We did more trail work on the way out and were happy to return to the car without headlamps. After the long ride out we hit the Scoodic for some much needed sustenance. My body was telling me that I am not at peak fitness these days. Thanks to Steve for dragging me out on this great adventure. Our next visits to Baxter will have slightly longer approaches!

  • #2
    Nice outing (you guys are fast!) - and thanks for working on the N Bro approach, that trail needs constant attention

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    • #3
      Great trip for this time of year. You guys are SOMETHING!!! I know how it feels psychologically to be heading from Baxter to Hamlin, and only thinking about getting back across the Tablelands to Abol. Glad the weather cooperated. I wouldn't mind getting up there in winter one more time before I'm too old.

      The road is usually closed now isn't it, or it is based on yearly conditions? Is it open now for hunting season?

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      • #4
        They usually keep the roads open until they get snow down low. They close down access to Baxter and Hamlin once there is light snow cover. They keep them closed until there is sufficient snow cover to protect the plants. However, they usually allow access to everything else in the park until the roads close. Not sure about hunting. They said they are keeping all updates on their Facebook page but I generally call to verify since itís quite a drive, especially from your neighborhood! I felt pretty good on Katahdin but had to dig deep to stay on Steveís heels up to North Brother. I also suffered without my poles which were resting comfortably against the front of my garage. Oops. *♂️

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        • #5
          All trails to Baxter and Hamlin Peaks are now closed. Roads still open to Abol Hill and partway in to Roaring brook. Forecast is for 24Ē of snow next Saturday at elevation. May be enough cover to have them open the trails again though it will close down the roads.
          Joe, you are welcome to join our Winter forays into the Park. We will be doing them as day hike/skis not camping though.

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