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Baxter in Winter Question

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  • Baxter in Winter Question

    How many days in Baxter are recommended for planning to climb N Brother, Baxter and Hamlin Peaks in the winter. Reason for asking is very little experience there.

    I've only read a two accounts of N Brother and both these took 2 trips.

    Are Baxter and Hamlin similar for planning purposes to N Brother or are they more traveled and achievable.

    And there is to consider the approach hike to cabins in and out. Two days?

    My limited experience is just summer. In one summer it took two days to get Baxter and Hamlin due to weather. On a second trip had good weather and got a Baxter and Hamlin, N Brother the next, and the Owl the third day.


  • #2
    John Sasso (mountainman John) had a great write up of both trips over the last few winters, but I am guessing that one of the 2 trip reports was his?
    46/46 as of August 1st, 2014!


  • #3
    Here is my write up from a while back.
    Tom Rankin - 5444W "In the depths of Summer, I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible Winter"

    Proud Member #0003 of ADKHP Foundation
    Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President Catskill 3500 Club
    CEO Views And Brews!


    • Hear the Footsteps
      Hear the Footsteps commented
      Editing a comment
      You got some great conditions, good deal

    • TFR
      TFR commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, we did get excellent weather, for the most part. The Rangers use snowmobiles, so the lower roads are usually easy to traverse. Staying in a cabin would be the only way I would ever go to Baxter in the Winter, but of course, there are those who 'day trip', and sleep in a tent.

  • #4
    Don, here is the report of Procook131's and my trip back in January 2013. I strongly recommend staying in a cabin with woodstove at Daicey Pond (or Kidney Pond,a little farther from Katahdin). That makes about a 20 mile day hike to K/H and NB on two consecutive days, if the weather allows. You would need to plan for at least one or two additional days to accommodate adverse weather conditions. Our hikes were 12 hours for K/H and 9 hours for NB--definitely within your range!

    The trek to Roaring Brook campground is much longer and only offers a shorter hiking day for Baxter/Hamlin. After that you have a very long day on the park road back to Daicey or Kidney for a cabin (or a completely separate trip), and then on a subsequent day go to North Brother.

    All this is moot for this year, since Maine is requiring New York residents to quarantine 14 days on entering the state, before you could go hiking (see state of Maine web sites). Until recently, NYS was on the exception list, but not any more and not likely to change in the next few months. In addition, Baxter Park has restrictions on popular bunkhouses at Roaring Brook and Chimney Pond. Only single groups can occupy them, i.e., no mixed groups or singles allowed. See the BSP web site for more details.

    It is a great experience and highly recommended, but unless we have a miracle with Covid, you're looking at 2021-2022 season.


    • OnAClearDay
      OnAClearDay commented
      Editing a comment
      If you can provide a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours prior to entering the state you can still stay without the 14 day quarantine regardless from what state you are coming from:

      ...but the situation is fluid and chances are these mandates may be revised again..

    • Hear the Footsteps
      Hear the Footsteps commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks. Been awhile.

    • rbalbs
      rbalbs commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks Joe for re-posting this. I recall reading it years ago and thinking I would love to do that someday!

      Don - If you want some extra firepower I would love to join you for this one at some point in the future.

  • #5
    It I could Don, I would go to Baxter every winter! As noted, we were lucky in some cases with the weather (though 2 days of pouring rain was not fun), but you always have to deal with that no matter where you hike in winter. I think knowing your group and also knowing other options and having the mentality to go with other options if you cannot summit the big peaks is your best friend.


    • #6
      We've done it in 4 days with a cabin at Daicey pond, it was pretty exhausting.
      Last edited by sherbi; 11-26-2020, 02:43 PM.


      • Hear the Footsteps
        Hear the Footsteps commented
        Editing a comment
        And a strong group I assume .

      • sherbi
        sherbi commented
        Editing a comment
        Haha. Yeah we had 2 amazing trail breakers with us, N.B. was challenging after a very long day on Baxter/Hamlin.