Katahdin, Washington, and Marcy in May?

Katahdin, Washington, and Marcy in May?

Joined: December 6th, 2004, 4:36 am

April 1st, 2006, 5:39 pm #1

Anyone know if these three highpoints are going to be doable in mid-May (15th-21st) without winter gear? I realize at that time of year that any day could possibly be a blizzard on these summits, but it's been such a mild winter it seems, so I'm wondering if there is enough hope at this point in the year to realistically plan for someone with almost no winter highpointing experience to summit these three in mid-May. Anyone know if it might be possible this year?
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Joined: July 31st, 2004, 9:36 pm

April 1st, 2006, 7:20 pm #2

Even though I admit I could be dead wrong on any of these, my hunches would be:

Katahdin: unlikely. IF it were possible, it would probably necessitate taking the Saddle Trail, and even that could be quite treacherous, even with something like strap-on crampons. This is a mountain that, with my limited winter climbing (Mt. Lafayette, basically) I wouldn't attempt outside of summer/early fall.

Mount Washington: maybe. It's been a warm winter, and rain is falling on the summit in above-freezing temperatures as I'm typing this. Even so, check up on trail conditions and weather. The Auto Road may be open by early May, so that's an option too.

Mount Marcy; probably. The trail's pretty long, but very gradual, and I imagine it would be well-broken in. Really the only tricky part would be near the summit, and that probably would be doable.

A website you'll want to keep an eye on is www.viewsfromthetop.com , which has trail conditions posted from hikers all around New England and NY.

Another thing to consider is that this is around the end of mud season. Some mountains are closed, and others restricted or discouraging toward hikers, though perhaps the warmer winter will mean a shorter season. In any case, mud trekking can be very unpleasant. Even hiking the Van Hoevenburg in mid-August was insanely muddy at spots. Mt. Washington, though, would likely not be a problem in this regard.

Best of luck, and remember that summitting is secondary to returning alive and safe!
~Chris
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Joined: June 2nd, 2005, 9:30 pm

April 1st, 2006, 8:28 pm #3

We were there May 17 of last year, (keep in mind the park doesn't 'open' until May 15) All the trails leading up Katahdin were closed at the time, of course this year may be different, I would contact the park: http://www.baxterstateparkauthority.com/
they will be able to give you an idea of the conditions.
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Joined: March 18th, 2006, 12:02 am

April 10th, 2006, 12:50 pm #4

Anyone know if these three highpoints are going to be doable in mid-May (15th-21st) without winter gear? I realize at that time of year that any day could possibly be a blizzard on these summits, but it's been such a mild winter it seems, so I'm wondering if there is enough hope at this point in the year to realistically plan for someone with almost no winter highpointing experience to summit these three in mid-May. Anyone know if it might be possible this year?
Send me an e-mail. May be interested in doing those with you.
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