Posts Tagged With: Mahoosuc Notch

Beaker Into Maine

7/23/17 Destination White Mt Hostel, Gorham, NH     8.4 miles today

911Another pretty day: a little overcast in the early morning but, it soon cleared into full sunshine. Beaker was packed and on the Appalachian Trail little after 7:00 am. He had a nero (near-zero) day planned – an 8-mile hike into the White Mountain Lodge and Hostel. The nero-day included a climb Mt Moriah, the last summit in the White Mountains National Forest.

About a mile into the hike, Beaker came upon Sitting Bull and Hoop’s stealth camp site. He stopped to visit for a few minutes and found out that they were scheduled to stay at the same hostel tonight.  

Arriving at the hostel Beaker received new trail runners that his wife, Marguerite, had ordered from REI and had shipped to the hostel. His last pair lasted a grand total of three weeks… three weeks! I told you the Whites were tough! They were blown out at the sides and ends of the toes and big chunks were missing from the soles. The remainder of the nero-day involved a resupply, a needed rest for the legs, and watching the weather for tomorrow – heavy rain in the forecast.  

7/24/17 Destination: Carlo Col Shelter, ME    16.9 miles today

Overcast skies, but no rain in the morning. Beaker decided to head out rather than take a zero day so he was walking 7:30. Sitting Bull and Hoops were still eating breakfast when he left; he passed Ramsey Bolton’s stealth camp about a mile into the hike – Ramsey was still asleep when Beaker passed.

Around 8:30, it started to sprinkle. Before long, it settled into a steady rain that lasted the rest of the day. Beaker was quickly soaked to the skin. Anytime he stopped for more than a few minutes he would start to get chilled. The trail is out of the Whites; but not out of the mountains. Today’s hike proved to be pretty tough… up, down, mud, rocks, rain…. I managed to take several spills today. Nothing serious. Just enough to get me wet and muddy.

Beaker. NH.ME lineThe highlight of the day Beaker crossed the Maine-New Hampshire border! He reached Carlo Col Shelter just after 6:00 pm, a long, slow day on the trail. The shelter was packed.  All five wooden tent pads were occupied by what appears to be a French Canadian youth group.  Beaker set up his tent on a sloping piece of ground near the shelter. The temperature is in the low 40s, the wind is rattling the tent, and the rain is pelting down. It feels more like March than July. At least I am safe, warm, and dry in my cozy tent. I can’t wait to put on those wet hiking clothes in the morning…

7/25/17 Destination: Speck Pond Shelter, ME   9.5 miles today

For some reason, I thought that once we finished the White Mountains it would be a cruise to Mt Katahdin. Wrong! I hiked 9.5 miles today and it was a full day.

Beaker awoke to rain but by the time he hit the trail, the rain had tailed off and the clouds actually began to thin. By afternoon, he was hiking in full sunshine. The  trail was still a muddy, the rocks were still wet and slick, and Beaker lost count of how many times I went down. Most of the falls were slow and fairly controlled. I had one pretty bad fall on my left hip which left it pretty bruised and tender, though.

Mahoosuc Nothch

A Small Taste of Mahoosuc Notch

The climbs continued to be steep, with sections where rebar steps were embedded in the vertical rock face. Beaker stopped for lunch at the Full Goose Shelter. After lunch is when the real fun began – the Mahoosuc Notch and the Mahoosuc Arm. The Mahoosuc Notch is a mile long narrow gorge with steep, high boulders and rocks of assorted sizes and shapes creating a natural obstacle course on steroids. You have to scramble over, under, and around these boulders as you pick your way through the notch. Upon completing the Mahoosuc Notch, Beaker was immediately faced another obstacle – the Mahoosuc Arm.   It is a climb gaining over 1500 feet of elevation over 0.9 miles. There were many sections that were almost straight up. At the top of Mahoosuc Arm, it was a short hike to Speck Pond Shelter.


Mahoosuc Notch Photo found at
Categories: Appalachian Trail, Beaker, Mahoosuc Notch, Maine, Mount Moriah, New Hampshire, The Whites, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The A.T. State by State – Maine

HikeItForward-Final-MediumOn a NOBO thru-hike, the last state to visit is Maine. The ultimate landmark during the adventure in the Pine Tree State is the wooden sign on top of the beautiful Mount Katahdin. In order to arrive at this iconic signpost a thru-hiker must traverse 281 very difficult miles. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy considers the trail in Maine to be the most difficult of all fourteen states. Beginner hikers are discouraged from attempting this part of the A.T. Even experienced hikers often average one mile per hour in some parts of this rugged terrain. Some sections in Maine require that the thru-hiker grab onto tree roots and limbs in order to climb up or descend through the trail’s obstacle course. Parts of the path are especially slippery and hazardous in wet weather making it necessary to slide down on the seat of one’s pants or crawl on one’s hands and knees. I am very nervous about Maine and yet I look forward to it at the same time.

The Appalachian Trail through Maine encounters numerous lakes, streams, and bogs. Such abundant water sources attract the magnificent moose and the mournful, crazy calls of the common loon (want to hear the loons? – The water also makes for muddy trail-ways and numerous mountain streams that must be forded. Some of these fords can be tricky and potentially life-threatening when water is high so common sense and extreme care are the orders of the day.

The 281 miles in Maine can be roughly divided into three segments: let’s consider the first on this blog and leave the other two for additional postings.

Welcome to Maine SignThe southern section (technically the western section) is an area of extremely steep, 4,000-foot mountains, arguably the toughest part of the entire A.T. It includes the notorious mile-long boulder challenge of Mahoosuc Notch – up, down, over, under and around the rocks. There are several videos trying to capture the experience – this one is really short but I like it because it paints a good picture of hiking the notch with a full pack on your back –

This southern section runs (although “crawls” might be a better verb to use) for 109 miles from the New Hampshire state line (NOBO mile 1904) to Bigelow Preserve (mile 2013). During this stretch of the trail there are 13 shelters (an average of a shelter every 8.4 miles) so there is plenty of safe places to spend the night but only four towns “close” to the path: Andover (9 miles east), Oquossoc (11 miles west), Rangeley (9 miles west), and Stratton (5 miles west). This section of the trail will take some wise strategy in planning a food resupply – my plan will hopefully fall in place once I figure out how many miles I can hike a day in this terrain. Hitch-hiking into town may be very appealing at the 1,965 mile marker.

Welcome Photo:

Categories: Appalachian Trail, Backpack, Mahoosuc Notch, Maine, Mount Katahdin, New Hampshire, Thru-Hike, Trail | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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