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  1. #1
    Registered User hikernutcasey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Elkin, NC

    Default Katahdin Question

    How often do the rangers in Baxter say no one is climbing Katahdin due to storms or other bad weather on a particular day? We will be doing a week long section of the 100 mile and finishing the trail mid September and wanted to know how common it is that the mountain gets shut down due to weather? We will be on a pretty tight schedule trying to get back to Bangor for our flight. Some of us have to work and don't have enough time to plan a buffer day
    Section hiker on the 20 year plan - 2,078 miles and counting!

  2. #2


    Not sure of the current policy but you really would not want to be above treeline in bad weather. It is not just inconvenient, its dangerous. It is just under 2 miles to the summit from treeline via the AT (and two miles back). Winds increase significantly with elevation change and there is no place to hide. It is a recipe for hypothermia. Winds inevitably come from the west so the wind is at the back of the hiker heading to the summit but its right in their face heading back down. Visibility can be close to zero in rain and winds. Folks get lost even though the trail is very obvious. The shorter summit approach is Abol but the upper section is quite steep. and even with the relocation, 10 years ago the exposure is still quite high. All the other options end up on the wrong side of the mountain from where you started.

    Luckily early to mid September is usually quite dry with long stretches of good weather. My guess is given typical weather patterns 1 in 4 or 5 days may be dangerous to hike to the summit.

    BTW the summit does build clouds in the afternoon even on nice days, many times its clear at 11 AM and clouding up by noon. Thundershowers usually wait until later in the afternoon.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Central CT


    I tried to summit on 10/18/2018 but had to turn around when I got above tree line. Was 100% no question, not even thinking about it, winds that dropped me to my knees when I came around that corner where you see that first piece of rebar... but anyway, there was nobody trying to stop me from going up so make sure you know your limits and when to turn around.

    One other person tried to summit that day who I saw and warned on the way down, understandably he wanted to get as high as he could safely as it was a day hike and his only chance, he did end up turning around. I saw a few people the next day who had seen my name on the register and couldn't believe I tried to go up, I just totally under estimated what they were calling for. Even when I did summit on the 19th (and many others that day) conditions were brutal with wind chills below zero, snow and sustained winds 20-30mph up top but nothing like the day before.
    nobo 2018 March 10th - October 19th
    I'm just one too many mornings and 1,000 miles behind

  4. #4


    Mid September? You'll be fine. Rangers have very seldom closed Katahdin trails due to weather before mid October.

    "[ATers] represent three percent of our use and about twenty percent of our effort," retired Baxter Park Director Jensen Bissell.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Lurkerville, East Tn
    Journal Entries


    We did that piece SOBO in order to have more certainty about the short range weather forecast. No regrets. I wouldn't want to be up on Katahdin in a storm.

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