Mount Katahdin

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6/11/13 - This is a super fun little scramble if you take the chimney up to the knife edge (the exposure is not nearly as intense as the name implies)! Rain started right about the time I scrambled up that class-4, which was not fun. Gripping the wet granite led to tiny little abrasions across my fingertips. This was a fun discovery when handling a celebratory red-hot lobster the following day!

Thanks to the weather I had the summit quite nearly to myself, though I saw a figure struggling against the high winds on the descent down Cathedral Trail. I caught up to this elderly gentleman who was having a difficult time staying upright. He was also soaking wet in his flannel shirt and jeans, bracing against a wooden-handled ice axe and carrying an oversized pack. I helped him descend into the trees and made sure he was adequate with his footing on the gentler terrain before I ran to the ranger’s cabin by Chimney Pond, as it was clear the man was nearing hypothermia.

The ranger ran out to get this gentleman, brought him back to the cabin, and had him change into dry clothes while sipping on hot water. The gentleman identified himself as a state high pointer, and he’d even said that at #44 (or so?), this was likely his last as the remaining state high points were too technical or distant. Once he’d warmed up, the ranger and I walked him the remaining distance to the parking lot, I carrying the man’s drenched pack filled with his soaking clothes, as well as my own pack.

There are many lessons to be learned here. I am not going to type them; please do your research.

And seriously, though, Katahdin is beautiful.

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