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Skiing Katahdin

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I recently watched Meathead Film's documentary, Epoch. In it, the Meatheads climbed and skied the highest peaks in MA, NH, NY, ME, and VT. Of the five mountains they skied, I've skied 2, hiked 3, and seen 4. The only one I'd never seen or visited is Katahdin in Maine. I had never actually thought much about Katahdin, but after watching Epoch, I was flabbergasted. I always thought Washington and Tuckerman's presented the most challenging backcountry terrain in the East. Man, was I wrong. Katahdin is craggy, steep, and looks wicked challenging. One of the big challenges to Katahdin is its remoteness. You need to hike or skin something like 15 miles just to get to the base of the mountain.

 

In any case, I'm very curious if any Bears have ever skied Katahdin, and if so, what was their experience. It looks amazing, I'd love to hear some first hand experience.

 

Some pictures from Katahdin for the curious. Gnarly, eh?

 

post #2 of 10

Read about it in Goodman's book years ago.  Sounded like an intense mountain to ski and also requires a long skin in and camping.  I think you need to get a permit to winter camp there as well.  This is information that is probably 10 years old though and I know the mountain has not changed but perhaps access has?  That knife-edge ridge looks rather intimidating.  Let's go!

 

 

Just found this:

 

http://www.acadiamountainguides.com/instruction/katahdin.html

post #3 of 10

This is most definitely not me, not my video, etc. but I remember coming across this at the end of last season:

 

 

Yeah, that looks a heckuva lot scarier than Tuckerman does!

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
 

This is most definitely not me, not my video, etc. but I remember coming across this at the end of last season:

 

 

Yeah, that looks a heckuva lot scarier than Tuckerman does!

So it looks like this guy was skiing a wicked narrow, wicked steep couloir, above treeline, in an avalanche zone, nearly a full day away from any help... by himself. It's hard to imagine anything much stupider in the world of skiing. Don't try this at home, kids.

post #5 of 10

The guys a competent skier, most likely did his research and was well prepared so I don't see anything "stupid" about it.

 

Slightly risky maybe, but what an adrenaline rush to hike it....then ski it. I want some.

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Treewell View Post
 

The guys a competent skier, most likely did his research and was well prepared so I don't see anything "stupid" about it.

 

Slightly risky maybe, but what an adrenaline rush to hike it....then ski it. I want some.

Any competent informed skier doesn't ski in the backcountry in a slide zone alone. This isn't ducking off of a trail at your favorite ski area. This isn't even skiing the Back Bowls at Vail. Katahdin is extremely remote, and more often than not, there is only one group on the mountain at any given time. If you're the only one in the group, you're the only one on the mountain. The rangers are miles away. And they're not coming looking for you, it's made very clear that when you are on Katahdin, you're on your own. Things can go wrong, even for the most experienced and competent skier. And when something goes wrong that far out, the most likely outcome is death.

post #7 of 10

And thus, with the danger and risk lies a major attraction of back country skiing. 

In my opinion, you have a greater chance of dying skiing Wallyworld on a busy day than that Katahdin run under those conditions.

post #8 of 10

the skills to ski katadin as the easy part. The hard part is logistics planning and hoping your permit it during a time that is actually skiable.....

 

It would be easier to ski if you could ski it after the road was open, currently you are not allowed to ski it in the spring time though. It would also be safer in corn conditions...

 

the guy in the video was not by himself he had a TR on TGR last spring and was with a party of him , some other like minded folk and guides.

post #9 of 10

Katadin is a huge mountain.  The south face is a very sharp 4000' vertical that is a great fast climb (summer run) and the great cirque on the north side might be the biggest wall in the east, a *very* steep 2000 feet.  This route compares with many technical lines in the Alps.  I love the video, Hayward is so fluid and skis it perfectly--doesn't rush, rests...textbook couloir skiing.  Thanks for posting.

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeski919 View Post
 

Any competent informed skier doesn't ski in the backcountry in a slide zone alone. This isn't ducking off of a trail at your favorite ski area. This isn't even skiing the Back Bowls at Vail. Katahdin is extremely remote, and more often than not, there is only one group on the mountain at any given time. If you're the only one in the group, you're the only one on the mountain. The rangers are miles away. And they're not coming looking for you, it's made very clear that when you are on Katahdin, you're on your own. Things can go wrong, even for the most experienced and competent skier. And when something goes wrong that far out, the most likely outcome is death.


Note the other skier waiting in a safe zone at 0.22.

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