Katahdin, even the “easiest” route of Chimney Pond to Saddle Trail is 5 1/2 miles one way, gaining nearly a mile in elevation.
We weren’t exactly sure we’d make it, as our first attempt summiting nearly 15 years ago was thwarted by a wind and hail storm at the Tableland, 1/2 mile from the peak in the middle of summer. Because we were young, we tried again the next day and reached the peak.
This time we had one shot. The day started out beautiful, but with forecasts of 90 degree weather. Say what? 90 in Millinocket? It was only 94 in Tuscon. As we reached the Tableland, deja vu set in as a storm system parked firmly over the peak with thick fog and a temperature drop to below 50. It was nuts.
The kids still did great. I actually had to tell Jack not to run around at the peak, afraid he’d run into someone or slip off the edge.
The next day we got up and hobbled a shorter 3 mile hike to Blueberry Ledges and the waterslide…with leeches.