Ascent of Pamola Peak on 2011-10-08

Climber: Gabriel C

Others in Party:Luiza Manceau
Myriam Chênevert
Brigitte Benoit
Date:Saturday, October 8, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Carpool
Peak:Pamola Peak
    Elevation:4919 ft / 1499 m

Ascent Trip Report

Back in June, Luiza had asked if I would be interested to join her colleague Myriam, along with some of her friends, on a trip to Katahdin next fall. I gladly accepted as I had never had the opportunity to go there since my winter trip in 2008.

Reservations were made for camping at Chimney Pond 4 months in advance but we still couldn't get all the room needed for every night. We would all come in on Friday night and camp at Roaring Brook. Then on the next night part of the group would camp at Chimney Pond while the rest would have to hike back down to Roaring Brook. On our final night here, the whole group would camp at Chimney Pond.

On Friday morning, Myriam and her boyfriend Philippe came to pick us up at Luiza's place around 9:30am. We left on highway 73 south towards Saint-Théophile where an adventure raid partner of Myriam's, Brigitte, would meet us. We stopped at a restaurant near highway 269 where Brigitte would leave her car for the weekend. After picking her up and packing the car, the 5 of us crammed in and headed towards the border. It wasn't long to cross into the USA and the road towards Millinockett was uneventful. We stopped there to buy some final supplies and headed for Baxter State Park. We missed the toll road at the crossover with Golden Road and had to turn back at Abol Bridge. We finally made it to Roaring Brook Campground around 5:00pm. After setting up the camp we prepared dinner around a campfire. It wasn't long before we went to bed as it was pretty cold that night.

During the night, the wind picked up and brought warmth. We got up around 7:30am to a clear sunny sky and warm weather. Luiza and I broke camp and prepared our packs in order to bring all our gear up to Chimney Pond while the others prepared day packs. We signed in at the ranger station exactly at the day hike cutoff time of 9:00am. We went up Chimney Pond trail so Luiza and I could dump the camping gear at our lean-to before the ascent. It took us around 2 hours to get up there. We met a ranger coming down and he told us the mountain today was rated Grade 2, which meant to tread carefully because of the wind. At Chimney Pond, we found our lean-to, got rid of superfluous gear, and checked in again at the ranger station. It was now 11:30am and we were and hour and a half past cutoff time but there was no problem leaving on the trail.

From there we took Dudley trail towards Pamola peak. We almost instantaneously found that it would be quite challenging. The first problem was a large mass of huge boulders piled up chaotically. Past this was a quite steep trail going through quickly disappearing shrubs and large boulders. Very soon we were scrambling through a steep and demanding boulder field. It was very exciting and we were making a good pace through it. The weather was steady and the views were amazing all the way. We took our lunch break high on Dudley trail before hitting the summit so we could be sheltered from the wind. We chose a section where a large boulder was creating a nice wall behind which we were quite comfortable.

It probably took around two hours to get to the summit. As the slope eased out the main mass of Katahdin and the Knife Edge appeared. It was an impressive view that left us gasping in amazement. We took some pictures and met some people coming in the other direction before heading down towards Chimney Peak. Up to now, the climb had been some demanding class 3 scrambling, but we were not prepared for what lay a short distance away. The down-climb to the col was only a preamble for the Knife Edge but it still required much work from everyone.

Luiza was glad we go bouldering at least once a week as it helped much in having confidence on the trickier moves. Down at the col, Philippe and I waited for the girls to join us as we saw groups of people starting their descent from Chimney Peak towards us.

Myriam and Luiza coming up Dudley trail.

Me further up on Dudley trail (photo by Myriam Chênevert).

Luiza and me at the summit.

The Knife Edge seen from Pamola.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3534 ft / 1077 m
    Total Elevation Loss:197 ft / 59 m
    Round-Trip Distance:4 mi / 6.5 km
    Grade/Class:Class 2, 3, 4
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Tent Camp
    Weather:Cool, Windy, Clear
Exceptional Indian summer the whole time!
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3534 ft / 1077 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3439 ft / 1048 m; Extra: 95 ft / 28m
    Loss on way in:95 ft / 28 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:Chimney Pond trail, Dudley trail
    Start Trailhead:Roaring Brook Campground  1480 ft / 451 m
    Time:4 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:102 ft / 31 m
    Distance:0 mi / 0.1 km
    Route:Knife Edge trail
    End Trailhead:Pamola/Chimney col  4817 ft / 1468 m
    Time:10 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Baxter State Park (October 2011) (2 nights total away from roads)

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Pamola Peak2011-10-08 a3534 ft / 1077 m
2Chimney Peak2011-10-08 b150 ft / 46 m
3Katahdin-South Peak2011-10-08 c523 ft / 159 m
4Katahdin2011-10-08 d183 ft / 56 m
5South Howe Peak2011-10-09 a2459 ft / 750 m
6Hamlin Peak2011-10-09 b221 ft / 67 m
Total Trip Gain: 7070 ft / 2155 m    Total Trip Loss: 5635 ft / 1718 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Gabriel C
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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