Ascent of Hamlin Peak on 2015-08-10

Climber: Dan Quinlan

Others in Party:Kaerstin Quinlan
Date:Monday, August 10, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Hamlin Peak
    Elevation:4756 ft / 1449 m

Ascent Trip Report

August 10, 2015
Pamola, Chimney, Mt. Katahdin and Hamlin Peak
7:30 am Gudi, Kaerstin and I begin our hike together down the Chimney pond trail but soon part ways as Kaerstin and I head toward today’s goals via the Helon Taylor trail and Gudi continues on the Chimney Pond trail and then over to the Hamlin Ridge trail where we hope to meet up with each other later on this afternoon.
9:10 am KK and I reach the open ridge on the Helon Trail. It is a beautiful morning, low 70s, blue sky and no breeze. As we continue the climb we see that low clouds are blowing in from the west so the ‘backside’ of the mountain continues to fill in with clouds but the basins remain in the clear offering great views across both the south and north basins.
10:35 am we reach Pamola Peak. There is a family and a couple of guys at the peak too. Not crowded at all. We can see Chimney peak and the ‘Knife Edge’ so clearly! You can see many ‘little’ people making their way toward the summit.
10:55 am After a snack/early lunch, taking pictures and enjoying the 360 degree views we left Pamola Peak for the very short distant Chimney Peak. Although it is just a short distance, the ‘chimney’ between the 2 peaks is quite steep and a bit unnerving to get down. Kaerstin was going first but as she neared the bottom she wasn’t quite sure what to do next and so I went first and got us down safely. Going back up toward Chimney Peak is also a thrill!
11:10 am. Although the ‘crow fly’ distance between Pamola and Chimney Peaks is less than 100 meters, it took us 15 minutes to cross the distance – but it fun (as long as it is dry! This would be very difficult in we/icy conditions)
12:10pm South Peak. We are enjoying our ‘knife edge’ experience, Kaerstin makes me nervous at times. It does get narrow in places- but she does a great job. There are several ‘false peaks’ along the way, but truly this is an enjoyable challenge. The ‘exposure’ is not something you can experience often in the Northeast.
12:30 pm Katahdin summit. The peak was pretty busy as expected on such a beautiful day. The low clouds have gotten pretty thick on the west side and is affecting the summit a bit, but the view into the basins remains clear. Still a great day to be here.
1:00 pm. We left the summit and headed down the Saddle trail toward the final 4000 foot mountain in the Northeast that I have left to visit – Hamlin Peak. This trail is much busier than the knife edge, and you can see it forever. It’s a bit discouraging actually to be able to see how far we have left to hike. The trail itself is made up of small / mid-sized rocks. They don’t seem to be native, but brought here to protect the trail / cut down erosion? Not sure, just my guess.
1:35 pm We arrived at the Saddle Trail / Northwest Basin trail Junction. This is where we say goodbye to the masses and head off to a much quieter peak. As often happens AFTER you leave a summit, the clouds clear out. But that us gives us great views of where we came from today!
2:20 pm It was quite a special moment for me as I approached the final 4000 footer here in the Northeast. It was great to share it with my most faithful hiking partner and daughter Kaerstin. This is her 100th 4000 footer! We got to enjoy the quiet for some time and then a couple that we have been playing “leap frog” with all day long joined us at the summit. We had a wonderful time trading stories.
2:45 pm Kaerstin and I continued down the Hamlin Ridge trail to catch up with Gudi who has been hiking in the lower elevations. The Hamlin Ridge also offers some great views in all directions, it is truly an open ridge with lots of boulder hopping, which isn’t bad when you are fresh and going up the mountain. But after a long day and going down this trail it sure does a job on sore knees!
4:10pm We were off the Hamlin Ridge trail and back in the woods on the North Basin trail. It felt good to get off the steep sections of the trail and give the knees a rest.
4:45 pm we reached the Chimney Pond trail and shortly thereafter we caught up with Gudi, so the team is back together. We did have to stop along the way to refill (using a filter pump) our water supply. It felt good to get some nice cold water!
6:10 pm Back at the parking lot. What a great day. We are so glad that we got to hike this massive mountain on such a good weather day. It truly is gorgeous and challenging! But now I am a bit disappointed as I have hiked the last 4000 foot mountain in the Northeast. It has been a great journey and I have been so lucky to share it with my family!

Summary Total Data
    Quality:9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Skies are clearing - gorgeous views
Ascent Statistics
    Route:Helon Pond, Knife Edge, Saddle, Hamlin Ridge, N. B
    Start Trailhead:Roaring Brook  
Descent Statistics
Ascent Part of Trip: Katahdin

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Pamola Peak2015-08-10 a 
2Chimney Peak2015-08-10 b 
3Katahdin-South Peak2015-08-10 c 
4Katahdin2015-08-10 d4950 ft / 1509 m
5Hamlin Peak2015-08-10 e 
Total Trip Gain: 4950 ft / 1509 m

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