Two Night January Baldpate Trip

26 pics and a bit of babbling after a couple of frigid, but beautiful nights in the Maine woods. I won’t keep you in suspense, there will be amazing summit pics that risked frostbite and killed my batteries. Totally worth it!!

Seeing a few days of sunshine in the forecast I loaded up a pack to hit one of my favorite Winter backpacking spots. I try to do a Baldpates trip every year during snow season.

Last year the snow was several feet deeper when I was here. It was strange to see rocks in places and even open water in a few spots.

It was in the low 20s and breezy which is nice hiking weather as far as I am concerned heh. I had to go a bit slow on the steeper sections to avoid sweating, but all around a beautiful day for a walk in the woods with a 55lb pack on my back.

It didn’t look like anyone had been up the mountain in days and given the weather I wasn’t expecting to see many folks over the next few days.

I arrived at the Baldpate Shelter site around 130pm and had time to enjoy a cup of tea before setting up camp. Knowing the mice that live here I set up my hammock far off in the trees.

It was 14°f when I got up in the morning and cloudy. What else could I do but stand around and drink coffee while I waited to see what the weather would do? I was surprised by a trail runner who stopped in for a snack. He had already ran to the summit and back while I was drinking coffee! Soon after he left it started to clear and I headed up.

The wind at the summit was bitter cold. I love being up there, but you have to be careful not to freeze any bits off.

Looking towards the East peak is always tempting until stepping past these trees and into the full wind. I looked some, but didn’t go much farther.

Not sure how cold it was up there, but my camera batteries started dying fast. Everything shuts down in that sort of cold.

It does create the perfect frozen chocolate donut though!! A favorite treat on Winter backpacking excursions, the frozen donut takes at least 24 hours of frigid temperatures and a fair amount of smushing and crushing to reach perfection. This one was slightly better than that because it was really cold!

Then it was back down to camp for a couple of dinners. Some body heat managed to get the cameras running again so I was able to capture this view of the 4pm setting sun. It would be a long night, at least 487 hours from the feel of it, with a low around 12°f that hit by 7pm and held steady through 8am the next day. I rolled out of bed at 6am in the dark because I couldn’t stay in the hammock any longer. It was cold, but at least I was free heh.

I didn’t wait for the sun and headed down the mountain as the clouds burned off. It had been a great trip, but like most cold weather trips, I was ready to go home where a simple mistake probably won’t kill me. There is a fair amount of stress involved in making sure I stay alive out there, but given how pretty it all is, I think it’s worth the effort.

There will be a video or two coming from this trip as well. I shot about 8G so there ought to be something in there. Look for that on my YouTube channel in the coming week.

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