In August 2013 I hiked Mount Katahdin and created the video below:
What I didn’t include was a clip of a couple hiking with a baby in tow on the Knife Edge. I didn’t want that to be the focus of the video or look like something I think is okay. I have decided to post the video to begin talking about hiking safety, especially with winter around the corner.
I will, if I see fit, try and help a hiker out if I notice that he or she may not be making a wise choice. For example, it’s autumn and I’m almost done with a hike. A hiker is heading up the trail to do a ten mile roundtrip hike after 3:00 pm. I may greet them and ask where they’re heading. If they are confident and look to have the necessary gear and knowledge, I say farewell and continue on my way. If they seem unsure or are clearly not carrying the essential gear, I will ask a follow up question. An example may be, “Oh, are you planning on camping out?” I may end up explaining the terrain and distance as well as the approximate sunset time. Of course, all of this is based on each experience. I’m a big fan of night hiking and other more unconventional hiking practices so if the hiker looks to be doing just that, I’m rooting for them. But if I can help another hiker make a smart choice, I will. I appreciate when others do the same for me.
Back to the Katahdin hike…
This is a clip of the couple and baby on Mount Katahdin’s Knife Edge:
I had just started off on the Knife Edge trail. Once you begin on this trail, there are no alternative routes. You’re committed for the full mile. They had hiked at least two-thirds of the trail as they were coming up the trail. There is a very difficult chimney section that they somehow climbed up.
Knowing there was a ranger at the summit of Baxter peak put my mind at ease. There was nothing we could do so we just said hello and continued on our way. Baxter State Park has certain rules and children under the age of six are not permitted above treeline. See the complete list of rules and guidelines for hiking and camping in Baxter State Park here. The parents were most likely cited and expelled from the park. We overheard them talking with a ranger back at the Roaring Brook Campground later that night.
Be safe out there!
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen hiking? Leave a comment below.