December 7, 2016 was chilly in Georgia. So, after my work was done, I lit a fire and warmed myself by the glowing logs, thankful I wasn't outside in the brutal 50-degree weather.
Yesterday was frigid, snowy and blustery in Baxter State Park, near Millinocket, Maine. So, Skywalker (Hans Fraude), Mama Cheddar (Georgina Podany) and Master Splinter (Nick Espinosa) accomplished a snowy summit of Katahdin. That was the finish of their 2,189.1 mile long journey along the Appalachian Trail.
About the time I went to bed early (to stave off any chance of getting the sniffles), these venturous adventurers chose to return from whence they came before freezing to death. They descended from the heights of Katahdin, after hitting the heights of their hopes and dreams.
To round off a couple of numbers, the hike up/down Katahdin is about ten miles. Some will argue its the toughest portion of the Trail. The mountain isn't exactly a mile high. At the apex, however, if a tall person hung a flag off the end of his/her trekking pole it would hit the mile mark.
To hike Katahdin on a sunny summer day with a daypack is a terrific feat. What this group did is even terrificer.
Lest you fear this was an illicit summit, hiking in Baxter State Park is allowed in winter. As always, if you follow their rules. Click Here for Winter Rules
Thanks to Harald Fraud for his permission to use his photograph. Here's how he described their snowy summit of Katahdin:
Skywalker "Hans Fraude", Mama Cheddar "Georgina Podany" and Master Splinter "Nick Espinosa" finish their 2,189.1 mile long journey on top of Mt Katahdin yesterday! The baddest of the bad ass AT Thruhiker's for sure!
They used those ice axes to pull themselves up the mountain and then they slid off part of the mountain doing glissading using their ice axes to slow their bodies down.
Congratulations to one and all. Your stellar accomplishments fulfill your dreams and help fulfill ours. We will long share your memory of your super summit.
We hereby name you The World's Most Badass Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers for December 7, 2016!
(If you would like me to sign your certificates, I'll be standing by my fireplace.)
Tags: Attractions, Appalachian Trail, News, Robert Sutherland Travel Writer, Hikers, Information, appalachian trail hikers, winter summit mount katahdin, baxter state park winter hiking, and snowy summit of katahdin
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