Just a few days off from a trip up north and an attempt at Mt. Katahdin in Baxter State Park in the great state of Main. This post detailed our planned route. I have most of the gear I need for this trip- luckily everything I need for this I also need for Mt. Adams in August, so (as intended) this is a chance to try out most of my stuff. What I’ve found thus far:
(1) The new boots are great, but maybe not ideal for Katahdin: I got my La Sportiva Makalu boots, and I’ve been wearing them to break them in. After wearing them a few times, you really get a sense as to how these boots (and mountaineering boots in general) differ from hiking boots and mainline street shoes. The biggest issue is weight- they weight multiple times that of a normal shoe. The effect of this is wide ranging, but one is that your feet and legs tire quicker (depending on your level of fitness) since you’re lugging the extra weight around in your boots. As for their use on Katahdin, given that they will have only received a week and a half or so of break-in time, I am not sure they will be ready to go (ready for me to spend a grueling 10+ day in them). Plus, much of what folks say gives people trouble on Katahdin is that they expect a gradual hike to the peak, while in reality they face what is nearly a technical climb in many places on the mountain. I just don’t know if these boots are right for that environment, with me, right now. I have a few days of wearing them to decide….
(2) Sleeping bag and sleeping pad is good. The Thermarest NeoAir sleeping pad is awesome- quick to inflate and small/lightweight, it will easily do the trick.
(3) Bags: all I really need for the climb itself is a day bag, so I am using my 40L Osprey bag. Yes, we’ll be camping one night (before the climb), but the campsite is near the car, so I can ditch the sleeping-related items and travel light up the mountain. Some clothes, water, food, medical items, and survival items should do just fine.