February 4 – February 6, Baxter State Park, Maine.
On February 4th we drive to the Abol Bridge winter parking lot. It’s not really marked but we eventually figure out which one it is.
We ski in on icy roads, stay in a lean-to at Abol campground and ski on to Kidney pond where we stay in a sweet cabin with a wood stove.
Day 3 was the day for our summit attempt to North Brother, Fort, Coe, and South Brother. We skied for 4 miles to the trailhead and initially had packed down trail to North Brother. From there it’s a bushwhack or herd path to Fort. We didn’t have a good GPS track and after getting caught in a spruce trap I decided to leave this one to Greenleaf. I wandered around a bit near the summit of North Brother and did find the beginnings of the herd path but the snow conditions were horrible.
It was too cold to wait around so I slowly made my way down and started breaking trail towards South Brother and Coe. The snow was the worst possible kind you can have. Crusty and hard on top but soft powder underneath. I would sink in to my knees and make very little progress. When the trail started gaining elevation I ran out of energy and luckily GL caught up to me soon. I had been breaking trail for an hour and only made a half mile of progress. I followed him, now in the dark, to the summits of Coe and South Brother. The summits were windy and cold and Coe had a scary drop off but we made it safely up and back down. Back at the road we skied the 4 miles back and got back to the cabin at 2.30am! Craziness.