**THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CHANGED FROM THE CROCKERS TO SADDLEBACK MOUNTAIN & THE HORN DUE TO RECENT CONDITIONS
SADDLEBACK & THE HORN (Maine) 4,140ft & 4,021 ft. 9 miles, INTERMEDIATE-ADVANCED
READ CAREFULLY: Everyone will be Waitlisted for this event until the event host has the opportunity to review your answers to the RSVP questions. Please be sure to read the entire description before you RSVP and answer all of the questions that are part of the RSVP process. Some mobile devices will not allow you to see the RSVP questions, so you may need to go back to your reservation via another method. You will not advance beyond the waitlist if you have not answered the questions satisfactorily. Your safety and the safety of the group is the most important thing. If you underestimate the demands of this event; overestimate your experience, knowledge, skills or abilities; or come unprepared you put yourself or others at risk – consider this before you decide to participate.
The Trip: **Change of plans** we will be hiking Saddleback and The Horn (4,140 & 4,021) . Because of recent high snowfall and the likelihood of breaking trail across 6 miles of the Crockers in 1.5 feet of new snow, this trip has been changed to Saddleback (4,140ft) and The Horn (4,021ft), both on the NE 4,000 list. We will ascend Saddleback via the ski area trails to avoid breaking trail. From the summit, if the group is feeling strong and the weather is cooperative, we will break trail 2 miles over the alpine ridge via the A.T. to the The Horn and return the same way. There are extensive alpine areas with fantastic views on both peaks and the ridge between. There is no cost to use the ski area trails. We will hike at a moderate pace with time to rest and layer as conditions and needs of the group determine. Given that some of us may have made a difficult ascent of another 4,000 footer the day before, we will not rush this hike--i.e. expect to put up with some lollygaggin'. Book time for this trip is 7 hours or so. This is an INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED HIKE due to the distance, winter conditions, and summit exposure on the ridge.
This trip will occur in conjunction with a hike over Sugarloaf and Spaulding on Saturday March 15. Those who sign up for both events may wish to stay in the area--email the event host for suggestions (but remember, just because you spend a night in Maine, it doesn't make you a Mainer--or as the locals say, "just because your cats sleep in the oven it doesn't make 'em muffins.").
No guests —anyone wishing to join must sign up with this Meetup group and RSVP. This trip will be limited to 10 people to reduce backcountry impacts. Dogs by Special arrangement with the event host in advance only.
What the group will expect of you: Prior experience hiking over 4,000 feet in the winter is required. You must have the proper winter gear (see below) and the know how to use it comfortably. This is a winter hike over challenging terrain. We start as a group, hike as a group, and finish as a group. Our pace will be that of the slowest hiker. This trip isn't for you if you are faster than the group and don't want to stay with us, if you want to head off on your own, or if you are slower than the group and expect us to constantly wait for you. We could alter our plans because of fatigue, weather, and/or other conditions and there is no guarantee that we will complete the entire event as described here (i.e. we might not reach the summit).
Conditions: With luck conditions will be sunny and pleasant but expect the typical Maine High Peaks in winter: deep snow, ice, high winds, and very cold temps. The ridgeline is open and exposed to the wind. The summits are as rugged as what you would expect in the White Mountains. We will be going over Saddleback twice (although the second time from the ridgeline, not the base), as other trailheads are inaccessible. It is possible that we will come out in the early hours of darkness.
I did my research using the MATC Maine Appalachian Trail Guide or the AMC's Maine Mountain Guide, maps, and the internet. You should become self-reliant by becoming familiar with the route, terrain, and potential hazards since you are ultimately responsible for your own safety. For current trail conditions see trailsnh.com.
Dangerous weather conditions will cancel this event-- I will post an update and/or send an email to all confirmed participants.
Equipment: Full winter gear and clothing are mandatory. In addition to basic winter gear plan on bringing snowshoes with traction, microspikes or their equivalent in Hillsound crampons to the trailhead. Extra headlamp batteries, emergency shelter (a sleeping bag, bivy bag or space blanket at the least), minimum 2 pair handwarmers, insulated winter boots, face-mask, balaclava, and goggles are also mandatory. At book time, the trip would take us 9 hours, so plan your food and water accordingly. A complete list of winter gear is available at HikeSafe please read it and contact me if you have questions.
Meeting Place/ Carpooling/ After Hike: We will be
meeting at 9:30am sharp at the post office in downtown Rangely, ME, just a block south of Park Street. From there we will carpool to the nearby Saddleback Ski Area. Have your gear packed the night before so we can head off without delay. You are responsible for arranging your carpool using the discussion section below. For those who are interested, we'll congregate afterward for a bite/ beverage nearby.
Disclaimer: As a condition of your voluntary participation in this activity you acknowledge and agree to the following: this activity involves inherent risks that can cause property damage, injury, illness, disability, and/or death to participants and/or others; you assume all risk associated with this activity; you are responsible for having the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities, clothing, and equipment to safely participate in this activity; you know and will follow the Hiker Responsibility Code; the organizer(s) of this activity are volunteers; and you release, hold harmless, and indemnify the organizer(s) and all members of this group from any and all claims for property damage, injury, illness, disability, and/or death - including those
caused by negligence and/or other reasons.