After the usual Dare Cimmanon Danish summit cookie shot, we settle down for a long lunch just off of Baxter Peak. There are still a few patches of snow here and their from an early season snowfall from the week before. We have reached the peak before noon. We are making excellent time!
From our lunch spot we can see straight down into the South Basin, with Chimney pond and the huts still visible. Looking west we see new vistas open to us. Katahdin's high alpine tableland slopes gently westward, and then drops off abruptly to the landscape far below. To the north, we can see miles of above-treeline tundra towards Hamlin and the North Peaks. Hamlin is our next stop, and so after finishing our lunch, we head north down towards the saddle separating Baxter peak from Hamlin peak.
Approaching Hamlin's Summit
From the top of Hamlin we have another rest break. From here we can observe our entire day's route, with excellent views of Pamola, the knife edge, and Baxter peak. We also have an excellent perspective of our descent route: Hamlin Ridge.
Basin Ponds in Afternoon Light
The descent down Hamlin Ridge is straightforward, if a bit tiring, owing to the bouldery terrain. The ridge is a bit like a broadened version of the knife edge, with views to the right (south) of the South Basin, and to the left (north) of the remote North Basin. Eventually we reach treeline again (after an amazingly long seven-and-a-half kilometres of hiking above the trees!), and not long after that we reach the Basin Ponds, which offer an even more excellent view than the one given us in the morning.
Splashes of Water and Color
From the Basin Ponds it is a quick hike down the trail (this time in daylight) back to the Roaring Brook trailhead. What an amazing hike and an amazing place. A wonderful combination of Eastern Woodlands and Western-style mountain. Perhaps these peaks would not be so memorable if they were sandwiched between the Rockies and North Cascades, but even so I am very grateful that they are with us out here in the east!
Interactive trackmap with photo points - Baxter & Hamlin - click map to view
Knife Edge-Baxter-Hamlin Loop - Hike Data
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain:
Total Elevation Loss:
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation Profile over Distance
Elevation Profile over Time
Annotated Topographic Map of Hike