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 Redlining In A Winter Wonderland - Acadia - 12/15/16 
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 Redlining In A Winter Wonderland - Acadia - 12/15/16
Thursday the weather looked prety brutal up in the Whites, so thegibba and I headed up the coast to see what was happening in Acadia and work on some redlining. We arrived to find the park dusted in a fresh few inches of snow but temps in the low 20's barely a breeze and mostly blue skies. The last trail on the east face of Dorr Mountain I needed was the Emery Path, which climbed up the steep face on hundreds of stone steps, just like the other trails that ascend that side of the mountain. Under the thin layer of snow was a thinner layer of ice, but it was enough that spiked were pretty much required equipment. Without them travel would have been treacherous, with them it was no problem at all. As we climbed the ice got thicker but the snow got deeper so it was easy enough to follow that trail up to the Schiff Path.

21 degrees at sunrise in Portland. High temp for the day!
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New sign!
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Quiet time of year in Acadia
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Makes sense
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My first time on the Emery Path
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A little snow over a little ice
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Beautiful morning on the trails!
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Ice increased as we climbed
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Watch your step, hundreds and hundreds of steps
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View out over Bar Harbor towards Schoodic & Black Mtns
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thegibba taking in the scenery
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Great Meadow and the Porcupine Islands
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Working our way up the east face of Dorr
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Nice pitch pine forest to stroll through
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Once we joined that one the snow got a bit deeper, maybe 4-6" with some deeper drifts, but not enough to make us sorry we left the snowshoes at home. Someone had come up another trail so we followed them to the next junction, where, despite my crunching purposefully in the snow, I managed to scare the crap out of two women when they finally noticed me 10 feet away from them. They were facing the other way and the wind was blowing good up higher so they never heard me. We talked to them for a minute where one of them noting the wind and cold as they layered up proclaimed that the view was great and in spite of the forecast for cold and wind "anyone who sat home on their couch today is a loser!" Couldn't have agreed more! :D After they layered up they turned back the way they came, out of the wind and missing the summit and even better views by a few hundred yards. We trudged up for a look around and brief break at the actual summit where a frosted Cadillac stole the views show but the rest of the park looked pretty good too.

Views opening up on the Schiff Path
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Huguenot Head & Champlain Mtn across the notch
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A rare blaze sighting
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Beechcroft Trail circling around HH
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Cool but nice day for a hike by the sea
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Headed for the summit
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This was about as deep as the snow got. Snowshoes still might have been useful
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View of Cadillac from said summit
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The last few steps to the very windy summit
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A cold looking high point of the east coast
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Harsh winters make the alpine zone start around 1000 feet
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Schoodic and the Blacks across Frenchman Bay
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We started down the Dorr North Ridge trail and things quickly got interesting. In Acadia National Park they blaze the plentiful open ledge areas higher on the mountain by painting right on the bedrock, and the Bates Cairns they use are about a foot high, so with 8" or so of snow up there the blazes were nowhere to be found and the cairns mostly buried in drifts. Multiple times we had to spread out and search the open areas for where the trail went. Fortunately we knew it pretty much followed the height of the ridge from previous trips, but it was a good lesson to learn that Acadia in winter can pose some route finding difficulties for the ones who have the honor of breaking trail. The first half mile or so we decided that even with just 6 inches of snow it might have made life easier to have brought the snowshoes along. Certainly would have prevented some ankle rolling on covered rocks and made the going faster and less cautious. I even managed to perform a textbook barrel roll after stepping too close to the edge of a rock with a mini cornice on it. Once back in the trees things got easier with the blue blazes actually visible much of the time and we made it up and over Kebo Mountain without issue before descending to the Kebo Brook Trail in a sudden snow squall. :? A short stint on that took us to the Strathenden Path, which I needed half of for the red line, so we took that back to the car along the underside of Kebo Mountain without much excitement. Totals for the hike were 4.5 miles and 1400 feet of climbing.

Headed down a frozen Dorr North Ridge Trail
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Bar Island & Harbor
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Looking for a trail
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Lowly Kebo Mountain was our next destination
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A little less snow down lower
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Snow squall coming in over Cadillac
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The only real view I found near the summit. Good thing there's no leaves
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Peter checking to make sure they marked the highest bump as the summit
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Snow squall arriving
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First half of the Stratheden Path was needed for redlining
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Not much to see other than a woodpecker as you circle around Kebo Mountain
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Still a working payphone at the visitors center
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Parkman Mountain was the plan for part two of the day so we hopped in the car and headed to the center of the park, stopping twice to grab about a half mile of connecting trails I needed before parking in the pull out near the Goat Trail. By then the temps were dropping, the wind was whipping and the sun was setting so we knew we were in for a cold trip. We headed for the Maple Spring Trail which followed a brook up into the rugged little notch between Parkman and Sargent Mountains, where it became apparent we were not going to catch sunset from the bald summit. It actually set at 3:50, which was a good half hour earlier than we thought it would. Oops. :oops: But it also appeared it was blocked for the most part by some clouds on the horizon, so not a total loss. Instead of taking the short way up we headed down the Giant Slide Trail to climb up Parkman from the north and get in another 3/4 of a mile of red ink. The Giant Slide Trail is a rugged one, following the bottom of a brook valley with a lot of rock hopping and scrambling, as well as many of the blazes being on the rocks and under snow so navigation was again a bit slow, and included Peter dunking his foot in the water on a crossing we didn't even need to make.

Boardwalks on the Maple Spring Trail
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The trail passes under the Hemlock Bridge
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Trail gets rougher as it climbs up along the brook
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From an off trail ledge there appeared to be no sunset
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We finally came to the Parkman Mountain Trail junction and began the climb up the ridge to the summit by headlamp. The wind was really whipping but skies were clear as we trudged up in 6 inches of snow. With no real reason to stop we arrived at the open summit quickly where we zipped up tight under the cold, starry skies. Temp on top was 12 degrees and the winds were a steady 30 mph or so. The only sights to see were the tail end of the sunset, a couple planets shining bright and a million stars, so we didn't stay long at all before heading down the other side. Once we dropped below the summit ledges the winds were blocked enough that we could take a few pictures of the stars before putting it in high gear for the last mile+ of trail to the car and then heading for the nearest Dunkin Donuts and a hot coffee ASAP.

Breaking out the headlamps on the Giant Slide Trail
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Nearing the very cold and windy summit of Parkman as the stars come out
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The very end of a distant sunset from the summit
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A few starry night shots once we were down out of the -10 wind chills
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Nobody does night skies like Acadia in winter
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A little bit of the Milky Way before we call it a night
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The second hike was also 4.5 miles with 1000 feet of elevation gain. 9+ miles with 2400 feet of elevation gain if you're keeping score at home. Always nice to see Acadia with it's winter coat on and it's a great time to get in a quiet hike there, as the place is mostly deserted in winter. As I mentioned winter hiking there has it's own set of unique challenges, ice and route finding on un-tracked trails with the blazes buried under snow being two of the biggest, but otherwise it's an awesome spot for some winter miles and I hope to get back soon for more.


Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:05 pm
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 Re: Redlining In A Winter Wonderland - Acadia - 12/15/16
Granite Guy wrote:

A little less snow down lower
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My favorite pic.

Wonder if the CCC had a hand in all those steps around your favorite trails?

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Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:52 pm
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 Re: Redlining In A Winter Wonderland - Acadia - 12/15/16
CCC had a huge roll in the early development of the park. If/when 8) you get there trails like those on Dorr's east face, Beechcroft, the Perpendicular trail etc with the impeccable stonework were all made by them I believe. I think I have read somewhere they constructed the famous iron rung routes in the park also. Built the campgrounds as well and their old camp is still the park headquarters. It's a nice long lasting tribute they built to their work and themselves! :D


Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:19 am
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 Re: Redlining In A Winter Wonderland - Acadia - 12/15/16
Wow! You can still see all those stars even with the town and its lights nearby? Great sunset photo as well! And the woodpecker! First report and photos I've ever seen of winter Acadia. Nice!


Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:07 pm
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 Re: Redlining In A Winter Wonderland - Acadia - 12/15/16
Beckie and Prema wrote:
Wow! You can still see all those stars even with the town and its lights nearby? Great sunset photo as well! And the woodpecker! First report and photos I've ever seen of winter Acadia. Nice!


The town is pretty dark this time of year, but yeah, all those stars and more! Acadia looks great in winter white. These honestly are not near the top of the most scenic trails in Acadia list. The routes were chosen for redlining, and because the weather was deadly in the Whites that day. Still, an enjoyable day in my book.


Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:51 pm
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 Re: Redlining In A Winter Wonderland - Acadia - 12/15/16
Nice! Still, may never happen but a day trip there in winter may be pushed up to, possible. 8)

Great night shots as always. One of these days I'll have to get out at night with my DSLR and try to figure it out.

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Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:12 am
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 Re: Redlining In A Winter Wonderland - Acadia - 12/15/16
It's nice to get great lighting all day long, and early sunsets mean you can stick around for them, even on a day trip, and still get home at a decent hour.

JustJoe wrote:
One of these days I'll have to get out at night with my DSLR and try to figure it out.


ISO to 1600+, steady the camera, open aperture all the way, 30 second exposure for realistic looking stars. Longer for the star trails. VOILA! :D


Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:17 pm
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 Re: Redlining In A Winter Wonderland - Acadia - 12/15/16
Granite Guy wrote:
30 second exposure


Wow, that's a long time. I assume there can't be much light present with it being open that long for it not to be over-exposed.

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Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:34 pm
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 Re: Redlining In A Winter Wonderland - Acadia - 12/15/16
Great photos as always. Are you really getting those night shots without a tripod? If you are your hands are a lot steadier than mine.. :)


Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:22 pm
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 Re: Redlining In A Winter Wonderland - Acadia - 12/15/16
Shirehiker wrote:
Great photos as always. Are you really getting those night shots without a tripod? If you are your hands are a lot steadier than mine.. :)


Thanks, and technically yes, but I'm just setting the camera on rocks, snow or my backpack down low to get the camera out of the howling winds and steady it.

JustJoe wrote:
Granite Guy wrote:
30 second exposure


Wow, that's a long time. I assume there can't be much light present with it being open that long for it not to be over-exposed.


This one is pretty over exposed. The sky was black but the lights of Bar Harbor lit it up like daylight after 30 seconds
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If the moon's is out you can definitely get pics that look like daylight if you expose too long. 30 seconds f 8.0 ISO 800
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So moonless nights work best, then you can pretty much leave the shutter open for minutes or hours and make star trails if you want. 30 seconds is about the maximum length of time you can expose a wide angle shot and still have the stars not leave trails, so I try and do a 15-30 second shot at the lowest ISO possible so the stars will still show brightly but still keep the grain and noise down.

This one was 20 seconds at f 3.5 and ISO 1600
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Both of these were 30 seconds f 4.5 ISO 3200
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This one was 8 minutes at 4.0 and ISO 100
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10 minutes f 8.0 ISO 400
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Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:20 pm
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 Re: Redlining In A Winter Wonderland - Acadia - 12/15/16
It's awesome to see how far the stars move in an amount of time. I did dunk both of my feet over the boots. They felt a few lbs heavier afterwards and were ice blocks when I tried to take them off at the car. They numbed up a bit hanging about at the summit and some of the walk down. I suppose If I changed socks it would have made a huge difference. I didn't since we were so close to the car. I also learned the downside to lithium batteries. They output higher longer but when they die. They die quickly. My headlamp was very ineffective this go around. I could basically see just around my feet. This allowed me waaay down. This may be the first time Derek beat me off the mountain. My phone would have been more effective.


Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:34 pm
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