Mt. Coe (3764 feet)


This description was written many years before my web project started. Since the 100 highest club only requires that you climb each peak "sometime during your lifetime" this description should still be valid. I have corrected some spelling and glaring grammatical errors, but otherwise I left this description just as I originally wrote it. I will include some modern comments in the text of the description below using italics. (Date transcribed: July 27, 1996)

August 11, 1984

Today Cathi [my first wife], and our friends Mary and John left Cathi's parents's camp about 8:00am EDT for Baxter State Park. The weather was cloudy and threated rain so we planned a climb of the smaller Mt. Coe rather than Katahdin.

The trip along the park roads was longer and more tedious than usual. However, there were some interesting views of Doubletop Mountain. We began the ascent on the Marston Trail. It climbed steeply at first through a primarly fir forest. The trail was somewhat overgrown in areas where most of the trees had died. We later found out from the rangers at the gatehouse that the "dead zones" (which were clearly visable from the higher slopes as gray bands across the forest) were due to an insect infestation a few years earlier. [Actually, what we were looking at were probably "fir waves"—a normal killing of trees that occurs due to winds]

At about 1.3 miles we turned onto the Mt. Coe Trail. A few tenths of a mile later we crossed a small icy stream at which we paused for a break. On the way down the trail we paused here again to wade our feet in the water.

We followed the trail as it ascended alongside the stream. The stream was at the bottom of a rather unusual gulch. It was very open and sandy with numerous boulders strewn about. One got the impression of walking in a gravel pit. [The Mt. Coe Trail follows an old slide] There were many interesting views of Mt. O-J-I and Doubletop Mountain but our destination was in the clouds.

When the trail reached the headwaters of the stream, it began to ascend steeply over open slabs of rock. There was much loose gravel and tricky footing. Progress was slow over this region because Mary's right hand was in a cast and she couldn't support her entire weight on it.

When we reached the top of the open rock we entered the forest again. The trees were only eight feet high and yet the forest was not exceedingly thick. It would not have been too difficult to walk through that forest without a trail. The forest floor was thickly covered with mosses preventing sound from carrying far and giving the place an "indoor" feeling (as Cathi described it).

We shortly obtained the summit from where we saw: fog. The top was just barely clear. The "trees" had shrunk to only a foot or so and it was easy to see over them even while sitting. For a moment things did clear off enough to give us a fair view of North and South Brother and the Klondike. Katahdin itself was not visible.

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© Copyright 1996 by Peter C. Chapin.
Last Revised: July 27, 1996