At 5,268 feet, Katahdin is the state’s highest peak. The remoteness and wild beauty of the mountain provides some of the most challenging backcountry skiing and climbing terrain in New England. Reaching the summit at any time of year is an accomplishment, but in the winter it holds a little more magic—and a lot less people. The remote location, arctic environment, and rugged terrain make climbing Katahdin one of the most rewarding winter alpine ascents around.

Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School (AMGCS) offers open enrollment weekend summit climbs throughout the winter. These trips are also available by private arrangement and are lead by experienced winter mountaineering guides. Hiring a guide can make a winter trip significantly more relaxing, rewarding, and will increase your odds of reaching the summit. Climbing Katahdin in winter is a physically demanding trip but requires no previous winter climbing or camping experience when with a professionally trained guide. AMGCS provides all technical equipment on this climb including mountaineering boots, snowshoes, crampons, ice axe, and -20 degree sleeping bag. The weekend trip includes two delicious, hot, and nourishing backcountry meals.

The weekend begins at Acadia Mountain Guides’ 92 Main St Orono gear shop, Alpenglow Adventure Sports, where your guides will ensure you are equipped with the appropriate personal and group gear prior to driving north. Upon arrival at Abol Bridge, you will begin the approach with a half-day hike, ski, or snowshoe to a winter camp at the base of the mountain. Your guide will cook up an awesome nourishing meal to fuel the next day’s stoke & summit attempt. After dinner your guide will teach winter travel, camping, and climbing skills and help you settle into camp in anticipation of an early morning start. After a hot and hearty breakfast, your guide will lead the way toward the summit teaching mountaineering skills as needed. Route conditions can vary greatly. From icy rock to deep snow to icy, semi-technical snow, the guides at AMGCS will ensure you are outfitted with the appropriate equipment to stack the odds in your favor. After a big day of climbing to the summit and descending back to camp, we will make a final push to the trailhead by early evening to complete one of the east’s most challenging and rewarding mountaineering days possible.

AMGCS is your local resource for rock, ice, mountaineering, and backcountry skiing instruction and guiding. Their ridiculously well-stocked gear shops have provided outdoor enthusiasts & climbers with gear from the best brands, at the best prices, since 1986. All AMGCS clients receive 15% off for life in the gear stores. The owner, LifeFlight paramedic Jon Tierney, has taught wilderness medicine for over three decades, guides international climbing and skiing trips, provides mentorship for guides across the nation, and serves as the educational director for the Professional Climbing Instructors Association. AMGCS has been continually accredited and peer reviewed by the American Mountain Guides Association since 1993.  Contact them at or 207 866 7562. For more information, visit  

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