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Full Moon Hikes at Mt. Abram: We don’t need no stinkin’ chairlift

++ Get out (but, like, not too far). We all love and appreciate the positive effects of the Maine outdoors. Hopefully we’ll be back to all kinds of adventuring soon. But for now, press pause. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry has some great advice: stay close to home, steer clear of busy locations, keep your distance (and stick to walking/hiking with folks from your household). ++

Full Moon Hikes at Mt. Abram: We don’t need no stinkin’ chairlift

Hike up, ski down!

That’s the gist of Mt. Abram’s Full Moon Hikes, which are entirely free and happen monthly throughout the winter. But here’s what else you should know: There’s a sweet little warming hut at the top, where hikers gather to socialize, enjoy a beverage (BYO) and warm up (or cool down, depending on how much sweating took place on the way up).

And there will be sweating.

Hikers meet just as dusk is settling in at the base of the mountain. Your gear is packed into bins on the CAT and hauled up for you (that’s right – you don’t have to carry your gear, thank heavens!). Once your stuff – skis, boots, board, backpack – is tucked into the bins, you can start hiking up.

The path is lit, and you don't even have to haul your gear. Just toss your skis into the bucket and let the CAT do the work! Shannon Bryan photo
The path is lit, and you don’t even have to haul your gear. Just toss your skis into the bucket and let the CAT do the work! Shannon Bryan photo

The gathering of nighttime hikers spreads out pretty quickly during the ascent, with some moving up with good speed while some of us tend to stop often to take in the scenery and really appreciate the full moon against the black sky and the crunch crunch of packed snow under our boots. And by that I really mean “pant heavily.”

The hike up is about 50-minutes (if you take it slow and steady, as I do). And along the way, you’ll likely find yourself disrobing layer by layer as your core temperature begins to rise and the sweating begins. Ah, the sweating.

Up, up, up. Shannon Bryan photo
Up, up, up. Shannon Bryan photo
The top! The warming hut in view! Let's take photos of our breath! Shannon Bryan photo
The top! The warming hut in view! Let’s take photos of our breath! Shannon Bryan photo

The revelry at the summit renews everyone’s vigor. You’re encouraged to carry-in snacks and beverages, and there’s generally a lot of sharing, too. (No kidding, I once saw someone bring a crock pot filled with meatballs. But mostly it’s things like cheese and crackers, cupcakes, chips, etc.) But again, bring what you’d like to eat/drink. The crowd is friendly and if you come back for more hikes, you’ll see familiar faces. Full Moon Hikes have regulars (for good reason. They’re fun).

fullmoon_warminghut
BYO whatever to enjoy in the warming hut – and everyone seems to share, too. Shannon Bryan photo

Eventually everyone heads back down the mountain in whatever way they see fit – hiking, skiing, snowboarding or a ski-tumble-slide that I find surprisingly efficient. Tip: Bring your boots inside the hut early to warm them up before you try putting them on. Frozen boots are no fun.

Back down at the lodge, catch live music and get a beer or food at the Loose Boots Lounge. Shannon Bryan photo
Back down at the lodge, catch live music and get a beer or food at the Loose Boots Lounge. Shannon Bryan photo

The next Full Moon Hike at Mt. Abram is Saturday, Jan. 30 – start hiking up no later than 5:30 p.m. After the hike, catch live music from Chad Porter at the Loose Boots Lounge starting at 8 p.m. Future dates haven’t been listed yet, but check back at www.mtabram.com for more hikes this winter.


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Shannon Bryan

Shannon Bryan

I don't like "exercise" any more than you do. But you know what I do like? Paddleboarding with a friend all afternoon (and then sitting in the grass to drink chardonnay). Bike rides and nachos, hikes, yoga classes held in breweries, group paddles to Fort Gorges, you get the idea. Because Maine is my gym.