Katahdin provides an opportunity for rock climbing with an alpine flavor that is nearly unique in the east. Most of the routes are long, and the approaches and descents are even longer. For the most part, however, these routes are quite moderate, and with good route-finding ability one can climb most of the gullies and buttresses at 5.4-5.5 or so. Protection is generally good with a selection of nuts, especially in the larger sizes. The rock itself is a highly weathered, alpine granite, and though the freezing and thawing action have created many good cracks and holds, it has also produced an abundance of loose rock.
Chimney Pond is the center of rock climbing activity at Katahdin. The Ranger will check your gear. Climbing helmets are required. The well-prepared mountaineer should bring foul-weather gear, and a flashlight or headlamp in case of a descent in the dark, as well as carrying standard climbing equipment. Bivouacs are not permitted. Route information is available at Chimney Pond, both from the Ranger and from an informal route book.