Member Trip report
The Kinsmans via Fishin' Jimmy Trail, NH
Trip Report/Photos from Gandalf
Total Distance: 10 miles
Total Time: 7 hours
Total Elevation: 3,550 ft gained
With a bluebird forecast for this Saturday, it would be a fine day for the Kinsmans. Temps would be near 40 in the valleys and in the 30s up on the ridges. I decided on the Fishin' Jimmy Trail to make my way to the Kinsman Ridge Trail. I knew I was in for some PUDs [pointless up and downs] on this trail and potentially some exposed ice on the rocks, but other reports had not indicated that anything beyond light traction was needed. I used MicroSpikes for the entire trip.
I started off a little at 8:15 from Lafayette Place. The heavily-used Lonesome Lake Trail was hard-packed and I had on my MicroSpikes for the steady, switchbacking climb to the lake. The morning views were stellar from the east shore of the lake, looking across at North Kinsman and South Kinsman with Lonesome Lake hut below. The lake was well-frozen and carpeted with windpacked snow. I went across, with a rather biting breeze. The classic view of the Franconias greeted me at the western side. My camera received a workout today.
The Fishin' Jimmy had a nice softly-packed track. The first mile above the hut gains very little elevation, but has five significant downs on the way "up." The pointless up and downs were not terrible, at least on the way up to the summits. The trees were covered with beautiful marshmallow snow!
The upper mile of Fishin' Jimmy has some serious steep climbing. A few of these spots were ice bulges. Some of the icy rocks were a bit tricky, but most had clear paths around them or you just had to work your footing correctly with the MicroSpikes.
Near the top of the last climb I enjoyed a view of Cannon Mt. and the Franconias from a blowdown opening along the trail.
At the Kinsman Ridge Trail junction, I put hand warmers in my gloves and put on a hat. As I climbed up the Kinsman Ridge Trail, I emerged in an open scrubby area with a look ahead to North Kinsman. The views are much enhanced on these ridgetop trails in winter.
I could not stop taking pictures. Visibility was good today. From the flat summit ledge on North Kinsman, I took in the classic view east over Lonesome Lake to the Franconia Range.
Continuing on to South Kinsman the trail was more of the same but it appeared that traffic between the summits heading over to South Kinsman was less since I was sinking a bit into the snow compared to the rest of the trails I was on. Some drifting was evident, but not for the entire 0.9 miles. The Kinsman Ridge Trail offers a couple of fine views as it descends off North Kinsman, including this look ahead at South Kinsman. It was ridgetop forest winter hiking at its best, through open glades on the shoulder of South Kinsman!
I arrived at the north knob of South Kinsman and then continued on to the south knob of South Kinsman with the throne-cairn. I love this broad, snow-caked summit dome. How could you not smile on this beautiful summit, on a day like this! The views were just amazing!
I then climbed back up to the summit of North Kinsman. Starting my descent, I paused to admire this vista back to North Kinsman with Kinsman Pond below. It's a great day to be in the hills!
I then had my lunch break on the North Kinsman ledge, in the sun and out of the wind. I was joined by a large AMC group having their lunch there as well.
As I started my descent, after the Mt. Kinsman Trail junction, I ran into Rob! I did not recognize him at first with his balaclava wrapped around his head. He climbed up via the Cascade Brook and Kinsman Pond Trail. I suspect he’ll be providing a separate trip report. Rob, see you in a couple of weeks!
As I was descending, I took more pictures of the surrounding mountains.
I then continued on the Fishin' Jimmy Trail where the pointless up and downs reared their ugly head. It honestly felt like I was climbing back up to the summits as they were frequent, long, and steep. On the descent from the summits your mindset is not ready to do all that ascending. By this point you are already tired so it just adds insult to injury. Sadly, only a few decent spots for butt sliding were available, too. Finally I arrived at the Lonesome Lake Hut.
Once I got to the other side of the lake I made very quick work of the last section of the Lonesome Lake Trail and made it back to Lafayette Campground.
What a great day! GO PATS!!!
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So kewl to bump into you - wish I'd started earlier but it was what it was!! Gosh I was tired on the summit of Kinsman - that was it for me!! Glad you hit both summits - rock on!!