Trip report

NORTH AND SOUTH KINSMAN NEW YEAR’S EVE WINTER HIKE

4000 Footer DATE: 12/31/2022 - 12/31/2022

Trip/Event Location: Lincoln, NH

Trip Leader(s): Gandalf , JDNnh

Max # People: 12

Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money

Difficulty Level: Strenuous

Kick off 2023 with a New Year’s Eve 10 mile winter hike up to the summits of the two Kinsmen...North and South (4293' and 4358', respectively).  We will ascend by way of the Mount

...
Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:

From 112 west of Kinsman Notch, take NH 116 and drive 6.4 miles to the new trailhead parking area for the Mount Kinsman Trail, on the right. Just ahead on the left can be seen a tennis court, and across the road is the Tamrack Tennis Camp.

Or from the village of Franconia, drive 4.6 miles south on NH 116. Look for the Tamarack Tennis Camp; the trailhead is 200 feet farther on the left. 

We'll be driving a blue Tacoma Truck. 


Trip Report/Photos
Featured Photo

It was a day of missing turns, sketchy trail conditions but above all, excellent camaraderie with nine kinsmen!

Today we hiked to North Kinsman [4293 feet] and Bald Peak [2,470 feet]. We planned on South Kinsman however given the time we reached North Kinsman; it was best to save it for another day. Overall mileage was 8.2 miles with 3,300 feet gain.

The “first” missing turn was for the trailhead parking for the Mount Kinsman Trail [MKT]. There is not a hiker sign anymore. First Kevin missed it but quickly realized it however it took Russ about 10 minutes continuing down the road before he realized it. I think we got going around 8:30AM.

The conditions and the fact that we were carrying the kitchen sink for gear [snowshoes, etc.] made for slow going. I'll gladly trade 50-degree days with rain for 0 degrees and a foot of powder to break!

We started on bare dry ground with a few icy stretches so we did not put on our Microspikes until the third water crossing. Sharp Hillsounds Microspikes and caution was the way to go however some guys did fine with newer Kahtoola Microspikes. 

Three crossings on MKT were all flowing strong and whatever sections of ice/snow bridging that remained could not be trusted. The water was so high it was running on top of much of the ice! The first crossing we used a log to cross. Next crossing we used rocks with a couple of steps and a decaying snow bridge. The higher crossing just below Bald Peak Spur had significant ice where the trail crosses so we went upstream about 15 ft where it was narrower and found some supportive ice on the sides and pole vaulted the short distance to the other side.

After the Bald Peak junction, MKT was well packed as we meandered upward at varying easy to moderate grades, with occasional steeper pitches. When we reached Kinsman Ridge Trail, we were greeted with views of Cannon Mtn and the Cannonballs. We could see the subtle ghost of Mt. Lafayette shielded by the clouds in the distance!

The snow was soft but not enough for snowshoes with the ledge scrambles having some serious ice making the final push challenging. By the time we reached North Kinsman, the clouds disappeared and we were able to enjoy views of Franconia Ridge, Loon Mountain ski trails, and Mts. Liberty and Flume! We stopped here for lunch and then made our return.

The ‘second’ missing turn was when Rob, Russ and Kevin missed the turn to MKT and continued down Kinsman Ridge Trail. They were ahead of us and we thought it was odd they did not wait for us at the intersection. We continued down the MKT and began to think they missed the turn since we had not seen them. Luckily, they had the sense when they reached the Fishin’ Jimmy Trail that they made a wrong turn and reversed course. They caught up to us on the descent.

We made a quick stop at Bald Peak during our descent, which was just a 0.2 mile detour off of Mt. Kinsman Trail. I was hesitant because we were all pretty tired after the long hike, but the short addition was so worth it! We had gorgeous views to the east. The rest of the descent was pretty straightforward except for being careful with the water crossings once more and lots of mud! By the time we got to our vehicles we were all exhausted.

Upon on our return, we hung out by the fireplace with an assortment of appetizers and soaked our tired muscles in the hot tub. Jon cooked up a delicious herb crusted Prime Rib with Beef Au Jus/ horseradish sauce! The meal was accompanied with roasted potatoes and asparagus with warm bread from the oven. We then had warm molted lava cake topped with whipped cream for dessert. Yum! What a treat for New Year’s Eve! We then opened up some Prosecco Champagne to toast the New Year. Happy New Year everyone! 

  There are 41 photos in Album (Note: Move mouse pointer over larger pic and click on NEXT for better viewing)

What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event

  • We finished 2022 with a fun hike up a NH four thousand footer. Later on some of us regrouped by the warm glow of the fireplace w/plentiful appetizers and lots of laughs. The prime rib was a fork tender medium rare - yum! Chilled Prosecco and molten lava cake ended the evening with cheers of Happy New Year! A grand day with hope for peace, love and adventure for all in 2023! - JDNnh

Members That Participated

Gandalf

Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous


Thornton, NH


United States

Attended
JDNnh

Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous


Thornton, NH


United States

Attended
Ricardo

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous


Boston, MA


United States

Attended
Russell

Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous


Newtonville, MA


United States

Attended
HPC72

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous


Boston , MA


United States

Attended
Eupatorium

Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate


Alexandria, VA


United States

Attended
wildcat

Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous


Stowe, VT


United States

Attended
rlricchi

Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous


Cambridge, MA


United States

Attended
mtrunner

Outdoor Fitness Level: Strenuous


Madison, NH


United States

Attended
JDNnh Jan 3, 2023 at 5:08 PM

Comment: We finished 2022 with a fun hike up a NH four thousand footer. Later on some of us regrouped by the warm glow of the fireplace w/plentiful appetizers and lots of laughs. The prime rib was a fork tender medium rare - yum! Chilled Prosecco and molten lava cake ended the evening with cheers of Happy New Year! A grand day with hope for peace, love and adventure for all in 2023!

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