North & South Kinsman Hike
Hiking/Walk DATE: 02/22/2014 - 02/22/2014
Trip/Event Location: Lincoln, NH
Max # People: 15
Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money
Difficulty Level: Strenuous
Join us for this 10.4 mile snowshoe up to the summits of the two Kinsmen...North and South (4293' and 4358', respectively). We will ascend by way of the Mount Kinsman Trail, which...
As you pass the exit for Lincoln, continue on I-93 N for 16.0 miles. Take exit 38 toward NH-116 Franconia/Sugar Hill (0.2 mile). Turn left onto NH-116 South and take this for approximately 5.0 miles. The trailhead parking will be on the left...just south of the Coppermine Trailhead and Pinestead Lodge. There is a small sign for the parking area just to the south of the Franconia/Easton town line (you will see a small pond on your left). Total distance from Lincoln is 21.2 miles (24 minutes). Look for a blue Toyota FJ Cruiser.
Around 9am six GOers were ready and set off on the trail. I started off on snowshoes whereas everyone else wore MicroSpikes. The snow was getting softer and at the site of the former Kinsman Cabin everyone else put on their snowshoes except for Martin. There appeared to be a group ahead of us breaking trail. We were feeling strong and seem to be having no problems that would hold us back.
At the junction of Bald Peak we found the trail to the peak not broken. At this point Martin put on his snowshoes. Jon and I took turns breaking 0.2 mile of trail to the summit. The bare, flat summit at 2,470 feet had good views over Easton valley, Mt. Moosilauke, Benton Range, mountains in Vermont and the looming wooded wall of North Kinsman where we were going to.
After Bald Peak we started our climb up to Mt. Kinsman enjoying the ease of movement on the trail as we began to take on some of the elevation gain. The wind was not nearly as strong as was forecasted so, we were leaning towards a successful day.
The trail remained in in great shape and we make our way over to the junction of the Kinsman Ridge Trail. Heading up, the trees began to dress themselves with much more snow. For some reason, the climb up began to be much harder than I remember so I was struggling up the ascent. We hit the junction and stop for some food and a rest. The temps were great in the upper 20s, however if we stand for too long, we began to feel cold. Jon and I lead the way and because of the snow cover, we moved quickly. On the summit of Mt. Kinsman we had lunch on its ledge where the sun broke out of the clouds just in time. The views are impressive and the clouds are dramatic. We all take in the sights and are in awe. The trees that line the trail are frozen solid and glistening from the sun.
Back on the trail towards South Kinsman, the trail is thankfully broken. We begin to run into groups that broke the trail. We continue to move in and out of the trees and up and down in elevation slightly. We arrived at the summit in great spirits and congratulate one another. It is not long before we head back and make our way over the trail we just walked. Dealing of course with the section of climbing up North Kinsman again, we take our time.
As we make our way back to the cars, we discover the trail has remained perfect with no post holers. We don’t spend a lot of time at the junction for the Mt. Kinsman trail, just enough to get our breath and give our feet a rest. There were a couple sections where we could butt slide. At the junction for Bald Peak we noticed a bunch of packs left behind as a large group went up to Bald Peak. We continue back to the cars and make good time as the trail is still in good shape.
Heading down Martin’s snowshoe binding breaks so he switches back to MicroSpikes. At 4:30pm we hit the parking lot after starting at 9am so, it is a good day on the trails. Winter hiking gives us a chance to stretch comfort zones and challenge oneself.
It was another wonderful day in the whites! We came, accomplished what we set out to do and best of all I were able to catch up with some old hiking friends and make new ones. I hope you sign up for some of our remaining winter trips. Hiking in a group is the wise thing to do because you never know what can happen. Continue to hike with GO friends this winter!
~ Mike Boisvert
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What Members Are Saying About This Trip/Event
JDNnh Feb 24, 2014 at 4:21 PM
Comment: Whew - That was a serious calorie burn with a huge dose of fun! Thanks Guys I needed that recharge!
Bobcat Feb 23, 2014 at 11:47 AM
Comment: Hi Mike & Jon: Thanks for the great hiking trip- it was a good workout! Also, the apres hike dinner really hit the spot! See you later & Thanks- BobCat