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North Kinsman - page 3 of 3

The Kinsman Ridge Trail led uphill gradually at first, but soon became very steep, with numerous short switchbacks. The trees were heavily coated with snow, and hung down over the trail, so I had to make sure my hood was tied on to keep snow off my head. As I climbed higher, there were several spots along the way where I could get reasonably good views toward the northwest.

Some parts of the trail were steeper than others and required good handholds on the trees that closely lined the path. As I passed beyond about 3900 ft, I entered the fog. It wasnít real thick, but it was enough to obscure the view out in the distance. It also caused frost feathers (rime ice) to form on the needles of the spruce and fir trees. 

After climbing through frozen forests of trees like this for a while, I finally reached the summit. The actual summit of North Kinsman is wooded, and the true summit is a boulder just off the trail. The boulder isnít very spectacular though, and a short distance off the trail, is a ledge that is supposed to look out over Kinsman Pond and Franconia Ridge. Of course, today it looked out into the void. I held the camera at armís length and took a picture of myself (such as it is) anyway.

I had planned to continue on to South Kinsman, but it was later than I had hoped and I was tired. After spending no more than 10 minutes at the summit, I started back down the trail, the same way I had climbed up. Most of the trail was powder-covered packed snow and ice, and I considered taking off my crampons so I could slide down some of the pitches. But a few really steep slippery spots convinced me to leave them on.

I soon passed Kinsman Junction once again, and kept going down the Fishiní Jimmy Trail. When I came to the area where the steep iceflow-covered ledge was, I knew I had to be extra careful. Unfortunately, the ice must have been thin where I stepped, and my crampons didnít have enough to grab into, and I suddenly slipped, sliding quickly downhill sideways on my back. I had been holding onto a small tree, but the force of the fall jerked my hand away, and I couldnít hold on. Luckily (or maybe unluckily), a stopped about 20 ft later when my leg slammed into a small tree. Fortunately, I was only bruised. I put some snow on to help swelling and took some ibuprofen. I only decided to take off my crampons, which werenít needed so much below this point anyway. I resolved to be much more careful the rest of the way down. I had to move a little slower anyway because my leg hurt.

After reaching (finally) Lonesome Lake Hut, the going got easier and I could move more quickly. I made it back to the bottom from the hut in about 45 minutes. Near the bottom, I passed the only other people I had seen all day. They were 3 poorly-equipped hikers heading up to Lonesome Lake. They asked when it usually got dark around there, then continued going up. I hope they made it there and back again safely. After reaching the bottom around 3:45 PM, I called home, then left, making it back in just under 2-1/2 hours.

Going up the Kinsman Ridge Trail. The trees were heavily coated with snow, and hung down over the trail, so I had to make sure my hood was tied on to keep snow off my head.

Kinsman Ridge Trail.jpg (41151 bytes)

Looking northwest from the Kinsman Ridge Trail toward Littleton, NH and St Johnsbury, VT in the upper Connecticut River valley.

Another View Northwest from Kinsman Ridge Trail.jpg (66059 bytes)

The Cannonballs from the Kinsman Ridge Trail. From N Kinsman, the Kinsman Ridge Trail heads north over the summits of the three Cannonballs and then on to Cannon Mtn.

View Toward Cannonball from Kinsman Ridge Trail.jpg (58987 bytes)

Looking perpendicularly across the Kinsman Ridge Trail at a one steep section. This portion of the trail was steeper than others and required good handholds on the trees that closely lined the path.

View to Side of Kinsman Ridge Trail.jpg (47000 bytes)

Frost feathers (rime ice) on trees. Above 3900 ft, I entered the fog which caused frost feathers (rime ice) to form on the needles of the spruce and fir trees. 

Frost Feathers on Kinsman Ridge Trail.jpg (61854 bytes)

Self-portrait at the summit of N Kinsman Mtn. The actual summit of North Kinsman Mtn is wooded, and the true summit is a boulder just off the trail.

On the Summit.jpg (22502 bytes)

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