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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.