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Thread: The Kinsmans via Mt Kinsman and Kinsman Ridge Trails - 4/4

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    Senior Member NH Tramper's Avatar
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    North Conway, NH Avatar: Cannon Mtn.

    Thumbs up The Kinsmans via Mt Kinsman and Kinsman Ridge Trails - 4/4

    Date of Hike: Apr. 4, 2013

    Trail Conditions: The first third of the Mt Kinsman Trail was a mix of frozen dirt and ice with next to no snow. The frozen dirt was mud in the afternoon. The second third (and the Bald Peak Spur) was a mix of ice and thin snow, crusty in the morning, soft in the afternoon (the Bald Peak summit was mostly bare rock). The last third was ever-deepening snow. The Kinsman Ridge Trail was snowy and was actually drifted in forcing us to break trail -- trail drifts ranged from two-six inches or so and was dense and heavy. All blowdowns, three on the Mt. Kinsman Trail if I recall, were two easy-overs with one easy under, and were no problem. All crossings were well-bridged and supportive, though the first one is thinning on the uphill side so do use care. We had some snow sticking to our snowshoe sides and decks as the day wore on but it wasn't super significant.

    Special Equipment Used: We started off bare-booting it for the first third of the Mt Kinsman Trail but put on spikes for the second third. When we reached the last third we opted for snowshoes to prevent post-holing plus they offer better traction. (The scrambles were still snowy and safe, no crampons needed.) This became even more important as the day wore on and the sun did its thing. In fact, we used snowshoes on descent all the way to the muddy/icy section down low. Trekking poles were helpful for probing the crossings. Snow depths on the ridge must still be a good three to four feet up high meaning much of the higher trail's canopy is at face level making things tighter in places. Thus, there are sections of this route in which wearing glasses might not be a bad idea so as to prevent eye injury. At least be aware of this possibility when you're up there. Sunglasses were useful in more ways than one.

    Comments: Hiked this one as a (Random) Meetup leader joined by a small crew of two: Patrick and Sue (known in these parts as "Trail Trotter Sue"). We had an amazing day with endless views and beautiful weather, with just enough wind to keep us comfortable. Spring is in the air. We met a solo hiker between the summits who was grateful he started later than we did since we broke the trail out for him.

    Mike "Tramper" Cherim
    Nottingham NH
    Last edited by NH Tramper; 04-05-2013 at 05:30 AM.
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