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Thread: The Kinsmen from the West - 28-29 May 2017

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cumulus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Vernon, Conn.

    The Kinsmen from the West - 28-29 May 2017

    Several of us from the Connecticut Section of the GMC spent Memorial Day Weekend in the Whites. On Friday and Saturday some of us hiked Franconia Ridge and Carrigain/Vose Spur, and on Sunday and Monday some more of us, including myself, joined the others for a two day backpack over the Kinsmen, going up Reel Brook Trail and down Mt. Kinsman Trail, spending the night at Kinsman Pond.

    I had done the same hike as a day hike with Whichway back in 2013. None of the others had been on the section of the AT between Reel Brook Trail and South Kinsman. In fact, that was one motivation for the hike; Mandy is filling in the gaps in the AT in New England, and that was one of the gaps.

    Besides Mandy and myself, we were Mike, Jim, and Jim. One of the Jims needed the Kinsmen for the NH4Ks, so that was another motivation for doing this hike. I didn't need it for anything, other than my general goal of hiking a lot with my friends.

    The hardest part of Reel Brook Trail is parking at the trailhead. After my experience last time I pulled off to the side of Reel Brook Road and just walked up the spur road to the trailhead, as did the other car we took there. The rest of Reel Brook Trail is nice enough. There are a few brook crossings which I guess can be tricky, but we didn't have any trouble.

    Since I was the only one who'd been on the section of Kinsman Ridge Trail (which is the AT) from there to SK I got to be the expert. I described it as "nice, then swampy, then very steep", which was correct. At first it follows Eliza Brook (passing EB Shelter, where we took a break), which is very nice. Then it passes Harrington Pond, where the trail is board sunken under an inch or two of water. This was actually not as bad as the last time I'd been there; the water wasn't as deep.

    After that the trail goes up, very steeply and rockily, for what's probably no more than a mile but seems longer. Then you're on South Kinsman. We had great views that day, not only there but everywhere there was an outlook. There were a fair number of people also enjoying the trails, especially after we hit the SK summit, but not as much as you might think on a holiday weekend.

    After South Kinsman we went down and up to North Kinsman, where we hung around the viewpoint for a while, and then went down to Kinsman Pond.

    We all spent the night in the shelter, which is a fairly new, nice two story shelter. There were maybe ten total in the shelter itself, and more tenting around.

    It rained a bit overnight, but when we got up it was just foggy. You couldn't see the other end of the pond. We went out Mt. Kinsman Trail. We decided to skip the spur to Bald Peak.

    When we were almost out whom should I see coming up the trail but LRiz. This was a double coincidence. The previous time I'd been in the Whites, hiking Eisenhower in March, I'd also met LRiz coming up when I was almost out. Also (I didn't even remember this till later) the last time I'd hiked the Kinsmen from Reel Brook Trail to Mt. Kinsman Trail I'd run into LRiz (on the summit of SK that time).

    Thanks to Mandy for organizing this hike, and to Mike, Jim, and Jim for sharing the mountains with us.

    Here are the pictures.



    NE111 in my 50s: 115/115 (67/67, 46/46, 2/2)
    NE111 in my 60s: 51/115 (39/67, 11/46, 1/2)
    NEFF: 50/50; Cat35: 39/39; WNH4K: 40/48; NEHH 84/100
    LT NB 2009

    "I don't much care where [I get to] --" said Alice, "-- so long as I get somewhere," ...
    "Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
    - Lewis Carroll

  2. #2
    Senior Member Grey J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Chattanooga TN
    I like the Kinsman photo of you. Cumulus foreground, cumulus background.
    "I am a pilgrim and a stranger"

  3. #3
    Senior Member Driver8's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    West Hartford, CT (Photo: Sages Ravine, Salisbury, CT)
    Thanks, Cumulus. Your first Kinsman Pond photo is a beauty.
    NH4K: 21/48; N.E.4K: 25/67; NEHH: 28/100; NEFF: 14/50; Northeast 4K: 27/115

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