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Thread: Kearsage North Fire Tower - Snazzy Upgrade

  1. #1
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    Kearsage North Fire Tower - Snazzy Upgrade

    I was in the mood for a today and was planning to hit Wildcat after a run for parts down in North Conway. When I drove by this AM they were fully staffed and running the snow guns in front of the lodge, my guess was staff training?. So I needed an alternative hike as in theory no hikers during ski area operations until they are open to the public. I had not been to Kearsage North for awhile as last year it was getting hammered with hikers and there were parking issues along the road. The town line of Bartlett and North Conway runs up the center of the road and Bartlett decided to start ticketing all cars parked on their side of the road. I had not heard how it was resolved but there are now several no parking areas posted along the road. There was one space in the actual hikers lot directly in front of the trail. I elected to park on the North Conway side of the road (off the pavement) in a legal spot. It was fine day for hike, some trace of wet ice on the boulder on the last stretch to the tower. When I got to the tower there were new pressure treated stairs and a completely new set of PT boards on the walkway around the exterior of the tower. There was also a new door to the interior and brand new wall to wall flooring. I was surprised to see hard edge grained softwood (probably hard pine), with a finish on it. Definitely not expected and sadly probably going to get abused by folks ignoring the no traction signs, I expect many folks would love to have a floor like this in their home.

    It was a 100 mile visibility day today, hard to beat, it was cool to start but warmed up to the point where I came down with shorts and a T shirt. When I drove past Wildcat, no trace of snow where they had been making it today. With a big rain storm predicted for Saturday, whatever snow on the summits will probably get washed out.

  2. #2
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    Thanks PB. So to my knowledge the parking situation is still uncertain. The upper saco valley land trust was hoping to acquire 5 acres of property abutting the current trail parking, with plans to create a larger parking area and connect the Kearsarge North trail to the various lands to the west managed by the USVLT (for which there currently is no public access). But the property was sold to a private party. Parking on the road continues to be a chronic problem (I counted 40 cars there a few weeks back). Also, the parking lot for Black Cap is being significantly expanded. A large swath of trees adjacent to the current lot has been cleared.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    We have the same 'traction' problem here in the Catskills (I suspect everyone does). While not wearing spikes helps preserve the wood, it is much less safe. So, I usually say, remove them if you think it's safe.
    Tom Rankin
    Web Master - NY Forest Fire Lookout Association
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    Past President - Catskill 3500 Club
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  4. #4
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Build it and they will come. Both Mt. Kearsarge and especially Black Cap are showing erosion. Limit the parking and ticket those whom do so illegally. Put the money into Trail Maintenance.
    Last edited by skiguy; 10-30-2021 at 02:56 PM.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  5. #5
    Senior Member MikePS's Avatar
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    I did this a couple of weeks ago, love the upgrade to the tower. Hope the spikes will be left at the bottom. It would be good to add a small addition to the lot, currently maxed out at 8-10 cars depending on how folks park, sometimes overnighters snag 2 or 3 spots. Not to hijack, but some significant trail work over on South Moat, the USFS has been busy, thanks!

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    I don’t disagree with the if you build it they will come. It’s just a fact of life that larger parking lots will themselves be filled to capacity in the not to distant future. No great solutions. Same issue with so many climbing areas, like Rummey. It’s a zoo and you can’t really go there anymore on the weekends.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TCD's Avatar
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    You know, I am happy that lots of people are taking up the outdoor games.

    I hope they get educated; I hope they learn to be safe.

    But I don't mind a crowd. And I don't mind waiting in line to get on a climb.

    People are outside, getting healthy! That's so much better than paying tons of money to support people whose health is deteriorating sitting at a desk somewhere.

  8. #8
    Senior Member maineguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rankin View Post
    We have the same 'traction' problem here in the Catskills (I suspect everyone does). While not wearing spikes helps preserve the wood, it is much less safe. So, I usually say, remove them if you think it's safe.
    I don't understand why they don't use steel perforated serrated treads on all stairways and other exposed areas:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=perf...sJH1TUATEUgVhM

    Gotta be better than this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Notice how the first landing is not wood and while not serrated, is much better than wood. (Carrigain)
    Last edited by maineguy; 10-31-2021 at 09:49 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    I don't understand why they don't use steel perforated serrated treads on all stairways and other exposed areas:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=perf...sJH1TUATEUgVhM

    Gotta be better than this:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CARR 06 009.jpg 
Views:	80 
Size:	113.6 KB 
ID:	6722

    Notice how the first landing is not wood and while not serrated, is much better than wood. (Carrigain)
    Agree. If you allow snow and ice to build up, you are asking for trouble. I assume wood stairs are cheaper than galvanized steel.

  10. #10
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Me and Shay will have to check this tower out.Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #11
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maineguy View Post
    I don't understand why they don't use steel perforated serrated treads on all stairways and other exposed areas:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=perf...sJH1TUATEUgVhM

    Gotta be better than this:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CARR 06 009.jpg 
Views:	80 
Size:	113.6 KB 
ID:	6722

    Notice how the first landing is not wood and while not serrated, is much better than wood. (Carrigain)
    There are historical reasons, in some cases.

    Getting them up there is another logistical issue.

    Cost.
    Tom Rankin
    Web Master - NY Forest Fire Lookout Association
    Volunteer - Balsam Lake Mountain
    Past President - Catskill 3500 Club
    CEO - Views and Brews

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