The Kinsmans via Mt Kinsman and Kinsman Ridge Trails - 12/29

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NH Tramper

Apr 10, 2012
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North Conway, NH Avatar: Cannon Mtn.
Date of Hike: Dec. 29, 2012

Trail Conditions: All crossings on the Mt Kinsman Trail were fully bridged and supportive. There were no blowdowns noted on either trail. Trail surfaces were mostly packed out though not fully hard where they were. Traction with snow shoes was excellent, though, offering very little slippage. There was 8" or so in the parking area -- which was not plowed causing a few issues for some -- and up to 14" or so high up and on the Kinsman Ridge Trail with deeper drifts now and then. That said, the south summit was well scoured leaving a hard dusting only. All scrambles were easy and any ice well covered.

Special Equipment Used: Microspikes and crampons weren't needed (though we had them), but snowshoes were very useful, and I'd say they were required, though we did encounter some folks not using theirs. Trekking poles helped with balance on the snowshoes.

Comments: Hiked this one with a Meetup group I was leading; there were six of us in total including myself and our own Bill Robichaud (brobichaud here on the VFTT). A really great group. We were the first ones on the mountain. We did see snowshoe tracks from the day before, but whoever broke out the Mt Kinsman Trail only did so to about 3600 feet. We had to do the rest. The Kinsman Ridge Trail was well broken out up until the North Kinsman summit, after which we followed only one hiker's tracks. Unfortunately for that peakbagger, their tracks stopped at the first cairn on the false summit! We had to break out the trail the rest of the way to the large cairn on the true summit. Somebody's going to be kicking themselves if they read this I bet. Great views, right up until we left the South summit then the clouds came and the snow showers started. On our exit we ran into perhaps 15 people in varied groups on the Kinsman Ridge Trail. Nice day to be in the mountains!

NOTE: The South Kinsman summit can in fact be counted by visiting the first cairn, though I feel the south are is nicer and worth the extra steps.

Mike "Tramper" Cherim
Nottingham NH
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