Ascent of Mount Kearsarge on 2015-07-16

Climber: Neil Benson

Others in Party:Molly Buckley
Connor Putnam
Date:Thursday, July 16, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Kearsarge
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:2920 ft / 890 m

Ascent Trip Report

We drove to Winslow State Park on a sunny, clear, and pleasant Thursday morning. We had decided that we would take the steeper and rougher Winslow Trail up the mountain, then follow the more mellow and scenic Barlow Trail (which coincides with the Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway) down for the descent. We progressed up the steep and rocky terrain of the Winslow Trail through forests of pine and spruce quickly on this beautiful day, eager to reach the summit. Some distance up the trail we were distracted from our goal somewhat as we passed a fully exposed boulder on the left side of the trail which offered magnificent views to the northeast from Kearsarge's north face. We could clearly observe the rich, blue majesty of Pleasant Lake on this clear day, as well as the Sunapee Range and Mount Moosilauke and the southern whites in the far distance. We also found what appeared to be a plastic hamster ball lying underneath a small pine tree at this location. We found a riddle written on a sheet of paper inside it which we answered correctly, but I won't be sharing the question or answer here ;) You'll have to find it for yourself! We continued up the trail until we reached several bands of exposed granite off the trail to the left somewhere around the 2,700-800' contour area. We dillydallied exploring around this area, (which offered truly breathtaking views north, especially of the close-up Ragged Mountain) for some time before finally reaching the summit soon after. We climbed the fire tower and took in the 360 degree panoramic views. We then went back down to the summit, ate lunch, and spent a while exploring the scenic views of the White Mountains to the northeast, Lakes Region to the southeast, Mount Monadnock to the southwest, and Mount Cardigan to the northwest. We descended via the Barlow Trail, a scenic route which passes an Alpine Bog ecosystem marked by a sign on the left side of the trail. The Barlow Trail was much less steep and much more scenic than the Winslow Trail, and is a good recommended option for a descent down Mount Kearsarge to the Winslow trailhead.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1120 ft / 341 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1120 ft / 341 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Quality:4 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1120 ft / 341 m
    Distance:1.2 mi / 1.9 km
    Route:Winslow Trail
    Start Trailhead:Winslow State Park Trailhead  1800 ft / 548 m
    Time:1 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1120 ft / 341 m
    Distance:1.8 mi / 2.9 km
    Route:Barlow Trail / Sunapee-Ragged-Kearsarge Greenway
    End Trailhead:Winslow State Park Trailhead  1800 ft / 548 m
    Time:1 Hours 

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