Ascent of North Kinsman Mountain on 2016-12-04

Climber: Robert Larkin

Others in Party:Sara Larkin
Date:Sunday, December 4, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:North Kinsman Mountain
    Location:USA-New Hampshire
    Elevation:4293 ft / 1308 m

Ascent Trip Report

My daughter and I set out just after 8 a.m. to tackle this behemoth. This is my 2nd time climbing North Kinsman. The first time was via Kinsman Bond Trail in January of 2015. My goal this time was to get to South Kinsman as well (something I didn't accomplish on the first trip due to the amount of time it took me to get up to North Kinsman on that first trip. Since there was 3 feet of snow on the ground at the time, it sort of slowed me down. So this time we via this route. The first section, while steepish, got us to the Lonesome Lake Lodge in about an hour or so. Not a bad time. The trails were snow covered and well packed so hiking was pretty easy. After taking a short break at the lodge and heading out Fishin' Jimmy trail, things became increasingly difficult as this is a fairly steep trail and, to be honest, I am NOT in my best hiking condition yet. We were wearing microspikes till perhaps a half mile or so after the lodge when we decided to switch to spikes. We "could" have gotten by with the microspikes but you know, if you've got the gear, use it. It definitely made some trickier spots easier to navigate. The trail remained well packed however and the only thing slowing us down was my years (55) and lack of proper conditioning.
The hike over to South Kinsman was pretty straight forward and went quickly - again, packed snow with a couple of dicey spots of up and down climbing but overall pretty easy. The hike back went quickly and we were off the mountain before 4 p.m. At one point on the ascent I was completely prepared for the possibility that we might end up finishing up in the dark but that didn't happen. Generally, if I think a climb is going to go that long, I prefer to start in the dark than to finish in the dark.

It was a truly AWESOME day to be up there by the way. It was snowing lightly for the first half of the hike and a little near the peaks as they were socked in by the clouds but we got some amazing shots due to the pure beauty of the trail with all the ice and snow on the trees. It was a truly memorable hike (as was my first time up North Kinsman)

I really should have spent more time getting ready for this hike. I sort of feel like I was in a minor car wreck this morning. It's been quite a while since I've hefted 25 pounds of gear onto my back (last April, I believe) and I haven't done any hiking in the Whites all summer. It was completely worth feeling all beat up today as all hikes up there always leave me in awe of the mountains.

As a final note. I have 6 more peaks left to complete the 4000 footers in New Hampshire, which I'm hoping to complete this winter. We'll see how that goes. I'll have to improve my conditioning alot to do South Carter/Moriah specifically (in one hike), Mt. Cabot, Mt Isolation. West Bond and Owl's head close out the final six of this particular journey which began in 1993 with a 16 year hiatus after I moved further south. It will be awesome to complete this goal and then I want to focus on winter only hikes in New Hampshire to cross that bucket list item off my list as well. :-)
Summary Total Data
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Breezy, Low Clouds
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Robert Larkin
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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