Saturday, June 22, 2013
Steve, John and I headed up to Hancock Campground on Friday afternoon and grabbed the last site available. The plan was to get both Kinsman peaks which is approximately 10.5 miles and 3,500 of elevation gain.
Saturday was overcast, and in the mid-60's to start the hike but warmed up as the day went on. We hiked up from the Lafayette trail head to Lonesome Lake and then made our way up the Fishin' Jimmy Trail toward Kinsman Pond which is a few hundred feet below the Kinsman North summit. There were a number of shelters and campsites by the pond that looked like a great spot for AT thru-hikers. The climb to get there was pretty reasonable, but it was a steep quarter-mile to the summit of the North peak. From there the ridge trail continued for another 1.5 miles to the South peak. We had lunch and the backtracked to Kinsman Pond.
To avoid a full backtrack we opted to take the Kinsman Pond trail down which added an extra mile primarily down a stream-bed. The trail was not particularly well maintained and became pretty slippery when it began to rain. Given the 0% chance of rain in the forecast, the bad weather was a little bit of a surprise; however, it did not rain very hard while we were on the trial. On the way down, we found a small waterfall about a hundred yards off the trail and went for a quick very cold swim. When we got back to the car, it started pouring which made us pretty concerned about my Walmart tent which has a good history of leaking.
We got back to the campground and needed to clean up before heading into town for the Bruins game. Since there are no showers, the only option was a quick dive in the Pemigewasset (which was probably in the 40's) while it was pouring. Johnny is probably never coming camping with us again. We ended up swapping out tents and staying mostly dry despite the rain.
It was great to get out hiking with Steve and Johnny got to bag his first 4K. The Kinsmans were numbers 19 and 20 on my way to all 48.
Pictures here: Pictures