Getting to South Kinsman (the short way!)

Not being the best of days for a hike, but being an important step in the season: the FIRST HIKE!

Yay to Shawn, Laur and Ryan for being up for it!

Here is the album of photos, and here are some prime shots. This was about a 12-14mi hike which might be about 6h in the summer, but was more like 8-8.5h due to the trail conditions…Really a great loop. Even stopped at Lonesome Lake on the way back which is always enjoyable.

We went up from The Basin, along I-93 just past the Franconia Notch visitor center. It’s a small lot on the east side of the highway, with an underpass for hikers to get to the Kinsman side. There must be, but I’m not sure, of a trail from the lot up to the Lafayette Ridge…

We hiked the Cascade Trail – along this great flow of water, for about the first hour and a half. Very cool to check out the flow. Really a great feature to hike along past. I really enjoyed finding a new trail, one so enjoyable. It would eventually come to the south end of the Kinsman Pond. Over some crazy snow causeways.

But first some more cascades. Seriously neat stuff!

Aww, how cute!

But wait, there was something else going on: the Post Holing. Look at this deep one!

Shawn was pretty annoyed by the dramatic crashing-through of the causeway hiking. So he took matters into his own hands and MacGyvered some snowshoes out of pine (spruce) boughs and his micro-spikes. They worked for a little while…

And with perseverance, we arrived at the wonderful Kinsman Pond. What a beautiful spot. We had lunch on a rock on the water. It was so cute and cozy, all four of us piled up on the edge. Thank you to Ryan for the flasked provisions. Perfect after the frustration of post-hole dynamics.

Just above the Pond, about a 45m trek right up, is the near-summit of North Kinsman – this is the outcropping of view. So good. I’ve been here a few times. It is a real classic. There’s the pond in the lower right. Do you recognize it?

Then onward the next 45min or so to South Kinsman. What a lovely spot.

You may have seen my “Mountaintop Boogie” gif – here is a still. Really enjoyed this summit. Met a nice guy who had come up 9 miles from the other side, from Lost River. That’s where you can get a nice day hike to Moosilauke to the south, or a crazy long hike to here, South Kinsman, with another three hours/6 miles to Lonesome Lake and down…Great to see. He cruised past us on Fishin Jimmy (the AT) later in the day.

Meanwhile, I was still reveling in attaining South Kinsman after getting to North Kinsman three or four times prior. South has a much nicer summit. Really, a smooth mini-Moosilauke. Would love to be there in the summer – maybe from that southern approach sometime!

And here, looking out into the Pemi, on the far side of Haystack (or is it Flume?)

And there in the distance to the northeast, like an old friend, on the far side of Lafayette, It looks like Adams, peeking out on the north flank of the Prezzies. Love this territory for some good hiking!

See you next time!

Oh, here’s the Basin after all. I like these amazing geological phenomena.

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