North & South Kinsman

North Kinsman

  • Elevation: 4,293 Feet
  • Location: Franconia, NH
  • Date Hiked: October 2016
  • Companions: Stud
  • Trails: Fishin Jimmy Trail/Appalachian Trail

South Kinsman

  • Elevation: 4,358 Feet
  • Location: Franconia, NH
  • Date Hiked: October 2016
  • Companions: Stud
  • Trails: Kinsman Ridge Trail/Appalachian Trail

Sometime over the summer I proposed to Stud that we hike the NH48.  Even though I have already hiked almost half of them, I never considered myself much of a peak bagger and I never bothered to keep track until now.  I’ve always been motivated up mountains for the sweet smell of the pine trees, the fresh air, the exercise, the quiet and the magic of the forest.  I love a view and I do enjoy a summit very much but I’ve always been cautious about letting myself get too focused on summiting.  I don’t want to miss out on the journey and I also want to be safe.  My first attempt up Katahdin was thwarted by fast moving dark clouds and hail just as I was less then a quarter mile from the summit.  I took a cut off trail and headed back down.  I’m not trying to die on a mountain.  I go up mountains to live!

All that said, I was inspired by these women to allow myself the goal of hiking all the NH48 and I decided to ask Stud to do it with me.  I often hike the same trails and the same mountains and I have spots in the White Mountains that motivate me to plan trips around but the idea of trying to complete this list of the NH48 brings so much new adventure. There are mountains on the list that I have never heard of and there are sections of the Whites that I have never even been to!  There are so many ridge lines to explore that I might not explore otherwise.  I am really excited about this longterm goal with Stud.  We are thinking of it as a 5-year plan.

Stud and I hiked our first 4000 footer together in 2013.  As of yesterday we have done 8 of them so far.  I have done 24 of them over the past 6 years with various friends but I am going to re-hike them all with Stud so we can complete the list together and support each other in reaching a shared goal.  Stud is totally into it and even made me this amazing journal to keep track of our adventures in!

Yesterday we day tripped into Franconia Notch where we headed up to Lonesome Lake and then hopped on the Appalachian Trail on a section called “Fishin Jimmy Trail” that intersects with the “Kinsman Ridge Trail”.  We summited North Kinsman (4293ft) and South Kinsman (4358).  It took us about 8 hours to go just under 10 miles.  The trail was steep and rocky and rugged and brought back sweet memories of the Long Trail.  It was cloudy in the morning but by the time we got to our first summit the clouds started to dissipate right in front of our very eyes and the Franconia Ridge revealed itself in all its massive glory with Mount Lafayette dominating the range with its summit hung in a cloud.  The foliage seemed to be peaking down in the valleys with large areas of reds and oranges and rusts.  The sun burned thru and warmed us just enough to be able to linger on the summits without cooling down too much although we did cool down fast and had to keep moving.  By the time we were descending the skies were clear and the commanding views made it hard to watch our steps down the wet craggy rocky path.  Legs are sore today!  Even though North and South Kinsman are our 7th and 8th 4000 footers together, this hike felt like our official NH48 kick off climb since this was our first hike since we decided to do the NH48 together.  Only 40 more peaks to go and if the weather allows us, we may try to bag another 3-5 next weekend.

9 thoughts on “North & South Kinsman

    • Thanks! Really I’m just in it for the patch. Just kidding. But I do love a patch. As a kid that was never very good at sports I had a lot of trophy envy. Hiking patches kind of make up for some of that.

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