Conditions right now are really pretty perfect for putting down some really fast times in the Whites. After the Christmas Eve rain storm and refreeze, the trails that had snowshoe tracks are like firm side walks. I was able to make really good time up the Kinsman’s Friday. Even though this is actually my 4th time on these peak and don’t need them for any list except my December Grid I thought it might be fun to take a walk up there on Friday because Clif had invited me to stay up at the shelter that evening, I couldn’t stay overnight due to some prior engagements but I thought it would be nice to stop in and see him . I left the parking area at Lafayette Place at 8am and was at Lonesome Lake at 8:45 I stopped at the hut and signed in.
The hut guy ( I refuse to ever call them croo) said he had come down the Fishin Jimmy a couple days earlier in the rain and some of the river crossings were a little sketchy from the rain. I thanked him for the heads up and headed up the Fishin Jimmy Trail. Apparently I was the first one on this trail since the rains because there were no other tracks ahead of me. In fact there were no tracks all the way out and back to the summits until I met up with a couple of guys ascending half way back down the Fishin Jimmy Trail. I think it always makes it a little more fun when you know your that far out and all alone. I could see evidence of the blown-out stream crossings but they were no longer a hazard. Only the glaze from water ice on the boulders made them treacherous now.
I hit the top of of S. Kinsman at 10:30. From the look out you could see the cloud ceiling was dropping, I watched as the clear line of clouds slowly descended over the Franconia ridge.
As I headed off to South peak the clouds had engulfed the Kinsman Ridge and I was in a pretty good squall. Having dressed a little lighter than normal for winter hiking due to the mild forecast, I kind of had to make quick work of getting to the south summit and back to keep from getting too cold from the stiff wind and white-out conditions. When I returned to Kinsman Pond I walked out to the shelter to see if my friends were there yet. They weren’t.
Kinsman Pond Shelter (yes, that brown spot in front of it is human poop… who are these people?)
Frozen Kinsman Pond
I headed back down the Fishin Jimmy Trail making as fast of a pace as possible with out being to careless on some of the steep icy sections. I was kind of pushing the limits of my microspikes at a few points. About halfway down I met a party of 2 who were the first people I had seen since leaving Lonesome Lake. 10 minutes later I ran into Clif on his way up at 12:00 near the big stream crossing. It was nice to say hi and chat for a bit.
By the time I got back to Lonesome Lake it was nearly 40 and sunny.
The nice weather had brought out the masses. It was good to see so many families enjoying the outdoors together heading up the Lonesome Lake trail. The scene was a sharp contrast from the squall I had been in just an hour ago. I got back to my car at 12:45. I was pretty happy with my time of 4:45 out and back to the Kinsman’s but the real reason I was rushing was my parents were coming to visit their grandson at 2:30. I got back home to Goffstown just in time.