Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks North Kinsman, South Kinsman, NH
Trails: Mt. Kinsman Trail, Kinsman Ridge Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Sunday, November 15, 2020
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Mid-sized lot for about a dozen cars or so. Mostly but not entirely full when I arrived around noon. I was the last car there when I returned at 4:45pm. Note that the short road in has many rocks protruding from it that are unavoidable. Go slow.  
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Ice - Blue, Wet/Slippery Rock, Leaves - Significant/Slippery 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment: Light Traction 
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: All crossings were easily rock hopable but could be an issue at high water.  
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: The trail is regularly blazed in blue and is well trodden and easy to follow. I don’t recall any blowdowns, but man do you notice the widowmakers a bit more when the wind is really going 😂 One tree that’s grown up on the side of a small boulder that was rocking back and forth with the wind like it was breathing. You could watch the roots rise and fall as they were scattered all over the rock. This was probably around 2.5mi into the trail. Another, lower widowmaker is over the trail not too far from that one and I could hear it creaking so that one may fall sooner rather than later.  
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: I don’t think I saw any. Most good hiking dogs could handle this hike although there are some tough scrambles that some dogs won’t be able to handle.  
Bugs: None 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: None 
Comments: 2nd hike of the day after summiting Moosilauke. Moosilauke was my 24th and these were my 25th and 26th 4000 footers this month. 34 peaks now for my November grid in total. 14 more to go :) South Kinsman was also my 200th peak for the grid. I started between 12 and 12:15pm and finished between 4:30 and 4:45pm (just before I needed my headlamp;) so did the hike in about 4.5hrs. 10mi with 3900ft of gain.

The trail was mostly dry to start and served as a nice warm up. Got much steeper and rougher and tiring as it approached Kinsman Ridge Trail. Some black ice also began to appear more significantly here although it was by far the worst on the ascent and descent of North Kinsman along Kinsman Rodge Trail which is the only place I would consider wearing spikes. I decided not to put mine on but this definitely required some extra caution around North Kinsman. Not as much ice around South Kinsman. Although South Kinsman is taller and thus there’s more gain headed toward it, the ascent to North Kinsman is much steeper and rougher with some scrambles and slab which is where the black ice was. I don’t recall much mud probably because it was all frozen.

I believe it was 37F when I started and in the low 40s when I finished. Some little mini frozen ice pellets (I don’t actually know what they are but you know what I’m talking about?! It’s not snow, it’s not rain, it’s not sleet, it’s...!?) actually rained on me early on in the hike probably just a half mile in but didn’t last too long and weren’t really wet. It just started spitting as I reached my car. I was amazed at the wind. You could feel and hear it ripping and roaring through the trees at low elevation even. Given what I felt there I was concerned about summiting particularly South Kinsman which isn’t as sheltered as North Kinsman is. While it was very cold and windy on the summits, it oddly rough felt like the wind was stronger at lower elevation. It felt the same as I descended.

Probably about a dozen others were seen and I was the last one on the mountain. It seemed as if the clouds were just trying to overtake the summits as I left them.  
Name: Liam Cooney 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2020-11-16 
Link: http:// 
Bookmark and Share Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.

Copyright 2009-2019, All Rights Reserved