Kearsarge North, 03 February 2018

10:06 p.m. on February 3, 2018 (EST)
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Wednesday, I think, I asked my friend Chad if he wanted to hike a mountain on Saturday. The original plan was Pleasant Mountain in Bridgton, Maine, but then I decided I wanted to do something a little more challenging than 2006' w/1500-ish feet elevation gain over 1.8-2.7 miles. So yesterday when he told me yes, I said I was planning to do Kearsarge North instead, with about 2550’ gain over 3 miles. 

Chad had a bad dump on his mountain bike back in early November, breaking a collarbone and suffering a concussion along with some other soft-tissue injuries, so this would be his first hike in 3 months. He felt every foot of elevation! It was somewhat of a role reversal from a year ago, when I was the one who had to stop to catch my breath all the time LOL. 

So, we met at 730 this morning and took my Jeep to the trailhead, arriving around 9. Temps at the trailhead were maybe 5F, with no wind to speak of. We knew that wouldn’t be the case at the summit, so we dressed to minimize sweating and kept a moderate pace of a little over 1mph. Both of us were wearing spikes, and I brought my new Grivel crampons since I was wearing my Asolo Alta Via GV mountaineering boots. For Chad I brought Hillsound Trail Pro Mini crampons, just in case the ice was too hard for spikes. 

Just a few random pics from the summit. Until maybe 1/2 hour from the summit, we had a bluebird sky like you only see in winter. Then the clouds started moving in and the wind picked up. Summit temp was also about 5F, with winds at least 20mph. We stayed up there maybe 1/2 hour, taking pics and going up in the old fire tower for a snack and to avoid the strengthening wind. 




Chad and me. 

Mt Washington with clouds blowing in. 


Chocorua, my favorite mountain. 
More random pics. We saw more people than I expected, close to 20 in all I’d estimate. 

The trip down was much faster, we made it to the trailhead in just about 1:45:00. There were a few hairy spots where our crampons may have been better to use, but we just stomped our spikes securely into the ice and put a little force behind planting our poles. 

All in all it was a great hike; Chad wasn’t sure if he’d make it due to short sleep last night and 3 months of enforced inactivity but we reached the summit and he said the view was definitely worth the effort. I really liked my Alta Via GV on their first winter hike and will most likely wear them on all mountain trips this winter. March 10th I’m scheduled for North & South Kinsman, both NH4Ks (my 6th & 7th.) 10 miles and 3900 vertical feet. I’ll definitely be taking pics and writing a trip report!

9:51 a.m. on February 4, 2018 (EST)
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Super photos-thanks

Nice that you both were up for it.

2:02 p.m. on February 4, 2018 (EST)
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I’m always up for a hike, especially in winter LOL. With all the hiking I’ve been doing in the past 7 months this one didn't even get me breathing hard!

11:08 p.m. on February 5, 2018 (EST)
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Over 2 days later and my calves & quads are still crazy tight. I’m guessing it’s from wearing my mountaineering boots, the foot can’t flex so the leg muscles do it all? It actually feels good, though. If I keep this up I’ll look good in shorts come summer LOL.

I’m thinking of doing the Glen Boulder Trail tomorrow, and maybe even continuing to Mt Isolation. Knocking off an NH4K mid-week would be a novelty!

9:21 a.m. on February 6, 2018 (EST)
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Awesome photos Phil! Really jealous of you and your bud.

I would suggest wearing semi-stiff boots next time (if you got any) for traversing hard snow. The Alta Via GV are more suitable for front pointing ascents and less for walking.

Again, really jealous!

7:24 p.m. on February 6, 2018 (EST)
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Any other time I’d have worn my Lowa Camino GTX, but my feet would have been cold in those given the temps we had. There really wasn’t any hard snow, it was ice with maybe an inch or so of powder on top from trailhead to summit. Although at the very summit the snow was crusty rather than powdery. 

This morning I packed up and headed out to Pinkham Notch to hike the Glen Boulder Trail, but by the time I got to Fryeburg ME (just across the border from N. Conway NH) the snow was really coming down so I headed back home. Hiking solo to 5100’+ in Pinkham Notch during heavy snow didn’t seem like the best idea. Maybe I can make it there Saturday. 

11:26 a.m. on February 7, 2018 (EST)
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Thanks for the trip report and pictures, Phil. Looks like a nice day with nice views.

Was the trail as icy last weekend as I'm imagining it was? I need traction just to walk down our driveway right about now.

12:56 p.m. on February 7, 2018 (EST)
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It was a nonstop stretch of ice from the trailhead to the summit, except where rocks were poking through the ice. We put spikes on when we got out of the Jeep and took them off when we got back. 

7:43 a.m. on February 8, 2018 (EST)
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That's what I was imagining! I hope your spikes were extra sharp.

8:21 a.m. on February 8, 2018 (EST)
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I had a brand new pair, I used the hell out of the old pair this year and one of the straps was cut partway through. Rather than trust it I tossed them and got a new pair. 

9:56 p.m. on February 21, 2018 (EST)
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Is the fire tower still up there? Since you didn't mention it, and it didn't show up in any of your pics, maybe it's been removed. I stayed overnight in there a couple times when I lived in the Conway area years ago. Those were a couple of short, but fun trips!

2:36 p.m. on February 22, 2018 (EST)
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It’s still up there, I mentioned it briefly at the end of the 4th paragraph. 

From last summer:

December 11, 2019
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