After a few weekends at Harvard Cabin, I met up with some folks who were interested in planning new trips for the spring and summer. A bunch of folks organized a Kinsmans overnight, hiking up to the Kinsman Pond campsite and bagging North and South Kinsman. At least that was the plan. The weather interviened and we ended up with slightly few peaks bagged, but we all had a great time anyways.
When we met up at the Lonesome Lake trailhead on Sat morning the weather was threatening. More importantly there was a group of about 15 boy scouts getting ready to head up the trail and we wanted to make sure that we got some tent platforms. We sent two of our group ahead to make sure we got some spots. It's good to have a marathon runner or two in your group. After they started out we figured we'd be OK to set a reasonable pace and just have a good time. The first part of the hike is pretty mellow, then a steady up to the lake, where we paused. The weather wasn't looking too promising. We wandered over to the hut to see if Freddie was there, but alas not. After a short rest we packed up again and headed up the Fishin' Jimmy trail.
Which was quite wet. There were some sections with major flooding around the trail and you just had to pick a spot and hope that it was rock and not mud. And Fishin' Jimmy has some really nice pinned steps, which are pressure treated wood hammered onto rebar that has been drilling into the rock. It can be a little unnerving walking across bare rock on these steps that seem to be just hanging there. Ski poles really help out. But we did finally make it the Kinsman Pond campsite, passing the Boy Scouts just about 15 minutes before Kinsman Junction. Our advanced team had secured two platforms, and we just managed to fit two tents on each. On the lower platform we managed to set up the rainfly so we had a protected area underneath for cooking and eating. The Boy Scouts got the shelter, the other platforms were filled, one group of two moved in with the caretaker, and a final group got an overflow spot near Kinsman Junction.
The rest of the afternoon was spent getting things organized, talking, and getting ready for dinner. Then preparing dinner. Then eating dinner. Food was a common thread for the afternoon. It was raining on and off, so we didn't venture out much. I took a short walk to the end of the pond but by the time I got there the rain had kicked in again so I came back quickly. We spend a little time at the edge of the pond below the shelter, but gradually moved back up to our platforms for the afternoon. After a lengthy dinner we still had some wine left over and dropped it off with the caretaker and his two guests, who seemed might thankful for the present.
The next morning I was having a difficult time getting people excited for the assault on North Kinsman. We'd already ruled out South Kinsman, but it isn't that far to North, and even though there wasn't going to be a view I was sure we'd all go. In the end it was just me and our marathon man headed up to the summit, and the views were spectacular. Everyone was sorry they missed it once we got back and told them what we had seen. We had some time so we hung out at the pond as the weather began to clear. It was nice to finally see the pond and dry out in the sun.
The trip down was nicer that the trip up, since it wasn't raining, but it was still muddy in places. Once we got to Lonesome Lake we got some nice views of Franconia Ridge and took our final group shot. From there, the trip down was short and when we reached the cars certain members of our little group were quite tired. A fun trip, not a perfect weekend but a fun one.
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