Sunday, December 28, 2014

Mt. Kearsarge North  (3,268') via Kearsarge North trail, December 27, 2014.

Mileage: 6.2 miles RT

Elevation gain:  2,500'

Trailhead:  Route 16 to N. Conway /Intervale take the Hurricane Mt Road (across from the rest stop/tourist center). Follow this road for about 1.5 miles.  A small parking area is on the left.

Hike with Rich and Sandy, our first official hike of the 2014/2015 winter.  I hadn't hiked since early October and was itching to get out.
We'd all hike Kearsarge North before (not to be confused with Mt. Kearsarge located in the western part of the state). The summit's spectacular views and fire tower make for a desirable destination any time of year (see previous report).
Temps were in the high 40's when we got out on the trail.  It's a great thing when you don't need gloves or hats on a winter hike! 
The trail was wet but bare for the first mile or so, with patches of snow and ice becoming more prevalent as we ascended. We were out of shape but glad to be out.
Didn't take long for us to be walking on soft snow cover.
At 1600' snow covered the well trodden path.  On went our Microspikes. The path gets steeper and just before the summit there is a steep right turn, quite icy (there is a walk around to the left).
Fire tower on top.

Beautiful view of Mt. Washington.
At the summit we climbed the fire tower and went inside to have lunch - though it was sunny and calm enough to just sit on a snow pile outside. 
After a few photos we headed back. Many friendly hikers were out today and they all stopped to say hi and chat, which made for a delightful 5 hour hike!  We didn't care that it took a long time to get up and down; the sun was warm, sky bright blue, not much for wind, and we had no place to be.