View Full Version : Kearsarge North (Pequawket) 6/21/08

KD Talbot
06-24-2008, 10:44 PM

Kearsarge North 3268'
9 Miles 2700' Elevation gain
Kevin, Jude and Emma

Here's one of those trip reports most of you hate. It's about a failed attempt on a mountain that doesn't even reach 4000'. You can stop reading now if you like. We set out on Saturday to hike something that would keep us in the cool woods out of the hot sun. Something that wouldn't be killer to reach. As always we wanted to cover new territory, go some way we hadn't been before. To me Kearsarge North from the east side sounded good. Jude had come up with several good suggestions, but I somehow always seem to choose the hike. She always seems to acquiesce, no use arguing with this bull-headed jerk. The Weeks Brook Trail. It seemed to me like a good choice. We had climbed Pequawket from the west, the Mount Kearsarge North Trail in February of '07. I thought it would be nice to climb a different way in a different season. It turned out the different way was hard to follow and the different season turned out to be bug season. The parking area was easy to find, just a few 10ths north of Hurricane Mountain Road. Nice new spot on an old fire road. The trail itself starts out on the fire road, eventually it turns off onto another fire road, then cuts immediately into the woods. To this point the hike is pleasnt under beautiful skies and an abundance of "open field" type flowers. Red Clover, Oxeye Daisy, Birdsfoot Trefoil to name a few. Tiger Swallowtails and White Admirals floated by. Then into the woods for a while. The turns were well signed and the trail was easy to follow. Soon it came back out to an open field. Knowing the general direction to the mountain we followed the herdpath across until we spotted another sign at the far side where it once again entered the woods. Here the trail was a little rougher. The rain from the previous night had made it a little soggy and a little slippery, but certainly doable. Here we found the first Common Wood Sorrel we had seen this season. The heat of the day was gaining ground and it became somewhat oppressive under the canopy where no trace of moving air was to be found. The mosquitos took great delight in our presence and began to dance their "Wecome to our realm!" dance around our heads. After eating a few we broke out the Deet which made them slightly less annoying. I hate to be an unappreciative guest, but I'm really not into crowds, especially in the mountains. Onward we went and soon found ourselves at the beautiful shore of Shingle Pond. Too late in the day to see any moose, but certainly a perfect spot for them to frolic. Here there were still several clumps of Pink Lady's Slippers. As we moved past the pond the trail became rougher and soon entered a heavily overgrown section of Hobblebush which as the bushwhackers here can tell you is not a lot of fun. I'm sure none of them are still reading because this is a story of a failed attempt on a puny mountain, but if they were still reading they would be saying, "It's not Hobblebush, it's Horriblebush!". Anyway, we somehow found our way through and came to a brook where the trail turns to the south and the Hobblebush gave way to spruce. The trail was just as overgrown with this, and after a few hundred yards of spruce spikes we were begging for the Hobblebush again. My favorite part of hikes like these is just when I think it can't get any worse, it manages to find a new way to, that's right, get worse. After the sprucewhackin' we found ourselves in a very wet meadow. We found our way across without losing our boots in the muck, but along with finding our way we found a whole new swarm of mosquitos who were even more welcoming than their woodland cousins we had met earlier. Now the trail began to climb and the mountain pulled another trick on us. The trail was almost completely obscured by blowdowns. We managed to climb over a few, under a few and even managed to get around a few, all the time watching the ever darkening skies above. After the umpteenth stab with a sharp spruce snag Jude had reached her breaking point. "This trail sucks and I'm going back down." "We're almost there," I argued. "No we aren't!" We were, but it was no use. I went on. There were more blowdowns and much steeper climbing. Of course I couldn't go on much further. "What if she gets lost in the Hobblebush?" and all the other unreasonable arguments I could think of rushed through my head. "I'll go until I can see the tower, then go back." I did this, and as I stood there trying to decide if I should go the last 200 yards the first rumble of thunder rolled through and it began to sprinkle. "Well, that decides that." Jude was packing light and I had clothes etc. in my pack. Emma had decided to follow me, but Jude had her food and water. Yup, time to turn around. By the time I caught back up to her the rain had stopped and the woods just got more oppressive. We ate by the brook and high-tailed it out of there, mosquitos in full chase mode. Maybe I'll go back this fall when my friends the mosquitos have all dropped dead. I'll bring a saw and some loppers, but I bet Jude sits home with Emma.

Pictures here:



06-25-2008, 10:38 AM
Beautiful shots of the summer wildflowers...and a good tale to tell.

I never did make it up to the mountains this weekend, hence the lack of contact. I did go to Pawtuckaway the other day, and was chased out quickly by swarming deer flies. I think our photoshoot from the cliff will have to wait a bit...

KD Talbot
06-25-2008, 11:10 AM
Deer flies are the worst. We're not going up this weekend, but anytime you want to catch a ride with us, let me know. I'd also be interested in going to Mt. Major w/you. I can show you where to set up. PM me on this.


06-25-2008, 08:11 PM
As Jim said, beautiful wildflower pictures!

It sounds like a fantastic AUTUMN hike!!


06-25-2008, 09:23 PM
The fact that this was a sub-4K and that you didn't make the top doesn't make it any less of a an enjoyable trip report for us (even if it wasn't such a great day for the 3 of you). We always enjoy sharing the journey and the wonderful photos. Sorry you guys got chewed up and suffered the rest of the "slings and arrows"... Take consolation that next weekend is bound to be better.