Today's installment of hiking-while-between-jobs was to tag the Kinsmans from the west, along with John of J&J fame, and Whichway and Delilah. Delilah is an excellent trail doggie and since dog ownership is on the radar, I picked up some tips from Whichway. The round-trip was 10 miles, 3985', including a detour to Bald Knob, in a little over 6:30. Trail conditions were quite slick (think luge track) below 2800', where some snow finally made the footing safe. Microspikes/Hillsounds were the ticket today. No snoshoes were needed, and no trails were post-holed. It was cold, breezy, and clear. Here are some pictures for you enjoyment.
Franconia Ridge from the lookout ledge immediately below North Kinsman
Moosilauke and South Kinsman
There was an undercast, mostly to the south, which occasionally filled up the notch, and spilled to the west between the two Kinsman peaks. By the time we crossed to South, the notch had mostly cleared out, revealing all of Cannon (only the tower stuck out of the clouds while on North.) The contrast between the east face and west face of North Kinsman was stark, revealing the harsh, fogged-filled nature of the notch.
North Kinsman from South Kinsman
Franconia Ridge from South Kinsman
Having never been on the west side of Kinsman Ridge, Whichway & I voted we'd like to see Bald Knob. Also handy if one every plans to red line, which I can't see myself doing, but I am opportunistic in that regard. This might be a good family snowshoe... when there is snow.
Sugarloaf and Black (Benton) from Bald Knob
Whichway and John, and Deliah