Monday, July 14, 2008

The walkin’, day 2

The Wednesday storms—they were as advertised—partially cleared out the hot muggy weather, and Thursday was quite nice. I took the chance to climb up the back side of the Kinsmans and top out both North and South. The lower north peak, which barely pokes above treeline, is guarded by slabs that require a little scrambling. As usual, more awkward coming down than going up.

The south peak stands proud, and is marked by a fair-sized cairn, to which I added the usual good-luck stone.

Aside from a local woman who unhurriedly passed me as if I were standing still, I saw no one else until I ran into two men just below the summit of South Kinsman. They had come up the standard route from Franconia Notch. Heading back down, I met some camp groups that had made latish starts. I made a brief side trip to take in the views from Bald Peak on the way down. Up and down about 11 miles, 4,000 ft. ascent, book time about 8 hr., my time about 6 hr.

As I wrote in the post about yesterday’s walk, beating the formula-based book time is very common. My times were as quick as they were because I was carrying little weight. This trip gave me the chance to shake down the Inov8 Race Pro 18 I bought in Braemar during the Challenge.

I’d brought it along to New Hampshire for two planned short forays from Guyot Shelter up on the Bond ridge, and it worked very well as a daysack. The hydration bladder in the hipbelt is an inspired idea, and the pack carried comfortably. Good kit.

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