With winter waning Gus and I decided to stay somewhere relatively not wet and freezing with a mixed Friday forecast so we opted for Round 2 at Lonesome Lake Hut since we enjoyed our first stay and since Gus needed South Kinsman we decided this would be a good “warm up” trip.
We arrived at the Lafayette Campground trailhead and snowshoes went on in the parking lot. The moon poked out and our headlamps went off just like the last trip as the woods was flooded with moonlight. Arriving at the lake, we contemplated a night time hike across but opted to play it safe which was a good idea. Arriving at the hut, we set up our stuff and headed down to the lake to enjoy some Baxter IPA and Resin from Sixpoint Brewery while taking in the view. Few things are as amazing as a frozen snow covered lake in moonlight surrounded by moonlit mountains. The snow on Franconia Ridge helped light it up! Hitting the sack at around 1am at about 30ish degrees, we woke up to a perfect bluebird morning with Franconia Ridge in all its glory right outside our window.
We paid Doug the caretaker and I ate some cranberry pound cake and we started the snowshoe up Fishing Jimmy Trail, still one of my favorites and an Appalachian Trail section. Right away this was a fun hike with sun and perfect snow. We opted to eat lunch at the summit instead of Kinsman Pond and dropped down to the little ledge below the summit before the crowds got there. Taking pics and eating I think we spent at least a half hour there. Since this trip was short, we had time to spend on the summits which was nice as last time it was socked in with fog.
Pushing on to South Kinsman, we enjoyed the mellow ascent from the col and I scoped out the rest of the Kinsman Ridge trail south to Kinsman Notch. This section still eludes me but it doesn’t look as hard as I thought it would. Gus got his peak and we headed back with my butt sled coming out to party.
Back at North Kinsman, the crowds had gotten quite large and we chatted with a friendly talkative older man who passed us a flyer trying to recruit us to his Jehovah Witness zombie cult. He seemed quite nice but it ruins a summit having this happen so a big FUCK YOU to that guy! In hindsight I should have said something so he doesn’t ruin summits for other innocent hikers. Flagrant breach of trail etiquette with religion = 100 Joey Points.
The sled down made up for this however with the rides being fast and a bit unpredictable. Late season sledding as I learned is quite difficult as once you slip off the boot pack, the sled sinks in wet snow and you stop abruptly. This causes some fast rides and crazy crashes but we got down Fishing Jimmy in one piece and had a great time.
We hiked across the lake on the way out after watching some others do this. Some sketchy slush-filled postholes off the boot pack but I felt pretty confident that the ice was super thick after checking ice fishing conditions earlier that week in Southern NH.
Not a hard or cold trip, just a fun one with some nice weather. Becoming a yearly one and I’m totally fine with that!
Trip Stats: 10.1 miles and 3,568 feet of vert
Things we Did Right:
– Drank a beer and waited for rain to stop.
– Drank more beer on Lonesome Lake in the moon
– Hung out on the summits for awhile.
Things we Did Wrong:
– SHOULD HAVE WENT TO TUCKERMANS!
– Should have awarded Joey Points to that man’s face