First Hike on Kearsarge / by Douglas Koski

As a continuation of our conditioning for Seek the Peak, Sinéad and I teamed up with my Uncle John and Aunt Maries for a hike up Mt. Kearsarge.  It was about as perfect a day as we could have hoped for, and we enjoyed a beautiful hike!  

The road covered 1/2 the elevation change before we reached the trail head.  There was a fee to get into the park where the trail head started.  Fortunately we brought some ones with us!  The lady at the booth was all too happy to buy us out of ones in preparation for the rest of the day.  The rest of our hiking party pulled up behind us while we were at the booth, so it wasn't long before we grouped up and made our start up the trail.

I did not take any photos while hiking the trails, and that has been a common theme for me so far this year.  I've been focusing on the conditioning aspect, and forcing myself to hike with more of the weight in my backpack.  The idea is that if I condition to carry more weight than I will hike with the big hike, then I will find the hike much easier.  Leaving the weight of the camera in my backpack actually is heavier than carrying it with my Black Rapid sling.  The trails were great to hike though, and offered some great views - especially on the return trip with the Winslow Trail.  

The Summit

We were well rewarded once we reached the summit!  The views were wonderful.  We could definitely make out the edge of the White Mountains looking north.  We were also happily surprised to meet up with our friends Kris and Erin at the top.  We visited with them briefly before they made their way back down.  We were sure to make room for some photo-ops during the quick visit.

Upon their departure, Sinéad and I regrouped with our hiking team and took in the great views while treating ourselves to some of the snacks we brought along.  We spent quite a while at the top happily taking in what the summit had to offer.

Mt. Sunapee Sighting

Uncle John had thought he saw Mt. Sunapee once we got to the top.  He's confirming the sighting with his binoculars here.

There were all sorts of names carved into the summit rock for past surveying teams.  This was one of the cooler carvings I came across.

We wrapped up our time at the top and decided to hike back down the longer / less steep trail.  We had climbed up the Barlow Trail, and hiked down the Winslow Trail.  I regretted not still having my camera on hand for the start of the Winslow trail.  It was definitely a uniquely picturesque bit of landscape.  More information about the trail loop can be found on AllTrails here:

I'll close out this post with my favorite panorama from the summit.  This was taken from the fire tower looking east (I think).