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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Berserker View Post
    Well, it's funny that you should mention this. Of all the climbs on the AT, South Kinsman sticks out in my mind as one of the top 3 toughest ones (for me at least). So yeah, I agree with what you have heard. It's basically a 2000' very hard rock scramble. So if you don't want to go down that, then NOBO is the way to go.
    As I just did SK in September it is pretty fresh in my brain. I wouldn't say that Kinsman to Franconia was one of my favorite days on trail? But it was a GOOD day. We had great weather and despite me taking a bad fall cracking my elbow ontop of wolf, the day went smooth.

    The climb up South Kinsman....I didnt mind it, but it is indeed straight up. like a ladder of rock(not a rebar ladder) pretty much from the boggy pond area to the top.
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  2. #22

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    That boggy area usually has a nice crop of pitcher plants. They are carnivorous

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I Did Hanover to Franconia starting sept 1st.
    I passed you at some point then. I left Franconia Notch SOBO Sept 1st to head towards HF to finish my flip flop thru.

    Going Southbound over the Kinsmans and Moosilauke if you have a full pack is the way to do it, IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Washington to Madison and down the Valley way isn't an easy day either. Just hope your not fighting the wind, that can really wear you down.
    Lakes of the Clouds Hut to Osgood tentsite was without a doubt one of my hardest days on trail this trip. Mt. Madison is a cruel beast. To say I was humbled is an understatement...

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crushed Grapes View Post
    I passed you at some point then. I left Franconia Notch SOBO Sept 1st to head towards HF to finish my flip flop thru.

    Going Southbound over the Kinsmans and Moosilauke if you have a full pack is the way to do it, IMO.
    I came down the north side of moos in a thunderstorm, not one of my smartest moves going over moos on a thunderstorm day...
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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    That boggy area usually has a nice crop of pitcher plants. They are carnivorous
    I remember seeing those somewhere else in a high elevation bog. I'm glad they're too small to eat hikers!
    Last edited by illabelle; 11-06-2019 at 17:15.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crushed Grapes View Post
    Lakes of the Clouds Hut to Osgood tentsite was without a doubt one of my hardest days on trail this trip. Mt. Madison is a cruel beast. To say I was humbled is an understatement...
    The day we climbed Madison (SOBO) the winds were fierce! The croo at Madison Hut advised in the strongest terms that we NOT proceed to Lakes the next day because the forecast was no better, winds at 75 mph or more. So we slid down Valley Way, took a cab, and hauled our butts up Ammonusuc Ravine. Wow that thing was steep! And that, folks, is why we need to fill in the tiny little section between Lakes and Madison. Nice thing about this trip is that we have the flexibility to adjust the schedule a bit if weather is threatening. All I wanna do is finish the AT, I don't wanna die!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I came down the north side of moos in a thunderstorm, not one of my smartest moves going over moos on a thunderstorm day...
    Glad you made it in one piece! We going SOBO over that beast, hit the steep stuff early in the day, then breathe a sigh of relief.

  9. #29
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    I slacked that, got out at sunset and had to hitch in the dark. In desperation in Kingsman Notch I was trying to hitch either direction. Was picked up by a local police officer who took me to Ched's place. All went well but yes it took longer than expected.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    I had heard that S Kinsman was so steep it was better/safer to go up than down. If it's not so terrible, it would be nice to go SOBO.
    I went SOBO this section this October on a cold rainy day. It sucked.

    The hike from Franconia to south Kinsman was nice and nice views. The climb down from south Kinsman took all my energy and after camping a few miles past Eliza Brook Shelter I called my ride to pick me up at the notch the next day instead of continuing over Moosilauke.

  11. #31

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    I also heard the moose near Eliza Brook and the power lines. Never got a chance to see it. I was getting so cold I was just looking for a camp spot.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crushed Grapes View Post
    Lakes of the Clouds Hut to Osgood tentsite was without a doubt one of my hardest days on trail this trip. Mt. Madison is a cruel beast. To say I was humbled is an understatement...
    And once you get over Madison there’s that long stretch of walking over rock edges, kinda like walking on open floor joists. If not careful you can miss the top of the rock and catch your leg/foot.

    Several of the people I hiked with really got banged up in that section. Bruised ribs, sprained ankles....


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  13. #33
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    Discussed all of the above with my husband last night. I think we'll probably try to slack. But that's contingent on how well we do with conditioning over the next several months.
    Thanks, y'all, for your input. Real helpful!

  14. #34

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    I also need to do that section. Glencliff to Franconia notch is one of my last missing sections. Plus some of the last 4K's I need are on that stretch.

    It's about time I finished NH. I just highlighted all the White mountain trails I've hiked and there is a big void to the west of Franconia Notch and the south side of the Kanc. Next summer I think I'll try to finish up my 4K's (15 to go) and do some more red lining. Most of the trails I haven't done are in the more remote wilderness areas.
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  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    I had heard that S Kinsman was so steep it was better/safer to go up than down. If it's not so terrible, it would be nice to go SOBO.
    I definitely would not want to go down that boulder scramble.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ldsailor View Post
    I definitely would not want to go down that boulder scramble.
    I would disagree and say northbound is a little better. The climb down S Kinsman is narrow and has many medium sized boulders. If decending, you can take them one at a time slowly. The rocks that scare me are the wide open bedrock that can be slick when wet. There is some of this going down North Kinsman. Either way will be hard, but I wouldn't say one direction is substantially worse than the other unlike say going over Moosilauke.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_zavocki View Post
    I would disagree and say northbound is a little better. The climb down S Kinsman is narrow and has many medium sized boulders. If decending, you can take them one at a time slowly. The rocks that scare me are the wide open bedrock that can be slick when wet. There is some of this going down North Kinsman. Either way will be hard, but I wouldn't say one direction is substantially worse than the other unlike say going over Moosilauke.
    I agree. Its the long slanted rocks that got me. I butt scooted more from mt moose to franconia notch then on the entire rest of the AT
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  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit McCrae View Post
    I agree. Its the long slanted rocks that got me. I butt scooted more from mt moose to franconia notch then on the entire rest of the AT
    Funny. Gambit, I remember in a thread a few years back where you asked why not wear crocks to hike in because you said they were comfortable. At the time, you hadn't been to NH/ME, but I had had a taste of them. I tried to describe the rock slabs and discouraged the crocks.

    Now you see, don't you? I mean, you really see! You are so very dependent on the grip of your shoe tread to get up or down those slabs. There's nothing to hold on to, not much to set the tip of your pole into. If you slip going up, you land on your nose. Slip going down, and you get to slide on your back with your head bouncing on the rocks.

    Crocks!!! Hahahahaha!

  19. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    Funny. Gambit, I remember in a thread a few years back where you asked why not wear crocks to hike in because you said they were comfortable. At the time, you hadn't been to NH/ME, but I had had a taste of them. I tried to describe the rock slabs and discouraged the crocks.

    Now you see, don't you? I mean, you really see! You are so very dependent on the grip of your shoe tread to get up or down those slabs. There's nothing to hold on to, not much to set the tip of your pole into. If you slip going up, you land on your nose. Slip going down, and you get to slide on your back with your head bouncing on the rocks.

    Crocks!!! Hahahahaha!
    Hey now I love those crocs and ended up walking several hundred miles in them until I found altras lol but no I would not dream of traversing NH ME in them.
    AT Shuttle List
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    AT Map 1 Completion: 1818.9 Springer, GA - Franconia Notch, NH
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  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve_zavocki View Post
    The rocks that scare me are the wide open bedrock that can be slick when wet. There is some of this going down North Kinsman.
    The steep, open ledges can be intimidating, especially when wet and going down. There is usually a herd path around the worst of them, or at least go along the edges so you can grab onto roots and tree branches. If no other option, sit down and slide on your butt. I've done a lot of that on White Mountain trails.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

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