Days 115-116: Oh How I’ve Missed the Whites

Day 115, 8/21/23

Ore Hill Trailhead to Kinsman Notch

14.4 miles, mile 1,808.8

Kevin and I drove ourselves today and left my car at Beaver Brook Trailhead, and then drove his car back to Ore Hill and left it there for the day, and then went back to get it when we hiked to Beaver Brook. The logistics can be a bit tricky to plan, but it is so worth the driving time to go home every night and slackpack.

We started the day climbing up and over Mt. Mist which is a wooded summit with no view. Then we started the descent to get to the Glencliff Trailhead which is the start of the climb up Mt. Moosilauke. I have hiked Mt. Moosilauke before as an out and back from Beaver Brook. Going northbound on the AT it climbs up Glencliff, and down Beaver Brook. The first 2 miles were a steady climb, and then it got very steep. I was super hungry and even with no weight on my back was moving pretty slow. The higher we got, the more cloudy it got. Once we got above treeline it was extremely windy and the fog was thick. The last time I was on Moosilauke I also didn’t get to have a view. Even without a view, Moosilauke is still a wicked cool mountain. We had a quick snack on the summit but didn’t stay up there for long because it was pretty cold. I also wanted to give us a lot of time to get down Beaver Brook because it is an extremely steep and rocky trail, and on the NH terrifying 25 list. I had gone down it before though so I did know what to expect. This section of trail is actually one of the steepest on the whole AT.

Tomorrow we go up and over the Kinsman’s!

Day 116, 8/22/23

Beaver Brook Trailhead to I93

16.4 miles, mile 1,825.2

Today was an absolutely beautiful day. The weather was impeccable, and the hiking was fun (for the most part). I have also been on the Kinsman’s before, but as an out and back via the Fishin Jimmy Trail. I actually met some thru hikers when we day hiked it and they made quite an impact on me. One of them was 76 years old, and she has hiked the AT, PCT, and CDT three times each, and told me this was her 11th thru hike in her life. She looked me in the eye and said “don’t let anyone talk you out of it” when I told her I would be thru hiking next year. I will never forget her and I was thinking of her as I was hiking the Kinsman’s today.

The day started very steep up to Mt. Wolf, and then we went down a ways before the start of the climb up to South Kinsman. It was a very fun and steep climb! Near the summit was rock scrambly which we haven’t had in a while. The views from the Kinsman’s are so beautiful and we could see Mt. Moosilauke where we were yesterday, and we could see Mt. Liberty and Franconia Ridge where we will be tomorrow! There will be a lot of elevation gain tomorrow and I’m a little nervous for it especially with our gear in our packs after slackpacking for the last 4 days! There is no road crossing for 30 miles through here so we need to bring all our stuff!

There were a ton of thru hikers on this section that we haven’t met before today. They were all in absolute awe on top of South Kinsman and said it has been the best view of the trail so far. I agreed and told them “welcome to the best state on the AT” and said that we lived here and have been thoroughly unimpressed with the southern part of the trail! I pointed out to them all the peaks around us. Everyone is very excited for Franconia Ridge tomorrow, it looks like we will have a great weather day!

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