Merrimack County Highpoint Trip Report

Mt Kearsarge (2,937 ft)

Date: February 19, 2005
Author: Brennan Connelly

I started from the winter road closure at Winslow State Park, which is about 1 mile and 500 feet short of the summer trailhead. The road was groomed, ostensibly for cross-country skiing, all of the way to the trailhead. I am unsure as to whether the approach from the south would be easier but this was a very simple undertaking from the north. I highly recommend crampons for this hike, as they made life much more pleasant on both the ascent and the descent.

I followed the Winslow Trail, 1.1 steep and icy miles to the summit from the trailhead, and was rewarded with crystal clear blue skies and a surprisingly panoramic view for a 2,900-foot peak (almost like being back home in CO but not quite). The temperature was hovering around +5 degrees, although the wind chill was in the -20 F range; not bad for a February hike in central NH.

Round-trip time was about 2 hours as the ice slowed me down considerably on the upper reaches of the peak. This could be an easy 1 hour out and back in the summer.

Hike statistics: Round-trip distance 4.5 miles; elevation gain 1,800 feet.