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 Kearsarge North Sunset Hike - 9/29/15 
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 Kearsarge North Sunset Hike - 9/29/15
Yesterday I was free from 2:00 on. I was going to just head back to Pawtuckaway but it was just too nice out, so I decided on a sunset hike and came up with a plan. The plan went something like this...

2:00 Hit the road
4:15 Hit the trail
6:15 Watch the sunset for a bit
7:00 Head down
8:30 Head home

Then I just had to come up with a destination and after a few minutes settled on a mountain that has been on my to-do list for a long, long time. You can see Kearsarge North from almost anywhere in the eastern Whites, and anytime you drive through North Conway it smacks you in the face. But I had never hiked it. Finally, it's 3.1 mile trail was a perfect fit for my time frame, so that's where I headed. I left a couple minutes late but made it up on the ride so I had boots on the trail right on schedule.

Got a kick out of this on the ride up
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Surprisingly not much color up north yet
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Kearsarge North as you head into Conway
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Getting closer, a bit more foliage is visible on the upper parts of the mountain
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There isn't much to see on this one until the summit, so with little do distract me and make me pause I gave it the full out Spencer treatment, or at least as much as I am capable of, and after starting my timer went pretty much non-stop to the top. Pleasant woods, lots of smooth ledge and overall great footing along with a steady but never steep climb took me up in 1:25 minutes, which was pretty unusual for me as I usually stop to take pictures and check out anything even remotely interesting. This one however had nothing interesting, and wanting to make sure I caught the sunset helped push me along. It even got me to the top half an hour ahead of schedule so I could then dink around with pictures and relax for a while.

On your marks, get set...GO!
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Good footing 90% of the way allowed for an easy, quick pace
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Lots of ledgy on the upper half, just not much goodness in terms of views
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Blazed like a highway
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Peek-a-boo
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The smooth footing continues
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Only real view on along the trail
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Popping out on the semi-open summit ledges
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Pequawket Tower coming into view
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Summit of Kearsarge North (occasionally aka Mt. Pequawket)
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Upon arriving I found one other guy in the fire tower cab setting up to spend the night but after a brief chat he headed down to check out the views and wander the summit, or maybe the clicking of my camera just drove him out! :D Either way I had the last standing fire tower in the White Mountain National Forest to myself for about half an hour and looked around at the impressive and far reaching 360 degree views, which covered everything from 6288 feet to sea level. The hike itself doesn't have much to see but the summit views definitely make up for that. The sun did it's thing, sinking below some low clouds on the horizon before going down in a brief blaze of orange glory, the lights came on, the stars came out and then it was about time to go, so I headed down, wished the guy a good night and was off.

With half an hour to spare I stepped out of the chilly breeze to check out the tower
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Great view of North Conway from up there
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Built in the 50's out of wood this is the last remaining standing fire tower in the WMNF
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Could pretty much have spotted a fire anywhere from up here
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Nice look at George & friends
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Some color off towards Evans Notch
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Sun sinking lower
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Casting a shadow all the way to Maine
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Almost gone for the day
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That's about it for the sun
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No more sun but some nice blue ridge lines
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One last burst of color
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Lights coming on in the village below
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Easy enough to pick out Portland Maine by the Atlantic on the horizon
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There was no moon out and it was really dark with a million stars out. A large crashing noise in the woods really puts a spring in your step, so I made it down in an hour, only pausing to take a few pictures of the lights from North Conway at the only real view ledge along the way. Again ahead of schedule, I grabbed a quick bite to eat and a 66 cent coffee at Dunks for National Coffee day to perk me up for the 2 hour ride and headed south. Home, showered and in bed by 11:30. Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?! 8)

Quick view of the guiding lights of North Conway on the way down
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Nice spot to sip some coffee before hitting the road for real
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Fri Sep 30, 2016 10:55 pm
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 Re: Kearsarge North Sunset Hike - 9/29/15
Granite Guy wrote:
Got a kick out of this on the ride up
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That is pretty good. :D Alas this kind of thing is getting more and more dangerous to do simply because too many people are losing their sense of humor. :|


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Summit of Kearsarge North (occasionally aka Mt. Pequawket)
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And don't forget the Anglicized "Pigwacket". Leave it to the Palefaces to give something several names. :lol:

Looks like you got some great weather for this. I too am still surprised how lackluster foliage is, but then again I had heard anyway that the dry summer would mean foliage would be very short and unimpressive this year. :(


Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:52 am
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 Re: Kearsarge North Sunset Hike - 9/29/15
Love the VW with all the blood, just hope it was supposed to be funny! :lol: You're not starting the fire tower list are you? :wink: Great shots of the sunset, one of these days, we need to either get up extremely early or leave the summit late so we can get the views like these. Until then, we'll experience them though your pics.

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Sat Oct 01, 2016 8:28 am
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 Re: Kearsarge North Sunset Hike - 9/29/15
Nice! I've only managed 2 sunset hikes and they've both been to K North. It's definitely a great peak for that. :)

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Last edited by JustJoe on Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:43 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Oct 01, 2016 11:08 am
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 Re: Kearsarge North Sunset Hike - 9/29/15
Hehe... Spencer treatment :lol: .

I've never hiked Kearsarge North. If I ever do, I might try the Weeks Brook Trail. A bit o' variety never hurt anyone 8) .

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Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:23 pm
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 Re: Kearsarge North Sunset Hike - 9/29/15
hiker0200 wrote:
Hehe... Spencer treatment :lol: .

I've never hiked Kearsarge North. If I ever do, I might try the Weeks Brook Trail. A bit o' variety never hurt anyone 8) .


Let me give you some advice. Never.....EVER.....do Weeks Brook trail during tick season. There is this overgrown grassy spot where Greg and I combined had almost 40 ticks combined. :shock: :evil: :(

Brian


Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:00 pm
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 Re: Kearsarge North Sunset Hike - 9/29/15
New Hampshire wrote:
hiker0200 wrote:
Hehe... Spencer treatment :lol: .

I've never hiked Kearsarge North. If I ever do, I might try the Weeks Brook Trail. A bit o' variety never hurt anyone 8) .


Let me give you some advice. Never.....EVER.....do Weeks Brook trail during tick season. There is this overgrown grassy spot where Greg and I combined had almost 40 ticks combined. :shock: :evil: :(

Brian


Message received :shock: .

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Sat Oct 01, 2016 6:37 pm
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 Re: Kearsarge North Sunset Hike - 9/29/15
WeRmudfun wrote:
You're not starting the fire tower list are you? :wink: Great shots of the sunset, one of these days, we need to either get up extremely early or leave the summit late so we can get the views like these. Until then, we'll experience them though your pics.


Haha! Still no on the fire towers list. The whole "proposed" thing makes that a list I'll never be interested in doing. As for getting up early or leaving late, you could avoid both (and get both the set and rise) on this hike by sleeping in the tower. Just need a ground pad and a sleeping bag on a nice night. Great place to star gaze also it would appear, as a bonus.

New Hampshire wrote:
hiker0200 wrote:
Hehe... Spencer treatment :lol: .

I've never hiked Kearsarge North. If I ever do, I might try the Weeks Brook Trail. A bit o' variety never hurt anyone 8) .


Let me give you some advice. Never.....EVER.....do Weeks Brook trail during tick season. There is this overgrown grassy spot where Greg and I combined had almost 40 ticks combined. :shock: :evil: :(

Brian


I remembered you saying that somewhere a while back. Made my choice of which trail pretty simple. 8) That, and the whole "rough, sparsely used/marked" description. Those tend to not be great for night hiking. It does overall sound like a better route up, other than the whole tick thing of course. This trail was lacking in points of interest. If the tower ever comes down or the trees continue to grow up this mountain surely won't be described as "outstanding" in the guide book anymore.


Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:33 pm
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 Re: Kearsarge North Sunset Hike - 9/29/15
Looks like you did get some color - on the road! Reminds me of being behind a Chevy that had the words "Vlad the..." above Impala.

Kearsage is great! We did it late one April, bare ground below, microspikes above, and a lot of the morning snow disappearing on our way down. I would love to stay over, but hoped I wouldn't ruin some one's romantic plans (I can just picture some guy with a ring hidden in his pack getting there with his girlfriend 3 minutes after us :oops: ).


Sat Oct 01, 2016 10:47 pm
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 Re: Kearsarge North Sunset Hike - 9/29/15
Couldn't find this one yesterday for some reason, this blew my mind. Not sure if it always shows up at sunset but the length of the shadow cast by the tower is miles long.

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Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:56 am
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 Re: Kearsarge North Sunset Hike - 9/29/15
I'm no expert but that shadow looks like it's actually from the entire mountain

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110705.html still kind of mind blowng.


Sun Oct 02, 2016 7:19 am
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 Re: Kearsarge North Sunset Hike - 9/29/15
Walrus wrote:
I'm no expert but that shadow looks like it's actually from the entire mountain

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110705.html still kind of mind blowng.


If that's the case with Kearsarge, even as a relatively shorter mountain, that is pretty mind blowing. I guess to get mountain shaped shadows its better to use the moonlight.

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Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:15 am
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 Re: Kearsarge North Sunset Hike - 9/29/15
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so cool!

Im pissed that I'm sick and missed out on this one! :evil:


Sun Oct 02, 2016 8:32 am
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 Re: Kearsarge North Sunset Hike - 9/29/15
After reading your trip report I went up and hiked it yesterday. Thanks for the pics and report :)


Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:16 am
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 Re: Kearsarge North Sunset Hike - 9/29/15
We were at the Fryeburg Fair today. You can see K North perfectly from just about any spot at the fair, along with Peaked Mtn and friends. I could hear it calling my name! Today would have been a perfect day for it!


Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:38 pm
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