Thursday, January 10, 2008
Mount Kearsarge (South)
7.2 Mile Hike
4 Hours and change
Pete and I had been planning to hike off and on for some time now and we agreed to get together this week for a photo mission. So, we accepted our mission and planned to hike Mount Kearsarge. Mainly because the peak isn’t WAY up north and we can be home at a reasonable time. But also because its a mountain I had never been to.
Kearsarge south is what is known as a “Monadnock.” A monadnock or inselberg is an isolated hill, knob, ridge, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain. Monadnock is an originally Native American term for an isolated hill or a lone mountain that has risen above the surrounding area, typically by surviving erosion. The name was taken from Mount Monadnock in southwestern New Hampshire (USA), in Jaffrey. The name is thought to derive from the Abenaki language, from either menonadenak (“smooth mountain”) or menadena (“isolated mountain”).
Kearsarge (South) Mountain, is situated in Merrimack County, New Hampshire, northwest of the town of Concord, seventy miles southwest of the White Mountains. Its height is 2943.5 feet about tide-water. It is believed that the Civil War Union’s sloop-of War, Kearsarge, named after this mountain, sunk the Confederate gunboat, Alabama June 19, 1864. In the spring of 1819 a mass of earth and stones, of several tons’ weight, became detached from the southern declivity of Kearsarge mountain, and was precipitated with great violence into the valley below, sweeping a path of forty rods in width.
Pete and I enjoyed a wonderful hike in our typical January Thaw temps of 40+ degrees. Skies were pleasantly Blue as we meandered our way up the mountain. I bare-booted the entire way never using my snowshoe or crampons even though I had them. Pete used his snowshoes but soon ditched them into a tree to be retrieved on the way down. While on the top, the winds whipped from the WNW at about 40 mph sustained. It was freezing cold up high but the views were unreal. We took many pictures of the surrounding landscape. We could se all the way to the whites, as far south and west as Mondanock and even the ocean if we looked close enough. A gorgeous day!
Me on The Summit of Kearsarge South
Today was a zero miles day. We received about 2 inches of rain here on the seacoast and some unusual January thunderstorms big and bad enough to rock the house. I ran some errands and what not and will enjoy tomorrows final day of warm temps by actually TRAIL RUNNING South of Boston in the Blue Hills Reservation with Greg Stone and Jeff List. I’m very excited as I haven’t run on a trail since the beginning of December when we ran in the same Blue Hills with a slushly 2-3 inches of snow. Here on the seacoast we have about 5″ of snow left on the ground.. Concord still has about 2 feet! It’ll be nice to get out on the trails and hammer it hard over those rocks. Winter is planning to make a return on Sunday Night/Monday around here….and in a BIG way,. Stay tuned…