August 27: mile 1812: top of kinsman mountain shelter

We shuttled back to the trailhead for some tough hiking deeper into the White Range.  Our bubble has coalesced into a team that includes myself, Dancing Bear, Mona, Wolf Dog, Dove, Stick, Gandolf, Frodo, Gimlie, and Samwise.  

We started off in great weather and very steep hiking.  Wolf Mountain was waiting for us right out of the gate.  It was an 1800 foot climb spread over four miles.  Three hours of hard hiking got us to the top.  The views in the White Mountains are just spectacular– much better than the Smokies or southern Appalachian range.  The hiking is much harder because there are no switchbacks like are found in the southern range.  The trail just takes you straight up the mountain.  I am finally getting my climbing trail legs back.  They had atrophied from my Girardia sickness and the flatter terrain of the mid Atlantic section of the range.  You use different muscles for distance mild grade hiking verses steep grade hiking.  

After Wolf Mountain we hike up Kinsman Mountain– 2000 feet in two miles.  The hiking was really hard and very steep.  Again, we were rewarded with some of the best views on the trail.  We hung out at the summit for a while and then hiked down the mountain a mile and camped at a shelter a third of the way down the mountain.  It feels great to finally be in the Whites and enjoy these unbelievable views.  Happy trails.  

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