By Kinsman falls
WE ran into snow at about 2000 feet, I'd guess. Here, Tikko tries to pick up a log a bit too large to carry.
A half-frozen rocky creek that the trail crossed and followed most of the way up to the lake/hut. I slipped on an icy boulder and soaked myself to about mid-calf. The rest of the hike was done in wet shoes and socks. Ugh.
Even though the snow made hiking a whole lot slower and more treacherous, it sure was pretty.
I chose this photo for the expression on Tikko's face. His ears are pressed flat on his head, and he's anticipating Tessa's sneak approach with much trepidation.
It was a bit of a winter wonderland, with sun and very very calm. It was the first hike where there was virtually no wind at all, even up high.
My first taste of snow. Yum!
Tessa always stands in the trail, looking back and me and waiting with a concerned expression. She also hurries over to check on me whenever I fall, slip, or end up knee deep in a creek.
Kinsman Lake was totally frozen over, with ice that looked thick enough to walk on. I didn't test it. There were lily pads frozen in the ice that looked like they were caught there mid-summer and unawares of impending winter.
This is the top of North Kinsman seen from the lake.
View of the Pemi range from the top of N. Kinsman. Mt. Lafayette is the tall one with snow, I think.
There were snowshoe hare tracks all over the summit lookout.
Tikko is checking out the view, making sure the tricky climbs were worth it.
View looking South from N. Kinsman.
Searching for snowshoe hare.
The trail was icy in spots, but the dogs grew more confident as we went along. I was surprised at their ability to descend some of the tricky icy steep areas where I was butt-sliding.
Waiting at the top of a slick climb.
The dogs started feeling frisky on Kinsman Ridge and started to wrestle. Here, Tessa lunges at Tikko.
Tug of war over a stick.
Yay! Tikko won!
But Tessa finds another stick...
... and makes sure to hurry up the trail to show Tikko.
Summit of South Kinsman with the Pemi wilderness in the background.
Dogs on the summit.
Sniffing more rabbit tracks.
Tikko found another stick to play with and bounds off down the trail.
The classic pre-play stare, avoidance.
Taking the ledge in a single bound.
Tikko has a stick, so Tessa flies through the air to get it.
But Tikko prevails and takes off down the trail again.
Tessa looks disappointed.
Joyful stick time
More fun with the stick.
Whoa, Tessa looks serious, but it's all in fun!
Wahoo, Tessa is flying!
They take a break at a sunny part of the trail.
Not for long, they're off up the trail again.
View of Cannon? from N. Kinsman.
Tikko found a nice odd shaped log he carried for a ways.
Tikko is not so sure about this steep icy descent.
So he howls a bit to let me know.
But he sure is happy once he gets down.
Both dogs commiserate over the tough downhills sections.
Ready to play again, despite the ice.
Tessa looks very ware of this downhill cliff section. Tikko went down this, no problem, but had big issues on a later one, with his howls echoing off the hills. Finally, he followed Tessa down safely.
A ladder, that Tikko didn't really like much. He went around this one, but climbed a couple others just fine. The trail started up Cannon Mountain, but at that point it was quite dark. I had a good headlamp, but decided it was safer to turn around due to the cold, impending storm, and icy conditions. I think it was a good decision since we didn't make it back to the car until about 8:30.