June 30, 2014
Start: Beaver Brook shelter
End: Liberty Springs tentsite/Mt Liberty Lodging
I started out this morning from the shelter at 6:20am. I trekked down to Kinsman Notch which was a very steep section of trail. I fell a few times, bloodying my knuckles. From there, it was up Mt Wolf east peak and then down to Eliza Brook Shelter. After that, it was the South peak of Kinsman Mtn followed by the North peak. I then passed by the Lonesome Lake Hut and stopped there for 45 minutes to have some soup, baked goods, and water.
The stop gave me enough energy to finish out the day in Lincoln as planned. Between the North peak of Kinsman and the road, I fell at least 4 times, bruising and skinning my arms and legs and spraining my ankle. This chain of events further solidified my decision to cut the hike short and return home.
The past three days have been extremely humid to the point where my clothes never dried out from being soaked in sweat each day. The black flies and mosquitoes were horrid. I hadn’t accounted for how much salt I’d need nor just how much water I’d need to stay hydrated. Unfortunately, even after I realized it, it was really a losing battle. There is a limited amount of water available on the trail at regular intervals. So I had to contend with pests, humidity, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and asthma attacks, in addition to the typical every day hiking struggles. Also, due to the dehydration and salt deficit, I had extremely bad muscle spasms in my calves and thighs (even reached my forearms yesterday evening) which left my right calf in a lot of pain even when at rest. I’m not sure if it’s just a muscle strain/pull or if I did something to my Achilles tendon.
Also, everyone is saying today will be one of the hottest this summer. Even Mt Washington is forecast to reach 90 degrees today, followed by three days of rain. Given how slippery the (mostly) dry rocks were, I think it was smart to end the hike today. I also ended in a place with bus service so it will make returning fairly easy.
In the end, it was a good experience but when I return to these mountains to finish, it will be much cooler!